Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from May 9–13 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday May 9
Another One Goes Tonight, by Peter Lovesey
The elderly English gentleman in knickers and a Holmesian deerstalker is putt-putting down a darkened road on his motorized tricycle when a traffic smashup occurs. He’s brought back from the dead by Detective Superintendent Peter Diamond, who has arrived in time to administer CPR. Afterward, Diamond is perplexed by the emotional bond the act created, and the puzzlement turns creepy when Diamond discovers sinister things in the old guy’s history.
Tuesday May 10
Steeplejack, by A. J. Hartley
Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga is the only female steeplejack in the Seventh Street Gang. She’s also the best. When a routine steeple repair job results in the death of a new gang member, Anglet realizes he was murdered. At about the same time, the Bar Selehm city beacon—a large, luminescent luxorite stone—is stolen from its high perch above the market. Anglet is convinced the murder and theft are connected, and she is secretly hired by a rich politician to find evidence, if she can do so before civil war erupts in the city.
Wednesday May 11
Breaking Cover, by Stella Rimington
Rimington has enormous credibility as a writer of spy thrillers. In her almost 30-year career with the British Security Service (MI5), she worked countersubversion, counterespionage, and counterterrorism and became the first woman appointed Director General of MI5 in 1992. Her Liz Carlyle novels (this is the ninth) have a clarity in procedure and a focus on character that’s sometimes lacking in spy novels that rely more on constant changes of setting than on sense. In the latest, Rimington presents us with two compelling narrative threads.
Thursday May 12
With Malice, by Eileen Cook
When privileged Jill wakes up in the hospital, she’s concerned with two things, talking to her best friend, Simone, and getting ready for the tour of Italy she’d been anticipating. Soon, though, she realizes the terrible truth. She’s already been to Italy. That’s where she caused the car accident that killed Simone. As she pieces together the missing six weeks of her memory and endures both physical and psychiatric therapy, Jill encounters increasing trouble.
Friday May 13
What We Become, by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Max is a thief and a bit of roué—oh, but what a roué, the kind men envy and women can’t resist. Born in the Buenos Aires slums in the early twentieth century, Max fought his way out of there and reinvented himself as an elegant Spaniard, employed on ocean liners as a tango dancer to entertain the ladies while their husbands drink brandy. Then he meets Mecha, sees her pearl necklace, and finds himself torn between business and pleasure: “the taste of absinthe in his mouth was sweet like a promise of women and adventure.”