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  • Ross Johnson 2:00 pm on 2018/04/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , top picks   

    The Best Biographies & Memoirs of April 2018 

    The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table, by Rick Bragg
    Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Bragg combines a love of cooking with the history of his family and of a region for this memoir/cookbook. Focusing on his mother’s recipes, never before recorded, he tells the stories behind each dish and of the family traditions that accompanied meals passed down in his family since before the Civil War. Alabama and family history aside, the book contains recipes for southern classics like corn pudding, redeye gravy, pinto beans and hambone, stewed cabbage, short ribs, and more.

    My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food, by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich
    Celebrity chef, restauranteur, and cookbook author Bastianich grew up in Pula under Tito’s regime in Yugoslavia. Lidia’s family ultimately was forced to flee to a refugee camp in Italy before being granted visas to to the United States.  The beloved TV star tells the story of her life, from learning Italian cooking at her grandmother’s knee, to the family’s the flight to America, to her teenage years spent working in restaurants, and the great success that she’s achieved in the years since.

    The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery, by Barbara K. Lipska and Elaine McArdle
    Barbara Lipska found herself at the beginning of a harrowing, but remarkable journey in early 2015: the renowned expert on the neuroscience of mental illness was herself diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to her brain. Short months later, she developed symptoms of dementia and schizophrenia that resulted from the shutdown of parts of her frontal lobe. She found herself descending into madness—but fortunately, a course of immunotherapy worked, and restored her physical and mental health. Not only that, but the neuroscientist remembers every detail of her ordeal. Her memoir of the experience provides extraordinary insight into the working of the human brain, told as it is by an expert who came back from the brink.

    Eunice: The Kennedy Who Changed the World, by Eileen McNamara
    While the Kennedy boys were being groomed for political power, Joe Kennedy’s daughter Eunice was pursuing a Stanford education as a preliminary to a lifetime of work with the disabled. For this thoroughly researched biography, Pulitzer Prize-winner Eileen McNamara gained access to never-before-seen private documents from the life of the formidable, cigar-smoking founder of what became the Special Olympics. She makes a very convincing case that it’s wasn’t just the Kennedy men who changed America.

    The Geraldo Show: A Memoir, by Geraldo Rivera
    Whatever your feelings about this news personality and talk show host, there’s no question his long career in the public eye has been quite the wild trip, from his early days as a lawyer and promising young reporter, to the guy who opened Al Capone’s vault, to talk show host and Fox News commentator. He’s been on the scene for some of the biggest news moments of the past five decades and has met many of modern history’s heavy hitters. He’s got plenty of stories to tell in his first memoir since 1992.

    Every Day I’m Hustling, by Vivica A. Fox
    During her 30 years in showbiz, Fox has learned plenty, and she’s ready to share. According to the actress, you never wait for the call. You go out and make life happen. Including stories and anecdotes from her own life and career in movies like Kill Bill and shows like Empire, Fox ‘s memoir offers success strategies for business and love, and even tips about looking good after 50.

    True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness: A Feminist Coming of Age, by Christine Lahti
    She’s won almost every major showbiz award over the course of her decades in the business, and has been an activist and blogger. This collection of personal essays focus on three periods in her life: her childhood, her early days as an actress, and the realities of life as a middle-aged woman in Hollywood today. The stories range from funny and self-deprecating to personally painful, but she’s always honest about her achievements and tragedies.

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After, by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil
    At the age of 15, Clementine and her sister fled the Rwandan massacre. Over the next six years, they moved through seven different countries before gaining refugee status in the United States. The two sisters came to live very different lives as their paths diverged in Chicago: one a struggling single mother, the other taken in by a generous and loving family who supported her through Yale. Still, both carried the scars of years of inhumanity. Clementine Wamariya tells a story that’s heartbreaking but, ultimately, one of hope and of the power to transcend even the most horrific events.

    Hang Time: My Life in Basketball, by Elgin Baylor and Alan Eisenstock
    Baylor’s long career spans years of incredible change for the NBA and America itself. In 1958 he became one of the very first black superstars of the game, and receives credit for saving the (then) Minneapolis Lakers from extinction while simultaneously serving as an Army Reservist. Fourteen exceptional years later, he retired from playing and went onto a decades-long career as a coach and executive. Throughout, he was a witness to and agent of change, fighting to break down color barriers as a player and manager.

    American Princess: The Love Story of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, by Leslie Carroll
    Carroll has an extensive bibliography when it comes to works of historical non-fiction (and fiction, as well) centered around the loves, marriages, and affairs of European royals. With the story of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and a relationship that would have been scandalous not so long ago, she’s taking on a rather more contemporary courtship. Grounding the story in the history of royal marriages that broke rules, Carroll dives into the story of the couple, as well as into the impressive background of Markle herself.

    Whose story intrigues and inspires you?

    The post The Best Biographies & Memoirs of April 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Molly Schoemann-McCann 4:00 pm on 2018/03/30 Permalink
    Tags: after anna, , , , , cave of bones, , , , , , , new and mysterious, richard jury series, the good pilot peter woodhouse, the knowledge, the sixth day, top picks, twenty-one days   

    The Best New Mysteries of March 2018 

    Greetings, gumshoes! March may have gone out like a lamb, but April’s new crop of mysteries is roaring in. From a gritty retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by the peerless Jo Nesbø, to the story of a long-lost daughter whose sudden reappearance brings nothing but trouble, this month’s crop of whodunits is ready to surprise you with twists and turns you didn’t see coming.

    After Anna, by Lisa Scottoline
    In this tense family drama, Noah Alderman, a widower with a young son, gets a second chance at love when he marries Maggie Ippolitti, who is wonderful with his child and gives him the happy family he has longed for. When Maggie’s teenage daughter Anna, whom she hasn’t seen since she was an infant, reappears in her life, Maggie is also overjoyed that she gets a second chance at being the parent to Anna that she has always longed to be. But Anna’s reappearance upsets all of their lives, as she manipulates Noah and Maggie and pits them against each other, destabilizing their happy marriage. When Anna is murdered, Noah stands accused of the crime. Maggie doesn’t want to believe it, but the evidence against him is overwhelming…until she begins to dig deeper into Anna’s past, and uncovers darker secrets than she could have imagined.

    The Sixth Day (A Brit in the FBI Series #5), by Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison
    Things are heating up in the A Brit in the FBI Series—the fifth installment opens with a number of deaths of well-known politicians, which authorities are trying to claim are merely coincidental—until a drone is spotted near the steps of 10 Downing street when the German Vice-Chancellor is murdered. It’s clear there’s a hidden agenda behind these killings, and special agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine must track down a descendant of Vlad the Impaler, whom they believe is hell-bent on attacking London.

    The Knowledge (Richard Jury Series #24), by Martha Grimes
    When Richard Jury learns that a gambler-slash-astrophysics professor at Columbia he’s become friendly with was murdered in front of a casino-slash-gallery called the Artemis Club, he’s furious. When he learns that the murderer jumped into a cab directly after committing the crime, Jury follows that lead and finds himself in an investigation that leads from Tanzanian gem mines to a cabbies-only pub so secretive that not even the police can get the location out of anyone. Grimes’s funny, offbeat Richard Jury series crackles with wit and is packed with bizarro characters.

    The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse, by Alexander McCall Smith
    A moving story of love and friendship set against the tumultuous backdrop of World War II, this standalone novel is by the bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, and features his charming, deftly-drawn characters and intricate plotting. A young woman named Val is working on an English farm when she crosses paths with a U. S. Air Force pilot named Mike. When Val rescues a dog from an abusive owner, she finds him a home on Mike’s air force base, and she and Mike fall in love. The dog, Peter Woodhouse, becomes a fixture on the air force base, but disaster strikes as the war drags on, and when Mike and Peter Woodhouse draw a German corporal into their lives, it sets off a series of events that challenges their notions of friendship, loyalty, and love.

    Macbeth, by Jo Nesbø
    Brilliant thriller writer Jo Nesbø (author of the Harry Hole series) has written a fascinating entry in the inventive Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which modern authors update classic Shakespeare plays. Nesbo sets Macbeth in a dilapidated town in Scotland in the 1970s that is plagued by drugs and corruption. Duncan, the chief of police, is working to stem the tide of both and is assisted by SWAT team head Macbeth. But vicious local drug lord Hecate has his own agenda, and uses pressure and manipulation to push Macbeth, already unstable and paranoid, into serving his own terrible ends.

    Cave of Bones (Leaphorn, Chee and Manualito Series #4), by Anne Hillerman
    When a young participant in a character-building program returns from an outdoor trek shaken and upset, Tribal Police Officer Bernadette Manualito, who happens to be visiting the program, questions her and discovers that she came across a body in the rugged wilderness of New Mexico. Even more disturbing is the possibility that the body may belong to a missing program instructor. When Bernie investigates further, she discovers that this missing persons case may be connected to a very old one in which Joe Leaphorn was involved. In the meantime, her husband Jim Chee is dealing with a nightmare scenario of his own: a violent man he sent to prison on domestic violence charges is out—and he’s taken up with Bernie’s sister, Darleen. Navigating this extremely tricky emotional territory is going to push Jim to his limits.

    Twenty-One Days (Daniel Pitt Series #1), by Anne Perry
    It’s 1910, and young lawyer Daniel Pitt has some rather large shoes to fill, as the son of the esteemed Thomas and Charlotte Pitt (stars of Perry’s long-running series by the same name). Hungry to make a name for himself, junior barrister Daniel takes on the case of one Russell Graves, a biographer who has been found guilty of his wife’s murder. Unless Daniel can find the real killer, Graves will hang in only three weeks. But as Daniel digs deeper into the case, his investigations bring him closer to a colleague of his father’s, and his loyalty to the law is soon pitted against his duty to his own family—and to an innocent man whose life is on the line.

    What mysteries are you excited to read in April?

    The post The Best New Mysteries of March 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 7:00 pm on 2018/03/01 Permalink
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    THe Best History Books of March 2018 

    History moves pretty fast, and it’s impossible to pay attention to everything at once. History books open windows onto a frozen period of the past, allowing us to take our time and dig deep into the fine grain of events. This month’s crop of new history books bringboth modern-day events like the 2016 election and those more distant past, like the 18th century siege of Gilbraltar, into focus, giving us the room to understand how they affected the world speeding along around us.

    Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn
    Americans on both sides are still trying to figure out precisely what happened in the 2016 presidential election, and sometimes it seems like the more information we glean about Russian hacking and propaganda programs, the more confusing it becomes. Veteran journalists Isikoff and Corn take a systematic approach to tracing the course of events, starting with the souring of Russia-U.S. relations, tracing the Trump organization’s close ties to Russia, then outlining the incredibly complex system of espionage that the Russians employed to influence the election.

    Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History, by Roy Adkins and Lesley Adkins
    At the height of the Revolutionary War, Great Britain was distracted and weakened by war with France and Spain, and the strain contributed to the American victory that birthed a nation. Roy and Lesley Adkins take a thrilling close look at one of the most strategically important events of the time: the nearly-four year siege of Gilbraltar. Incredibly important to Britain’s empire, the story of the soldiers, sailors, and officers who held the rock against all odds deserves all the attention it can get, as it’s easily one of the most thrilling episodes of the period. Fighting not just bullets and sabers but disease and starvation as the French and Spanish worked tirelessly to intercept all resupply attempts, the longest siege in Britain’s history is one of those real-life events that seems like it came out of a fantastic thriller.

    Disappointment River: Finding and Losing the Northwest Passage, by Brian Castner
    In 1789, Alexander Mackenzie set off into Canada’s Northwest Territories in search of the Northwest Passage. Navigating a river he named Disappointment (today known as the Mackenzie River) he pushed his team further north than any European had ever been, ultimately failing in his quest. In 2016 Castner set off to follow the same route and to experience some of the same nightmarish conditions suffered by Mackenzie more than two centuries earlier. The world Castner finds is much changed, and yet the indigenous people of the area are still struggling in similar fashion—just against different forces. Mackenzie’s incredible journey combined with Castner’s modern-day memoir bring the area and its history to vibrant life.

    To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration, by Edward Larson
    Larson offers a snapshot of a bygone age where the idle rich wished to be not quite so idle, and lavished their resources on exploration that brought fame and status. In 1909, three incredible expeditions were mounted: Shackleton’s attempt to reach the South Pole, Peary’s eighth attempt to reach the North Pole, and Prince Luigi Amedeo of Savoy’s attempt to climb to the “Pole of Altitude” in the Himalayas. Armed with equipment that broke down or was easily lost along the way, Larson details the thrillingly dangerous conditions these men endured as they pursued their goals—the last frontiers of exploration on a planet that was rapidly being settled and modernized. Mutinies, lost appendages, and other incredible setbacks make each attempt a gripping story of adventure, detailed with fine-point accuracy by Larson’s research and access to original sources.

    In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, by Mitch Landrieu
    If anyone needed a reminder that we are far from living in any sort of “post-racial” society, the events surrounding the removal of various confederate statues in the southern United States in 2017 served as a grim lesson. Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans, ordered the removal of four Confederate statues, and here writes movingly—and disturbingly—of the segregationist and supremacist forces that opposed him. While some argue about the erasing of history, Landrieu doesn’t flinch away from categorizing those who fight to protect the symbols of slavery as racists, or from outlining the ways these forces still control the mechanisms of the law and politics in the southern states.

    New World, Inc.: The Making of America by England’s Merchant Adventurers, by John Butman and Simon Targett
    The story of capitalism and its influence on the world didn’t begin with the USA, and Butman and Targett serve up a fascinating reminder that the New World was, in fact, discovered and mapped largely by for-profit adventurers representing corporations. Beginning with the three ships of the Mysterie Company in 1533 that set off—unsuccessfully—to find a northern passage to China. The authors further argue that the contributions of such money-minded entrepreneurs was erased in favor of the religious, pious Pilgrims who offered America a better pedigree. They also underscore the link between commerce and the desperate need for new trade routes and the advancement of seafaring technology and knowledge, making a successful argument that to find a new world more than simple adventure and curiosity was needed—profits also had to be in the cards.

    The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, by Elaine Weiss
    It might be difficult to believe that less than a century ago women did not have the right to vote in the United States. As the #MeToo movement puts women’s rights and equality back in the spotlight, it’s the ideal time to revisit the surprisingly thrilling and tense battle for women’s suffrage—a battle that looked to be lost just a short time before the vote. Weiss recounts the surprisingly dirty politics of the struggle, defined by the threats, bribes, and tricks of the anti-suffrage movement, countered at every turn by the passionate, fearless work of Carrie Catt, Sue White, and dozens of others. Readers will see plenty of parallels to modern times in the corporate influences, disinformation campaigns, and outright sexism and racism that marked a struggle for something that seems like simple common sense today—and which many assume was a simple procedural matter, when the reality was much more violent and exciting.

    The Age of Eisenhower, by William I. Hitchcock
    Dwight D. Eisenhower was so successful and fundamentally important to 20th century American—and world—history it’s almost unavoidable that people would work to undermine his legacy, complaining that he was a figurehead during World War II and that he was a lightweight, inconsequential President who floated along on a warm wave of postwar prosperity. Hitchcock takes a much-needed second look at Ike’s presidency, offering compelling evidence that Eisenhower was much more subtle and intelligent a political operative than has been assumed. Eisenhower in fact followed smart, even-handed economic policies that balanced the needs of citizens with budgetary restraint, and was more important to the Civil Rights movement than most grade school history books give him credit for. At a time when presidential performance is on every American’s mind in some sense, this is an ideal book for those seeking historical objectivity.

    The Last Wild Men of Borneo: A True Story of Death and Treasure, by Carl Hoffman
    Hoffman tells the parallel tales of Bruno Manser, a Swiss environmentalist, and Michael Palmieri, and art dealer from America, who both found adventure and purpose on the wild and untamed island of Borneo int he 1970s and 1980s. Palmieri collected artifacts and tribal art, becoming a notable dealer while Manser lived with the primitive Penan tribe and worked tirelessly to protect the island from corporate forces seeking to denude it of natural resources. Remarkably, the men never met in person, and Hoffman turns their true life stories into the stuff of adventure fiction, filled with battles against nature and tense smuggling adventures that would make as excellent a Hollywood movie as they do a book of modern-day history.

    China’s Great Wall of Debt, by Dinny McMahon
    China seems to be on an inevitable economic ascent, and it’s easy to assume their “miracle” was accomplished through diligent manipulation of market forces and a wave of exported goods. McMahon traces the true engine of China’s economic expansion—debt, and plenty of it, to the tune of $12 trillion that may never be paid back. This puts not just China’s future but the future of the entire world at risk, as the collapse of this wall of debt would set off a chain reaction the world’s economies have never experienced. McMahon doesn’t settle for academic research and number-crunching, traveling to China to visit idle factories and empty ghost cities and meeting with businesspeople who operate their Chinese companies outside of China because it’s easier to get the basics they need in countries like the United States. All in all an eye-opening book that will change views on the world’s economy and future, and not necessarily for the better.

    The post THe Best History Books of March 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Ross Johnson 5:00 pm on 2018/03/01 Permalink
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    The Best Biographies & Memoirs of March 2018 

    The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row, by Anthony Ray Hinton, Bryan Stevenson, and Lara Love Hardin
    “I don’t care whether you did it or not. You will be convicted.” That’s what a Birmingham detective told Anthony Ray Hinton after he was arrested for robbery and murder in 1985. Hinton had an alibi, and no evidence linked him to the crime, but testimony suggesting that a gun owned by his mother might have been the same type as was used in the shootings was enough to send the black man to death row. Outside ballistics experts proved conclusively, in 1995, that the bullets weren’t a match for his mother’s gun, but the state refused to reexamine the evidence. Hinton spent almost 30 years were in prison before the state released him in 2015, rather than hold a new trial. The story is tragic and compelling, but also one of hope—of a man who never succumbed to bitterness.

    I’ll Never Change My Name: An Immigrant’s American Dream from Ukraine to the USA to Dancing with the Stars, by Valentin Chmerkovskiy
    Chmerkovskiy grew up in Odessa before his Jewish family immigrated to the United States. Outsiders in their often anti-semitic homeland, Valentin felt like a stranger in the United States, even while honoring the opportunities that America has provided him. His memoir talks about his life, family, and rise to fame as a ballroom dancer on Dancing with the Stars alongside his brother Maks. Additionally, the book includes 16 pages of photographs from on and off the dance floor.

    Gator: My Life in Pinstripes, by Ron Guidry, and Andrew Beaton
    During the so-called “Bronx Zoo” era, the New York Yankees of the late ’70s and ’80s were one of the most celebrated teams in baseball history, and a legendary crew of big personalities. Under manager Billy Martin and owner George Steinbrenner, the team included names like Thurman Munson and Reggie Jackson. Ace pitcher Guidry was there for it all, making and being witness to sports history for over a decade, and shares his (and the team’s) fascinating journey here.

    Jackie’s Girl: My Life with the Kennedy Family, by Kathy McKeon
    The Kennedy family continues to fascinate, perhaps none more than the glamorous, mysterious first lady turned book editor. Even given her later reclusiveness, we still feel as though we’re on a first-name basis with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Kathy McKeon grew up on a remote farm in Ireland with neither running water nor electricity, but was hired by the recent widow when McKeon moved to America in 1964. For 13 years, she was Jackie’s personal assistant and sometimes nanny to the children. Now in paperback, McKeon’s memoir provides a behind-the-scenes look at life with one of the most famous Americans of the 20th century, while also telling the story of a young immigrant who grew up under Jackie’s mentorship.

    A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir, by Ian Buruma
    Writer and historian Buruma travelled to Tokyo in 1975, inspired by the rawness of Japanese theatre performances he’d experienced in his native Netherlands. What he found was a city in the middle of an economic and cultural boom, all neon and J-pop, where hints of life before the war survived as scattered fragments amidst a vivid new backdrop. Buruma’s memoir is the story of his time in Tokyo as an outsider in a city in the midst of radical transformation.

    Would You Rather?: A Memoir of Growing Up and Coming Out, by Katie Heaney
    Novelist and memoirist Heaney’s warm and poignant collections of essays about growing up and searching for Mr. Right have been well-received, but her life’s changed since the release of her last: for one thing, she realized at the age of 28 that she’s gay, so Mr. Right became Ms. Right. Here, she chronicles the journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance that led her to where she is now, and shares stories of her coming out to friends, family, and acquaintances, and her new adventures in dating in New York City.

    Unsuccessful Thug: One Comedian’s Journey from Naptown to Tinseltown, by Mike Epps
    Growing up in a rough part of Indianapolis, Mike Epps seemed destined for a life of crime, until he realized he had neither the sensibilities nor the aptitude for the thug life. So it was off to New York, where he made a splash in stand up, and then to Hollywood, where he parlayed a role in the later Friday movies into a solid film career. From growing up black, to Hollywood racism, to capturing stand-up success, Epps discusses his life and career.

    My Days: Happy and Otherwise, by Marion Ross
    With a career spanning more than six decades, Marion Ross has plenty of stories to tell. After growing up in rural Minnesota, she went to Hollywaood where, by the late ’50s, she had already worked with entertainment luminaries like Ginger Rogers, Humphrey Bogart, and Noel Coward. In the ’70s, she became a television star, and for 11 seasons of Happy Days, she was one of America’s favorite moms. In addition to her own life story on- and off-screen, this memoir includes candid interviews with most of the cast of that enduring sit-com.

    It’s Not Yet Dark, by Simon Fitzmaurice
    A doctor gave filmmaker Fitzmaurice four years to live following an ALS diagnosis in 2008. By 2010, he was at death’s door, and given little reason to hope. Nevertheless, he chose to take extraordinary measures to stay alive. In the years since, he’s fathered twins and continued to work as a documentarian. Now in paperback, and released alongside his wife’s own memoir, Fitzmaurice talks candidly about his daily struggles, but also about the family that sustains him in a life that’s radically different from the one he’d planned for.

    I Found My Tribe: A Memoir, by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    The “Tragic Wives’ Swimming Club” is what Ruth Fitzmaurice calls her tribe of friends, who have banded together in the face of life’s challenges, and regularly make a pilgrimage to a lake together to throw themselves into the frigid waters—a symbol of their resiliency and camaraderie in the face of hardship. Ruth is the wife of Simon, a filmmaker with ALS (whose own memoir is out in paperback this month; see above); caring for a husband who can now only communicate with his eyes taught her love and live as hard as she can. Her story is heartbreaking, but ultimately inspiring.

    Whose story inspires you?

    The post The Best Biographies & Memoirs of March 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2018/03/01 Permalink
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    The Best New Thrillers of March 2018 

    March is a naturally thrilling month, what with all the “Ides of March” killing Caesar business, so we’ve assembled a reading list to match: this month we’ve got a red-hot new one from James Patterson and Marshall Karp, another Kurt Austin adventure from Clive Cussler, and a darkly entertaining debut from BBC news veteran Alice Feeney.

    Red Alert, by James Patterson and Marshall Karp
    The fifth NYPD Red book pulls out all the stops, depicting the 1% of Manhattan’s elite behaving badly—and being murdered at an alarming rate. When a film-maker’s sex games go wrong and end with a corpse and a charity function is bombed in the same night, Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald of the NYPD Red division respond, putting aside the romantic and sexual tension between them to protect the rich and famous. But as their investigation deepens even they’re shocked at the level of depravity and corruption they discover—and when their search for the truth puts powerful people in danger, they’ll have no one but each other to rely on as they seek to do their duty, no matter the personal cost, even as more bodies turn up.

    The Escape Artist, by Brad Meltzer
    Meltzer offers up a riveting launch of a new series starring Jim “Zig” Zigarowski, a mortician working top-secret cases for the government at Dover Air Force base. When a military plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness without explanation, he gets the body to examine, and is shocked to hear that it’s Nola Brown, a woman who saved his daughter’s life when they were children. When Zig examines the body, however, certain identifying marks are missing—and there’s a note in the woman’s stomach addressing a warning to Nola, convincing him that this isn’t Nola Brown at all. Zig sets off to find out where the real Nola is, leading him into a maze of government conspiracy that goes back a century—and possibly into more danger than he bargained for.

    The Rising Sea, by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
    Cussler and Brown’s latest Kurt Austin adventure offers up a climate change-themed story with a twist. Sea levels are rising, threatening to flood the coastal areas of the world and cause unimaginable death and destruction, but it’s not due to global warming. A secretive Chinese group is deep-water mining a substance known as Golden Adamant, a “metamaterial” whose unique properties allow for the development of powerful technologies, and a side-effect of the mining process is the release of huge quantities of water previously trapped in mineral deposits. It’s up to Austin and the rest of the National Underwater and Marine Agency’s special assignments team to stop this cataclysmic process—and find themselves facing some completely unexpected threats in the process.

    The Bishop’s Pawn, by Steve Berry
    The 13th Cotton Malone novel finds the skilled government operative trapped between the present and the past. Nearly two decades ago, a younger, less-experienced Malone was given an assignment to dive into the waters off the Florida coast to retrieve a stolen coin worth millions—only to discover he’d been lied to. The case also contained documents related to an FBI program somehow involved with the assassination of Martin Luther King. In the present day, Malone receives a note saying simply “Fifty years have passed. Bring them,” and he heads to Atlanta for a secret meeting, leaning in to a dangerous feud between the FBI and the Justice Department involving explosive secrets from the past that could change the way everyone looks back at history—if Malone can survive.

    The Kremlin Conspiracy, by Joel C. Rosenberg
    Rosenberg’s newest is a nail-biter of a spy story, tracking the parallel careers of Russian attorney Oleg Kraskin, trusted son-in-law to the devious and dangerous Russian President Aleksandr Luganov, and Marcus Ryker, whose Marine heroism led him into the Secret Service and eventually the President’s personal detail. As Luganov plots to reassert Russian might by invading the defenseless countries of the Baltic—using nuclear weapons if need be—Ryker and Kraskin are right in the mix of things on opposite sides. As the crisis quickly swells to apocalyptic proportions it becomes clear that the one thing Luganov didn’t count on was Ryker, who comes back from a family tragedy with nothing to lose, and willing to put everything on the line to prevent disaster.

    Sometimes I Lie, by Alice Feeney

    Amber Reynolds wakes up in a coma, her body paralyzed and her memories muddled, in this taut debut. Slowly, pieces of her life come back to her—her anxiety over her radio presenter job, her suspicions that her husband Paul has fallen in love with her own sister Claire and may have been unfaithful. As she tries to piece everything together to figure out what happened to her, events from her childhood seep back into her consciousness, indicating that this is all part of something much larger—and much darker—than a straying husband and family drama. Amber’s own mind plays tricks on her as she lays helplessly, struggling to remember, and no one who enters the room, including a mysterious man Amber doesn’t recognize, is aware that she can hear everything they say.

    The Flight Attendant, by Chris Bohjalian
    Cassie Bowden is a globe-trotting flight attendant with a serious drinking problem that often finds her waking up in strange places with no memory of her adventures. When she meets a handsome financier on a flight to Dubai, she isn’t surprised to wake up in swanky hotel room with him the next day, head pounding—but she is surprised to find the bed soaked in blood and her one night stand dead via assasination. The assassin, Elena, spared Cassie in a moment of sympathy—but has regrets in the bright light of day. Cassie is used to lying to cover up her drunken exploits, and she goes into deception overdrive to save her own skin, navigating suspicious police and a professional killer who is intent on correcting what she sees as a mistake in momentary weakness.

    The Sandman, by Lars Kepler
    The fourth Detective Inspector Joona Linna novel focuses on a serial murderer named Jurek Walter, convicted of two murders but suspected in dozens more and serving a sentence in a high-security psychiatric ward. When one of his victims, Mikael Kobler-Frost, suddenly reappears after he escapes captivity, he confirms Joona’s long-held suspicion that Walter didn’t work alone. Not only does Mikael describe his captor—referring to him as The Sandman—he insists that his sister, Felicia, is still alive and being held as well. In order to discover the location of The Sandman, Joona’s colleague Inspector Saga Bauer is sent into the psyche ward to pose as a patient and get information out of Walter, setting off a tense battle of wits as time slowly runs out for the poor girl.

    The Girl in the Moon, by Terry Goodkind
    Angela Constantine, born to a drug addict and abused almost from birth—is a survivor of horrific violence in her childhood—and she has the rare ability to identify killers simply by gazing into their eyes. Spurred by her bitter experience, she uses this ability to find men who abuse women and execute them with serious, cold brutality, making them suffer for their crimes before disposing of their bodies in a pit under her house. When events make Angela the target of a violent terrorist group, she learns of their terrifying plans and realizes she might not just be the only person who knows what they intend to do, she might also be the only person in the world capable of stopping them. Using her special ability and a lifetime of rage against those who would victimize others, Angela is the world’s only hope.

    Tangerine, by Christine Mangan
    This dark throwback of a story focuses on the easily manipulated Alice and the dominant, vivacious Lucy, who met at college in the 1950s and became extremely close friends—until a man came between them and a tragic accident that might have been no such thing drives them apart. Years later, the women meet again in Tangier, where Alice has moved with her new husband, John. Alice is miserable in the foreign land, Lucy loves it. When Alice begins to suspect John may have cheated, her emotional fragility gives Lucy an opening to reclaim her place as Lucy’s BFF—and the rekindled friendship quickly moves the women into a familiar pattern, a pattern that ended in tragedy before, and might end in much worse this time around.

    The post The Best New Thrillers of March 2018 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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