A lot of hits and few errors in ‘The Cactus League’

Spring training is a time of hope and renewal in baseball, when fans of even the most inept teams allow themselves to dream that this might, at long last, be The Year. It’s no less so for the players themselves, and the other people whose lives revolve in and around the game. Emily Nemens’ TheContinue reading “A lot of hits and few errors in ‘The Cactus League’”

Cold case heats up in ‘This Is How I Lied’

Eve Knox disappeared just before Christmas from her small town in Iowa. She was a high school sophomore, and her body was found later that night in a cave outside of town. Despite a number of suspects, including an abusive high-school boyfriend, the killer was never found. Now it’s 25 years later, and Eve’s bestContinue reading “Cold case heats up in ‘This Is How I Lied’”

They’re all good dogs in ‘Olive, Mabel & Me’

I really needed this book. It’s a gentle, often humorous and occasionally profound story of a man and his dogs, and a fair bit of mountain walking thrown in. If you were hanging around on Twitter last March, you may have come across a cute little video tweet featuring two dogs having an eating contest,Continue reading “They’re all good dogs in ‘Olive, Mabel & Me’”

Drowning in a ‘Long Bright River’ of addiction

Long Bright River by Liz Moore is an unflinching look at the opioid crisis through a dark lens. None of the characters conform to the usual stereotypes. Cops aren’t always heroes (or villains); addicts aren’t always dangerous or hopeless. Everyone has secrets and people are seldom what they appear to be at first glance. In that way,Continue reading “Drowning in a ‘Long Bright River’ of addiction”

‘The Marrow Thieves’ explores a dystopian indigenous world

What happens when we stop dreaming? And what if we could steal the dreams of someone else and take them for our own? Would we do it, even if it meant the destruction of the people we’re stealing from? That question is at the heart of The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (2017). This Young AdultContinue reading “‘The Marrow Thieves’ explores a dystopian indigenous world”

Rogue cops face off against rural Idaho town in ‘Blue Heaven’

can anyone save annie and william? I have read the first couple of books in author Box’s Joe Pickett series, but Blue Heaven (St. Martin’s Press, 2008) is a standalone suspense/thriller about some rogue L.A. cops who retire to Idaho with their ill-begotten gains and proceed to wreak havoc on the rural community. (The titleContinue reading “Rogue cops face off against rural Idaho town in ‘Blue Heaven’”

Delicious murder mystery

‘A Bitter Feast’ serves up delectable meals along with its charming detecting duo You will be forgiven if your mouth waters uncontrollably while reading Deborah Crombie’s latest entry in the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery series, A Bitter Feast (HarperCollins, 2019). The action is set in the picturesque Cotswolds and centers around a pub in theContinue reading “Delicious murder mystery”

A watery way of life

‘A Chesapeake Requiem’ takes the reader inside the endangered world of Tangier Island There’s a romance that lingers around certain places in America. Usually they are places that to outside observers have been “left behind” by modernity. Those of us frantically trying to keep up with the blistering pace of technology fool ourselves into thinkingContinue reading “A watery way of life”

Jackson Brodie returns

Nine years on, the moody detective picks up right where he left off in ‘Big Sky’ When last we saw Jackson Brodie, in 2011’s Started Early, Took My Dog, the introspective private investigator at the center of Kate Atkinson’s literary mystery series was wandering around Yorkshire, trying to track down an adopted woman’s biological familyContinue reading “Jackson Brodie returns”

Illusions of safety and danger

Dennis Lehane dives deep in ‘Since We Fell’ Rachel Childs is a television journalist in Boston whose career is on a steep upward trajectory until she is sent to Haiti on assignment after the devastating 2010 earthquake. The horror she sees and experiences there leave her with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder thatContinue reading “Illusions of safety and danger”