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Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on on Friday, October 22nd.

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

BLOOD TRAIL by Steven Walker and Rick Reed
PAUL SIMON: A Life by Marc Eliot

MISTER X by John Lutz (Thriller)

He mutilates his victims. Slices their throats. And carves an X into their flesh. Five years ago, he claimed the lives of six women, but one day the slayings stopped. Ex-homicide detective Frank Quinn remembers, so when he finds the body of the final victim’s twin sister in his office, he decides to open up the cold case --- and suddenly the killings start again. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MISTER X.

WORTH DYING FOR: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Thriller)

There’s deadly trouble in Nebraska corn country…and Jack Reacher walks right into it. After falling afoul of a local clan that has terrorized an entire county into submission, he stumbles upon the unsolved case of a missing child. The Duncans are clearly hiding something, and as it turns out, they’re at the bottom of an international crime ring. Most people would try to outrun that kind of trouble, but for Reacher, running is impossible. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from WORTH DYING FOR.

CHASING THE NIGHT by Iris Johansen (Thriller)

Eight years ago, CIA Agent Catherine Ling’s two-year-old child was stolen in a brutal act of vengeance --- a tragedy that haunts her every day. But everything changes when she meets Eve Duncan, a forensic sculptor who shares her nightmare --- and agrees to help her find her son. But Eve also must face demons of her own. Her daughter’s killer is still out there…and a new murderer is taunting them at every turn. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CHASING THE NIGHT.

THE TEMPLAR SALVATION by Raymond Khoury (Thriller)

Constantinople, 1203: As the armies of the Fourth Crusade lay siege to the city, a band of Templars infiltrates the imperial library. Their target: a cache of documents that must be saved from the Doge of Venice. Vatican City, present day: FBI agent Sean Reilly infiltrates the Pope’s Secret Archives of the Inquisition. His love has been kidnapped, and the key to her freedom lies in the Fondo Templari --- the infamous Templars’ secret history. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

DJIBOUTI by Elmore Leonard (Thriller)

Dara Barr is a documentary filmmaker at the top of her game. In search of a challenge, she heads to Djibouti to film a piece on modern-day pirates. But almost no one is who he seems to be. Apparently piracy appeals to A-listers, and now Dara and her partner are faced with a critical decision: Should they shoot the action as a documentary, or turn it into a Hollywood feature film? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE TWELFTH IMAM by Joel C. Rosenberg (Thriller)

The leaders of Iran are calling for the annihilation of Israel and the U.S., so CIA operative David Shirazi is sent to Tehran with one objective: disrupt Iran’s nuclear weapons program by any means necessary. But when people start proclaiming a religious cleric the next Islamic messiah, war seems imminent --- and so does the End of Days. With the prophecy of the Twelfth Imam seemingly fulfilled, can Shirazi save his country and the world? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BOOK LUST TO GO: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers by Nancy Pearl (Reference)

Nancy Pearl sells books: hers and those of the authors she recommends. So she wrote a travel manual detailing 120 places to read about before you go. This guide to literary globetrotting includes Korea, Sweden, Afghanistan, Albania, Parma, Patagonia, Texas and Timbuktu, as well as recommended reading for “Travel to Imaginary Places.” Whether you need a passport or an armchair, BOOK LUST TO GO is perfect for every bookworm with an itch for wanderlust. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

THE VALCOURT HEIRESS by Catherine Coulter (Historical Romance)

When Garron of Kersey returns home from the king's service to claim his title, he's shocked to find Wareham Castle all but destroyed. According to the last remaining servants, a man called the Black Demon has been looking for his brother’s gold. Now he and his enigmatic maid Merry must bring Wareham back to its former splendor. But this is only the beginning… Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.

GHOST IN TROUBLE by Carolyn Hart (Mystery)

In yet another absolutely delightful mystery caper, Bailey Ruth Raeburn accepts a mission in her beloved Oklahoma hometown. As emissary of the Department of Good Intentions, she leaves Heaven, duty-bound to protect someone she detested while she was alive. Filled with laugh-out-loud moments and wardrobe changes, our favorite ghost detective is on the job.

Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

TRESPASS by Rose Tremain (Psychological Thriller)

In a wild and beautiful part of France stands a house that becomes an obsession for London antiques dealer Anthony Verey. He simply must have it. But the owner’s sister has other ideas, and her method of dealing with outsiders has everything to do with her secretive past and little to do with a spirit of warmth. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

CITY OF VEILS by Zoë Ferraris (Mystery)

Women in Saudi Arabia are expected to lead quiet lives, but Katya is determined to make hers mean something. When the body of a woman is found on the beach in Jeddah, Katya is convinced she can solve the crime. As it turns out, the deceased was a controversial filmmaker. Using her clandestine footage as a guide, Katya and her friend must now confront the world she threatened to expose. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF ZEUS: The Rise and Ruin of America's Most Powerful Trial Lawyer by Curtis Wilkie (Biography)

After successful lawsuits against the shipping, tobacco and drug industries, Dickie Scruggs became one of America’s wealthiest and most powerful trial attorneys. Perhaps more important, he was not reluctant to wield that power. THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF ZEUS is the riveting story of Scruggs’s rise to power and the forces that destroyed his legal career. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

SALVATION CITY by Sigrid Nunez (Fiction)

In a world devastated by a brutal pandemic, orphaned 13-year-old Cole Vining has landed in a Christian evangelical enclave where he lives with Pastor Wyatt and the pastor's young wife, Tracy. Here, Cole struggles to find his place and resume an interrupted life. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THE REPORT by Jessica Francis Kane (Fiction)

Whether it’s a terrorist attack or a massive oil spill, the ritual that follows a catastrophe has become painfully familiar. It was not always thus, as Jessica Francis Kane makes clear in a novel that is a thoughtful exploration of the aftermath of a real-life tragedy in World War II London. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

Author Interviews

John Lutz

Suspense/thriller author extraordinaire John Lutz is back with yet another spine-tingling installment to his Frank Quinn series, MISTER X, which follows the eminent ex-homicide detective as he tries to stop a cold-blooded serial killer once and for all. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Lutz reveals his strategies for coming up with unforeseen tipping points and attention-grabbing opening paragraphs, giving the scoop on how he managed to create Nift, the disturbing and creepily compelling coroner. He also speculates on the motives behind a serial killer’s bloodlust, shares a few of his favorite authors, and unveils his plans for the rest of the series.

-Click here to read a review of MISTER X.

Jennifer Donelly

Jennifer Donnelly, author of THE TEA ROSE and THE WINTER ROSE, is wowing critics once again with REVOLUTION, a young adult novel that is sure to appeal to a wide audience. The book follows the stories of two teens who were born in two separate countries nearly two centuries apart, and weaves them into one unforgettable account of life, loss and enduring love. In this interview with’s Sarah Rachel Egelman, Donnelly dishes on the questions that inspired her to write REVOLUTION, elaborating on the issues that were raised by the discovery of Louis XVII’s heart and how having her own daughter has changed the way she sees the world. She also talks about the difficulty of balancing an 18th-century Parisian with a present-day teenager from Brooklyn Heights, and explains why she framed her novel with quotes from THE DIVINE COMEDY, speculating on why Andi Alpers is --- in a way --- comparable to a modern-day Dante.

-Click here to read a review of REVOLUTION.

Sneak Peek: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book

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 BURIED SECRETS, New York Times bestselling author Joseph Finder’s next thriller featuring “private spy” Nick Heller, which releases in June 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 BURIED SECRETS, so if you will have time to read it and answer some questions by November 23rd, please enter this contest. If not, we plan to have more opportunities like this in the future.

Joseph Finder introduced Nick Heller, a "private spy" who finds out things powerful people want to keep hidden, to widespread acclaim from the critics and wild enthusiasm from the readers, in the New York Times bestselling novel VANISHED. Now, in BURIED SECRETS, Nick Heller returns, finding himself in the middle of a life-or-death situation that’s both high-profile and intensely personal. Heller races the clock to save the teenage daughter of a longtime friend, while uncovering the deep, dark conspiracy behind the abduction.

One to Watch Author Spotlight

SARAH'S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay (Fiction)

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a 10-year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.

Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah.

-Click here to see the winners of the ARC mailing contest.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from SARAH'S KEY.

-Click here to read Tatiana de Rosnay's bio.

-Click here to see Tatiana de Rosnay's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for SARAH'S KEY.

-Click here to read more about SARAH'S KEY.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

THE CRUELEST CUT by Rick Reed (Thriller)

The first victim is attacked in her home. Tied to her bed. Forced to watch every unspeakable act of cruelty --- but unable to scream. The second murder is even more twisted. Signed, sealed and delivered with a message for the police, stuffed in the victim's throat. A fractured nursery rhyme that ends with a warning: "There will be more." For detective Jack Murphy, it's more than a threat. It's a personal invitation to play. And no one plays rougher than Jack. Especially when the killer's pawns are the people he loves...

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Click here to read Rick Reed's bio.

-Click here to see Rick Reed's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Click here to read more about THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Visit Rick Reed's official website,

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

MISTER X by John Lutz (Suspense)

He mutilates his victims. Slices their throats. And carves an X into their flesh. Five years ago, he claimed the lives of six women. Then the killings abruptly stopped --- no one knows why. Ex-homicide detective Frank Quinn remembers. Which is why he’s shocked to see one of the dead women in his office. Actually, she’s the identical twin of the last victim, and she wants Quinn to find her sister’s murderer. But when the cold case heats up, it attracts the media spotlight --- and suddenly the killings start again…

-Click here to see the winners of the ARC mailing contest.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from MISTER X.

-Click here to read an interview with John Lutz.

-Click here to read John Lutz's bio.

-Click here to see John Lutz's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for MISTER X.

-Click here to read more about MISTER X.

-Visit John Lutz's official website,

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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