Saturday, June 30, 2007


New this month: Matt Richtel's Hooked.

About the book, from the author's website:

Nat Idle, a medical student turned journalist, sits in a San Francisco cafe when a woman puts a folded note on his table. Nat picks up the note, walks to the door to follow her, opens the note and reads: Get out of the Cafe, NOW! The cafe explodes. Sitting in the rubble, he discovers the impossible: the handwriting on the note appears to belong to his deceased ex-girlfriend, a powerful venture capitalists who died four years earlier.

Thus begins Hooked and Nat's frantic quest for answers. His search ultimately presents him with a series of surprises and twists and leads him to discover unnerving truths about himself, and the frenetically-paced digital world he inhabits.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Coming in July: Silence by Thomas Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:

Six years ago, Jack Till helped Wendy Harper disappear. But now her ex-boyfriend and former business partner, Eric Fuller, is being framed for her presumed murder in an effort to smoke her out, and Till must find her before tango-dancing assassins Paul and Sylvie Turner do.

The Turners are merely hired to do a job, though, and prefer to remain anonymous. When they find that a middleman has let the true employer know their identities, finishing the job is no longer enough. Their fee just went up. And now they must double-cross the man who wants Wendy dead before he can double-cross them — if their jealousy and cold-blooded calculations don’t result in a fatal lovers’ quarrel first.

With masterful plotting and unnerving psychological insight, Perry delivers another mesmerizing thrill ride.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"The Day Will Come"

Coming in August from Poisoned Pen Press: The Day Will Come by Judy Clemens.

About the book, from the publisher:

If Stella Crown loves anything as much as her farm, her Harley, and her friends, it’s a good dose of rock-and-roll. But when the chance arrives to see a Philadelphia legend in concert, she gets more than she bargained for. A bomb threat empties out the club, and when the panic subsides, a member of the band is missing.

When the body of the singer, Genna, is found in the club later that night, Stella’s friend Jordan Granger is the prime suspect. Jordan had no official relationship with the victim, but Stella is convinced he was in love with her. The drummer of the band, a talented but volatile man, was Genna’s actual boyfriend, and Stella doesn’t trust him. Did the drummer kill his girlfriend after setting the bomb? Were the two crimes even related?

Stella finds herself acting not only as Jordan’s keeper, but as an investigator into his life, as well as her own. Meanwhile, Stella’s boyfriend has a secret of his own. Why isn’t he returning her calls? And why was he so exhausted and edgy even before the disastrous concert?

The answer isn’t something Stella ever dreamed of.

Visit the official Judy Clemens website.

"Charm Offensive"

New from Yale University Press: Charm Offensive: How China's Soft Power Is Transforming the World by Joshua Kurlantzick.

About the book, from the publisher:

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, China is poised to become a major global power. And though much has been written of China’s rise, a crucial aspect of this transformation has gone largely unnoticed: the way that China is using soft power to appeal to its neighbors and to distant countries alike.

This book is the first to examine the significance of China’s recent reliance on soft power — diplomacy, trade incentives, cultural and educational exchange opportunities, and other techniques — to project a benign national image, position itself as a model of social and economic success, and develop stronger international alliances. Drawing on years of experience tracking China’s policies in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Africa, Joshua Kurlantzick reveals how China has wooed the world with a "charm offensive" that has largely escaped the attention of American policy makers.

Beijing’s new diplomacy has altered the political landscape in Southeast Asia and far beyond, changing the dynamics of China’s relationships with other countries. China also has worked to take advantage of American policy mistakes, Kurlantzick contends. In a provocative conclusion, he considers a future in which China may be the first nation since the Soviet Union to rival the United States in international influence.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Daddy Needs a Drink"

New in paperback: Robert Wilder's Daddy Needs a Drink.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Santa Fe dad shares heartwarming, comic, often ludicrous tales of raising a family in this laugh-out-loud book perfect for anyone who enjoys the edgy humor of David Sedaris or the whimsical commentary of Dave Barry. Waxing both profound and profane on issues close to a father’s heart — from exploding diapers to toddler tantrums, from the horrors of dressing up as Frosty the Snowman to the moments that make a father proud — Robert Wilder brilliantly captures the joys and absurdities of being a parent today.

With an artist wife and two kids — a daughter, Poppy, and a son, London — Robert Wilder considers himself as open-minded as the next man. Yet even he finds himself parentally challenged when his toddler son, London, careens around the house in the buff or asks the kind of outrageous, embarrassing questions only a kid can ask. A high school teacher who sometimes refers to himself jokingly as Mister Mom (when his wife, Lala, is busy in her studio), Wilder shares warmly funny stories on everything from sleep deprivation to why school-sponsored charities can turn otherwise sane adults into blithering and begging idiots.

Whether trying to conjure up the perfect baby name (“Poppy” came to his wife’s mother in a dream) or hiring a Baby Whisperer to get some much-needed sleep, Wilder offers priceless life lessons on discipline, potty training, even phallic fiddling (courtesy of young London). He describes the perils of learning to live monodextrously (doing everything with one hand while carrying your child around with the other) and the joys of watching his daughter morph into a graceful, wise, unique little person right before his eyes.

By turns tender, irreverent, and hysterically funny, Daddy Needs a Drink is a hilarious and poignant tribute to his family by a man who truly loves being a father.
The Page 99 Test: Daddy Needs a Drink.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"The Undertow"/"Appeal Denied"

New in the U.S. this summer: Peter Corris's The Undertow.

About the book, from the author's website:

Frank Parker, retired senior policeman and Cliff Hardy’s longtime friend, has a problem. A case from early in his career involving two doctors, one of whom was convicted of hiring a hit man to kill the other and went to gaol for the crime, is coming back to haunt him. The convicted, now dead doctor may have been innocent, and Parker had been the lover of the beautiful Catherine Castiglione, the doctor’s wife.

Hardy tracks back through the now ageing names and faces, trying to tease out the truth. If the doctor was set up, who was responsible and why? Along the way Hardy encounters dodgy plastic surgeons, a broken-down ex-copper, a voyeuristic cripple and a hireling who wields a mean baseball bat.

A charismatic player is the son of Catherine Castiglione, a super-bright charmer, who just may be Frank Parker’s love child. Animosities, arrogance and ambition create a spider’s web around the violence that breaks out as Hardy searches for the spider.
The latest "Cliff Hardy" adventure from Peter Corris: Appeal Denied.

About the book, from the publisher:
Stripped of his investigator's licence and with his appeal denied, Cliff Hardy faces an uncertain future. Then something very personal happens that sends him off doing what he does best - confronting, questioning, provoking violence - with the lack of credentials not an issue.

Is policewoman Jane Farrow bent or straight? Will vertically challenged but charismatic media star Lee Townsend be a help or an obstacle? Taking and dealing out punishment, mostly on Sydney's North Shore, Hardy encounters corrupt cops, bereft wives and computer geeks. In a shadowy showdown at Balmoral Beach, Hardy sorts out those who need to be sorted, but his future remains even more clouded than before.
Visit the website of Peter Corris, "the godfather of Australian crime fiction."

Monday, June 25, 2007

"The Idea That Is America"

New from Basic Books: Anne-Marie Slaughter's The Idea That Is America.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Army Captain Ian Fishback decided to blow the whistle on prisoner abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, he posed the central question facing America in the new century: "Will we confront danger in order to preserve our ideals, or will courage and commitment to individual rights wither at the prospect of sacrifice?... I would rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is 'America.'" But what is this idea? George W. Bush waged war in Iraq in the name of American values -- liberty and democracy. His critics in the United States and around the world also use the language of values, and attack him for deceiving a nation to wage an unjust war. What are the values that America truly stands for? In The Idea That Is America, a preeminent foreign policy scholar eloquently reminds us of the essential principles on which our nation was established: liberty, democracy, equality, tolerance, faith, justice, and humility. Our ongoing struggle to live up to America's great promise matters not only to us, but also to the billions of men and women everywhere who look to the United States to lead, protect, and inspire the world. In The Idea That Is America, Anne-Marie Slaughter shows us the way forward.
Watch Anne-Marie Slaughter on the Colbert Report

Sunday, June 24, 2007

"Raven Black"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Ann Cleeves's Raven Black.

About the book, from the author's website:

It is a cold January morning, and Shetland lies buried beneath a deep layer of snow. Trudging home, Fran Hunter's eye is drawn to a splash of colour on the frozen ground, ravens circling above. It is the strangled body of her teenage neighbour, Catherine Ross. As Fran opens her mouth to scream, the ravens continue their deadly dance.

The locals on the quiet island stubbornly focus their gaze on one man - loner and simpleton Magnus Tait. But when detective Jimmy Perez and his colleagues from the mainland insist on opening out the investigation, a veil of suspicion and fear is thrown over the entire community.

For the first time in years, Catherine's neighbours nervously lock their doors, whilst a killer lives on in their midst.

Raven Black is the first of four books which form a Shetland Quartet; the second volume of the quartet is now with the publishers.

Raven Black was the first winner of the prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award for the best crime novel of the year. The judges praised Raven Black for its "superb sense of place." They called it "a depiction of an enclosed community with modern and entrenched values constantly competing, [and] a thrilling read."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Famous Fathers and Other Stories"

New from MacAdam/Cage: Pia Z. Ehrhardt's Famous Fathers and Other Stories.

About the book, from the publisher:

A gracefully disconcerting collection of stories by the winner of the 2005 Narrative Prize.

Wavering between fidelity and freedom, the women in this sparkling debut collection deal with emotional damage and unhealed heartbreak by plunging into unusual, often bizarre, relationships.

In Pia Z. Ehrhardt’s stories, adultery and impropriety become disquietingly mundane. Mothers expect daughters to be complicit in their love affairs, children seek shelter in families that aren’t their own, fathers court their daughters, a couple enters into a marriage that lasts thirty days a year, and a young girl takes to the road with the simple guy who bags groceries at Piggly Wiggly while her mother imagines her safely at school.

Beautifully restrained and shot through with tenderness, Famous Fathers and Other Stories establishes Ehrhardt as both a leading practitioner of the short story and an empathetic interpreter of the lives of wounded people who — instead of asking for what they want — take what is offered.

Friday, June 22, 2007

"Sexual Reckonings"

New from Harvard University Press: Sexual Reckonings: Southern Girls in a Troubling Age by Susan K. Cahn.

About the book, from the publisher:

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest"

Matt Haig's first novel for young readers, Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest, is just out in the U.S. (The U.K. title is Shadow Forest.)

About the book, from the publisher:


Samuel and Martha have just moved to Norway to live with their aunt Eda, and she’s taking some getting used to. She has too many rules, no TV, and insists that they eat local delicacies like brown cheese and reindeer soup. And then there’s the most peculiar thing about her—her irrational fear of her own backyard. Sure, Uncle Henrik hasn’t been heard from since he disappeared into it ten years ago, but that can’t be the forest’s fault ... can it?

Samuel is skeptical, until he disobeys Rule #1 — Never go up to the attic — and finds an unusual book: The Creatures of Shadow Forest, which gives scary descriptions of the fantastic creatures supposedly living in the forest. So when Sam starts seeing strange things venture past the treeline after dark, he can’t help wondering ... could Aunt Eda be right, and what really happened to Uncle Henrik?

This highly inventive fantasy is full of amazing characters and unexpected twists that will elicit both laughter and chills.

Visit Matt Haig's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Dead Fathers Club.

My Book, The Movie: The Dead Fathers Club.

"Dead Connection"

Coming in July from Henry Holt & Co.: Alafair Burke's Dead Connection.

About the novel, from the author's website:

In this electrifying thriller, a rookie detective goes undercover on the Internet dating scene to draw out a serial killer targeting single women in Manhattan

When two young women are murdered on the streets of New York, exactly one year apart, Detective Ellie Hatcher is called up for a special assignment on the homicide task force. The killer has left behind a clue connecting the two cases to First Date, a popular online dating service, and Flann McIlroy, an eccentric, publicity-seeking homicide detective, is convinced that only Ellie can help him pursue his terrifying theory: someone is using the lure of the Internet and the promise of love to launch a killing spree against the women of New York City.

To catch the killer, Ellie must enter a high-tech world of stolen identities where no one is who they appear to be. And for her, the investigation quickly becomes personal: she fits the profile of the victims, and she knows firsthand what pursuing a sociopath can do to a cop -- back home in Wichita, Kansas, her father lost his life trying to catch a notorious serial murderer.

When the First Date killer begins to mimic the monster who destroyed her father, Ellie knows the game has become personal for him, too. Both hunter and prey, she must find the killer before he claims his next victim -- who could very well be her.

Expertly plotted and perfectly paced, Dead Connection advances Alafair Burke to the front ranks of American thriller writers.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

"A Thousand Bones"

New from Pocket Books: A Thousand Bones by P.J. Parrish.

About the book, from the author's website:

The only female detective on Miami PD's homicide division, Joe Frye has memories that haunt her and a past not even her lover, Louis Kincaid, truly knows. It began when Joe was an ambitious rookie cop in a small Michigan town called Echo Bay. The bones found in the woods were the first clue in a string of brutal murders of young women. Plunged into a heated investigation, and caught between a local sheriff and the state police, Joe must face down a predator who has chosen her a worthy opponent - or become his next victim.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Short Change"

Coming in July from NAL: Patricia Smiley's Short Change.

About the novel, from the author's website:

Savvy management consultant Tucker Sinclair is trying to get her own firm off the ground in Los Angeles. But when you're mixed up in a private investigator's business, trouble is always a prospect...

Tucker Sinclair is a free woman. She's finally escaped from the oppressively corporate Aames & Associates and now runs her own business consulting firm. But with freedom comes unpredictability. What was supposed to be a short stint helping private investigator Charley Tate get his practice established turns into a full-time job. Charley pushes her to go beyond the call of duty — to try to save not only his business, but possibly his life.

It all starts when Eve Lawson stumbles into the Tate Investigations office hoping to find out who is following her. But who would want to follow a bland writer working on a book about the post-World War II real estate boom in Los Angeles? With Eve's wardrobe hopelessly stuck in the eighties, Tucker can only imagine it's the fashion police. But work means much-needed income for Tucker and Charley. They soon learn that they've struck gold when this far-fetched case explodes into murder — and Eve Lawson, who's gone missing, is the prime suspect.

Now Tucker and Charley have to piece together the complex life of Eve Lawson, the troubled daughter of a real estate tycoon. She's been writing a memoir that may have rattled a few skeletons in the family closet. Tucker is on the case — and not even LA traffic can stop her...

Monday, June 18, 2007


New from Viking Adult: Penelope Lively's Consequences.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Booker Prize-winning author’s first novel since The Photograph is a sweeping saga of three generations of women, their lives, and loves

A chance meeting in St. James’s Park begins young Lorna and Matt’s intense relationship. Wholly in love, they leave London for a cottage in a rural Somerset village. Their intimate life together — Matt’s woodcarving, Lorna’s self-discovery, their new baby, Molly — is shattered with the arrival of World War II. In 1960s London, Molly happens upon a forgotten newspaper — a seemingly small moment that leads to her first job and, eventually, a pregnancy by a wealthy man who wants to marry her but whom she does not love. Thirty years later, Ruth, who has always considered her existence a peculiar accident, questions her own marriage and begins a journey that takes her back to 1941 — and a redefinition of herself and of love.

Told in Lively’s incomparable prose, Consequences is a powerful story of growth, death, and rebirth and a study of the previous century — its major and minor events, its shaping of public consciousness, and its changing of lives.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

"The Face of Death"

New from Bantam: Cody Mcfadyen's The Face of Death.

About the book, from the author's website:

“I want to talk to Smoky Barrett or I’ll kill myself.”

The girl is sixteen, at the scene of a grisly triple homicide, and has a gun to her head. She claims “The Stranger” killed her adoptive family, that he’s been following her all her life, killing everyone she ever loved, and that no one believes her.

No one has. Until now.

Special Agent Smoky Barrett is head of the violent crimes unit in Los Angeles, the part of the FBI reserved for tracking down the worst of the worst. Her team has been handpicked from among the nation’s elite law enforcement specialists and they are as obsessed and relentless as the psychos they hunt; they’ll have to be to deal with this case.

For another vicious double homicide reveals a killer embarked on a dark crusade of trauma and death: an “artist” who’s molding sixteen-year-old Sarah into the perfect victim -- and the ultimate weapon. But Smoky Barrett has another, more personal reason for catching The Stranger -- an adopted daughter and a new life that are worth protecting at any cost.

This time Smoky is going to have to put it all on the line. Because The Stranger is all too real, all too close, and all too relentless. And when he finally shows his face, if she’s not ready to confront her worst fear, Smoky won’t have time to do anything but die.
The Page 99 Test: The Face of Death.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"The Dark River"

Coming in July from Doubleday Books: The Dark River by John Twelve Hawks.

About the book, from the publisher:

A frantic race to save a long-lost Traveler.
An epic battle for freedom.
Two brothers whose power puts them on a collision course ... with each other.

In The Traveler, John Twelve Hawks introduced readers to a dangerous world inspired by the modern technology that monitors our lives. Under constant surveillance of the ‘Vast Machine,’ a sophisticated computer network run by a ruthless group, society is mostly unaware of its own imprisonment. Gabriel and Michael Corrigan, brothers who were raised “off the grid,” have recently learned they are Travelers like their long-lost father — part of a centuries-old line of prophets able to journey to different realms of consciousness and enlighten the world to resist being controlled. But power affects the brothers differently. As The Traveler ends, Gabriel hesitates under the weight of responsibility. Michael seizes the opportunity — and joins the enemy.

The Dark River opens in New York City with a stunning piece of news. Gabriel’s father, who has been missing for nearly twenty years, may still be alive and trapped somewhere in Europe. Gabriel and his Harlequin protector, Maya, immediately mobilize to escape New York and find the long-lost Traveler. Simultaneously, Michael orders the Brethren — the ruthless group that has been hunting Gabriel — into a full-scale search. Gabriel yearns to find his father to protect him; Michael aims to destroy the man whose existence threatens his newfound power. The race moves from the underground tunnels of New York and London to ruins hidden beneath Rome and Berlin, to a remote region of Africa that is rumored to harbor one of history’s greatest treasures. And as the story moves toward its chilling conclusion, Maya must decide if she will trade everything to rescue Gabriel.

A mesmerizing return to the places and people so richly portrayed in The Traveler, The Dark River is propelled by edge-of-the-seat suspense and haunted by a vision of a world where both hope and freedom are about to disappear.

Friday, June 15, 2007

"Honey with Tobacco"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Honey with Tobacco by Peg Boyers.

About the book, from the publisher:


This time the migraine came with a vision
bathed in night sweat:

I was sitting on the Eames chair,
your man’s body on my lap, legs

and arms white as casein draped over
mine, spilling onto the cassock, new sores

on your legs, dried blood
on your feet and hands,

from your chalk mouth
the words forgive me,

from mine, the impossible

Hard Bread, Peg Boyers’s debut poetry collection, with verse spoken in the imagined voice of the Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg, was widely praised for its inspired ventriloquism and its brilliant lyricism. In Honey with Tobacco, Boyers’s own intensely personal voice emerges in three strikingly distinctive variants. The first part of the book is the most explicitly autobiographical, bringing together poems that explore the poet’s Cuban American experience and a childhood marked by travel, the tropics, and varieties of disenchantment. The middle sequence of poems concerns a mother, a father, and a son, a postmodern holy family whose ordeals are evoked in a terse, terrifying narrative. In familiar tableaux drawn from the Bible that have inspired great works of art — the Annunciation, the Pieta, and Judgment Day — Boyers explores what it means in contemporary America to be “blessed among women” and whether and how art can contain grief. The final section of the book confronts age, desire, and regret in a series of personal poems that plumb baser human instincts and the speakers’ determination to dwell in darkness, when necessary, without abandoning the sacred.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"A Consumer's Guide to the Apocalypse"

Coming in July: A Consumer's Guide to the Apocalypse: Why There Is No Cultural War in America and Why We Will Perish Nonetheless by Eduardo Velásquez.

About the book, from the publisher:

What accounts for the apocalyptic angst that is now so clearly present among Americans who do not subscribe to any religious orthodoxy? Why do so many popular television shows, films, and music nourish themselves on this very angst? And why do so many artists — from Coldplay to Tori Amos to Tom Wolfe — feel compelled to give it expression?

It is tempting to say that America’s fears and anxieties are understandable in the light of 9/11, the ongoing War on Terror, nuclear proliferation, and the seemingly limitless capacity of science to continually challenge our conceptions of the universe and ourselves. Perhaps, too, American culture remains so permeated by Protestant Christianity that even avowed skeptics cannot pry themselves from its grip.

In A Consumer’s Guide to the Apocalypse, Eduardo Velásquez argues that these answers are too pat. Velásquez's astonishing thesis is that when we peer into contemporary artists’ creative depiction of our sensibilities we discover that the antagonisms that fuel the current cultural wars stem from the same source. Enthusiastic religions and dogmatic science, the flourishing of scientific reason and the fascination with mystical darkness, cultural triumphalists and multicultural ideologues are all sustained by the same thing: a willful commitment to the basic tenets of the Enlightenment.

Velásquez makes his point with insightful readings of the music of Coldplay, Tori Amos, and Dave Matthews and the fiction of Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, and Tom Wolfe's I Am Charlotte Simmons. Written with grace and humor, and directed toward the lay reader, A Consumer’s Guide to the Apocalypse is a tour de force of cultural analysis.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"God Is Dead"

Coming in July from Viking: God Is Dead by Ron Currie, Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a mind-blowing new talent, an audacious novel that imagines the world after God takes human form and dies

When God descends to Earth as a Dinka woman from Sudan and subsequently dies in the Darfur desert, the result is a world both bizarrely new yet eerily familiar. In Ron Currie's provocative, wise, and emotionally resonant novel we meet God himself; the Dinka woman whose mortality He must suffer when He inhabits her body; people all over the world coping with the devastating news of God's demise; a group of young men who, fearing the end of the world, take fate into their own hands; mental patients who insist that a god still exists; armies taking up the eternal war between fate and free will; and parents who, in the absence of a deity and the "lack of anything to do on Sundays," worship their children. On the surface, this is a world utterly transformed — yet certain things remain unchanged: protective parents clash with willful, idealistic teenagers; idols are exalted; small-town rumor mills run unabated; and children often don't realize how to forgive their parents until it's too late.

In God Is Dead, Currie brings together a prescient satirical gift worthy of Jonathan Swift, the raw appeal of Chuck Palahniuk's blackest comedy, and the thought-provoking ethical questions of Kurt Vonnegut, all with a light touch, empathy, and wisdom that make for an exhilarating reading experience. Offbeat yet accessible, God Is Dead is an exciting debut from a fresh new voice in contemporary fiction.

Visit Ron Currie, Jr.'s website.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


New this month from Del Ray Books: Richard K. Morgan's Thirteen.

About the book, from the publisher:

The future isn’t what it used to be since Richard K. Morgan arrived on the scene. He unleashed Takeshi Kovacs – private eye, soldier of fortune, and all-purpose antihero – into the body-swapping, hard-boiled, urban jungle of tomorrow in Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies, winning the Philip K. Dick Award in the process. In Market Forces, he launched corporate gladiator Chris Faulkner into the brave new business of war-for-profit. Now, in Thirteen, Morgan radically reshapes and recharges science fiction yet again, with a new and unforgettable hero in Carl Marsalis: hybrid, hired gun, and a man without a country ... or a planet.

Marsalis is one of a new breed. Literally. Genetically engineered by the U.S. government to embody the naked aggression and primal survival skills that centuries of civilization have erased from humankind, Thirteens were intended to be the ultimate military fighting force. The project was scuttled, however, when a fearful public branded the supersoldiers dangerous mutants, dooming the Thirteens to forced exile on Earth’s distant, desolate Mars colony. But Marsalis found a way to slip back – and into a lucrative living as a bounty hunter and hit man before a police sting landed him in prison – a fate worse than Mars, and much more dangerous.

Luckily, his “enhanced” life also seems to be a charmed one. A new chance at freedom beckons, courtesy of the government. All Marsalis has to do is use his superior skills to bring in another fugitive. But this one is no common criminal. He’s another Thirteen – one who’s already shanghaied a space shuttle, butchered its crew, and left a trail of bodies in his wake on a bloody cross-country spree. And like his pursuer, he was bred to fight to the death. Still, there’s no question Marsalis will take the job. Though it will draw him deep into violence, treachery, corruption, and painful confrontation with himself, anything is better than remaining a prisoner. The real question is: can he remain sane – and alive – long enough to succeed?

Monday, June 11, 2007

"Exit Strategy"

Coming July 1 from Bantam: Kelley Armstrong's Exit Strategy.

About the book, from the author's website:

Law enforcement is in Nadia Stafford's blood. She comes from a long line of police officers, and was one herself until the wrong case sent her over the line from cop to killer. Now, to keep her beloved wilderness lodge afloat, she's a contract killer for a small Mafia family.

When a serial killer with all the earmarks of a hit-man begins murdering innocent people, the police investigation threatens to unmask Nadia and others, and she bands together with a small group of hitmen, including her mentor — the mysterious Jack. But once the killer realizes who's on his trail, his simple plan twists into a complex game as both sides fight to prove who is the hunter ... and who the prey.
Read excerpts from Exit Strategy.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Coming in July from Crown: Michelle Moran's Nefertiti.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nefertiti and her younger sister, Mutnodjmet, have been raised in a powerful family that has provided wives to the rulers of Egypt for centuries. Ambitious, charismatic, and beautiful, Nefertiti is destined to marry Amunhotep, an unstable young pharaoh. It is hoped by all that her strong personality will temper the young Amunhotep’s heretical desire to forsake Egypt’s ancient gods, overthrow the priests of Amun, and introduce a new sun god for all to worship.

From the moment of her arrival in Thebes, Nefertiti is beloved by the people. Her charisma is matched only by her husband’s perceived generosity: Amunhotep showers his subjects with lofty promises. The love of the commoners will not be enough, however, if the royal couple is not able to conceive an heir, and as Nefertiti turns her attention to producing a son, she fails to see that the powerful priests, along with the military, are plotting against her husband’s rule. The only person wise enough to recognize the shift in political winds — and brave enough to tell the queen — is her younger sister, Mutnodjmet.

Observant and contemplative, Mutnodjmet has never shared her sister’s desire for power. She yearns for a quiet existence away from family duty and the intrigues of court. Her greatest hope is to share her life with the general who has won her heart. But as Nefertiti learns of the precariousness of her reign, she declares that her sister must remain at court and marry for political gain, not love. To achieve her independence, Mutnodjmet must defy her sister, the most powerful woman in Egypt — while also remaining loyal to the needs of her family.

Love, betrayal, political unrest, plague, and religious conflict — Nefertiti brings ancient Egypt to life in vivid detail. Fast-paced and historically accurate, it is the dramatic story of two unforgettable women living through a remarkable period in history.
Visit Michelle Moran's website.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

"The Folded World "

New from Other Press: Amity Gaige's The Folded World.

About the book, from the publisher:

Acclaimed for her excquisite prose and crystalline insights, Amity Gaige returns with The Folded World, the story of an idealistic young social worker drawn into the lives of his mentally ill clients. Charlie Shade was born into a quiet, prosperous life, but a sense of injustice dogs him. He feels destined to leave his life of "bread and laundry," to work instead with people in crisis. On his way, he meets his kindred spirit in Alice, a soulful young woman, living helplessly by laws of childhood superstition. Charlie’s empathy with his clients — troubled souls like Hal, the high-school wrestling champion who undergoes a psychotic break, and Opal, the isolated young woman who claims "various philosophies have confused my life" — is both admirable and nearly fatal. An adoring husband and new father, Charlie risks his own cherished, private domestic world to help Hal, Opal, and others move beyond their haunted inner worlds into the larger world of love and connection.

A collision of extraordinary characters, The Folded World addresses the universal dilemma of love, wherein giving to another can seem like "the death of the world of oneself." With an unerring eye for both the joys and devastations of life, Amity Gaige once again reminds us of the pleasures and depths to be found in her fiction.

Friday, June 8, 2007

"The Crime Writer"

Coming this summer from Viking Books: Gregg Hurwitz's The Crime Writer.

About the book, from the author's website:

Drew Danner, a crime novelist with a house off L.A.’s storied Mulholland Drive, awakens in a hospital bed with a scar on his head and no memory of being found convulsing over his ex- fiancée’s body the previous night. He was discovered holding a knife, her blood beneath his nails. He himself doesn’t know whether he’s guilty or innocent. To reconstruct the story, the writer must now become the protagonist, searching the corridors of his life and the city he loves.

Soon Drew closes in on clues he may or may not have left for himself, and as another young woman is similarly murdered he has to ask difficult questions not of others but of himself. Beautifully crafted and heartbreakingly told, The Crime Writer confronts our inherent fear of what we might truly be capable of — good or evil. Like nothing he’s written before, The Crime Writer takes Hurwitz in an exciting new direction and is sure to reach a whole new audience.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

"America Against the World"

New last month in paperback from Henry Holt and Owl Books: America Against the World: How We Are Different and Why We Are Disliked by Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes.

About the book, from the publisher:

The rise of anti-Americanism is the most pressing challenge facing us. In America Against the World, Pew Research Center president Andrew Kohut and Bruce Stokes consider the surprising findings of Pew’s unprecedented survey of world opinion to understand why the world has turned against America: where once we were considered the champion of democracy, we are now seen as a militant hyperpower.

The answer: Americans’ go-it-alone attitudes have pushed the world away. From our business endeavors abroad to the Bush administration’s preemptive war policy, exceptional individualism — in particular, our belief in personal responsibility and our unclouded optimism — have encouraged the world to view the United States as a bully and a threat. Former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright argues in her foreword that we cannot stop the spread of anti-Americanism without truly understanding who we are. America Against the World provides the insights to take that step.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

"Five Skies"

New from Viking: Ron Carlson's Five Skies.

About the book, from the publisher:

Award-winning short story writer Ron Carlson delivers a stirring novel about three men confronting their pasts and their purpose

Beloved story writer Ron Carlson’s first novel in thirty years, Five Skies is the story of three men gathered high in the Rocky Mountains for a construction project that is to last the summer. Having participated in a spectacular betrayal in Los Angeles, the giant, silent Arthur Key drifts into work as a carpenter in southern Idaho. Here he is hired, along with the shiftless and charming Ronnie Panelli, to build a stunt ramp beside a cavernous void. The two will be led by Darwin Gallegos, the foreman of the local ranch who is filled with a primeval rage at God, at man, at life. As they endeavor upon this simple, grand project, the three reveal themselves in cautiously resonant, profound ways. And in a voice of striking intimacy and grace, Carlson’s novel reveals itself as a story of biblical, almost spiritual force. A bellwether return from one of our greatest craftsmen, Five Skies is sure to be one of the most praised and cherished novels of the year.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007


New from Henry Holt and Metropolitan Books: Inglorious by Joanna Kavenna.

About the book, from the author's website:

Rosa Lane is 35, at Dante’s centre point of life, when the individual is meant to garner experience and become wise. So far she has managed well enough without wisdom; she has been obedient to prevailing mores, she has worked hard at her decent job in London and has never troubled the stream. Yet she is suddenly disoriented by events, unable to understand the death of her mother, finding the former buttresses of her life — her long-term relationship, her steady job — no longer support her. When she leaves her job, and her relationship ends, she is thrust out into a great loneliness; she becomes acutely aware of — tormented by — the details of the city, the lives of those around her, and the deluge of competing cries.

Having stripped herself of her former context, and become inexplicable to her friends and family, she embarks on a mock-epic quest for a sense of purpose, for an answer to the hoary old question ‘Why Live?’ Her comical grail quest is fraught with minor trials — encounters with former friends, unsympathetic landladies, prospective employers, theory-mongers, and denizens of the ‘real world’. Rosa also falls into a state of constant motion, nervously treading around London. Yet her constant circumnavigations of the city fail to enlighten her, and she escapes from the city to join friends in Cumbria. This escape finally precipitates the climax of the book, the greatest trial, and the beginnings of her return to normality, whatever that was.

Monday, June 4, 2007

"The Body and the State"

New in paperback this month: Cary Federman's The Body and the State: Habeas Corpus and American Jurisprudence.

About the book, from the publisher:

Traces the history of the writ of habeas corpus and its influence on federal-state relations.

The writ of habeas corpus is the principal means by which state prisoners, many on death row, attack the constitutionality of their conviction in federal courts. In The Body and the State, Cary Federman contends that habeas corpus is more than just a get-out-of-jail-free card — it gives death row inmates a constitutional means of overturning a jury’s mistaken determination of guilt. Tracing the history of the writ since 1789, Federman examines its influence on federal-state relations and argues that habeas corpus petitions turn legal language upside down, threatening the states’ sovereign judgment to convict and execute criminals as well as upsetting the discourse, created by the Supreme Court, that the federal-state relationship ought not be disturbed by convicted criminals making habeas corpus appeals. He pays particular attention to the changes in the discourse over federalism and capital punishment that have restricted the writ’s application over time.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

"No Humans Involved"

New in Kelley Armstrong's "Women of the Otherworld" series, No Humans Involved.

About the book, from the author's website:

Jaime, who knows a thing or two about showbiz, is on a television shoot in Los Angeles when weird things start to happen. As a woman whose special talent is raising the dead, her threshold for weirdness is pretty high: she’s used to not only seeing dead people but hearing them speak to her in very emphatic terms. But for the first time in her life – as invisible hands brush her skin, unintelligible fragments of words are whispered into her ears, and beings move just at the corner of her eye – she knows what humans mean when they talk about being haunted.

She is determined to get to the bottom of these manifestations, but as she sets out to solve the mystery she has no idea how scary her investigation will get. As she digs into the dark underside of Los Angeles, she’ll need as much Otherworld help as she can get in order to survive, calling on her personal angel, Eve, and Hope, the well-meaning chaos demon. Jeremy, the alpha werewolf, is also by her side offering protection. And, Jaime hopes, maybe a little more than that.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

"City of Fire"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Robert Ellis's City of Fire.

About the novel, from the publisher:

When a vibrant young woman is found in bed by her hotshot businessman husband, carved from belly to throat with a very sharp knife, the elite Robbery-Homicide division of the LAPD responds in full force. Best-case scenario for lead Detective Lena Gamble: Nikki Brant’s husband killed her, case closed, and on to the next crime scene before the ravenous Hollywood media can get their lurid tabloid machinery up and running.

Unfortunately for Lena, though, she knows that best-case scenarios only happen in the movies. The murder is the first in a series of brutal crimes against beautiful women thought to be perpetrated by the same man, a killer dubbed Romeo in the press. It’s the case of a lifetime, and promises to either elevate Lena to the upper echelons of a publicity-hungry department in need of heroes, or bring about a very public and painful fall from grace. Lena has been in the public eye before, on the night her rock-star brother was gunned down on a dark street in Hollywood -- an unsolved murder so grisly she’s never recovered. She knows the score when the press and the LAPD collide.

As the investigation plays out and a massive forest fire blankets the city with acrid smoke, a cloud of conspiracy descends on Lena’s investigation, and she knows she’ll have to grind this one out... because Nikki Brant’s death just breathed new life into more than one closed case ... because the web of conspiracy is spun more intricately than she can possibly imagine ... and because Lena knows there’s only one rock solid rule to murder in L.A.: The bigger the spectacle, the deeper the horror.
Visit Robert Ellis's website.

Friday, June 1, 2007

"Guernica and Total War"

Published in April by Harvard University Press: Ian Patterson's Guernica and Total War.

About the book, from the publisher:

One of the most horrific innovations of the twentieth century was the deliberate strategy of total warfare--the obliteration of entire civilian populations. The first and in many ways the most striking use of this extreme measure came nearly 70 years ago when the ancient Basque hilltop town of Guernica was destroyed by the bombs of the German Condor.

Ian Patterson begins with a graphic account of what happened in Guernica on April 26, 1937, and its place in the course of the Spanish Civil War. This event focused the spotlight of media attention on the town of Guernica, and established Picasso's painting as the most famous modern image of the horrors of war. Yet Picasso's Guernica was only one of a huge number of cultural artifacts--paintings, films, novels, poems, plays -- to explore the idea of indiscriminate death from the air. From the Blitz to Hiroshima to the destruction of the World Trade Center to daily carnage in Darfur and Iraq, war has been increasingly directed against civilians, who constitute an ever larger proportion of its casualties. Patterson explores how modern men and women respond to the threat of new warfare with new capacities for imagining aggression and death. An unflinching history of the locationless terror that so many people feel today, Guernica and Total War will engage anyone interested in the survival of cultures amid the disasters of war.