New York Times Review
THE OUTSIDER, by Stephen King. (Scribner, $30.) When police officers arrest a small-town English teacher and Little League coach for murder, the case looks watertight. But this isn't a police procedural, it's a Stephen King novel; so nothing, of course, is what it seems. OUR KIND OF CRUELTY, by Araminta Hall. (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) In this searing, chilling sliver of perfection about a toxic relationship, the man is the crazy psychopath - or is he? That doubt lingers all the way through the stunning final pages of a book that may well turn out to be the year's best thriller. SAVING CENTRAL PARK: A History and a Memoir, by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers. (Knopf, $30.) The inspiring story of how one woman, in the face of considerable resistance, created a partnership to privately augment the funding and management of Manhattan's beloved park, rescuing what had become "a ragged 843acre wasteland." ROBIN, by Dave Itzkoff. (Times/Holt, $30.) A generous, appreciative biography of Robin Williams by a New York Times culture reporter. The author, who had access to Williams and members of the comedian's family, is an unabashed fan but doesn't shy away from the abundant messiness in his subject's personal life. INSEPARABLE: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous With American History, by Yunte Huang. (Liveright, $28.95.) In Huang's hands, the story of the conjoined twins Chang and Eng is as much an account of 19th-century American culture as a tale of exploited individuals who themselves became exploiters. SABRINA, by Nick Drnaso. (Drawn and Quarterly, $27.95.) This graphic novel is a Midwestern gothic tale for our times, recounting the story of a woman's disappearance and murder, seen through the eyes of her bereaved boyfriend as he watches the trolls and conspiracy theorists dissect her death online. It's a shattering work of art. SOME TRICK: Thirteen Stories, by Helen DeWitt. (New Directions, $22.95.) DeWitt's manic, brilliant new collection explores her interest in "fiction that shows the way mathematicians think." Populated by genW'ršíš? iuses and virtuosos, the stories are zanily cerebral " and proceed with fractal precision. PATRIOT NUMBER ONE: American Dreams in Chinatown, by Lauren Hilgers. (Crown, $27.) This deeply reported account tracks an immigrant couple's struggle to remake their lives in America while staying connected to their hometown in China. SECRET SISTERS OF THE SALTY SEA, by Lynne Rae Perkins. (Greenwillow, $16.99; ages 8 to 12.) An exquisite summer story about a girl's first beach vacation, in which she discovers the wonders of the ocean and shifts in sisterly bonds. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web:
Publishers Weekly Review
Reader Patton's steady, realistic narration adds a strong element of credibility to King's supernatural police procedural, in which a small-town detective is faced with an apparently impossible crime. The worst day in the life of Flint City, Okla., detective Ralph Anderson is when he arrests popular Little League baseball coach Terry Maitland for the murder of a young boy. The coach's fingerprints and DNA are all over the crime scene, but he has an ironclad alibi: he was at a convention in another city and has witnesses and even video footage to prove it. Subsequent events suggest the presence of an otherworldly serial killer whom Anderson and his associates set out to find and destroy. Joining them is Holly Gibney, a fascinating character from the author's Bill Hodges crime trilogy. Brilliantly deductive, neurotic, and obsessively determined, she quickly takes over the novel, and Patton provides her with an edgy, breathless, and impatient voice that, at times, is an almost crooning stream-of-consciousness. Patton's approach for Anderson and his other associates is more conventional: they speak in fittingly tough, hardboiled tones. As for the voice of the monstrous outsider, it is surprisingly conversational and educated, with just a hint of chilling playfulness. This audiobook demonstrates King's ability to make even the most fantastic story believable and poignant, and Patton's unswerving talent for making fiction feel real. A Scribner hardcover. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.