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Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16, 2010

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

The titles below are discussed in the Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

THE NEIGHBOR by Lisa Gardner
THE COLDEST MILE by Tom Piccirilli
FALL OF GIANTS by Ken Follett
SCOUT, ATTICUS & BOO: A Celebration of 50 Years of To Kill A Mockingbird by Mary McDonagh Murphy
KILLING RED by Henry Perez
IN THE WOODS by Tana French
THE LIKENESS by Tana French

Reviews and Excerpts
FAITHFUL PLACE by Tana French (Mystery)
Tana French’s newest work is the eagerly awaited third installment in her Dublin Murder Squad series, though its primary focus lies elsewhere. Fans of her first two novels, IN THE WOODS and THE LIKENESS, will find their patience more than rewarded. FAITHFUL PLACE is one of those rare books that transcends its worthy genre and deserves as wide an audience as possible. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from FAITHFUL PLACE.

LIVE TO TELL: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel by Lisa Gardner (Thriller)
In New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner’s most compelling work of suspense to date, the lives of three women unfold and connect in unexpected ways, as sins from the past emerge --- and stunning secrets reveal just how tightly blood ties can bind. Sometimes the most devastating crimes are the ones closest to home. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from LIVE TO TELL.

RULES OF BETRAYAL by Christopher Reich (Thriller)
In 1980, a secret American B-52 crashes high in a remote mountain range on the Pakistan–Afghanistan border. Nearly 30 years later, and spanning locales from those peaks to New York City, a terrible truth will be revealed. Jonathan Ransom returns as the resourceful doctor thrown into a shadowy world of double and triple agents where absolutely no one can be trusted. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read an excerpt from RULES OF BETRAYAL

FLY AWAY HOME by Jennifer Weiner
Sylvie Serfer's senator husband, Richard Woodruff, is caught philandering after she has spent her married life devoted to him and to his career --- making for a gripping read as Sylvie and her two adult daughters reimagine their lives. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
- Click here to read an excerpt from FLY AWAY HOME.

THE COOKBOOK COLLECTOR by Allegra Goodman (Fiction)
In this wonderfully satisfying novel, two very different sisters, Jess and Emily, grapple with ambition, love, ethics and truth during the rise and fall of the high-flying tech start-ups. As the century turns, one rides the financial wave of her own start-up; the other enters a different world through the portal of a vast rare cookbook collection. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE COOKBOOK COLLECTOR.

CORDUROY MANSIONS by Alexander McCall Smith (Fiction)
Corduroy Mansions is the affectionate nickname given to a genteel, crumbling mansion block in London’s vibrant Pimlico neighborhood and the home turf of a captivating collection of quirky and altogether McCall-Smithian characters. Filled with the ins and outs of neighborliness in all its unexpected variations, CORDUROY MANSIONS showcases the life, laughter and humanity that have become the hallmarks of Alexander McCall Smith’s work. Reviewed by Roz Shea.
- Click here to read an excerpt from CORDUROY MANSIONS.

Bennie Salazar, an aging punk rocker and record executive, and the beautiful Sasha, the troubled young woman he employs, never discover each other's pasts. But the reader does --- in intimate detail --- along with the secret lives of a host of other people whose paths intersect with theirs in the course of nearly 50 years. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD.

KRAKEN by China Miéville (Urban Fantasy)
A giant squid is missing. Not just any squid. The Architeuthis, Kraken. Right out of the Natural History Museum in London. How is this possible? It's up to Billy Harrow to find out, plunging into an alternate London in order to recover the squid before the world ends. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

CUT, PASTE, KILL: A Lomax & Biggs Mystery by Marshall Karp
When Eleanor Bellingham-Crump --- a socialite responsible for the death of a 10-year-old boy --- turns up murdered on the floor of a Hollywood hotel bathroom, Lomax and Biggs are confronted with a crime of artistic brutality. Along with the scissors sticking out of Eleanor’s lifeless body, the two detectives find a meticulous scrapbook documenting a motive for vengeance in lurid detail. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SNOWBOUND by Blake Crouch (Thriller)
For Will Innis and his daughter, Devlin, the loss was catastrophic. Will’s wife, Devlin’s mother, vanished one night during an electrical storm on a lonely desert highway, and, suspected of her death, Will took his daughter and fled. Then one night, a hard-edged FBI agent appears on their doorstep and says, “I know you’re innocent, because Rachael wasn’t the first…or the last.” Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE KING’S MISTRESS by Emma Campion (Historical Fiction)
Alice Perrers is happy with her new husband, Janyn, and their simple life together. When Janyn disappears one day, a deadly family secret seals her fate and sends her to the royal palace for protection. The wife of a merchant, she’s unprepared for the new role she’ll be forced to take on --- mistress to the king. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowsi.

THE BRADSHAW VARIATIONS by Rachel Cusk (Fiction)
Since quitting work to look after his eight-year-old daughter, Alexa, Thomas Bradshaw has found solace and grace in his daily piano study. His pursuit of a more artistic way of life shocks and irritates his parents and in-laws. Why has he swapped roles with Tonie Swann, his intense, intellectual wife who has accepted a demanding full-time job? How can this be good for Alexa? Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

Author Talks
Tana French
Following the critically acclaimed bestsellers IN THE WOODS and THE LIKENESS, Tana French’s new novel, FAITHFUL PLACE, centers on undercover police detective Frank Mackey, who must come to terms with past demons when his estranged first love becomes the subject of his latest murder case. In this interview, French elaborates on her main character’s tumultuous history and --- despite having lived all over the world --- explains what continually draws her to Ireland as a setting. She also discusses how her career as an actress has impacted her role as a storyteller, reflects on the recurring themes in her work, and shares her thoughts on the barrier that separates the mystery and literary fiction genres.

Jennifer Weiner
Jennifer Weiner’s latest work of fiction, FLY AWAY HOME, centers on a mother and her adult daughters whose relationship is strained amidst personal failures and public humiliations. In this interview, Weiner discusses what prompted her to steer away from her typical twenty- and thirty-something narrators to create a middle-aged protagonist, and elaborates on the influence of various current events that helped to shape the novel’s plot. She also weighs in on the struggle women often face in trying to maintain their identities after marriage and starting families, and shares where she sees her characters after the book’s close.

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 Sixth Annual feature and contests.

During select weeks from May 28th through September 3rd, we will highlight a different book or collection of books from these featured titles 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.

Our current featured Beach Bag titles are:
- GOING IN CIRCLES by Pamela Ribon
- MENNONITE IN A LITTLE BLACK DRESS: A Memoir of Going Home by Rhoda Janzen

Young Adult Books You Won’t Want to Miss
After a train abandons him in the middle of Montana, Ry is on a journey to return home to his grandfather and parents. Ry will use all means available to find his loved ones, including planes, cars, boats, and his feet. With his trusty guide, Del, Ry will get there, won’t he?

BULLET POINT by Peter Abrahams
Wyatt never really thought much about his dad, a lifer in prison. But when he meets a girl named Greer with a criminal dad of her own --- who happens to be in the same jail as Wyatt’s dad --- Greer arranges a meeting. Wyatt immediately connects with his father and believes him when he says he’s been framed. However, Wyatt’s decision to help his father escape may possibly be the worst decision he's ever made in his life.

THE CARRIE DIARIES by Candace Bushnell
Did you ever wonder about Carrie Bradshaw's teen years? Smart and witty Carrie lets us in on her senior year: the guys, the family, the fashion, the writing dreams, and (naturally) the best friends. Carrie's early story not only is true to the character we know and love, but also makes for quite the stay-up-all-night type of excellent read.

COUNTDOWN by Deborah Wiles (Historical Fiction)
It’s 1962, and it seems the whole country is living in fear. When President Kennedy goes on television to say that Russia is sending nuclear missiles to Cuba, it only gets worse. Eleven-year-old Franny Chapman doesn’t know how to deal with what’s going on in the world --- no more than she knows how to deal with what’s going on with her family and friends. But somehow she’s going to make it through.

THE ENEMY by Charlie Higson (Horror)
In the wake of a devastating disease, everyone older than 16 is either dead or a decomposing, brainless creature with a ravenous appetite for flesh. The group of kids living at Waitrose supermarket is beginning to run out of options. When a mysterious traveler arrives and offers them safe haven at Buckingham Palace, they begin a harrowing journey across London.

FOR THE WIN by Cory Doctorow
(Science Fiction/Action & Adventure)
FOR THE WIN dives deep into the world of online gaming and reveals a complex system that sets players up for failure while mistreating its workers. The Webblies, a rebel group against the big companies controlling the games, have a plan that could potentially crash every virtual world --- and the real one!

PICTURE THE DEAD by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown (Supernatural Historical Mystery)
Jennie Lovell's life is the very picture of love and loss. First she is orphaned and forced to live at the mercy of her stingy, indifferent relatives. Then her fiancé falls on the battlefield, leaving her heartbroken and alone. Jennie struggles to pick up the pieces of her shattered life, but is haunted by a mysterious figure that refuses to let her bury the past.

STOLEN by Lucy Christopher (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Gemma is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty --- rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar --- pays for Gemma's drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long obsession, Gemma has been kidnapped by her stalker and brought to the desolate Australian Outback.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

From city to city, one man walks the streets, carefully choosing his victims. Mercilessly, he cuts their throats. And with each kill, he leaves his chilling trademark, honed to razor-sharp perfection over decades of practice. But now, reporter Alex Chapa is tracking the story, following the lead of a murdered colleague --- and getting dangerously close to the most elusive serial killer in decades. When the next victim surfaces bearing the unmistakable calling card, Alex realizes no one is safe from this psychopath’s murderous rage. For the killer has set his sights on Alex and those he loves --- and only their blood will satisfy him…
- Click here to read an excerpt from MOURN THE LIVING.
- Click here to read Henry Perez's bio.
- Click here to see Henry's Perez's backlost.
- Click here to read critical praise for Henry Perez's books.

THE EXILE by Andrew Britton (Thriller)
For the President of the United States, the horror of life in West Darfur just hit too close to home. His niece Lily, a nurse caring for Sudanese refugees, has been murdered by a corps of fearsome government-backed militia. Any response will destabilize the region and threaten the security of the world. America is out of options. Except one: Ryan Kealey. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
- Click here to read a review of THE EXILE.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE EXILE.
- Click here to read Andrew Britton's bio.
- Click here to see Andrew Britton's backlist.
- Visit Andrew Britton's official website,

BODILY HARM by Robert Dugoni

In his return as “the lawyer who does not lose,” David Sloane is on the verge of another victory, but something about the malpractice case has bothered him from the start. His uneasiness grows when toy designer Kyle Horgan confronts him on the way to the verdict to claim responsibility not only for the child’s death, but also for the fate of a second young boy in central Washington.
- Click here to view Advance Reader Comments for BODILY HARM.

PRAY FOR SILENCE by Linda Castillo
New York Times bestselling author Linda Castillo delivers an electrifying thriller in which Chief of Police Kate Burkholder must confront a dark evil to solve the mysterious murders of an entire Amish family. Topping her own bestselling debut, Castillo once again immerses us in the world of the Amish with a chilling story that is both a fast-paced thriller and an intriguing psychological puzzle.
- Click here to view Advance Reader Comments for PRAY FOR SILENCE.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
CRASHERS by Dana Haynes
Whenever a plane goes down in the USA, a "Go Team" made up of experts is assembled by the National Transportation Safety Board to investigate. Those people --- each of them a leading expert in a specific area --- are known informally as "Crashers." CRASHERS is a fresh and utterly compelling thriller, an original mix of action, investigation and a brilliant cast of characters that grabs the reader in a way few novels can and fewer do.
- Click here to view Reader Comments for CRASHERS.

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