Monday, June 29, 2009

The Memory Collector by Meg Gardiner

In her job as a forensic psychiatrist, Jo Beckett is used to delving into the lives of the dead to find out if they died of natural or suspicious causes. When she’s called to consult on the case of Ian Kanan, a man who’s barricaded himself on an airplane landing at the San Francisco airport, it’s new for her. Soon, she discovers that Kanan has suffered some kind of brain injury that has prevented him from forming new memories. Basically, his mind resets every five minutes and he can't remember anything that's just happened. He does, however recall everything from before a few days ago--his family, his job, and a mission to destroy those whom he believes have poisoned him. Jo slowly tries to build a picture of Kanan's life and finds out that the situation is way more deadly than she could have ever imagined. The Memory Collector is the second book in the Jo Beckett series. It's full of non-stop action and a fully developed main character. Even better than The Dirty Secrets Club.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

In the latest book in the Stephanie Plum series, Lula accidentally witnesses the decapitation of celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle. Worried that the killers are after her, she tries to stay lay low and, with Stephanie's help, identify the culprits and collect the million dollars of reward money. Stephanie, meanwhile, is on the outs with Morelli and is helping Ranger find out who's trying to ruin his home security business. Will Stephanie's working with Ranger put even more of a wedge between her and Morelli? There's lot of fire, farts, and laughter as Stephanie and Co. get into their usual trouble.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay

Tim Blake's 17-year-old daughter Sydney is staying with him over the summer. When she doesn't return from her job at a local hotel, he begins to worry. After going to Just Inn Time and discovering that Sydney never worked there, he realizes that she's missing and was possibly keeping secrets from him. Tim makes it his mission to try and find his daughter, even though it puts his job and life in jeopardy and leads the police to consider Tim a suspect himself. With the help of his ex-wife and her boyfriend, Tim just might be able to bring his daughter home. Fear the Worst is a page turner that would be a perfect beach or airplane read. It will be published in August.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall

Vish Puri (nicknamed Chubby by his family and friends) is the owner of Most Private Investigators Ltd. in Delhi. Puri is very good at his job and has surrounded himself with dedicated employees like Handbrake and Facecream. He is hired by Ajay Kasliwal, a lawyer, to find a maid named Mary who worked for Kasliwal and has gone missing. The police have questioned him about Mary and the rumor mill is running wild that he's murdered her. Puri's task proves difficult because he has hardly any information about Mary like her last name or even a photograph. The detective has also been enlisted by Brigadier Bagga Kappor to find out dirt about Mahinder Gupta. Gupta is set to marry the brigadier's granddaughter, Tisca, and he believes Gupta is not a suitable match. In addition, Puri's own mother does some detecting of her own when someone tries to kill Puri while he's tending to his chili plants on the roof. Of course as a mother, protecting her son is her top priority--even if she has to do her investigating in secret, since Puri disapproves of her participation. The Case of the Missing Servant is a delightful mystery that immerses the reader in contemporary Indian culture. Readers of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series will be thrilled to find a book that combines a foreign locale and an engaging main character with a humorous/cozy bent.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Seven Mile Beach by Tom Gilling

Reporter Nick Carmody should have broken off his friendship with Danny Grogan a long time ago. They met at St Dominic's, a posh school in Sydney, and have stayed friends since, despite Danny's partying ways and run-ins with the law (that his billionaire father, Harry Grogan, has gotten him out of). When Danny is caught speeding by a traffic camera, Harry persuades Nick to say he was driving instead. Nick thinks he'll lie in court and that will be the end of it. Instead, it's just the beginning, as Nick realizes that he's been duped by the Grogans into being a fall guy. Soon he's on the run, wondering what he's got himself into and realizing he probably can never go home again... A page turner in a setting that we don't often see--Australia.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My Soul to Take by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Client Jonas Juliusson hires lawyer Thora Gudmundsdottir to visit the spa-hotel she helped him purchase because he believes one of the buildings is haunted and that the sellers knew this before the sale. With business slow and needing the money, Thora agrees to head to Snaefellsnes to check it out. Soon after arriving, the female architect, Birna, that Jonas had hired to help with the renovations is found murdered. Thora is intrigued by who could have killed Birna and starts digging into what she was working on. Thora also becomes interested in the history of the family that lived on the land before it was sold and finds it steeped in tragedy. With the help of German boyfriend, Matthew (whom Thora met in the first book in the series Last Rituals), she tries to uncover the murderer while dealing with the stress that comes along with being a divorced mother of two.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Die for You by Lisa Unger

Successful novelist Isabel had pretty much resigned herself to the single life when she meets Marcus Raine. They marry and are happy for five years--then one day he disappears. Knowing something is wrong, she tries to trace his movements and ends up injured in the hospital with the police questioning her about her husband. Marcus grew up in the Czech Republic and came to the United States for college. It soon becomes clear that Marcus was keeping lots of secrets from her and that he wants Isabel to forget about him. But Isabel knows that she must know the truth about the man she married, even if it leads her into grave danger. Die for You is a page turner with more depth of character for Isabel and her family than you might expect.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Broken by Karin Fossum

A woman wakes up and finds a man in her bedroom. He is a different kind of intruder. As a crime writer, the woman always has a long line of characters waiting to be written about. The man, a fortyish loner (whom she names Alvar Eide), has jumped the queue because he wants his story told. In Broken, Fossum alternates between the story of Alvar's lonely daily life working in an art gallery with that of his conversations with the author who is telling his story. Alvar wants answers about himself that she is not prepared to give. The author says he'll just have to wait to find out. When a young female drug addict comes into the gallery, Alvar finds himself wanting to help her. The woman is incredibly pushy and needy. Will Alvar wish he had never let her into his life? Broken is an interesting character study of a man in isolation combined with the artistic interplay between author and character and the psychological suspense of the relationship of Alvar and the junkie. Although a departure from Fossum's usual mystery series, it does have similarities to it. Broken has not yet been published in the U.S., but may be available through interlibrary loan from your library.