May 1, 2015 Booklist 5 www.booklistonline.com May 1, 2015 Booklist 5 #mysterymonth
psychological drama, overlaying the whole
with an all-powerful sense of landscape as
a conduit to meaning. Another gem from
an endlessly inventive writer.
Nobody Walks. By Mick Herron. 2015.
Soho, $25.95 (9781616954864).
Herron’s remarkable novel has enough
suspense, action, and deductive dazzle to
keep thriller fans happy, but be warned:
these are deep psychological waters. Tom
Bettany, a British ex-spy, comes out of
retirement when he learns his estranged
son has been murdered. But is it all a
ploy to get Tom back in the game? When
the final revelation comes, it lands like a
physical blow. Powerful stuff, written in a
clipped style that belies its ability to convey strong emotion.
Perfidia. By James Ellroy. 2014. Knopf,
Cast with many of the characters from
Ellroy’s legendary L.A. Quartet, this first
volume in the Second L.A. Quartet marks
both a return to the scene of Ellroy’s
greatest success and a triumphant return
to form. The apparent
ritual suicide of a Japa-
nese family on the eve of
Pearl Harbor could be
murder, but there’s panic
in the streets, and the
tendency is to fit the facts
to the crime. Ellroy’s war-
time L.A. evokes William
S. Burroughs at his surreal best, and, yet,
the novel is remarkably balanced and well
plotted, and the prose veers away from
the bombast of Ellroy’s past.
The Secret Place. By Tana French. 2014.
Viking, $27.95 (9780670026326).
A year after the murder of a young
man on the grounds of posh St. Kilda’s
School for Girls outside Dublin, one of
the female students approaches Detective
Stephen Moran with a clue that prompts
the investigation to be reopened—and to
focus on two rival school cliques. French
brilliantly and plausibly channels the
rebellion, conformity, inchoate longings,
rages, and shared bonds of teen girls in
the throes of coming-of-age.
Tigerman. By Nick Harkaway. 2014.
Knopf, $26.95 (9780385352413).
Harkaway is at it again, celebrating
pop culture, mixing genres like a mad
scientist, and producing a book that is
both deeply moving and deliriously enter-
taining. On a tiny Asian island, polluted
beyond salvation, a washed-up British bu-
reaucrat reinvents himself as Tigerman to
please a comics-loving island boy and sets
out to claim revenge for the murder of a
cafe owner. Owing as much to Murakami
as Stan Lee, this ode to superheroes com-
bines suspense with coming-of-age drama
and a noir sensibility.
The Whites. By Harry Brandt. 2015.
BEST CRIME FICTION DEBUTS
Holt, $28.95 (9780805093995).
Richard Price returns as Harry Brandt
with the story of Billy Graves, an aging
NYPD cop who suspects that one of his
cronies in the Wild Geese, a legendary
anti-crime unit from the nineties, may
now be killing the crooks
who got away back in the
day. With one-of-a-kind
characters and settings so
real you can smell them,
The Whites isn’t about
cops and killers as much
as it’s about the damage
we all carry, the sins we’ve
all committed, and the heartbreaking un-
likeliness of forgiveness. An unrelenting,
moving story of crime and social justice.
An Appetite for Violets. By Martine
Bailey. 2015. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne,
Set in the 1770s, Bailey’s debut stars
Biddy Leigh, undercook at Mawton Hall
in Cheshire, England, who accompanies
the master’s wife on a trip to Italy, where
she falls in love with a chef and is thrown
into a murder case. A delectable dish for
foodies and the Downton Abbey crowd.
The Black Hour. By Lori Rader-Day.
2014. Prometheus/Seventh Street, $15.95
A specialist in the sociology of violence,
Professor Amelia Emmet, recovering from
a gunshot wound, returns to teaching but
is plagued by questions about why and by
whom she was shot. A darkly witty debut
that bears comparison with the work of
S. J. Watson and Gillian Flynn.
Confessions. By Kanae Minato. Tr. by
Stephen Snyder. 2014. Little, Brown/
Mulholland, $15 (9780316200929).
When the body of a young girl turns up
in the pool at a Japanese middle school,
the victim’s mother, a teacher at the
school, embarks on an elaborate revenge
plot with far-reaching implications. This
spellbinding novel offers a fascinating
peek into modern Japanese society and
would make an excellent pairing with
Tana French’s The Secret Place.
Elizabeth Is Missing. By Emma Healey.
2014. Harper, $25.99 (9780062309662).
An Englishwoman slipping into dementia must turn detective when her
best friend disappears. Part mystery, part
meditation on memory, part Dickensian
revelation of the underside of charity.
The Marauders. By Tom Cooper. 2015.
Crown, $25 (9780804140560).
A ragtag collection of fishermen, potheads, and wannabe drug dealers in a
Louisiana bayou town wrestle with the
likely extinction of their way of life. Recommend to fans of Daniel Woodrell and
Night of the Jaguar. By Joe
Gannon. 2014. Minotaur, $25.99
Gannon places a classic hard-boiled detective in the middle of 1980s Nicaragua,
with its poisonous politics, and tells the
story of the times in emotion-drenched,
wonderfully lyrical prose.
The Objects of Her Affection. By Sonya
Cobb. 2014. Sourcebooks/Landmark,
The wife of a museum curator impulsively tucks a silver mirror into her diaper
bag and, just like that, becomes an art
thief. A tautly paced psychological thriller.
The Swimmer. By Joakim Zander. Tr. by
Elizabeth Clark Wessel. 2015. Harper,
Zander’s elegantly written political
thriller—a best-seller in Europe—ranges
across multiple continents and three decades to tell a compelling tale of lies and
betrayal that encompasses the Iraq War.
An Untamed State. By Roxanne Gay.
2014. Black Cat, $16 (9780802122513).
Set in Haiti, this excoriating tale of a
Miami lawyer’s kidnapping and subse-
quent torture is ferocious in its depiction
of prejudice and desperation.
The Ways of the Dead. By Neely Tucker.
2014. Viking, $27.95 (9780670016587).
Based on a series of real-life murders
in Washington, D.C., Tucker’s streetwise
debut stars a newspaper reporter who
doesn’t buy the too-easy explanation of
ghetto violence. Reminiscent of early