Thursday, December 17, 2015

Meg's Picks: January 2016, part 3

I know for many of you, it's hard to think beyond the holiday just now, but I promise you, you'll make it to the other side! And once things slow down a bit and you have some time to yourself (I'm funny, right?), here are a few titles with which to relax and unwind.

The Longest Night, by Andria Williams. In 1959, Nat Collier moves to Idaho Falls with army specialist husband Paul, who is tasked with overseeing operations at one of the country's first nuclear reactors. Paul quickly discovers that the reactor's core was not constructed correctly but hides this frightening news from Nat, who feels increasingly isolated both from him and from the town's holier-than-thou military wives. Inspired by the nation's only fatal nuclear accident.

The Winter Girl, by Matt Marinovich. Newly married couple Scott and Elise have relocated to Elise's dying father's home in the Hamptons. As his condition deteriorates, Elise spends much of her time at the hospital with her father, a volatile man who mistreated Elise as a child and disrespected the young couple even after marriage. During her days out, Scott becomes fixated on the seemingly vacant house next door. One night the couple breaks in together. After engaging in a spontaneous tryst in a spare bedroom, the pair attempts to clean up after themselves, and make a grisly discovery in the process. Then things start to get really creepy. If you're feeling the need for a noir-esque thriller to pass some winter nights, this would be a good one.

Once A Crooked Man, by David McCallum. The name here may ring more bells as an actor (The Man from UNCLE, NCIS, The Great Escape, etc.) than as an author, but that doesn't stop this debut from being an entertaining, globe-trotting mystery. Harry Murphy has had some success as a New York actor, but when his paychecks start coming from things like voice-overs in mayonnaise commercials, he figures it's time to consider a new line of work. His first mistake involves overhearing the Bruschetti brothers discussing an assassination being planned in London. Harry compounds his troubles by acting on what he overhears, hoping to warn the intended victim by flying to London. Funny, a little madcap, this should win McCallum a whole new set of fans.

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