Just after well-known British mystery writer Ruth Rendell died in May of this year, at the age of 85, her life and talents were described in the media with words like “brilliant,” “discomfiting” and “challenging.” Readers who’ve long been gripped by Rendell’s imaginative crime fiction, however, knew that already. From her popular Chief Inspector Wexford series with such hallmarks as the top-notch An Unkindness of Ravens and Not in the Flesh, to standalone classics like A Dark Adapted Eye (as Barbara Vine) and A Judgment in Stone, right up to her last, Dark Corners, the author’s unsettling prose has always attracted legions of readers.
Does a spy thriller written by a former CIA officer offer an unbiased view of the world of espionage? Who knows, but it seems the answer may be both yes and no.
In the chilling opening of Stephen King’s Finders Keepers, a sequel to his 2014 bestseller Mr. Mercedes, three words jolt elderly literary lion John Rothstein from a sound sleep, alerting him to the fact that he’s become the victim of a home invasion: “Wake up, genius.”
Stephen King is really good at acknowledging the human grief that underlies so much horror, and how that grief can twist a person into something monstrous—Pet Sematary, anyone? This is one of the themes of his new hair-raiser, Revival.
Stephen King has been thrilling readers for four decades, ever since the 1974 publication of Carrie. So it’s particularly remarkable that such a long-lived (and prolific) writer can still generate buzz for doing something different. But that’s exactly what’s happening with King’s 51st novel, Mr. Mercedes, which is being billed as his first “hard-boiled detective tale.”
10 years after his acclaimed novel Tijuana Straits, author Kem Nunn—whom our columnist credits for the creation of the "Surf Noir" genre—returns with a compelling new psychological thriller, Chance. Set in the foggy Bay Area, the story follows Dr. Eldon Chance, a neuropsychiatrist caught up in a dangerous affair with one of his beautiful, fractured patients, Jaclyn. When her husband's jealousy grows to sinister extremes, Dr. Chance finds himself in the middle of some serious danger.
This month's best new mysteries include a deadly oil spill, a charming francophile's mystery, the finale to Leif GW Persson's Story of a Crime Trilogy, plus an "ink-dark" psychological thriller from Kem Nunn.
They don’t make cops much more world-weary than Moscow homicide investigator Arkady Renko, who has remained steadfast in his principles while trying to stay afloat in the vast sea of corruption that is post-Soviet Union Russia. Author Martin Cruz Smith puts it succinctly in the opening pages of his latest Renko thriller, Tatiana: “As for himself, Arkady knew he should quit the...
In an author’s note at the end of Doctor Sleep, Stephen King explains how the idea of writing a sequel to The Shining—his third novel, published in 1977—was planted by a fan at a book signing back in 1998. King mulled it over for more than 10 years before sitting down to figure out how 5-year-old Danny Torrance fared after his narrow escape from the horrifyingly haunted...
There is little I can say to add to the legend that is Ruth Rendell: today’s doyenne of the mystery novel in the British Isles, check; multiple Edgar Award winner, check; spiritual heir to Dame Agatha Christie, check. The Child’s Child, Rendell’s new work, written under her Barbara Vine pseudonym, spins the unsettling tale of a pair of adult sibs—a brother and...