Reviews

1979 – The BOLO Books Review

Val McDermid is a legend in the crime fiction world. She has written ground-breaking books, such as the Lindsay Gordon series featuring a lesbian lead character; the Wire in the Blood novels (her criminal profiler series that is often imitated but never duplicated);...

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Her Perfect Life – The BOLO Books Review

By now most readers know that Hank Phillippi Ryan was an Emmy Award-winning investigative reporter long before she was a multi-award-winning crime fiction author, so it only makes sense that reporters in various forms have populated almost all of her fiction work....

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The Heron’s Cry – The BOLO Books Review

With The Heron’s Cry, Ann Cleeves returns to her recently launched Two Rivers series. In many ways, all of Cleeves’ books feel like ensemble pieces, but this new series in particular, celebrates all the characters equally. Yes, Matthew Venn – as the head of the...

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The Missing Hours – The BOLO Books Review

The Missing Hours is Julia Dahl’s first stand-alone crime novel and with it she proves herself an astute chronicler of human nature – especially when in the midst of stress-fueled incidents and trauma recovery. Dahl wastes no time before throwing readers into a...

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Rock Paper Scissors – The BOLO Books Review

With Rock Paper Scissors, Alice Feeney and her readers take a deep dive into a trouble marriage and the lasting impact of deception. As she has done with all her previous novels, Feeney takes readers on an unexpected journey before pulling the rug out from under them...

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The Madness of Crowds – The BOLO Books Review

Last year, Louise Penny took her legion of fans off to Paris with Armand Gamache and his family in the well-received All the Devils Are Here. As refreshing as it was to see these familiar characters in a new setting, loyal fans will be thrilled to know that Penny’s...

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The Family Plot – The BOLO Books Review

The Family Plot by Megan Collins is the story of a unique family obsessed with true crime. Think of the Lighthouse family as a blend of the Blackwoods from Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle, the Addams Family, and whatever documentary show is on the...

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Gone for Good – The BOLO Books Review

If a series debut rests squarely on the shoulders of the lead protagonist, Joanna Schaffhausen’s Gone for Good could hardly ask for a more worthy advocate than Detective Annalisa Vega. After four books (and counting) in her popular and well-received debut series,...

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Lightning Strike – The BOLO Books Review

When it comes to regional crime fiction, one would be hard-pressed to find a more accomplished practitioner than William Kent Krueger. In both his Cork O’Connor series and his stand-alone literary mysteries, location is a central focus and readers can always count on...

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The Turnout – The BOLO Books Review

It has been roughly three years since Megan Abbott released Give Me Your Hand, so fans are eager to snag a copy of her new novel, The Turnout. In many ways, this novel is a natural progression from her previous books looking at the culture of cheerleaders, gymnasts,...

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Girls Who Lie – The BOLO Books Review

Iceland continues to assert itself as the source of some of the strongest crime fiction being written today. Last year, Eva Björg Ægisdóttir released her award-winning debut novel, The Creak on the Stairs, during a worldwide pandemic and yet readers still discovered...

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Writing in Ice – The BOLO Books Review

With such diverse examples such as Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird, On Writing by Stephen King and Walter Mosley’s Elements of Fiction, it’s clear that novelists sometimes enjoy experimenting when it comes to releasing a craft book. The act of writing is so personal that...

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Walking Through Needles – The BOLO Books Review

One of the joys of being a voracious reader is that it allows one to explore new writers on the scene, without ignoring our tried-and-true favorites. After all, a new writer today could very well be a legend of tomorrow. There is often a freedom in debuts, a sense...

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A Gingerbread House – The BOLO Books Review

Disclaimer: Catriona McPherson’s A Gingerbread House is dedicated to me, Kristopher Zgorski, so some readers may justifiably feel that I would be biased in my opinions of the novel. However, I am confident that the following review retains the high level of honesty...

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The Stranger Behind You – The BOLO Books Review

It would be difficult to conjure up a more consistent writer than Carol Goodman. While each of her books is different in tone and style, there are unifying elements that mean readers who enjoy one of her novels will most likely find enjoyment in each of the others....

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Razorblade Tears – The BOLO Books Review

With My Darkest Prayer, his debut novel, S. A. Cosby leapt onto the literary landscape of crime fiction by showing himself to be a true wordsmith dedicated to crafting exquisite sentences and revelatory metaphors. Cosby followed this up with his break-through novel,...

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What’s Done in Darkness – The BOLO Books Review

Laura McHugh has made a career of writing literary mysteries set in atmospheric locations, but with What’s Done in Darkness she stakes her claim as the queen of rural noir. What’s Done in Darkness is a tightly-coiled narrative with the venomous bite of a rattlesnake....

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Bath Haus – The BOLO Books Review

It requires a unique talent to take what amounts to long-standing tropes of a particular genre then bend them ever so subtly in such a way whereas to end up with something that feels totally fresh and innovative, however that is exactly what P. J. Vernon has...

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The Photographer – The BOLO Books Review

Photographs are virtually ubiquitous in all of our lives; we want to document those special moments – even sometimes the mundane ones – so that we can look back on them and reminisce. However, unless it is a selfie or a photograph we have taken ourselves, one rarely...

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Yes, Daddy – The BOLO Books Review

It appears we are in a renaissance period for crime fiction from LGBTQ+ perspectives. It is not that these stories never existed before, but now we are witnessing the end of the days when they were deemed “special interest” or hidden away in the farthest reaches of...

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