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Friday, April 3, 2009

April 3, 2009

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, April 3rd:

Also mentioned in the Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

COLUMBINE by Dave Cullen

Reviews and Excerpts
LONG LOST by Harlan Coben (Thriller)
Harlan Coben's latest novel is notable not only because it features the welcome return of Myron Bolitar (last seen in 2006's PROMISE ME), but because it is a sequel of sorts to THE FINAL DETAIL and DARKEST FEAR. One does not need to have read these previous books, however, to fully appreciate LONG LOST, which may well be the author's best work to date. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from LONG LOST.

TRUE DETECTIVES by Jonathan Kellerman (Thriller)
Half-brothers Moses Reed and Aaron Fox usually go their separate ways. But the disappearance of Caitlin Frostig isn’t usual. For Moses, it’s an ice-cold mystery he just can’t outrun, even with the help of psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis. For Aaron, it’s a billable-hours bonanza from his most lucrative client. Like it or not, Moses and Aaron are in this one together --- and the rivalry that rules them won’t let either man quit until the case is cracked. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
-Click here to read an excerpt from TRUE DETECTIVES.

SILENT ON THE MOOR: A Lady Julia Grey Mystery by Deanna Raybourn (Mystery)
Despite his admonitions to stay away, Lady Julia Grey arrives in Yorkshire to find Nicholas Brisbane as remote and maddeningly attractive as ever. Cloistered together, they share the house with the proud but impoverished remnants of an ancient family --- the sort that keeps their bloodline pure and their secrets close. A mystery unfolds from the rotten heart of Grimsgrave, one Lady Julia may have to solve alone, as Brisbane appears inextricably tangled in its heinous twists and turns. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.
- Click here to read an excerpt from SILENT ON THE MOOR.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for SILENT ON THE MOOR.

SIMA'S UNDERGARMENTS FOR WOMEN by Ilana Stanger-Ross (Fiction)
Sima Goldner runs an underground bra shop in an Orthodox neighborhood of Brooklyn where women come in search of laughter, love and support. When Timna, a young Israeli with enviable cleavage, becomes the shop’s seamstress, Sima finds herself drawn into the girl’s life of romance and adventure, and a 40-year-old secret comes unhooked. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.
- Click here to read an excerpt from SIMA'S UNDERGARMENTS FOR WOMEN.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for SIMA'S UNDERGARMENTS FOR WOMEN.

CHEEVER: A Life by Blake Bailey (Biography)
In CHEEVER, Blake Bailey has produced a biography every bit as absorbing as the life of its complex and tortured subject. Following on his masterful biography of another troubled (albeit much less appreciated) writer, Richard Yates, this latest work establishes Bailey as one of the preeminent literary biographers working today. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

(Historical Fiction)
How is tonight different from all other nights? For Jacob Rappaport, a Jewish soldier in the Union army, it is a question his commanders have answered for him: on Passover in 1862 he is ordered to murder his own uncle, who is plotting to assassinate President Lincoln. After that night, will Jacob ever speak for himself? The answer comes when his commanders send him on another mission --- this time not to murder a spy but to marry one. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

GROWING UP AGAIN: Life, Loves, and Oh Yeah, Diabetes by Mary Tyler Moore
Actress and activist Mary Tyler Moore relates the highs and lows of living with type 1 diabetes for the past 40 years. She drills down to the most heartfelt yet universal truths about life --- including the lives of those with diabetes --- and chronicles her struggle with the disease, as well as her successful rehabilitation from alcohol dependence. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

BREATHERS: A Zombie’s Lament by S. G. Browne (Fiction)
Thanks to a car accident, Andy Warner is undead and having a difficult time adjusting. He's living in his parents’ wine cellar, attending Undead Anonymous meetings and pondering his new existence. With the help of zombie friends, he begins a campaign to regain his civil rights and find himself. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

CONTAGIOUS by Scott Sigler (Thriller)
Across America, a mysterious pathogen transforms ordinary people into raging killers, psychopaths driven by a terrifying, alien agenda. The human race fights back, yet after every battle the disease responds, adapts, using sophisticated strategies and brilliant ruses to fool its pursuers. The only possible explanation: the epidemic is driven not by evolution but by some malevolent intelligence. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE POSSESSION OF MR. CAVE by Matt Haig (Psychological Suspense)
THE POSSESSION OF MR. CAVE, Matt Haig’s third novel for adults to be published in the United States (following THE DEAD FATHERS CLUB and THE LABRADOR PACT), is a dark, at times claustrophobically intense character study of one man’s damaging desire to protect his young daughter at any cost. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

Author Talk
Ilana Stanger-Ross
In this interview, Ilana Stanger-Ross, author of SIMA'S UNDERGARMENTS FOR WOMEN, traces her debut novel's roots as a short story written in graduate school and recalls memories of a neighborhood shop from her childhood that inspired the book's titular setting. She also touches on the story's themes --- such as the complexities of friendship, marital relationships and desire --- shares her hesitation to categorize literary fiction into niche markets, and reveals what she hopes her readers will gain from reading the book. Bets On…
A RELIABLE WIFE by Robert Goolrick (April 7th)
A RELIABLE WIFE opens with Ralph Truitt standing on a train platform on a cold winter morning waiting for a woman who had answered his ad looking for "a reliable wife," "a simple honest woman." But Catherine Land is not the woman who she appears to be, and she, like Ralph, has secrets to hide. Thus their story takes you on a very wild ride that is neither quiet nor placid. Passion, lust and greed motivate the characters. Readers will not be able to look away until they read the final page, lured in by a plot that continually delivers and writing that is careful but never precious. Every look has meaning; every plot twist propels the story faster. It's just brilliant.
- Click here to read an excerpt from A RELIABLE WIFE.

Books into Movies
This month’s Books into Movies Feature includes:
High Noon
The Soloist

Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight
UNSEEN by Nancy Bush
Gemma La Porte wakes up in a hospital and knows her name and where she lives, but there are blank spaces in her memory. When released, she senses she’s being watched but thinks she's overreacting. As the days pass, Gemma begins having blackouts, waking up and having no idea where she's been or what she's done, especially when she finds blood on her hands. Has she committed murder?
- Click here to read Nancy Bush’s bio.
- Click here to read Nancy Bush's bibliography.
- Click here to read more about UNSEEN.

MALICE by Lisa Jackson
Opening his eyes in the hospital room post accident, New Orleans detective Rick Bentz sees her standing in the doorway. Then Jennifer blows him a kiss and disappears... but it couldn’t have been Jennifer. She died twelve years ago.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from MALICE.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
Two decades ago, at a private women’s college in upstate New York, a student was brutally attacked in her dorm room, but her assailant was never found. Sue Barlow arrives at Wilbourne College twenty years later. When a classmate disappears, Sue thinks it’s an isolated incident until two other girls vanish. As fear grows on campus, Sue begins to sense she’s being watched, and as the body count rises, she soon realizes that a twisted psychopath is summoning her to play a wicked game.
- Click here to read John Manning’s bio.
- Click here to read John Manning's bibliography.
- Click here to read more about ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
LOOK AGAIN by Lisa Scottoline
When reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a “Have You Seen This Child?” flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away. But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops --- the child in the photo is identical to her adopted son, Will. Everything inside her tells her to deny the similarity between the boys, because she knows her adoption was lawful. But she’s a journalist and won't be able to stop thinking about the photo until she figures out the truth.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from LOOK AGAIN.

PLEA OF INSANITY by Jillian Hoffman
The prosecutor --- Julia Vacanti. Young, ambitious, and facing a case that could launch her career. The defendant --- David Marquette. A successful Miami surgeon and devoted family man. The victims --- Marquette’s own wife and three small children. The plea --- Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. The perfect father and model husband, David Marquette seemingly just snapped one night. Or did he? His experienced defense team claims paranoid delusions caused by schizophrenia drove him to slaughter his entire family.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from PLEA OF INSANITY.

Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight
PRAYERS FOR SALE by Sandra Dallas
It's 1936 and the depression has ravaged the country. Hennie Comfort is 86 and has lived in the mountains of Middle Swan, Colorado since before it was Colorado. Nit Spindle is just 17 and newly married. After a chance encounter between the two women, the harsh conditions of life that each have endured create an instant bond and an unlikely friendship is formed, one in which the deepest of hardships are shared and the darkest of secrets are confessed.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from PRAYERS FOR SALE.

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