July 2009 Fiction

 The Blood-Dimmed Tide by Rennie Airth

John Madden, former Scotland Yard Inspector, is now a farmer in the Surrey countryside. When a young girl goes missing, it is he who discovers her disfigured body. Disturbed by what he has seen he is convinced the killer has struck before. When a second body is found, his instinct is proved right, there is a multiple killer at large.

River of Darkness by Rennie  Airth

As rural England slowly emerges from the sorrow of World War I, a particularly vicious attack on a household in a small Surrey village leaves five butchered bodies and no explanation for the killings. A Scotland Yard inspector investigates.

In the Kitchen by Monica Ali

This novel opens with a mysterious death in the cellars of a smart, cosmopolitan hotel and over the course of the ensuing pages, peels back the layers of polyglot London to reveal the melting pot which exists below.

The Embers by Hyatt Bass

From Booklist
In her first novel, screenwriter-producer Bass explores the effects of a child’s death on a nuclear family. As Emily Ascher plans her wedding, years after her older brother Thomas died in his teens, she still talks to him and wants to be married where his ashes were scattered. The grief felt by Thomas’ now-divorced parents, Joe and Laura, is compounded by Joe’s guilt for his part in his son’s death. Flashbacks work forward from 1992, revealing family relationships: the ongoing mother-daughter conflict between Laura and Emily, Joe’s ups and downs as a playwright and actor and his affair that ends the marriage, and eventually the circumstances of Thomas’ death. Sadly, none of these primary characters is particularly likable: Emily comes across as petulant, Joe as egotistical, and Laura as dutiful but sometimes remote. And the degree of talk and analysis about how the three of them have failed each other dilutes the tragedy of the death of a beloved 17-year-old. A well-intentioned but flawed debut. –Michele Leber

Miss Harper Can Do It by Jane Berentson

A winning debut novel about what happens when a young woman finds her life on hold Twenty-four-year-old elementary school teacher Annie Harper is left behind in Tacoma, Washington, when her boyfriend David, an army lieutenant, is shipped overseas. Struggling with the complex emotions tied to his absence, she begins writing a confessional memoir, imagining it as a moving account of “the woman at home.” But instead of devolving into a tear-jerking tale of integrity and patience, Annie’s life goes on without David in ways she didn’t anticipate. She spends more time with her best friend, Gus, begins volunteering at a local retirement center, and adopts a pet chicken. Even as she misses David enormously between his sparse e-mails and choppy phone calls, she struggles with conflicted feelings about their long-distance relationship, her own identity and family history, and the ideological underpinnings of a war that’s exerting such a force on her life. Told through the draft chapters of Annie’s memoir-in-progress, Miss Harper Can Do Itis a funny and poignant story of what it means to be loyal versus what it means to be in love. In Annie, Berentson has rendered a quirky young woman who copes with loss and stress in unexpected ways, only wavering briefly on the brink of self-pity and never losing her sense of humor.

Below Zero by C.J. Box

Award-winning and national-bestselling author Box returns with a vengeance in this thrilling new novel featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett.

The Finishing Touches by Hester Browne

The author of the “New York Times”-bestselling Little Lady Agency novels delivers a hilarious and heartwarming work, featuring a young woman who sets out to transform a failing finishing school into a thriving real-life skills academy for young women.

April & Oliver by Tess Callahan

Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April’s brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April – and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. Even as Oliver attempts to “save” his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own–secrets he hasn’t shared with anyone, even his fiancé. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April’s life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral…towards salvation.

A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell

Even though hardened crime reporter Hannah Vogel knows all too well how tough it is to survive in 1931 Berlin, she is devastated when she sees a photograph of her brother’s body posted in the Hall of the Unnamed Dead. Ernst, a cross-dressing lounge singer at a seedy nightclub, had many secrets, a never-ending list of lovers, and plenty of opportunities to get into trouble. Hannah delves into the city’s dark underbelly to flush out his murderer, but the late night arrival of a five-year-old orphan on her doorstep complicates matters. The endearing Anton claims that Hannah is his mother – and that her dead brother Ernst is his father. As her investigations into Ernst’s murder and Anton’s parentage uncover political intrigue and sex scandals in the top ranks of the rising Nazi party, Hannah fears not only for her own life, but for that of a small boy who has come to call her “mother.”

Knockout by Catherine Coulter

FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock are back in this electrifying thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author. Seven-year-old Autumn Backman has a gift: She can communicate telepathically with others. Not everyone, mind you, but with a select few with whom she shares a special kinship. When Autumn and her mother, Joanna, take her father’s ashes to be buried in the family plot in Brickers Bowl, Georgia, the child witnesses a horrifying sight: her grandmother and two uncles, burying a pile of dead bodies in the middle of the night. They head to Titusville, Virginia, to seek the help of an old family friend, but Autumn senses they need assistance on a grand scale. Using her telepathic powers, Autumn calls a man she’d seen only on television: FBI agent Dillon Savich. But before Savich and his wife and partner, Agent Lacey Sherlock, can get on the scene, Autumn and Joanna flee, fearing the retribution of her uncle Blessed. A huge manhunt ensues, with Titusville Sheriff Ethan Merriweather racing to reach the girl before Blessed can get his hands on her. Blessed’s got big things planned for Autumn and her gift, and he’ll stop at nothing to force her into his growing army of exploited children. Savich, Sherlock, and Merriweather face their most elusive foes to keep Autumn out of harm’s way–before it’s too late.

Roadside Crosses by Jeffrey Deaver

The Monterey Peninsula is rocked when a killer begins to leave roadside crosses beside local highways — not in memoriam, but as announcements of his intention to kill. And to kill in particularly horrific and efficient ways: using the personal details about the victims that they’ve carelessly posted in blogs and on social networking websites.The case lands on the desk of Kathryn Dance, the California Bureau of Investigation’s foremost kinesics — body language-expert. She and Deputy Michael O’Neil follow the leads to Travis Brigham, a troubled teenager whose role in a fatal car accident has inspired vicious attacks against him on a popular blog, The Chilton Report. As the investigation progresses, Travis vanishes. Using techniques he learned as a brilliant participant in MMORPGs, Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, he easily eludes his pursuers and continues to track his victims, some of whom Kathryn is able to save, some not. Among the obstacles Kathryn must hurdle are politicians from Sacramento, paranoid parents and the blogger himself, James Chilton, whose belief in the importance of blogging and the new media threatens to derail the case and potentially Dance’s career. It is this threat that causes Dance to take desperate and risky measures…In signature Jeffery Deaver style, Roadside Crosses is filled with dozens of plot twists, cliff-hangers and heartrending personal subplots. It is also a searing look at the accountability of blogging and life in the online world. Roadside Crossesis the third in Deaver’s bestselling High-Tech Thriller Trilogy, along with The Blue Nowhere and The Broken Window.

Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliott

Hardly a generation after King Arthur’s court has had its downfall, Queen Isolde grieves for her slain husband, the High King Constantine, Arthur’s heir. Only Isolde knows that Constantine was murdered, and that Marche, his murderer and the scheming frontrunner for the High King’s throne, has betrayed his people to an alliance with the Saxon invaders. Isolde must fight for her very life as Marche plots to have her tried and executed for witchcraft in order to protect his secrets. One of her few allies is Trystan, a prisoner who is neither Saxon nor Briton, a young man with as lonely and troubled a past, and as strong a will to survive, as her own. Together they escape, and must find a way to prove what they know to be true – that Marche’s deceptions will not only cost them their lives, but will jeopardize the future of British rule…

Cecilian Vespers by Anne Emery

Lawyer and bluesman Monty Collins is used to defending murderers—and occasionally investigating murders himself—but he’s never come up against anything like the case of Reinhold Schellenberg, a world-renowned German theologian who has been found dead on the altar of an old church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saint Cecilia’s day. The controversial priest, once a top insider in the Vatican, was known to provoke strong feelings in Catholics of all ideological stripes, andnbsp;now those feelings have overflowed with horrifying results. At least Monty knows where to look for clues; his friend Father Brennan Burke has just opened a choir school at the church, and the students provide an international cast of suspects—including a flamboyant Sicilian priest, an eccentric English monk, a disgruntled American, a Vatican enforcer, a church lady with a history of violence, and, most perplexing of all, a police officer from the former East Berlin.

Finger Lickin’ Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich’s lovable and hapless heroine, Stephanie Plum, is back. Her 15th adventure is guaranteed to be her most fantastic, hilarious and most outrageous ever.

Gifts of War by Mackenzie Ford

During the Christmas Truce of 1914, Hal Montgomery, a British soldier, is given a photo by a German soldier, Wilhelm Wetzlar, and they make a pact. Hal promises to find his enemy’s English girlfriend, Sam, and let her know her fiancé is alive and thinking of her. Several weeks later, Hal—now injured—is discharged from the army and goes to Stratford on Avon to fulfill his promise. But things take an unexpected turn when he meets the woman in the photo and falls in love with her himself. As their romance blossoms, Sam shares with Hal her most private confidence: Her newborn son is of German lineage, information that threatens her reputation and her job as a schoolteacher. Fearful that he will lose Sam, Hal holds tight to the secret–and the photograph–that brought them together. The scene shifts to London, where Hal becomes involved with military intelligence and is introduced to Sam’s sisters and a different kind of secrecy. Against the broader landscape of England in wartime,Gifts of Warcaptures the era and the fates of men and women caught in the sweep of history. A vivid tale of romance, adventure, and intrigue, the novel is a remarkable narrative that explores what made War World I so tragic, so revolutionary, and so exciting. It also announces a gifted new novelist.

The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner

The second pulse-pounding thriller in Meg Gardiner’s Jo Beckett series, whose “thrilling, crackerjack, adrenaline-filled” debut was an Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller. Forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett’s specialty is the psychological autopsy, an investigation into a person’s life to determine whether a death was natural, accidental, suicide, or homicide. She calls herself a deadshrinker instead of a head-shrinker: The silence of her patients is a key part of the job’s attraction. When Jo is asked to do a psychological autopsy on a living person one with a suspect memory who can’t be trusted to participate in his own medical care she knows all her skills will be put to the test. Jo is called to the scene of an aircraft inbound from London to help deal with a passenger who is behaving erratically. She figures out that he’s got anterograde amnesia, and can’t form new memories. Jo finds herself racing to save a patient who can walk and talk and yet can’t help Jo figure out just what happened to him. For every cryptic clue he is able to drag up from his memory, Jo has to sift through a dozen nonsensical statements. Suddenly a string of clues arises, something to do with a superdeadly biological agent code-named “Slick,” a missing wife and son, and a secret partnership gone horribly wrong. Jo realizes her patient’s addled mind may hold the key to preventing something terrible from happening in her beloved San Francisco. In order to prevent it, she will have to get deeper into the life of a patient than she ever has before, hoping the truth emerges from the fog of his mind in time to save her city and herself.

The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner

When a young wife and mother disappears from her suburban home, it’s not long before the cops have their first suspect: the missing woman’s husband, whose behavior is distinctly suspicious.

A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist

In 1860s Seattle, a man with a wife could secure himself 640 acres of timberland. But because of his wife’s untimely death, Joe Denton finds himself about to lose half of his claim. Still in mourning, his best solution is to buy one of those Mercer girls arriving from the East. A woman he’ll marry in name but keep around mostly as a cook. Anna Ivey’s journey west with Asa Mercer’s girls is an escape from the griefs of her past. She’s not supposed to be a bride, though, just a cook for the girls. But when they land, she’s handed to Joe Denton and the two find themselves in a knotty situation. She refuses to wed him and he’s about to lose his land. With only a few months left, can Joe convince this provoking–but beguiling–easterner to be his bride?

Dune Road by Jane Green

Set in the beach community of a tony Connecticut town, a single mom works for a famous–and famously reclusive–novelist. When she stumbles on a secret that the great man has kept hidden for years, she knows that there are plenty of women in town who would love to get their hands on it–including some who fancy the writer for themselves.

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall

Meet Vish Puri, India’s most private investigator. Portly, persistent, and unmistakably Punjabi, he cuts a determined swath through modern India’s swindlers, cheats, and murderers.In hot and dusty Delhi, where call centers and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, Puri’s main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests.But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri’s resources to investigate. How will he trace the fate of the girl, known only as Mary, in a population of more than one billion? Who is taking potshots at him and his prize chili plants? And why is his widowed “Mummy-ji” attempting to play sleuth when everyone knows mummies are not detectives? With his team of undercover operatives — Tubelight, Flush, and Facecream — Puri ingeniously combines modern techniques with principles of detection established in India more than two thousand years ago — long before “that Johnny-come-lately” Sherlock Holmes donned his deerstalker.The search for Mary takes him to the desert oasis of Jaipur and the remote mines of Jharkhand. From Puri’s well-heeled Gymkhana Club to the slums where the servant classes live, his adventures reveal modern India in all its seething complexity.

Love and Obstacles by Aleksandar Hemon

A new book of linked stories by the author of the National Book Award finalist The Lazarus Project. Aleksandar Hemon earned his reputation— and his MacArthur “genius grant”—for his short stories, and he returns to the form with a powerful collection of linked stories that stands with The Lazarus Projectas the best work of his celebrated career. A few of the stories have never been published before; the others have appeared in The New Yorker, and several of those have also been included in The Best American Short Stories. All are infused with the dazzling, astonishingly creative prose and the remarkable, haunting autobiographical elements that have distinguished Hemon as one of the most original and illustrious voices of our time. What links the stories in Love and Obstaclesis the narrator, a young man who—like Hemon himself—was raised in Yugoslavia and immigrated to the United States. The stories of Love and Obstaclesare about that coming of age and the complications—the obstacles—of growing up in a Communist but cosmopolitan country, and the disintegration of that country and the consequent uprooting and move to America in young adulthood. But because it’s Aleksandar Hemon, the stories extend far beyond the immigrant experience; each one is punctuated with unexpected humor and spins out in fabulist, exhilarating directions, ultimately building to an insightful, often heartbreaking conclusion. Woven together, these stories comprise a book that is, genuinely, as cohesive and powerful as any fiction— achingly human, charming, and inviting.

All Other Nights by Dara Horn

On Passover in 1862, Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union army, is ordered to murder his own uncle, who is plotting to assassinate President Lincoln. After that night, will Jacob ever speak for himself?

Burn by Linda Howard

It’s true what they say: Money changes everything. And in Linda Howard’s red-hot novel Burn, the changes come fast, furious, and filled with the kind of sexy suspense, heart-stopping romance, beautiful people, and risky business guaranteed to give you the most bang for your buck. Money certainly changes Jenner Redwine’s life when she wins a lottery jackpot. But it also costs her plenty: Her father rips her off and disappears, her fortune-hunting boyfriend soon becomes her ex, and friends-turned-freeloaders give her the cold shoulder when she stops paying for everything. Flush with new money, Jenner can’t imagine ever finding a place in the world of the wealthy. Seven years later, though, she’s rubbing elbows with the rich, despite the fact she still feels like a party crasher. Luckily she finds an ally–and a guide to the rarefied realm of privilege–in shy, kind-hearted heiress Sydney Hazlett, who quickly becomes Jenner’s confidante and surrogate sister. When Sydney invites Jenner on a charity cruise aboard a luxury liner, Jenner reluctantly agrees. But while she’s expecting–and dreading–two weeks of masquerade balls, art auctions, and preening glitterati, what she gets is more like a Hitchcock movie than a Love Boat episode. Taken hostage by a menacing stranger, Jenner must cooperate in a mysterious cloak-and-dagger scheme–or else. With nowhere to run, and with Sydney’s life as well as her own at risk, Jenner is drawn into a game of dizzying intrigue and harrowing danger. But as her panic gives way to exhilaration, and fear of her captor turns to fascination, Jenner rediscovers feelings she hasn’t had in years–and realizes she’s found a life worth living.If she survives. From the Hardcover edition.

The Assailant by James Patrick Hunt

CO-ED SLAIN. That’s the call that brings St. Louis Policenbsp;Lieutenant George Hastings to the downtown banks of the Mississippi River, where Reesa Woods has been stranglednbsp;and dumped. The hard-charging Hastings is no stranger to murder, but he’s stuck without any leads until a second body—also strangled—turns up across town and he knows he’s chasing a monster. A talented doctor with an otherwise ordinary and enviable life, Raymond Sheffield has some very dark needs. His first victims are targets of opportunity, but his ambitions go far beyond that. He’s formed a taste for killing, and his only interest is in getting better at it. As the violence mounts, the line between upstanding citizens and their secret desires gets thinner and thinner in this thrilling game of catch-me-if-you-can from acclaimed crime novelist James Patrick Hunt.

Trust No One by Gregg Andrew Hurwitz

Over the past two decades, Nick Horrigan has built a quiet, safe life for himself, living as much under the radar as possible. But all of that shatters when, in the middle of the night, a SWAT team bursts into his apartment, grabs him and drags him to a waiting helicopter. A terrorist— someone Nick has never heard of—has seized control of a nuclear reactor, threatening to blow it up. And the only person he’ll talk to is Nick, promising to tell Nick the truth behind the events that shattered his life twenty years ago.At seventeen years old, Nick Horrigan made a deadly mistake—one that cost his stepfather his life, endangered his mother, and sent him into hiding for years. Now, what Nick discovers in that nuclear plant leaves him with only two choices—to start running again, or to fight and finally uncover the secrets that have held him hostage all these years. nbsp;As Nick peels back layer after layer of lies and deception, buffeted between the buried horrors of the past and the deadly intrigues of the present, he finds his own life—and the lives of nearly everyone he loves—at risk. And the only thing guiding him through this deadly labyrinth are his stepfather’s dying words: TRUST NO ONE. Acclaimed for years by both critics and his peers as one of the finest thriller writers today, Gregg Hurwitz has lived up to all the accolades and expectations withTrust No One, an electrifying and compelling novel that will be remembered for years to come.

The Increment by David Ignatius

From a hidden enclave in the maze of Tehran, an Iranian scientist who calls himself “Dr. Ali” sends an encrypted message to the CIA. It falls to Harry Pappas to decide if it’s for real. Dr. Ali sends more secrets of the Iranian bomb program to the agency, then panics. He’s being followed, but he doesn’t know who’s onto him, and neither does Pappas. The White House is no help — they’re looking for a pretext to attack Tehran. To get his agent out, Pappas turns to a secret British spy team known as “The Increment,” whose operatives carry the modern version of the double-O “license to kill.” But the real story here is infinitely more complicated than he understands, and to get to the bottom of it he must betray his own country. The Increment is The Spy Who Came In from the Cold set in Iran, with a dose of Graham Greene’s The Human Factor to highlight the subtleties of betrayal.

Atlas of  Unknowns by Tania James

James’s poignant, funny, blazingly original debut is a story about sisterhood, the tantalizing dream of America, and the secret histories and hilarious eccentricities of families everywhere.

The Color of Lightning by Paulette Jiles

From the author of the “New York Times” bestsellers “Enemy Women” and “Stormy Weather” comes this stirring work of fiction set on the dangerous Texas frontier in the aftermath of the Civil War.

The Book of God and Physics by Enrique Joven

The fathers of astronomy and physics.The Church that vowed to silence them.A book no one can read. And the young man at the center, connecting them all.In his search for truth, a young Jesuit joins a group that has for centuries been trying to decipher the secrets of a mysterious book known as the Voynich Manuscript. This manuscript has developed a global cult following of cryptographers, none of whom has been able to crack its code. Written in an unknown language and illustrated with enigmatic drawings that no one has been able to interpret, the work first surfaced in the court of Rudolf II of Bohemia.This same Bohemian court also gave refuge to two of the greatest, and most controversial, scientific minds of all time: famed Dane Tycho Brahe and German Johannes Kepler. These two astronomers-together with their contemporaries Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei-were engaged in the most formidable dialogue in the history of science and laid the groundwork for nearly all of contemporary astronomy and physics.Is there a connection between Voynich and the brilliant scientists who frequented the court? Could the manuscript perhaps be the codified findings of either Brahe or Kepler, written in a special language to conceal their scientific discoveries from the Church and its brutal Inquisition?When a key to unlocking Voynich is discovered in the church where the young Jesuit teaches, powerful forces conspire to keep the contents of the manuscript from being decoded. It is then up to the young Jesuit to unlock these secrets hidden in plain sight for centuries.

Relentless by Dean R. Koontz

#1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense Dean Koontz delivers a mesmerizing new thriller that explores the razor-thin line between the best and worst of human nature – and the anarchy simmering just beneath society’s surface – as a likeable, successful family man is drawn into a confrontation with a foe of unimaginable malice. Bestselling novelist Cullen “Cubby” Greenwich is a lucky man and he knows it. He makes a handsome living doing what he enjoys. His wife, Penny, a children’s book author and illustrator, is the love of his life. Together they have a brilliant six-year-old, Milo, affectionately dubbed “Spooky,” and a non-collie named Lassie, who’s all but part of the family. So Cubby knows he shouldn’t let one bad review of his otherwise triumphant new book get to him – even if it does appear in the nation’s premier newspaper and is penned by the much-feared, seldom-seen critic, Shearman Waxx. Cubby knows the best thing to do is ignore the gratuitously vicious, insulting, and inaccurate comments. Penny knows it, even little Milo knows it. If Lassie could talk, she’d tell Cubby to ignore them, too. Ignore Shearman Waxx and his poison pen is just what Cubby intends to do. Until he happens to learn where the great man is taking his lunch. Cubby just wants to get a look at the mysterious recluse whose mere opinion can make or break a career – or a life. But Shearman Waxx isn’t what Cubby expects; and neither is the escalating terror that follows what seemed to be an innocent encounter. For Waxx gives criticism; he doesn’t take it. He has ways of dealing with those who cross him that Cubby is only beginning to fathom. Soon Cubby finds himself in a desperate struggle with a relentless sociopath, facing an inexorable assault on far more than his life. Fearless, funny, utterly compelling, Relentless is Dean Koontz at his riveting best, an unforgettable tale of the fragile bonds that hold together all that we most cherish – and of those who would tear those bonds asunder. From the Hardcover edition.

A Plague of Secrets by John Lescroart

Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky, and Wyatt Hunt return in a compelling and timely legal thriller filled with blackmail, political intrigue, and multiple murder. The first victim is Dylan Vogler, a charming ex-convict who manages the Bay Beans West coffee shop in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. When his body is found, inspectors discover that his knapsack is filled with high-grade marijuana. It soon becomes clear that San Francisco’s A-list flocked to Bay Beans West not only for their caffeine fix. But how much did Maya Townshend—the beautiful socialite niece of the city’s mayor, and the absentee owner of the shop—know about what was going on inside her business? And how intimate had she really been with Dylan, her old college friend? As another of Maya’s acquaintances falls victim to murder, and as the names of the dead men’s celebrity, political, and even law- enforcement customers come to light, tabloid-fueled controversy takes the investigation into the realms of conspiracy and cover-up. Prosecutors close in on Maya, who has a deep secret of her own—a secret she needs to protect at all costs during her very public trial, where not only her future but the entire political landscape of San Francisco hangs in the balance, hostage to an explosive secret that Dismas Hardy is privilege-bound to protect.

The Secret by Beverly Lewis

From Publishers Weekly
Popular novelist and Amish specialist Lewis (The Brethren) launches a new series with this volume. Two young women, Amish Grace Byler and graduate student Heather Nelson, stand as counterpoints in parallel plots involving two secrets. Grace’s mother is troubled; Heather, whose mother has died of cancer, tells no one in her circle of her own diagnosis of terminal illness, which drives her to Pennsylvania Amish country in search of healing. Grace’s mother makes a decision that painfully complicates the action and drives it forward. Grace, her family and friends and the Amish milieu are drawn with characteristically ample detail, right down to jars of preserves set out on the tables at many bountiful Amish meals. Lots of powerful emotions go characteristically unspoken in this reticent culture, though the reader won’t miss them. By comparison, the emotional high-stakes Heather plot is less detailed and consequently less engrossing. Lewis lays out—and knots—many plot threads to pursue and resolve in subsequent installments in the series, ensuring readers’ return. (Mar.)

A Rogue of My Own by Johanna Lindsey

“New York Times”-bestselling author Lindsey draws readers into the world of 19th-century London aristocrats with a story of an innocent young lady, whose first brush with royal court intrigue lands her at the altar alongside one of London’s most notorious rogues.

Matin Rituals of the North American Wasp by Lauren Lipton

Peggy, the co-owner of a Manhattan soap boutique, discovers that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. It’s bad enough that she wakes up in a stranger’s hotel room, but it gets worse when said stranger calls her a few days later from rural Connecticut to explain that they are now legally wed. Luke, her new husband, is Old Money, meaning that he doesn’t really have any. However, the family house goes back to the Revolutionary War era and is worth a fortune. His doddering aunt has rewritten her will, giving the house to Luke and Peggy. One catchthey need to stay married for one year in order to lay claim and sell it. Peggy decides to go through with the sham marriage because it will allow her to save her store and push her boyfriend into a lavish wedding. Lipton (It’s About Your Husband) fleshes out a familiar Vegas story to create a full, satisfying novel laced with truly funny dialog. For all readers of women’s fiction.Rebecca Vnuk, Glen Ellyn P.L., IL Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Deception by Eric Lustbader

After Bourne is ambushed and nearly killed while in Indonesia, he fakes his death to take on a new identity and mission- to find out who is trying to assassinate him. In the process, Bourne begins to question who he really is and what he would become if he no longer carried the Bourne identity. Across the globe, an American passenger airliner is shot down over Egypt-apparently by an Iranian missile-leaving the world wondering if it was an accident or an act of aggression. A massive global team lead by Soraya Moore is assembled to investigate the attack before the situation escalates. When Bourne’s search for his would-be assassin intersects with Soraya’s search for the group behind the airplane bombing, Bourne is thrust into a race to prevent a new world war. But it may already be too late.

Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour

From one of Iran’s most acclaimed and controversial contemporary writers comes his first novel to appear in English–a dazzlingly inventive work of fiction that opens a revelatory window onto what it’s like to live, love, and be an artist in today’s Iran.

Foreign Tongue by Vanina Marsot

Sexy, sophisticated, and infused with the sights and sounds of Paris, this enchanting debut novel is a humorous, poignant look at one woman trying to understand who she is in two countries.

Monster by A. Martinez

Meet Monster. Meet Judy. Two humans who don’t like each other much, but together must fight dragons, fire-breathing felines, trolls, Inuit walrus dogs, and a crazy cat lady – for the future of the universe. Monster runs a pest control agency. He’s overworked and has domestic troubles – like having the girlfriend from hell. Judy works the night shift at the local Food Plus Mart. Not the most glamorous life, but Judy is happy. No one bothers her and if she has to spell things out for the night-manager every now and again, so be it. But when Judy finds a Yeti in the freezer aisle eating all the Rocky Road, her life collides with Monster’s in a rather alarming fashion. Because Monster doesn’t catch raccoons; he catches the things that go bump in the night. Things like ogres, trolls, and dragons. Oh, and his girlfriend from Hell? She actually is from Hell.

An Honorable German by Charles McCain

In the tradition of “Das Boot” and “The Hunt for Red October” comes a sweeping debut saga of World War II, featuring a heroic and conflicted German U-Boat commander, Max Brekendorf.

Sun Dancing by Geoffrey Moorhouse

Combining narrative re-creations with scholarly reflections, Moorhouse brings to life the monks of the Skellig Islands and the spirituality of medieval Ireland in a highly original, gracefully written book (Boston Globe) that is sure to fascinate lovers of Celtic history (Boston Herald). A Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist.

The Shimmer by David Morrell

Bizarre lights draw hundreds of people to a remote Texas town, including a couple who find themselves plunged into violence and bloodshed. But has the military known about these inexplicable phenomena for decades, thus unleashing forces they may not be able to control?

Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser

Lissa Randall’s future was bright with academic promise until the tragic accident that took her mother’s life–and brought her own plans to a screeching halt. Eighteen months later Lissa is still unable to get back behind the wheel.Ev McAllistair’s driving school looks like Lissa’s best hope for getting her life back on the road again. His patience and fatherly wisdom seem to transcend the driving experience. But Ev’s own complicated past is about to resurface, with consequences for everyone in his orbit….

Swimsuit by James Patterson

THE BEACH… A breathtakingly beautiful supermodel disappears from a swimsuit photo shoot at the most glamorous hotel in Hawaii. Only hours after she goes missing, Kim McDaniels’s parents receive a terrifying phone call. Fearing the worst, they board the first flight to Maui and begin the hunt for their daughter. …WILL NEVER BE… Ex-cop Ben Hawkins, now a reporter for the L.A. Times, gets the McDaniels assignment. The ineptitude of the local police force defies belief–Ben has to start his own investigation for Kim McDaniels to have a prayer. And for Ben to have the story of his life. …THE SAME FOR YOU AGAIN. All the while, the killer sets the stage for his next production. His audience expects the best–and they won’t be disappointed. Swimsuit is a heart-pounding story of fear and desire, transporting you to a place where beauty and murder collide and unspeakable horrors are hidden within paradise.

Killer Summer by Ridley Pearson

Sun Valley sheriff Walt Fleming returns in this high-intensity thriller from New York Times bestselling author Ridley Pearson. Sun Valley, Idaho-playground of the wealthy and politically connected-is home to an annual wine auction that attracts high rollers from across the country, and Blaine County Sheriff Walt Fleming is the one who must ensure it goes off without a hitch. The world’s most elite wine connoisseurs have descended on Sun Valley to taste and bid on the world’s best wines, including three bottles claimed to have been a gift from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams. With sky-high prices all but guaranteed for these historic items, it’s no wonder a group of thieves is out to steal them. Walt is responsible for all aspects of the glitzy event, from security of the dignitaries to the physical safety of the auction site to the transportation and safeguard of the wines themselves. Walt is enjoying a rare afternoon of freedom, fly-fishing with his nephew, Kevin, when a passing truck catches his eye his suspicions throwing him headlong into the discovery of a complicated plan to steal the rare wine. When a bomb detonates just as the auction revs up, the investigation explodes as well, pulling Walt in a dozen different directions. It seems Walt is caught in the middle of a heist of epic proportions and not the heist he had prepared for all orchestrated by the ingenious mind of Christopher Cantell, a man who appears to have covered everything, including the way Walt’s own sheriff’s office will react.

Woodsburner by John Pipkin

On April 30, 1844, Henry David Thoreau accidentally started a forest fire that destroyed 300 acres of the Concord woods. Against the background of Thoreau’s fire, Pipkin’s ambitious debut penetrates the mind of the young philosopher.

Vision in White by Nora Roberts

#1 New York Timesbestselling author Nora Roberts invites readers to the wedding event of the year! #1 New York Timesbestselling author Nora Roberts presents her first trade original—a novel of love, friendship, and family—Book One in the Bride Quartet. Wedding photographer Mackensie “Mac” Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be’s brother…an encounter that has them both seeing stars. A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac’s type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends’ and business partners’ to see her way to her own happy ending.

Black Hills by Nora Roberts

#1 New York Times–bestselling author Nora Roberts takes us deep into the rugged Black Hills of South Dakota, where the shadows keep secrets, hunters stalk the land, and a childhood friendship matures into an adult passion. Asummer at his grandparents’ South Dakota ranch is not eleven-year-old Cooper Sullivan’s idea of a good time. But things are a bit more bearable now that he’s discovered the neighbor girl, Lil Chance, and her homemade batting cage. Even horseback riding isn’t as awful as Coop thought it would be. Each year, with Coop’s annual summer visit, their friendship deepens from innocent games to stolen kisses, but there is one shared experience that will forever haunt them: the terrifying discovery of a hiker’s body. As the seasons change and the years roll, Lil stays steadfast to her dreams of becoming a wildlife biologist and protecting her family land, while Coop struggles with his father’s demand that he attend law school and join the family firm. Twelve years after they last walked together hand in hand, fate has brought them back to the Black Hills when the people and things they hold most dear need them most. An investigator in New York, Coop recently left his fastpaced life to care for his aging grandparents and the ranch he has come to call home. Though the memory of his touch still haunts her, Lil has let nothing stop her dream of opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge, but something . . . or someone . . . has been keeping a close watch. When small pranks and acts of destruction escalate into the heartless killing of Lil’s beloved cougar, recollections of an unsolved murder in these very hills have Coop springing to action to keep Lil safe. Lil and Coop both know the natural dangers that lurk in the wild landscape of the Black Hills. But now they must work together to unearth a killer of twisted and unnatural instincts who has singled them out as prey.

The Doomsday Key by James Rollins

James Rollins, the New York Times bestselling master of nail-biting suspense and historical mystery, combines cutting-edge biotechnology with a centuries-old secret in an apocalyptic story that reveals where humankind is truly headed The Doomsday Key At Princeton University, a famed geneticist dies inside a biohazard lab. In Rome, a Vatican archaeologist is found dead in St. Peter’s Basilica. In Africa, a U.S. senator’s son is slain outside a Red Cross camp. The three murders on three continents bear a horrifying connection: all the victims are marked by a Druidic pagan cross burned into their flesh. The bizarre murders thrust Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma Force into a race against time to solve a riddle going back centuries, to a ghastly crime against humanity hidden within a cryptic medieval codex. The first clue is discovered inside a mummified corpse buried in an English peat bog-a gruesome secret that threatens America and the world. Aided by two women from his past- one his exlover, the other his new partner- Gray must piece together the horrifying truth. But the revelations come at a high cost, and to save the future, Gray will have to sacrifice one of the women at his side. That alone might not be enough, as the true path to salvation is revealed in a dark prophecy of doom.Sigma Force confronts human kind’s greatest threat in an adventure that races from the Roman Coliseum to the icy peaks of Norway, from the ruins of medieval abbeys to the lost tombs of Celtic kings. The ultimate nightmare is locked within a talisman buried by a dead saint-an ancient artifact known as the Doomsday Key.

Home Repair by Liz Rosenberg

Can lighting really strike twice? Just ask Eve, whose husband walks out on her in the middle of a garage sale.Eve’s beloved Ivan died thirteen years ago in an automobile accident. Her charming, boyish Chuck has taken a different exit out of her life: hopping into his car in the middle of a garage sale with no forewarning and departing their formerly happy upstate New York home for points unknown. Now Eve’s a boat adrift, subsisting on a heartbreak diet of rue, disappointment, and woe-left alone to care for Ivan’s brilliant teenaged son, Marcus, and Chuck’s precocious, pragmatic nine-year-old daughter, Noni, while contending with Charlotte, Eve’s acerbic mother, who’s come north to “help” but hinders instead.But life ultimately must go on, with its highs and lows, its traumas and holidays, and well-meaning, if eccentric, friends. A house and a heart in disrepair are painful burdens for a passionate woman who’s still in her prime. And while learning to cope with the large and small tragedies that each passing day brings, Eve might end up discovering that she’s gained much more than she’s lost.A poignant, lovely, funny, and ultimately uplifting story of love, family, and survival, Liz Rosenberg’s Home Repair is an unforgettable introduction to a lyrical, wise, and wonderfully vibrant new literary voice.

The Cheater by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg

Lily Forrester, featured in Rosenberg’s “New York Times” bestsellers “Mitigating Circumstances” and “Buried Evidence,” finds herself in yet another mix of bizarre circumstances that leads her onto the trail of a vicious criminal mind.

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

From master storyteller Carlos Ruiz Zafon, author of the international phenomenon “The Shadow of the Wind,” a dazzling page-turner about the perilous nature of obsession, in literature and in love. In the turbulent and mysterious Barcelona of the 1920s, David Martin, a young novelist obsessed with a forbidden love, receives an offer from an enigmatic publisher to write a book like no other before– a book for which “people will live and die.” In return, he is promised a fortune and, perhaps, much more. Once again, the author of “The Shadow of the Wind” takes us into the gothic universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and creates a breathtaking adventure of intrigue, romance, and tragedy, and a dizzingly constructed labyrinth of secrets where the magic of books, passion, and friendship blend into a masterful story.

The Wish Maker by Ali Sethi

A major new international voice debuts with a sweeping story of love, friendship, and family ties that brings to life the turbulent world of modern Pakistan. The unforgettable story of a fatherless boy growing up in a household of outspoken women, The Wish Maker is also a tale of sacrifice, betrayal, and indestructible friendship. Zaki Shirazi and his female cousin Samar Api were raised to consider themselves “part of the same litter.” Together they watched American television and memorized dialogue from Bollywood movies, attended dangerous protests, and formed secret friendships. In a household run by Zaki’s crusading political journalist mother and iron-willed grandmother, it was impossible to imagine a future that could hold anything different for either of them. But adolescence approaches and the cousins’ fates diverge. Samar’s unconventional behavior–in which Zaki has played the role of devoted helper–brings severe consequences for her, while Zaki is sent out to discover the world for himself. It is only after years of separation from Samar that he is forced to confront the true nature of happiness, selfhood, and commitment to those he loves most. Chronicling world-changing events that have never been so intimately observed in fiction and brimming with unmistakable warmth and humor, The Wish Maker is the powerful account of a family and an era, a story that shows how, even in the most rapidly shifting circumstances, there are bonds that survive the tugs of convention, time, and history.

The Visibles by Sara Shepard

The only piece of information that Summer Davis takes away from her years at Peninsula Upper School — one of the finest in the Brooklyn Heights-to-Park Slope radius, to quote the promotional materials — is the concept that DNA defines who we are and forever ties us to our relatives. A loner by circumstance, a social outcast by nature, and a witty and warm narrator of her own unimaginable chaos by happenstance, Summer hangs on to her interest in genetics like a life raft, in an adolescence marked by absence: her beautiful, aloof mother abandons the family without a trace; her father descends into mental illness, haunted by a lifelong burning secret and abetted by a series of letters that he writes to make sense of his feelings; her best friend Claire drifts out of Summer’s life in a breeze of indifference, feigned on both sides; and her older brother fluctuates between irrational fury and unpredictable tenderness in an inaccessible world of his making.Uncertain of her path and unbalanced by conflicting impulses toward hope and escape, Summer stays close to her father while attending college, taking him to electro-shock therapy treatments and trying to make sense of his inscrutable past. Upon his departure for a new and possibly recovered life, Summer begins to question the role of genetics and whether she is destined to live out her family’s legacy of despair. But it is only when Summer decides to leave New York herself and put off a promising science career to take care of her great-aunt Stella — bedrock of the family and bastion of folksy wisdom, irreverent insight, and Sinatra memorabilia in a less-than-scenic part of the Pennsylvanian countryside — that Summer begins to learn that her biography doesn’t have to define her…and that her future, like her DNA, belongs to her alone.In a novel consumed by the uncertainties of science, the flaws of our parents, and enough loss and longing to line a highway, Sara Shepard is a penetrating chronicler of the adolescence we all carry into adulthood: how what happens to you as a kid never leaves you, how the fallibility of your parents can make you stronger, and how being right isn’t as important as being wise. From the backwoods of Pennsylvania to the brownstones of Brooklyn Heights,The Visiblesinvestigates the secrets of the past, and the hidden corners of our own hearts, to find out whether real happiness is a gift or a choice.

Michal by Jill Eileen Smith

As the daughter of King Saul, Michal lives a life of privilege–but one that is haunted by her father’s unpredictable moods and by competition from her beautiful older sister. When Michal falls for young David, the harpist who plays to calm her father, she has no idea what romance, adventures, and heartache await her.As readers enter the colorful and unpredictable worlds of King Saul and King David, they will be swept up in this exciting and romantic story. Against the backdrop of opulent palace life, raging war, and desert escapes, Jill Eileen Smith takes her readers on an emotional roller-coaster ride as Michal deals with love, loss, and personal transformation as one of the wives of David. A sweeping tale of passion and drama, readers will love this amazing story.

The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu by Michael Stanley

Two vicious murders, only hours apartNormally a peaceful wilderness retreat, the Jackalberry bush camp has suddenly become a ghastly crime scene-and the details are still emerging when Detective David “Kubu” Bengu is assigned to the case. Zimbabwean teacher Goodluck Tinubu and another tourist have been found bludgeoned to death, while another guest at the camp-rumored to be a dissident wanted in Zimbabwe-has disappeared without a trace.With the local police unable-or unwilling-to provide much assistance, Detective Kubu relies on his own instincts to track down those responsible for the crimes. But a startling piece of forensic evidence from Goodluck Tinubu’s murder adds a complicated twist to the investigation, and Kubu must work fast to solve a seemingly impossible riddle before any more Jackalberry guests meet their death. Suspecting that everyone at the camp has something to hide, the wily detective from Gaborone sets a clever trap to find the truth.The memorable Kubu of A Carrion Death returns in this gripping story of murder, greed, and hidden motives. Set in northern Botswana, amid lush vegetation and teeming wildlife, The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu captures the intense loyalties and struggles taking place at the country’s borders-and the shattered dreams of those living just outside this modern democracy.

The Apostle by Brad Thor

When American doctor Julia Gallo is kidnapped in Afghanistan, the terms of her ransom leave the president with only one course of action: send covert counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath to free the man the kidnappers demand as ransom–al-Qaeda mastermind, Mustafa Khan.

Sometimes a Light Surprises by Jamie L. Turner

Though it was years ago, Ben Buckley has never gotten over the loss of his wife. But even more than the mystery surrounding her death is the radical change that occurred in her life shortly beforehand. Their marriage was unusually happy – until she met a woman who “turned her on to religion.” Baffled, angry, and still feeling guilty for the way he treated Chloe those final weeks, Ben now lives behind the protective walls of severed relationships and a rigid work routine.When two unlikely people enter his narrow world, Ben’s view of his life begins to change, and gradually the barriers he’s erected around himself come tumbling down.For readers who enjoy character-driven, thought-provoking stories that stay with them long after the last page is turned.

A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert

National Book Award finalist Kate Walbert’s A Short History of Women is a profoundly moving portrayal of the complicated legacies of mothers and daughters, chronicling five generations of women from the close of the nineteenth century through the early years of the twenty-first.The novel opens in England in 1914 at the deathbed of Dorothy Townsend, a suffragette who starves herself for the cause. Her choice echoes in the stories of her descendants interwoven throughout: a brilliant daughter who tries to escape the burden of her mother’s infamy by immigrating to America just after World War I to begin a career in science; a niece who chooses a conventional path — marriage, children, suburban domesticity — only to find herself disillusioned with her husband of fifty years and engaged in heartbreaking and futile antiwar protests; a great-granddaughter who wryly articulates the free-floating anxiety of the times while getting drunk on a children’s playdate in post-9/11 Manhattan. In a kaleidoscope of voices and with a richness of imagery, emotion, and wit, Walbert portrays the ways in which successive generations of women have responded to what the Victorians called “The Woman Question.” As she did in her critically acclaimed The Gardens of Kyoto and Our Kind, Walbert induces “a state in which the past seems to hang effortlessly amid the present” (The New York Times). A Short History of Women is her most ambitious novel, a thought-provoking and vividly original narrative that crisscrosses a century to reflect the tides of time and the ways in which the lives of our great-grandmothers resonate in our own.

The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Few authors do dread as well as Waters (The Night Watch). Her latest novel is a ghost story with elements of both The Fall of the House of Usher and Brideshead Revisited. In post-World War II Britain, the financially struggling Dr. Faraday is called to Hundreds Hall, home of the upper-class Ayreses, now fallen on hard times. Ostensibly there to treat Roderick Ayres for a war injury, Faraday soon sees signs of mental declinefirst in Roderick and later in his mother, Mrs. Ayres. Waters builds the suspense slowly, with the skeptical Faraday refusing to accept the explanations of Roderick or of the maid Betty, who believe that there is a supernatural presence in the house. Meanwhile, Faraday becomes enamored of Roderick’s sister Caroline and begins to dream of building a family within the confines of the ruined Hundreds Hall. This spooky, satisfying read has the added pleasure of effectively detailing postwar village life, with its rationing, social strictures, and gossip, all on the edge of Britain’s massive change to a social state. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/08.]Devon Thomas, Chelsea, MI Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham

At the age of eighteen, in that first golden Oxford summer, Milly was up for anything. Rupert and his American lover, Allan, were an important part of her new, exciting life, so when Rupert suggested to her that she and Allan should get married to keep Allan in the country, Milly didn’t hesitate. Ten years later, Milly is a very different person and engaged to Simon–who is wealthy, serious, and believes her to be perfect. Milly’s secret history is locked away so securely she has almost persuaded herself that it doesn’t exist–until, only four days before her elaborate wedding. To have and to hold takes on a whole new meaning when one bride’s past catches up with her and bring the present crashing down. With her trademark style of keen insight, and razor sharp wit, Madeleine Wickham introduces her fanatical fan-base, plus a host of new readers to a fresh and irresistible heroine in “The Wedding Girl. ”

How Sweet It Is by Alice J. Wisler

Leaving behind a broken romance and her job as a chef in Atlanta, Deena Livingston reluctantly agrees to teach cooking to middle schoolers in North Carolina. Can she convince the kids that home cooking is better than fast food?

The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama

Mr. Ali, a retiree in a city in southern India, decides he needs something to do and opens a marriage bureau. He is soon so swamped with business that to assist him he hires a young woman named Aruna, whose Brahmin family has fallen on hard times. Zama is an admirer of Jane Austen, and though his debut does not exactly parallel one of her novels, there is a Mr. Darcy figure in the person of a handsome young doctor. The author also touches upon such pertinent topics as the caste system, the perils of political protest in India, and how the ordinary Indian is at the mercy of corrupt officials. But mostly this is a delightfully exotic love story (to Western readers anyway) with engaging characters and a happy ending. Mainly appealing to readers with some interest in Indian culture and customs.Leslie Patterson, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence, RI Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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