Catalog Home Calendar Web Links Best Seller Lists News & Weather Online Databases
Edgar Awards
2011
The Lock Artist
Click to search this book in our catalog   Steve Hamilton

Publishers Weekly At the start of this offbeat thriller from Edgar-winner Hamilton (A Stolen Season and six other titles in the Alex McKnight PI series), the book's intriguing narrator, Mike (aka the Golden Boy, the Young Ghost, the Lock Artist, etc.), confesses that a traumatic experience at age eight left him unable to speak and that he has been in prison for nine years. His strange odyssey, which hops around in time, takes Mike and his twin talents, art and lock breaking, from his Michigan home to both coasts while in thrall to a mysterious man in Detroit whom he doesn't dare cross. Propelled by an aching desire to recover his voice, Mike has brushes with the law, flirts with romance and makes alliances with criminals, from rank amateurs to consummate professionals. Along the way, Hamilton drops tantalizing clues about Mike's troubled past and his uncertain future. Readers will hope to hear more from Mike. 75,000 first printing; author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list This stand-alone novel is a departure for Hamilton, who has won the Edgar for his Alex McKnight series. The book's main character, Mike, who suffered a trauma so great in childhood that it left him literally speechless, tries to confront his past by writing in prison. The novel's format embodies Mike's fragmented sense of self. His first-person narrative proceeds in fits and starts, jumping from the present day to his first professional job as a safecracker at the age of 18, to just after his trauma at age 8, to 2000, before his incarceration, and back and forth, focusing on several years, or months, or even a single day. The effect is that of a jigsaw, with both Mike and the reader trying to fit the pieces together. There's a double irony at work: although Mike skirts his trauma, he is always condemned, he tells us, to relive that day. And this master safecracker can't tumble the locks on his own mind. Intense and involving.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Mute from a childhood trauma that also left him orphaned, 17-year-old Michael discovers a natural talent for opening locks. Blackmailed by his girlfriend's father, who is in debt to some nasty people, Mike apprentices with The Ghost, an aging safecracker, and works as a "boxman" on various burglary jobs for a mysterious Detroit mobster. Narrated by Michael as he nears the end of a prison term, his tale jumps back and forth between early and later times in this peculiar career and Mike's attempts to come to terms with his abilities and his affliction. Verdict In this second stand-alone title (after Night Work), Hamilton, known for his Alex McKnight series, de-emphasizes setting and focuses on the clash between the artistic nature of safecracking and the brutality and horror that accompany such criminal activity. The unusual subject, the complicated plotting, and the conflicted narrator combine to keep the reader interested and hopeful. Of possible interest to YA collections in addition to adult mystery/thrillers. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 9/1/09; library marketing; 75,000-copy first printing.]-Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly At the start of this offbeat thriller from Edgar-winner Hamilton (A Stolen Season and six other titles in the Alex McKnight PI series), the book's intriguing narrator, Mike (aka the Golden Boy, the Young Ghost, the Lock Artist, etc.), confesses that a traumatic experience at age eight left him unable to speak and that he has been in prison for nine years. His strange odyssey, which hops around in time, takes Mike and his twin talents, art and lock breaking, from his Michigan home to both coasts while in thrall to a mysterious man in Detroit whom he doesn't dare cross. Propelled by an aching desire to recover his voice, Mike has brushes with the law, flirts with romance and makes alliances with criminals, from rank amateurs to consummate professionals. Along the way, Hamilton drops tantalizing clues about Mike's troubled past and his uncertain future. Readers will hope to hear more from Mike. 75,000 first printing; author tour. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list This stand-alone novel is a departure for Hamilton, who has won the Edgar for his Alex McKnight series. The book's main character, Mike, who suffered a trauma so great in childhood that it left him literally speechless, tries to confront his past by writing in prison. The novel's format embodies Mike's fragmented sense of self. His first-person narrative proceeds in fits and starts, jumping from the present day to his first professional job as a safecracker at the age of 18, to just after his trauma at age 8, to 2000, before his incarceration, and back and forth, focusing on several years, or months, or even a single day. The effect is that of a jigsaw, with both Mike and the reader trying to fit the pieces together. There's a double irony at work: although Mike skirts his trauma, he is always condemned, he tells us, to relive that day. And this master safecracker can't tumble the locks on his own mind. Intense and involving.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

...More
2010
The Last Child
Click to search this book in our catalog   John Hart

Publishers Weekly A year after 12-year-old Alyssa Merrimon disappeared on her way home from the library in an unnamed rural North Carolina town, her twin brother, Johnny, continues to search the town, street by street, even visiting the homes of known sex offenders, in this chilling novel from Edgar-winner Hart (Down River). Det. Clyde Hunt, the lead cop on Alyssa's case, keeps a watchful eye on Johnny and his mother, who has deteriorated since Alyssa's abduction and her husband's departure soon afterward. When a second girl is snatched, Johnny is even more determined to find his sister, convinced that the perpetrator is the same person who took Alyssa. But what he unearths is more sinister than anyone imagined, sending shock waves through the community and putting Johnny's own life in danger. Despite a tendency to dip into melodrama, Hart spins an impressively layered tale of broken families and secrets that can kill. 175,000 first printing; author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Adult/High School-Thirteen-year-old Johnny searches for his twin sister who disappeared a year earlier while also mourning the loss of his guilt-ridden father and trying to cope with his mother's abusive boyfriend. Parallel to the rapidly unfolding events is an intriguing and adrenaline-rich mystery that unfolds through Clyde Hunt, lead police detective in Johnny's North Carolina town. Hart develops both characters fully and credibly and brings to life a cast of supporting actors that includes Johnny's depressed and drugged mother and his best friend. The climate and history of the place offer both clues and a well-delineated setting for the plot, giving readers a "you are there" sensibility and an appreciation for how the past creates the present in both evil and good ways. Hart's writing is rich and flowing. Teens looking for adventure, and a story in which a kid shows himself to be smarter than most of the adults around him, will find this novel wholly satisfying.-Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal When 12-year-old Alyssa Merrimon disappeared a year ago, her family fell apart. Her twin brother, Johnny, became obsessed with trying to find her, their father took off, not to be heard from again, and their mother sank into a world of drugs and booze, helped along by an abusive, wealthy boyfriend. Det. Clive Hunt is also obsessed, both with finding Alyssa and with her mother, and his preoccupation costs him his marriage and jeopardizes his job. But this is Johnny's story and his quest to find the sister he lost. Taking his mother's car while she's passed out and occasionally taking along his best friend, Jack, Johnny spies and keeps meticulous records on the townsfolk of small Raven County, NC. The world is a dark place when seen through his eyes, and Johnny is an unforgettable character in this finely drawn yet disturbing thriller. With his best novel yet, the Edgar Award-winning Hart (Down River) firmly cements his place alongside the greats of the genre. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [175,000-copy first printing; library marketing.]-Stacy Alesi, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., Boca Raton, FL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Not that we needed any further proof, after the superb King of Lies (2008) and Down River (2007), but Hart once again demonstrates that he is a remarkable storyteller. Somebody has abducted Johnny Merrimon's twin sister, Alyssa. Thirteen-year-old Johnny hasn't been able to let her go, and even now, a year later, he is still scouring his North Carolina town, looking in every dark place, in the belief that his sister may still be alive and close by. Keeping an eye on Johnny, while fighting his own personal demons, is Clyde Hunt, the police detective who's spent the last year working the case, even as his marriage and career have crumbled around him. When they discover the truth, they find that it's something darker and more frightening than either of them could have imagined. Hart once again produces a novel that is elegant, haunting, and memorable. His characters are given an emotional depth that genre characters seldom have, and the graceful, evocative prose lifts his stories right out of their genre and into the realm of capital-L literature. A must-read for every variety of fiction reader.--Pitt, David Copyright 2009 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

...More
2009
Blue heaven
Click to search this book in our catalog   C.J. Box.

Library Journal Having witnessed a murder, 12-year-old Annie and her brother run for their lives to escape killers and dirty cops in the town of Blue Heaven. A break-out effort by the author of the Joe Pickett series; Box lives in Cheyenne, WY. 15-city author tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly At the start of this overly complicated thriller from bestseller Box, his first stand-alone, siblings Annie and William Taylor, ages 12 and 10, witness a gruesome murder in the woods outside the small Idaho town of Kootenai Bay, nicknamed "Blue Heaven" for its abundance of retired LAPD officers. Annie and William make a run for it after they're spotted by the killers, a group of crooked LAPD cops who retired to Idaho eight years earlier after pulling a complicated heist in California that left a man dead. Rancher Jess Rawlins becomes the children's only hope of survival after they take refuge in his barn. Jess must stay one step ahead of the killers, who have volunteered to "help" the local authorities investigate the children's disappearance. Annie and William's mother is frantic, as the scheming officers try to persuade her the children are gone for good. A subplot involving a retired California detective pursuing the original robbery case adds too many extra characters and undercuts the suspense. Readers expecting the same brisk story lines as the author's Joe Pickett crime novels (Free Fire, etc.) will be disappointed. 100,000 first printing; author tour. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list *Starred Review* Taking a break from his terrific Joe Pickett series (Free Fire, 2007), Box offers a stand-alone thriller set in north Idaho, a region called Blue Heaven by the many California cops who have retired there. When two kids witness a campground execution, they have no way of knowing the killers are ex-cops they just know they have to get away. But when the first man who offers them help turns out to be another bad guy, the kids decide they can't trust anyone. Their disappearance triggers a manhunt, and when the killers volunteer their services to the beleaguered local sheriff, he puts them in charge. Box deftly juggles a compressed time line and a large cast of characters that includes a good ex-cop who has followed the killers from California, the kids' single mom, a banker with a bad conscience, and a grizzled rancher who becomes the kids' protector. In some ways, this isn't that different from a Pickett novel: set against a New West issue (rampant development), it features likably flawed good guys (the good cop grapples with fear) and springs the noble western archetypes at just the right moment to have us cheering (you just knew the rancher would saddle up his horse). So does this stand-alone stand on its own two feet? Hell, yes. If it's a bit less introspective than a Pickett, it's a bit more of a page-turner. And Box builds suspense so brilliantly that Blue Heaven could serve as a textbook of how to do it.--Graff, Keir Copyright 2007 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Two young kids witness a backwoods execution-style murder in their rural Idaho hamlet. Worse yet, the killers--four retired cops from Los Angeles--see the children and begin a dogged pursuit. Struggling rancher Jess Rawlins is surprised to find Annie and William hiding in his barn, but he's wise enough to believe their lurid tale. He also astutely recognizes the goodness of a stranger in town: Eduardo Villatoro, a retired detective, is determined to put one last unsolved case--a big one--to rest. Villatoro's case is the final nail in the coffin for these bad cops, and it's up to Jess and him to save the children. Readers will be anticipating the final shootout long before the bad guys catch on. Popular series author Box's (Free Fire) first venture into stand-alone territory is a quick, satisfying, and straightforward--if fairly transparent--read. It should appeal to readers looking for a contemporary Western with an infusion of thriller; Michael McGarrity's books come to mind. Recommended for larger popular collections. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 9/1/07.]--Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., Fairfield, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
 
2008
Down River
 John Hart

Publishers Weekly Hart surpasses his bestselling debut, The King of Lies (2006), with his richly atmospheric second novel, which offers a tighter plot, more adroit pacing and less angst. Five years earlier, Adam Chase was arrested for murder, largely on the basis of his stepmother's sworn testimony against him. He was acquitted, but nearly everyone, including his father, still thinks he did it, and Adam's deep bitterness has kept him away from home ever since. Now, at the request of a childhood friend, he's back in Salisbury, N.C., where all the old demons still reside and new troubles await. The almost Shakespearean snarl of family ties is complicated by a very modern struggle between economic progress and love for the land, between haves and have-nots. Throughout, Hart expertly weaves his main theme: that by their freedom of choice, humans are capable of betrayal but also of forgiveness and redemption. This book should settle once and for all the question of whether thrillers and mysteries can also be literature. 150,000 first printing; 15-city author tour. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Because of his violent past, Adam Harston becomes the prime suspect when people start turning up dead in his small North Carolina hometown. Hart (The King of Lies) lives in North Carolina. National tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list "*Starred Review* King of Lies (2006), Hart's debut, was gripping and stylishly written, but it pales in comparison to this complex, emotionally charged novel. Adam Chase returns home to small-town North Carolina after five years living in New York City. He left his hometown or, in fact, was run out of town after he was acquitted of murder. He has returned home because his family is there and because everyone he has ever loved is there. But when his oldest friend goes missing, and Adam is beaten to a pulp by his friend's father's stooges, he begins to regret his decision. As he tries to reconnect with family and friends, Adam learns that some people he's known all his life are hiding dark secrets and that the truth surrounding the murder he was accused of five years ago is more frightening and closer to home than he could have imagined. Down River is a beautifully constructed story of personal redemption, family secrets, and murder a small-town epic, if there is such a thing. Hart dexterously juggles a large cast of characters and several intricate plotlines, and when he starts to tie together the threads of the various stories well, that's when the real magic begins. A truly splendid novel with a deep emotional core."--"Pitt, David" Copyright 2007 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Hart's sophomore effort surpasses his debut, the multi-award-nominated King of Lies. A small North Carolina town is torn apart when a power company wants to buy up all the farmland on the river; some residents cling to their bucolic way of life, while others see only dollar signs. Adam Chase's family has owned the largest parcel in the area for centuries, and his father has no desire to sell. But tempers flare, and soon a young woman is severely beaten, a body is found on the Chase farm, and Adam is the chief suspect. Newly arrived after five years away, Adam is the town pariah. His stepmother had accused him of murdering a family friend, and while the court acquitted him, his family and friends did not. While time has softened some, others seem ready to unleash their stored-up anger. This work is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler's novels, hard-boiled and rich with evocative metaphors. Complex relationships blur the lines between friend and foe, heightening the suspense in this intricate, haunting story of a family in crisis, and the writing is simply superb. Highly recommended for all fiction collections. [See Mystery Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/07.]-Stacy Alesi, Boca Raton, FL Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
  Click to search this book in our catalog
2007
The Janissary tree
 Jason Goodwin
  Click to search this book in our catalog
2006
Citizen Vince
 Jess Walter
  Click to search this book in our catalog
 
2005
California Girl
Click to search this book in our catalog   T. Jefferson Parker

Library Journal Besides telling a killer story, Parker's latest thriller hauntingly evokes a time (the 1960s) and a place (Southern California). The Becker boys (Andy the homicide reporter, Nick the cop, and David the minister; Clay was killed in Vietnam) grew up near the Vonns, a troubled, abusive family burdened with more than its share of tragedy. When 19-year-old beauty queen Janell Vonn, the essence of a California girl, is found beheaded in the abandoned SunBlesst packing house, the Becker brothers begin their separate quests to find her killer, finally bringing him to justice while realizing redemption for themselves. But 40 years after a conviction, it becomes apparent that the Beckers were wrong, very wrong. Drenched in lust, love, betrayal, and unfulfilled promise, California Girl features masterly plotting, smart prose, and memorable characters. Another excellent work from the author of Cold Pursuit; highly recommended. [See Mystery Prepub, LJ 6/1/04.]-Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list Since the Edgar-winning Laguna Beach in 1985, Parker has been known for his literate mysteries set in Southern California. This latest involves a very cold case from the 1960s. The story is framed by the elegiac meditations of Nick Becker, former L.A. cop, who deeply regrets lost youth and opportunities, but the bulk of the story suggests that Nick hasn't missed all that much. The core experience of his youth, his first case as an L.A. sheriff's officer, involved standing over the body of a neighbor girl, staring at it with his reporter brother, Andy. The girl, whom they knew had been molested and drugged by her brothers and later became a local beauty queen and Playboy cover girl, was found brutally murdered on the floor of a packinghouse. Before readers get to this core incident, which took place in 1968, the novel lurches through chapters depicting the Becker family in 1954, 1960, and 1963. It's obvious Parker wants to recapture the '60s, but he does so in an extremely heavy-handed, lugubrious fashion, hitting readers over the head with ways in which the times touched the family. The mystery itself moves extremely slowly, relying for its partial solution on an extremely corny deus ex machina device. Parker devotees will stick with him, but this one won't attract new fans. --Connie Fletcher Copyright 2004 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Set during the politically, culturally, and sexually charged 1960s, Parker's 12th novel is an emotional tale of three brothers who band together over the murder of a young local woman. The Edgar Award-winning writer lives in Fallbrook, CA. Five-city author tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
2004
Resurrection Men
Click to search this book in our catalog   Ian Rankin

Book list It's the perfect cover. Edinburgh Detective Inspector John Rebus, the maverick's maverick, guilty of throwing a coffee cup at his superior officer, is sent to a remedial "career counseling" course on being a better team player. But the fix is in; Rebus' real assignment is to investigate four Glasgow renegade coppers also forced to take the course. Rebus just throws cups and breaks rules; the Glaswegians may have stolen drug money. Rankin has been rightfully celebrated for his mastery of mood and character in his brooding series of "Tartan noir" procedurals. But he hasn't received enough credit for his plotting abilities. Many mystery authors run parallel plots, bringing them together in the end, but Rankin adds several layers of texture by having the plots feed off one another. Here, paralleling the career-counseling story is Rebus' unconventional, possibly illegal behavior in the resolution of an old case that is being reinvestigated as an exercise in building teamwork. Is Rebus guilty of transgressions equal to the cops he is investigating? And paralleling those stories is Rebus' colleague Siobhan Clarke's investigation of the murder of an art dealer. Rankin makes the connections between his plot strands ingeniously and subtly, adding depth not only to the story but also to the way the action reveals the souls of the characters. This installment in a truly groundbreaking series is more a straightforward procedural, less an exploration into the heart of darkness, than some of its predecessors, but it's still A-level crime writing from one of the best in the business. Bill Ott

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal A top author in the UK, where he sells more than Stephen King or John Grisham, Rankin cooks up more trouble for Inspector John Rebus. This time, the disgraced Rebus is trying to solve a murder he unwittingly may have caused when he realizes that a protege's case may be related. The publisher hopes to break out Rankin with this title, so expect big publicity. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal In his latest Inspector Rebus outing, Rankin (The Falls) demonstrates once again his mastery of intricate plotting and complex characterizations. This time, the heart of moral darkness that he explores lies not in the city of Edinburgh but in the Scottish police department itself. After throwing a cup of coffee at his superior, the maverick Rebus is sent to a remedial course at the police college with several other trouble-making cops: "Tulliallan was their last-chance saloon. They were here to be resurrected." But Rebus has a secret mission: to determine whether several of his classmates, long suspected of being corrupt, stole drug money and committed other crimes. Unfortunately for Rebus, as part of their coursework he and his fellow officers are assigned an old, unsolved murder that may have involved illegal actions by Rebus. At the same time, his protg, Detective Sergeant Siobhan Clarke, is investigating the killing of an art dealer that may or may not be connected to Rebus's assignment. Rankin skillfully juggles all the plot lines, tying them together in a logical and satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended for most mystery and crime fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/02.]-Wilda Williams, "Library Journal" Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Rankin's moody Inspector John Rebus, unorthodox pride of the Edinburgh police, begins this latest installment in hot water. He's been sent back to the police college for "retraining," with a group of other "resurrection men," for throwing a cup of coffee at a superior in a moment of frustration. It soon becomes clear, however, that the police brass have their own agenda for Rebus. Some of his fellow officers are suspected of being on the take, and it's his mission-should he accept it-to try to infiltrate their schemes, perhaps even encourage them. Meanwhile, a murder he and the edgy Det. Sergeant Siobhan Clarke have been investigating has turned up some curious links with an apparently Teflon crime boss Rebus has been after for years. The two cases gradually come together in Rankin's skillfully woven plotting, full of his trademark tough, oblique dialogue and sudden moments of touching warmth. The book's only drawbacks are that it seems a little overextended, and that the final bloody climax lacks something in conviction, if not in tension. This isn't one of Rankin's top efforts, but even coasting, he leaves most police procedurals at the gate. (Feb. 3) Forecast: This is the first book in a new contract with a new publisher, and Little, Brown can be expected to give it an extra push, starting with a six-city author tour. Rankin has never been the top seller here that he is at home (and in Canada), but wider attention should bring sales dividends.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
2003
Winter and Night
Click to search this book in our catalog   S.J. Rozan

Book list Lydia Chin and Bill Smith remain one of the very best private-eye duos in the genre, and this installment of Rozan's highly readable and most entertaining series lives up to the superlatives we have heaped upon its predecessors. When Bill receives a call from the New York City police telling him that his teenage nephew, Gary, is in jail and has asked for him, Bill is certainly surprised, especially because he has had no contact with his sister, Gary's mother, in some time. When he manages to get Gary released into his custody, the boy will not say why he has come to New York, only that he has something important to do. Bill insists that Gary must call his mother, but Gary, a football player, smashes out a window, drops two stories into the alley, and runs away again. Thus begins a truly tangled tale that leads Bill and Lydia into the world of Gary's hometown, a New Jersey suburb, where high-school football rules the community--and may have led to the murder of a young girl by a team member who just might be Gary. The course of events also forces Bill to reveal to Lydia the truth about his own troubled past and why he so desperately needs to find and help Gary. As before, Rozan delivers strong characters, deft plotting, and a hard-driving narrative. We'll say it again: don't miss this one. --Stuart Miller

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Despite the hype, this eighth novel featuring New York PIs Lydia Chin and Bill Smith from Shamus- and Anthony-award winner Rozan isn't quite up to her usual high standard. After 2001's Reflecting the Sky (which Chin narrated), it's Smith's turn to tell the story, which here concerns his teenage nephew, Gary Russell, the athlete son of his estranged sister Helen. When Gary is arrested for pick-pocketing in Manhattan, the boy asks for his uncle's help. Gary denies running away from his Warrenstown, N.J., home he was doing something important. Then the boy vanishes, drawing Smith and Chin into a nightmarish case in which a small town's obsession with its high school football team overwhelms standards of justice and morality. When a teenage girl who dated Gary and was selling drugs to her classmates dies mysteriously, the police suspect Gary. He's disappeared during Warrenstown's most important week, when the football team trains at an intensive sports camp culminating in a game that attracts college scouts. Then another teenager, a despised nonathlete, disappears. Two computer whizzes join the detectives in finding the answers to present crimes by solving an old murder. This disturbing, suspenseful, but often shrill and repetitive novel allows the author to reveal Smith's troubled childhood as he, with Chin's encouragement, begins to understand it. In showing how we set priorities that can create monsters, Rozan also points to deep flaws in our society. Agent, Steve Axelrod. (Feb. 25) Forecast: With a national author tour, an excerpt in the paperback edition of Reflecting the Sky (Jan.) and supportive blurbs from the likes of Robert Crais, Dennis Lehane, Linda Fairstein and Greg Rucka, this title should keep Rozan's momentum going. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
 
2002
Silent Joe
 T. Jefferson Parker

Library Journal The prolific Parker is back with his ninth thriller (after Red Light), and it's a dark, sexy gem. Joe, known as the "acid baby" after his natural father disfigured his face for life with battery acid, was rescued from an orphanage by Will Trona, a powerful and charismatic Orange County, CA, supervisor. Joe idolizes his adoptive father, follows his footsteps into law enforcement, and serves him faithfully until Will is gunned down in a dark alley one foggy night. Devastated, Joe vows to find the killer. But as Joe searches for clues, he discovers that Will kept many dark secrets, and if he pursues the truth he will be forced to confront his own troubled childhood. A complex mix of seemingly unconnected plot lines, vivid characterization, and real mystery merge to form a truly satisfying thriller. Parker has joined the ranks of Michael Connolly, James Patterson, and Jonathan Kellerman. Recommended for all fiction collections. Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Orange County Supervisor Will Trona is a powerful man whose biggest deals are made under cover of darkness, in alleys and freight yards, where gym bags full of cash often change hands. Will's protection on these midnight runs is his adopted son, Joe, a prison guard with an eye on the county sheriff's department. Half of young Joe's face is badly scarred from the acid his biological father threw on him when he was a baby, before Will and his wife rescued the boy from an orphanage. When the night business finally goes bad, Will is murdered, and Joe takes out two of his assailants. That's not enough for Joe. He must understand the reason his adoptive father was killed and find out who ordered it. Joe knows Will thrived on the dark side of power politics, but he learns, in the course of his investigation that Will had a very definite evil streak. Even as his opinion of Will plummets, Joe presses on, determined to extract justice or revenge, with no preference for one over the other. The latest from best-selling author Parker offers another compelling take on one of his favorite themes: damaged souls forced to confront their own inner demons while battling others made of flesh and blood. Joe Trona's battle is a long way from over. Expect to see more of him. --Wes Lukowsky

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Parker (Red Light) lowers the volume from his usual roar and adds a subtle backbeat to this bittersweet thriller about a man's anguished search for his father's killer. Joe Trona is a dutiful son, but horrible facial scars have made him an outcast. He lived in an orphanage until he was adopted at five by Will Trona, a powerful politician in Southern California's Orange County. As a hulking teenager and later as a young man, Joe became Will's right-hand man running errands, extracting revenge on enemies, protecting his flank all the while living a lonely life because of his disfigurement. One night, Joe drops his guard for a moment, and Will is gunned down. Despite aggressive investigations by the FBI and sheriff's department, Joe seeks his own vengeance. He starts sifting through his father's life and gradually discovers that Will brokered secret deals, blackmailed enemies, had extramarital affairs and in his final days appeared to be involved in the kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl. Joe's investigation becomes a personal voyage, casting light on the dark corners of his own past and allowing him to start overcoming the crushing indignity that his injury has forced him to endure. Capped by a violent yet poignant finale, the plot is loaded with familiar Parker themes a faithless government, the heavy hand of big business and the corruption of the wealthy. Parker's tone, however, is more pensive this time. He crafts an intricately layered story reaching beyond his usual domain into more personal territory, at times evoking the work of Ross MacDonald. (Apr. 25) Forecast: A teaser chapter in the paperback of L.A. Times bestseller Red Light, a $150,000 marketing campaign and a five-city author tour will speak up for what is perhaps Parker's most ambitious work to date. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

...More
  Click to search this book in our catalog
2001
The Bottoms
 Joe R. Lansdale

School Library Journal Adult/High School-This thought-provoking book portrays an accurate, disheartening picture of old-time Southern bigotry. Harry Crane, now an elderly resident of a nursing home, recalls a watershed event from his childhood in East Texas in the 1930s. The narration begins when he, nearly 12, and his 9-year-old sister discover the mutilated body of a black woman tied with barbed wire to a tree in the Bottoms, the swampy forest wilderness supposedly stalked by the "goat man" in search of children to eat. Harry's father, a small farmer, barber, and constable, begins an investigation into what turns into a series of mutilation murders of black women. Hostilities become palpable when the fear that a "white woman may be next" begins stirring in the town residents. Jacob Crane, a reasonable man trying to cope with an investigation beyond his skills and the unreasonable bigotry of his neighbors, faces a crisis that nearly destroys his family. The story is compelling, in a manner similar to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, there are many parallels to that story, in the lessons learned by Harry as to what makes a monster, what really constitutes monstrous acts, and what being a hero really means. Harry also learns of the deep reserves of strength in himself and in his family. This is a wonderful book that will capture and educate young adults about a shameful time in this country's history and the strength of an individual to make a difference.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list East Texas in the early thirties was in the throes of the Depression, but for young Harry Collins and little sister Tom--for Thomasina--it is a time of adventure. The woods are filled with all the excitement and mystery two curious youngsters need, but when Harry and Tom find the mutilated, decomposing body of a young black woman on a creek bank in the area called the Bottoms, profound changes come to the Collins family. As the town constable, Harry and Tom's father, Jacob, tries to do his duty, but he runs flush up against the virulent racism of the times. The local white doctor refuses to do an autopsy, the sheriff from the next town warns Jacob off the case for fear of giving the local blacks a sense of protection under the law, and the Klan burns a cross at the Collins place. Jacob, under the watchful eye of his son, tries to do the right thing but eventually makes an error that leads to a lynching. His struggle to rectify his error forms the lasting impression he leaves with Harry, who narrates the story from his bed at the nursing home, almost 70 years later. Lansdale, who has forged a name for himself in genre fiction (Two-Bear Mambo, 1995) and as the author of cult short stories--" Godzilla's 12-Step Program" is a classic--makes the move to more mainstream fiction with an emotionally charged tale very reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird. Effectively combining mystery and family history, it offers a vivid, multifaceted glimpse back to a simpler, but not necessarily better, time. If any author ever deserved a breakthrough book, it's Lansdale. This should be it. --Wes Lukowsky

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly In his latest suspense thriller, prolific yarn-spinner Lansdale, best known for his offbeat series featuring the mismatched East Texas Sherlocks Hap Collins and Leonard Pine (Bad Chili), presents a different voice in a coming-of-age story set in the early years of the Great Depression. Lansdale's 80-something protagonist, Harry Crane, looks back to the day in 1933 when he was 13 and, with his nine-year-old sister, Tom (Thomasina), he found the mutilated corpse of a black prostitute bound to a tree with barbed wire near their home along the hardscrabble bottomlands of the Sabine River. The discovery presents their father, Jacob CraneÄa farmer and barber eking out a living as the town constableÄwith a nightmarish investigation. News travels slowly in the days before television, but Jacob learns from the black doctor who performs the makeshift autopsy that two other mutilated bodies have been found over the last 18 months. Because the victims are black and "harlots," no one in the county much cares. But when the body of a white prostitute is discovered, a rabid mob lynches MosesÄa black man who has been something of a surrogate father to JacobÄdespite Jacob and Harry's heroic efforts to save him. Predictably, another body is soon discovered. Lansdale is best when recreating the East Texas dialogue and setting. Readers will not have to work hard to unearth comparisons to characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, but gruesome details of the murders keep the novel from being labeled a period piece. Folksy and bittersweet, though rather rough-hewn and uneven, Lansdale's novel treats themes still sadly pertinent today. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

¿ Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal A trip into the woods proves a learning experience for 13-year-old Harry in this latest coming-of-age mystery yarn from Lansdale (Freezer Burn). When Harry and his sister Thomasina (Tom) strike out into the woods, they confront not only the myth of the Goat Man, who is said to inhabit those woods, but also some myths about the nature of justice and race in their 1930s East Texas community. Finding the dead and mutilated body of a black prostitute is only the first discovery along the road to growing up, though. As the body count mounts, the only solution open to the challenged community is to make an old black man into the scapegoat, though he is obviously incapable of the grisly killings. This leads to a satisfactory but untidy resolution from which Harry emerges as sadder but wiser. The book, a combination of William Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (with a sizable portion of pure Lansdale thrown in), just might at long last bring premier storyteller Lansdale to the attention of an even broader audience. For all public libraries.DBob Lunn, Kansas City P.L., MO Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

...More
  Click to search this book in our catalog
2000
Bones
 Jan Burke

Library Journal In order to escape the death penalty, a serial killer agrees to show authorities the grave of one of his victims in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Leaving a fretful detective husband behind, inveterate reporter Irene Kelly follows the taunting psychopathic killer, his guards, guides, two forensic anthropologists, a photographer, and one amazing canine into the wilderness. A traumatic reversal, however, turns the already risky journey into a lethal game of the hunter and the hunted. Detailed surroundings, chilling prose, and an unforgettable, "isolated-with-a-killer" plot recommend this for all collections. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list Hannibal Lechter clone Nick Parrish is the hideous "star" of Burke's latest Irene Kelly mystery. Parrish, arrested for the torture-murder of Julia Sayre, promises to show the cops where he's buried Julia's body in the mountains above Las Piernas. Journalist Kelly has followed the Sayre case since it began, and the police grudgingly allow her to come along on the gruesome trip to Julia's grave. True to his word, Parrish leads the group to the decomposing body, then offers to show them the graves of other victims he claims he's killed. But Parrish has booby-trapped the graves, and once the bomb goes off, he escapes in the ensuing confusion. A heart-stopping chase through the mountains, with Irene as Parrish's intended victim, would provide a fitting climax for the story, but Burke has more suspense in store. Irene is rescued, but Parrish is still loose, and over the following months, he stalks Irene relentlessly. Gruesome "gifts" and a campaign of physical and psychological terror would turn most folks into basket cases, but Parrish's tricks only make Irene more determined to track him down. Burke's latest is very impressive--deviously plotted, cleverly crafted, full of screw-tightening suspense. This may be the book to take Burke to the top tier of literary and popular success in the genre. --Emily Melton

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly In her seventh outing (after Liar, 1998), journalist Irene Kelly is part of the investigative team on the hunt for serial killer Nicholas Parrish's many victims. Their graves are in California's Sierra Nevada mountains, and Parrish, having entered a plea bargain, is there too, leading the team to the women's corpses in exchange for a life sentence instead of the death penalty. But Parrish has planned a surprise or two. When a grave explodes, most of the team are killed, Irene flees, and the killer escapes. Back home, Irene continues to work at the behest of Gillian Sayre, the daughter of one victim. Her hunt for Parrish is made considerably easier by his growing obsession with her. A cunning psychopath with a calm demeanor, Parrish heavily resembles Hannibal Lecter. Rather than eat his victims, however, he tortures and dismembers them. Burke spends the first third of the novel overbuilding Parrish's reputation, so by the time she actually depicts his depravity the horrors are a bit anticlimatic. Later, the killer's mysterious accomplice, "The Moth," will be too easily identified by readers, especially after Burke unsuccessfully labors to mask his/her gender. And Parrish is only generically, not memorably twisted. Though Irene and other characters are well wrought and realistic, too many red herrings are introduced, all meant to distract the reader from the true evil, which, once fully revealed, just isn't quite evil enough. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
  Click to search this book in our catalog
 
1999
Mr. White's Confession
Click to search this book in our catalog   Robert Clark

Library Journal Is solitary eccentric Herbert White involved in the murders of two young women, or is his short-term memory failure really pathological, as he claims? As in the author's acclaimed first novel (In the Deep Midwinter, LJ 12/96), this psychological mystery is set in Minnesota in the mid-20th century. Wesley Horner is a seemingly hardened police lieutenant with a tragically fragmented family. The triumph of his pursuit and capture of pitiful suspect Herbert is cut short, however, when Horner's new sweetheart thinks that the man might be innocent. Fellow officer Welshinger is a bit too conscientious in extracting a confession from White. Damning evidence telegraphs to the reader the identity of the real murderer, since the real point is not whodunit but whether or not the truth will emerge. A literary treat for procedural fans, this belongs in all libraries.?Margaret A. Smith, Grace A. Dow Memorial Lib., Midland, MI

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly By opening with a long epigraph from St. Augustine's Confessions (in the original Latin, no less), Clark's ambitious, atmospheric rumination on good, evil and the gray area in between announces intentions far loftier than those of the standard dime-store detective novels to which the book bears an intentional but superficial resemblance. Set in St. Paul, Minn., in the bleak winter of 1939, this high-brow thriller retains enough lowdown grit and grime to qualify as both a suspenseful read and a surprisingly touching character study. When two young "dime-a-dance" girls are murdered, tough-as-nails homicide cop Lieutenant Wesley Horner hones in on eccentric recluse and amateur photographer Herbert White as the prime suspect. Looking like a cross between Humpty Dumpty and Paul Bunyan, and equally obsessed with Hollywood starlet Veronica Galvin and the voluminous scrapbooks and journals he keeps in order to compensate for his (narratively convenient) memory loss, White takes the fall with sympathetic dignity: astute readers will have fingered the real culprit many pages earlier. The true mysteries here are psychological: Horner's morally suspect relationship with teenage drifter Maggie is particularly fascinating. Having previously written a biography of James Beard (The Solace of Food), a cultural history of the Columbia River (River of the West) and a critically lauded first novel (In the Deep Midwinter), Clark here seesaws, most often successfully, between hard-boiled clichés and an earnest, self-conscious concern with the natures of memory and love. Author tour. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
1998
Cimarron Rose
Click to search this book in our catalog   James Lee Burke

Book list Before Burke launched his Dave Robicheaux series, he wrote several hard-edged, proletarian novels set in and around Texas. Now he returns to that setting for a new series that stars a Robicheaux-like character in the hardscrabble world of Deaf Smith, Texas. Billy Bob Holland, former Texas Ranger turned lawyer, is a man with a past, and when a teenager is arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, that past makes its presence felt. Billy Bob agrees to defend Lucas Smothers, knowing that the boy is his illegitimate son and realizing that the trial will bring pain to both of them. Defending his son takes Billy Bob in some other directions he isn't quite prepared to go: toward a coming to terms with his own (Robicheaux-like) propensity for violence; toward a confrontation with the intolerant, hate-filled citizenry of Deaf Smith; and deep into the past, there to revisit his great-grandfather Sam, "who fought whiskey and Indians and cow thieves and . . . watched gully washers or dry lightning spook his herds over half of Oklahoma Territory." By moving west, Burke has given new dimension to his familiar theme of a rugged individual in conflict with himself. Issues of independence versus community have long reigned supreme in the literature of the West, and Burke draws on that tradition effectively, contrasting the dusty desperation of an intolerant Texas town with the pioneer spirit of Billy Bob's ancestors. Both similar to and different from the Robicheaux books, Cimarron Rose is a fine, multitextured novel, full of Burke's lilting, elegiac prose and unflinching in its portrait of the human heart in turmoil. --Bill Ott

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Burke gives the beloved Dave Robicheaux (e.g., Cadillac Jukebox, LJ 8/96) a vacation and shines his talent on the vast, brooding beauty and inbred violence of rural Texas. Texas Ranger-turned-lawyer Billy Bob Holland must defend his illegitimate son, Lucas Smothers, on a murder rap. Billy Bob knows that backwater Deaf Smith, Texas, will eat Lucas for lunch?especially the East Enders, the town's pocket of elite kids. He mounts his defense with sporadic help from sexy cop/possible federal agent Mary Beth Sweeney. Some uniquely Southern weirdos wind up in Lucas's and Billy Bob's orbit, including newly freed and ax-grinding con Garland T. Moon. Along with an evocative sense of place rendered in the Burke tradition, Billy Bob's humanity suffuses every page with a warm, golden glow. Readers will undoubtedly fall for him as he lassos a child abuser in the center of town and argues with the ghost of his slain Ranger partner. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/97.]?Susan A. Zappia, Maricopa Cty. Lib. Dist., Phoenix

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
1997
The Chatham School Affair
Click to search this book in our catalog   Thomas A. Cook

Publishers Weekly PW gave a starred review to this "literate, compelling novel" about passion and tragedy in 1920s Cape Cod. (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
 
1996
Come to Grief
 Dick Francis
  Click to search this book in our catalog
1995
The Red Scream
 Mary Willis Walker
  Click to search this book in our catalog
1994
The Sculptress
 Minette Walters

Publishers Weekly This Edgar Award-winning mystery turns on the relationship between a troubled journalist and a woman convicted of a gruesome murder. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

...More
  Click to search this book in our catalog
 
1993
Bootlegger's Daughter
Click to search this book in our catalog   Margaret Maron
1992
A Dance at the Slaughterhouse
Click to search this book in our catalog   Lawrence Block
1991
New Orleans Mourning
Click to search this book in our catalog   Julie Smith
 
1990
Black Cherry Blues
 James Lee Burke
  Click to search this book in our catalog

Back