Book Reviews - Fiction
George Pelecanos Attempts a New Literary Direction in "The Martini Shot"
Reviewed By Bethanne Patrick
In a collection of short stories, the author takes a leap from Washington-based crime novels to life on a film set. more
Book Review: “The Stager” by Susan Coll
Reviewed By Bethanne Patrick
Suburban high jinks in the local author’s latest novel. more
Top 10 Books for June 2014
Reviewed By Bethanne Patrick
Books you’ll want to keep on your radar this month. more
Book Review: “The Director” by David Ignatius
Reviewed By Bethanne Patrick
In his ninth novel, the veteran Post columnist takes stock of the digital side of spying. more
Book Review: “Next Life Might Be Kinder” by Howard Norman
Reviewed By Bethanne Patrick
Washington-area novelist Howard Norman’s latest release is “sweet, elegiac.” more
A Conversation With “Roosevelt’s Beast” Author Louis Bayard
Reviewed By Bethanne Patrick
The local writer on what he calls “Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘Heart of Darkness.’ ” more
Book Review: “The Mole: The Cold War Memoir of Winston Bates” by Peter Warner
Reviewed By John Wilwol
An accomplished spy novel that’s wise to Washington’s ways. more
Book Review: “Nostalgia” by Dennis McFarland
Reviewed By William O'Sullivan
Inside a powerful Civil War tale. more
Book Review: “Someone” by Alice McDermott
Reviewed By John Wilwol
The author makes an ordinary life extraordinary. more
Book Review: “Man Alive!” by Mary Kay Zuravleff
Reviewed By John Wilwol
About the fun Washington novel. more
Book Review: “The Devil’s Cave” by Martin Walker
Reviewed By John Wilwol
A DC policy wonk moonlights as a writer of French mysteries, and his new one’s a pleasure. more
Book Review: “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Reviewed By John Wilwol
A dazzling novel about a local author’s homeland and her adopted country. more
Book Review: “The Last Runaway” by Tracy Chevalier
Reviewed By John Wilwol
The author of “Girl with a Pearl Earring” weaves a tale of the Underground Railroad. more
Book Review: “War Stories” by Elisabeth Doyle
Reviewed By John Wilwol
The ripples of war as seen by a local lawyer and fiction writer. more
Book Review: “Telegraph Avenue” by Michael Chabon
Reviewed By John Wilwol
The Pulitzer Prize winner and Washington native is appearing at George Mason University’s Fall for the Book festival this month. more
Book Review: “You Are the Love of My Life” by Susan Richards Shreve
Reviewed By John Wilwol
This Washington author’s latest is a great way to pass time on a long trip. more
Book Review: “The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln” By Stephen L. Carter
Reviewed By John Wilwol
An alternate reality for Abraham Lincoln. more
Book Review: “The 500” by Matthew Quirk
Reviewed By John Wilwol
“Welcome to the District,” Quirk writes, “where the fun never starts.” more
Book Review: "Home" by Toni Morrison
Reviewed By John Wilwol
Howard University alumna Toni Morrison's slim, subtle new novel, Home,... more
Book Review: "What It Was" by George Pelecanos
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
"It was a Plymouth Fury, the GT Sport, a two-door... more
The Train of Small Mercies
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
In June 1968, up to 2 million Americans—some weeping, some... more
The Cut
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
“He had a cop’s knowledge of DC because he was... more
Girls in White Dresses
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
Here’s a strategy for fine-tuning your first novel: Get a... more
The Good and the Ghastly
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
James Boice’s trigger-happy third novel is a graffiti-rough mural of... more
The School of Night
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
DC writer Louis Bayard writes character-driven historical thrillers that breathe... more
Primary Colors: A Novel of Politics
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
O, the anonymous novel about the Obama administration, might... more
Traveling Light
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
In poet Linda Pastan’s work, her home in Potomac is... more
Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self
Reviewed By Drew Bratcher
What makes the stories in Danielle Evans’s debut short-story collection,... more
Sister Teresa
Reviewed By Emily Bratcher
In “The Ecstasy of St. Teresa,” 17th-century sculptor Gian Lorenzo... more
The Chardonnay Charade: A Wine Country Mystery
Reviewed By Emily Bratcher
Drinking wine is one of life’s slow pleasures. The very... more
Sammy's House
Reviewed By Ruth Samuelson
Some pretty nutty scandals have rocked Washington in recent years.... more
Shoe Addicts Anonymous
Reviewed By Emily Donahue
Shoe Addicts Anonymous seems to be literature’s answer to Hollywood’s... more
The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
Reviewed by Bethonie ButlerWorlds collide in Dinaw Mengestu’s debut novel,... more
Murder at the Opera by Margaret Truman
Reviewed By Ellen Ryan
Margaret Truman is no George Pelecanos. But if your taste... more
Spinning Dixie by Eric Dezenhall
Reviewed By McLean Robbins
Washington crisis-management expert Eric Dezenhall’s latest novel brings back Jonah... more
Morning Spy, Evening Spy
By Colin MacKinnon

Reviewed By Jack Limpert
The book jacket of Colin MacKinnon’s Morning Spy, Evening Spy... more
Plum & Jaggers
Reviewed By William O'Sullivan
Washington novelist Shreve’s latest book mines one of the richest... more
Sam the Cat and Other Stories
Reviewed By Courtney Rubin
The protagonists of DC writer Klam’s debut collection are young,... more
Murder in Foggy Bottom
Reviewed By Ellen Ryan
When the second sentence of this thriller referred to... more
Grant: A Novel
Reviewed By Raymond Angelo
I expected Max Byrd’s historical novel to be about... more
Hot Springs
Reviewed By Chuck Conconi
Stephen Hunter likes Southern good ol’ boys who know... more
Stella in Heaven: Almost a Novel
Reviewed By Greg DeVito
Leave it to Art Buchwald to write a comedy... more
Breathing Room
Reviewed By Courtney Porter Martin
In DC writer Elam’s debut novel, Norma Simmons-Greer is... more
Bee Season
Reviewed By Courtney Rubin
Eliza Naumann, age nine, doesn’t seem to belong in... more
Reinventing the Woman
Reviewed By Courtney Porter Martin
Each chapter in Maryland writer Patty Rice’s novel starts with... more
The Death of Vishnu
Reviewed By Laura Freschi
Throughout Suri’s first novel, the central character, Vishnu, lies dying... more
The Last Samurai
Reviewed By Laura Freschi
 “There are people,” observes Sibylla, the heroine of DeWitt’s debut... more
The Columnist
Reviewed By Courtney Rubin
 Near the end of Jeffrey Frank’s debut novel, The Columnist,... more
Who's Afraid of Virginia Ham?
Reviewed By Ellen Ryan
 Ringo Laurenge, a new reporter at the fictional Washington Examiner,... more
Falling Angels
Reviewed By Aileen Torres
For all of death's ubiquity, there's only one place where... more
October Suite
Reviewed By Aileen Torres
 Playing dress-up is a glamorous, benign way to enter the... more
The Book of Fred
Reviewed By Susan Davis
 Ellicott City author Bardi’s first novel is a funny, sometimes... more
Spy Dance
Reviewed By Beth Whitaker
 Chevy Chase author Topol tells the story of ex-CIA agent... more
Reviewed By Beth Whitaker
After Laura Zigman’s popular debut, Animal Husbandry, you would... more
The Treasure of Montségur: A Novel of the Cathars
Reviewed By Lindsay Gross
 Washington author Sophy Burnham’s novel is set in France during... more
Social Crimes
Reviewed By Lisa Stasiulewicz
 Jo Slater, married to one of Manhattan’s wealthiest men, hosts... more
The Side of the Angels
Reviewed By Courtney Rubin
Let’s start with the positive: If The Side of the... more
The Wasties
Reviewed By Laura Stickney
 In DC writer Reuss’s highly original third novel, narrator Michael... more
No Certain Rest
Reviewed By Laura Thomas
 Many journalists achieve success by reporting the facts accurately... more
Big If
Reviewed By Ellen Ryan
 What’s the Big If in your life—the thing that could... more
The Gypsy Man
Reviewed By Jeff Deck
 This is a long book that feels even longer. A... more
Child of My Heart
Reviewed By Laura Thomas
 The follow-up to an award-winning performance is often a disappointment.... more
Hello to the Cannibals
Reviewed By Cristy Lytal
 This is a novel about Lily Austin, a contemporary woman... more
The Confessor
Reviewed By Chuck Conconi
 Among secretive international organizations, few are as mysterious as the... more
Ghost Image
Reviewed By Nandita Khanna
 Gilder, a former presidential speechwriter for Reagan and Bush Senior,... more
A French Country Murder
Reviewed By Jack Limpert
Among Washington’s most creative minds are the cartoonists—Tom Toles... more
Murder at Ford's Theatre
Reviewed By Aili Petersen
 Drawing on some high-profile DC murders, Truman intertwines history... more
My Last Movie Star: A Novel of Hollywood
Reviewed By Nandita Khanna
 Former Washington Post writer Martha Sherrill’s extensive experience in... more
Silent Partner
Reviewed By Lauren Rundle
 Angela Day has more secrets than the butterfly tattoo on... more
Scott Free
Reviewed By Nandita Khanna
 Sixteen-year-old Scott O’Toole didn’t know when he jumped on... more
Thief of Words
Reviewed By Melanie Burkes
 Real life serves as muse in John Jaffe’s first... more
Amanda Bright@Home
Reviewed By Melanie Burkes
In her debut novel, DC journalist Danielle Crittenden explores... more
Unholy Fire: A Novel of the Civil War
Reviewed By Nandita Khanna
 At age 20, Union Lieutenant John “Kit” McKittredge is seriously... more
A Place Between Stations
Reviewed By Julie Lawson
 Across time and place, what it means to be... more
That Faith, That Trust, That Love
Reviewed By Molly Browne
 Jamellah Ellis’s first novel may be more predictable than... more
The Fabulist: A Novel
Reviewed By Nandita Khanna
 Stephen Glass—the disgraced former New Republic journalist who admitted fabricating... more
My Ex-Best Friend
Reviewed By Jessica Flint
 From the title, you might think Brophy’s debut novel... more
The Virgin Blue
Reviewed By Jessica Flint
 This first novel by Washington native Tracy Chevalier was published... more
The Dogs of Babel
Reviewed By Cristy Lytal
 When Paul Iverson’s wife, Lexy, falls to her death while... more
The Latest Bombshell
Reviewed By Cheryl Haser
 You don’t have to be a Washington insider to be... more
Breaking Her Fall
Reviewed By Juliana Chan
 This novel by a George Mason University creative-writing professor is... more
Pushing 30
Reviewed By Julia Feldmeier
 Ellie Winters’s mother is fond of the phrase “If... more
Reviewed By Chuck Conconi
Because it’s illegal for Americans to travel to Cuba except... more
Double Stitch
Reviewed By Julia Feldmeier
 Twin copper-skinned beauties Linny and Becca Carey are ten years... more
Little Edens
Reviewed By Allison Melia
 Each of the eight short stories in this collection... more
The Way Home
Reviewed By Julia Feldmeier
 Arlington resident Robert Earle’s first novel chronicles the journey of... more
A Year and a Day
Reviewed By William O'Sullivan
In movies of the 1930s and ’40s, calendar pages... more
A Hole in Texas
Reviewed By Eric Kay
At a Hollywood banquet, physicist Guy Carpenter murmurs to... more
Reviewed By William O'Sullivan
The Glory Cloak
Reviewed By Julia Feldmeier
 Writing a novel about a well-known author—using that writer’s voice... more
Wives & Lovers: Three Short Novels
Reviewed By Courtney Barnes
Love and hate will always have passion in common. Bausch’s... more
Flying Crows
Reviewed By Juliana Chan
If only Jim Lehrer would stop calling his characters lunatics,... more
The Power Game: A Washington Novel
Reviewed By John Arthur
One of Washington’s mysteries is how powerful people behave.... more
Snowed In
Reviewed By Allison Melia
A lovably flawed neurotic in the tradition of Bridget Jones,... more
All the Presidents' Pets: The Story of One Reporter Who Refused to Roll Over
Reviewed By Julia Feldmeier
Cynics love to speculate about who’s in charge at... more
Reviewed By Julia Feldmeier
Curtis Sittenfeld’s debut novel brilliantly chronicles the high-school years of... more
The Sea of Tears
Reviewed By Jason M. Breslow
Nani Power’s third novel begins with a simple message:... more
Prince of Fire
Reviewed By Benjamin Milk
Daniel Silva, who lives in DC, is the author of... more
Evidence of Love
Reviewed By sara levine
In Manhattan, the greatest challenge Catherine and Harry face in... more
Reviewed By Thomas Head
You’ve already read this thriller, if only in your nightmares.... more
The Dream Life of Sukhanov
Reviewed By Ann Limpert
In Olga Grushin’s The Dream Life of Sukhanov, we meet... more
Our Girl in Washington: A Kate Boothe Novel
Reviewed By Mary Clare Glover
Our Girl in Washington is a sequel to Michele... more
Beast of Love
Reviewed By McLean Robbins
Washington Post reporter Alec Klein’s first novel is a... more
Mohr: A Novel
Reviewed By Rebecca Yergin
An Answer to Missing History The author writes: “What moves... more
View Park
Reviewed By Dana Schwartz
Washington resident Angela Winters successfully creates a world of... more