Invisible Blood: Seventeen Crime Stories from Today’s Finest Crime Writers

Edited by Maxim Jakubowski. Titan, $14.95 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-789091-32-8

Though billed as a crime compendium, this wildly uneven anthology includes tales of love in a Paris bookshop (R.J. Ellory’s “Borrowed Time”) and revenge for breaching dating etiquette (Jason Starr’s “The Ghost of Williamsburg”). On the major crime front, Lauren Henderson gives readers the clever, well-paced and topical “#MeToo.” In “The Washing,” set in Franco’s Spain, Christopher Fowler builds a fascinating picture of a woman becoming aware of the dangers that await not only her neighbor but also herself. James Grady shows how a backyard party in a small town can lead to murder in “The Lifeguard.” Set in Israel, Lavie Tidhar’s atmospheric “The Bell” reveals how far a military-trained mother will go to protect her son. Fans of Jack Reacher will welcome Lee Child’s “Smile.” Jeffery Deaver’s “Connecting the Dots” satisfies all the requirements of a crime story—murder, good cops/bad cops, and surprising twists. The insanity defense will come in handy for most of the protagonists in the remaining stories. There’s something for everyone in this volume, but it won’t totally satisfy anyone. (July)