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  • Sarah Skilton 3:00 pm on 2019/01/02 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, ,   

    January’s Best New Fiction 

    Kicking off 2019 is a Gilded Age story about the American heiress who scandalized two nations prior to giving birth to Winston Churchill, and three World War II-era novels centered on women: Hedy Lamarr, movie star and secret STEM pioneer; a pair of sisters working at an Armory factory; and the ten women who served as Hitler’s food tasters. Contemporary fans will devour author Kristen “Cat Person” Roupenian’s first collection of short stories and Jane Corry’s twisty mystery about a missing ex-husband.

    The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict
    She was born Hedwig “Hedy” Kiesler and survived a domineering husband and the Third Reich, but you know her as Hedy Lamarr, glamorous movie star. That one woman could be both those things, as well as a world-changing scientist, proves the adage that truth is stranger than fiction. Benedict has made a name for herself shining a spotlight on the oft-hidden contributions of women in STEM. Her previous historical novels revealed the influence of Einstein’s wife and Andrew Carnegie’s maid on the course of human events. The tale of Hedy Lamarr is no less fascinating, as the eventual MGM actress outmaneuvers Nazis and eventually creates an invention that assists the Allied forces in World War II.

    Turning Point, by Danielle Steel
    The most highly regarded trauma doctors in San Francisco get the chance of a lifetime to participate in a mass-casualty training exchange in Paris. When a terrible shooting in their adopted city forces them to use their new skills under shocking circumstances, their lives are forever changed. As usual, Steel’s characters are both relatable and extraordinary, and you’ll be rooting for the troubled ER physicians as they attempt to balance relationships and professional obligations while saving as many victims as possible after the tragic attack.

    The Dreamers, by Karen Thompson Walker
    The entire town of Santa Lora, California, is forced into quarantine when several college students succumb to a mysterious, deadly disease that keeps people asleep but dreaming—and the dreams have lives of their own. When Mei, a freshman, discovers that her roommate cannot be woken, she joins forces with another student to do all she can to help. Within the houses surrounding the university are friends, neighbors, families, and children desperate to protect one another. This looks to be a richly haunting and immersive read.

    The Wartime Sisters, by Lynda Cohen Loigman
    Estranged sisters Millie and Ruth are forced into each other’s orbits while working at an Armory factory in Springfield during World War II. Widowed Millie was known as “the pretty one” during her youth, doted on and indulged by everyone in her Brooklyn neighborhood in the 1930s. Ruth’s experience in the same household felt like a different world; her intelligence was diminished and dismissed, her attempts at dating thwarted (suitors always ended up pursuing Millie). As adults, Ruth appears to have come out on top with her role as the wife of a high-ranking Armory scientist, while Millie toils in production. But the sisters will never truly reconcile until they confront the painful secrets of the past. As with Loigman’s debut, The Two-Family House, this appears to be a deeply compelling historical.

    At the Wolf’s Table, by Rosella Postorino (translated by Leah Janeczko)
    The winner of Italy’s Premio Campiello Literary Prize, Table tells the story of Adolf Hitler’s food tasters, a group of ten women forced to eat the Fuhrer’s meals before he does, in case they are poisoned. Twenty-something Berliner Rosa Sauer narrates the fraught tale, set in Hitler’s secret headquarters near the countryside of Gross-Partsch, where Rosa has relocated to live with her in-laws in light of her husband’s service on the frontlines. Rather than comforting and relying on one another, the group of tasters form segregated factions based on their views of Hitler and the war, and Rosa finds herself, in her loneliness, turning to her SS supervisor for a terrible, guilt-ridden type of comfort.

    You Know You Want This, by Kristen Roupenian
    Roupenian’s short story, “Cat Person,” went viral after the New Yorker published it in 2017, but even if you memorized it (someone probably has, right?), there are lots of surprises awaiting you in Roupenian’s debut short story collection. Highlighting characters who are dark, hilarious, awful, and amazing, these tales will make you shriek with discomfort and enjoyment, daring you to revel in the anti-hero and -heroines’ downright frightening behavior and relationships.

    That Churchill Woman, by Stephanie Barron
    Megan Markle and Prince Harry have got nothin’ on Jennie Jerome: the impetuous, 20-year-old American heiress raised in Gilded Age splendor who married Lord Randolph Spencer-Churchill—after knowing him for three days. Although the lavish excesses of Jennie’s life may seem glorious, they also served to prevent her from having a voice, and Jennie, raised to be independent, is not having it. That Jennie gives birth to future Prime Minister Winston Churchill is almost beside the point in this exhilarating historical about a woman who scandalized and intrigued two nations while living life on her own terms.

    The Dead Ex, by Jane Corry
    The author of My Husband’s Wife and Blood Sisters is back with a mystery thriller about an aromatherapist, Vicki, whose former husband, an abusive, manipulative man, goes missing. Vicki claims she hasn’t seen David in years, but the police are skeptical, particularly because Vicki’s epilepsy may have affected her memory. David’s current wife, Tanya, is hiding something as well. Vicki’s tribulations as suspect number one are juxtaposed with an earlier timeline depicting the saga of young Scarlet, whose beloved albeit drug dealing mother, Zelda, is arrested, forcing Scarlet into dubious foster care. How Scarlet and Zelda’s path intertwines with that of Vicki, David, and Tanya’s is just one of the questions that will grip readers.

    The post January’s Best New Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 4:50 pm on 2018/12/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , bnstorefront-fiction, , , , , , , , , , , , mystery gift guide, ,   

    12 Must-Have Titles for the Mystery Fan on Your Shopping List 

    Giving books as gifts can be tricky; you want to ensure you get the bibliophiles on your list books they’ll appreciate and love, while avoiding books they’ve already read. The good news is there are so many strong mysteries out right now you have a lot of choice. We’ve taken the liberty of pointing you at some of the best mysteries out there right now; any one (or two! or three!) of these titles would make a perfect gift for the mystery fan in your life—and books make great gifts for Secret Santas and office gift exchanges, too, because who doesn’t love a good mystery?

    Look Alive at Twenty-Five, by Janet Evanovich
    Gift-giving can be stressful, so do yourself a favor and concentrate on the crowd-pleasing sure things like this. Twenty-five books in and Stephanie Plum is going strong as ever, still tackling gritty mysteries with humor, smarts, and competence to spare. This time around Plum’s attention is drawn to the Red River Deli in Trenton, famous for its pastrami and its cole slaw. More recently, it’s become famous because of its disappearing managers—three in the last month, each leaving behind a single shoe. Lula tries to convince Stephanie it’s aliens abducting humans for experiments, but Stephanie figures on something a little less exotic—and takes over running the business herself in order to get to the bottom of things. It’s certainly not the first time Plum has put herself in danger for the sake of a case—and she can only hope it won’t be her last.

    Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny
    Penny’s 14th book featuring Chief Inspector Gamache begins with the retired chief of the Sûreté du Québec receiving the surprising news that he’s one of three executors of the estate of an elderly woman he’s never met. With his suspension and the events that led to it still under excruciatingly slow investigation, Gamache agrees to participate, even thought the terms of the will are outlandish, leading him and his fellow executors to wonder if the old woman was mentally sound. When a dead body turns up, however, it prompts Gamache to reconsider—because the terms of the will suddenly seem much less strange, and much more ominous. Meanwhile the drugs he allowed to remain on the streets as part of his plan to destroy the drug cartels are still out there—and if he doesn’t find them, and soon, there will be devastation throughout the city. For once, Chief Inspector Gamache is something wholly unexpected: desperate.

    Lethal White, by Robert Galbraith
    By now everyone knows that Robert Galbraith is actually J.K. Rowling, and the fourth Cormorant Strike novel finds her at the top of her adult fiction game. Strike, now a famous private investigator, has to deal with people showing up at his offices as well as the difficulty in investigating things when you’re instantly recognizable to everyone. When a young man comes to his office asking for help looking into a murder he thinks he witnessed—and thus has been haunted by—as a kid, Strike senses just enough sincere detail to take on the case. As his investigation leads him into the secret corridors of British power, his personal life in the form of his relationship with former assistant-turned-full partner Robin reaches new levels of complexity.

    Leverage in Death, by J.D. Robb
    Robb delivers the 47th entry in this bestselling series with appropriate fireworks, as Paul Rogan, a successful executive, arrives at a routine meeting concerning a merger and promptly detonates the suicide vest he’s wearing. Eve Dallas is called in as the investigating detective and first has to figure out whether this was purposeful terrorism or simple desperate suicide with collateral damage. Every detail Dallas and her team discover serves only to muddy the waters and spin up the tension, especially after they discover that Rogan had been told by mysterious men that his family would be killed if he didn’t do as they asked. As Dallas puzzles over the convoluted manner of what seems like a murder attempt, more explosions deliver more bodies—and more clues.

    The Witch Elm, by Tana French
    French turns in her first novel not part of the Dublin Murder Squad, telling the story of affably low-key Dubliner Toby. Toby’s low-stakes life involves working as a social media guru for an art gallery and contemplating someday maybe marrying his girlfriend Melissa. When two robbers break into his apartment and beat him brutally, however, his lingering mental and physical injuries prevent him from living a normal life, and he and Melissa move in with his dying Uncle Hugo. When a skeleton found in a tree on Hugo’s property turns out to be an old classmate of Toby’s, the damaged young man is haunted by the possibility that his lost memories hold the key.

    Depth of Winter, by Craig Johnson
    After thirteen books, it’s understandable that Walt Longmire has made a lot of enemies. Professional assassin and enforcer for drug cartels Tomás Bidarte knows this, and so he kidnaps Walt’s daughter, Cady, and holds her captive in a remote cabin in the Chihuahua desert in northern Mexico, intending to auction her off to whichever of Walt’s enemies hates him the most. Walt heads off to rescue his girl, but Bidarte has an army of bad guys protecting his investment, and Longmire isn’t the sort of man who can blend in. Longmire’s faced bad odds before, but never quite this bad—and never with so much on the line. In a foreign country, with no help from his own government and disinterest from the locals, it’s tempting to count Longmire out—but fans know better.

    The Colors of All the Cattle, by Alexander McCall Smith
    The nineteenth novel featuring Mwa Ramotswe and her fellow investigators and residents of the town of Gaborone is as delightful and insightful as ever. Ramotswe is persuaded to run for a seat on the city council when it’s revealed that the arch-enemy of her agency partner Grace, Vera Sephotho, is in the race. Vera supports a terrible initiative to build a luxury hotel next to the town’s cemetery, which gives Mwa Ramotswe the moral edge in the race, but her compulsively honest answers to questions might complicate her campaign. Meanwhile, the agency deals with the investigation of a hit-and-run case even as their assistant Charlie, finally growing up, engages in his first true romance.

    Feared, by Lisa Scottoline
    Scottoline is as close to a safe bet when it comes to buying books for mystery fans, and her series about lawyers Mary DiNunzio and Bennie Rosato is probably on your mystery superfan’s shopping list already, so giving it as a stocking stuffer will be genius. When Rosato & DiNunzio is hit with a sex discrimination lawsuit from three men who claim they weren’t hired because of their gender, Mary and Bennie smell a rat. When their only male employee, John Foxman, resigns because he agrees, they’re floored—and then they find out who’s behind the lawsuit—Mary’s nemesis, Nick Machiavelli. Nick is determined to have his revenge, and when Foxman turns up murdered suspicion settles on the firm’s partners and things look bleak. Mary—seven months pregnant—and Bennie must somehow fight off a lawsuit that could ruin them and solve a murder that could incarcerate the partners. That’s a recipe for the perfect mystery to give as a gift.

    November Road, by Lou Berney
    Berney spins a karmic tale about a mob fixer named Frank Guidry working in New Orleans in 1963. Guidry snips loose ends for his boss Carlos Marcello, violently if necessary. He gets the job of leaving a car in a Dallas parking lot, and after President Kennedy is assassinated he realizes he provided a getaway vehicle for the real shooter—and worse, now he’s a loose end. Trailed by Marcello’s top hitman, Guidry flees and meets up with Charlotte Roy, an unhappy but steel-tipped housewife escaping an abusive husband. As the tension rises, the two find themselves making a surprisingly effective team as they seek to survive in different ways.

    Field of Bones, by J.A. Jance
    For long-time fans of Jance’s Joanna Brady series, book number eighteen will be a welcome addition to their gift haul—and it’s not a bad idea for any fan of great mysteries with a realistic protagonist and a lot of heart. Brady, pregnant and on maternity leave, responds to acting sheriff Tom Hadlock’s call for all hands on deck when a teenager finds a skull in the desert, revealing what appears to be a body disposal area for a very active—and very terrifying serial killer. Alternating points of view between the killer and the police’s efforts to identify him is a master class in ratcheting up the tension and keeping the reader guessing, as the birth of Brady’s daughter underscores the desperation to save the killer’s remaining prisoners.

    Bright Young Dead, by Jessica Fellowes
    Fans of Downton Abbey and other Edwardian-era historical fiction are closer to the mystery genre than they realize, and Fellowes’ Mitford Murders series is the perfect way to convince them. Set in 1925, when London is roiled by the criminal activities of an all-female gang known as the Forty Thieves, London police Guy Sullivan and Mary Moon find themselves in the company of aristocrats upstairs and their servants downstairs as they try to tackle the gang—and find themselves embroiled in a distasteful murder before it’s all over. Think of Fellowes’ work as Abbey with murder and they’ll be sold—and you’ll be getting some very enthusiastic Thank You cards.

    One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich
    The holiday season is the ideal time to give someone more than just a single book, but rather the gift of one of the best characters to ever grace the mystery shelves, Stephanie Plum. For twenty-five books, Evanovich has been delighting mystery fans with Plum’s adventures as a bounty hunter and detective, and the first book remains the ideal introduction. Plum, down on her luck in Trenton, New Jersey, convinces her cousin to give her a shot at apprehending criminal Joe Morelli—coincidentally the man who seduced Plum out of her virginity at age sixteen—and gets a crash course in the rough and tumble world of being an apprehension agent as she explores some long-dormant feelings for Joe. The lucky person getting this book from you will thank you twenty-four more times, trust us.

    There’s no mystery why people love getting books as gifts (see what we did there?)—it’s an opportunity to lose yourself and get away from holiday stress (the travel! the cooking! the travel!) by escaping into a thrilling story that also challenges your little gray cells. Which books are on your gift list this year?

    Shop all mystery & crime >

    The post 12 Must-Have Titles for the Mystery Fan on Your Shopping List appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Sarah Skilton 7:05 pm on 2018/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, ,   

    November’s Best New Fiction 

    November is full of drama and suspense, with new offerings from fan favorites Liane Moriarty, Danielle Steel, Jeffrey Archer, and Barbara Taylor Bradford. A holiday farce and a serial-killing sister provide light and dark laughs for every mood, and Jonathan Lethem returns with his first detective story since 2000’s Motherless Brooklyn.

    Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty
    The Big Little Lies author is back with an addictive thriller set at a health retreat. Tranquillum House promises a total mind and body transformation for its well-to-do guests over an intense ten days. Among the group hoping for a mental and physical rebirth are a romance writer and a young woman whose troubled family is along for the ride. None of the nine have any idea what they’re in for, though some of them can’t help but wonder if they’d be better off running from the secluded resort as fast as they can.

    Beauchamp Hall, by Danielle Steel
    If you’ve ever dreamed of trading the real world for Downton Abbey, you have something in common with Winnie Farmington. Unlucky in love and career, Winnie’s love for the British television show Beauchamp Hall keeps her going when everything else feels hopeless. An impulsive trip to England to visit the town where the series is filmed leads to a magical new chapter in her life.

    Heads You Win, by Jeffrey Archer
    Archer is in excellent form with his latest book, a thrilling, surprising double storyline featuring one character with two fates. As a boy growing up in the late 1960s, Alex Karpenko flees Russia with his mother after his father is murdered by the KGB. Will the two of them emigrate to Great Britain or America? Why not both, and watch the chips fall? The tale spans thirty years and follows Alex’s opposing paths, each of which requires a return to Mother Russia and a confrontation with his past.

    Tony’s Wife, by Adriana Trigiani
    Chi Chi Donatelli’s fierce independence is incongruous with the era in which she lives: the Jersey Shore in the 1940s. She has no interest in becoming a wife or mother until she has lived out her dream of singing with her favorite orchestras, and dreamy big-band entertainer Saverio Armandonada is just the man to make that happen. Their partnership spans radio, TV, and the nightclub circuit, and their inevitable marriage is upended by World War II. But stick around, because their passionate love story is just getting started.

    Fox 8, by George Saunders (illustrated by Chelsea Cardinal)
    Fox lovers will adore this novella-length story by the award-winning Saunders, whose melancholic Lincoln in the Bardo won the 2017 Man Booker Prize. Fox 8 is considered by his pack to have his furry head in the clouds, but his curiosity about people (and his penchant for learning children’s bedtime stories by eavesdropping underneath windows) may ultimately save his brethren when it comes time to seek out food in a neighborhood beset by danger.

    Night of Miracles, by Elizabeth Berg
    An uplifting, standalone sequel to The Story of Arthur Truluv, this delicious companion novel centers on Arthur’s friend Lucille, now living in Arthur’s home and newly inspired to teach baking classes there as a means of keeping busy. Familiar faces sign up for lessons, and when a new family moves in next door, they’re folded into the group of friends and loved ones while coming to grips with a difficult health crisis.

    The Feral Detective, by Jonathan Lethem
    A Motherless Brooklyn for the west coast, Feral Detective marks Jonathan Lethem’s first detective story in nearly twenty years. The inland empire of California’s desert is the perfect locale for his brand of off-the-grid noir, in which Manhattanite Phoebe Siegler hires the detective of the title, animal-loving vagabond Charles Heist, to find her friend’s missing teenage daughter, last seen near Mount Baldy. Up-to-the-minute commentary on today’s political atmosphere, conspiracies, and cultlike thinking inject an urgency into the hallucinatory, miragelike setting.

    The Splendor Before the Dark, by Margaret George
    In 2017’s The Confessions of Young Nero, our narrator proved to be an idealistic cultivator of artistry, beauty, and athleticism. In this second and final installment, and contrary to popular belief, Nero doesn’t fiddle while Rome burns, but he does take advantage of its destruction to mold a new society from the ashes, one that’s worthy of his self-perceived glory. Though his marriage to Poppaea seems perfect, the adoration of his people constant, not everyone is pleased with the power he wields and the decisions he makes (ahem, Golden House…). A traitor in his midst is about to make this anger known, and readers will feel completely absorbed by this sensitive, complex character study.

    Master of His Fate, by Barbara Taylor Bradford
    Kicking off a new Victorian-era saga, master of historical fiction Bradford introduces us to self-made James Lionel Falconer, a charming, would-be merchant prince enjoying a secret dalliance with an older woman, and Alexis Malvern, an aristocratic but charitable-minded young woman who has no desire to wed—until she meets Sebastian Trevelyan, fifteen years her senior, and romantic yearnings sweep her away. With their parallel lives and headstrong ambitions, it’s only a matter of time before the Falconer and Merchant families collide in this detail-rich series opener.

    Come With Me, by Helen Schulman
    In this modern, tech-soaked family drama, a virtual reality “choose your own adventure” program allows users to contemplate the alternate paths their lives might have taken if multiple universes were accessible. For employee and test subject Amy, a wife and mother who fears her husband Dan is unfaithful, that means bringing her own fantasies into the mix. Dan just wishes he could have a second chance at a jet-setting journalism career, and his decisions in that regard throws his relationship with Amy and their three children into chaos and heartbreak that may or may not be fixable.

    The Adults, by Caroline Hulse
    A comedic farce that sears all the goo out of Christmas fables, The Adults centers on Matt and Claire, former spouses who share a seven-year-old daughter, Scarlett. The alleged grown-ups decide to put aside their differences and spend Christmas together at a forced-fun theme park called Happy Forest—along with their new love interests, Patrick and Alex. Scarlett also brings a plus one in the form of her imaginary and opinionated bunny, Posey. Tension escalates with hilarious and unexpected results.

    My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    This suspenseful, mordant, and clever debut finds sisters Ayoola and Korede, who live in Lagos, Nigeria, perfecting the art of murder. Whenever beautiful, favored sibling Ayoola kills a boyfriend (three thus far), Korede, a shy, empathetic nurse, hides the crime and disposes the evidence. But when Ayoola sets her sights on Tade, a physician colleague of Korede’s whom Korede adores, the sisters’ latent sibling rivalry threatens to consume them.

    The post November’s Best New Fiction appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 7:00 pm on 2018/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, , , new thrills,   

    November’s Best New Thrillers 

    Time—and publishing schedules—wait for no one, so if you slacked off on your TBR pile in October, watch out, because November is bringing a bumper crop of new thrillers. This month’s picks of the litter are heavy on the returning faves as James Patterson, Lee Child, and Clive Cussler bring back some of their most popular characters, while Anthony Horowitz delivers a brand-new adventure for one of the most famous classic thriller characters of all time—and David Baldacci goes the other way, hitting the ground running with a brand-new character.

    Long Road to Mercy, by David Baldacci
    Baldacci takes a break from Amos Decker to introduce FBI Agent Atlee Pine, whose skill set makes her one of the FBI’s top criminal profilers, but who chooses to work in solitude as the lone agent assigned to the Shattered Rock, Arizona, resident agency. Pine is haunted by the kidnapping of her twin sister, Mercy, when they were six years old; the kidnapper sang out an old nursery rhyme as they chose which twin to abduct. Mercy was chosen, and Atlee never saw her sister again, and dedicated her life to saving others. When a mule is found dead in the Grand Canyon and its rider missing, Atlee is plunged into an investigation that would be beyond most agents—but not her. At least not until she’s abruptly ordered to close the case just as she’s figuring out the terrifying scope of what’s she’s chasing after…

    Target: Alex Cross, by James Patterson
    Patterson’s twenty-sixth Alex Cross book opens on a somber scene of mourning as hundreds of thousands of people gather in Washington, D.C., to mourn the president—among them Alex Cross, whose wife, Bree, has just become D.C.’s chief of detectives. When a sniper takes out a member of the president’s cabinet, it falls to Bree to solve the crime—and it’s clear her job is on the line. Cross begins to suspect the sniper is only getting started, and as usual he’s right—and the country is plunged into a violent crisis like nothing it’s ever seen before. Patterson raises the stakes beyond anything Cross has ever dealt with before—and that’s saying something.

    Past Tense, by Lee Child
    Jack Reacher returns in his twenty-third outing in fine form, as Child continues to get tremendous mileage from an older Reacher’s slow-burn journey into his own past. Faced with yet another fork in the road, Reacher chooses to walk into Laconia, New Hampshire, where his late father, Stan, was born. Meanwhile, a young couple driving from Canada stop at a mysteriously empty motel near Laconia when they have car trouble. Reacher, as usual, steps in to help the helpless and gets nothing but trouble for his efforts, while his efforts to learn about his father turn up a disturbing lack of information. As the two stories slowly work toward each other, Reacher discovers he might be more like his father than he suspected—and another batch of small-time goons discovers they’re no match whatsoever for Jack Reacher.

    Tom Clancy: Oath of Office, by Marc Cameron
    Cameron returns to the Jack Ryan universe for the second time with a complex story of betrayal and realpolitik that begins in Iran, where a Russian spy mourns his lover, Maryam, cut down by the Revolutionary Guard. This spurs Erik Dovzhenko to defect, traveling to Afghanistan to contact Maryam’s friend Ysabel Kashani. Ysabel brings in Jack Ryan, Jr., son of the President of the United States and member of antiterrorism unit the Campus. Ryan is in the area as part of a mission to track down two stolen nuclear weapons, and meets with Erik and Ysabel even as his father deals with an attack on an American embassy in Cameroon. The twisting story builds to an explosive conclusion in true Clancy style.

    You Don’t Own Me, by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
    Clark and Burke deliver the fifth book in the Under Suspicion series, featuring television producer Laurie Morgan, whose penchant for getting into trouble is just as strong as ever. Laurie is busy planning her wedding to former host Alex Buckley (who is about to be confirmed as a federal judge) when she’s contacted by the parents of a physician famously gunned down in his own driveway five years before; they’re in a bitter custody battle with his wife, and believe she was the killer. As Laurie takes on the story she finds, as usual, more layers to it than meet the eye—but as she works she’s being followed by a mysterious man who admires her from afar and thinks she might not be missed when she’s gone, pushing the tension to the breaking point.

    Sea of Greed, by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
    The sixteenth NUMA Files novel depicts a world on the verge of chaos as oil supplies dry up and stock markets drop. When a massive explosion in the Gulf of Mexico destroys three crucial oil rigs, the President of the United States is concerned enough to ask Kurt Austin and the NUMA Special Projects Team to investigate. Their attention is drawn to a maverick billionaire who sees her alternative energy company as the future—and who might be willing to take drastic measures to get to that future sooner rather than later. The crew of the NUMA finds evidence that an oil-eating bacteria thought lost fifty years before has been deployed in the Gulf, and now threatens to plunge the world into chaos if Austin and his team can’t get to the bottom of the mystery in time.

    Forever and a Day, by Anthony Horowitz
    Crafting an origin story for no less of a pop culture icon than James Bond is a daunting task, but Horowitz is in familiar waters after 2015’s Trigger Mortis, and does an expert job. The story kicks off with the death of the prior 007, found floating in the water off of Marseilles. M calls up Bond, newly attached to the Double-O section, and assigns him to investigate the agent’s death. Bond goes toe-to-toe with the Corsican mob and a classic Bond villain in the immensely obese and incredibly dangerous crime boss Jean-Paul Scipio. Horowitz seeds the story with plenty of Bond Easter eggs for longtime fans while crafting a tense, action-heavy story that satisfies simply as a modern-day spy thriller that’s gritty, violent, and morally complex.

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  • Jeff Somers 3:00 pm on 2018/10/01 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, , ,   

    October’s Best Thrillers 

    The Reckoning, by John Grisham
    Grisham’s latest is a compelling mystery set in the wake of World War II. Veteran Pete Banning, now enjoying civilian life as a farmer, gets up one day, has breakfast with his sister, and then drives into town and shoots the Reverend Dexter Bell three times, killing him. Banning makes no attempt to resist arrest, and only states that he has “nothing to say” about the murder. Is it connected to his wife, Liza, so recently committed to a hospital? Or is there a less obvious mystery afoot? As the community struggles to understand what’s happened, Grisham digs deeply into Banning’s backstory, following his journey through life and war on the way to a killing no one understands.

    Dark Sacred Night, by Michael Connelly
    Connelly pairs up two of his most enduring characters as Harry Bosch, now retired and working cases for his own reasons, and LAPD Detective Renée Ballard see their paths cross. After Ballard files a sexual harassment claim against the police department, she gets relegated to the graveyard shift. One night she catches Bosch looking through an old case file, researching the unsolved murder of a runaway girl in 2009. When she learns the girl’s mother, Daisy, is staying with Bosch as he helps her recover from drug addiction, Renée is moved to help. Meanwhile, Bosch’s other activities have put him directly in the sights of one of the most violent and ruthless street gangs in the area, Varrio San Fer 13, making the new partnership an extremely dangerous one—not that the detective is the type to spook easily.

    Ambush, by James Patterson and James O. Born
    When Detective Michael Bennett receives an anonymous tip that leads him into an attempted assassination, he quickly realizes it’s the work of a talented and mysterious professional, who soon targets Bennett’s family, while serving perfect red herrings clues to keep Bennett and his fellow cops chasing their tails. As Bennett puts the pieces together while protecting everyone he cares about, he realizes that while the assassin’s motivates are related to the rival cartels trying to corner the city’s drug traffic—cartels that may have joined forces to take out their main obstacle: Detective Michael Bennett.

    Paper Gods, by Goldie Taylor
    When Ezra Hawkins, a long-serving black congressman from Georgia, is assassinated, a hunt begins for both the killer and the congressman’s replacement. On the same day, infamous reporter Hampton Bridges is almost killed in a car accident that doesn’t seem so accidental, which drives him to dig even harder into the seamy underbelly of Georgia politics. Hawkins’ obvious successor would be his protégé, Atlanta Mayor Torrie Dodds—but dissatisfaction with Hawkins has soured Dodds, who resents a system controlled by wealthy white elites. As Bridges tracks down corruption and skulduggery, more killings ensue, and Dodds finds a mysterious link between the victims—one of whom is her own disgraced brother.

    The Night in Question, by Nic Joseph
    Paula Wilson works a rideshare gig to help with the medical bills that are crushing her family. One night she picks up her final passenger and is thrilled to recognize famous musician Ryan Hooks in her backseat. When she brings him to his destination and he’s met by a woman decidedly not his equally famous wife, Paula does something desperate—she suggests the best way to keep his meeting out of the papers is to pay her. But when it later turns out someone was murdered at that address, Paula realizes she might be the only person to know about Hooks’ secret affair, and thus the only witness to a terrible crime.

    The Trust, by Ronald H. Balson
    Balson’s fourth book following Liam Taggart and Catherine Lockhart sees Liam returning with reluctance to Northern Ireland for a funeral. He isn’t looking forward to seeing his family again, but is soon  astonished to find he’s been named the executor of his uncle’s secret trust, which can only be settled after Fergus’ murder is solved. Liam is forced to do the last thing he wants: take a deep dive into his family’s affairs, their long-standing connection to the IRA and the Troubles, and the skein of greed, resentment, and violence at the end of his every inquiry. Whoever killed Fergus is undoubtedly watching.

    Smile, by Roddy Doyle
    Booker Prize-winner Doyle returns with a fascinating character study that follows Victor Forde, a past-his-prime radio commentator who returns to his dingy hometown after separating from his celebrity chef wife. Abandoning his determination to make friends and do some writing, Forde drinks his sorrows away at Donnelly’s pub, spending time with the locals and then tottering off to work on a project he never quite gets started. One night at Donnelly’s, Forde encounters an old schoolmate, Fitzpatrick, a man he quite doesn’t remember from hisviolent years at St. Martin’s Christian Brothers School. Fitzpatrick forces Forde to revisit those dark childhood years, unraveling a decades-old mystery and memories of sexual abuse, and slowly becomes the man’s unlikely best friend, as Doyle builds to an ending both unexpected and inevitable.

    The post October’s Best Thrillers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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