Being a telepath is a distinct advantage when you work as a police interrogator, but being an ex-addict means you get questioned, too – even when you foresee your own death. Clean by Alex Hughes is an escapist adventure perfect for when you need to get out of your own head.
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Frank Bill writes about dirty, lowdown, pushed around, heartbroken, monetarily and (mostly) morally bankrupt folks. His debut, Crimes in Southern Indiana, is a collection of seventeen interconnected stories about people struggling on the hard side of life and, usually, the wrong end of the law. You’ll find blood, botheration, meth, desperation, and the tiniest bit of violent hope in Bill’s clipped, quick, country pulp. Southern themes like the importance of family and beautiful settings get turned on their heads when your family is what backstabs you and the scenery is where you’re buried. If you like Cormac McCarthy or Daniel Woodrell, but want a Midwestern setting and more brutality, try Crimes in Southern Indiana.
A fire destroyed the Bedford paper mill and, since then, the surrounding woods between Bedford and Corpus Christi have died. Lois Larkan uses these woods as a “teachable moment” and takes her class on a field trip to see the ecological disaster. Distracted by a break-up, Lois doesn’t notice that one child gets left behind until it’s too late. Little James Walker has had plenty of time to wreak havoc in the woods. James stumbles upon and releases a malevolent evil into the world…and it’s a contagion…a sentient contagion. Anyone who comes in contact with it becomes a flesh-eating monster. Can Corpus Christi (and the world) survive? Find out in Sarah Langan’s horror-edged thriller The Missing.
Books, parchment, scrolls, letters…these things will always be intriguing when found tucked away in dusty boxes, attics, and archives. They are especially mysterious and enthralling when they’re full of secret information, conspiracies, and supernatural knowledge that lead a character on dangerous exploits.
If you liked National Treasure, but want a darker story in book form, click here.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a review of The 500 that doesn’t compare it to The Firm by John Grisham, but that’s not bad company to be in. Chock full of the same high-stakes action and intrigue, this debut suspense thriller is set in the world of political lobbyists, as experienced by a young associate with a checkered past. What begins as an assignment to “get close to” a young congressman soon balloons to involve a Serbian war criminal, his seductress daughter, a Supreme Court justice, and some dire suspicions about his own bosses. Can Mike beat them at their own game, or will he be another victim of their sinister dealings? Narrator Jay Snyder fuels the adrenaline with emotional pacing and dramatic character readings.
“Policemen aren’t supposed to believe in coincidences,” we’re told in the third series of Wallander, and mystery fans wouldn’t have it any other way. The appeal is in the slow piecing of details, and the solutions need to feel earned. Henning Mankell’s burdened Swedish detective perseveres in case after case, driven to explain the inexplicable horrors that are visited on the bleak Scandinavian countrysides. Kenneth Branagh balances the intensity and weariness of lead inspector Kurt Wallander, and he is supported by equally strong yet understated performances. The newest BBC release includes beautifully directed, feature-length adaptations of “An Event in Autumn,” The Dogs of Riga, and Before the Frost. You won’t be disappointed.
In Kathy Reichs’ fifteenth Temperance Brennan novel, Bones are Forever, forensic anthropologist Tempe Brennan is looking for the killer of three infants in Yellowknife, a remote diamond mining town in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Andrew Ryan, Tempe’s ex, is heading up the investigation, which only gets more complicated when Ollie Hasty, another ex and a sergeant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, shows up.
In six months, an asteroid will hit Earth and kill every person on it. Scientists are sure of this. Most people walk away from their jobs and get working on their bucket lists. Not Hank Palace. Palace has always wanted to be a police detective and he’s not going to let the end of the world stop him.
The Last Policeman, by Ben Winters, is the first in a trilogy about the pre-apocalyptic adventures of Hank Palace.
Be still our hearts! The Romance Writers of America have named the most outstanding published romance novels of the year and honored them with the 2012 RITA Awards. No matter if your preferred hero wears a kilt, holds a Regency title, has ties to the supernatural, or appreciates homebaked goods, you’ll find a winner to enhance your dreams.
Best Historical Romance: The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne
Best Regency Historical Romance: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements: How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal
Best First Book: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Best Paranormal Romance: Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
Best Romantic Suspense: New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
Best Young Adult Romance: Enclave by Ann Aguirre
When someone finally notices that Cambridge University is experiencing an unusually high rate of violent suicides, DC Lacey Flint is tapped to go undercover. She’s warned of websites that may be pushing vulnerable students to extreme action, but what she discovers is infinitely more insidious. Pretty young women are being systematically traumatized, but it’s all chalked up to their own mental and emotional struggles. Since Lacey herself has just barely survived an especially brutal case, it may not take much acting to play the part of the fragile co-ed. Dead Scared by S.J. Bolton is a creepy, fast-paced, and gruesome psychological thriller, and you won’t be able to put it down.