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Friday, July 9, 2010

July 9, 2010

The following reviews, interviews and features began running on on Friday, July 9th.

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

LIVE TO TELL by Lisa Gardner
ICE COLD by Tess Gerritsen

Reviews and Excerpts
STILL MISSING by Chevy Stevens (Suspense)
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 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. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from STILL MISSING.

THEY’RE WATCHING by Gregg Hurwitz (Suspense)
Patrick Davis is a man with troubles. First his Hollywood dreams crumble and then his storybook marriage hits a snag. Now, DVDs start being delivered to his house --- DVDs that show someone is watching him and his wife, that the two of them are being stalked and recorded by cameras hidden in their house. Then the e-mails start, and someone offers to fix everything. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt of THEY'RE WATCHING.

HOSTAGE ZERO by John Gilstrap (Political Thriller)
Hostage rescue expert Jonathan Grave is used to working alone, and this time he’ll have to go where even the government won’t. An innocent man has been shot and two young people are missing. But tracking them down is just the beginning. To keep them and his covert team alive, Jonathan must plunge into the heart of an ugly secret whose insidious path reaches from one of the world’s most remote places into the highest corridors of power. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from HOSTAGE ZERO.

THE HOMECOMING by JoAnn Ross (Romance)
Former Navy SEAL Sax Douchett has returned home to the small coastal town of Shelter Bay, Oregon, determined to put war behind him and get on with his life --- which is easier said than done when everyone is hailing the former bad boy as a local hero. Adjusting to a new beginning becomes even more difficult when he unearths a long-buried secret that reunites him with a cherished part of his past that he’s never forgotten. Reviewed by Hillary Wagy and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE HOMECOMING.

THE SEARCH by Nora Roberts (Romantic Suspense)
As the sole survivor of the Red Scarf Killer, Fiona Bristow has a life she loves, a successful dog-training business, a dedication to search-and-rescue missions and a blossoming relationship with hottie craftsman Simon Doyle. But all of that could be in jeopardy when a copycat killer sets his sights on the only girl who got away. Reviewed by Amie Taylor and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from THE SEARCH.

PRIVATE by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro (Thriller)
Former CIA agent Jack Morgan runs Private, a renowned investigation company with branches around the globe. It is where you go when you need maximum force and maximum discretion. Jack is already deep into the investigation of a multi-million dollar NFL gambling scandal and the unsolved slayings of 18 schoolgirls when he learns of a horrific murder close to home: his best friend's wife, Jack's former lover, has been killed. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.
- Click here to read an excerpt from PRIVATE.

IN THE NAME OF HONOR by Richard North Patterson (Legal Thriller)
Home from Iraq, an Army Lieutenant kills his commanding officer. Was this an act of self-defense, or a case of premeditated murder? This is the premise for Richard North Patterson’s latest thriller, which combines both military intrigue and tense courtroom drama in a novel that will keep you guessing at every turn. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

MR. PEANUT by Adam Ross (Fiction)
David Pepin has been in love with his wife, Alice, since the moment they met in a university seminar on Alfred Hitchcock. After 13 years of marriage, he still can’t imagine a remotely happy life without her --- yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she is dead, and David is both deeply distraught and the prime suspect. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THRILLERS: 100 MUST-READS edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner (Reference)
Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner, THRILLERS: 100 MUST-READS examines 100 seminal works of suspense through essays contributed by such esteemed modern thriller writers as David Baldacci, Steve Berry, Sandra Brown, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Heather Graham, Gayle Lynds, Katherine Neville, James Rollins, R. L. Stine, and many more. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

ANCESTOR by Scott Sigler (Thriller)
Every five minutes, a transplant candidate dies while waiting for a heart, a liver, a kidney. Imagine a technology that could provide those life-saving transplant organs for a nominal fee…and imagine what a company would do to get a monopoly on that technology. On a remote island in the Canadian Arctic, PJ Colding leads a group of geneticists who have discovered this holy grail of medicine. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE PREGNANT WIDOW by Martin Amis (Fiction)
The year is 1970, and the youth of Europe are in the chaotic, ecstatic throes of the sexual revolution. Though blindly dedicated to the cause, its nubile foot soldiers have yet to realize this disturbing truth: that between the death of one social order and the birth of another, there exists a state of terrifying purgatory --- or, as Alexander Herzen put it, a pregnant widow. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

TUTANKHAMUN: The Book of Shadows, by Nick Drake (Historical Mystery)
In this follow-up to NEFERTITI, Nick Drake takes an imaginative and historically accurate look at one of the most fascinating reigns in ancient history. Drawing on the latest archaeological evidence, he crafts a sophisticated and gripping thriller that explores one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of ancient Egypt --- the untimely death of young Tutankhamun. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

Author Interviews
Chevy Stevens’s Joe Hartlaub recently spoke with Chevy Stevens, author of the newly released debut thriller STILL MISSING. In this interview, Stevens discusses how her “day job” inspired this story centered on the captivity of a realtor abducted during an open house and explains the slow evolution of protagonist Annie O’Sullivan over the course of several early drafts. She also recalls the lengthy process of writing and publishing her first book, shares her favorite works from an influential writer, and describes her next work in progress.

Gregg Hurwitz
Gregg Hurwitz is the author of 10 thrillers, including LAST SHOT, THE CRIME WRITER, TRUST NO ONE, and the newly released THEY’RE WATCHING. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Hurwitz reveals the source of inspiration for all of his novels, and compares personality traits with his latest protagonist, Patrick Davis. He also discusses his work in television and comics, fantasizes about alternate careers if he weren’t writing for a living, and shares details about a possible big screen adaptation of THEY’RE WATCHING currently in the works.

John Gilstrap
John Gilstrap’s sixth novel, HOSTAGE ZERO, is the follow-up to last year’s NO MERCY, and finds freelance covert op Jonathan Grave investigating the kidnapping of two boys from a facility for the children of imprisoned criminals. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Gilstrap explains what prompted him to make this unconventional school the focus of his latest thriller and explores his protagonist’s motivations for solving the crime. He also talks about the advantages of writing series books over stand-alones, shares a humorous anecdote from a past book signing, and mentions a few memorable recent reads.

JoAnn Ross
JoAnn Ross’s latest novel, THE HOMECOMING, is the first installment in her new Shelter Bay series and follows an ex-Navy SEAL who returns to his hometown after fighting abroad, looking to start over. In this interview with’s Hillary Wagy, Ross discusses what drew her to the Oregon coast as the setting for this story of survival and redemption, and what appeals to her about creating men in uniform as her main characters. She also shares her thoughts on the impact of social networking sites on her career as an author and offers details about the next book in the series, ONE SUMMER, due out in July 2011.

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

New in Paperback
July’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes UNDER THE DOME by Stephen King, an epic story of what happens when an entire town is sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field; THE DEFECTOR, which marks the return of Daniel Silva’s protagonist, Israeli assassin and art restorer Gabriel Allon, who once again is in pursuit of Russian arms dealer Ivan Kharkov; J. D. Robb’s FANTASY IN DEATH, in which Eve Dallas faces her most puzzling case yet: the founder of a computer gaming giant is found decapitated in his locked, private playroom; THE PARIS VENDETTA, the fifth Cotton Malone thriller by Steve Berry, who turns his attention to Napoleon Bonaparte's legendary hidden cache; WORLD WITHOUT END, the highly-anticipated sequel to Ken Follett’s THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH; THE YEAR OF THE FLOOD, a post-apocalyptic novel about a long-feared waterless flood that has altered Earth as we know it and obliterated most human life; and MY LIFE AS AN EXPERIMENT, which again finds A.J. Jacobs fearlessly taking on a series of life-altering challenges that provides readers with equal parts insight and humor.

Books into Movies
Why not beat the scorching summer heat by spending a few air-conditioned hours at your local movie theater? July's Books into Movies roundup offers three great excuses to do just that, with the highly anticipated Stieg Larsson adaptation
The Girl Who Played with Fire, the charming and family-friendly Ramona and Beezus, and the sweetly uplifting Charlie St. Cloud.

But if the rising temps make leaving the comfort of your own living room a little too much to bear, be sure to check out
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Repo Men, out on DVD this month.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight
VICIOUS by Kevin O'Brien
For more than two years, he held Seattle in a terror grip. A cold-blooded killer who abducted young mothers right in front of their sons and murdered them execution style. Then, as suddenly as the killings began, they seemed to stop. Susan Blanchette is looking forward to a relaxing weekend getaway with her fiancé, Allen, and young son Matthew. But something about the remote lake house doesn’t feel right. A woman vanished from the area a year ago, and now Susan thinks she’s spotted someone lurking around the property. And when Allen disappears, her fear grows…
- Click here to view Reader Comments about VICIOUS.

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