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Friday, July 8, 2011

The titles below are discussed in the July 8th Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

THE DAY OF THE JACKAL by Frederick Forsyth
BLOOD WORK by Kim Harrison
DEFENDING JACOB by William Landay
THE ACCIDENT by Linwood Barclay

The following are reviews, excerpts, interviews and features that currently appear on the homepage:

TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante (Fiction)
Dr. Jennifer White’s best friend has been killed, with four fingers surgically removed from her hand. Dr. White is the prime suspect, and she herself doesn’t know if she did it or not. As the investigation deepens and her relationships with her caretaker and two grown children intensify, a chilling question lingers: Is White’s shattered memory preventing her from revealing the truth or helping her hide it? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

NEVER KNOWING by Chevy Stevens (Psychological Thriller)
Sara Gallagher has always wondered about her birth parents and why she was given up for adoption. But after months of research, she discovers the devastating truth: her mother was the only victim to escape a killer who has been hunting women for decades. Soon, Sara realizes the only thing worse than finding out about her serial-killing father is him finding out about her. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

YOU’RE NEXT by Gregg Hurwitz (Thriller)
Mike Wingate, abandoned by his father at four and raised in foster care, is finally living the happy family life he always dreamed of. But then something from his past --- a past he doesn’t even remember --- comes back to visit terror upon him. He must do whatever it takes to protect his family against the hidden men behind the terrifying warning: “You’re Next.” Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE SILENT GIRL: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel by Tess Gerritsen (Medical Thriller)
In an alley lies a female’s severed hand. On the tenement rooftop above is the corpse belonging to that hand: a red-haired woman dressed all in black, her head nearly severed. Two strands of silver hair --- not human --- cling to her body. Cracking a crime resonating with bone-chilling echoes of an ancient Chinese legend, Rizzoli and Isles must outwit an unseen enemy with centuries of cunning --- and a swift, avenging blade. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

ESCAPE by Barbara Delinsky (Fiction)
Lawyer Emily Aulenbach is overwhelmed by her frantic life in Manhattan. She finds herself working for a company she doesn't believe in; her marriage is suffering a major disconnection; and her entire existence is tied to her technological gadgets. Finally she can't take it anymore and runs away. Is there any hope of getting her previous life back on track? Or must she abandon the whole thing? Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

SMOKIN’ SEVENTEEN: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich(Mystery)
Dead bodies are showing up in shallow graves. No one is sure who the killer is, or why the victims have been offed, but what’s clear is that Stephanie Plum’s name is on the killer’s list. With a cold-blooded murderer after her, a handful of hot men, and a capture list that includes a dancing bear and a senior citizen vampire, Stephanie’s life looks like it’s about to go up in smoke. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

While TURN OF MIND is Alice LaPlante’s first novel, she has 20 years of experience as a writer and writing teacher, having earned the titles of award-winning journalist, corporate editorial consultant, writing coach, and university-level instructor. But she admits that fiction is her "true love."’s Norah Piehl spoke with LaPlante about her compelling literary thriller and the personal reasons for creating her 64-year-old protagonist, Jennifer White, who has Alzheimer’s. She discusses the challenges of delving into the mind of such a character and the crucial storytelling decisions that make it possible to follow Jennifer's thoughts all the way through her dementia.

Chevy Stevens, who burst onto the thriller scene last year with STILL MISSING, introduces readers to Sara Gallagher in NEVER KNOWING. Adopted at birth, Sara has always wondered about her biological parents --- until she discovers that her father is a serial killer.’s Joe Hartlaub spoke with Stevens about her research into the psychology of serial killers and their effect upon others, as well as her choice of narrative structure (both books are written in first-person monologues as the protagonist undergoes sessions with her therapist). She also discusses adoption rights, nature vs. nurture, and providing just a tiny bit of realistic empathy for the bad guy.

Bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz’s 11th novel, YOU’RE NEXT, is about a man named Mike Wingate who, as a boy, was abandoned by his father. Not only did this shape his development as a person, it’s now putting him and his family under attack.’s Joe Hartlaub talked to Hurwitz about his unique plot and the various dilemmas facing Mike, who himself is harboring a secret. He also discusses other creative projects he’s worked on, such as comic books and the television show “V”, and sheds light on both his writing lifestyle and how he views his multifaceted career.

When we think about war, we think about everything in black and white. There are two sides. One is good, and the other is evil. There are allies and enemies, and never should the two meet. Or so we think. But THE SOLDIER'S WIFE throws all that to the wind. Author Margaret Leroy places Vivienne de la Mare in a challenging situation. She is at home on the island of Guernsey with her two young daughters and her elderly mother-in-law as her husband is off fighting the Germans. Rumors of war are swirling around, though life for the moment is safe. Some residents of Guernsey are evacuating to England while others continue living their lives at home in peace, or in as much peace as one can have when war is everywhere.

-Click here to read more of Carol Fitzgerald's thoughts about THE SOLDIER'S WIFE.

TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante (Fiction)
I like books that I can describe really succinctly, like TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante. Here's the story. Dr. Jennifer White has Alzheimer's. Her neighbor --- her best friend, the godmother of her daughter --- has been found dead in her home. All clues point to Jennifer, who was a hand surgeon before she became too incapacitated to work, and she cannot remember if she killed her friend or not. It's brilliantly done as you weave in and out of Jennifer's world as it unravels.

-Click here to read more of Carol Fitzgerald's thoughts about TURN OF MIND.

Summer is upon us! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Features. We will be spotlighting a different title or two on select days from Tuesday, May 31st through Wednesday, July 27th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book(s) and enter. Some days may even feature special bonus prizes, including beach items, a beach tote stocked with goodies, and additional books. We also will be sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title(s), which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, July 11th at noon ET.

-Click here to see this year's featured titles.
-Click here to receive our special newsletter announcing each day’s prize book.

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