The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford (Atria). Some- thing like an epic, in the description, but fast and fun to read and as much future fiction as histo ical: it’s set in 2045, or at …
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford (Atria). Some- thing like an epic, in the description, but fast and fun to read and as much future fiction as histo ical: it’s set in 2045, or at least that’s its time present. Afong Moy is a real historical figure, though known primarily through quite sketchy historical references; she is said to have been the first Chinese woman immigrant to America, in the 19th century. In this book, generations are visited, past as well as future (that’s how it’s epic), and made as real as today—and the science that is its central concern isn’t space travel or time travel, but the study of our environment, or that of a quarter century from now. In that time line, the book’s central character is a public figure; she has been America’s poet laureate, but we come to know her as the mother of a daughter who is her chief concern, especially in the matter of what sort of world she’ll have to live in.
The Hunt: A Decker/Lazarus Novel by Faye Kellerman (Morrow). This 27th (and announced as final) novel in this great thriller series takes Decker and Lazarus from our part of the country, up- state (or midstate) New York, back to Los Angeles (and Las Vegas— remember their uncomfortable connection to a pretty bad guy in that bad town?). It’s a big book, al- most 500 big, close-set pages, and crowded, especially with family (Peter and Rina’s foster son is at the center). Like most of this series, not a detective novel at all, really, but a fast, busy thriller, told in Kellerman’s characteristic shifting points of view and narrative voices. If the series has to end, you can now consider yourself assured that, thanks to Kellerman’s never disappointing, twisty storytelling, it will end at a full gallop.
Reckoning by Catherine Coulter (Morrow). Another big series thriller, Coulter’s FBI series, each one of which has been seen at or near the top of the Times bestseller list (this notice is a little early, pub date just a few days ago, so hasn’t shown up yet; but the books may actually be getting better). Another big book, as always in this series; both Savich and Sherlock are central; (sometimes one or the other dominates; not this time). And, as nearly always, two story lines, each of which would have made a satisfying shorter book, but each having an effect on the other, and neither of which you’d consider skipping over.
Bark to the Future by Spencer Quinn (Forge). The thirteenth of this emotionally not exactly heart-stirring but touching, and not merely clever, and consis- tently satisfying, detective series. The narrator, we’ll recall, is the detective’s chief assistant, a dog. And, well, if you haven’t believed me before, you won’t again, so all but his happy regular readers can just consider this an aside, a sort of elbow to the ribs of those regulars.
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