Thursday, June 30, 2011

"House Divided"

New from Grove/Atlantic: House Divided by Mike Lawson.

About the book, from the publisher:

With his series featuring Joe DeMarco, fixer for Speaker of the House John Fitzpatrick Mahoney, Mike Lawson has won a reputation as one of America’s best political thriller writers. In House Divided, with his powerful boss out of commission, DeMarco finds himself all on his own, used as a sacrificial pawn in a lethal game between a master spy and a four-star army general. When the National Security Agency was caught wiretapping U.S. citizens without warrants, a political scandal erupted and the secret program came to a screeching halt. But the senior man at the NSA who spearheaded the most sophisticated eavesdropping operation in history wasn’t about to sit by while spineless politicians sleepwalked his country into another 9/11. Instead, he moved the program into the shadows.

But being in the shadows can cause complications. When the NSA illegally records a rogue military group murdering two American civilians, they can’t exactly walk over to the Pentagon and demand to know what’s going on. That doesn’t mean the NSA’s hands are tied, however. As the largest intelligence service in the country, both in money and manpower, they have plenty of options— mostly illegitimate.

DeMarco learns all too well just what the NSA is capable of. They bug him, threaten him, and use him to draw out their opponent. But DeMarco doesn’t like being used. A strong addition to this celebrated series, House Divided continues Mike Lawson’s impressive run of inspired, compelling thrillers.
Learn more about the author and his work at Mike Lawson's website.

The Page 69 Test: House Rules.

"The Return of Captain John Emmett"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Return of Captain John Emmett by Elizabeth Speller.

About the book, from the publisher:

London, 1920. In the aftermath of the Great War and a devastating family tragedy, Laurence Bartram has turned his back on the world. But with a well-timed letter, an old flame manages to draw him back in. Mary Emmett’s brother John—like Laurence, an officer during the war—has apparently killed himself while in the care of a remote veterans’ hospital, and Mary needs to know why.

Aided by his friend Charles—a dauntless gentleman with detective skills cadged from mystery novels—Laurence begins asking difficult questions. What connects a group of war poets, a bitter feud within Emmett’s regiment, and a hidden love affair? Was Emmett’s death really a suicide, or the missing piece in a puzzling series of murders? As veterans tied to Emmett continue to turn up dead, and Laurence is forced to face the darkest corners of his own war experiences, his own survival may depend on uncovering the truth.

At once a compelling mystery and an elegant literary debut, The Return of Captain John Emmett blends the psychological depth of Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy with lively storytelling from the golden age of British crime fiction.
Visit Elizabeth Speller's website.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Urban Green"

New from Palgrave Macmillan: Urban Green: Architecture for the Future by Neil B. Chambers.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sustainable design is booming, but the men and women dedicated to reducing their carbon impact have lost sight of what they are trying to save: the natural world. Author Neil Chambers has been at the forefront of cutting-edge, sustainable architecture for years, and Urban Green is his revolutionary vision for bringing the power of the conservation and design movements together. He advocates looking to nature for the missing components of the green revolution: oysters that can clean water at up to 5 liters an hour; beavers that reshape their environments while simultaneously enriching ecosystems; and mountains that offer a new way of imagining how a city could be built. By designing our homes and cities in harmony with the natural world, we can take the next step in the sustainable revolution.

"The Orchard"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Orchard by Jeffrey Stepakoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

The passionate new novel by the author of FIREWORKS OVER TOCCOA.

Grace Lyndon is a rising ingenue in the world of perfumes and flavors; a stiletto-wearing, work-a-holic in Atlanta, she develops aromas and tastes to enthrall the senses. Dylan Jackson is a widowed single father whose heart and hands have been calloused in the fields of his North Georgia apple farm. When Grace happens to taste an apple picked from Dylan’s trees, it changes both their lives forever.

Determined to track down the apple’s origin, Grace sets off in the middle of the night where she finds not only a beautiful mountain orchard in the clouds, but the mysterious man who owns it. In Stepakoff’s heartbreaking eloquence, their sudden yet undeniable attraction is threatened—leaving readers with a momentous finale that proves Jeffrey Stepakoff is a master craftsman of the heart.
Visit Jeffrey Stepakoff's website.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

"A Game of Lies"

New from Forge Books: A Game of Lies by Rebecca Cantrell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Journalist Hannah Vogel returns in A Game of Lies by award-winning author Rebecca Cantrell

In preparation for the 1936 Berlin Olympics, the Nazis have rid the streets of anti-Semitic material and other propaganda, and present a peace-seeking face to the world. Journalist and part-time spy for the British, Hannah Vogel, shudders to think of what lies under the temporary coat of gloss.

Posing as travel reporter Adelheid Zinsli and lover of SS officer Lars Lang, Hannah has been collecting Nazi secrets from Lang and smuggling them back to Switzerland. Wanted by the SS, her travel in and out of Germany has always been fraught with danger, but this trip is especially treacherous.

Surrounded by former colleagues who could identify her, Hannah tries to keep a low profile while reporting on the Games as Adelheid. Her relationship with Lang gets more complicated as he sinks into alcoholism; the whispers she hears about his work in the SS give her chills. Whose side is he on?

Hannah agrees to meet her mentor, Peter Weill, at the Stadium, but before he can reveal information that will expose the Nazis, he dies in front of her. Hannah suspects poison.

Hannah must discover who killed Weill and get his secret package out of the country before the Olympics end and the Nazis tighten their noose…and before her true identity is revealed. And her partner may be the very one about to expose her…
Learn more about the book and author at Rebecca Cantrell's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: A Trace of Smoke.

My Book, The Movie: A Trace of Smoke.

"True Things About Me"

New from Faber and Faber: True Things About Me: A Novel by Deborah Kay Davies.

About the book, from the publisher:

One ordinary afternoon in a nameless town, a nameless young woman is at work in a benefits office. Ten minutes later, she is in an underground parking lot, slammed up against a wall, having sex with a stranger.

What made her do this? How can she forget him? These are questions the young woman asks herself as she charts her deepening erotic obsession with painful, sometimes hilarious precision. With the crazy logic and hallucinatory clarity of an exhilarating, terrifying dream, told in chapters as short and surprising as snapshots, True Things About Me hurtles through the terrain of sexual obsession and asks what it is to know oneself and to test the limits of one’s desires.
Visit the Deborah Kay Davies Facebook page.

Monday, June 27, 2011

"You're Next"

New from St. Martin's Press: You're Next by Gregg Hurwitz.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mike Wingate, abandoned by his father at four and raised in foster care, is finally living the life he always dreamed of—he’s happily married with a precocious 8-year-old daughter, and his construction company is about to finish a “green” housing development that will secure a solid future for them all. But then something from his own past, a past he doesn’t even remember, comes back to visit terror upon him and his family.

Shady characters begin threatening Mike and, when he reports them, the police seem more interested in Mike’s murky past than in protecting him. Now, with Mike, his wife Annabel and daughter Kat suddenly under attack from all sides, Mike turns to Shep, a dangerous man—and Mike’s only true friend— from his childhood days in foster care. Together they will do whatever it takes to protect Mike’s family against the hidden men behind the terrifying warning, “You’re Next.”
Learn more about the book and author at Gregg Hurwitz's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: The Crime Writer.

The Page 69 Test: Trust No One.

Writers Read: Gregg Hurwitz.

The Page 69 Test: They're Watching.

My Book, The Movie: They're Watching.

"Steal the Show"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Steal the Show (A Willis Gidney Mystery) by Thomas Kaufman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Willis Gidney needs money because he’s found a girl.

No, no, not that kind of girl. This is an abandoned baby girl. Gidney found her on a case. So he hands the girl to the cops, right?

Wrong, because Gidney started life the same way---abandoned. He knows all about D.C.’s juvenile-justice system, having barely survived it himself. That makes it hard to give up the girl. Too bad that unmarried private eyes aren’t usually thought of as ideal parents. So now Gidney needs a lawyer, and that means money.

Enter Rush Gemelli, a code-writing hacker who pays Gidney to commit a felony. Just a small one. Nothing serious, really, but you know how these things can snowball. Gidney thinks this is a onetime venture, but Gemelli has other ideas. He blackmails Gidney into joining up with his father, Chuck, the head of the motion picture lobby in D.C. And when Chuck’s former partner is murdered, it looks like someone may be playing Gidney.

Add to that the unwanted attentions of a crazed actress, the D.C. case worker from hell, and the Vietnamese and Salvadoran gangs out to kill him, and it’s all Gidney can do to keep from getting his movie ticket punched--permanently.

A unique hero, a quirky cast, and a riveting mystery make Steal the Show a winner.
Learn more about the book and author at Thomas Kaufman's website and blog.

Thomas Kaufman is an award-winning motion picture director and cameraman. He has twice won the Gordon Parks Award for Cinematography, and an Emmy for his documentary about deaf children, See What I'm Saying.

The Page 69 Test: Drink the Tea.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

"Lola, California"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Lola, California by Edie Meidav.

About the book, from the publisher:

The year is 2008, the place California. Vic Mahler, famous for having inspired cult followers in the seventies, serves time on death row, now facing a countdown of ten days. For years, his daughter, Lana, has been in hiding. Meanwhile, her friend Rose, a lawyer, is determined to bring the two together.

When Rose succeeds in tracking down Lana at a California health spa, the two friends must negotiate land mines of memory in order to find their future. In sharp episodes infused with pathos and wit, Edie Meidav brings her acclaimed insight and poetry to the hope of friendship, parenthood, dystopia, and the legacy of the seventies. Lola, California speaks to our contemporary crisis of faith, asking: Can we survive too much choice?
Visit Edie Meidav's website.

"The End of Everything"

New from Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur: The End of Everything by Megan Abbott.

About the book, from the publisher:

Thirteen-year-olds Lizzie Hood and Evie Verver are inseparable. To Lizzie, the Verver household is the world’s most perfect place, and her family, including her big-hearted father and impossibly glamorous older sister Dusty, is the world’s most perfect family.

Then Evie disappears. The only clue: a maroon sedan Lizzie spotted earlier in the day. As panic spreads through the suburban community, everyone looks to Lizzie for answers. Was Evie unhappy, troubled, upset? Would she have gotten into a stranger’s car?

Lizzie takes up her own furtive pursuit of the truth, pushing herself to the dark center of Evie’s world. Titillated by her own new power at the center of the disappearance, Lizzie uncovers secrets and lies that make her wonder if she knew her best friend at all.
Learn more about the book and author at Megan Abbott's website.

The Page 69 Test: Bury Me Deep.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"7th Sigma"

New from Tor Books: 7th Sigma by Steven Gould.

About the book, from the publisher:

Welcome to the territory. Leave your metal behind, all of it. The bugs will eat it, and they’ll go right through you to get it…Don’t carry it, don’t wear it, and for god’s sake don’t come here if you’ve got a pacemaker.

The bugs showed up about fifty years ago--self-replicating, solar-powered, metal-eating machines. No one knows where they came from. They don’t like water, though, so they’ve stayed in the desert Southwest. The territory. People still live here, but they do it without metal. Log cabins, ceramics, what plastic they can get that will survive the sun and heat. Technology has adapted, and so have the people.

Kimble Monroe has chosen to live in the territory. He was born here, and he is extraordinarily well adapted to it. He’s one in a million. Maybe one in a billion.

In 7th Sigma, Gould builds an extraordinary SF novel of survival and personal triumph against all the odds.
Visit Steven Gould's website.

"The Steal"

New from Penguin: The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting by Rachel Shteir.

About the book, from the publisher:

A history of shoplifting, revealing the roots of our modern dilemma.

Rachel Shteir's The Steal is the first serious study of shoplifting, tracking the fascinating history of this ancient crime. Dismissed by academia and the mainstream media and largely misunderstood, shoplifting has become the territory of moralists, mischievous teenagers, tabloid television, and self-help gurus. But shoplifting incurs remarkable real-life costs for retailers and consumers. The "crime tax"-the amount every American family loses to shoplifting-related price inflation-is more than $400 a year. Shoplifting cost American retailers $11.7 billion in 2009. The theft of one $5.00 item from Whole Foods can require sales of hundreds of dollars to break even.

The Steal begins when shoplifting entered the modern record as urbanization and consumerism made London into Europe's busiest mercantile capital. Crossing the channel to nineteenth-century Paris, Shteir tracks the rise of the department store and the pathologizing of shoplifting as kleptomania. In 1960s America, shoplifting becomes a symbol of resistance when the publication of Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book popularizes shoplifting as an antiestablishment act. Some contemporary analysts see our current epidemic as a response to a culture of hyper-consumerism; others question whether its upticks can be tied to economic downturns at all. Few provide convincing theories about why it goes up or down.

Just as experts can't agree on why people shoplift, they can't agree on how to stop it. Shoplifting has been punished by death, discouraged by shame tactics, and protected against by high-tech surveillance. Shoplifters have been treated by psychoanalysis, medicated with pharmaceuticals, and enforced by law to attend rehabilitation groups. While a few individuals have abandoned their sticky-fingered habits, shoplifting shows no signs of slowing.

In The Steal, Shteir guides us through a remarkable tour of all things shoplifting-we visit the Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall, where boosters run rampant, watch the surveillance footage from Winona Ryder's famed shopping trip, and learn the history of antitheft technology. A groundbreaking study, The Steal shows us that shoplifting in its many guises-crime, disease, protest-is best understood as a reflection of our society, ourselves.
Visit Rachel Shteir's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: Rachel Shteir's Gypsy.

Friday, June 24, 2011

"Chihuahua of the Baskervilles"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Chihuahua of the Baskervilles by Esri Allbritten.

About the book, from the publisher:

The decidedly eccentric staff of Tripping Magazine, a low-budget periodical of the paranormal, go to Manitou Springs, Colorado, to investigate a ghostly Chihuahua spotted by the rich founder of a clothing catalog for small dogs. Is the glowing apparition really the deceased namesake of Petey’s Closet, “Where Dapper Dogs Shop”? Or is someone trying to teach a dead dog new tricks? With memorable and wacky characters, fans of Blaize Clement and all cozy lovers will be clamoring to get a copy of this unique new series.
Visit Esri Allbritten's website.

"Game of Secrets"

New from Random House: Game of Secrets by Dawn Tripp.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1957, Jane Weld was eleven years old when her father, Luce, disappeared. His skiff was found drifting near a marsh, empty except for his hunting coat and a box of shotgun shells. No one in their small New England town knew for sure what happened until, three years later, Luce’s skull rolled out of a gravel pit, a bullet hole in the temple. Rumors sprang up that he had been murdered by the jealous husband of his mistress, Ada Varick.

Now, half a century later, Jane is still searching for the truth of her father’s death, a mystery made more urgent by the unexpected romance that her willful daughter, Marne, has struck up with one of Ada’s sons. As the love affair intensifies, Jane and Ada meet for their weekly Friday game of Scrabble, a pastime that soon transforms into a cat-and-mouse game of words long left unspoken, and dark secrets best left untold.
Visit Dawn Tripp's website.

Learn about where the idea for Game of Secrets came from.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"The Missing Martyrs"

New from Oxford University Press: The Missing Martyrs: Why There Are So Few Muslim Terrorists by Charles Kurzman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why are there so few Muslim terrorists? With more than a billion Muslims in the world--many of whom supposedly hate the West and ardently desire martyrdom--why don't we see terrorist attacks every day? Where are the missing martyrs?

In this startlingly counterintuitive book, a leading authority on Islamic movements demonstrates that terrorist groups are thoroughly marginal in the Muslim world. Charles Kurzman draws on government sources, public opinion surveys, election results, and in-depth interviews with Muslims in the Middle East and around the world. He finds that young Muslims are indeed angry with what they see as imperialism--and especially at Western support for local dictatorships. But revolutionary Islamists have failed to reach them, as can be seen from the terrorists' own websites and publications, which constantly bemoan the dearth of willing recruits.

Kurzman notes that it takes only a small cadre of committed killers to wreak unspeakable havoc. But that very fact underscores his point. As easy as terrorism is to commit, few Muslims turn to violence. Out of 140,000 murders in the United States since 9/11, Islamist terrorists have killed at most three dozen people. Of the 150,000 people who die each day, worldwide, Islamist militants account for fewer than fifty fatalities--and only ten per day outside of the hotspots of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. The real bulwark against Islamist violence, Kurzman finds, is Muslims themselves, who reject both the goals of the terrorists and their bloody means. With each bombing, the terrorists lose support among Muslims.

Incisive and authoritative, The Missing Martyrs provides much-needed corrective to deep-seated and destructive misconceptions about Muslims and the Islamic world. The threat of Islamist terrorism is real, Kurzman shows, but its dimensions are, so far, tightly confined.
Visit Charles Kurzman's website.

The Page 99 Test: Kurzman's Democracy Denied, 1905-1915.

"A Spark of Death"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: A Spark of Death by Bernadette Pajer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Can death bring a man back to life? When UW Professor Benjamin Bradshaw discovers a despised colleague dead inside the Faraday Cage of the Electric Machine, his carefully controlled world shatters. The facts don’t add up—the police shout murder—and Bradshaw is the lone suspect. To protect his young son and clear his name, he must find the killer. Seattle in 1901 is a bustling blend of frontier attitude and cosmopolitan swagger.

The Snoqualmie Falls Power Plant lights the city, but to most Seattleites, electricity is new-fangled and dangerous. The public wants a culprit—they want Bradshaw behind bars. The killer wants Bradshaw dead. His life and liberty threatened, Bradshaw discovers the thrill of investigation as he’s thrust deeper into the hunt. Questions abound. How had the Electric Machine’s Tesla Coil delivered a fatal shock? Was the murder personal—or connected to President McKinley’s planned visit? Were students involved, or in danger? And why had Bradshaw’s best friend, Henry, fled to Alaska the day of the murder? When Henry’s niece Missouri appears on Bradshaw’s porch in need of a home, her unorthodox views and femininity confuse and intrigue him as he struggles to protect his own haunting secret. Danger and death lurk everywhere—disguised as accidents. Has Bradshaw come alive again only to lose all he holds dear? Before it’s too late, will he discover the circuit path that led to a spark of death?
Visit Bernadette Pajer's website.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"White Shotgun"

New from Knopf: White Shotgun by April Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

Special Agent Ana Grey—intense, unpredictable, brilliant—returns in an electrifying new novel of suspense.

Even on leave from the FBI, Ana can’t kick old habits: when she witnesses a drive-by shooting at an Italian restaurant in London, she helps the injured and gives testimony to the police. Still, it comes as a shock when, soon after, the Bureau contacts her—not because they want her to investigate the shooting, but because they want her to investigate the half sister she never knew she had, Cecilia, who lives in Siena and is married to Nicosa, a coffee mogul with some suspicious connections. Settling into their home under false pretenses is the least of the complications Ana encounters. The entire city of Siena is gearing up for its legendary horse race, the Palio—the dazzling annual culmination of ancient rivalries between the city’s many wards. But when her nephew is stabbed and her sister goes missing, Ana understands with painful clarity that there’s more than a horse race at stake here. And for Ana herself, it will mean an almost impossible choice between duty and family.
Visit April Smith's website and blog.

"Never Knowing"

New from St. Martin's Press: Never Knowing by Chevy Stevens.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the acclaimed author of Still Missing comes a psychological thriller about one woman’s search into her past and the deadly truth she uncovers.

All her life, Sara Gallagher has wondered about her birth parents. As an adopted child with two sisters who were born naturally to her parents, Sara did not have an ideal home life. The question of why she was given up for adoption has always haunted her. Finally, she is ready to take steps and to find closure.

But some questions are better left unanswered.

After months of research, Sara locates her birth mother---only to be met with horror and rejection. Then she discovers the devastating truth: Her mother was the only victim ever to escape a killer who has been hunting women every summer for decades. But Sara soon realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her father is him finding out about her.

What if murder is in your blood?

Never Knowing is a complex and compelling portrayal of one woman’s quest to understand herself, her origins, and her family. That is, if she can survive....
Still Missing is one of Karin Slaughter's six best books.

Visit the official Chevy Stevens website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Chevy Stevens and Annie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"The Wild Hog Murders"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Wild Hog Murders: A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery (Volume 18) by Bill Crider.

About the book, from the publisher:

Like most of the rest of Texas, Blacklin County is being overrun with feral hogs that destroy farmland and crops. There’s hardly any defense against these pests, but they haven’t been the cause of murder. Until now. A mother and son have opened an animal shelter in the county and they welcome even feral hogs. Someone’s threatened them by slaughtering one of their animals and leaving it on their doorstep. Then Sheriff Dan Rhodes and Deputy Ruth Grady stumble across a dead man while searching the woods for a convenience store robber.

The investigation into the man’s death is complicated by angry hog hunters, a crusading talk-show host, a bounty hunter named Hoss, conflicts with the county commissioners, and the reappearance of Rapper and Nellie, the inept two-man motorcycle gang that’s caused Rhodes considerable trouble in the past. By the time he’s sorted through all the clues, Rhodes discovers that quite a few people aren’t who they seemed to be, including those he’s known for a long time. And some of them are killers.

Award-winning author Bill Crider has written an endearing and consistently entertaining series, and The Wild Hog Murders offers a fresh new chance to get in on the fun.
Read the Page 69 Test entries for Crider's A Mammoth Murder, Murder Among the OWLS, Of All Sad Words, Murder in Four Parts, and Murder in the Air, as well as an excellent write-up about Dan Rhodes on the big screen at "My Book, The Movie."

"Six Weeks in Saratoga"

New from SUNY Press: Six Weeks in Saratoga: How Three-Year-Old Filly Rachel Alexandra Beat the Boys and Became Horse of the Year by Brendan O'Meara.

About the book, from the publisher:

The inside story of how a three-year-old filly captured the hearts of racing fans and cemented her bid to be named Horse of the Year.

When Rachel Alexandra thundered to a stylish win against the boys in the 2009 Preakness Stakes, her connections came to the 141st Saratoga Race Course meeting wanting more than just another victory. They wanted Horse of the Year.

Her jockey, Calvin Borel, pointed triumphantly to the three-year-old filly beneath him. Rachel Alexandra was the best horse he had ever ridden and it was his job to ensure that she and her connections didn’t leave Saratoga Springs without a victory.

Hall of Fame trainer and gruff New Yorker Nick Zito felt he could slay the queen. He’d take his shots with two rival horses, Da’ Tara and Cool Coal Man, because, as he well knew, you can’t win if you don’t play.

New York Racing Association president and CEO Charlie Hayward knew that Rachel Alexandra could run elsewhere and didn’t have to come to Saratoga. The pressure was on him to keep this talented and magnetic filly on his property, but how far could he go without compromising his values?

Then there were the other horses at the meet: the Zito-trained Commentator, eight years old and looking for one last try in the Whitney Handicap; Kentucky Derby–winner Mine That Bird, aiming to reclaim his glory if he could only stay healthy; and Summer Bird, the Belmont Stakes winner, who demanded respect.

Everyone was in the twilight of their careers. What would be their legacies? How would they be remembered?

Never before has the famous racing season at Saratoga been illustrated through these threads, in real time. As we follow the jockey, the trainer, and the executive, we come to understand how they, and so many other racing fans and professionals, were drawn to the magnetism of one special horse, Rachel Alexandra.

All of this happens in six weeks, all at Saratoga.
Visit Brendan O'Meara's website and blog.

Monday, June 20, 2011


New from Delacorte: Fallen by Karin Slaughter.

About the book, from the publisher:

There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother....

“You know what we’re here for. Hand it over, and we’ll let her go.”

When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, not enough answers. To find her mother, she’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they’ll both need the help of trauma doctor Sara Linton. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore—she’s a witness. She’s also a suspect.

The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light—or bury it forever.

Karin Slaughter’s most exhilarating novel yet is a thrilling journey through the heart and soul, where the personal and the criminal collide, and conflicted loyalties threaten to destroy reputations and ruin lives. It is the work of a master of the thriller at the top of her game, and a whirlwind of unrelenting suspense.
Read about Karin Slaughter's six best books.

"County Line"

New from Tyrus Books: County Line by Bill Cameron.

About the book, from the publisher:

When the steadfast Ruby Jane Whittaker drops out of sight, dogged ex-cop Skin Kadash sets out to discover what drove the woman he loves to leave her life behind so suddenly and without explanation. The discovery of a dead man in her apartment, followed by an attack by a mysterious stalker, leads Skin first to California, then across the country on a desperate journey deep into Ruby Jane’s haunted past — and toward an explosive confrontation which will determine if either has a future.
Visit Bill Cameron's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Lost Dog.

My Book, The Movie: Lost Dog.

The Page 69 Test: Chasing Smoke.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


New from Grand Central Publishing: Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sam Capra is living the life of his dreams.

He's a brilliant young CIA agent, stationed in London. His wife Lucy is seven months pregnant with their first child. They have a wonderful home, and are deeply in love.

They have everything they could hope for...until they lose it all in one horrifying moment.

On a bright, sunny day, Sam receives a call from Lucy while he's at work. She tells him to leave the building immediately. He does...just before it explodes, killing everyone inside. Lucy vanishes, and Sam wakes up in a prison cell. As the lone survivor of the attack, he is branded by the CIA as a murderer and a traitor.

Escaping from the agency, Sam launches into a desperate hunt to save his kidnapped wife and child, and to reveal the unknown enemy who has set him up and stolen his family. But the destruction of Sam's life was only step on in an extraordinary plot-and now Sam must become a new kind of hero.
Learn more about the book and author at Jeff Abbott's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Trust Me.

"Heat Wave"

New from Ballantine Books: Heat Wave by Nancy Thayer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Unerringly perceptive, superbly written, every page packed with the warmth and compassionate wisdom that have become Nancy Thayer’s trademark, Heat Wave tells the moving story of a woman who, after her seemingly perfect life unravels, must find the strength to live and love again.

Making the startling discovery that her family finances are in dire straits is only the latest shock endured by Carley Winsted after her husband’s sudden death from a heart attack. Resisting her in-laws’ well-meaning overtures to take in Carley and her two daughters, the young widow instead devises a plan to keep her family in their beloved home, a grand historic house on the island of Nantucket.

The solution is right at Carley’s front door: transforming her expensive, expansive house into a bed-and-breakfast. Not everyone, however, thinks this plan prudent or quite respectable—especially not Carley’s mother-in-law. Further complicating a myriad of challenges, a friend forces Carley to keep a secret that, if revealed, will undo families and friendships.

When her late husband’s former law partner keeps showing up at the most unexpected times, Carley must cope with an array of mixed feelings. And then, during a late-summer heat wave, the lives of Carley and her friends and family will be forever changed in entirely unexpected ways.

Lyrical, emotional, dramatic, and ultimately wonderfully uplifting, Nancy Thayer’s latest novel is compelling from its first page to its last.
Learn more about the book and author at Nancy Thayer's website.

The Page 69 Test: Summer House.

Writers Read: Nancy Thayer.

The Page 69 Test: Beachcombers.

My Book, The Movie: Beachcombers.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Why Jane Austen?"

New from Columbia University Press: Why Jane Austen? by Rachel M. Brownstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the first publication of Pride and Prejudice to recent film versions of her life and work, Jane Austen has continued to provoke controversy and inspire fantasies of peculiar intimacy. Whether celebrated for her realism, proto-feminism, or patrician gentility, imagined as a subversive or a political conservative, Austen generates passions shaped by the ideologies and trends of her readers' time—and by her own memorable stories, characters, and elusive narrative cool.

In this book, Rachel M. Brownstein considers constructions of Jane Austen as a heroine, moralist, satirist, romantic, woman, and author and the changing notions of these categories. She finds echoes of Austen's insights and techniques in contemporary Jane-o-mania, the commercially driven, erotically charged popular vogue that aims paradoxically to preserve and liberate, to correct and collaborate with old Jane. Brownstein's brilliant discussion of the distinctiveness and distinction of Austen's genius clarifies the reasons why we read the novelist—or why we should read her-and reorients the prevailing view of her work. Reclaiming the rich comedy of Austen while constructing a new narrative of authorship, Brownstein unpacks the author's fascinating entanglement with readers and other admirers.
Visit Rachel M. Brownstein's website.

"Love Child"

New from Penguin: Love Child by Sheila Kohler.

About the book, from the publisher:

An enthralling new novel from the highly acclaimed author of Becoming Jane Eyre

The compelling story of a forbidden marriage, a baby lost, and a love triangle gone horribly wrong, Love Child centers on Bill, a South African woman whose life has been defined by the apartheid-era, class-riven society in which she lives. Under pressure to make her will, Bill is forced to think about the momentous events and decisions that have made her an extremely wealthy if somewhat disillusioned woman. To whom should she leave her fortune? As Bill relives her past, we learn that this is a simple question with a complicated answer. In elegant, sensual, and nuanced prose, Kohler skillfully explores the space between our dreams and our reality, between our hopes and our disappointments.
Visit Sheila Kohler's website.

Writers Read: Sheila Kohler (December 2009).

Friday, June 17, 2011

"Preachin' the Blues"

New from Oxford University Press: Preachin' the Blues: The Life and Times of Son House by Daniel Beaumont.

About the book, from the publisher:

In June of 1964, three young, white blues fans set out from New York City in a Volkswagen, heading for the Mississippi Delta in search of a musical legend. So begins Preachin' the Blues, the biography of American blues signer and guitarist Eddie James "Son" House, Jr. (1902 - 1988). House pioneered an innovative style, incorporating strong repetitive rhythms with elements of southern gospel and spiritual vocals. A seminal figure in the history of the Delta blues, he was an important, direct influence on such figures as Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson.

The landscape of Son House's life and the vicissitudes he endured make for an absorbing narrative, threaded through with a tension between House's religious beliefs and his spells of commitment to a lifestyle that implicitly rejected it. Drinking, womanizing, and singing the blues caused this tension that is palpable in his music, and becomes explicit in one of his finest performances, "Preachin' the Blues." Large parts of House's life are obscure, not least because his own accounts of them were inconsistent. Author Daniel Beaumont offers a chronology/topography of House's youth, taking into account evidence that conflicts sharply with the well-worn fable, and he illuminates the obscurity of House's two decades in Rochester, NY between his departure from Mississippi in the 1940s and his "rediscovery" by members of the Folk Revival Movement in 1964. Beaumont gives a detailed and perceptive account of House's primary musical legacy: his recordings for Paramount in 1930 and for the Library of Congress in 1941-42. In the course of his research Beaumont has unearthed not only connections among the many scattered facts and fictions but new information about a rumoured murder in Mississippi, and a charge of manslaughter on Long Island - incidents which bring tragic light upon House's lifelong struggles and self-imposed disappearance, and give trenchant meaning to the moving music of this early blues legend.


New from Minotaur Books: Trespasser by Paul Doiron.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Paul Doiron’s riveting follow-up to his Edgar Award–nominated novel, The Poacher's Son, Maine game warden Mike Bowditch’s quest to find a missing woman leads him through a forest of lies in search of a killer who may have gotten away with murder once before.

While on patrol one foggy March evening, Bowditch receives a call for help. A woman has reportedly struck a deer on a lonely coast road. When the game warden arrives on the scene, he finds blood in the road—but both the driver and the deer have vanished. And the state trooper assigned to the accident appears strangely unconcerned.

The details of the disappearance seem eerily familiar. Seven years earlier, a jury convicted lobsterman Erland Jefferts of the rape and murder of a wealthy college student and sentenced him to life in prison. For all but his most fanatical defenders, justice was served. But when the missing woman is found brutalized in a manner that suggests Jefferts may have been framed, Bowditch receives an ominous warning from state prosecutors to stop asking questions.

For Bowditch, whose own life was recently shattered by a horrific act of violence, doing nothing is not an option. His clandestine investigation reopens old wounds between Maine locals and rich summer residents and puts both his own life and that of the woman he loves in jeopardy. As he closes in on his quarry, he suddenly discovers how dangerous his opponents are, and how far they will go to prevent him from bringing a killer to justice.
Learn more about the book and author at Paul Doiron's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Poacher's Son.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Unnatural Selection"

New from PublicAffairs: Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl.

About the book, from the publisher:

A shocking exposé of the causes of Asia's massive gender imbalance and its consequences across the globe

Lianyungang, a booming port city, has China's most extreme gender ratio for children under four: 163 boys for every 100 girls. These numbers don't seem terribly grim, but in ten years, the skewed sex ratio will pose a colossal challenge. By the time those children reach adulthood, their generation will have twenty-four million more men than women.

The prognosis for China's neighbors is no less bleak: Asia now has 163 million females "missing" from its population. Gender imbalance reaches far beyond Asia, affecting Georgia, Eastern Europe, and cities in the U.S. where there are significant immigrant populations. The world, therefore, is becoming increasingly male, and this mismatch is likely to create profound social upheaval.

Historically, eras in which there have been an excess of men have produced periods of violent conflict and instability. Mara Hvistendahl has written a stunning, impeccably-researched book that does not flinch from examining not only the consequences of the misbegotten policies of sex selection but Western complicity with them.
Visit Mara Hvistendahl's website.

Read Jeffrey Wasserstrom's review of Unnatural Selection.

"The Bones of Avalon"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Bones of Avalon by Phil Rickman.

About the book, from the publisher:

A country divided. A newly crowned, desperately vulnerable young queen. Can one man uncover the secret that will save her throne?

It is 1560, and Elizabeth Tudor has been on the throne for a year. Dr. John Dee, at 32 already acclaimed throughout Europe, is her astrologer and consultant in the hidden arts… a controversial appointment in these days of superstition and religious strife.

When dangerous questions of Elizabeth’s legitimacy arise, the mild, bookish Dee finds himself summoned before William Cecil, who tasks him with an important mission. Along with Robert Dudley, Dee’s daring friend and former student who is also rumored to be the Queen’s secret lover, Dee must travel to the famously mystical town of Glastonbury to find the missing bones of King Arthur. Once these long-lost relics, the embodiment of a legacy vitally important to the Tudor line, are ensconced in London, doubts as to the Queen’s supremacy as the rightful Tudor heir will be dispelled.

But the quest quickly turns deadly—Dee and Dudley arrive in Glastonbury to discover the town mourning the gruesome execution of its abbot, and more death soon follows at the old abbey. Racing to uncover the secrets buried there, Dee finds himself caught in the tangled roots of English magic, unexpected violence, the breathless stirring of first love… and the cold heart of a complex plot against Elizabeth.
Visit Phil Rickman's website.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Does Aging Stop?"

New from Oxford University Press: Does Aging Stop? by Laurence D. Mueller, Casandra L. Rauser and Michael R. Rose.

About the book, from the publisher:
Does Aging Stop? reveals the most paradoxical finding of recent aging research: the cessation of demographic aging. The authors show that aging stops at the level of the individual organism, and explain why evolution allows this. The implications of this counter-intuitive conclusion are profound, and aging research now needs to accept three uncomfortable truths. First, aging is not a cumulative physiological process. Second, the fundamental theory that is required to explain, manipulate, and probe the phenomena of aging comes from evolutionary biology. Third, strong-inference experimental strategies for aging must be founded in evolutionary research, not cell or molecular biology.

The result of fifteen years of research bringing together new applications of evolutionary theory, new models for demography, and massive experimentation, Does Aging Stop? advances an entirely new foundation for the scientific study of aging.

"Long Gone"

New from Harper: Long Gone by Alafair Burke.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if everything you thought you knew turned out to be a lie?

After a layoff and months of struggling, Alice Humphrey finally lands her dream job managing a new art gallery in Manhattan's trendy Meatpacking District. According to Drew Campbell, the well-heeled corporate representative who hires her, the gallery is a passion project for its anonymous, wealthy, and eccentric owner. Her friends think it sounds too good to be true, but Alice sees an opportunity to make a name for herself beyond the shadow of her famous father, an award-winning and controversial filmmaker.

Everything is perfect until the morning Alice arrives at work to find the gallery gone—the space stripped bare as if it had never been there—and Drew Campbell's dead body on the floor. Overnight, Alice's dream job has vanished, and she finds herself at the center of a police investigation, with the evidence mounting against her. The phone number Drew gave her links back to a disposable phone. The artist whose work she displayed doesn't seem to exist. And the dead man she claims is Drew has been identified as someone else.

When police discover ties between the gallery and a missing girl, Alice knows she's been set up. Now she has to prove it—a dangerous search for answers that will entangle her in a dark, high-tech criminal conspiracy and force her to unearth long-hidden secrets involving her own family ... secrets that could cost Alice her life.
Visit Alafair Burke's website and blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Under Fire"

New from Forge Books: Under Fire by Margaret McLean.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Boston firefighter is shot and killed in the line of duty while rescuing Amina Diallo and her fifteen-year-old son, Malick, from their burning store. Diallo, a Senegalese Muslim immigrant, is arrested for arson and murder, and will likely be convicted in record time.

Attorneys Sarah Lynch and Buddy Clancy face more than racial and religious prejudice in this impossible courtroom battle. Diallo is targeted by a gunman in open court, a key defense witness is attacked, and documents are stolen. Someone is trying to stop Sarah and Clancy from winning the case. They must find out who and why. A dangerous pursuit of the truth becomes Amina’s only chance in Margaret McLean's Under Fire.
Visit Margaret McLean's website and blog.

"The American Heiress"

New from St. Martin's Press: The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Be careful what you wish for. Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.

Witty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, Cora’s story marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James.
Visit Daisy Goodwin's website.

Monday, June 13, 2011

"A Bad Day for Scandal"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: A Bad Day for Scandal by Sophie Littlefield.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Prosper homegirl turned big-city businesswoman Priss Porter returns to town with a body in her trunk, she calls Stella Hardesty to dispose of it. Her uppity ways don’t convince Stella to take the job, and Priss attempts to blackmail her with a snapshot of Stella doing what she does best: curing woman-beaters by the use of force.

Stella refuses to cooperate and goes home, only to hear later that Priss and her brother, Liman, have gone missing after calling in a disturbance. Stella is implicated when Sheriff “Goat” Jones discovers the scarf she left behind at the house. He warns her to stay local but Stella and her partner, Chrissy Shaw, go looking for Priss in Kansas City, where they discover that she runs an unusual business. When Priss herself—along with two other bodies—turns up in a pond belonging to one of Stella’s ex-clients, Stella must investigate a host of suspects, including a crooked but libidinous female judge, a coterie of jealous male escorts, and a Marxist ex-professor.

A Bad Day for Scandal is the third in Sophie Littlefield’s award-winning, critically acclaimed series. Written with passion, humor, and guts, this is a mystery to be savored.
Learn more about the book and author at Sophie Littlefield's website and blog.

Discover where the author got the "idea for a 50-year-old widow who runs a sewing shop and also tracks down abusive spouses."

Littlefield's crime novels include A Bad Day for Sorry and A Bad Day for Pretty.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Sorry.

Writers Read: Sophie Littlefield.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Pretty.

My Book, The Movie: A Bad Day for Pretty.

"Tunnel Vision"

New from Forge Books: Tunnel Vision by Gary Braver.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if you didn’t have to die to know that heaven exists? And what if that knowledge could get you killed?

Following a biking accident on icy Boston streets, grad student Zack Kashian lapses into a coma. When he wakes up on Easter, months later, muttering the Lord’s Prayer in the original Aramaic, the media is set abuzz about the “Miracle Man.” Religious fanatics flock to Zack’s hospital bedside, though he claims to be an atheist.

Zack’s revival also catches the attention of Dr. Elizabeth Luria, who heads up a small team of neuroscientists secretly researching near-death experiences (NDE). Their objective: to determine if there is anything to the claims of NDE victims about floating down tunnels into the celestial light and meeting spiritual beings. Is all that evidence of the afterlife? Or is it just neurobiology, as Sarah Wyman, one of Luria’s young researchers suspects.

For personal reasons, Luria is desperate to prove the afterlife exists. So are her wealthy, evangelist backers, who can’t wait to announce the greatest discovery in human history: that God exists. A discovery that would at last reconcile science and religion. A discovery that would end the world’s religious strife and unite all humanity.

Yet Zack’s experiences are anything but heavenly. While he and Sarah struggle to understand his horrific out-of-body experiences, they have no idea that sinister forces have taken an interest in them. Forces to whom near-death experiences are utter blasphemy—deceptions by Satan himself. They enlist a menacing agent who, in the name of God, will stop at nothing to terminate the project and all involved.
Visit Gary Braver's website and blog.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"My American Unhappiness"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: My American Unhappiness by Dean Bakopoulos.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Why are you so unhappy?” That’s the question that Zeke Pappas, a thirty-three-year-old scholar, asks almost everybody he meets as part of an obsessive project, “The Inventory of American Unhappiness.” The answers he receives—a mix of true sadness and absurd complaint—create a collage of woe. Zeke, meanwhile, remains delightfully oblivious to the increasingly harsh realities that threaten his daily routine, opting instead to focus his energy on finding the perfect mate so that he can gain cus
tody of his orphaned nieces. Following steps outlined in a women’s magazine, the ever-optimistic Zeke identifies some “prospects”: a newly divorced neighbor, a coffeehouse barista, his administrative assistant, and Sofia Coppola (“Why not aim high?”).

A clairvoyant when it comes to the Starbucks orders of strangers, a quixotic renegade when it comes to the federal bureaucracy, and a devoted believer in the afternoon cocktail and the evening binge, Zeke has an irreverent voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit and heart-on-sleeve emotion, underscored by a creeping paranoia and made more urgent by the hope that if he can only find a wife, he might have a second chance at life.
Visit Dean Bakopoulos's website and Facebook page.


New from Metropolitan Books: Partitions by Amit Majmudar.

About the book, from the publisher:

A stunning first novel, set during the violent 1947 partition of India, about uprooted children and their journeys to safety

As India is rent into two nations, communal violence breaks out on both sides of the new border and streaming hordes of refugees flee from blood and chaos.

At an overrun train station, Shankar and Keshav, twin Hindu boys, lose sight of their mother and join the human mass to go in search of her. A young Sikh girl, Simran Kaur, has run away from her father, who would rather poison his daughter than see her defiled. And Ibrahim Masud, an elderly Muslim doctor driven from the town of his birth, limps toward the new Muslim state of Pakistan, rediscovering on the way his role as a healer. As the displaced face a variety of horrors, this unlikely quartet comes together, defying every rule of self-preservation to forge a future of hope.

A dramatic, luminous story of families and nations broken and formed, Partitions introduces an extraordinary novelist who writes with the force and lyricism of poetry.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


New from Knopf: Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her best-selling debut, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they’re family.

For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials “A.H.” At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface.

As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago.

By turns wickedly funny and achingly sad, Maine unveils the sibling rivalry, alcoholism, social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each other.
Learn more about the book and author at J. Courtney Sullivan's website.

The Page 69 Test: Commencement.

"Watch Me Die"

New from St. Martin's Press: Watch Me Die by Erica Spindler.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Spindler’s thrilling new psychological drama, one woman’s journey to recovery becomes her worst nightmare

Before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, stained-glass restoration artist Mira Gallier had it all: a thriving business doing work she loved and an idyllic marriage to the perfect man. But the devastating storm stole her beloved husband – his body swept away by floodwaters, never to be found.

Now, after years of pain and turmoil, it looks as if Mira is finally on the verge of peace and emotional stability. But her life, like the magnificent windows blown to bits by Hurricane Katrina, is about to be shattered once again. And this time, it’s not a killer storm she faces, but a psychopath who will stop at nothing until he possesses her, body and soul…

First, church windows that she restored are vandalized, and the priest who looked over them brutally murdered. Spray-painted across the glass are the words: He Will Come to Judge the Living and the Dead. Then, New Orleans is rocked by a terrifying chain of murders that all seem to be linked to Mira. The police, led by homicide detective Spencer Malone, are following a string of clues left by the killer on each victim – and beginning to wonder if the murderer isn’t Mira Gallier herself.

As Mira begins to unravel under pressure from all sides – and fear for her life – it’s unclear whom she can trust. And when a man from her past appears out of nowhere, sparking something long forgotten in her heart, he quickly becomes the police’s new prime suspect. One by one, the people in Mira's life are targeted, until it’s clear that the killer has been saving her for last ... and that there’s nowhere left to run.
Learn more about the book and author at Erica Spindler's website.

My Book, The Movie: Erica Spindler's Breakneck.