Fiction All Stars 2012

Books that received at least three starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW. The journal assigns the star. All genres are included.

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.


  • Running the Rift
    Author: Benaron, Naomi
    $ 24.95 ISBN: 9781616200428 Date: 2012
    starLJ star PW starKirkus
    Winner of the Bellwether Prize, Running the Rift follows Jean Patrick Nkuba, a gifted Rwandan boy, from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life, a 10-year span in which his country is undone by the Hutu-Tutsi tensions.
    Updated 1.14.12
  • Force of Nature
    Author: Box, C.J.
    $25.95 ISBN: 9780399158261 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist star LJ
    Having hidden the truth about a past colleague's violation, former Special Forces agent Nate Romanowski is targeted by a determined killer who threatens Joe Pickett's life as part of a violent plot.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 2.16.12
  • Ragnarok: The End of the Gods
    Author: Byatt, A.S.
    $ 24 ISBN: 9780802129925 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist star LJ
    Booker Prize winner Dame Antonia Byatt breathes life into the Ragnorak myth, the st" retells the finale of Norse mythology. A story of the destruction of life on this planet and the end of the gods themselves: what more relevant myth could any modern writer choose? Just as Wagner used this dramatic and catastrophic struggle for the climax of his Ring Cycle, so AS Byatt now reinvents it in all its intensity and glory. As the bombs of the Blitz rain down on Britain, one young girl is evacuated to the countryside. She is struggling to make sense of her new wartime life. Then she is given a copy of Asgard and the Gods - a book of ancient Norse myths - and her inner and outer worlds are transformed. War, natural disaster, reckless gods and the recognition of impermanence in the world are just some of the threads that AS Byatt weaves into this most timely of books. Linguistically stunning and imaginatively abundant, this is a landmark.
    Updated 1.14.12
  • Death and Transfiguration: Daniel Jacobus
    Author: Elias, Gerald
    $ 27 ISBN: 9780312678357 Date: 2012
    starBooklist star PW star LJ
    The fourth book in the series featuring the irascible but loveable amateur sleuth Daniel Jacobus Vaclav Herza, the last of a dying breed of great but tyrannical conductors, has been music director of Harmonium for forty years. The world famous touring orchestra was created for him when he fled Czechoslovakia for America during the political turmoil in Eastern Europe in 1956. It is the eve of the opening of a dramatic new concert hall designed by Herza himself. It is also the eleventh hour of intense contract negotiations with the musicians that have strained relations within the organization. When the acting concertmaster, Scheherazade O'Brien, is summarily dismissed by the despotic Herza for the permanent concertmaster position, an audition she was poised to win, O'Brien slits her wrists and the orchestra becomes convulsed. Now, blind, cantankerous violin teacher Daniel Jacobus, who had shunned O'Brien's earlier plea for help against Herza's relentless harassment, investigates Herza's dark past not only in Prague, but in Tokyo and New York. With the help of his old friends Nathaniel Williams, Max Furukawa, and Martin Lilburn, he seeks not only revenge but redemption from the guilt of his own past. - publisher marketing
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 5.15.12
  • Gone Girl
    Author: Flynn, Gillian
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780307588364 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist starLJ star Kirkus
    Flynn's toxic mix of sharp-edged wit with deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds readers at every turn. When his wife disappears on their anniversary, Nick starts having cringe-worthy daydreams and becomes oddly evasive, eschewing his golden boy past.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 5.8.12
  • Don't Ever Get Old
    Author: Friedman, Daniel
    $ 24.99 ISBN: 9780312606930 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist star Kirkus
    This is the first in a one-of-a-kind, spectacularly well-written mystery series featuring Buck Schatz, an 87-year-old retired Memphis cop. When an old adversary escapes Germany with a fortune in stolen gold, Buck decides to hunt down the fugitive and claim the loot.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 5.8.12
  • Angelmaker
    Author: Harkaway, Nick
    $ 26.95 ISBN: 9780307595959 Date: 2012
    starPW starKirkus star Booklist
    From the author of the international bestseller The Gone-Away World comes a new riveting action spy thriller, blistering gangster noir, and howling absurdist comedy: a propulsively entertaining tale about a mobster's son and a retired secret agent who team up to save the world.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 2.16.12
  • The Orphan Master's Son
    Author: Johnson, Adam
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780812992793 Date: 2012
    starLJ star PW starBooklist
    An epic novel and a thrilling literary discovery, The Orphan Master's Son follows a young man's journey through the icy waters, dark tunnels, and eerie spy chambers of the world's most mysterious dictatorship, North Korea.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 11.4.11
  • The Silent Oligarch
    Author: Jones, Christopher Morgan
    $ 26 ISBN: 9781594203190 Date: 2012
    starLJ star PW star Booklist
    Drawing on his decade of experience at the world's largest corporate intelligence firm, Jones leads readers down into the unvarnished realities of our time in the grand tradition of John le Carr. In this debut novel, a London intelligence agent pursues a money launderer to expose the dealings of a shadowy Russian oligarch.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 1.14.12
  • What Comes Next
    Author: Katzenbach, Kohn
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780802126115 Date: 2012
    starPW star LJ star Booklist
    When a retired academician witnesses a lovely young woman snatched off the street, he is unhappy with the police and vows to find her on his own. She is held prisoner by a couple who have started an exclusive website on which viewers can watch what befalls their victims.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 5.16.12
  • Defending Jacob
    Author: Landay, William
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780385344227 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist star LJ
    Andy Barber has been an ADA in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But after a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 11.4.11
  • Breakdown: V.I. Warshawski
    Author: Paretsky, Sara
    $26.95 ISBN: 9780399157837 Date: 2012
    starBooklist starKirkus starPW
    Carmilla, Queen of the Night, is a shape-shifting raven whose fictional exploits thrill girls all over the world. When tweens in Chicago's Carmilla Club hold an initiation ritual in an abandoned cemetery, they stumble on an actual corpse, a man stabbed through the heart in a vampire-style slaying. For V.I. Warshawski, the questions multiply faster than the answers. As V.I. struggles for answers, she finds herself fighting enemies who are all too human.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 1.14.12
  • The Expats
    Author: Pavone, Chris
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780307956354 Date: 2012
    starKirkus star LJ star PW star Booklist
    Can We Ever Escape Our Secrets? Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage . . . and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew. She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn't speak, doing the housewifely things she's never before done--playdates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and never-ending laundry. Meanwhile, her husband works incessantly, at a job Kate has never understood, for a banking client she's not allowed to know. He's becoming distant and evasive; she's getting lonely and bored. Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they say they are, and she's terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her. She discovers fake offices and shell corporations and a hidden gun, a mysterious farmhouse and numbered accounts with bewildering sums of money, and finally unravels the mind-boggling long-play con that threatens her family, her marriage, and her life. Stylish and sophisticated, fiercely intelligent and expertly crafted, The Expats proves Chris Pavone to be a writer of tremendous talent. - Publisher Marketing
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 2.16.12
  • The Street Sweeper
    Author: Perlman, Elliot
    $ 28.95 ISBN: 9781594488474 Date: 2012
    starPW star Booklist star LJ
    The worlds surrounding two men, their families, their pasts, their potential futures, swirl in and out of history as the forces of the Holocaust, the American civil rights movement, Chicago unions, and New York City racial politics combine in a thrilling cross-generational literary symphony.
    Updated 1.14.12
  • Driven: The Sequel to Drive
    Author: Sallis, James
    $ 19.95 ISBN:9781464200106 Date: 2012
    starPW starLJ star Booklist
    Driven is the sequel to Drive, now also an award-winning film. As we exit the initial novel, Driver has killed Bernie Rose, the only one he ever mourned, ending his campaign against those who double-crossed him.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 5.8.12
  • The Solitary House
    Author: Shepherd, Lyn
    $ 26 ISBN: 9780345532428 Date: 2012
    starBooklist star PW star Kirkus
    Shepherd introduces an unforgettable duo of detectives into the gas-lit world of Dickens. London, 1850. A former Metropolitan police officer struggles to eke out a living by tracking down criminals.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 5.8.12
  • The Inquisitor
    Author: Smith, Mark Allen
    $ 27 ISBN: 9780805094268 Date: 2012
    starLJ star PW star Kirkus
    Geiger has a gift: he knows a lie the instant he hears it. Unlike most of his competitors, Geiger rarely sheds blood--and he never works with children. So when his partner, former journalist Harry Boddicker, unwittingly brings in a client who insists that Geiger interrogate a 12-year-old boy, Geiger responds instinctively.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 11.4.11
  • An American Spy
    Author: Steinhauer, Olen
    $ 25.99 ISBN: 9780312622893 Date: 2012
    starPW starBooklist star Kirkus
    Milo Weaver, New York Times bestseller Steinhauer's reluctant spy, is unwillingly drawn into his bosses' plans for revenge against the Chinese agent who orchestrated the deaths of 33 tourists. Steinhauer, the best espionage writer in a generation, delivers a searing, unputdownable international thriller that will settle once and for all who is pulling the strings and who is being played.
    Suggested Reading: Crime Fiction All Stars
    Updated 5.10.12
  • The Lower River
    Author: Theroux, Paul
    $ 25 ISBN: 9780547746500 Date: 2012
    starBooklist star PW star Kirkus
    A taut, tense, darkly suspenseful novel about a man who flees to Africa after his marriage falls apart, only to be caught up in a precarious situation in a seemingly benign village.
    Updated 5.15.12


Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

2013 Crime Fiction: Jan-June | Fiction: Jan-June | Speculative Fiction

2012 Crime Fiction: July-Dec | Fiction: July-Dec | Speculative Fiction

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)

more stars lists...

book mark Overbooked

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