bOOK REVIEWS

UNspeakable THINGS

By Jess Lourey

Lourey’s taut family drama and murder mystery is a slow burn that raises your hackles from the outset and keeps you on edge until the end. Cassie McDowell is living the American dream with her parents, school teacher mom, artist dad, and teen big sister, in 1980s Minnesota. But from the outset, we see the cracks in her parents’ carefully constructed visage. As an author, what I loved most about this tale of family secrets and small town complicity, was the intimately drawn characters. Anyone struggling to understand character development needs to see how Lourey does it. She holds a clinic, plunging to scalpel depths to reveal the emotions, fears and dramas that lay underneath the skin–the parts of the human soul we hid from the world. Masterful!

Eddie Red, UNDERCOVER

by Maria Wells

Eddie Red, Undercover (HMH, $6.95)

I love a good museum mystery and author Marcia Wells delivers a fun, fast-paced adventure. I almost avoided reading it because I came across it while preparing my own museum-based mystery, Jada Sly, Artist & Spy (Little, Brown, $17.99), but I read the first few paragraphs and couldn’t resist. I’d been nursing the Jada idea for almost a decade and it’s markedly different from Wells’ book. I enjoyed seeing how she seamlessly blended art and action. Her series, three books so far, is a smart, funny and features a an African American protagonist who feels real and authentic. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading the others.

Eddie Red, UNDERCOVER

by Maria Wells

Eddie Red, Undercover (HMH, $6.95)

I love a good museum mystery and author Marcia Wells delivers a fun, fast-paced adventure. I almost avoided reading it because I came across it while preparing my own museum-based mystery, Jada Sly, Artist & Spy (Little, Brown, $17.99), but I read the first few paragraphs and couldn’t resist. I’d been nursing the Jada idea for almost a decade and it’s markedly different from Wells’ book. I enjoyed seeing how she seamlessly blended art and action. Her series, three books so far, is a smart, funny and features a an African American protagonist who feels real and authentic. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to reading the others.