Reviews of the Week: with Roxane Gay, Tanya Landman, Meg McLaren, and More!

Every weekday, we feature a different review on Booklist Online that highlights starred reviews, high-demand titles, and/or titles especially relevant to our current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from May 22 through 26 so that you can revisit the week’s best books.

May 22

 Pigeon P. I., by Meg McLaren

It was a rainy afternoon, and Vee the canary had been waiting outside Murray MacMurray’s detective office all day. The pigeon’s heart hadn’t been into sleuthing since his partner skipped town, but he couldn’t ignore the yellow bird any longer. Vee, desperate for help, divulges that two of her friends have been birdnapped! When Vee herself goes missing a few weeks later, Murray knows he has to take the case.




May 23

 Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay

More than once, Gay, author of essays (Bad Feminist, 2014), short stories (Difficult Women, 2017), and crime fiction (An Untamed State, 2014), refers to writing this memoir as the hardest thing she’s ever done. Readers will believe her; it’s hard to imagine this electrifying book being more personal, candid, or confessional.


May 24

 Hell and High Water, by Tanya Landman

Landman’s Dickensian novel takes readers to eighteenth-century England, where a mixed-race teen and his father, Joseph, who is white, travel the countryside putting on Punch and Judy shows. Their itinerant life crashes around them when a thief drops a purloined silk purse at Joseph’s feet, framing the puppeteer for the crime.





May 25

 Trap the Devil, by Ben Coes

Coes continues to deliver intense and gripping novels showcasing the world of special ops with his hero Dewey Andreas. This time (following First Strike, 2016) the threat dates back more than 30 years to the formation of a secret plan known as Order 6. That plan, aimed at a clandestine takeover of the U.S. government, is soon to reach fruition.

May 26

 In the Valley of the Sun, by Andy Davidson

Rural Texas, 1980. Travis is not a good man—haunted by his violent past, he takes it out on the women he meets. One night, however, a girl leaves him bloodied and weak in his trailer, and he wakes with an inability to tolerate daylight and a strange and overpowering hunger.



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