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Bookreporter.com Updates

Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8, 2010

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on Bookreporter.com on Friday, October 8th.

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


PAINTED LADIES: A Spenser Novel, by Robert B. Parker (Mystery)

Called upon by The Hammond Museum and art scholar Dr. Ashton Prince, Spenser agrees to provide protection during a ransom exchange for a stolen painting. But when things go wrong, the case gets personal. Convinced that Prince is more than just a ransom delivery boy, Spenser is drawn into a daring game of cat-and-mouse. Only this time, he might not make it out alive. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.


THE REVERSAL by Michael Connelly (Thriller)

When DNA evidence releases convicted child-killer Jason Jessup from prison, defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to prosecute the retrial. Convinced of his guilt, Haller agrees to take the case on one condition: that he can work with LAPD Detective Harry Bosch. Now, with the odds stacked against them, the pair must nail this sadistic murderer once and for all. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt of THE REVERSAL.


NEMESIS by Philip Roth (Fiction)

Philip Roth’s newest novel (following EVERYMAN, INDIGNATION and THE HUMBLING) is another study of a man facing death, but this time not his own. A young playground director in Newark helplessly witnesses his schoolboy charges fall to a polio outbreak against the backdrop of World War II. Reviewed by Max Falkowitz.


AT HOME: A Short History of Private Life, by Bill Bryson (Sociology)

Bill Bryson lives in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing has happened since the Romans decamped…until he decided to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” Taking readers on a journey through every room, Bryson creates a fascinating portrayal of the evolution of private life, demonstrating that whatever happens in the world winds up in our house. Reviewed by Roz Shea and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt of AT HOME.


SANTA FE EDGE by Stuart Woods (Thriller)

Santa Fe attorney Ed Eagle has recovered from his encounters with Mexican organized crime and --- more treacherously --- his ex-wife, Barbara. Now a mysterious new client has come his way, one who may shed light into some dark corners of Ed's past...and put him in danger once more. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.


PORTOBELLO by Ruth Rendell (Fiction)

While walking through the streets of London’s Notting Hill, 50-year-old Eugene Wren discovers a discarded envelope filled with cash. He hatches a plan to find the rightful owner, taking the money for himself and posting a notice on Portobello Road. But when this ill-conceived act links him to other Londoners, volatile characters start walking into Wren’s life --- with consequences that will change them all. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.


THE FALSE FRIEND by Myla Goldberg (Fiction)

Celia and Djuna were leaders of a mercurial clique of girls, but everything changed when they decided to walk home along a forbidden road. Djuna disappeared, and Celia blocked out what happened. Now a successful woman with a serious boyfriend, Celia returns home to confess the truth. But with no one willing to believe her, can Celia correct the past and save her relationship? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.


C by Tom McCarthy (Historical Fiction)

C is for elemental carbon --- the main building block of life --- and for caul, communication, carbon copy, cocaine and Carrefax. Seemingly endless possibilities abound for connections involving "C" in this peculiar and thoughtful novel, which has been shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for C.


WARLORD: An Alex Hawke Novel, by Ted Bell (Thriller)

Counterspy Alex Hawke has all but given up on life. The British-American MI6 counterterrorism operative lost the woman he loved almost a year ago and has sought refuge at the bottom of a rum bottle ever since. But late one night at his home on Bermuda, he receives a wake-up call…literally. In WARLORD, Hawke races to stop a madman hell-bent on murdering the British royal family. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.


VELOCITY by Alan Jacobson (Thriller)

When FBI profiler Karen Vail’s detective boyfriend disappears, there are no clues to his whereabouts --- aside from blood stains and tenuous connections to a vicious serial killer. Evidence suggests the killer is responsible, but just as Vail starts making progress, she gets sent back to Washington. She and covert operative Hector DeSantos must face a powerful foe that threatens her life and all she holds dear. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.


THE MULLAH'S STORM by Thomas W. Young (Thriller)

When a transport plane carrying a Taliban detainee is shot down over the Hindu Kush, a blizzard makes rescue impossible. Now navigator Michael Parson and female Army interpreter Sergeant Gold are caught in a battle for survival on some of the most forbidding terrain on earth, facing not only the hazards of nature, but also the treacheries of man. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.


THE DEAD PATH by Stephen M. Irwin (Supernatural Thriller)

When Nicholas Close’s wife dies tragically, he returns to his native Australia hoping to escape the nightmare that is now his life. What he finds is an old town full of ghosts and an even more unwelcome evil lurking in the shrouded woods near his mother’s home. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.


Author Talk

Michael Connelly
America’s favorite inspector and its most brilliant legal mind are back in award-winning author Michael Connelly’s
THE REVERSAL, which follows LAPD Detective Harry Bosch and defense attorney Mickey Haller as they reunite to stop a sadistic child killer in his tracks. In this interview, Connelly gives readers the scoop on his latest novel, explaining why Haller switches to the other side of the aisle and how his two protagonists are able to share the same stage. He speculates on whether Bosch and Haller will ever make it to the big screen, reveals the amount of research it takes to write a convincing legal thriller, and reflects on Bosch’s transformation since the series first began in 1992 --- and how many years his hero has left in him.

-Click here to read a review of THE REVERSAL.



Bookreporter.com Bets On

CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER by Tom Franklin (October 5th)

CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER is the story of two childhood friends whose lives change dramatically after one unforgettable night --- and how the events of that one evening will shape their lives until circumstances plunge them together again. The book opens in the ’70s as Mississippi is still grappling with the changes that civil rights actions forged a decade earlier. In a sleepy small town, Larry Ott, the son of white, lower middle-class parents, befriends Silas Jones, the son of a poor black single mother. They are fast friends who find camaraderie in one another. Then one night, Larry takes a woman on a date, and she is never seen again. Accusations fly. Larry becomes a pariah, and Silas moves on with his life to college where he is a star baseball player. Flash forward 20 years. Another woman goes missing, and all eyes are on Larry. Again accusations fly, but this time the friends find themselves going back to their respective pasts so they can move ahead to the future.


This book has strong, well-crafted characters who are flawed and imperfect, but will have you rooting for them. The rich descriptions of setting and place coupled with an honest and well-drawn plot make this a book you will both savor and remember.

-Click here to read a review of CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER.

-Click here to see all the titles we're betting you'll love.


One to Watch Author Spotlight

SARAH'S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay (Historical 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.

-Click here to read an 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.


BREAKING NIGHT: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray (Memoir)

In the vein of THE GLASS CASTLE, BREAKING NIGHT is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age 15 was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard.


Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls’ home. At age 15, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep.

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

-Click here to read an second excerpt of BREAKING NIGHT.

-Click here to watch a video about BREAKING NIGHT.

-Click here to read Liz Murray's bio.

-Click here to read more about BREAKING NIGHT.



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 second excerpt of MISTER X.

-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 website, www.JohnLutzOnline.com.



Historical Fiction Author Spotlight

HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM by Francine Rivers (Historical Fiction)

Growing up isn't easy for little Carolyn Arundel. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her momma, Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame. When Hildie returns to work and Marta leaves, Carolyn and her brother grow up as latchkey kids in a world gripped by the fear of the Cold War.

-Click here to see advance reader comments on HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM.

-Click here to read an excerpt of HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM.

-Click here to read an author talk with Francine Rivers.

-Click here to read Francine Rivers's bio.

-Click here to see Francine Rivers's backlist.

-Click here to read more about HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM.



New in Paperback

October’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE LOST SYMBOL, Dan Brown’s stunning sequel to THE DA VINCI CODE that follows Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon through a maze of Masonic secrets, hidden history and awe-inspiring locales as he tries to save his beloved mentor; NOT MY DAUGHTER, Barbara Delinsky’s gut-wrenching tale of a pregnancy pact between three teenagers that puts their mothers’ love to the ultimate test; SAVING CEECEE HONEYCUTT by Beth Hoffman, a laugh-out-loud debut novel about a 12-year-old orphan who discovers the power of female friendships; BOOK LUST TO GO, Nancy Pearl’s guide to literary globetrotting --- and a must-have manual for every bookworm; STONES INTO SCHOOLS, the dramatic and visionary follow-up to Greg Mortenson’s number-one bestseller, THREE CUPS OF TEA; and NOTES LEFT BEHIND, Brooke and KeithDesserich’s heartbreaking story of their six-year-old daughter’s battle with brain cancer, told through their journal entries and notes that Elena had hidden during her last months on earth.




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