Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"The Thousand"

New from Knopf: The Thousand by Kevin Guilfoile.

About the book, from the publisher:

Kevin Guilfoile’s riveting follow-up to Cast of Shadows (“spellbinding”—Chicago Tribune; “a masterpiece of intelligent plotting”—Salon) centers on an extraordinary young woman’s race to find her father’s killer and to free herself from the cross fire of a centuries-old civil war in which she has unknowingly become ensnared.

In 530 B.C., a mysterious ship appeared off the rainy shores of Croton, in what is now Italy. After three days the skies finally cleared and a man disembarked to address the curious and frightened crowd that had gathered along the wet sands. He called himself Pythagoras. Exactly what he said that day is unknown, but a thousand men and women abandoned their lives and families to follow him. They became a community. A school. A cult dedicated to the search for a mathematical theory of everything. Although Pythagoras would die years later, following a bloody purge, his disciples would influence Western philosophy, science, and mathematics for all time.

Chicago, the present day. Canada Gold, a girl both gifted and burdened by uncanny mental abilities, is putting her skills to questionable use in the casinos and courthouses of Las Vegas when she finds herself drawn back to the city in which her father, the renowned composer Solomon Gold, was killed while composing his magnum opus. Beautiful, brilliant, troubled, Canada has never heard of the Thousand, a clandestine group of powerful individuals safeguarding and exploiting the secret teachings of Pythagoras. But as she struggles to understand her father’s unsolved murder, she finds herself caught in the violence erupting between members of the fractured ancient cult while she is relentlessly pursued by those who want to use her, those who want to kill her, and the one person who wants to save her.

In an irresistibly ambitious novel that fuses historical fact with contemporary suspense, Kevin Guilfoile delivers an erudite, propulsively entertaining thriller that seamlessly traverses the realms of math, science, music, and philosophy. The Thousand is ringing confirmation of Guilfoile’s enormous talent.
The Page 69 Test: Cast of Shadows.

"Blind Man's Alley"

New from Doubleday: Blind Man's Alley by Justin Peacock.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of the Edgar Award–nominated legal thriller A Cure for Night, an ambitious and compulsively readable novel set in the cutthroat world of New York real estate.

A concrete floor three hundred feet up in the Aurora Tower condo development in SoHo has collapsed, hurling three workers to their deaths. The developer, Roth Properties (owned by the famously abrasive Simon Roth), faces a vast tangle of legal problems, including allegations of mob connections. Roth’s longtime lawyers, the elite midtown law firm of Blake and Wolcott, is assigned the task of cleaning up the mess. Much of the work lands on the plate of smart, cynical, and sea­soned associate Duncan Riley; as a result, he falls into the pow­erful orbit of Leah Roth, the beautiful daughter of Simon Roth and the designated inheritor of his real estate empire.

Meanwhile, Riley pursues a seemingly small pro bono case in which he attempts to forestall the eviction of Rafael Nazario and his grandmother from public housing in the wake of a pot bust. One night Rafael is picked up and charged with the mur­der of the private security cop who caught him, a murder that took place in another controversial “mixed income” housing development being built by ... Roth Properties. Duncan Riley is now walking the knife edge of legal ethics and personal morality.

Blind Man’s Alley is a suspenseful and kaleidoscopic journey through a world where the only rule is self- preservation. The New York Times Book Review said of A Cure for Night that “[Peacock] heads toward Scott Turow country ... he’s got a good chance to make partner.” This taut, topical, and socially alert thriller delivers on that promise.
Visit Justin Peacock's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Cure for Night.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Dream Queen"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Dream Queen by Betsy Thornton.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s the 1990s and Chloe Newcombe flies from New York City to Arizona to see her bad-boy brother, Danny, who’s living in the desert town of Dudley. When she arrives in Arizona, things seem a little off. Who is the strange man she sees Danny talking to at the airport? Why is Danny’s high-spirited girlfriend, Kristi, so edgy? Then, when the van starts acting up, they have to stop at a garage in a small town off the freeway to get it fixed. Chloe and Kristi go to a restaurant to wait for Danny. But he never shows up.

The police don’t seem very concerned about Danny’s disappearance. So finally, Chloe arrives in Dudley, where she goes to bed, exhausted and worried about her brother. Things only get worse the next morning, when she wakes up to find Kristi has vanished too.

Chloe’s search for her brother takes her to Tucson, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and then back to a mysterious house in Dudley, where she is forced to confront truths about herself and the past that change her life forever.

This is the thrilling prequel to Betsy Thornton’s highly praised, atmospheric mystery series set in Arizona, featuring Chloe Newcombe, Thornton’s capable and winning heroine.
Learn more about the author and her work at Betsy Thornton's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Song for You.


New from Thomas Dunne Books: Overexposed by Susan Shapiro.

About the book, from the publisher:

Edgy Manhattan shutterbug Rachel Solomon can’t wait to escape her difficult Midwestern Jewish family of doctors—and her crazy, condescending WASP friend and photography mentor, Elizabeth Mann. Not so easy when Elizabeth marries Rachel’s surgeon-brother, moves to the Midwest, and becomes the daughter Rachel’s mother always wanted—one who pops out four babies in a row, who are named after Rachel’s dead Yiddish-speaking relatives.

Although Rachel long ago rejected the suburban female role, she’s shocked to find she’s been replaced. With unsparing candor, sparkling emotional insights, and hilarity, the girl who cut herself out of old photographs now has to fight her way back into the Solomons’ photo albums, homes, and hearts.

From the author of the hilarious fictional debut Speed Shrinking—which became an international phenomenon—and the acclaimed memoir of past passion Five Men Who Broke My Heart comes a new book that blows the lid off of the secrets of female friendship. Based on a true story, Susan Shapiro’s darkly comic novel Overexposed chronicles the brilliantly twisted tale of two strong women who wind up switching lives.
Visit Susan Shapiro's website.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"Pirates of the Levant"

New from Putnam: Pirates of the Levant by Arturo Perez-Reverte.

About the book, from the publisher:

This was a time when Spain was revered, feared, and hated in the easterly seas; when the devil had no color, no name, and no flag; and when the only thing needed to summon hell on earth (or sea) was a Spaniard and his sword.

Accompanied by his faithful foster son, Íñigo, Captain Alatriste accepts a job as a mercenary aboard a Spanish galleon. The ship sets sail from Naples on a journey that will take them to some of the most remote-and wretched-outposts of the empire: Morocco, Algeria, and finally to Malta for a stunning and bloody battle on the high seas that will challenge even the battle-hardened Alatriste's resolve.

Now seventeen, Íñigo is almost ready to leave Alatriste, his foster father and fellow soldier. But will age and experience bring wisdom, or is he likely to repeat many of his mentor's mistakes?

"The Devil"

New from Minotaur Books: The Devil by Ken Bruen.

About the book, from the publisher:

America—the land of opportunity, a place where economic prosperity beckons: but not for PI Jack Taylor, who’s just been refused entry. Disappointed and bitter, he thinks that an encounter with an overly friendly stranger in an airport bar is the least of his problems. Except that this stranger seems to know much more than he should about Jack. Jack thinks no more of their meeting and resumes his old life in Galway.

But when he’s called to investigate a student murder—connected to an elusive Mr. K—he remembers the man from the airport. Is the stranger really who he says he is? With the help of the Jameson, Jack struggles to make sense of it all. After several more murders and too many coincidental encounters, Jack believes he may have met his nemesis. But why has he been chosen? And could he really have taken on the devil himself?

Suspenseful, haunting, and totally unique, The Devil is Bruen at his very best.
Visit Ken Bruen's website.

The Page 69 Test: Reed Farrel Coleman and Ken Bruen's Tower.

The Page 99 Test: Reed Farrel Coleman and Ken Bruen's Tower.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


New from Orbit: Blameless by Gail Carriger.

About the book, from the publisher:

Quitting her husband's house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London's vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires -- and they're armed with pesto.
Visit Gail Carriger's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Soulless by Gail Carriger.

The Page 69 Test: Changeless.

"The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a Neohelix albolabris —a common woodland snail.

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater under standing of her own confined place in the world.

Intrigued by the snail’s molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and mysterious courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, providing a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal.

Told with wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.
Visit Elisabeth Tova Bailey's website.

Friday, August 27, 2010


New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Maggot: Poems by Paul Muldoon.

About the book, from the publisher:

Of Plan B, an interim volume that included several of the poems in Maggot, Robert McCrum recently said in the London Observer that “Paul Muldoon, who has done so much to reimagine the poet’s task, has surpassed himself with his latest collection.” In his eleventh full-length book, Muldoon reminds us that he is a traditional poet who is steadfastly at odds with tradition. If the poetic sequence is the main mode of Maggot, it certainly isn’t your father’s poetic sequence. Taking as a starting point W. B. Yeats’s remark that the only fit topics for a serious mood are “sex and the dead,” Muldoon finds unexpected ways of thinking and feeling about what it means to come to terms with the early twenty-first century. It’s no accident that the centerpiece of Maggot is an outlandish meditation on a failed poem that draws on the vocabulary of entomological forensics. The last series of linked lyrics, meanwhile, takes as its subject the urge to memorialize the scenes of fatal automobile accidents. The extravagant linkage of rot and the erotic is at the heart of not only the title sequence but also many of the round songs that characterize Maggot, and has led Angela Leighton, writing in The Times Literary Supplement, to see these new poems as giving readers “a thrilling, wild, fairground ride, with few let-ups for the squeamish.”

"The Blessings of the Animals"

New from Harper Perennial: The Blessings of the Animals by Katrina Kittle.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Katrina Kittle, critically acclaimed author of The Kindness of Strangers, comes a wry and moving story of forgiveness, flexibility, happiness, and the art of moving on.

Veterinarian Cami Anderson has hit a rough patch. Stymied by her recent divorce, she wonders if there are secret ingredients to a happy, long-lasting marriage or if the entire institution is outdated and obsolete. Couples all around her are approaching important milestones. Her parents are preparing to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary. Her brother and his partner find their marriage dreams legally blocked. Her former sister-in-law—still her best friend—is newly engaged. The youthfully exuberant romance of her teenage daughter is developing complications. And three separate men—including her ex-husband—are becoming entangled in Cami's messy post-marital love life.

But as she struggles to come to terms with her own doubts amid this chaotic circus of relationships, Cami finds strange comfort in an unexpected confidant: an angry, unpredictable horse in her care. With the help of her equine soul mate, she begins to make sense of marriage's great mysteries—and its disconnects.
Visit Katrina Kittle's website.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Dracula in Love"

New from Doubleday: Dracula in Love by Karen Essex.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this wonderfully transporting novel, award-winning author Karen Essex turns a timeless classic inside out, spinning a haunting, erotic, and suspenseful story of eternal love and possession.

From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.

Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium.

Bram Stoker’s classic novel offered one side of the story, in which Mina had no past and bore no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of Mina’s personal voyage, and of vampirism itself, is revealed. What this flesh and blood woman has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have expressed or perhaps even have imagined.
Learn more about the author and her work at Karen Essex's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Stealing Athena.

"The Way of Kings"

New from Tor Books: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Widely acclaimed for his work completing Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time saga, Brandon Sanderson now begins a grand cycle of his own, one every bit as ambitious and immersive.

Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter.

It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that transform ordinary men into near-invincible warriors. Men trade kingdoms for Shardblades. Wars were fought for them, and won by them.

One such war rages on a ruined landscape called the Shattered Plains. There, Kaladin, who traded his medical apprenticeship for a spear to protect his little brother, has been reduced to slavery. In a war that makes no sense, where ten armies fight separately against a single foe, he struggles to save his men and to fathom the leaders who consider them expendable.

Brightlord Dalinar Kholin commands one of those other armies. Like his brother, the late king, he is fascinated by an ancient text called The Way of Kings. Troubled by over-powering visions of ancient times and the Knights Radiant, he has begun to doubt his own sanity.

Across the ocean, an untried young woman named Shallan seeks to train under an eminent scholar and notorious heretic, Dalinar’s niece, Jasnah. Though she genuinely loves learning, Shallan’s motives are less than pure. As she plans a daring theft, her research for Jasnah hints at secrets of the Knights Radiant and the true cause of the war.

The result of over ten years of planning, writing, and world-building, The Way of Kings is but the opening movement of the Stormlight Archive, a bold masterpiece in the making.

Speak again the ancient oaths,

Life before death.
Strength before weakness.
Journey before Destination.

and return to men the Shards they once bore.

The Knights Radiant must stand again.
Learn more about Brandon Sanderson and his work at his website and his blog.

My Book, The Movie: the Mistborn trilogy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"The Gendarme"

New from Putnam: The Gendarme by Mark T. Mustian.

About the book, from the publisher:

A haunting, deeply moving novel-an old man comes face-to-face with his past and sets out to find the love of his life and beg her forgiveness.

To those around him, Emmet Conn is a ninety-two-year-old man on the verge of senility. But what becomes frighteningly clear to Emmet is that the sudden, realistic dreams he is having are memories of events he, and many others, have denied or purposely forgotten. The Gendarme is a unique love story that explores the power of memory- and the ability of people, individually and collectively, to forget. Depicting how love can transcend nationalities and politics, how racism creates divisions where none truly exist, and how the human spirit fights to survive even in the face of hopelessness, this is a transcendent novel.
Visit Mark T. Mustian's website.

"In Utopia"

New from St. Martin's Press: In Utopia: Six Kinds of Eden and the Search for a Better Paradise by J.C. Hallman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 2005, J.C. Hallman came across a scientific paper about “Pleistocene Rewilding,” a peculiar idea from conservation biology that suggested repopulating bereft ecosystems with endangered “megafauna.” The plan sounded utterly utopian, but Hallman liked the idea as much as the scientists did—perhaps because he had grown up on a street called Utopia Road in a master-planned community in Southern California. Pleistocene Rewilding rekindled in him a longstanding fascination with utopian ideas, and he went on to spend three weeks at the world’s oldest “intentional community,” sail on the first ship where it’s possible to own “real estate,” train at the world’s largest civilian combat-school, and tour a $30 billion megacity built from scratch on an artificial island off the coast of Korea. In Utopia explores the history of utopian literature and thought in the narrative context of the real-life fruits of that history.
Discover Hallman's answer to the question, Why the fascination with utopianism?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Danse Macabre"

New from Minotaur Books: Danse Macabre by Gerald Elias.

About the book, from the publisher:

Daniel Jacobus, reclusive blind concert master and amateur sleuth, returns to solve a most despicable crime and to clear an innocent man

Just after his Carnegie Hall swansong and before his imminent departure for retirement in France, beloved violinist and humanitarian Rene Allard is brutally murdered with a mysterious weapon. His young African American rival, crossover artist BTower, is spotted at the scene of the crime hovering over the contorted body of Allard with blood on his hands. In short order the aloof and arrogant BTower is convicted and sentenced to death, in part the result of the testimony of blind and curmudgeonly violin pedagogue Daniel Jacobus, like millions of others, an ardent admirer of Allard. Justice has been served…or has it? Jacobus is dragged back into the case kicking and screaming, and reluctantly follows a trail of broken violins and broken lives as it leads inexorably to the truth, and to his own mortal peril.
Learn more about the book and author at Gerald Elias' website.

Interview: Gerald Elias.

The Page 69 Test: Devil's Trill.

"The Blueberry Years"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family by Jim Minick.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Blueberry Years is a mouth-watering and delightful memoir based on Jim Minick's experiences as an organic blueberry farmer. This story of one couple, one farm, and 1000 bushes transports readers so that they experience the joys and frustrations of creating and operating one of the mid-Atlantic’s first certified-organic, pick-your-own blueberry farms. Written by a farmer who also is a poet, The Blueberry Years follows in the vein of The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, where lyrical writing captures a well-told story about food, family, and the choices we make with every bite.

For over a decade, the author and his wife planned, planted, pruned, and picked, filling their lives with blueberries. And every summer, they opened their field to hundreds of people who came to harvest berries. These pickers shared blueberry-flavored moonshine and sober religion, warm hugs and cool hats, and always bushels of stories.

To give a larger context to this one farm’s story, Minick includes brief chapters on national issues such as organic foods, farmer’s markets, and the many problems caused by industrial agriculture. He also includes short interludes on all things blueberry, like the fruit’s many health benefits or the blueberry in song, literature, and film. Ultimately, though, this book tells the story of a young couple pursuing their blueberry dream.

As Gene Logsdon, author of Pope Mary and The Church of Almighty Good Food, writes “Everyone talks these days about growing local food for local markets. Here's what it's like to really do it. Minick paints a lovely picture of how a few people come together on a little farm to enjoy each other's quirks and commonalities along with good food.”
Visit Jim Minick's webiste.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"The Holy Thief"

New from Minotaur Books: The Holy Thief by William Ryan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Moscow, 1936, and Stalin’s Great Terror is beginning. In a deconsecrated church, a young woman is found dead, her mutilated body displayed on the altar for all to see. Captain Alexei Korolev, finally beginning to enjoy the benefits of his success with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia, is asked to investigate. But when he discovers that the victim is an American citizen, the NKVD—the most feared organization in Russia—becomes involved. Soon, Korolev’s every step is under close scrutiny and one false move will mean exile to The Zone, where enemies of the Soviet State, both real and imagined, meet their fate in the frozen camps of the far north.

Committed to uncovering the truth behind the gruesome murder, Korolev enters the realm of the Thieves, rulers of Moscow’s underworld. As more bodies are discovered and pressure from above builds, Korolev begins to question who he can trust and who, in a Russia where fear, uncertainty and hunger prevail, are the real criminals. Soon, Korolev will find not only his moral and political ideals threatened, but also his life.

William Ryan’s remarkable debut will storm into ten countries in what is sure to be an international publishing event. With Captain Alexei Korolev, William Ryan has given us one of the most compelling detectives in modern literature, a man dogged and humble, a man who will lead us through a fear-choked Russia to find the only thing that can save him or any of us— the truth.

"The Pindar Diamond"

New from Bloomsbury USA: The Pindar Diamond by Katie Hickman.

About the book, from the publisher:

A tale of lust, greed, and danger set in seventeenth-century Venice, The Pindar Diamond is a gripping and superbly told historical novel.

In a small town on the Italian coast, a mysterious woman washes ashore. She is crippled, mute, and clutches a bundle to her chest—a baby the townspeople insist is a real-life mermaid. It can only bring bad luck; they pay a troupe of acrobats to carry mother and child away.

In the bustling trade center of Venice, merchant Paul Pindar is the subject of his colleagues' concern. Since his return from Constantinople, they have found him changed; raging over the loss of his beloved, Celia, he has gambled away his fortune at the gaming tables. But when a priceless blue diamond surfaces in the city, Pindar recognizes the opportunity to regain everything he has lost—including, perhaps, the woman he loves.

A celebrated writer of history and travel books, Katie Hickman has always been a master of evoking time and place. With The Pindar Diamond, her follow-up to The Aviary Gate, she brings early-seventeenth-century Italy vividly to life, and also demonstrates her maturity as a novelist. A tale of love and avarice, with a touch of the mystical, The Pindar Diamond is rich with historical detail, and unfolds with urgency and grace. It is accomplished, wholly satisfying historical fiction.
The Page 69 Test: Katie Hickman's The Aviary Gate.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Color Blind"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Color Blind: A Memoir by Precious Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:

A memoir of racial identity and fractured family set in 1970s and '80s Britain.

Born in London to a Nigerian princess, Precious Williams saw her life change radically in its first months. Her mother, deciding she couldn't raise a child, placed an ad for foster care in Nursery World. A response soon came from a woman in rural Sussex, and Precious, three months old, was handed off in a basket.

Nan, Precious's new foster mother, was sixty years old and white, and prided herself on being "color blind." But she might also have been shortsighted about the difficulties her black daughter would encounter. At her all-white school, Precious was taunted and ostracized, and Nan struggled to understand her daughter's troubles. Precious's birth mother would visit occasionally, providing glimpses of a different world, but eventually turned critical of a daughter who had become "too white."

Retreating into her imagination, Precious forged her own identity. She emerged from the disillusionment and self-destructiveness of her teen years with a fierce resolve not to let circumstance, class, or color determine her future. Precious Williams tells her extraordinary story in Color Blind, brightly, bravely grappling with issues of identity, motherhood, and race.
Read about Precious Williams' hero from outside literature.

"The Osiris Ritual"

New from Tor Books: The Osiris Ritual by George Mann.

About the book, from the publisher:

A steampunk mystery adventure featuring immortality, artifacts, and intrepid sleuths Sir Maurice Newbury and Miss Veronica Hobbes

Sir Maurice Newbury, Gentleman Investigator for the Crown, imagines life will be a little quieter after his dual successes solving The Affinity Bridge affair. But he hasn’t banked on his villainous predecessor, Knox, who is hell-bent on achieving immortality, not to mention a secret agent who isn’t quite what he seems....

So continues an adventure quite unlike any other, a thrilling steampunk mystery and the second in the series of Newbury & Hobbes investigations.
Visit George Mann's website.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"The Nesting Dolls"

New from McClelland & Stewart: The Nesting Dolls by Gail Bowen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Just hours before her body is found in a car in a parking lot, a young woman hands her baby to a perfect stranger and disappears. The stranger is the daughter of Delia Wainberg, a lawyer in the same firm as Joanne Kilbourn's husband. One close look at the child suggests that there might be a family relationship, and soon the truth about the child Delia gave up for adoption years ago comes out. The boy must be Delia's grandson. Then his mother is found dead, sexually assaulted and murdered. Not only is there a killer on the loose, but the dead woman's partner is demanding custody of the child.
Read an excerpt from The Nesting Dolls.

Learn Bowen's answer to the question: How do you choose your characters’ names?

"Murder on the Bride's Side"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Murder on the Bride's Side by Tracy Kiely.

About the book, from the publisher:

Drawing from the classic Sense and Sensibility, Tracy Kiely continues the adventures of Elizabeth Parker, the likable Austen-quoting sleuth, in this witty and charming series.

Elizabeth Parker suspected that fulfilling her duties as maid-of-honor for her best friend, Bridget, was going to be murder. And no sooner is the last grain of rice thrown than she finds herself staring into the dead eyes of Bridget’s Aunt Roni, a woman whose death is almost as universally celebrated as Bridget’s nuptials. The horror only increases when Harry, Bridget’s cousin, becomes the chief suspect. The idea is ludicrous to the family, because Harry is one of the kindest, most compassionate people imaginable. To complicate matters, Elizabeth’s boyfriend, Peter, appears to be falling for an old flame, a gorgeous wedding planner. Determined to clear Harry of the crime, reign in Bridget’s impulsive brand of sleuthing, and figure out where Peter’s heart lies, Elizabeth sets her mind to work.

Tracy Kiely has again brilliantly combined the wit and spunk of Austen’s protagonists with a contemporary, traditional mystery. With a vibrant cast of characters, the lush setting of a Virginia estate, and irresistible humor, she delivers on all counts.
Learn more about the book and author at Tracy Kiely's website.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at Longbourn.

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Kings of the North"

New from Forge Books: Kings of the North by Cecelia Holland.

About the book, from the publisher:

Having fled from Constantinople, Raef Corbanson and his companions--Lief the Icelander, and Laissa, the young girl who they rescued from Constantinople--are cast up on shore in Normandy. Their goal is to return to Raef’s home in the Viking town of Jorvik in England. Raef is back in his home territory, and his old friend and shipmate Sweyn Forkbeard is now King of Denmark--and soon to overthrow King Ethelred II of England. Raef’s connections throw him into the middle of the struggle between Sweyn, Ethelred, and Ethelred’s son Edward. Raef becomes foster father of Sweyn’s son Knut…who will become known as King Canute when he in turn takes the throne of England.
Visit Cecelia Holland's website.


New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul—the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter’s dreams. Together with Walter—environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man—she was doing her small part to build a better world.

But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz—outré rocker and Walter’s college best friend and rival—still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become “a very different kind of neighbor,” an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street’s attentive eyes?

In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom’s characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.
Franzen's The Corrections appears on John Mullan's list of the ten best episodes of drunkenness in literature.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


New from Broadway: Keeper: One House, Three Generations, and a Journey into Alzheimer's by Andrea Gillies.

About the book, from the publisher:

Five years ago, Andrea Gillies— writer, wife, and mother of three—seeing that her husband's parents were struggling to cope, invited them to move in. She and her newly extended family relocated to a big Victorian house on a remote, windswept peninsula in the far north of Scotland, leaving behind their friends and all that was familiar; hoping to find a new life, and new inspiration for work.

Her mother-in-law Nancy was in the middle stages of Alzheimer's Disease, and Keeper charts her journey into dementia, its impact on her personality and her family, and the author's researches into what dementia is. As the grip of her disease tightens, Nancy's grasp on everything we think of as ordinary unravels before our eyes. Diary entries and accounts of conversations with Nancy track the slow unravelling. The journey is marked by frustration, isolation, exhaustion, and unexpected black comedy. For the author, who knew little about dementia at the outset, the learning curve was steeper than she could have imagined. The most pernicious quality of Alzheimer’s, Gillies suggests, is that the loss of memory is, in effect, the loss of one’s self, and Alzheimer’s, because it robs us of our intrinsic self-knowledge, our ability to connect with others, and our capacity for self-expression, is perhaps the most terrible and most dehumanizing illness. Moreover, as Gillies reminds us, the effects of Alzheimer’s are far-reaching, impacting the lives of caregivers and their loved ones in every way imaginable.

Keeper is a fiercely honest “glimpse into the dementia abyss”—an endlessly engrossing meditation on memory and the mind, on family, and on a society that is largely indifferent to the far-reaching ravages of this baffling disease.

"After America"

New from Del Ray: After America by John Birmingham.

About the book, from the publisher:

March 14, 2003, was the day the world changed forever. A wave of energy slammed into North America and devastated the continent. The U.S. military, poised to invade Baghdad, was left without a commander in chief. Global order spiraled into chaos. Now, three years later, a skeleton U.S. government headquartered in Seattle directs the reconstruction of an entire nation—and the battle for New York City has begun.

Pirates and foreign militias are swarming the East Coast, taking everything they can. The president comes to the Declared Security Zone of New York and barely survives the visit. The enemy—whoever they are—controls Manhattan’s concrete canyons and the abandoned flatlands of Long Island. The U.S. military, struggling with sketchy communications and a lack of supplies, is mired in a nightmare of urban combat.

Caught up in the violence is a Polish-born sergeant who watches the carnage through the eyes of an intellectual and with the heart of a warrior. Two smugglers, the highborn Lady Julianne Balwyn and her brawny partner Rhino, search for a treasure whose key lies inside an Upper East Side Manhattan apartment. Thousands of miles away, a rogue general leads the secession of Texas and a brutal campaign against immigrants, while Miguel Pieraro, a Mexican-born rancher, fights back. And in England, a U.S. special ops agent is called into a violent shadow war against an enemy that has come after her and her family.

The president is a stranger to the military mindset, but now this mild-mannered city engineer from the Pacific Northwest needs to make a soldier’s choice. With New York clutched in the grip of thousands of heavily armed predators, is an all-out attack on the city the only way to save it?

From the geopolitics of post-American dominance to the fallout of Israel’s nuclear strike, After America provides a gripping, intelligent, and harrowing chronicle of a world in the maw of chaos—and lives lived in the dangerous dawn of a strange new future.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove"

New from Crown: The Improper Life of Bezellia Grove by Susan Gregg Gilmore.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nobody in Nashville has a bigger name to live up to than Bezellia Grove. As a Grove, she belongs to one of city’s most prominent families and is expected to embrace her position in high society. That means speaking fluent French, dancing at cotillions with boys from other important families, and mastering the art of the perfect smile.

Also looming large is her given name Bezellia, which has been passed down for generations to the first daughter born to the eldest Grove. The others in the long line of Bezellias shortened the ancestral name to Bee, Zee or Zell. But Bezellia refuses all nicknames and dreams that one day she, too, will be remembered for her original namesake’s courage and passion.

Though she leads a life of privilege, being a Grove is far from easy. Her mother hides her drinking but her alcoholism is hardly a secret. Her father, who spends long hours at work, is distant and inaccessible. For as long as she can remember, she’s been raised by Maizelle, the nanny, and Nathaniel, the handyman. To Bezellia, Maizelle and Nathaniel are cherished family members. To her parents, they will never be more than servants.

Relationships are complicated in 1960s Nashville, where society remains neatly ordered by class, status and skin color. Black servants aren’t supposed to eat at the same table as their white employers. Black boys aren’t supposed to make conversation with white girls. And they certainly aren’t supposed to fall in love. When Bezellia has a clandestine affair with Nathaniel’s son, Samuel, their romance is met with anger and fear from both families. In a time and place where rebelling against the rules carries a steep price, Bezellia Grove must decide which of her names will be the one that defines her.
Visit Susan Gregg Gilmore's website and blog.

"Bad Boy"

New from William Morrow: Bad Boy by Peter Robinson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Acclaimed internationally bestselling author Peter Robinson delivers a fast-paced, nail-biting thriller in which Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks must face his most challenging and personal case yet

A distraught woman arrives at the Eastvale police station desperate to speak to Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. But since Banks is away on holiday, his partner, Annie Cabbot, steps in. The woman tells Annie that she's found a loaded gun hidden in the bedroom of her daughter, Erin—a punishable offense under English law. When an armed response team breaks into the house to retrieve the weapon, the seemingly straightforward procedure quickly spirals out of control.

But trouble is only beginning for Annie, the Eastvale force, and Banks, and this time, the fallout may finally do the iconoclastic inspector in. For it turns out that Erin's best friend and roommate is none other than Tracy Banks, the DCI's daughter, who was last seen racing off to warn the owner of the gun, a very bad boy indeed.

Thrust into a complicated and dangerous case intertwining the personal and the professional as never before, Annie and Banks—a bit of a bad boy himself—must risk everything to outsmart a smooth and devious psychopath. Both Annie and Banks understand that it's not just his career hanging in the balance, it's also his daughter's life.
Read Robinson's answer to the question: Which fictional character most resembles you?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


New from Knopf: Turbulence by Giles Foden.

About the book, from the publisher:

The D-day landings—the fate of 2.5 million men, three thousand landing craft and the entire future of Europe depend on the right weather conditions on the English Channel on a single day. A team of Allied scientists is charged with agreeing on an accurate forecast five days in advance. But is it even possible to predict the weather so far ahead? And what is the relationship between predictability and turbulence, one of the last great mysteries of modern physics?

Wallace Ryman has devised a system that comprehends all of this—but he is a reclusive pacifist who stubbornly refuses to divulge his secrets. Henry Meadows, a young math prodigy from the Met Office, is sent to Scotland to uncover Ryman’s system and apply it to the Normandy landings. But turbulence proves more elusive than anyone could have imagined. When Henry meets Gill, Ryman’s beautiful wife, events, like the weather, begin to spiral out of control.

From Giles Foden, prizewinning author of The Last King of Scotland, a gripping blend of fact and fiction in a novel about how human beings deal with uncertainty.

"Substitute Me"

New from Simon & Schuster: Substitute Me by Lori Tharps.

About the book, from the publisher:

Zora Anderson is a 30-year-old African American middle class, college educated woman, trained as a chef, looking for a job. As fate would have it, Kate and Craig, a married couple, aspiring professionals with a young child are looking for a nanny.

Zora seems perfect. She's an enthusiastic caretaker, a competent house keeper, a great cook. And she wants the job, despite the fact that she won't let her African American parents and brother know anything about this new career move. They expect much more from her than to use all that good education to do what so many Blacks have dreamed of not doing: working for White folks. Working as an au pair in Paris, France no less, was one thing, they could accept that. Being a servant to a couple not much older nor more educated, is yet another. Every adult character involved in this tangled web is hiding something: the husband is hiding his desire to turn a passion for comic books into a business from his wife, the wife is hiding her professional ambitions from her husband, the nanny is hiding her job from her family and maybe her motivations for staying on her job from herself.

Memorable characters, real-life tensions and concerns and the charming—in a hip kind of way—modern-day Park Slope, Fort Greene, Brooklyn setting make for an un-put-down-able read.
Learn more about Lori Tharps at her website and blog.

Writers Read: Lori L. Tharps.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"The Atlas of Love"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Atlas of Love by Laurie Frankel.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Jill becomes both pregnant and single at the end of one spring semester, she and her two closest friends plunge into an experiment in tri-parenting, tri-schooling, and trihabitating as grad students in Seattle. Naturally, everything goes wrong, but in ways no one sees coming. Janey Duncan narrates the adventure of this modern family with hilarity and wisdom and shows how three lives are forever changed by (un)cooperative parenting, literature, and a tiny baby named Atlas who upends and uplifts their entire world. In this sparkling and wise debut novel, Frankel’s unforgettable heroines prove that home is simply where the love is.
Read an excerpt from The Atlas of Love.

Visit Laurie Frankel's website.

"The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas"

New from Minotaur Books: The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas by Chris Ewan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Charlie Howard isn’t only a part-time crime writer and part-time thief; he’s also a magician. For his next trick, he’ll relieve Josh Masters, the famous illusionist vying for the affections of Charlie’s friend Victoria, of $60,000 in casino chips stashed in his hotel safe.

Revenge would be sweet—if there weren’t a dead redhead floating in Masters’ bathtub and if Masters hadn’t just disappeared in a puff of smoke after cheating at roulette. Convinced that Charlie was in on the scam, the casino’s owners give him an impossible mission: either pull off an elaborate heist to reimburse the house for every dollar his “accomplice” made off with, or enjoy a one-way trip into the desert.
Learn more about Chris Ewan and his work at his website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Good Thief's Guide to Paris.

Writers Read: Chris Ewan.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"The Dog Who Ate the Truffle"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Dog Who Ate the Truffle: A Memoir of Stories and Recipes from Umbria by Suzanne Carreiro.

About the book, from the publisher:

An authentic culinary journey—part memoir, part cookbook—introducing readers to the people, places, and food of Umbria

Veteran food critic Suzanne Carriero spent a year and a half in Umbria, and this is her intimate look at its ancient recipes, traditions, and the people who pass them on. Each of the book’s eight chapters features local cooks, as their personal stories are as much a part of the cuisine’s essence as are the crops they grow and the family dishes they prepare.

Anecdotes, sidebars, and boxes are used throughout the book to further illustrate Umbrian life—from buying a rabbit in the country, to making torta di Pasqua for Easter, to reading the Italian wine label, and drinking cappuccino after lunch (a serious breach in tradition). With a food and wine glossary included as a reference for travelers, The Dog Who Ate the Truffle immerses the reader in the people, cuisine, and lifestyle that few are privileged to experience. Suzanne’s colorful stories and authentic classic recipes make for an intimate and illustrious travel cookbook.
Visit Suzanne Carreiro's website.

"Bomber County"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Bomber County: The Poetry of a Lost Pilot's War by Daniel Swift.

About the book, from the publisher:

In early June 1943, James Eric Swift, a pilot with the 83rd Squadron of the Royal Air Force, boarded his Lancaster bomber for a night raid on Münster and disappeared.

Widespread aerial bombardment was to the Second World War what the trenches were to the First: a shocking and new form of warfare, wretched and unexpected, and carried out at a terrible scale of loss. Just as the trenches produced the most remarkable poetry of the First World War, so too did the bombing campaigns foster a haunting set of poems during the Second.

In researching the life of his grandfather, Daniel Swift became engrossed with the connections between air war and poetry. Ostensibly a narrative of the author’s search for his lost grandfather through military and civilian archives and in interviews conducted in the Netherlands, Germany, and England, Bomber County is also an examination of the relationship between the bombing campaigns of World War II and poetry, an investigation into the experience of bombing and being bombed, and a powerful reckoning with the morals and literature of a vanished moment.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise"

New from Doubleday: The Tower, The Zoo, and The Tortoise by Julia Stuart.

About the book, from the publisher:

Brimming with charm and whimsy, this exquisite novel set in the Tower of London has the transportive qualities and delightful magic of the contemporary classics Chocolat and Amélie.

Balthazar Jones has lived in the Tower of London with his loving wife, Hebe, and his 120-year-old pet tortoise for the past eight years. That’s right, he is a Beefeater (they really do live there). It’s no easy job living and working in the tourist attraction in present-day London.

Among the eccentric characters who call the Tower’s maze of ancient buildings and spiral staircases home are the Tower’s Rack & Ruin barmaid, Ruby Dore, who just found out she’s pregnant; portly Valerie Jennings, who is falling for ticket inspector Arthur Catnip; the lifelong bachelor Reverend Septimus Drew, who secretly pens a series of principled erot­ica; and the philandering Ravenmaster, aiming to avenge the death of one of his insufferable ravens.

When Balthazar is tasked with setting up an elaborate menagerie within the Tower walls to house the many exotic animals gifted to the Queen, life at the Tower gets all the more interest­ing. Penguins escape, giraffes are stolen, and the Komodo dragon sends innocent people running for their lives. Balthazar is in charge and things are not exactly running smoothly. Then Hebe decides to leave him and his beloved tortoise “runs” away.

Filled with the humor and heart that calls to mind the delight­ful novels of Alexander McCall Smith, and the charm and beauty of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Tower, the Zoo, and the Tortoise is a magical, wholly origi­nal novel whose irresistible characters will stay with you long after you turn the stunning last page.

"Mothers and Other Liars"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: Mothers and Other Liars by Amy Bourret.

About the book, from the publisher:

How far will a mother go to save her child?

Ten years ago, Ruby Leander was a drifting nineteen-year-old who made a split-second decision at an Oklahoma rest stop. Fast forward nine years: Ruby and her daughter Lark live in New Mexico. Lark is a precocious, animal loving imp, and Ruby has built a family for them with a wonderful community of friends and her boyfriend of three years. Life is good. Until the day Ruby reads a magazine article about parents searching for an infant kidnapped by car-jackers. Then Ruby faces a choice no mother should have to make. A choice that will change both her and Lark's lives forever.
Visit Amy Bourret's website.

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Million Little Mistakes"

New from Harper Paperbacks: Million Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Congratulations—You just won $22 million in the Lottery! So what happens next?

In Heather McElhatton's second do-over novel, Million Little Mistakes, you win $22 million in the lottery. Given the chance to live like a millionaire, you could realize all your dreams or learn that money only causes more problems. It all depends on the choices you make...

Should you keep your day job? Stay in your relationship? Save an endangered species? Have a debauched weekend on Sex Island? Buy an aristocrat's life on eBay or pay off all your family's debt? Should you climb Mount Everest, trek the remote jungles of China, book passage on a luxury cruise, or become an infamous Voodoo priestess? Is your destiny to become a philanthropist, a pharmaceutical tycoon, a happy homemaker, or a burlesque stripper? Be careful. Your fortune could be lost in a Ponzi scheme; your wildest fantasy may bring you total bliss or lead you to a run-in with extortionists who try to kill you.

There are hundreds of possible adventures sown inside Million Little Mistakes. Some lives end fabulously while others in utter disaster, so choose wisely. You can buy a lot with $22 million, but can you buy a happy ending?
Read more about the book at the author's website and at the Pretty Little Mistakes site.

The Page 99 Test: Pretty Little Mistakes.

"The Life You’ve Imagined"

New from Avon: The Life You've Imagined by Kristina Riggle.

About the book, from the publisher:

Is the life you're living all you imagined?

Have you ever asked yourself, "What if??" Here, four women face the decisions of their lifetimes in this stirring and unforgettable novel of love, loss, friendship, and family.

Anna Geneva, a Chicago attorney coping with the death of a cherished friend, returns to her "speck on the map" hometown of Haven to finally come to terms with her mother, the man she left behind, and the road she did not take.

Cami Drayton, Anna's dearest friend from high school, is coming home too, forced by circumstance to move in with her alcoholic father . . . and to confront a dark family secret.

Maeve, Anna's mother, never left Haven, firmly rooted there by her sadness over her abandonment by the husband she desperately loved and the hope that someday he will return to her.

And Amy Rickart—thin, beautiful, and striving for perfection—faces a future with the perfect man . . . but is haunted by the memory of what she used to be.

Kristina Riggle's The Life You've Imagined takes a provocative look at the choices we make—and the courage we must have to change.
Learn more about the book and author at Kristina Riggle's website.

Writers Read: Kristina Riggle.

The Page 69 Test: Real Life & Liars.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"I'd Know You Anywhere"

New from William Morrow: I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author returns with a new stand-alone novel—a powerful and utterly riveting tale that skillfully moves between past and present to explore the lasting effects of crime on a victim's life....I'd Know You Anywhere

Eliza Benedict cherishes her peaceful, ordinary suburban life with her successful husband and children, thirteen-year-old Iso and eight-year-old Albie. But her tranquillity is shattered when she receives a letter from the last person she ever expects—or wants—to hear from: Walter Bowman. There was your photo, in a magazine. Of course, you are older now. Still, I'd know you anywhere.

In the summer of 1985, when she was fifteen, Eliza was kidnapped by Walter and held hostage for almost six weeks. He had killed at least one girl and Eliza always suspected he had other victims as well. Now on death row in Virginia for the rape and murder of his final victim, Walter seems to be making a heartfelt act of contrition as his execution nears. Though Eliza wants nothing to do with him, she's never forgotten that Walter was most unpredictable when ignored. Desperate to shelter her children from this undisclosed trauma in her past, she cautiously makes contact with Walter. She's always wondered why Walter let her live, and perhaps now he'll tell her—and share the truth about his other victims.

Yet as Walter presses her for more and deeper contact, it becomes clear that he is after something greater than forgiveness. He wants Eliza to remember what really happened that long-ago summer. He wants her to save his life. And Eliza, who has worked hard for her comfortable, cocooned life, will do anything to protect it—even if it means finally facing the events of that horrifying summer and the terrible truth she's kept buried inside.

An edgy, utterly gripping tale of psychological manipulation that will leave readers racing to the final page, I'd Know You Anywhere is a virtuoso performance from acclaimed, award-winning author Laura Lippman that is sure to be her biggest hit yet.
Visit Laura Lippman's website.

Laura Lippman's top 10 memorable memoirs.

The Page 69 Test: Another Thing to Fall.

The Page 69 Test: What the Dead Know.

The Page 69 Test/Page 99 Test: Life Sentences.


New from Harper: Chosen by Chandra Hoffman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Chosen, a young caseworker becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of adoptive and birth parents, with devastating results.

It all begins with a fantasy: the caseworker in her "signing paperwork" charcoal suit standing alongside beaming parents cradling their adopted newborn, set against a fluorescent-lit delivery-room backdrop. It's this blissful picture that keeps Chloe Pinter, director of the Chosen Child's domestic-adoption program, happy while juggling the high demands of her boss and the incessant needs of both adoptive and biological parents.

But the very job that offers her refuge from her turbulent personal life and Portland's winter rains soon becomes a battleground involving three very different couples: the Novas, well-off college sweethearts who suffered fertility problems but are now expecting their own baby; the McAdoos, a wealthy husband and desperate wife for whom adoption is a last chance; and Jason and Penny, an impoverished couple who have nothing—except the baby everyone wants. When a child goes missing, dreams dissolve into nightmares, and everyone is forced to examine what he or she really wants and where it all went wrong.

Told from alternating points of view, Chosen reveals the desperate nature of desire across social backgrounds and how far people will go to get the one thing they think will be the answer.
Read the story behind the story and learn how Chosen came to be.

Visit Chandra Hoffman's website.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Three Stations"

New from Simon & Schuster: Three Stations by Martin Cruz Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

A passenger train hurtling through the night. An unwed teenage mother headed to Moscow to seek a new life. A cruel-hearted soldier looking furtively, forcibly, for sex. An infant disappearing without a trace.

So begins Martin Cruz Smith's masterful Three Stations, a suspenseful, intricately constructed novel featuring Investigator Arkady Renko. For the last three decades, beginning with the trailblazing Gorky Park, Renko (and Smith) have captivated readers with detective tales set in Russia. Renko is the ironic, brilliantly observant cop who finds solutions to heinous crimes when other lawmen refuse to even acknowledge that crimes have occurred. He uses his biting humor and intuitive leaps to fight not only wrongdoers but the corrupt state apparatus as well.

In Three Stations, Renko's skills are put to their most severe test. Though he has been technically suspended from the prosecutor's office for once again turning up unpleasant truths, he strives to solve a last case: the death of an elegant young woman whose body is found in a construction trailer on the perimeter of Moscow's main rail hub. It looks like a simple drug overdose to everyone—except to Renko, whose examination of the crime scene turns up some inexplicable clues, most notably an invitation to Russia's premier charity ball, the billionaires' Nijinksy Fair. Thus a sordid death becomes interwoven with the lifestyles of Moscow's rich and famous, many of whom are clinging to their cash in the face of Putin's crackdown on the very oligarchs who placed him in power.

Renko uncovers a web of death, money, madness and a kidnapping that threatens the woman he is coming to love and the lives of children he is desperate to protect. In Three Stations, Smith produces a complex and haunting vision of an emergent Russia's secret underclass of street urchins, greedy thugs and a bureaucracy still paralyzed by power and fear.
Read Martin Cruz Smith's reply to the question, "What book do you wish you’d written?"

"Judgment and Wrath"

New from William Morrow: Judgment and Wrath by Matt Hilton.

About the book, from the publisher:

After barely escaping with his life while trying to save his half brother from a deranged killer, former-military-operative-turned-problem-solver Joe Hunter has a new life—and hopefully a quieter one—in Florida. But he's soon approached by a man who wants Hunter to bring his daughter, Marianne, home. He claims that her boyfriend, millionaire Bradley Jorgenson, is a twisted, abusive man, and he hints that Hunter should use whatever force is necessary to rescue the girl. The problem is, when Hunter finds the couple, Marianne appears happy, and Hunter can find no signs that Jorgenson has hurt her.

Things get even more complicated when a crafty contract killer by the name of Dantalion shows up at Jorgenson's exclusive island residence with his sights set on Jorgenson and Marianne. Dantalion has an agenda of his own, and nobody is going to stand in his way. Not even Joe Hunter.

When Hunter steps in and saves the couple, what started as a simple matter of snatch-and-grab turns into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse that sets the hunter and the hunted on a grueling chase deep within the Florida swamplands.

In this pulse-pounding follow-up to Dead Men's Dust, the smashing debut that introduced Joe Hunter, Matt Hilton delivers an explosive white-knuckled thrill ride that will have readers gasping for breath all the way to the electrifying conclusion.
Learn more about the book and author at Matt Hilton's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Dead Men's Dust.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The Tenth Parallel"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam by Eliza Griswold.

About the book, from the publisher:

A riveting investigation of the jagged fault line between the Christian and Muslim worlds

The tenth parallel—the line of latitude seven hundred miles north of the equator—is a geographical and ideological front line where Christianity and Islam collide. More than half of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims live along the tenth parallel; so do sixty percent of the world’s 2 billion Christians. Here, in the buzzing megacities and swarming jungles of Africa and Asia, is where the two religions meet; their encounter is shaping the future of each faith, and of whole societies as well.

An award-winning investigative journalist and poet, Eliza Griswold has spent the past seven years traveling between the equator and the tenth parallel: in Nigeria, the Sudan, and Somalia, and in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The stories she tells in The Tenth Parallel show us that religious conflicts are also conflicts about land, water, oil, and other natural resources, and that local and tribal issues are often shaped by religious ideas. Above all, she makes clear that, for the people she writes about, one’s sense of God is shaped by one’s place on earth; along the tenth parallel, faith is geographic and demographic.

An urgent examination of the relationship between faith and worldly power, The Tenth Parallel is an essential work about the conflicts over religion, nationhood and natural resources that will remake the world in the years to come.
Visit Eliza Griswold's website.

"The Blasphemer"

New from Crown: The Blasphemer by Nigel Farndale.

About the book, from the publisher:

On its way to the Galápagos Islands, a light aircraft ditches into the sea. As water floods the cabin, zoologist Daniel Kennedy faces an im­possible choice—should he save himself, or Nancy, the woman he loves and the mother of his child?

Back in London, Daniel can’t stop thinking about the man he saw while swimming fourteen miles—on the verge of exhaustion and hypothermia—to reach the islands: a smiling figure treading water, urging him to swim just a few strokes farther until his foot touched sand. An adamant atheist, Daniel is certain it was merely a hallucination brought on by his physical state. Or was it?

Meanwhile, in a parallel narrative, Daniel’s great-grandfather, Andrew Kennedy, faces mortal danger during the horrific battle of Passchendaele. But what does the unraveling truth about the life and death of Andrew have to do with Daniel? As secrets are disclosed—from the diary of a military chaplain who knew Andrew and from the enigmatic scribbles on a musical score signed by Gustav Mahler—Daniel must confront the miraculous, despite his atheism. In doing so, he is given another fateful chance to prove his unconditional love to his family.

A literary thriller of rare depth that sweeps from the morbid trenches of World War I to the terrorist-besieged streets of present-day London, The Blasphemer is about one man coming to grips with his darkest instincts, his moments of betrayal, his shocking family legacy, and ultimately his desperate hope for redemption and faith.

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Shades of Milk and Honey"

New from Tor Books: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal.

About the book, from the publisher:

The fantasy novel you’ve always wished Jane Austen had written

Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.

Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane’s skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right—and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.
Visit Mary Robinette Kowal's website.