Reviews

The Last Resort – The BOLO Books Review

When Susi Holliday’s The Last Resort begins, seven strangers board an airplane on their way to a remote island for a mysterious weekend arranged by an elusive host. With that setup, it is impossible for crime fiction genre fans not to immediately think of Dame Agatha...

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Confessions on the 7:45 – The BOLO Books Review

Lisa Unger continues to produce one of the most varied collections of writings in the crime fiction genre. Each of her works – even when they are linked as part of the same series – stand alone in their uniqueness. Her novels never tell the same story twice and refuse...

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The Island – The BOLO Books Review (UK Edition)

In his exceptional debut novel, A Line of Blood, Ben McPherson presented a stand-alone domestic suspense novel from the perspective of the husband. He now returns with The Island and once again focuses on a family in crisis, however, unlike the strain in that earlier...

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The Eighth Detective – The BOLO Books Review

Imagine, if you will, this Venn diagram: the murder mystery is a subset of crime fiction which is both a subset of literature and a subset of social commentary. Or perhaps this diagram: truth and lies are two distinctive sets of data that would seem to be mutually...

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For the Best – The BOLO Books Review

Pacing is one of those elusive elements that can make or break a novel. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all optimum pace. Some novels require a slow, methodical storytelling method, while others benefit from having a more frantic tempo serve as a foundation...

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The Killings at Kingfisher Hill – The BOLO Books Review

There was certainly skepticism when Sophie Hannah published her first Agatha Christie Estate-authorized continuation of the Hercule Poirot series. Many readers were hesitant to pick up The Monogram Murders, fearing that their beloved character would be tarnished. As...

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And Now She’s Gone – The BOLO Books Review

Rachel Howzell Hall continues to prove that she can write anything; and that when she does, she will always knock it out of the park. Whether it’s a touching personal essay like “I Don’t Know This Word” (from the Private Investigations anthology) or a hard-hitting...

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The Darkest Evening – The BOLO Books Review

To the delight of readers everywhere, Ann Cleeves – and more specifically her beloved creation, Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope – return in The Darkest Evening, the most recent novel from this acclaimed practitioner of the traditional procedural mystery. As with all...

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All The Devils Are Here – The BOLO Books Review

Louise Penny’s Three Pines mystery series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has grown from the early books that struggled to find a readership to its current ubiquity where the series is so incredibly beloved and every new entry is almost guaranteed instant...

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Detectives in the Shadows – The BOLO Books Review

Susanna Lee’s Detectives in the Shadows examines the topic, trajectory, and transcendence of the “private eye” in crime fiction from its origins through to the present day. While it is a scholarly work from an academic press, the writing here is clear and concise, as...

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From Beer to Eternity – The BOLO Books Review

The cozy mystery sub-genre is an important and too often overlooked corner of the crime fiction world. Anyone who reads them knows how difficult it is to craft and plot an effective one – maybe even harder than some of the other sub-genres. In my opinion, a cozy...

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Rules for Being Dead – The BOLO Books Review

Every season or so, there's a book that seemingly comes out of the blue that manages to knock our socks off. Rules for Being Dead is that book for the Summer of 2020. And its author, Kim Powers, is a bona fide breath of fresh air on the literary landscape. Honestly,...

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The First to Lie – The BOLO Books Review

There is no denying it, Hank Phillippi Ryan has a way with words; anytime she puts pen to paper, the resulting prose is guaranteed to provide readers with hours of escapism. Simply put, Hank Phillippi Ryan is a born storyteller, with the skills to transform any tale...

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His & Hers – The BOLO Books Review

Alice Feeney has wasted no time in establishing herself as one of the preeminent authors of psychological suspense working today. Her debut, Sometimes I Lie, already feels like a touchstone of the genre and she followed that up with the excellent I Know Who You Are....

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The Bright Lands – The BOLO Books Review

John Fram’s debut novel, The Bright Lands, has seen a swell of support on social media from many corners of the crime fiction community. Just a brief sampling of this engaging and intelligent book will quickly confirm that this is a work worthy of that attention. If...

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Never Ask Me – The BOLO Books Review

With Never Ask Me, Jeff Abbott returns to the exclusive enclave of Lakehaven, Texas – the iconic setting of several of his stand-alone thrillers. Like Blame and the others, Never Ask Me stands on its own with only the fictional setting uniting them. Never Ask Me...

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Blacktop Wasteland – The BOLO Books Review

S. A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is the novel everyone in the crime fiction community is talking about. You could put an image of this book’s cover next to the dictionary definition of buzz and be accurate, although some would say it might be an understatement....

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