Saturday, June 25, 2011

Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa Larsson

The body of a young woman, Wilma Persson, missing since last Fall, is found in a local river. Wilma and her boyfriend, Simon Kyro, were diving, looking for a Nazi airplane, when they were murdered. Simon, however, is not found. District prosecutor Rebecka Martinsson is drawn into the case, helping the local police, including Inspector Anna-Marie Mella. After some tests, the authorities realize that Wilma died somewhere else and was moved. The investigation's focus soon shifts to the Krekula family, especially the adult sons, Tore and Hjalmar. The story delves into the lives of all the characters in this far Northern Swedish community--including Wilma's ghost. Until Thy Wrath be Past is the fourth book in the Rebecka Martinsson series and will appeal to people who like Karin Fossum, Camilla Lackberg, and Yrsa Sigurdardottir. It will be published in August.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister

After beating breast cancer, Kate has a dinner party for her six friends (Marion, Daria, Caroline, Sara, Hadley, and Ava) who helped her through her illness. Kate is contemplating a trip to the Grand Canyon to go whitewater rafting with her daughter, Robin, but is hesitant. Marion suggests that Kate go with it and that, in turn, each of the other women do something that is different or intimidating to them. Everyone agrees, with the understanding that Kate will choose the tasks. The novel then follows each woman on her journey of self-discovery. Joy for Beginners is the second novel by Erica Bauermeister and is a real treat for readers of women's fiction, especially people who enjoy Jo-Ann Mapson, Judith Ryan Hendricks, and Sarah Addison Allen.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Breaking Silence by Linda Castillo

Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called out to an Amish farm because three members of the Slabaugh family are trapped in a manure pit. Unable to save them, Kate is especially upset because she grew up Amish herself and the deaths leave four orphans. The police force of Painters Mill, Ohio have also been busy dealing with a series of hate crimes against the Amish. With the Amish unwilling to press charges, Kate worries about the increasing violence. She and her fellow officers wonder if the deaths of the Slabaugh family and the hate crimes are connected. With Kate's boyfriend, John Tomasetti of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation around to help, she hopes that she will be able to find clues or witnesses that will help her close both cases. Breaking Silence is the third book in the Kate Burkholder series. It is not as violent as the first two, but just as good.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell

The residents of Litchfield House in London are an odd lot. There's Olwen, whose aim in life is to drink herself to death. Twentysomething Stuart Font loves to look at himself in the mirror and is having an affair with a married woman. Marius Potter is an aging hippie and classics tutor. Rose Preston-Jones is single and interested in New Age healing. Pedophile caretaker Walter Scurlock lives there with his wife, Richenda, who cleans the homes of some of the others. The most normal people are three university students (Molly, Sophie, and Noor) and married couple Michael and Katie Constantine. Taking place over eight months, the reader sees the individuals' lives intersect with both happy and tragic results. Rendell has written another novel filled with secrets, eccentricities, and psychological depth.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton

DC Lacey Flint has just finished interviewing a witness when she comes upon a woman bleeding to death against her car. Unable to save her life, Lacey is traumatized. Soon, however, Lacey is helping with the investigation. The killer seems to be imitating Jack the Ripper and also mentions Lacey by name in a letter to a reporter. The police know they only have a little time before the murderer strikes again. To complicate matters, Lacey is attracted to (and on guard with) fellow officer DI Mark Joesbury. The case also causes Lacey to reflect upon a past that she wants to remain hidden. In Now You See Me, S.J. Bolton has written a police procedural that keeps the reader guessing and turning the pages right up until the end. It's reminiscent of Belinda Bauer's Darkside, Giles Blunt's By the Time You Read This, Tana French, Minette Walters, Elena Forbes, Susan Hill's mysteries, and Val McDermid's non-series mysteries. The characters are rich and complex and there's plenty of historical detail about Jack the Ripper and London (which features prominently as a character). This is possibly the best mystery I will read this year. Here's hoping this becomes a regular series...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Man from Beijing by Henning Mankell

Almost all the residents in the small Swedish town of Hesjovallen are brutally murdered. The police are at a loss to find out who would want them dead. Judge Birgitta Roslin becomes involved in the case when she discovers that two of the victims were the foster parents of her deceased mother. With a few weeks off of work due to high blood pressure, she travels to Hesjovallen. While there, Birgitta finds a connection with China, but the local cops aren't at all interested. The reader is transported back to the mid-1800's in America and then to contemporary China to find out the motive and identity of the killer. The Man from Beijing starts out with the same pacing as Mankell's Wallander mysteries, but then starts to plod along. It is most similar to his book White Lioness.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott

CIA agent Sam Capra is an American living in London with his wife and fellow agent, Lucy. They are happily awaiting the birth of their first child. While at work one day, Sam gets a call from Lucy, begging him to leave the building. After he does, the building explodes. Because of the couple's CIA connections, Sam is taken to a foreign prison and tortured to try and get him to reveal if either he or Lucy were involved in the bombing. Sam refuses to believe that Lucy was a participant and worries that she's been kidnapped. He also fears for his child's life. Sam knows he must somehow escape in order to find out the truth. Adrenaline is filled with non-stop action and a protagonist the reader really roots for and is similar to the novels by Harlan Coben. One of Abbott's best books and it looks to maybe be a series... It will be published next month.