Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Informationist by Taylor Stevens

Vanessa Michael Munroe is hired by millionaire Richard Burbank to find his missing stepdaughter, Emily. Emily disappeared four years ago in West Africa and hasn't been seen since, despite Burbank's best efforts in engaging people to find her. Munroe--tough and tenacious--in addition to knowing Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and Gabon like the back of her hand (she spent part of her childhood there), seems fit for the job. However, she is none to pleased to have Miles Bradford, an employee of Burbank's, as a partner. Munroe zeroes in on Equatorial Guinea and in the process takes the reader on a fascinating adrenaline-filled ride to find out what happened to Emily. The Informationist is the first book in this brand-new series and is similar to Lee Child's Jack Reacher and Thomas Perry's Jane Whitefield. The originality of the setting, Munroe's unique background and the non-stop action make the book unputdownable. Guaranteed to be one of the best thrillers written this year. It will be published next month.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Killer's Art by Mari Jungstedt

The residents of Visby on the Swedish isle of Gotland are shocked when local art gallery owner Egon Wallin is found murdered, hung from one of the town's gates. Egon was well-known in Visby and liked by everyone. But after his death, DS Anders Knutas, who's in charge of the case, discovers that Egon was planning to leave his wife, sell the gallery he had owned for twenty-five years and move to Stockholm. The police also find valuable stolen paintings in Egon's house. Journalist Johan Berg is happy to be sent back to Visby to cover the story, since he would like to move there permanently so he can be with his girlfriend, Emma, and their baby daughter Elin. After a slow start to the investigation, Knutas and his team discover a connection between Egon and some criminal acts in Stockholm. The Killer's Art is the fourth book in the Knutas/Berg series and is similar to the police procedurals of Peter Robinson. It hasn't been published in the U.S., (although the first three have) which is a pity because it's one of my favorite Swedish series.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

On Borrowed Time by David Rosenfelt

Journalist Richard Kilmer is extremely happy with his girlfriend Jen. So much so that he asks her to marry him the weekend that he meets her parents in her hometown of Ardmore, New York. The event turns to tragedy, however, when Richard and Jen are in a car accident during a freak storm and Jen disappears. After the crash, Richard is stunned when he can find no trace that Jen ever existed. No one in Ardmore knows her and Richard's own friends in New York City don't either. Wondering if he going crazy or if something sinister is going on leads Richard to delve into his life and the town of Ardmore. With the help of Allie Tynes, who might be Jen's identical twin sister, Richard just might uncover the truth. On Borrowed Time is another great page turner from Rosenfelt.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bad Intentions by Karin Fossum

Axel and Reilly take their friend Jon, who's on a weekend release from a psychiatric hospital, out for a midnight boat ride on Dead Water. When Jon falls overboard, they decide not to try and save him. They also wait until the next morning to report him missing. Inspector Konrad Sejer and his partner, Jacob Skarre, aren't convinced Jon's death was a suicide, especially when some other evidence comes to light. The book focuses on the lives of Axel and Reilly and why they neglected to help Jon. Bad Intentions, like the other mysteries in the Sejer series, explores the lives of characters involved in a crime whether the perpetrator, bystander, relative or victim. With great economy, Fossum is able to delve into people's psyches completely and chillingly. It will be published in August.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Portobello by Ruth Rendell

When wealthy Eugene Wren finds some money on the street, he decides to post a notice in Notting Hill to try and find the rightful owner. This act of kindness causes Eugene's life to intersect with some interesting characters. Petty criminal Lance Platt sees the paper and decides to try and get the cash, even though it's not his. Meanwhile, the real owner of the money, Joel Roseman, becomes infatuated with Eugene's fiancee, Dr. Ella Cotswold. Eugene also has problems of his own as he tries to control his addiction to Chocorange, a sugar-free candy. In Portobello, Rendell has created a vivid contemporary portrait of Portobello Road and Notting Hill and their inhabitants.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Bird House by Kelly Simmons

In her 70's, Ann Biddle is thrilled to be able to spend time with her eight-year-old granddaughter, Ellie. Bonding over Ellie's school project about their family causes Ann to remember her own life as a young mother in the '60s. Ann's life at the time was difficult--an absent husband and a headstrong daughter contributed greatly to her unhappiness. In the present, slowly developing Alzheimer's, Ann struggles to maintain a relationship with Ellie while family secrets come to light. In The Bird House as with her first novel Standing Still, Simmons combines a story of a woman's life with revelations that keep the reader turning the pages.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cold Shot to the Heart by Wallace Stroby

Crissa Stone makes a living pulling off high-stakes robberies. When a job in Florida goes awry, a man named Eddie the Saint is hired to find Crissa and her colleagues. Just out of prison, Eddie is violent and persistant. Crissa discovers that someone is after her and, even though she's never killed anyone, she realizes that it might come to that. In Cold Shot to the Heart, Stroby has written a tight, yet simple (read taut) crime novel that similar to Marcus Sakey and the books Nightlife, Silence, and Fidelity by Thomas Perry.