Thursday, January 22, 2015

Meg's Picks: February 2015, part 1

Some months are more spectacular than others when it comes to fiction releases that make me sit up and take notice. This February is definitely going to be spectacular in that regard! Here are a couple of examples (and stay tuned for next week's posts, because there are more where these came from!).

The Swimmer, by Joakim Zander. Klara Walldéen was raised by her grandparents on a remote archipelago in the Baltic Sea, learning to fish and hunt and sail a boat through a storm. Now, as an EU Parliament aide in Brussels, she is learning how to navigate the treacherous currents of international politics: the lines between friend and enemy, truth and lies. But Klara has accidentally seen something she shouldn’t have: a laptop containing information so sensitive that someone will kill to keep hidden. Suddenly, she is thrown into a terrifying chase across Europe, with no idea who is hunting her or why.

Meanwhile, in Virginia, an old spy hides from his past. Once, he was a man of action, an operative so dedicated that he abandoned his infant daughter to keep his cover. Now, he is the only man who can save Klara . . . and she is the only woman who can allow him to lay old ghosts to rest. Because in the end, you cannot hide who you are. Critics are already raving about this international thriller, praising everything from its perfect pacing to its dazzling character portraits--more than one has been astounded that this is indeed a first novel. High praise indeed--thriller readers should definitely add this to their to-read list!

The Forgotten Girls, by Sara Blaedel. Sara Blaedel is referred to as the "Queen of Crime" in her native Denmark, so American readers can now rejoice that she's bringing her work to the US.

The body of an unidentified woman was discovered in a local forest. A large, unique scar on one side of her face should have made the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. As the new commander of the Missing Persons Department, Louise risks involving the media by releasing a photo of the victim, hoping to find someone who knew her.
Louise's gamble pays off: an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a "forgotten girl." But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates more than thirty years ago. Now Louise is left with more questions than answers.

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