Reviews of the Week: with Agnete Friis, Danielle Winslow, Haylen Beck, and More!

Mystery Month 2017Every 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 1 through 5—all crime fiction titles in honor of Mystery Month— so that you can revisit the week’s best books.


what my body remembersMonday, May 1

 What My Body Remembers, by Agnete Friis

Ella Nygaard’s father was convicted of murdering her mother when Ella was seven years old, leaving her in a series of disastrous foster homes. Now a single mother rendered virtually unemployable by panic attacks that often land her in the psychiatric ward, Ella faces losing her son to the same system. Realizing that she has to confront her childhood nightmare, Ella kidnaps Alex from his foster home and takes him to the Danish coastal town where her mother was killed.




spell zoneTuesday, May 2

 Spill Zone, by Scott Westerfeld

As he did in the YA favorite Uglies (2005), Westerfeld crafts a world drastically and subtly altered by an extranormal development, then rivetingly explores its practical and psychological consequences. The development in this case is something otherworldly that has “spilled” into a small town in upstate New York. Addison illegally penetrates the spill zone to photograph its disturbing effects on people, animals, and environment and sells the pictures as black-market art to support her little sister.


here and goneWednesday, May 3

 Here and Gone, by Haylen Beck

Good news. Here’s the perfect handoff for fans desperate for “something like” Lee Child, Harlan Coben, and Lisa Gardner. Haylen Beck is the pseudonym of acclaimed Irish crime writer Stuart Neville. In this remarkable piece of suspense, he leaves his top-notch series characters in their Belfast haunts and puts Audra Kinney behind the wheel of an aged station wagon on the run with her two children, desperate to leave an abusive husband and a troubled past in New York.




the force don winslowThursday, May 4

 The Force, by Don Winslow

It’s rare for a writer to produce two career-defining masterpieces back-to-back, but that’s exactly what Winslow has done by following The Cartel (2015) with The Force. In an era rife with racially motivated police brutality, Winslow has created what will likely become our quintessential cop novel, looking both at what cops do right and wrong with clear-eyed realism and passionate humanity.


breakingFriday, May 5

 Breaking, by Danielle Rollins

The whole Disney Princess thing was a joke between Charlotte and her friends. Easy-to-manipulate, animal-loving Charlotte was Cinderella, while driven, athletic African American Devon was an ironic Snow White. Rebellious, red-headed ringleader Ariel was, of course, Ariel, the feisty Little Mermaid. But now Devon and Ariel are dead, having committed suicide within a month of each other, and Charlotte is left alone.





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