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!
This week, Iris & Roy Johansen uncover some of the secrets behind the Night Watch Project in their 4th Kendra Michaels thriller and we get a new John Grisham! See what other books you should be reading this week:
Night Watch by Iris & Roy Johansen
Sometimes, what you can’t see will kill you…
Born blind, Kendra Michaels spent the first twenty years of her life living in the darkness. Then, thanks to a revolutionary medical procedure developed by England’s Night Watch Project, she was given the gift of sight. Her highly-developed senses (honed during her years in the dark), combined with her new found vision, have made her a remarkable investigator, sought after by law-enforcement agencies all over the country. But her newest case becomes deeply personal as she uncovers the truth about the shadowy organization that has given her so much.
Kendra is surprised when she is visited by Dr. Charles Waldridge, the researcher who gave her sight. All is not well with the brilliant surgeon; he’s troubled by something he can’t discuss with Kendra. When Waldridge disappears the very night he visits her, Kendra is on the case, recruiting government agent-for-hire Adam Lynch to join her on a trail that leads to the snow-packed California mountains. There they make a gruesome discovery: the corpse of one of Dr. Waldridge’s associates. But it’s only the first casualty in a white-knuckle confrontation with a deadly enemy who will push Kendra to the limits of her abilities. Soon she must fight for her very survival as she tries to stop the killing…and unearth the shocking secret of Night Watch.
The Mistletoe Murder by P. D. James
Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time—swift, cunning murder mysteries (two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh) that together, to borrow the author's own word, add up to a delightful “entertainment.”
— The newly appointed Sgt. Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is “pure Agatha Christie.”
— A “pedantic, respectable, censorious” clerk's secret taste for pornography is only the first reason he finds for not coming forward as a witness to a murder.
— A bestselling crime novelist describes the crime she herself was involved in fifty years earlier.
— Dalgliesh's godfather implores him to reinvestigate a notorious murder that might ease the godfather's mind about an inheritance, but which will reveal a truth that even the supremely upstanding Adam Dalgliesh will keep to himself.
Each of these stories is as playful as it is ingeniously plotted, the author's sly humor as evident as her hallmark narrative elegance and shrewd understanding of some of the most complex—not to say the most damning—aspects of human nature. A treat for P. D. James's legions of fans and anyone who enjoys the pleasures of a masterfully wrought whodunit.
The Whistler by John Grisham
We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.
But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.
Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.
But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.
What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.
But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.
Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.
Hell Bay by Will Thomas
At the request of Her Majesty’s government, private enquiry agent Cyrus Barker agrees to take on his least favorite kind of assignment—he’s to provide security for a secret conference with the French government. The conference is to take place on the private estate of Lord Hargrave on a remote island off the coast of Cornwall. The goal of the conference is the negotiation of a new treaty with France. The cover story for the gathering is a house party—an attempt to introduce Lord Hargrave’s two unmarried sons to potential mates.
But shortly after the parties land at the island, Lord Hargrave is killed by a sniper shot, and the French ambassador’s head of security is found stabbed to death. The only means of egress from the island—a boat—has been sent away, and the means of signaling for help has been destroyed. Trapped in a manor house with no way of escape, Cyrus Barker and his assistant, Thomas Llewelyn, must uncover which among them is the killer before the next victim falls.
Sex, Lies & Serious Money by Stuart Woods
Fresh off the runway at Teterboro, Stone Barrington arrives home to find an unexpected new client on his doorstep, anxiously soliciting his help. But everything is not as it seems, when the client reveals the true nature—and value—of his recent turn of fortune.
From luxury New York high-rises to the sprawling New Mexico desert, his client is pursued from all angles…and Stone quickly learns that easy money isn’t always so easy.