Friday, November 30, 2007

"The Graving Dock"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: The Graving Dock by Gabriel Cohen.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the chill of winter, a homemade coffin drifts ashore in New York Harbor, containing the body of a boy with the letters “G.I.” written on his forehead. As a detective with Brooklyn South Homicide, Jack Leightner finds that corpses are a part of every working day. But today his attention is riveted on a considerably smaller box, containing an engagement ring for his girlfriend Michelle.…

In his second mystery featuring Detective Jack Leightner, Edgar Award--nominated author Gabriel Cohen vividly captures New York’s most fascinating borough.

The relatively gentle treatment of the victim in Jack’s new case leads him to believe that the boy may have been subject to a strange type of mercy killing. But when a new body appears, it’s clear that no mercy was involved.

Meanwhile, Jack can’t figure out his new partner, Tommy Balfa. The man seems fixated on some mysterious trouble of his own, leaving Jack to find out why the unknown boy was sent adrift. Eventually, Jack is forced to take on a second, unofficial investigation into his own partner’s shady activities. And both cases keep interfering with his attempts to propose to his girlfriend. As all three plots thicken, Jack’s pursuit of the killer takes him on a whirlwind tour of hidden parts of New York Harbor, from the secret world of Governors Island to the dilapidated shipyards of the old Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Red Hook, Cohen’s debut, was called “outstanding” (The New York Times), “accomplished” (Publishers Weekly), and “compelling” (Booklist). The Graving Dock, the eagerly awaited sequel, is a triumph, even richer in atmosphere, action, and the mysteries of the human heart.
Visit Gabriel Cohen's website.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"A Pale Horse"

Coming soon from William Morrow: A Pale Horse by Charles Todd.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the ruins of Yorkshire's Fountains Abbey lies the body of a man wrapped in a cloak, the face covered by a gas mask. Next to him is a book on alchemy, which belongs to the schoolmaster, a conscientious objector in the Great War. Who is this man, and is the investigation into his death being manipulated by a thirst for revenge?

Meanwhile, the British War Office is searching for a missing man of their own, someone whose war work was so secret that even Rutledge isn't told his real name or what he did.

The search takes Rutledge to Berkshire, where cottages once built to house lepers stand in the shadow of a great white horse cut into the chalk hillside. The current inhabitants of the cottages are outcasts, too, hiding from their own pasts. Who among them is telling the truth about their neighbors and who is twisting it?

Here is a puzzle requiring all of Rutledge's daring and skill, for there are layers of lies and deception, while a ruthless killer is determined to hold on to freedom at any cost. And the pale horse looming overhead serves as a reminder that death is never finished with anyone, least of all the men who fought in the trenches of France.

Visit Charles Todd's website.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"When I Crossed No-Bob"

New from Houghton Mifflin: When I Crossed No-Bob by Margaret McMullan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Life as an O’Donnell is all twelve-year-old Addy knows, and life as an O’Donnell means trouble. Tucked away in a gray patch of woods called No-Bob, the O’Donnell clan has nothing but a bad reputation. So when Addy’s mama abandons her on the afternoon of Mr. Frank Russell’s wedding celebration, nobody is very surprised. A reluctant Mr. Frank and his new wife take Addy in, and Addy does everything she can to prove that at least one O’Donnell has promise. But one day, Addy witnesses a terrible event that brings her old world crashing into the new. As she finds herself being pulled back into No-Bob and the grips of her O’Donnell kin, Addy is faced with the biggest decision of her life. Can she somehow find the courage to do what’s right, even if it means betraying one of her own?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Fresh Kills"

New from Walker & Company: Fresh Kills by Reggie Nadelson.

About the book, from the publisher:

With his wife Maxine out of town, Artie Cohen is alone in Manhattan when his nephew Billy Farone is released from the young offenders’ institution where he has been since he stabbed Heshey Shank to death. Artie is the one Billy wants to come home to — he’s family and he’s the only person Billy cares about; Artie wants desperately to believe that Billy is all right.

As a plane crashes on Coney Island, bombs go off in London, and New York is shaken out of the sense that the bad times have passed, Artie begins to wonder. over four days in Manhattan and on Staten Island there are signs that Shank’s family wants Billy locked up for good, and that Billy’s mother doesn’t want him coming home either.

The bodies begin to appear and Artie, up against a brick wall of his own hope and despair, doesn’t know what or whom to believe. Reggie Nadelson has created in Artie Cohen one of mystery fiction’s most interesting and complex characters: tough, unusually sensitive, deeply flawed and human.

Visit Reggie Nadelson's website.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"Garden of Darkness"

New from Penguin Onyx: Garden of Darkness by Anne Frasier.

About the novel, from the author's website:

Rachel Burton tried to leave, but the killing brought her back. The skinned body was found in the woods, just as Rachel — the town medical examiner — was driving out of Tuonela for good, or so she thought. Now her baby will be born here, and the betrayal of Evan Stroud — the man she’s always loved, the man who can never see the light of day — will continue to haunt her waking and sleeping hours…

Others are coming to Tuonela, drawn to the legend of the Pale Immortal, the so-called vampire whose exhumed body is now on display. And others will die. As Evan succumbs to madness, those around him will suspect the worst of him. But everything he is rumored to be will pale in comparison to the one who has been awakened…
Visit Anne Frasier's website and read the prologue to Garden of Darkness.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

"Not Quite Dead"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Not Quite Dead by John MacLachlan Gray.

About the book, from the publisher:

On a rust-bucket cargo ship bound from Liverpool to the United States in 1848, an Irish stowaway named Devlin steals a suspicious package after witnessing it changing hands between two sea captains. All he finds is a seemingly worthless pile of papers marked “David Copperfield, Final Four Numbers, by Charles Dickens.” Devlin is determined to see if he can somehow turn events to his advantage by paying a call on Dickens’s American publisher.

A year later, a newly admitted patient to a Baltimore hospital, a disreputable writer who goes by the name of Edgar Allan Poe, is clearly raving mad, which makes it easy to dismiss his claims to have information about the murder of an innocent woman.

Meanwhile, the eminent English novelist Charles Dickens has embarked on a tour of America, where his views are not received as he would have wished. Dickens’s growing discomfort reaches new heights of intensity when he finds himself sharing disreputable lodgings -- and reluctantly collaborating with -- none other than Edgar Allan Poe, who has gone into hiding after faking his own death in a desperate attempt to escape the Irish mob.

Like White Stone Day, which The Washington Post hailed as “a Dickens of a thriller,” this is a brilliantly imaginative tale in which crime and literature intersect in surprising ways.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"Saint City Sinners"

New from Orbit Books: Lilith Saintcrow's Saint City Sinners.

About the book, from the author's website:

When an old friend calls in a favor, even the Devil’s latest demands take a backseat. Dante Valentine is coming home to Saint City, and she’s in for a surprise. Because one of her few remaining human friends is dead – and Danny’s framed for it.

The killers think they have an easy target. It’s an expensive mistake – because now Dante’s not just mad, she’s out for revenge too…

Saint City Sinners is the fourth title in the Dante Valentine series.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

"Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream"

New from Houghton Mifflin: Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream: A Day in the Life of Your Body by Jennifer Ackerman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The acclaimed science writer Jennifer Ackerman lends her keen eye and lively voice to this marvelous exploration of the human body. Taking us through a typical day, from the arousal of the senses in the morning to the reverie of sleep and dreams, Ackerman reveals the human form as we’ve never seen it: busy, cunning, and miraculous. Advances in genetics and medical imaging have allowed us to peer more deeply inside ourselves than ever before, and one of the most amazing recent discoveries is that we are intensely rhythmic creatures. The human body is like a clock — actually an entire shop of clocks — measuring out the seconds, minutes, days, and seasons of life. Weaving pieces of her own life with that of Everyman, Ackerman shows the importance of synchronizing our actions with our biological rhythms — and how defying them can cause us real harm. We learn the best time of day to drink a cocktail, take a nap, run a race, give a presentation, and take medication, along with a host of other curious facts, such as why you succumb to a cold and your spouse doesn’t, even though you’ve both been exposed to the same sick child. Did you know that you can tell time in your sleep? Or that up to half of the calories you consume can be burned off simply by fidgeting? That women have more nightmares than men? That tuna, sardines, and walnuts may ease depression? At once entertaining and deeply practical, this fascinating book will make you think of your body in an entirely new way.

"My Family and Other Saints"

New from the University of Chicago Press: My Family and Other Saints by Kirin Narayan.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1969, young Kirin Narayan’s older brother, Rahoul, announced that he was quitting school and leaving home to seek enlightenment with a guru. From boyhood, his restless creativity had continually surprised his family, but his departure shook up everyone — especially Kirin, who adored her high-spirited, charismatic brother.

A touching, funny, and always affectionate memoir, My Family and Other Saints traces the reverberations of Rahoul's spiritual journey through the entire family. As their beachside Bombay home becomes a crossroads for Westerners seeking Eastern enlightenment, Kirin’s sari-wearing American mother wholeheartedly embraces ashrams and gurus, adopting her son’s spiritual quest as her own. Her Indian father, however, coins the term “urug” — guru spelled backward — to mock these seekers, while young Kirin, surrounded by radiant holy men, parents drifting apart, and a motley of young, often eccentric Westerners, is left to find her own answers. Deftly re-creating the turbulent emotional world of her bicultural adolescence, but overlaying it with the hard-won understanding of adulthood, Narayan presents a large, rambunctious cast of quirky characters, from her grandmother Ba, who enjoys visits from Hindu deities, to such urugs as Bhagwan Dass and the Cupboard Swami. Throughout, she brings to life not just a family but also a time when just about everyone, it seemed, was consumed by some sort of spiritual quest.

Interweaving family stories and mythology, My Family and Other Saints is a poignant reminder that the stories we tell are at the heart of the bonds that tie a family together, no matter how far afield our journeys may take us.
Read an excerpt from My Family and Other Saints.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Preaching to the Corpse"

Coming soon from Berkley Prime Crime: Preaching to the Corpse by Roberta Isleib.

About the book, from the publisher:

The holidays have arrived in postcard-perfect Guilford, CT, but someone's taking the joy out of the season...

Psychologist/advice columnist Dr. Rebecca Butterman gets a call in the middle of night from the minister at her church. He's in custody after going to a fellow parishioner's home and finding her dead. The murdered matron was the leader of a search committee charged with finding a new assistant pastor after the previous assistant left in a rush. The minister begs Rebecca to intervene. She learns that the committee was divided — has someone tried to eliminate the competition? Rebecca puts her analytical skills to work to do her own search — for a killer — all while resisting the urge to break the seventh commandment with a very married detective, and praying she's not the next victim.
Read an excerpt, and visit Roberta Isleib's blog.


New from Penguin (UK) and Pegasus Books (US): Absolution by Caro Ramsay.

About the book, from the author's website:


It looked like a simple job. That was why they gave it to him. Guarding a woman - nameless and almost faceless after a savage acid attack - at a Glasgow hospital, PC Alan McAlpine has no idea that this simple job will haunt his career and change his life forever.


Two decades later, Alan steps into Partickhill police station and back in time. Now a celebrated Detective Chief Inspector, McAlpine has been drafted in to lead the hunt for a man the press are calling 'the Crucifixion Killer'. Two women are already dead, their mutilated bodies laid with arms outstretched.

With his distinguished reputation, McAlpine's team are confident their new DCI will lead them to the killer. But the obsession that was born in a hospital room twenty-two years earlier has never quite left Alan. And now, it seems, it's come back for a reason …

Absolution is a searing debut crime novel that sets your pulse racing from the opening page. Chilling, atmospheric and emotionally intelligent, it marks Caro Ramsay out as a bright new star in crime fiction.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


New from Arsenal Pulp Press: Soucouyant By David Chariandy.

About the book, from the publisher:

A soucouyant is an evil spirit in Caribbean folklore, and a symbol here of the distant and dimly remembered legacies that continue to haunt the Americas. This extraordinary first novel set in Ontario, in a house near the Scarborough Bluffs, focuses on a Canadian-born son who despairingly abandons his Caribbean-born mother suffering from dementia.

The son returns after two years to confront his mother but also a young woman who now mysteriously occupies the house. In his desire to atone for his past and live anew, he is compelled to imagine his mother's life before it all slips into darkness ― her arrival in Canada during the early sixties, her childhood in Trinidad during World War II, and her lurking secret that each have tried to forget.

Luminously poetic, Soucouyant marks the arrival of a major new literary talent in Canada.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Shooting War"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Shooting War by Anthony Lappé and Dan Goldman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The year is 2011 and Jimmy Burns, a young anti-corporate blogger, has just seen a Starbucks (and his apartment above it) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn blown to bits by yet another terrorist attack on New York City. He's recorded the gruesome scene on his videoblog camera — footage Burns beams live to a freaked-out world — which makes him an overnight media star.

Exploited by his own network (Global News Network: "Your home for 24-hour terror coverage"), enraged by the terrorists, and determined to tell the American people the truth, Burns takes off for Iraq to get the real story of a war that's been raging for more than eight years. But Burns' greatest dream (to be a war correspondent) becomes his biggest nightmare as he nearly loses his mind in the paranoia, chaos and destruction of the spiraling civil war.

"All the Pretty Girls"

New from Mira Books: All the Pretty Girls by J. T. Ellison.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a local girl falls prey to a sadistic serial killer, Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson and her lover, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, find themselves in a joint investigation pursuing a vicious murderer. The Southern Strangler is slaughtering his way through the Southeast, leaving a gruesome memento at each crime scene — the prior victim's severed hand.

Ambitious TV reporter Whitney Connolly is certain the Southern Strangler is her ticket out of Nashville; she's got a scoop that could break the case. She has no idea how close to this story she really is — or what it will cost her.As the killer spirals out of control, everyone involved must face a horrible truth — the purest evil is born of private lies.
Visit J. T. Ellison's website.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

"The Abduction"

New from Vanguard Press: The Abduction by Mark Gimenez.

About the book, from the author's website:

Ben Brice lives alone in the New Mexico wilderness where he battles memories of Vietnam with oceans of Jim Beam. Miles away in Texas, his estranged son, John, an Internet geek-turned-billionaire, half watches his daughter Gracie's soccer game while conducting business on his cell phone. When her mother Elizabeth arrives, the coach reports that her uncle has already collected Gracie. But Gracie has no uncle -- she was kidnapped.

From international best-selling author Mark Gimenez comes a terrifying child-in-jeopardy thriller in which dark family secrets make the finding of ten-year-old Gracie Brice more uncertain with every passing minute. And so begins a furious race against time to save Gracie from unknown kidnappers. With the FBI camped out in the Brice mansion, the family offers a reward of $25 million. Somehow, Ben and John Brice must find Gracie before it is too late. As the story unfolds with riveting twists and turns, the reader discovers that behind the kidnapping is an extraordinary government plot that could change the course of American history. And time is running out...

"The Spirit of Democracy"

Coming in December from Henry Holt and Times Books: The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World by Larry Diamond.

About the book, from the publisher:

One of America’s preeminent experts on democracy charts the future prospects for freedom around the world in the aftermath of Iraq and deepening authoritarianism

Over three decades, the world was transformed. In 1974, nearly three-quarters of all countries were dictatorships; today, more than half are democracies. Yet recent efforts to promote democracy have stumbled, and many democratic governments are faltering.

In this bold and sweeping vision for advancing freedom around the world, social scientist Larry Diamond examines how and why democracy progresses. He demonstrates that the desire for democracy runs deep, even in very poor countries, and that seemingly entrenched regimes like Iran and China could become democracies within a generation. He also dissects the causes of the “democratic recession” in critical states, including the crime-infested oligarchy in Russia and the strong-armed populism of Venezuela.

Diamond cautions that arrogance and inconsistency have undermined America’s aspirations to promote democracy. To spur a renewed democratic boom, he urges vigorous support of good governance — the rule of law, security, protection of individual rights, and shared economic prosperity — and free civic organizations. Only then will the spirit of democracy be secured.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"Garcia's Heart"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Garcia's Heart by Liam Durcan.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

In this searing debut novel, neurologist Patrick Lazerenko travels to The Hague to witness the war crimes trial of his mentor, Hernan García, a Honduran doctor accused of involvement in torture. Discovered in Montreal years later, García has been extradited to the famous criminal court, supported only by his family and an advocacy group whose motives seem questionable at best.

At the trial, Patrick encounters the ambitious journalist who has built her career on the case. She is convinced that Patrick knows more than he is admitting and won’t stop until she finds out what it is. The defense attorney has his own ideas for Patrick as well, hoping to persuade him to use his latest neurological research to vindicate García. The only one who has asked nothing of Patrick is García himself. After entering a plea of not guilty, García has refused to say a word to anyone.

As García’s supposed crimes are revealed, Patrick wrestles with what truth there may be behind the accusations, haunted as he is by his own youthful memories of the man and his family. He must also contend with seeing García’s daughter, Celia, his former lover. Their relationship ended years before, but he is consumed by his memories of his love for her.

But it isn’t until García’s shocking intentions come to light that Patrick begins to realize that however sophisticated his knowledge of the brain may be, it will take more for him to understand the human heart.

Friday, November 16, 2007

"Simple Prosperity"

Coming soon from St. Martin's Griffin: Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle by David Wann.

About the book
, from the publisher:

In his bestseller Affluenza, David Wann and his co-authors diagnosed the debilitating disease of over-consumption. In Simple Prosperity he shows readers how we can overcome this disease by investing in a variety of real wealth sources. To recapture a more abundant and sustainable lifestyle, try:

- Creating a richer life story through personal growth incentives
- Forming higher-yield friendships and stronger bonds through social capital
- Taking preventive healthcare measures to build up wellness reserves
- Balancing the biological budget through “greener” currency
- Caring for people, not just cars, to improve your neighborhood wealth index
- Resolving that pesky carbon conundrum through energy savings
- Celebrating instead of desecrating! Cultural prosperity futures value the earth as a sacred place

In our age of hedge fund hysteria, Simple Prosperity is a new way of investing that will save our sanity and the planet.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Whiskey Tango Foxtrot"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: A Photographer's Chronicle of the Iraq War by Ashley Gilbertson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Arriving in Iraq on the eve of the U.S. invasion, unaffiliated with any newspaper and hoping to pick up assignments along the way, Ashley Gilbertson was one of the first photojournalists to cover the disintegration of America’s military triumph as looting and score settling convulsed Iraqi cities. Just twenty-five years old at the time, Gilbertson soon landed a contract with the New York Times, and his extraordinary images of life in occupied Iraq and of American troops in action began appearing in the paper regularly. Throughout his work, Gilbertson took great risks to document the risks taken by others, whether dodging sniper fire with American infantry, photographing an Iraqi bomb squad as they diffused IEDs, or following marines into the cauldron of urban combat.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot gathers the best of Gilbertson’s photographs, chronicling America’s early battles in Iraq, the initial occupation of Baghdad, the insurgency that erupted shortly afterward, the dramatic battle to overtake Falluja, and ultimately, the country’s first national elections. No Western photojournalist has done as much sustained work in occupied Iraq as Gilbertson, and this wide-ranging treatment of the war from the viewpoint of a photographer is the first of its kind. Accompanying each section of the book is a personal account of Gilbertson’s experiences covering the conflict. Throughout, he conveys the exhilaration and terror of photographing war, as well as the challenges of photojournalism in our age of embedded reporting. But ultimately, and just as importantly, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot tells the story of Gilbertson’s own journey from hard-drinking bravado to the grave realism of a scarred survivor. Here he struggles with guilt over the death of a marine escort, tells candidly of his own experience with post-traumatic stress, and grapples with the reality that Iraq — despite the sacrifice in Iraqi and American lives — has descended into a civil war with no end in sight.

A searing account of the American experience in Iraq, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is sure to become one of the classic war photography books of our time.
Watch the video interview in which Ashley Gilbertson talks about his photographic work during the invasion of Iraq, the battle for Falluja, the Marines he worked with, post-traumatic stress disorder, and the future of photojournalism.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


New from Kearney Street Books: Slipknot by Gary McKinney.

About the book, from the publisher:

Slipknot is mystery with an ecological twist, featuring Gavin Pruitt, Willapa County Sheriff and Deadhead. Pruitt’s county is in Southwest Washington State, where Black Bear Ridge, the last 1,000 acres of old-growth forest in the region, is up for sale. But then world-famous ecologist John Carpenter is murdered, which sets the process on its ear and the mystery in motion. Carpenter’s Environmental Impact Statement is missing, and nobody — neither environmentalists or logging companies — can get their hands on the old-growth until it is found. With the country watching, Pruitt’s small town ways come under national scrutiny: How could a Deadhead get elected county sheriff in the first place? And how could he possibly solve this crime? The suspects mount: a radical environmental group ANGER (A Noble and Green Earth will Remain); multi-national logging companies; an Asian timber cartel; and locals who see the old-growth as their economic salvation.

Yet besides a ripping good mystery, Slipknot reveals the inner and outer character of Sheriff Gavin Pruitt. A Deadhead from the sixties whose first Grateful Dead concert was at the Eagles Ballroom during the “Quick and the Dead” tour, Pruitt may now represent the establishment, but he has not forgotten his roots. As his friend Marion Jones points out: “You can cut the hair off a Deadhead, but you can’t cut the Deadhead out of Gavin.” This, then, is the crux of Pruitt’s character development: how do people who embraced the ethos of the sixties not become their parents? How do they continue striving to create change within the establishment even as they become the establishment? As one reporter says to Pruitt: “It’s hard to imagine a Deadhead peacenik out busting heads.” To which Pruitt responds: “We don’t bust heads in Willapa County. We establish positive neighborhood relationships and foster proactive community networking.”

Pruitt loves the Dead, but he especially loves the lyrics to their songs, using them to help him makes sense out of what can often seem a chaotic and brutal world. After a stressful run-in with a fanatical right-winger, for example, Pruitt muses that “He was behaving in ways he didn’t recognize — some peckerwood smokey on the take. As the Dead put it, he was feeling like a stranger — to love, to himself as a man, as an officer of the law.”

Pruitt also deals with the loves in his life: his daughter, his girlfriend, and the mysterious and alluring Olwen Friday, a recluse living in a magical home on the edge of Black Bear Ridge. Plot twists begin revealing a parallel to how people treat one another and how they treat the environment. Indeed, the selfish abuse of a daughter mirrors the equally selfish abuse of the land and the earth. Pruitt does solve the crime, but can he solve the troubles of the world? Maybe not, but he does save Black Bear Ridge from the chainsaw, at least temporarily, and he will continue to do the best he can to provide the world with a strong, soothing, and sane voice.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"Almost Graceland"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Almost Graceland by Steve Carlson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ray Johnston thought his life was disgustingly normal. At forty-two, he had lived in Memphis all his life. His ex-wife had saved him from paying alimony by marrying her divorce lawyer, he enjoyed his work at the lumberyard, and he had a girlfriend who, everyone had to admit, was a peach. He did suffer one recurring nuisance; from as far back as he could remember, strangers would come up to him asking, “Do you know you look a lot like Elvis?” One day a man at a bar notices the similarity. It turns out the man actually works for Elvis Presley, and soon Ray gets two unfriendly phone calls, supposedly from the King himself. Later comes a third, one that makes Ray dizzy. He has been invited to dinner at Graceland! In an hour! Why? Ray can’t believe it -- even when the limousine arrives to take him to the famed residence.

What follows is a meeting of two men who have almost nothing in common except their looks, their age, and the city they were born and grew up in. One is a working man who is trying to deal with what life has given him. The other is the most well-known and worshipped singer who has ever lived.

Steve Carlson delivers an enchanting debut novel that explores the power of loss and redemption in a moving portrait of Elvis at the end of his life.

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Broken Heartland"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Broken Heartland by J.M. Hayes.

About the book, from the author's website:

Sleepy Benteen County, Kansas turns frantic on election day.

Sheriff English, better known as Englishman, faces his toughest re-election challenge yet. The radical religious right is out to unseat him, their candidate an Iraq war hero. And Englishman’s only available deputy isn’t winning him votes, not after ramming a school bus carrying a local teen choir during a pre-dawn chase.The occupants of the vehicle being pursed seem involved with involuntary organ donors and secret surgeries. Englishman’s brother, Mad Dog, a born-again Cheyenne, rushes back from a quest to the Black Hills. Instead of a vision, he had a premonition that the sheriff is in serious danger. Finding his farm vandalized and a cruel political billboard in his front yard, Mad Dog complicates the sheriff’s life by investigating the hate crime himself. The sheriff’s daughters, attending separate colleges, wake with similar premonitions, then cut classes and hurry home to keep their father safe. The sheriff sees them as the ones in need of protection as his day grows progressively wilder. A student smuggles a gun into the school and begins shooting and taking hostages. Then there’s the private army that’s seized a nearby farm and holds citizens against their will. And, when he finds some spare time, Englishman needs to clear up one little thing about his deputy’s accident. Benteen County doesn’t have a teen choir.

It’s enough to make a sheriff wonder why he wants to serve another term.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"The Night Tourist"

New from Hyperion Books for Children: The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh.

About the book, from the author's website:

Jack Perdu, a ninth grade classics prodigy, lives with his father on the Yale University campus. Smart and introverted, Jack spends most of his time alone, his nose buried in a book. But one winter evening, a near-fatal accident changes Jack’s life forever.

His father sends him to see a mysterious doctor in New York City — a place Jack hasn’t been since his mother died there eight years ago. In Grand Central Terminal, he meets Euri, a girl who offers to show him the train station’s hidden places, the ones only true urban explorers know about. Eight floors below the station, however, Jack discovers more than just hidden tracks and mysterious staircases…
Click for a sample of the Audio Book.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Recovery Man"

New from Roc Books: Recovery Man by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

About the book, from the publisher:

Retrieval Artist Miles Flint has uncovered a long-held secret to his past linked to the Aleyd Corporation-and a kidnapping by the mysterious Recovery Man, in a case that threatens the entire Earth Alliance legal system...
Recovery Man is #6 in the "The Retrieval Artist" series.

Over at My Book, the Movie, Hugo Award-winning writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch has suggested some casting ideas should the SciFi Channel decide to adapt her "The Retrieval Artist" series of novels.

Visit Kristine Kathryn Rusch's website.

"The Devil's Gentleman"

New from Ballantine Books: The Devil's Gentleman: Privilege, Poison, and the Trial That Ushered in the Twentieth Century by Harold Schechter.

About the book, from the publisher:

From renowned true-crime historian Harold Schechter, whom The Boston Book Review hails as “America’s principal chronicler of its greatest psychopathic killers,” comes the riveting exploration of a notorious, sensational New York City murder in the 1890s, the fascinating forensic science of an earlier age, and the explosively dramatic trial that became a tabloid sensation at the turn of the century.

Death was by poison and came in the mail: A package of Bromo Seltzer had been anonymously sent to Harry Cornish, the popular athletic director of Manhattan’s elite Knickerbocker Athletic Club. Cornish barely survived swallowing a small dose; his cousin Mrs. Katherine Adams died in agony after ingesting the toxic brew. Scandal sheets owned by Hearst and Pulitzer eagerly jumped on this story of fatal high-society intrigue, speculating that the devious killer was a chemist, a woman, or “an effeminate man.” Forensic studies suggested cyanide as the cause of death; handwriting on the deadly package and the vestige of a label glued to the bottle pointed to a handsome, athletic society scamp, Roland Molineux.

The wayward son of a revered Civil War general, Molineux had clashed bitterly with Cornish before. He had even furiously denounced Cornish when penning his resignation from the Knickerbocker Club, a letter that later proved a major clue. Bon vivant Molineux had recently wed the sensuous Blanche Chesebrough, an opera singer whose former lover, Henry Barnet, had also recently died ... after taking medicine sent to him through the mail. Molineux’s subsequent indictment for murder led to two explosive trials, a sex-infused scandal that shocked the nation, and a lurid print-media circus that ended in madness and a proud family’s disgrace.

In bold, brilliant strokes, Schechter captures all the colors of the tumultuous legal case, gathering his own evidence and tackling subjects no one dared address at the time – all in hopes of answering the tantalizing question: What powerfully dark motives could drive the wealthy scion of an eminent New York family to foul murder?

Schechter vividly portrays the case’s fascinating cast of characters, including Julian Hawthorne, son of Nathaniel Hawthorne, a prolific yellow journalist who covered the story, and proud General Edward Leslie Molineux, whose son’s ignoble deeds besmirched a dignified national hero’s final years. All the while Schechter brings alive Manhattan’s Gilded Age: a gaslit world of elegant town houses and hidden bordellos, chic restaurants and shabby opium dens, a city peopled by men and women fighting and losing the battle against urges an upright era had ordered suppressed.

Superbly researched and powerfully written, The Devil’s Gentleman is an insightful, gripping work, a true-crime historian’s crowning achievement.

Friday, November 9, 2007

"The Long Embrace"

New from Pantheon Books: The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved by Judith Freeman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Raymond Chandler was one of the most original and enduring crime novelists of the twentieth century. Yet much of his pre-writing life, including his unconventional marriage, has remained shrouded in mystery. In this compelling, wholly original book, Judith Freeman sets out to solve the puzzle of who Chandler was and how he became the writer who would create in Philip Marlowe an icon of American culture.

Freeman uncovers vestiges of the Los Angeles that was terrain and inspiration for Chandler’s imagination, including the nearly two dozen apartments and houses the Chandlers moved into and out of over the course of two decades. She also uncovers the life of Cissy Pascal, the older, twice-divorced woman Chandler married in 1924, who would play an essential role in how he came to understand not only his female characters – and Marlowe’s relation to them – but himself as well.

A revelation of a marriage that was a wellspring of need, illusion, and creativity, The Long Embrace provides us with a more complete picture of Raymond Chandler’s life and art than any we have had before.
Visit Judith Freeman's website.

Read an interview with Freeman.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

"Playing With The Boys"

New from Oxford University Press: Playing With the Boys: Why Separate is Not Equal in Sports by Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano.

About the book, from the publisher:

From small-town life to the national stage, from the boardroom to Capitol Hill, athletic contests help define what we mean in America by "success." And by keeping women from "playing with the boys" on the grounds that they are inherently inferior to men, society relegates them to second-class status in American life.

In this forcefully argued book, Eileen McDonagh and Laura Pappano show in vivid detail how women have been unfairly excluded from participating in sports on an equal footing with men. Using dozens of powerful examples from the world of contemporary American athletics -- girls and women trying to break through in football, ice hockey, wrestling, and baseball to name just a few -- the authors show that sex differences are not sufficient to warrant women's coercive exclusion from competing with men; that some sex-group differences actually confer a sports advantage to women; and that "special rules" for women in sports do not simply reflect the "differences" between the sexes, but actively create and reinforce a view that women as a group are inherently inferior to men -- even when women clearly are not. For instance, women's bodies give them a physiological advantage in endurance sports like the ultra-marathon and distance swimming. So, why do so many Olympic events -- from swimming to skiing to running to bike racing--have shorter races for women than men? Likewise, why are women's tennis matches limited to three sets while men's are best-of-fives? This book shows how sex-segregated sports policies, instead of reflecting sex-group differences, in fact construct them.

An original and provocative argument to level the athletic playing field, Playing with the Boys issues a clarion call for sex-sensible policies in sports as a crucial step toward achieving social, economic, and political equality for men and women in our society.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

"Signed, Mata Hari"

New from Little, Brown and Company: Signed, Mata Hari by Yannick Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the cold October of 1917 Margaretha Zelle, better known as Mata Hari, sits in a prison cell in Paris awaiting trial on charges of espionage. The penalty is death by firing squad. As she waits, burdened by a secret guilt, Mata Hari tells stories, Scheherazade-like, to buy back her life from her interrogators.

From a bleak childhood in the Netherlands, through a loveless marriage to a Dutch naval officer, Margaretha is transported to the forbidden sensual pleasures of Indonesia. In the chill of her prison cell she spins tales of rosewater baths, native lovers, and Javanese jungles, evoking the magical world that sustained her even as her family crumbled. And then, in flight from her husband, Margaretha reinvents herself: she becomes an artist's model, circus rider, and finally the temple dancer Mata Hari, dressed in veils, admired by Diaghilev, performing for the crowned heads of Europe. Through all her transformations, her life's fatal question — was she a traitor, and if so, why? — burns ever brighter.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


New from Pantheon Books: Ghost by Alan Lightman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Alan Lightman’s first novel, Einstein’s Dreams, became an international best seller and was hailed by Salman Rushdie as “at once intellectually provocative and touching and comic and so very beautifully written.” His novel The Diagnosis, called “highly original and imaginative” by the New York Times, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Now comes a stunning and disturbing new novel about a man’s encounter with the unfathomable.

David is a person of modest ambitions who works in a bank, lives in a rooming house, enjoys books and quiet walks by the lake. Three months after unexpectedly being fired from his job, he takes a temporary position at a mortuary. And there, sitting alone in the “slumber room” one afternoon at dusk, he sees something that he cannot comprehend, something that no science can explain, something that will force him to question everything he believes in, including himself. After his metaphysical experience, all his relationships change — with his estranged wife, his girlfriend, his mother -- and he grudgingly finds himself at the center of a bitter public controversy over the existence of the supernatural. As David struggles to understand what has happened to him, we embark on a provocative exploration of the delicate divide between the physical world and the spiritual world, between skepticism and faith, between the natural and the supernatural, and between science and religion.

Combining a dramatic story with compelling characters and provocative ideas, Ghost investigates timeless questions that continue to challenge contemporary society.

Monday, November 5, 2007

"Day of Empire"

New from Doubleday: Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance -- And Why They Fall by Amy Chua.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a little over two centuries, America has grown from a regional power to a superpower, and to what is today called a hyperpower. But can America retain its position as the world’s dominant power, or has it already begun to decline?

Historians have debated the rise and fall of empires for centuries. To date, however, no one has studied the far rarer phenomenon of hyperpowers — those few societies that amassed such extraordinary military and economic might that they essentially dominated the world.

Now, in this sweeping history of globally dominant empires, bestselling author Amy Chua explains how hyperpowers rise and why they fall. In a series of brilliantly focused chapters, Chua examines history’s hyperpowers — Persia, Rome, Tang China, the Mongols, the Dutch, the British, and the United States — and reveals the reasons behind their success, as well as the roots of their ultimate demise.

Chua’s unprecedented study reveals a fascinating historical pattern. For all their differences, she argues, every one of these world-dominant powers was, at least by the standards of its time, extraordinarily pluralistic and tolerant. Each one succeeded by harnessing the skills and energies of individuals from very different backgrounds, and by attracting and exploiting highly talented groups that were excluded in other societies. Thus Rome allowed Africans, Spaniards, and Gauls alike to rise to the highest echelons of power, while the “barbarian” Mongols conquered their vast domains only because they practiced an ethnic and religious tolerance unheard of in their time. In contrast, Nazi Germany and imperial Japan, while wielding great power, failed to attain global dominance as a direct result of their racial and religious intolerance.

But Chua also uncovers a great historical irony: in virtually every instance, multicultural tolerance eventually sowed the seeds of decline, and diversity became a liability, triggering conflict, hatred, and violence.

The United States is the quintessential example of a power that rose to global dominance through tolerance and diversity. The secret to America’s success has always been its unsurpassed ability to attract enterprising immigrants. Today, however, concerns about outsourcing and uncontrolled illegal immigration are producing a backlash against our tradition of cultural openness. Has America finally reached a “tipping point”? Have we gone too far in the direction of diversity and tolerance to maintain cohesion and unity? Will we be overtaken by rising powers like China, the EU or even India?

Chua shows why American power may have already exceeded its limits and why it may be in our interest to retreat from our go-it-alone approach and promote a new multilateralism in both domestic and foreign affairs.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

"Ruby Tuesday"

New from ECW Press: Ruby Tuesday by Mike Harrison.

About the book, from the publisher:

Paul Menzies is an out–of–shape, middle–aged advertising executive, who arrives at work one morning to discover he’s lost his job. Downsized. That evening, he stops by a bank machine to check his finances. Ahead of him, a scruffy young couple is arguing about the state of their own finances.

When the muscular husband, Victor Shriver, loses his temper and smacks his wife hard, Paul steps in and hauls the young thug backwards across the lobby.

Which is the only clear image caught by the bank’s security camera.

In the ensuing brawl, Shriver puts Paul in hospital for nearly a week. Despite the severity of his injuries, the cops have little choice but to lay charges against Paul for assault. Victor Shriver has found himself a sharp little lawyer, and between them they smell money, asking for $50,000.

Instead Paul offers to fight Victor, mano a mano, in a boxing ring. Three rounds. If Shriver wins, Paul will pay him and the assault charges will be dropped. If Paul wins, no money changes hands and the assault charges will still be dropped.

When she realizes there’s nothing she can do to dissuade her husband, Paul’s feisty wife, Valerie Menzies, hires Eddie Dancer to stop the fight.

But it’s too little, too late and when the heat of the media spotlight focuses on the “mismatched fight of the year,” even Eddie realizes he’s beaten. As the world’s press and the TV networks pour into town for the main event, Eddie finds himself reliving some unresolved issues of spousal abuse from his own past.

And once that lid is off, there’s no way Eddie can ever get it back on again.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

"Island of Exiles"

New from Viking/Penguin: Island of Exiles by I.J. Parker.

About the book, from the author's website:

The fourth adventure of Sugawara Akitada begins when two senior officials of the court order him to nearby Sado Island to investigate the death of an imperial prince in exile. Remote Sado Island is noteworthy only for its penal colony and gold mine. When its most illustrious prisoner, Prince Okisada, is murdered and the governor’s son is arrested, the court sends Akitada from neighboring Echigo to investigate.

In a covert mission as a prisoner, Akitada clears the accused and discovers a deadly conspiracy but at the cost of falling into the hands of brutal guards and disappearing into the bowels of the earth. Though there seems no hope, Tora, his loyal friend and assistant, begins his own dangerous search of the island. Only endurance and determination ultimately free Akitada to join with Tora and complete his mission successfully and with surprising results.

Friday, November 2, 2007

"Frankenstein: A Cultural History"

New from W.W. Norton: Susan Tyler Hitchcock's Frankenstein: A Cultural History.

About the book, from the publisher:

A lively history of the Frankenstein myth, tracing its evolution from a Victorian nightmare to its prominence in today’s imaginative landscape.

Frankenstein began as the nightmare of an unwed teenage mother in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1816. At a time when the moral universe was shifting and advances in scientific knowledge promised humans dominion over that which had been God’s alone, Mary Shelley envisioned a story of human presumption and its misbegotten consequences. Two centuries later, that story is still constantly retold and reinterpreted, from Halloween cartoons to ominous allusions in the public debate, capturing and conveying meaning central to our consciousness today and our concerns for tomorrow. From Victorian musical theater to Boris Karloff with neck bolts, to invocations at the President’s Council on Bioethics, the monster and his myth have inspired everyone from cultural critics to comic book addicts. This is a lively and eclectic cultural history, illuminated with dozens of pictures and illustrations, and told with skill and humor. Susan Tyler Hitchcock uses film, literature, history, science, and even punk music to help us understand the meaning of this monster made by man.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"Stone Cold"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Stone Cold by David Baldacci.

About the book, from the author's website:

Oliver Stone and the Camel Club are back in their most dangerous adventure yet, a war on two fronts. Casino king Jerry Bagger from The Collectors is hunting Annabelle Conroy who conned him out of millions. Stone and his colleagues Reuben, Milton, and Caleb marshal all their resources to protect Annabelle.

Yet all their skills may not be enough when a deadly new opponent rips off the veneer of Stone’s own mysterious past: Bagger’s menace pales next to newcomer Harry Finn’s lethality. Passing as a normal family man, Finn has already killed three men, with more targets to come. When Finn sets his bull’s-eye on Stone, his reason will be the greatest shock of all, causing readers to reconsider their views of good and evil. As bodies and institutions topple, the story rockets toward a shattering finale that will leave the survivors of this explosive tale changed forever.