Reviews of the Week, with Kate Atkinson, Gregg Hurwitz, Jon Meacham, and More!

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 7–11 below.




Monday, May 7

Hellbent, by Gregg Hurwitz, read by Scott Brick

The third Orphan X thriller finds its hero, former government assassin Evan Smoak, facing his toughest challenge yet: tracking down the man who murdered Evan’s mentor.  Narrator Brick pulls listeners into the story and forces us to pay attention; like Hurwitz’s first-class writing, Brick’s narration offers no easy place at which to put the book aside. We’re stuck, riveted, until the final scenes.



Tuesday, May 8

 The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, by Jon Meacham

Pulitzer Prize–winning presidential historian Meacham (Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, 2015) has written this exceptionally fluent and stirring “portrait of hours in which the politics of fear were prevalent” in America out of profound knowledge, respect, and love for the nation and in the belief that understanding the past engenders perspective, guidance, and hope.


Wednesday, May 9

 Transcription, by Kate Atkinson

As in her sublime Life after Life (2013), Atkinson again jumps between different periods in the mid-twentieth century to tell the story of a singular Englishwoman trapped in the vice of history.







Thursday, May 10

 London Rules, by Mick Herron

Britain reels when 14 residents of the tiny village of Abbotsfield are killed. But it’s the discredited spies of Slough House, cast out of MI5 in Regent’s Park, who suss out what’s behind the killings.




Friday, May 11

 The Looking Glass, by Janet McNally

As far back as Sylvie can remember, her older sister, Julia, was the star, drawing attention at their prestigious ballet academy and in life. But then came Julia’s accident, her painkiller addiction, and then, finally, her disappearance, leaving Sylvie to carry on—in ballet and in life—alone.



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