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Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23, 2010

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, July 23rd.

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

by Christopher Reich
THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders by Didier Lefèvre and Emmanuel Guibert
THE DAWN PATROL by Don Winslow
STILL MISSING by Chevy Stevens

Reviews and Excerpts
THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR by Daniel Silva (Thriller)
Art restorer and Israeli spy Gabriel Allon comes out of retirement to recover a stolen Rembrandt, only to discover that the painting’s value derives more from what lies beneath the canvas than what shows on its surface, for it has had a troubled and dangerous past. Reviewed by Kate Ayers and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt of THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR.

THE GLASS RAINBOW: A Dave Robicheaux Novel, by James Lee Burke (Thriller)
In James Lee Burke’s eagerly awaited new novel, Detective Dave Robicheaux returns to Louisiana and becomes entangled in a mystery that connects a series of grisly murders with an ex-convict turned bestselling author, a notorious local pimp, and the man who's currently dating Robicheaux's daughter. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

SCOUT, ATTICUS & BOO: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Mary McDonagh Murphy
(Literary Criticism)
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Mary McDonagh Murphy has written SCOUT, ATTICUS & BOO, a collection of interviews with prominent figures --- including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, Wally Lamb and Anna Quindlen --- that reveals how Harper Lee’s classic novel has affected their lives. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

RED HOOK ROAD by Ayelet Waldman
Set on the coast of Maine over the course of four summers, RED HOOK ROAD tells the story of two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, and of the ways in which their lives are unraveled and stitched together by misfortune, by good intentions and failure, and by love and calamity. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SAVAGES by Don Winslow
Part-time environmentalist and philanthropist Ben and his ex-mercenary buddy Chon run a Laguna Beach–based marijuana operation, reaping significant profits from their loyal clientele. In the past when their turf was challenged, Chon took care of eliminating the threat. But now they may have come up against something that they can’t handle --- the Mexican Baja Cartel wants in, and sends them the message that a "no" is unacceptable. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

WHAT IS LEFT THE DAUGHTER by Howard Norman (Fiction)
In his latest novel, Howard Norman (author of THE BIRD ARTIST, THE MUSEUM GUARD and THE HAUNTING OF L) returns to his favorite setting of Nova Scotia to tell a thoughtful story of one man’s quiet triumph over adversity, both self-inflicted and cruelly thrust upon him. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.
- Click here to see the reading group guide for WHAT IS LEFT THE DAUGHTER.

SPIES OF THE BALKANS by Alan Furst (Historical Thriller)
Alan Furst's newest historical espionage novel broadens his distinctive Second World War spotlight to include the area of the Balkans. The year is 1940, with Hitler now moving to coerce the remaining neutral nations of Southeast Europe into accepting the Axis pact. Italy has overthrown Albania, and Mussolini is determined to test his clout as a major Axis power by sending his next invasion force into Greece. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

THE NOBODIES ALBUM by Carolyn Parkhurst
In this unique tale of yearning, reinvention and family relationships, well-known author Octavia Frost's rock-star son Milo has been accused of murder. Mother and son have been estranged for years; the interspersed rewritten endings of Octavia's novels reveal the reason, even as she seeks to support and aid her child. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

FIRST THRILLS: High-Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors, edited by Lee Child (Thriller Anthology)
New York Times bestselling author Lee Child and the International Thriller Writers, Inc. present a collection of remarkable stories in FIRST THRILLS. Showcasing many of the organization's bestselling authors as well as rising stars in the genre, here are 25 brand-new, never-before published stories packed with murder, mystery and mayhem. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE RULE OF NINE: A Paul Madriani Novel, by Steve Martini
(Legal Thriller)
San Diego defense attorney Paul Madriani is still reeling from the trauma of a near nuclear explosion he helped avert in GUARDIAN OF LIES, and has become more interested in larger, international dangers he sees on the horizon. In THE RULE OF NINE, Madriani tracks an extremist hellbent on destroying the entire Supreme Court in one deadly stroke. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

LOST RIGHTS: The Misadventures of a Stolen American Relic, by David Howard
An important piece of America's documentary history is looted by souvenir-hunting Union soldiers in the final days of the Civil War. It disappears into private hands for well over a century --- until it is suddenly revealed as one of the original copies of the Bill of Rights, dating from the Constitutional Convention of 1789. How it was rediscovered, authenticated, fought over and finally restored to its rightful owners makes a fascinating, if complicated, story. Reviewed by Robert Finn.

THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN: Sportswriting from The New Yorker, edited by David Remnick (Sports)
For more than 80 years, The New Yorker has been home to some of the toughest, wisest, funniest and most moving sportswriting around. Featuring brilliant reportage and analysis, profound profiles of pros, and tributes to the amateur in all of us, THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN is a classic collection from a magazine with a deep bench. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

Author Talks
Daniel Silva
When you’re a former assassin and a living legend among those in covert operations, it can be hard to catch a break. Gabriel Allon’s double life as an art restorer and an internationally renowned spy interface once again as he’s recruited to recover a long-lost masterpiece in THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, Daniel Silva’s 10th installment in his bestselling Gabriel Allon series. In this interview, Silva discusses the booming yet not-so-glamorous business of art theft, his fascination with people’s inner psychology, and the very real possibility of Iranian nuclear weapons. He also names Bernie Madoff as the almost-too-perfect muse for his novel’s villain and explains why he’s been tempted to throw away his smartphone.

Leah Stewart and Kim Wright
Two recent novels --- HUSBAND AND WIFE by Leah Stewart and LOVE IN MID AIR by Kim Wright --- each center on relationships in crisis, and explore the complexities and the hardships that arise through years of marriage. In this interview, Stewart and Wright compare their female protagonists and their struggles to keep hold of their identities after starting their families, as well as the personal and professional sacrifices made for the sake of their children. They also elaborate on the importance of secondary characters as reflections of the main characters or catalysts for their actions, discuss the critical responses they’ve received from readers, and share their thoughts on their books’ bittersweet endings.

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 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 title is:
- RUNNING SCARED by Lisa Jackson

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 a second excerpt from MOURN THE LIVING.'s Sneak Peak

At, we have the opportunity to read many great books well in advance of their release dates. Now, with our Sneak Peek Feature/Contest, we are offering our readers the chance to preview select early picks --- and share feedback on them. We know that readers champion books that they love, and we want you to be part of the excitement of upcoming releases as early as possible.

Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X, a literary thriller by Japanese bestselling author Keigo Higashino, which releases for the first time in the U.S. in February 2011. We have 50 specially formatted early reader editions to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and share their comments about it. We really want to hear what you have to say about THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X, so if you will be able to read and comment on the book by the first week in September, please enter this contest. If not, we plan to have more opportunities like this in the future.

A mother. A daughter. A murder that never should have happened…but did. When two professors insert themselves into the equation, the question becomes: How far will one go for love and the other for the truth?

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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