Thursday, December 3, 2015

Reading Ahead: January 2016, part 2

Nothing's worse than facing the post-holiday doldrums, and aren't you lucky that you will be looking forward to reading some great new books in the New Year! Here are a few to add to your list--make sure you save room, though, because I'll be back next week to start sharing my picks for some extra-special fiction titles coming out in January. And there are bunches!

The Bitter Season, by Tami Hoag. Fifth in Hoag's Kovac/Liska series (the duo last seen in 2013's The 9th Girl), The Bitter Season finds Detective Liska bored and restless in her assignment to the cold case squad, missing the excitement of her former position, and missing her old partner, Sam Kovac. Kovac is also experiencing frustration, saddled with a green new partner who makes him feel old and obsolete. Both Kovac and Liska are working cases, though, that they never dreamed would intersect--two crimes a quarter century apart, connected by a life that was never meant to be. New to this particular series? Start with 1999's Ashes to Ashes

Even Dogs in the Wild, by Ian Rankin. Twentieth Inspector Rebus novel (Knots and Crosses, etc.) and the fifth to feature Malcolm Fox (The Complaints), Even Dogs in the Wild finds retired Inspector Rebus out of save his nemesis. Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is feeling the heat. She's investigating the death of a senior government prosecutor, David Minton, who has friends in high places, and they want answers--fast. But while Minton supposedly died during a robbery gone bad, why is nothing missing? Maybe the real clue lies in the ominous note which was left behind. Helping her is Malcolm Fox, who has been shunned as a rat by his colleagues for his past in the Complaints department, and who is finding that this new investigation makes him feel like a real cop again. But they turn to Rebus for help, which suits Rebus fine--he's failing miserably at being a civilian after so many years in the force. As Rebus's past collides with the current case, the trio must race against the clock to save their own skins. Rankin's a huge favorite for fans of British police procedurals.

The Guest Room, by Christopher Bohjalian. Bohjalian never writes the same thing twice, and he departs from past novels like Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls significantly here: When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother’s bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night. And this is just where the beginning of one family's nightmare of shame and scandal begins.

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