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Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, May 15th.

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

ANGELS & DEMONS: The Illustrated Movie Companion
KING OF LIES by John Hart
DOWN RIVER by John Hart
THE FIRST 30 DAYS by Ariane de Bonvoisin

Reviews and Excerpts
WICKED PREY by John Sandford (Thriller)
The Republicans are coming to St. Paul for their convention. Throwing a big party is supposed to be fun, but crashing the party are a few hard cases the police would rather stayed away. Chief among them is a crew of professional stickup men who have spotted several lucrative opportunities, ranging from political moneymen with briefcases full of cash to that armored-car warehouse with the weakness in its security system. All that’s headache enough for Lucas Davenport --- but what’s about to hit him is even worse. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
-Click here to read an excerpt from WICKED PREY.

THE 8th CONFESSION by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Thriller)
As the hunt for two criminals tests the limits of the Women's Murder Club, Detective Lindsay Boxer sees sparks fly between reporter Cindy Thomas and her partner, Detective Rich Conklin. The Women's Murder Club now faces its toughest challenge: will love destroy all that four friends have built? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE 8th CONFESSION.

CEMETERY DANCE by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Supernatural Thriller)
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child reprise FBI Special Agent Pendergast and Lieutenant D'Agosta to solve a grisly murder that appears to have been committed by a Zombii. The tension is palpable and the story fascinating, especially if you enjoy a well-plotted, tightly woven narrative and a character-focused tale. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

BRIMSTONE by Robert B. Parker (Western)
Bestselling author Robert B. Parker returns to the western genre in BRIMSTONE, the third installment in his series featuring hired guns Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch. Having located and saved the love of Virgil’s life, Allie French, the gunmen take work as deputies in Brimstone and quickly get involved in a power struggle between a well-armed preacher and a saloon owner. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

THE WAY HOME by George Pelecanos (Thriller)
George Pelecanos, an award-winning novelist and writer-producer of HBO’s “The Wire,” returns with THE WAY HOME, a novel of family, faith and temptation that deeply analyzes the impact of decisions and how the past eventually catches up with the present. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

MARINE ONE by James W. Huston (Political Thriller)
The President rushes across the South Lawn through a pounding thunderstorm to Marine One to fly to Camp David late at night. His advisers plead with him not to fly, but he insists. He has arranged a meeting that only three people in his administration know about. After fighting its way through the brutal thunderstorm on the way to Camp David, Marine One crashes into a ravine in Maryland, killing all aboard. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

FLINT AND SILVER: A Prequel to Treasure Island by John Drake (Fiction/Action & Adventure)
Fans of Robert Louis Stevenson’s beloved classic TREASURE ISLAND were enthralled by the gripping tales of piracy on the high seas. But they were also left with a number of questions, such as: Just how did Long John Silver lose his leg? And where did his parrot come from? John Drake, himself a fan of TREASURE ISLAND, seeks to answer these and many other questions in FLINT AND SILVER. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

BROOKLYN by Colm Tóibín (Fiction)
Although it’s a relatively slight work when compared to its prize-winning predecessor, THE MASTER, a brilliant treatment of the life of Henry James, Colm Tóibín’s latest novel is a warm and finely-observed tale of one young immigrant woman’s coming of age in the America of the early 1950s. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE UNINCORPORATED MAN by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin (Science Fiction)
The future is a wondrous place of peace, prosperity, technological advancement and space travel. It is also a society built entirely on human incorporation. This lack of self-ownership comes as a marked loss of freedom to one 21st-century tycoon who awakes from a cryogenic sleep in this new world and seeks to free the people. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

COOP: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting by Michael Perry (Memoir)
Michael Perry's new farm was not much like the one he grew up on. It didn't have sheep or cows --- in fact, it had no animals at all. It lacked the noise of a big family; there was just Perry and his wife, Anneliese, and young daughter Amy. But this small family had dreams of free-range chickens, a bountiful garden and fat pigs, and set out to make their newly acquired patch of Wisconsin land home. Perry chronicles their first year on the farm in his latest book, COOP. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

EVEN by Andrew Grant (Thriller)
Lieutenant Commander David Trevellyan stumbles upon a corpse in an alley and, against his better judgment, stops to take a closer look. If he hadn’t, none of what happened following that would have occurred and he would have been safely back home in London right on schedule. As it turned out, his trip was delayed by his efforts to clear his name and save lives. Including his own. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

LIFE WITHOUT SUMMER by Lynne Griffin (Fiction)
Debut novelist Lynne Griffin tells the story of Tessa, a mother who has just lost her four-year-old daughter in a hit-and-run accident and the grief counselor, Celia, who tries to help put her life back together. When their lives begin to intersect in powerful and unexpected ways, they discover that the answers one needs might be the other’s only chance for peace. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

2009 Spring Baseball Roundup
There have been lots of happy moments in the 150-plus-year history of baseball. But there have also been some devastating ones. Both are represented among this year’s assortment of books about the national pastime. Join’s Ron Kaplan as he reviews titles that focus on embattled superstar Manny Ramirez; controversial Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley; the legendary New York Yankees teams of the ’50s and ’60s; the ups and downs of the New York Mets franchise; the private world of baseball umpires in the minor and major leagues; and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Bets On…
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders by Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre and Frederic Lemercier (May 12th)
THE PHOTOGRAPHER is a stunningly original work that tells the story of Didier Lefèvre’s 1986 journey with Doctors Without Borders into Afghanistan through photos and graphic panels. Written and drawn by Emmanuel Guibert and designed by Frederic Lemercier, the dramatic and personal story of Lefèvre’s journey will both inform and haunt you. Lefèvre’s photos are dramatic essays unto themselves, but set as they are to punctuate the drawings and story, readers will feel they are in the story, not merely watching from the sidelines. Guibert’s work portrays both Lefèvre’s triumphs and anguishes, and he paces the book wonderfully.

Beyond telling Lefèvre’s story of this trip, one of seven that he made into Afghanistan, readers will get to know more about the missions of Doctors Without Borders. I had not been aware of the physically stressful aspect of these missions as the doctors trekked long distances from Pakistan to get to their outposts. Reading about the U.S.’s position in Afghanistan in the ’80s will inform and maybe even surprise readers. We were aiding the fight with the Russians, giving pause as one reflects on what is going on in this part of the world today.

A great personal story first, a political story second, THE PHOTOGRAPHER is a book that is perfect to introduce to readers who previously might have overlooked graphic novels, as well as one to be savored as a milestone work by those who already enjoy the format.

One to Watch Author Spotlight
CRAZY FOR THE STORM by Norman Ollestad (Memoir)
From the age of three, Norman Ollestad was thrust into the world of surfing and competitive downhill skiing by the intense, charismatic father he both idolized and resented. While his friends were riding bikes, playing ball, and going to birthday parties, young Norman was whisked away in pursuit of wild and demanding adventures. Yet it were these exhilarating tests of skill that prepared “Boy Wonder,” as his father called him, to become a fearless champion --- and ultimately saved his life.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from CRAZY FOR THE STORM.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
PEOPLE DIE by Kevin Wignall
Fast, efficient, and deadly… JJ is the best hit man money can buy. His clients are international. His targets never see it coming. His only rule: never get emotionally involved. But in the assassination game, everything can change with a single bullet. When a hit goes down in a Moscow hotel and JJ lets a beautiful young woman walk away carrying her clothes and a package, he knows he’s broken his ultimate rule…
- Click here to read a second excerpt from PEOPLE DIE.

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 answers to Reader Questions.

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 Lisa Jackson’s answers to Reader Questions.

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