Book View Cafe
An Unsafe Pair of Hands by Chris Dolley
(Book View Cafe 27 June 2011 / $3.99) - Book Description: An Unsafe Pair of Hands is a quirky murder mystery set in rural England charting the descent and rise of a detective on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
Peter Shand is the 'safe pair of hands' – a high-flying police administrator seconded to a quiet rural CID team to gain the operational experience he needs for promotion. On his second day he’s thrust into a high-profile murder case. A woman’s body is discovered in an old stone circle – with another woman buried beneath her.
The pressure on Shand is enormous. The case is baffling. There appears to be no link between the two crimes. The media is clamouring for answers. And Shand’s convinced his wife is having an affair with someone called Gabriel.
Which just happens to be the name of the two chief suspects. Both are womanisers, and both mention a mystery woman – who sounds suspiciously like Shand’s wife – as their alibi. The pressure builds. Shand can’t sleep, a local journalist is out to discredit him, his wife is about to be dragged into the case and then, goaded at a press conference about lack of progress, he invents a lead. And keeps on lying – to the press, his boss, his team – telling himself that he'll solve the case before anyone finds out.
Fallen: A Novel by Karin Slaughter
(Delacorte Press 21 June 2011 / $26.00) - Product Description: There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell's mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother. . . .
“You know what we’re here for. Hand it over, and we’ll let her go.”
When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, not enough answers. To find her mother, she’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they’ll both need the help of trauma doctor Sara Linton. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore--she’s a witness. She’s also a suspect.
The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light”or bury it forever.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux 21 June 2011 / $27.00) - Product Description: Tumba, Sweden. A triple homicide, all the victims from the same family, captivates Detective Inspector Joona Linna, who demands to investigate the grisly murders—against the wishes of the national police. The killer is at large, and it appears that the elder sister of the family escaped the carnage; it seems only a matter of time until she, too, is murdered.
But where can Linna begin? The only surviving witness is an intended victim--the boy whose mother, father, and little sister were killed before his eyes. Whoever committed the crimes intended for this boy to die: he has suffered more than one hundred knife wounds and lapsed into a state of shock. He's in no condition to be questioned.
Desperate for information, Linna sees one mode of recourse: hypnotism. He enlists Dr. Erik Maria Bark to mesmerize the boy, hoping to discover the killer through his eyes. It's the sort of work that Bark had sworn he would never do again--ethically dubious and psychically scarring. When he breaks his promise and hypnotizes the victim, a long and terrifying chain of events begins to unfurl. (The first book of a new series.) (see review)
Abyss (Kirk Mcgarvey) by David Hagberg
(Forge Books 21 June 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: It's a pleasant summer afternoon in the Gulf Stream, twenty-five miles off Hutchinson Island on Florida's east coast. NOAA scientist Dr. Eve Larsen is about to prove she has the answers to global warming, and the solution to stopping killer storms across the planet. She is a part of a multi-trillion dollar, multinational project to farm clean, endless energy from the oceans' currents--and alter the planet's weather for the better.
At that moment, contract killer Brian DeCamp walks into the Hutchinson Island Nuclear Power Station, aiming to cause a meltdown so catastrophic it'll make Chernobyl seem like nothing. Security cam footage leads to an intervention by legendary former CIA director Kirk McGarvey, who manages to thwart the catastrophe...but the failed sabotage sets off a chain of events more terrifying than McGarvey could ever have imagined. With Big Oil ruthlessly hunting for profit after the BP disaster in the Gulf, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
Camouflage (Nameless Detective Mysteries) by Bill Pronzini
(Forge Books 07 June 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: Nameless may not like David Virden, but the case is simple enough: find his ex-wife--and they know where she is. Deliver some papers to her and it's all done. But she refuses the papers, sends a message to Virden to never contact her again, and slams the door.
His colleague, Tamara, tells Nameless that Virden threatens to sue, stops payment on his checks, and claims that the woman they located isn't his wife. Then he disappears and his fiancée hires Nameless to find out why. Clearly, someone is trying to make Nameless the monkey in the middle.
The investigation that Nameless's partner, Jake Runyon, has to undertake is personal…and urgent. His girlfriend Bryn's son, a pawn in a bitter divorce settlement, is being beaten and every indication is that his father is responsible. Is he bitter enough to take out his frustrations on a young boy, to fracture his arm?
Then events turn on Jake: a dead woman, a bloodied Bryn, and a scared and silent child force him to look in other, darker, more deadly directions.
Under Fire by Margaret McLean
(Forge Books 21 June 2011 / $24.99) - From author's website: A Boston firefighter is shot and killed in the line of duty while rescuing Amina Diallo and her young son from their burning store. Amina, a Senegalese Muslim immigrant, is arrested for arson and murder, and will likely be convicted. Attorneys Sarah Lynch and Buddy Clancy face a mountain of racial and religious prejudice in this impossible courtroom battle. As they gain momentum, the lawyers slam headfirst into a firestorm of political corruption. A sinister force is working against them, attacking witnesses and destroying evidence. (Source: Forge Books)
Not Lost Forever: My Story of Survival by Carmina Salcido with Steve Jackson
(Harper 28 June 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: On April 14, 1989, in California's idyllic Sonoma Valley, Mexican immigrant Ramón Salcido went on a rampage, killing his wife, her two younger sisters, his mother-in-law, and his wife's suspected lover. Then he slashed the throats of his three young daughters—ages four years, three years, and twenty-two months—and left them for dead in the county dump. A day later, when the children's bodies were finally discovered, three-year-old Carmina was miraculously still alive. "Daddy cut me," she told her rescuers.
In Not Lost Forever, Carmina Salcido reaches back into her traumatic past to reconstruct, in sobering detail, her father's crimes and their aftermath. Recalling with clear-eyed candor, courage, and grace the horrific event and troubled childhood that followed, a remarkable young woman carries readers along on her miraculous journey of survival, discovery, and hope. (Source: Harper)
The Genesis Key by James Barney
(Harper 28 June 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: More than three decades ago, Dr. Kathleen Sainsbury's archaeologist parents were murdered at an ancient excavation site in Iraq. Now the gifted biologist stands on the brink of a miraculous breakthrough: the discovery of a gene that could extend a human life by hundreds of years. But at the moment of her greatest triumph, a mysterious phone call reveals a hidden truth that draws chaos and violence once again into Kathleen's world . . . and threatens to irreversibly alter the destiny of humankind.
For somewhere in the shadows, powerful unseen forces are watching . . . and waiting. Suddenly Kathleen is a target of covert government operatives as she races to uncover the mystery behind her parents' secret research and brutal deaths— a mystery locked in the human genome, in the sands of antiquity, and in the Book of Genesis. More than survival is at stake for Dr. Kathleen Sainsbury. The future of all humanity hangs in the balance . . . and the prize is the secret of life itself. (Source: Harper)
Warlord: A New Alex Hawke Novel by Ted Bell
(Harper 28 June 2011 / $9.99) - Product Description: British-American MI6 counterterrorism operative Alex Hawke has all but given up on life, ever since he lost the woman he loved almost a year ago. But now an old friend desperately needs his help—His Royal Highness Prince Charles.
A shadowy figure from the past has the British Crown in his sights, and has already proven that his warnings are not to be taken lightly. A not-so-subtle threat has been directed toward the British royal family, with an ominous connection to the assassination of the beloved Windsor patriarch, Lord Mountbatten, thirty years ago. Early clues point to IRA involvement—but the truth could be worse . . . much, much worse. It is just the sort of call to duty Hawke needs to propel him back into action. But the combination of an elusive maniac assassin on the prowl for royal blood and an unholy brotherhood of jihadists wreaking explosive global terror may be more than the recovering counterspy—and his world—can survive. (Source: Harper)
Breaking Ground: A Julie Williamson Mystery by William Andrews
(Islandport Press 01 June 2011 / $16.95) - Product Description: Julie Williamson is embroiled yet again in another mystery set at the Ryland Historical Society in western Maine. This time, a well-known benefactor is murdered on the morning of the ceremony to celebrate construction of an important new building. As she did in Stealing History, Julie, the historical society's puzzle-loving director, can't help but want to solve the murder, much to the dismay of those around her. From the familiar board of trustees, to the tireless town police chief, to Julie's professor boyfriend, Andrew's presents another suspenseful novel filled with Maine characters and history.
A Bad Day for Scandal by Sophie Littlefield
(Minotaur Books 21 June 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: When Prosper homegirl turned big-city businesswoman Priss Porter returns to town with a body in her trunk, she calls Stella Hardesty to dispose of it. Her uppity ways don't convince Stella to take the job, and Priss attempts to blackmail her with a snapshot of Stella doing what she does best: curing woman-beaters by the use of force.
Stella refuses to cooperate and goes home, only to hear later that Priss and her brother, Liman, have gone missing after calling in a disturbance. Stella is implicated when Sheriff "Goat" Jones discovers the scarf she left behind at the house. He warns her to stay local but Stella and her partner, Chrissy Shaw, go looking for Priss in Kansas City, where they discover that she runs an unusual business. When Priss herself—along with two other bodies—turns up in a pond belonging to one of Stella's ex-clients, Stella must investigate a host of suspects, including a crooked but libidinous female judge, a coterie of jealous male escorts, and a Marxist ex-professor. (see review)
A Bad Night's Sleep: A Mystery by Michael Wiley
(Minotaur Books 21 June 2011 / $24.99) - Product Description: Working late-night surveillance at a luxury condominium development, Chicago private investigator Joe Kozmarski encounters a burglary crew. Two of the crew members show up in a police cruiser dressed in uniform. In the chaos that follows, Kozmarski shoots and kills one of the thieves, who, like the rest of the crew, is one of Chicago's Finest. And just like that Kozmarski finds he's in for many a bad night's sleep.
Kozmarski joins the burglary crew, working as an inside agent for his old friend Lieutenant Bill Gubman. Facing dangerous suspicions from both the criminal gang and the uncorrupted ranks of the police department, uncertain about who wishes to help him stay alive and who wishes to kill him, Kozmarski takes his wildest ride yet. A Bad Night's Sleep pushes full throttle through the streets of Chicago to a stunning conclusion. (see review)
Death Toll (Detective Shaw Mystery) by Jim Kelly
(Minotaur Books 21 June 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: Bodies are being exhumed at King's Lynn's cemetery, the bones moved to higher ground to avoid flooding. But when the coffin of murdered pub landlady Nora Tilden is hauled up into the light there's a grim discovery; the twisted corpse of a young black man, killed by a billhook blow to the head, and dumped in the grave on the night Nora was buried twenty-eight years earlier. The police are baffled by a bewildering and brutal murder.
Who was this young man? Was he the victim of a racist crime? When DI Peter Shaw, DS George Valentine and their team are put on the case their investigation first leads them to The Flask, Nora's pub just along the riverbank, where her family hides more than one dark secret and it's soon clear no one can be trusted. Will Shaw and Valentine be able to get to the shocking truth behind the murder before it's too late and the ghosts from the past claim another victim? (see review)
East on Sunset: A Crime Novel by Ken Mercer
(Minotaur Books 07 June 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: Will Magowan, the "vulnerable and deeply damaged" (Booklist) ex-narcotics detective introduced to readers in last year's Slow Fire, has decided to retire from law enforcement and start a new life. Things are looking up: he's moved back in with his wife, Laurie, and landed the new job he's always dreamed of. Then a figure from out of the past appears and makes a mysterious demand. Erik Crandall is someone that Will sent to prison when he was an LAPD Detective. Will tries to brush Crandall off, but things spin violently out of control. Will begins to realize that the only way out of the present situation is by confronting tragic events from his past—a past he'd do anything to forget. He risks everything as he uncovers long-buried secrets and learns that almost nothing in his life is what it seems.
Highway 61 (Mac McKenzie) by David Housewright
(Minotaur Books 07 June 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: Rushmore McKenzie is a former cop, current millionaire, and an occasional unlicensed P.I. who does favors for friends. Yet he has reservations when his girlfriend's daughter asks him to help her father Jason Truhler, the ex-husband of McKenzie's girlfriend, and a man in serious trouble. En route from St. Paul to a Canadian blues festival on Highway 61, he met a girl, blacked out, and awoke hours later in a strange motel, with the girl's murdered body on the floor. Slipping away unnoticed and heading home, he thought he'd got away—until he started getting texts with photos of the body and demands for blackmail payments he couldn't pay. McKenzie soon finds that Truhler was set up in a modified honey trap, designed to blackmail him. But Truhler's version wasn't exactly the truth either. And McKenzie now finds himself trapped in the middle of a very dangerous game with some of the most powerful men in the state on one side and some of the deadliest on the other.
The Bones of Avalon by Phil Rickman
(Minotaur Books 21 June 2011 / $25.99) - Product Description: A country divided. A newly crowned, desperately vulnerable young queen. Can one man uncover the secret that will save her throne?
It is 1560, and Elizabeth Tudor has been on the throne for a year. Dr. John Dee, at 32 already acclaimed throughout Europe, is her astrologer and consultant in the hidden arts... a controversial appointment in these days of superstition and religious strife.
When dangerous questions of Elizabeth's legitimacy arise, the mild, bookish Dee finds himself summoned before William Cecil, who tasks him with an important mission. Along with Robert Dudley, Dee's daring friend and former student who is also rumored to be the Queen's secret lover, Dee must travel to the famously mystical town of Glastonbury to find the missing bones of King Arthur. Once these long-lost relics, the embodiment of a legacy vitally important to the Tudor line, are ensconced in London, doubts as to the Queen's supremacy as the rightful Tudor heir will be dispelled.
But the quest quickly turns deadly—Dee and Dudley arrive in Glastonbury to discover the town mourning the gruesome execution of its abbot, and more death soon follows at the old abbey. Racing to uncover the secrets buried there, Dee finds himself caught in the tangled roots of English magic, unexpected violence, the breathless stirring of first love... and the cold heart of a complex plot against Elizabeth.
Fun and Games by Duane Swierczynski
(Mulholland Books 20 June 2011 / $14.99) - Product Description: The first of three explosive pulp thrillers arriving back-to-back from cult crime fiction sensation and Marvel Comics scribe Duane Swierczynski.
Charlie Hardie, an ex-cop still reeling from the revenge killing of his former partner's entire family, fears one thing above all else: that he'll suffer the same fate.
Languishing in self-imposed exile, Hardie has become a glorified house sitter. His latest gig comes replete with an illegally squatting B-movie actress who rants about hit men who specialize in making deaths look like accidents. Unfortunately, it's the real deal. Hardie finds himself squared off against a small army of the most lethal men in the world: The Accident People.
It's nothing personal-the girl just happens to be the next name on their list. For Hardie, though, it's intensely personal. He's not about to let more innocent people die. Not on his watch. (Source: Mulholland Books)
The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson
(Other Press 21 June 2011 / $15.95) - Product Description: On an early spring morning in Richmond, Virginia, in the year 1885, a young pregnant woman is found floating in the city reservoir. It appears that she has committed suicide, but there are curious clues at the scene that suggest foul play. The case attracts local attention, and an eccentric group of men collaborate to solve the crime. Detective Jack Wren lurks in the shadows, weaseling his way into the investigation and intimidating witnesses. Policeman Daniel Cincinnatus Richardson, on the brink of retirement, catches the case and relentlessly pursues it to its sorrowful conclusion. As the identity of the girl, Lillie, is revealed, her dark family history comes to light, and the investigation focuses on her tumultuous affair with Tommie Cluverius.
Tommie, an ambitious young lawyer, is the pride and joy of his family and the polar opposite of his brother Willie, a quiet, humble farmer. Though both men loved Lillie, it's Tommie's reckless affair that thrusts his family into the spotlight. With Lillie dead, Willie must decide how far to trust Tommie, and whether he ever understood him at all. Told through accumulating revelations, Tommie's story finally ends in a riveting courtroom
Based on a true story, The Reservoir centers on a guilty and passionate love triangle composed of two very different brothers and one young, naive girl hiding an unspeakable secret. A novel of lust, betrayal, justice, and revenge, The Reservoir ultimately probes the question of whether we can really know the hearts and minds of others, even of those closest to us. (Source: Other Press)
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Burning Season by Jeff Mariotte
(Pocket Star 28 June 2011 / $7.99) - Product Description: It's a hot, early autumn evening in the small resort town of Mount Charleston, NV, where six firefighters are battling a massive blaze that threatens expensive homes...a blaze that will cost them their lives. Initially, the police determine that the fire was human-started, and the state wants to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law with six counts of homicide. Now the team of Sin City's finest criminologists, led by Catherine Willows, are assigned to work a crime scene far from the glittering lights and 24/7 spectacle of the Las Vegas Strip, and soon find much more than they bargained for. Meanwhile, Ray Langston and Nick Stokes are called to a crime scene where a dog has taken a key piece of evidence—a severed human hand—under a suburban home's crawl space. What's even more disturbing is that it's not the first severed hand that's turned up lately—there have been four other incidents around Las Vegas over the past twelve months.
Counterfeit Madam: A Gil Cunningham Mystery by Pat McIntosh
(Soho Constable 21 June 2011 / $25.00) - Product Description: Gil Cunningham had hoped that the first time he set foot in the brothel on the Drygate it would also be his last, but by the time all was settled he felt quite at home within its artfully painted chambers. The bawdy house, along with the neighboring property, is offered to Gil and his wife Alys by the forceful Dame Isabella. But matters are confused by an outbreak of counterfeit coins in Glasgow, which Gil has been ordered to investigate.
Then Dame Isabella is found dead in strange circumstances, and the more Gil pursues the cause of her death, the more false coins he finds. Rumors circulate that the Devil is abroad in Strathblane. By the time Gil and Alys have untangled matters, some very surprising—and sinister—things have come to light. (see review)
Stagestruck: A Peter Diamond Investigation by Peter Lovesey
(Soho Crime 14 June 2011 / $25.00) - From back of book: Pop diva Clarion Calhoun has packed the house with a celebrity appearance in Bath's Theatre Royal production of I Am a Camera. But within moments of her much-anticipated onstage appearance, she's pulled out of character as she screams and claws at her face. When tainted stage makeup is found to have caused the disfiguring burns, fingers point to her makeup artist. Detective Peter Diamond investigates when the makeup artist is found dead, pushed form a catwalk far above the stage. As Diamond digs deeper, he uncovers bitter rivalries among the cast and crew and is forced to confront his own mysterious theater phobia to find the killer. (see review)
The Gooseberry Fool: A Kramer and Zondi Investigation by James McClure
(Soho Crime 14 June 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: Hugo Swart, faithful churchgoer and respected citizen, is found stabbed to death on the floor of his kitchen just before Christmas, on the hottest night of the year. If Mr. Swart's Reverend is to be believed, no one in the world could have a reason to kill him; the murder was most likely a robbery gone ugly, and the chief suspect is Swart's black servant, Shabalala, who has fled to the countryside. But Lieutenant Kramer suspects that not everything is as it seems. While Zondi pursues Shabalala in what turns out to be a treacherous tour of miserable outlying Bantu villages, Kramer tries to wring the truth out of some of Swart's acquaintances in Trekkersburg and Cape Town—it seems not everyone liked the victim quite as much as the Reverend did. But danger lies at every turn—what will this investigation cost the duo?
McClure's merciless depiction of 1970s South Africa, its many layers of racism, and the gaps between rich and poor make this perhaps the most devourable book in the Kramer and Zondi series yet. (Source: Soho Crime)
Rock Paper Tiger by Lisa Brackmann
(Soho Press 07 June 2011 / $14.00) - Product Description: American Iraq War veteran Ellie Cooper is down and out in Beijing when a chance encounter with a Uighur—a member of a Chinese Muslim minority—at the home of her sort-of boyfriend Lao Zhang turns her life upside down. Lao Zhang disappears, and suddenly multiple security organizations are hounding her for information. They say the Uighur is a terrorist. Ellie doesn't know what's going on, but she must decide whom to trust among the artists, dealers, collectors, and operatives claiming to be on her side—in particular, a mysterious organization operating within a popular online role-playing game. As she tries to elude her pursuers, she's haunted by memories of Iraq. Is what she did and saw there at the root of the mess she's in now?
Read Mel Jacob's review of Rock Paper Tiger from our June 2010 issue.
(Source: Soho Press)
Blind Man's Alley by Justin Peacock
(Vintage 28 June 2011 / $12.00) - Product Description: Duncan Riley, a rising legal star, is defending his firm's major client, Roth Properties, after a fatal accident on a downtown construction site. Meanwhile, he represents a helpless young man accused of a murder in a housing development being built by...Roth Properties. Caught in a web of power, money, and influence, Duncan must balance the interests of his firm, the demands of his wealthy client, and the weight of his own conscience. All is not as it seems, however, and blackmail and homicide may just be two more hardball tactics in the cutthroat world of New York real estate.
Dead Line by Stella Rimington
(Vintage 28 June 2011 / $12.00) - Product Description: MI5 Officer Liz Carlyle returns in a powerfully suspenseful, psychologically riveting thriller to diffuse a terrorist plot.
As plans get under way for a Middle East peace conference at the Gleneagles resort in Scotland, MI5 Intelligence Officer Liz Carlyle is summoned to a meeting with her boss, who has just received an alarming tip: two individuals are mounting an operation to violently disrupt the conference and lay the blame on Syria, and Liz must stop them. No one knows who they are or exactly what they're planning, but given the stature of the conference attendees no chances can be taken. As the conference deadline draws closer, Liz keeps running into one dead end after another, and she begins to understand that the threat is far greater than she could have imagined.
Layover in Dubai by Dan Fesperman
(Vintage 28 June 2011 / $12.00) - Product Description: Sam Keller, an auditor at a giant pharmaceutical firm, expected a six-hour layover in Dubai. Then his company's corporate security officer asked him to extend his stay two days to keep an eye on a hard-partying colleague. Sam agrees, but against his better judgment, he decides to live it up a little, which has disastrous results. First Hatcher is murdered. Then Sam is arrested. Was he set up? Unsure whether he can trust his employer, Sam forms an unlikely alliance detective with Anwar Sharaf, a former pearl diver and gold smuggler. As the duo works its way toward the heart of the case, plunging waist-deep into a lethal mix of mobsters, prostitutes, crooked cops, consuls, and corporate players, each must confront the darkest forces threatening Dubai from within.
The Garden of Betrayal by Lee Vance
(Vintage 28 June 2011 / $12.00) - Product Description: In the seven years since his son, Kyle, disappeared off the streets of Manhattan, Mark Wallace has been slowly rebuilding his career as an energy market analyst and struggling to keep his family intact. But things are about to take a dangerous turn. After a terrorist attack on a Russian oil pipeline, a colleague slips Mark classified information about Saudi oil fields, then suddenly turns up dead. With his family still reeling from Kyle's disappearance, Mark takes it upon himself to learn how these seemingly disparate pieces all fit together. In a remarkable high-wire balancing act, Lee Vance has combined the intrigue of finance, the cutthroat world of energy politics, and the emotional pull of a family in crisis into a powerful, gripping thriller.
The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins
(William Morrow 21 June 2011 / $27.99) - Product Description: In The Devil Colony, Sigma Force stalwarts Painter Crowe and Commander Grayson Pierce must investigate a gruesome massacre in the Rocky Mountains and root out a secret cabal that has been manipulating momentous events since the time of the original thirteen colonies. Once again, Rollins delivers a spine-tingler that will leave fans of Michael Crichton, The Da Vinci Code, and Indiana Jones breathless—as he exposes the dark truth behind the founding of America. (see review)
Return to Index