Check It Out Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

Audiobook: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Night Film audiobook coverHere’s a fun treat for cinephiles. Night Film is dark, labyrinthine, and titillating. The beautiful daughter of reclusive director Stanislas Cordova–a man worshiped by his fans, who call themselves “Cordovites”—is found dead, an alleged suicide. Longtime Cordova naysayer Scott McGrath investigates the mysterious death, which leads him to run-ins with black magic, underground sex clubs, and secret Internet message boards. You know, that old story. Interspersed throughout the traditional narrative are magazine articles, police reports, and even message board posts—which makes this a really interesting listen. Actor Jake Weber narrates, deftly performing the voices of a multigender, multiethnic, all-ages cast.

Movies and TV: The Returned

Returned DVD coverA teenage girl clambers up a steep embankment and pulls herself over the guardrail of a twisty mountain road. She has awoken from a blackout, and the last thing she remembers is being on a school trip — a trip that ended in a tragic bus crash a full four years earlier. The Returned, a French series which emerges as a masterwork in eerie storytelling, purposely uncoils the accounts of those who mysteriously appear as if they have never been away. Inspired by the film Les Revenants, this fits easily in the current trend of stories which explore the dead returning, but none other does so with the same lyrical melancholy, the effect of which is enhanced by expert framing of tableaus and a haunting Mogwai score.

Audiobook: Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin

Dangerous Women Playaway coverDanger can be alluring, frightening, and exciting all at once, and you won’t find a better illustration than in Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Whether your taste runs to female desperadoes, Scottish highlanders, warrior queens, femmes fatales, or modern magicians, you will be wowed by a carnival of choices offered by the best fan favorite writers of today. Diana Gabaldon, Jim Butcher, Lev Grossman, Sherilynn Kenyon, Carrie Vaughn, and Brandon Sanderson are among the standout contributors, and fans of Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series won’t want to miss the creator’s featured novella “The Princess and the Queen”. Intensify your thrills by listening to Dangerous Women in Playaway format, an easy-to-use portable player that holds an entire audiobook. Skip to the stories and narrators that tempt you most, but don’t be surprised if you devour them all.

Curious about Playaway and what the format has to offer?  Join us for Playaway Day on Saturday, February 1, 1-4 p.m., for giveaways and more information.

Fiction: Countdown City by Ben Winters

countdown city book coverLast year, the must-have, but little-known mystery was The Last Policeman by Ben Winters. It depicted a detective who didn’t quit his job even though the end of the world was imminent. Detective Hank Palace is back in Countdown City, book two in the Last Policeman Trilogy. Hank has 77 days left to do his job before an asteroid obliterates Earth. This time around, a woman from Hank’s past needs help finding her husband. But how can Hank do his job when half the world has gone crazy and the other half is checking off their bucket lists? If you enjoy intricately-plotted, offbeat mysteries or mainstream dystopian fiction (like Hunger Games or World War Z), try Countdown City.

Nonfiction: The Borden Tragedy by Rick Geary

Borden Tragedy graphic novel coverNow that the first photo of Christina Ricci as Lizzie Borden has been released, you will want to read about the legendary crime for yourself. The final days of Graphic Novels Month is an opportune time to delve into The Borden Tragedy: A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder. The 21st Century has no monopoly on sensationalized true crime stories, and this volume of the Victorian Murder series illustrates the facts and questions as they are known. The heavy black frames and recurring use of patterned lines add to both the ominous tone and the historic feel. We may never know for certain who got away with murder that fateful day, but Rick Geary presents the case with startling clarity.