“A powerful, lyrical novel . . . Hausfrau boasts taut pacing and melodrama, but also a fully realized heroine as love-hateable as Emma Bovary and a poet’s fascination with language. . . . The beauty of Hausfrau, however, is the freshness it brings to a trope seemingly beaten into the ground. . . . In Anna, we don’t see a sinfully passionate naif throwing her life away on a doomed quest for love, à la Bovary or Karenina. Such a parallel hardly seems possible in these liberal modern times when divorce is common and premarital sex expected. But the numbed, uncertain person at the heart of Hausfrau is uniquely compelling.”
…In “Heretic,” Hirsi Ali forgoes autobiography for the most part in favor of an extended argument. But she has trouble making anyone else’s religious history — even that of Muhammad himself, whose life story she recounts — as dramatic as she has made her own. … Unquestionably, Hirsi Ali poses challenging questions about whether American liberals should be fighting harder for the rights of Muslim women in countries where they are oppressed, and she is fearless in using shock tactics to jump-start a conversation. … There is no denying that her words are brave. Whether they are persuasive is another matter.
Lehane is such a master plotter, you needn't have read the previous novels to know exactly who Joe is and where he came from…[Lehane's] mordant wit entrances readers who want more from a crime novel than endless scenes of stomach-turning violence. Which, by the way, Lehane also delivers, in a tightly coiled narrative…Plot, wit, violence, colorful characters—what more do you want…
…it's good to see Laura Lippman's scrappy Baltimore private eye, Tess Monaghan, back on the job in Hush Hush, a tough-minded but wonderfully entertaining book that might be called a parenting mystery…Lippman knows her stuff and introduces some clever plot twists and turns…But her character studies, largely drawn from the way people feel about having children, are exceptional.