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Friday, October 16, 2009

October 16, 2009

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, October 16th.

Reviews and Excerpts
NINE DRAGONS by Michael Connelly (Thriller)
Fortune Liquors is a small shop in a tough South L.A. neighborhood, a store Bosch has known for years. The murder of John Li, the store's owner, hits Bosch hard, and he promises Li's family that he'll find the killer. But when the one good thing in his life, the person he holds most dear, is taken from him, Bosch travels to Hong Kong in an all-or-nothing bid to regain what he has lost. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from NINE DRAGONS.

PURSUIT OF HONOR by Vince Flynn (Political Thriller)
In this newest addition to the Mitch Rapp saga, Vince Flynn returns to the secretive world of fearless Americans who must risk their lives for their country’s security, fighting a covert war that can never be discussed, even with their own political leaders. PURSUIT OF HONOR takes place shortly after the conclusion of EXTREME MEASURES, which featured a series of cataclysmic events that left the nation reeling. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from PURSUIT OF HONOR.

LOCKED IN: A Sharon McCone Mystery, by Marcia Muller (Mystery)
With bullet fragments lodged in her skull, Sharon McCone faces the greatest challenge of her life. While her team of investigators works to track down her assailant, all she can do is lie in the hospital bed and ponder a future devoid of her sense of touch and her ability to speak. Though her mind is alert, she is a victim of locked-in syndrome. Reviewed by Maggie Harding and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from LOCKED IN,

CHRONIC CITY by Jonathan Lethem (Fiction)
The latest novel by the acclaimed author of MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN and THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE is both a paean to and an elegy of Manhattan’s infinitely complex landscape. CHRONIC CITY winds up less a story of its characters and more a testament to a city vast enough to continually escape definition. Reviewed by Max Falkowitz and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from CHRONIC CITY.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for CHRONIC CITY.

UNSEEN ACADEMICALS by Terry Pratchett (Fantasy)
Wizards love to smoke and eat. That's their exercise. Until the funding for their great banquets is held hostage. The only way to keep the money flowing is to revive the sport of football at Unseen University. It's a collision course of comedic events as Ankh-Morpork's finest fumble their way into the realm of athletics. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

DRACULA THE UN-DEAD by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt (Supernatural Thriller)
Twenty-five years later, Dracula is still roaming the earth and so is a new evil --- an evil more cunning and diabolical than Dracula himself. The next incarnation of the undead rises, committing gruesome murders and terrorizing residents of London and Paris, leaving one individual to stop the carnage. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

THE CASEBOOK OF VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN by Peter Ackroyd (Historical Thriller)
What if Victor Frankenstein, self-professed scientist, were to meet Percy Bysshe Shelley, romantic poet and a man who married the author of FRANKENSTEIN? It would most likely go something like the story told in Peter Ackroyd’s THE CASEBOOK OF VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

BLACK FRIDAY: A Maggie O’Dell Novel, by Alex Kava (Psychological Thriller)
Caught up in a political nightmare, battling a new interim director and still mourning the death of her boss, FBI profiler Maggie O'Dell must put her own troubles aside and fly to Minnesota to help figure out what's behind a terrorist attack at the largest mall in America on the busiest shopping day of the year --- a massacre that is all the more frightening because no group has claimed responsibility. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker (Fiction)
The narrator of Nicholson Baker’s 10th novel, THE ANTHOLOGIST, makes a passionate but concrete argument for reading --- and loving --- poetry, even as he tries to make the pieces of his own life rhyme. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

HOUSE OF RECKONING by John Saul (Supernatural Thriller)
In John Saul’s newest work of psychological terror, his 36th novel, a young girl holds the key to unlocking the hidden secrets of a mysterious old mansion known as Shutters and righting the many wrongs of a small town. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE PRICE OF LOVE AND OTHER STORIES by Peter Robinson (Mystery/Short Stories)
Ever since the publication of his first mystery featuring Detective Inspector Alan Banks, Peter Robinson has been steadily building a reputation for compulsively readable and perceptive novels that probe the dark side of human nature. Plumbing the territory that he has so successfully staked, THE PRICE OF LOVE AND OTHER STORIES includes two novellas and several stories featuring the Yorkshire policeman at his finest. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE HIDDEN MAN by David Ellis (Legal Thriller)
Jason Kolarich rises from humble beginnings to become a star in a high-powered criminal defense firm. After his wife and daughter die in a freak car accident, he walks away from his celebrity for a simpler life. When he is hired to defend a childhood friend from a murder charge, Jason must relive a tragic incident that has haunted him for decades. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

Author Talk
Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch novel, NINE DRAGONS, finds the series' homicide detective protagonist out of his element on many levels, as he travels to Hong Kong in search of his kidnapped daughter, which he believes may be related to a murder case he is investigating in L.A. In this interview, Connelly discusses what prompted him to delve into the character's personal life in this installment, and elaborates on what he has at stake in solving these cases. He also explains the origins of the book's title and shares what initially captivated him about the exotic setting.’s Sneak Peak
STILL MISSING by Chevy Stevens
On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals --- sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape --- her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

The truth doesn’t always set you free.

STILL MISSING is that rare debut find --- a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted novel.

Historical Fiction Author Spotlight
RAINWATER by Sandra Brown
From acclaimed bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a powerfully moving novel celebrating the gifts, generosity and foresight of a great bygone generation. Centered around an independent woman who runs a Texas boarding house during the Dust Bowl and a mysterious boarder, RAINWATER tells a story that bears witness to a bittersweet truth: that love is worth whatever price one must pay for it.
- Click here to read Sandra Brown’s backclist.
- Click here to read an excerpt from RAINWATER.

Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight
The yuletide season in Lake Eden, Minnesota, guarantees a white Christmas, delectable holiday goodies from Hannah Swensen's bakery, The Cookie Jar --- and murder. As a shadow hangs over her friends' Christmas wedding, Hannah's determined to cook a killer's goose before anyone else gets burned.
- Click here to read Joanne Fluke’s backlist.
- Click here to read an excerpt from PLUM PUDDING MURDER.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
MANIA by Craig Larson

Seattle newspaper photographer Nick Wilder has gained a reputation capturing gruesome homicide scenes on film. His latest assignment: Tracking an unpredictable, deranged serial killer terrorizing the dark, wet streets of Seattle. But when the Street Butcher claims Nick’s brother as his latest casualty, Nick suddenly finds himself on the other side of the hunt...


Determined to avenge his brother’s murder, Nick stumbles into a dizzying labyrinth of deceit and danger. The deeper he digs, the more the trail circles back to him --- and to the secrets locked in his disturbing past. As Nick zeroes in on the killer, the more he must risk to unmask the depraved psychopath haunting his every move. As the motives heighten and the suspects narrow, the cold, stark Seattle winter turns ever chillier...
- Click here to read an excerpt from MANIA.

Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight

WINDFALL by Penny Vincenzi
Cassia Fallon has been married to the town doctor for seven years when she mysteriously inherits an enormous fortune from her godmother, whom was believed to have died penniless. A responsible housewife and mother, Cassia is at first determined to be sensible, to stay happy and in control --- but suddenly, for the first time in her life, she is able to do exactly as she likes. The money gives her confidence, and her husband can only look on resentfully as she resumes her medical career, sheds some of her domestic burdens, wings with the jet set, and re-forms old relationships --- one of them of a most dangerous kind. Along the way, Cassia realizes that something seems not quite right about the money left to her and she seeks answers, both about the money and the rest of her life. Too soon the windfall, part benign influence, part brutal force, is an absolutely powerful entity all of its own --- one that Cassia cannot resist.
- Click here to read a third excerpt from WINDFALL.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

URGE TO KILL by John Lutz
Homicide detective Frank Quinn can’t stay retired when there’s a new breed of murdering madman on the prowl. In a city terrorized by bloody brutality, Det. Quinn and his team hunt a psychopath who lures beautiful women into a night of unbridled passion, then wakes them to a vicious, drawn-out death. Stumbling over a trail of horribly defiled bodies, Quinn can’t catch the killer --- because the killer’s about to catch him.

The terrifying new thriller URGE TO KILL from New York Times bestselling author John Lutz is a gruesome, page-turning psychological serial killer crime novel that’s both frightening and fascinating. For a killer, once is never enough.
- Click here to read a second excerpt from URGE TO KILL.

HOSTILE INTENT by Michael Walsh
It starts with the unthinkable --- the most horrific act of violence ever committed on American soil --- and only one man can stop them.
- Click here to read Advanced Reader Comments for HOSTILE INTENT.

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