Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Meg's Picks: July 2017, part 3

Today I have a variety of fiction picked for your perusal. Humor, heart, thrills, we have it all!

Swimming with Bridgeport Girls, by Anthony Tambakis. Ray Parisi had it all, but is in the process of losing everything. He was an ESPN personality, but he's been fired. He's addicted to gambling. He's living in a cheap motel and hiding from the cops and from his bookie. He's never gotten over his ex-wife. His chance at redemption comes in the form of an inheritance from his estranged father, but rather than investing, Ray heads to Vegas with plans of hitting it big and begging his ex for one more shot. This goes about as well as you'd expect. Humor and hope and mayhem. Fans of Carl Hiaasen should try out this debut novel.

The Captain's Daughter, by Meg Mitchell Moore. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emma Straub, here's one for you. Eliza Barnes is a stay-at-home mom in a society of yacht and country clubs in Massachusetts, a life at odds with her upbringing working lobster boats in a small coastal town in Maine. In truth, she's never been completely at ease with the lifestyle she married into. When her father receives a deadly diagnosis, Eliza begins to split time between Maine and Massachussetts, attempting to navigate issues of class, loyalty and what it means to be a parent in the process.

The Breakdown, by B.A. Paris. A new novel from the author of Behind Closed Doors (2016). One stormy night, Cass takes a short-cut home, and sees a woman sitting in a car on her way. Later, the woman has been reported as murdered. Cass, wracked with guilt at not having stopped, begins to suffer memory lapses. And then she begins receiving phone calls, the line silent each time. For fans of Paris's debut, or of other psychological thrillers like S.J. Watson's Before I Go To Sleep.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Meg's Picks: July 2017, part 2

Feeling the need for a summer read? You can stop in the library anytime between now and June 30 to check out our big display of summer reading suggestions for adults (located across from the main Circulation Desk). Or consider adding one of these titles to your request list--they're all due out next month!

The Marriage Pact, by Michelle Richmond. Richmond (The Year of Fog, etc.) breathes new life into death-do-us-part. Newlyweds Alice and Jake address the common concern about the staying power of their union by joining an international cultish movement called The Pact, which prescribes arbitrary rules to keep couples together. And the secret society ensures that no misdemeanor is left unpunished... Fans of Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware may want to check this out.

Amanda Wakes Up, by Alisyn Camerota. Described by critics as The Devil Wears Prada meets Primary Colors and pulling on the author's own experiences, CNN anchor Camerota's debut chronicles idealistic and ambitious Amanda Gallo's navigation of her divisive job at the ratings-hungry FAIR News Network. Amanda cannot believe her luck when she lands a plum job hosting a morning show on the national network, and she'll do anything to get ahead. What she didn't count on? Insane pressure over ratings, a condescending co-anchor, and serious questions regarding the ethics of journalism. If you like some food for thought with your juicy summer read, consider adding this to your list.

Final Girls, by Riley Sager. Another suggestion if you like your thrillers dark and twisted, a la Gone Girl. The trope of the "final girl" is a familiar one to horror movie enthusiasts: she's the only one to make it out of a slasher flick alive, the one who lives to tell the story. After Quincy Carpenter survives a mass murder, the media tries to turn her into the "final girl," but she refuses, choosing instead to finish college and create a comfortable life for herself. But burying her past hasn't healed her, and when another final girl who had tried to mentor Quincy dies of an apparent suicide, the cracks in Quincy's Pinterest-worthy exterior begin to show. The truth about the night Quincy can't remember is going to bubble to the surface, it's only a matter of when, and how. If a nerve-wracking page-turner is your thing, I'd highly recommend this.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Meg's Picks: July 2017, Part 1

Here are a few of the super-special titles I've been tracking for you! Want something slightly off the beaten path? Maybe something you didn't even know you wanted? Read on!

The Lying Game, by Ruth Ware. New from the author of In A Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. Described as atmospheric and twisty, The Lying Game is the story of four friends who became inseparable during their time together at a boarding school nestled near the cliffs of the English Channel. Together they play the lying game, lying to faculty and fellow students, a game disturbing enough that everyone avoided them, insulating them further. But their game had consequences, first their expulsion during their final year, and now, years later, the truth will finally out. Also available in Large Print

The Painted Queen, by Elizabeth Peters & Joan Hess. When Elizabeth Peters (A River in the Sky, etc.) died in 2013, she left behind a mostly-finished manuscript as well as copious notes for the 20th in her much-beloved series featuring Amelia Peabody and her archaeologist husband. Joan Hess, a mystery writer in her own right (Deader Homes and Gardens, etc.) and a friend of Peters, agreed to complete the story, which features the duo chasing after a stolen bust of Queen Nefertiti even as Amelia dodges assassins. Fans will not be disappointed. Also available in Large Print.

The Lost Ones, by Sheena Kamal. This debut psychological thriller may be one of the big reads this summer: When Nora Watts is notified that her daughter is missing, she's immediately on the hunt. Only, Nora gave her daughter up for adoption 15 years earlier, and the adoptive parents are contacting Nora as a last resort. Nora herself has a brutal past that she is still struggling to overcome, but she knows that she may be the only one who can save young Bonnie. Readers who have been missing Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander may just fall for Kamal's damaged heroine.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Reading Ahead: July 2017, part 3

While I love thrillers as much as anyone (I'm currently reading two simultaneously, which is easier than it sounds.), but sometimes, summer calls for easy reading. Something that makes you keep turning the pages, that holds your interest, but doesn't demand that you keep track of a cast of thousands or diagram out details to keep the plot straight. If entertaining and undemanding sounds like your kind of summer read, here are a couple to consider.

Cocoa Beach, by Beatriz Williams. Williams's (A Hundred Summers, 2013, etc.) latest is actually due out at the end of June, a recent change, but I thought I'd add it in here anyway. Burdened by a dark family secret, Virginia Fortescue flees her oppressive home in New York City for the battlefields of World War I France. While an ambulance driver for the Red Cross, she meets a charismatic British army surgeon whose persistent charm opens her heart to the possibility of love. As the war rages, Virginia falls into a passionate affair with the dashing Captain Simon Fitzwilliam, only to discover that his past has its own dark secrets—secrets that will damage their eventual marriage and propel her back across the Atlantic to the sister and father she left behind. Part mystery, part romance, all delicious summer reading.

The Nearness of You, by Dorothy Garlock. For sheltered librarian Lily Denton, the bustle of New York City is an adventure she dreams about. But in the wake of her mother's passing, her father keeps Lily close to home, so she works and she dreams. Until the 1952 Fall Festival begins and the tourists flock to her town, among them professional photographer Boone Tatum. He's got a gift for trouble, but his life on the go seems to slow when he sees Lily Denton. Danger has also come to town, though, and the joy Lily and Boone have found together is in peril unless Lily can stand her ground and fight. A love story with heart. Also available in Large Print.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Reading Ahead: July 2017, part 3

Suspense and thriller novels are the name of the game this summer. Time to start your to-read lists!

A Game of Ghosts, by John Connolly. A private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Charlie Parker (last seen in A Time of Torment, 2016) is assigned to track him down. Parker’s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator—he is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker is drawn into Eklund’s world: a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts...

Wired, by Julie Garwood. After a bit of a break, bestseller Garwood is back with a new entry in her FBI series (Fast Track, 2014, etc). Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry. Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat. What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line... Also available in Large Print.

Deadfall, by Linda Fairstein. Fairstein's latest novel featuring Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper (after Killer Look, 2016). Amid concrete and skyscrapers, the Wildlife Conservation Society works to preserve and protect the animal kingdom both within and beyond the borders of the five boroughs. But dangerous creatures don't always have claws and fangs, as Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper and NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace know all too well. Predators lurk close to home, and in the aftermath of the shocking assassination of an iconic public figure—someone Alex has worked with for years—the trio must unravel the motive behind the shooting to discover who is the bigger snake: the killer or the victim. Also available in Large Print.

Look Behind You, by Iris Johansen & Roy Johansen. This new installment in the Kendra Michaels series (which starts with Close Your Eyes, 2012) begins with a serial killer on the loose in San Diego with a most unusual M.O. With each kill, the perpetrator leaves behind mystifying random objects. In this confusing array of unrelated evidence, the one thing that is clear is that the murders all have one characteristic in common: they all require the specific skills of Kendra Michaels, hired gun for both the CIA and FBI. Kendra, who was blind for the first twenty years of her life, gained her sight through a revolutionary surgical procedure and now uses her acute powers of observation to assist in cases all over the United States.
FBI investigators soon make a startling discovery: the left-behind objects are actually souvenirs of other unsolved serial murder cases from around the country. And the new crimes feature “holdback” characteristics never disclosed to the general public―meaning that one single killer was behind the nation’s most notorious serial murder cases and has now come to challenge and taunt Kendra.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Reading Ahead: July 2017, part 2

Summer and thrillers go together like peas and carrots. Here are a few to add to your beach bag next month.

Down a Dark Road, by Linda Castillo. Castillo's new novel, ninth in her popular Kate Burkholder series (following Among the Wicked, 2016), finds Chief of Police Burkholder in pursuit of a convicted murderer. Two years ago, Joseph King was convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to life in prison. He was a “fallen” Amish man and a known drug user with a violent temper. Now King has escaped, and he’s headed for Painters Mill. Kate, who grew up with Joseph, must stop him before he can kill again. For Kate, the situation is as dangerous as it is personal. New to the series? Start with the series opener, Sworn to Silence.

Paradise Valley, by C.J. Box. Third in a slated quartet featuring Investigator Cassie Dewell (after The Highway, 2013 and Badlands, 2015), Box's latest finds Cassie on the hunt for the Lizard King, a killer she almost caught...once.Working for the Bakken County, North Dakota sheriff's department, Cassie has set what she believes is the perfect trap and she has lured him and his truck to a depot. But the plan goes horribly wrong, and the blame falls on Cassie. Disgraced, she loses her job and investigation into her role is put into motion.

At the same time, Kyle Westergaard, a troubled kid whom Cassie has taken under her wing, has disappeared after telling people that he’s going off on a long-planned adventure. Kyle's grandmother begs Cassie to find him and, with nothing else to do, Cassie agrees―all the while hunting the truck driver. And Kyle's disappearance may just be more sinister than first glance might suggest. Fans of Box's Joe Pickett novels (Vicious Circle, 2017, etc) won't want to miss this series.

Collared, by David Rosenfelt.

Lawyer Andy Carpenter’s true passion is the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization he runs with his friend Willie Miller. All kinds of dogs make their way to the foundation, and it isn’t that surprising to find a dog abandoned at the shelter one morning, though it was accompanied by a mysterious anonymous note. But they are quite surprised when they scan the dog’s embedded chip, and discover that they know this dog. He is the “DNA dog,” his hair linked to a kidnapping two and a half years ago--neither dog nor child had been seen since. With the reappearance of the dog, however, the case is brought back to light, and the search for the child renewed. But what they start to uncover is far more complicated and dangerous than they ever expected.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Reading Ahead: July 2017, part 1

As we continue to work under the impression that summer will arrive eventually, I'm going to keep sharing great new reads to be released this summer!

House of Spies, by Daniel Silva. Number 17 in Silva's extremely popular Gabriel Allon series (after The Black Widow, 2016), House of Spies finds Allon back in action and out for revenge, on the hunt for an ISIS operative known only as Saladin. Series fans will love it for Silva's signature style as Allon travels the world over in hot pursuit of his adversary. New to the series? My advice is to start at the beginning with The Kill Artist (I've tried to pick this up in the middle, and while it is possible, I must admit that readers will get more out of the later novels if they have the foundation laid early on.). Also available in Large Print.

The Late Show, by Michael Connelly. Bestseller Connelly introduces readers to a new protagonist in his latest, a hungry young detective named Renee Ballard eager to prove herself working the LAPD's toughest beat--The Late Show. It is a shift of case beginnings, though Ballard turns everything over to the day shift each morning, finishing none of these cases. It is her punishment assignment after filing sexual harassment charges against her supervisor.
But one night she catches two assignments she doesn't want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her partner's wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the investigations entwine, they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won't give up her job, no matter what the department throws at her. 
I'd expect this new novel to win Connelly even more fans. Also available in Large Print.

Two Nights, by Kathy Reichs. Reichs, who has been writing her Temperance Brennan novels (basis for the hit TV show Bones) since the late 1990s (Deja Dead, etc.), here treats readers to a stand-alone novel. Sunday "Sunnie" Night has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help. Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? Sunnie's own demons may just be what helps her to solve the case. As with Connelly, above, I'd expect a new series to win Reichs some new fans. Also available in Large Print.