Fiction Reviews | January 2013

coady Fiction Reviews | January 2013OrangeReviewStar Fiction Reviews | January 2013 Coady, Lynn. The Antagonist. Knopf. Jan. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780307961358. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307961365. F

What makes a bully tick? In the case of Gordon Rankin— “Rank” to his friends—the external hulk does not really mirror the inner self, who fears his own strength and is reluctant to engage. As the adopted son of a saintly mother and an overbearing father, Rank was encouraged to use his size and strength to help deal with the teenaged hoodlums who hung around his father’s ice cream shop and then to earn a hockey scholarship through his role as an enforcer. Years later, when a long-estranged friend publishes a novel in which the brutish central character is based on a thinly disguised Rank, Rank rails at the unjust expropriation of his story. In a long series of unanswered emails to his friend, he explores his past and the catastrophic incidents that led him to disappear from view. VERDICT What begins as a self-justification fueled by rage ends as an endearing journey of self-discovery and self-forgiveness. Nominated for Canada’s Giller Prize, this very human drama, laced with humor and insight, is strongly recommended. —Barbara Love, Kingston Frontenac P.L., Kingston, ON

dubow Fiction Reviews | January 2013OrangeReviewStar Fiction Reviews | January 2013 Dubow, Charles. Indiscretion. Morrow. Feb. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780062201058. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062201072. F

Because they exude the easy charm and self-assurance often held by persons possessed with the advantages of talent, intelligence, and beauty, Harry and Madeleine Winslow are the golden couple everyone wants to know. It doesn’t hurt either that they own both a Manhattan brownstone and a lovely cottage in the Hamptons to which they readily issue summer-weekend invitations. Harry, a National Book Award-winning author is the gregarious host, while Maddy’s good nature and excellent culinary skills keep each guest satisfied. They are very much in love and adore their little boy, and so, to have any kind of story, something must go wrong. Enter the youthful and very beguiling Claire, who falls for Harry and Maddy in a big way. Their story is told by Walter Gervais, Maddy’s dearest friend since childhood, who observes and tells all. VERDICT Dubow’s first novel is a deliciously absorbing page-turner. His captivating characters jump off the page to pull the reader into their story. [See Prepub Alert, 8/9/12.] —Sheila M. Riley, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC

french Fiction Reviews | January 2013OrangeReviewStar Fiction Reviews | January 2013 French, Nicci. Tuesday’s Gone. Pamela Dorman: Viking. Apr. 2013. 371p. ISBN 9780670025671. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101606353. F

The second book (after Blue Monday ) in the Frieda Klein crime series is set in 2011 during a dreary London winter. Once again psychiatric therapist Frieda Klein is called on by Deputy Chief Inspector Karlsson to help solve a complicated case. A decomposed body has been found in the flat of a deranged woman who collects bits of rubbish left on the banks of the Thames. Who is the man and how did he die? Using her ingenuity and with help from her friends, Frieda learns he was a conman living under an assumed name and, though beloved by many of his victims, was murdered. Bedeviled by issues of identity, fraud, and a master manipulator’s multiple victims, the case forces Frieda to confront not only her own dark past and the unsettled lives of her family members but also the disturbing situations of everyone inveigled by the dead man. VERDICT The 16th novel written by husband-and-wife team Nicci Gerrard and Sean French starts as a grim psychological thriller in the vein of Dennis Lehane’s darker novels and turns into a fascinating puzzle in which character analysis holds sway. Highly recommended for fans of psychological suspense who enjoy a complex protagonist. [See Prepub Alert, 10/28/12.] —Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson


The following titles are reviewed in the January 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Brill, Amy. The Movement of Stars. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Apr. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781594487446. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101602058. F

Brink, Andre. Ph ili da. Vintage: Random. Feb. 2013. 310p. ISBN 9780345805034. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345805041. F

David-Weill, Cécile. The Suitors. Other. Feb. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9781590515730. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781590515747. F

Dobyns, Stephen. The Burn Palace. Blue Rider: Penguin Group (USA). Feb. 2013. 480p. ISBN 9780399160875. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780399160875. F

OrangeReviewStar Fiction Reviews | January 2013 Gee, Poppy. Bay of Fires. Reagan Arthur: Little, Brown. Mar. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780316201681. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316201674. F

OrangeReviewStar Fiction Reviews | January 2013 Haynes, Elizabeth. Dark Tide. Harper: HarperCollins. Mar. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780062197337. pap. $14.99. F

Koch, Herman. The Dinner. Hogarth: Crown. Feb. 2013. 304p. tr. from Dutch by Sam Garrett. ISBN 9780770437855. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780385346849. F

Meister, Ellen. Farewell, Dorothy Parker. Putnam. Feb. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780399159077. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101609231. F

OrangeReviewStar Fiction Reviews | January 2013 Moore, Edward Kelsey. The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat. Knopf. Mar. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780307959928. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307959935. F

Poyer, David.The Whiteness of the Whale. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9781250020567. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250020574. F

Pyper, Andrew. The Demonologist. S & S. Mar. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781451697414. pap. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781451697438. F

Robertson, Ray. David. Biblioasis, dist. by Consortium. Jan. 2013. 296p. ISBN 9781926845869. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781926845876. F

OrangeReviewStar Fiction Reviews | January 2013 Rollins, James & Rebecca Cantrell. The Blood Gospel: The Order of the Sanguines. Morrow. Jan. 2013. 496p. ISBN 9780061991042. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062235756. F

Sanchez, Thomas. American Tropic. Knopf. Jan. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9781400042326. $26; ebk. ISBN9780307961389. F

Shortridge, Jennie. Love Water Memory: A Novel. Gallery: S. & S. Apr. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9781451684834. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781451684858. F

Söderberg, Alexander. The Andalucian Friend. Crown. Mar. 2013. 464p. tr. from Swedish by Neil Smith. ISBN 9780770436056. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780770436063F

Waite, Urban. The Carrion Birds. Morrow. Apr. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780062216885. $25.99; ebk. ISBN9780062216908. F

SHORT STORIES

OrangeReviewStar Fiction Reviews | January 2013 Harrison, Jim. The River Swimmer: Novellas. Grove. Jan. 2013. 240p. ISBN 9780802120731. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802193803. F

The Heroin Chronicles. Akashic. (Akashic Drug Chronicles). Jan. 2013. 209p. ed. by Jerry Stahl. ISBN 9781617751066. pap. $15.95. F

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