Every Wednesday, we here at Criminal Element will put together a list of Staff Picks of the books that published the day before—sharing the ones that we are looking forward to reading the most!
The 13th Chief Inspector Gamache mystery from Louise Penny and the seventh Sharpe & Donovan novel by Carla Neggers highlight a fantastic week of books! See what else we're reading:
Glass Houses by Louise Penny
When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.
From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.
But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.
Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montréal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache’s own conscience is standing in judgment.
Dark River Rising by Roger Johns
Baton Rouge Police Detective Wallace Hartman has had better days. With her long-time partner and mentor on medical leave and a personal life in shambles, she’s called to the scene of a particularly gruesome murder: the body of a known criminal has been found in a deserted warehouse, a snake sewn into his belly. Obvious signs of torture point to a cunning and cold-blooded killer who will stop at nothing to find what he’s looking for.
When Federal Agent Mason Cunningham arrives on the scene, Wallace expects a hostile takeover of the case. But when a scientist with ties to the victim goes missing from a government lab, she needs Mason’s federal connections as much as he needs her local insight, and the two form an uneasy partnership to solve a case that grows more complicated—and dangerous—by the minute.
Meanwhile, the killer lurks in the shadows with an agenda no one saw coming, and when Wallace and Mason threaten to get in the way they risk losing everything they hold dear. Including their lives.
Thief's Mark by Carla Neggers
As a young boy, Oliver York witnessed the murder of his wealthy parents in their London apartment. The killers kidnapped him and held him in an isolated Scottish ruin, but he escaped, thwarting their plans for ransom. Now, after thirty years on the run, one of the two men Oliver identified as his tormentors may have surfaced.
Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan are enjoying the final day of their Irish honeymoon when a break-in at the home of Emma's grandfather, private art detective Wendell Sharpe, points to Oliver. The Sharpes have a complicated relationship with the likable, reclusive Englishman, an expert in Celtic mythology and international art thief who taunted Wendell for years. Emma and Colin postpone meetings in London with their elite FBI team and head straight to Oliver. But when they arrive at York's country home, a man is dead and Oliver has vanished.
As the danger mounts, new questions arise about Oliver's account of his boyhood trauma. Do Emma and Colin dare trust him? With the trail leading beyond Oliver's small village to Ireland, Scotland and their own turf in the United States, the stakes are high, and Emma and Colin must unravel the decades-old tangle of secrets and lies before a killer strikes again.
Kill the Heroes by David Thurlo
Charlie Henry, co-owner of a pawnshop and Iraq war veteran, has, for the most part, settled into his somewhat quieter life in Albuquerque. He is invited to attend the dedication of a memorial in a park, where he, other local heroes, and first responders are to be honored for their military accomplishments and dedication to the community. But trouble always seems to follow Charlie. When gunshots ring out, barely missing Charlie and hitting the man next to him, it’s clear that a dangerous madman is on the loose. More shots are fired, and two more veterans are injured.
Charlie thinks he might have been the target and looks around for the shooter. The crowd is in a panic, and he’s unable to spot the gunman. Charlie tries to help the man who took the first hits, Nathan Whitaker, a decorated former Army helicopter pilot who has been badly wounded. No one is dead, at least not yet. But Charlie vows to find the evil person who would attack American heroes—he refuses to go down without a fight and knows that the perpetrator will soon learn that he has messed with the wrong man.
Snap Judgment by Marcia Clark
When the daughter of prominent civil litigator Graham Hutchins is found with her throat slashed, the woman’s spurned ex-boyfriend seems the likely suspect. But only days later, the young man dies in what appears to be a suicide. Or was it? Now authorities are faced with a possible new crime. And their person of interest is Hutchins. After all, avenging the death of his daughter is the perfect reason to kill. If he’s as innocent as he claims, only one lawyer has what it takes to prove it: his friend and colleague Samantha Brinkman.
It’s Sam’s obligation to trust her new client. Yet the deeper she digs on his behalf, the more entangled she becomes in a thicket of family secrets, past betrayals, and multiple motives for murder. To win her case, she’s prepared to bend any law and cross any boundary that stands in her way. Sam has always played by her own rules, and it’s always worked…so far. But this case cuts so deep and so personal that one false move could cost her everything.