Ron Terpening

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The Butcher of Casablanca

This will mostly appeal to fans of the author’s previous works and similar crime novels that have sprung up in the Arab world since the 2011 uprisings.

The Eighth Sister

With lean prose and spot-on local color, this plot-driven thriller pulses with tension and fraught escapes, the action capped by a courtroom drama as good as any from Grisham. A must-read for fans of legal thrillers and/or spy novels.

A Friend Is a Gift You Give Yourself

Boyle's fiction rises above the stereotypes of urban noir, not so much for the plot as for the quirky, flawed female characters with rich inner lives, the gritty dialog, and atmospheric street settings, in which authentic details abound. Offbeat humor leavens the mix and adds to the fun.

I Invited Her In

The author deftly portrays her female characters, especially Mel, whose neediness is remarkable. Recommended for readers more interested in family interplay (think Anne Tyler) than in thrills and chills.

Into the Night

Bailey delineates a host of characters with consummate skill. While the requisite twists are not always startling, the plot is pleasingly complex. Admirers of Nicci French's "Frieda Klein" series will enjoy this absorbing mystery.—Ron Terpening, formerly of Univ. of Arizona, Tucson

The Three Beths

Abbott is a master of misdirection, though multiple red herrings and ever-tightening entanglements lead to a conclusion that some might find confusing. Still, the suspenseful plot with its numerous twists will appeal to readers of Harlan Coben or Gillian Flynn. [See Prepub Alert, 1/22/18.]

The Piranhas: The Boy Bosses of Naples

Those who enjoy Mediterranean or Neapolitan noir (Sandrone Dazieri, Massimo Carlotto, Giancarlo de Cataldo) will feel right at home in a world where chaos and vulgarity reign. [See Prepub Alert, 3/12/18.]


Porter's sixth thriller (after The Bell Ringers), with its plethora of coincidences, requires a willing suspension of disbelief, but the reward is a dramatic portrayal of the difficulties faced by child refugees. Naji and Samson's interlaced histories will appeal to readers who enjoy thrillers enriched with social and political issues and driven by suspenseful episodes of flight and pursuit.

The Day of the Dead

Fans of this acclaimed series will read with mounting dread as the end approaches. Others should start with the first book, otherwise Frieda's behavior, always strange, might prove perplexing and Lola, who dominates the plot, simply annoying. [See Prepub Alert, 1/22/18.]

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