Finishing off the year right with another round of great crime fiction…
Broken Places 4 stars
A really good debut novel that’s pure Chicago without being annoying. A little predictable towards the end but well-written nonetheless. Also, much love for featuring black Roman Catholicism, which is a different expression than the commonly mass produced (re:white) Roman Catholicism of crime novels and movies.
The A.B.C. Murders 4 stars
This one was about to highlight why I’m not a big Christie fan, despite usually enjoying her novels. Whereas her character-driven tales (The Hollow, Death on the Nile) are more entertaining, the stone cold whodunnits just fail to move me. It always feels like the stakes are too low, which is ridiculous in a murder case but such is life when you don’t have any connection to the victim…
And then the twist happened. Wow.
I figured there would be a twist ending but I didn’t expect that! Bumped it up a star.
Solos 3 stars
This book is almost too quirky for its own good. The first time trying it, I was unaffected by its charms. But the second time stuck. The look at Williamsburg right on the cusp of gentrification felt authentic and I wound up caring about the characters almost in spite of myself.
The Lady Upstairs 4 starsOne of the year’s most hyped thrillers, The Lady Upstairs matches it. Billed as a crime take on the #MeToo era, there’s more to it, including exciting relationships at the core of the story. Halley Sutton is adept at layering the tale, adding the right amount of suspense when needed and avoiding contrivances. There’s a big twist that I kind of anticipated but the end was really good. An excellent modern day Hollywood noir.