January 2011 New Fiction

General Fiction

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens Oprah’s Book Club Pick

Two of Dicken’s novels are republished. The first follows a group from the tranquil roads of London to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror. The second follows the life of the orphaned Pip from the wild Kent marshes through a series of events as he abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman.

The Confession by John Grisham

An innocent man is about to be executed. Only a guilty man can save him. For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside. He doesn’t understand how the police and prosecutors got the wrong man, and he certainly doesn’t care. He just can’t believe his good luck. Time passes and he realizes that the mistake will not be corrected: the authorities believe in their case and are determined to get a conviction. He may even watch the trial of the person wrongly accused of his crime. He is relieved when the verdict is guilty. He laughs when the police and prosecutors congratulate themselves. He is content to allow an innocent person to go to prison, to serve hard time, even to be executed. Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donte Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row. Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donte is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what’s right and confess. But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man? From the Hardcover edition.

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

Former Bolshoi ballerina Nina Revskaya auctions off her jewelry collection and becomes overwhelmed by memories of her homeland, the friends she left behind amidst Stalinist aggression, and the dark secret that brought her to a new life in Boston.

In the Company of Others by Jan Karon

In this second novel, Father Tim and Cynthia arrive in the west of Ireland, intent on researching his Kavanagh ancestry from the comfort of a charming fishing lodge. The charm, however, is broken entirely when Cynthia startles a burglar and sprains her already-injured ankle. Then a cherished and valuable painting is stolen from the lodge owners, and Cynthia’s pain pales in comparison to the wound at the center of this bitterly estranged Irish family.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

Fantasy/Science Fiction

The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus by Jonathan Green

Ulysses Quicksilver, dandy, adventurer and agent of the throne. A steam-punk hero on a dark alternative universe where Queen Victoria has ruled for 160 years, sinister powers plot against theBritishnbsp; Empire and dinosaurs roam the Challenger enclosure at London Zoo. This is the world of Magna Britannia, a brave new age of steam populated by heroes and villains, monsters and grotesques.nbsp;Volume 1 in this series collect together the first three Ulysses Quicksilver novels:Unnatural HistoryLeviathan Rising and Human Nature.

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson

The Last Battle has started. The seals on the Dark One’s prison are crumbling. The Pattern itself is unraveling, and the armies of the Shadow have begun to boil out of the Blight. The sun has begun to set upon the Third Age. Perrin Aybara is now hunted by specters from his past: Whitecloaks, a slayer of wolves, and the responsibilities of leadership. All the while, an unseen foe is slowly pulling a noose tight around his neck. To prevail, he must seek answers in Telaranrhiod and find a way–at long last–to master the wolf within him or lose himself to it forever. Meanwhile, Matrim Cauthon prepares for the most difficult challenge of his life. The creatures beyond the stone gateways–the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn–have confused him, taunted him, and left him hanged, his memory stuffed with bits and pieces of other men’s lives. He had hoped that his last confrontation with them would be the end of it, but the Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills. The time is coming when he will again have to dance with the Snakes and the Foxes, playing a game that cannot be won. The Tower of Ghenjei awaits, and its secrets will reveal the fate of a friend long lost.  This penultimate novel of Robert Jordan’s New York Timesbestselling series–the second of three based on materials he left behind when he died in 2007–brings dramatic and compelling developments to many threads in the Pattern. The end draws near. It’s time to toss the dice.

Mystery

State Fair by Earlene Fowler

Attending the San Celina Mid-State Fair, Benni Harper’s enjoyment of the fair’s activities are put on hold after the theft of a quilt intended for a special exhibition and the discovery of a corpse in the Piebald Family Farm Exhibit.

The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny

A stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store and all clues point to bistro owner Olivier being the killer. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets long buried–but not forgotten.

Suspense/Thriller

The Dead Lie Down by Sophie Hannah

A breathtaking novel of psychological suspense from the author of Little Face and The Wrong Mother Featuring the return of Sergeant Charlotte “Charlie” Zailer and DC Simon Waterhouse, The Dead Lie Down is another sophisticated, addictive read from the new mistress of the page-turner. Ruth Bussey once did something wrong-horribly wrong-and was nearly destroyed by her punishment. Now, she has tentatively rebuilt her life and unexpectedly found love with a man named Aidan Seed. But Aidan also has a secret-he killed someone years ago, a woman named Mary Trelease. Ruth’s horror turns to confusion when she realizes that she knows Mary Trelease, and Mary is very much alive.

Damage by John Lescroat

From the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Treasure Hunt” and “A Plague of Secrets” comes an explosive look at the seductive power of revenge and the terrible costs of justice.

A Small Death in the Great Glen by A.D. Scott

In the Highlands of 1950s Scotland, a boy is found dead in a canal lock. Two members of the local newspaper staff set out to investigate the crime. Together, these very different Scots harbor deep and troubling secrets underneath their polished and respectable veneers.

Romance

Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts

Dreams are realized in the eagerly-awaited fourth novel in Nora Roberts’s Bride Quartet. As the public face of Vows wedding planning company, Parker Brown has an uncanny knack for fulfilling every bride’s vision. She just can’t see where her own life is headed. Mechanic Malcomb Kavanaugh loves figuring out how things work, and Parker is no exception. Both know that moving from minor flirtation to major hook-up is a serious step. Parker’s business risks have always paid off, but now she’ll have to take the chance of a lifetime with her heart…

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