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Friday, June 19, 2009

June 19, 2009

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on beginning Friday, June 19th.

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

TRUST NO ONE by Gregg Hurwitz
LOCKE AND KEY: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill
STITCHES by David Small

Reviews and Excerpts

THE ANGEL’S GAME by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Fiction)
In the turbulent and surreal 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. Soon David begins to see frightening parallels between the book he’s been commissioned to write and an old religious manuscript retrieved from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Reviewed by Roz Shea.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE ANGEL'S GAME.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for THE ANGEL'S GAME.

THE NEIGHBOR by Lisa Gardner (Thriller)
It was a case guaranteed to spark a media feeding frenzy --- a young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect. But from the moment Detective Sergeant D. D. Warren arrives at the Joneses’ snug little bungalow, she senses something off about the picture of wholesome normality the couple worked so hard to create. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE NEIGHBOR.

PERFECTION: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal by Julie Metz (Memoir)
Julie Metz’s life changes forever on one ordinary January afternoon when her husband, Henry, collapses on the kitchen floor and dies in her arms. Seven months after his death, just when Julie thinks she is emerging from the worst of it, comes the rest of it: she discovers that what had appeared to be the reality of her marriage was but a half truth. PERFECTION is the story of Metz’s journey through chaos and transformation, as she creates a different life for herself and for her young daughter. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.
- Click here to read an excerpt from PERFECTION.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for PERFECTION.

BORDER SONGS by Jim Lynch (Fiction)
A young Border Patrol officer goes out each day searching for birds, but finds more than he bargains for --- much more --- in this timely story from the author of THE HIGHEST TIDE. In Brandon Vanderkool, Jim Lynch has given us a delightfully memorable character. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

The mysterious Arkadin is still hot on Jason Bourne's trail and the two continue their struggle, reversing roles of hunter and hunted. When Bourne is ambushed and badly wounded, he fakes his death and goes into hiding. In safety, he takes on a new identity, and begins a mission to find out who tried to assassinate him. Meanwhile, an American passenger airliner is shot down over Egypt by what seems to be an Iranian missile. A global investigative team is assembled to get to the truth of the situation before it escalates into an international scandal. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

JUMP by Tim Maleeny (Thriller)
When the most hated landlord in San Francisco takes an unexpected jump off the roof of his own building, it isn’t too hard to find suspects. The police want to call it a suicide, but ex-cop Sam McGowan knows it was murder. He also knows that anyone living on the top floor of the building should be a suspect, including himself. So Sam decides to get to know his neighbors... Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

RED HOT LIES: An Izzy McNeil Novel by Laura Caldwell (Mystery)
Life is good for Chicago entertainment lawyer Izzy McNeil --- until her mentor dies and her fiancé is implicated by virtue of his mysterious disappearance. The puzzle of RED HOT LIES, the first in a summer mystery trilogy, involves deceit, theft, self-discovery and retribution. Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.

THE SIGNAL by Ron Carlson (Fiction)
There’s more intense action crammed into Ron Carlson’s brief new novel than in many works twice its length. Couple that with two complex and absorbing protagonists and gorgeous writing that pays homage to the natural world, and you have a deeply appealing work that’s easy to appreciate on a variety of levels. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE MEMORY COLLECTOR by Meg Gardiner (Thriller)
Meg Gardiner returns with her second Jo Beckett thriller. A forensic psychiatrist, Beckett is called to the scene of an aircraft inbound from London to California to examine Ian Kanan, a passenger who is behaving erratically, and realizes she is about to enter into a case unlike anything she has ever seen. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

TRUST ME by Peter Leonard (Thriller)
The first mistake Karen Delaney made was entrusting $300,000 to her boyfriend, Samir, the head of an illegal bookmaking operation. The second was breaking up with him --- because Samir holds a $300,000 grudge. A few months later, Karen sees a way to get her money back when two thieves break into her house in the middle of the night. She proposes a scheme to steal Samir’s safe, but Karen soon realizes she’s in way over her head as things begin to spin out of control. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

EAST OF THE SUN by Julia Gregson (Historical Fiction)
EAST OF THE SUN is a tale of personal discovery and enlightenment for three British women who set sail to India in 1928. They were part of the “Fishing Fleet,” an assembly of ladies who left Britain for India in hopes of finding a match for themselves. Set in the era of Mahatma Gandhi, this book has great historical value and is a work of rare quality. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

HELLO GOODBYE by Emily Chenoweth (Fiction)
In the winter of 1990, Helen Hansen --- counselor, wife and mother in the prime of her life --- is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The following August, Helen, her husband, Elliott, and their daughter, Abby, a freshman in college, take a trip to northern New Hampshire, where Helen will be able to say goodbye to a lifetime of friends. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

HUNT AT THE WELL OF ETERNITY by Gabriel Hunt as told to James Reasoner (Fiction/Action & Adventure)
HUNT AT THE WELL OF ETERNITY marks the start of a new pulp adventure paperback series by the creator of Hard Case Crime. Gabriel Hunt is a modern-day hero in the Indiana Jones mold. From the skyscrapers of New York to the jungles of Guatemala, Hunt encounters nonstop action and danger as he tries to save a beautiful woman and solve a deadly mystery. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

Author Talks
Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Carlos Ruiz Zafón, who has written for both adults and young readers, follows up his international bestseller THE SHADOW OF THE WIND with his latest release, THE ANGEL'S GAME. In this interview, Zafón compares and contrasts himself to his novelist main character, and discusses why he chose to set several of his novels in his home city of Barcelona. He also reflects on the source of his passion for reading, names a few of his favorite crime writers who have served as inspiration for his own work, and shares what he hopes readers will take away from his books.

Lisa Gardner
Lisa Gardner's new novel, THE NEIGHBOR, marks the return of D. D. Warren, a Boston PD Sergeant who was also featured in previous works ALONE and HIDE. In this interview, Gardner explains why she chose to continue Warren's story, and discusses the real-life cases that inspired the plot of this latest book about the disappearance of a young wife and mother whose secretive husband is suspected of her murder. She also describes the most fascinating and most challenging aspects of researching and writing about sex offenders, provides insight into the complex characters and their relationships, and hints at what's in store for Sergeant D. D. in future installments of the series.

Julie Metz
In her debut, PERFECTION, Julie Metz chronicles her difficult journey of acceptance and moving forward after she discovers painful truths about her marriage following her husband's unexpected death. In this interview, Metz explains the significance behind the book's title and discusses how, in retrospect, she could have foreseen her husband's betrayal. She also elaborates on the double standard that exists in today's society regarding infidelity, offers tips to women looking to start over after being cheated on by their spouses, and shares what she hopes readers will take away from her experiences.

Beach Bag of Books
Whether your "beach" is on sand, your backyard deck or a grassy meadow in the country, the summer months mean it's time for "beach reading." is celebrating the lazy days of summer reading with our Fifth Annual Beach Bag of Books feature and contests.

During select weeks from May 22nd through September 4th, a different title or collection of titles will be featured with a contest prize --- a beach bag stocked with the featured book(s) and summertime essentials. Five FABULOUS beach bags will be given away each week, as well as five copies of the featured book(s) to additional winners.

MERCURY IN RETROGRADE introduces three women whose lives intersect when they each decide to move into the same SoHo apartment building. As these disparate ladies become friends, they soon discover that having their carefully planned lives fall to pieces might have been the best thing that could have ever happened to them. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

Fourth Annual Father's Day Contest
Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and inspired us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? From May 29th through June 12th readers will have the chance to win one of our five Father’s Day Tote Bag Coolers, which are stocked with handy and fun items for dad as well as one copy of all six of our featured titles. Whether he is a fan of suspense novels, uplifting stories --- or if he’s just looking for great summer cooking ideas --- has the perfect gift suggestions for the dad in your life.

Our featured Father’s Day titles are:

- THE BOOK OF DADS: Essays on the Joys, Perils, and Humiliations of Fatherhood, edited by Ben George
- DIAMONDHEAD by Patrick Robinson
- HURRY DOWN SUNSHINE: A Memoir, by Michael Greenberg
- NUDGE: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
- THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight
THE LIKENESS by Tana French
Six months after the events of IN THE WOODS, Detective Cassie Maddox is still trying to recover. She’s transferred out of the Murder squad and started a relationship with Detective Sam O’Neill, but she’s too badly shaken to make any commitment either to him or to her career. Then Sam calls her to the scene of his new case: a young woman found stabbed to death in a small town outside Dublin.

The dead girl’s ID says her name is Lexie Madison --- the identity Cassie used, years ago, as an undercover detective. And she looks exactly like Cassie.
- Click here to read a review of THE LIKENESS
- Click here to read Tana French’s Bio.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
THE SHIMMER by David Morrell
In New York Times bestselling author David Morrell’s new novel, THE SHIMMER, bizarre phenomena draw hundreds of people to a remote Texas town, including a Santa Fe police officer and his wife who find themselves plunged into violence and bloodshed that quickly spiral out of control. But has the military known about – and exploited – these inexplicable phenomena for decades, thus unleashing forces they may not be able to control?
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE SHIMMER.

Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight
THE FIXER UPPER by Mary Kay Andrews
After her boss in a Washington PR firm is caught in a scandal, lobbyist Dempsey Jo Killebrew is left broke, unemployed, and homeless. Out of options, she reluctantly accepts her father's offer to help refurbish Birdsong, a dilapidated, Pepto Bismol–pink victorian house he recently inherited in Guthrie, Georgia. The delightful New York Times bestselling author returns with a hilarious novel about one woman's quest to redo an old house... and her life.
- Click here to read a second excerpt of THE FIXER UPPER.

"You can always start again," Kate Robinson's mother once told her, "all it takes is a new thread." Overwhelmed by heartbreak and loss, the struggling 26-year-old fashion designer follows her mother's advice and flees to her ancestral homeland of Ireland, hoping to break free of old patterns and reinvent herself. An enchanting, romantic tale of friendship and love in which a young American woman helps a group of lace makers change their lives --- and, ultimately, her own.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from THE LACE MAKERS OF GLENMARA.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
KILLING RED by Henry Perez
On death row, serial killer Kenneth Lee Grubb has six days to live and his last request is an interview with reporter Alex Chapa. What begins as a dream story soon turns into a nightmare for Alex. For amidst Grubb’s taunts and boasts lies the horrific claim that someone is carefully repeating his past crimes. When nine people suddenly turn up dead, Alex realizes Grubb is telling the truth. Now the copycat killer is ready to pay his ultimate tribute to his idol. He’s set his sights on Annie “Red” Sykes, the only survivor of his bloodlust fifteen years ago.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from KILLING RED.

Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight
Witty, smart and always chic, Haley Randolph has it all: Gucci, Prada, Chanel, Coach, Burberry, and she’d kill for the newest Louis Vuitton handbag... but it seems she’s not the only one. When someone’s passion for designer purses leads to murder, Haley goes shopping for a killer and to clear her name.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from HANDBAGS AND HOMICIDE.

Literary Fiction Author Spotlight
THE WONDER SINGER by George Rabasa
For freelance writer Mark Lockwood, landing the job as ghost writer for opera diva Mercè Casals is a dream. But when she dies in her bath and her agent wants to give the project to a renowned celebrity biographer, Lockwood makes off with the interview tapes to save his last best chance at writing success.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from THE WONDER SINGER.

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