A Song for Lya: George RR Martin

Martin is known for his sweeping cast of characters and extravagant plots. Here, he just writes well. Wish he did that more

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The Expats: Chris Pavone

Mm, mm, good! A spy thriller in the best tradition of Le Carre and Steinhauer. The tension and plot is almost entirely psychological, with multiple layers of deceit and lying among the characters. There is very little violence and weapons appear only rarely, but the pace and tension crackles.

No Middle Name: The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories/Lee Child

Lee Child’s Reacher novels are masterpieces of character, pace, plot and location. His short stories, other than the ones featuring an adolescent Reacher, are not, full of character inconsistencies and plot holes. I WOULD like to see a full-length Reacher adolescent novel, however.