Liz French

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PREMIUM

Better Off Dead

The writing is more seamless than in the Child brothers’ previous collaboration, but the action is often perfunctorily described, and the supporting cast is thinly written. There’s less humor than in previous entries, though Reacher’s notorious Luddism is played for a few laughs. Fans of the series will enjoy.

Between the Lines: Stories from the Underground

A vibrant, varied love note to New York. Readers will feel hopeful after hearing from Beutter Cohen's delightful subjects, and perhaps emboldened to engage a stranger in conversation.

PREMIUM

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife

Though some plot points strain credulity, and most characters are thinly drawn, Winstead’s first novel successfully gets inside Jessica’s head and conveys the excitement and terror of college days.
PREMIUM

Kill All Your Darlings

This one will please aficionados of campus crime stories and novels about writers and academic skullduggery.
PREMIUM

20th Century-Fox: Darryl F. Zanuck and the Creation of the Modern Film Studio

Eyman’s writing is vivid and succinct when he’s synopsizing movies, yet much of this book feels detached and secondhand. Mainly for die-hard “Golden Age” Hollywood fans and Zanuck completists.
PREMIUM

When Ghosts Come Home

Cash excels at conveying realistic family and community dynamics and creating complex characters, at least with the Barneses. Other characters, especially the cartoon-like villain, are not as deftly written. Mystery readers might quibble with a sizable plot hole and a rushed but shocking ending, but Cash’s fans and readers of Southern stories will enjoy.

Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir

With its extensive bibliography, index, lavish photos, and dozens of films ranging from the obscure to the well-known, this title will please newcomers to noir and hard-core fans who can’t get enough of Muller’s Noir Alley intros and outros.
PREMIUM

The Wonder Test

Richmond’s (The Marriage Pact) latest is a two-in-one winner: a gripping thriller set in a Stepford-esque California suburb, and a story of surviving loss and building family bonds. With a realistic protagonist, well-described setting, and an uber-creepy villain, it will please readers who like their stories with action and heart in equal measure.

Velvet Was the Night

Fans of Moreno-Garcia’s other novels will relish this title, as will noir aficionados and readers who like stories about everymen and -women rising to the occasion.
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