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It’s finally spring and we’re clearing out all the skeletons and, more importantly, books from the Criminal Element Prize Vault! Bring on the thrills, bring on the mystery!
You can enter for a chance to win a whole box full of books by David Mark, Julia Keller, Charles Cumming, Daniel Stashower and Bill Loehfelm.
Now she’s back in Bill Loehfelm’s new thriller, The Devil in Her Way, and her life has changed in more ways than one: She’s starting over in New Orleans as a newly minted member of the police force.
Kicking off her final week of field training, Maureen takes a punch from a panicked suspect bursting out of an apartment. Her training officer laughs it off, and the incident even yields a small victory: the cops recover a stash of pot and guns. But out on the street, on the fringes of the action, Maureen sees something sinister transpire between two neighborhood boys that leaves her shaken, and she knows there’s more to the story than she’s seen. As we follow Maureen’s dangerous hunt for answers, Loehfelm leads us around New Orleans’s most hidden corners and into its darkest outposts.
The Hour of Peril by Daniel Stashower
Daniel Stashower, the two-time Edgar Award–winning author of The Beautiful Cigar Girl, uncovers the riveting true story of the “Baltimore Plot,” an audacious conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the eve of the Civil War in The Hour of Peril.
In February of 1861, just days before he assumed the presidency, Abraham Lincoln faced a “clear and fully-matured” threat of assassination as he traveled by train from Springfield to Washington for his inauguration. Over a period of thirteen days the legendary detective Allan Pinkerton worked feverishly to detect and thwart the plot, assisted by a captivating young widow named Kate Warne, America’s first female private eye.
As Lincoln’s train rolled inexorably toward “the seat of danger,” Pinkerton struggled to unravel the ever-changing details of the murder plot, even as he contended with the intractability of Lincoln and his advisors, who refused to believe that the danger was real. With time running out Pinkerton took a desperate gamble, staking Lincoln’s life—and the future of the nation—on a “perilous feint” that seemed to offer the only chance that Lincoln would survive to become president. Shrouded in secrecy—and, later, mired in controversy—the story of the “Baltimore Plot” is one of the great untold tales of the Civil War era, and Stashower has crafted this spellbinding historical narrative with the pace and urgency of a race-against-the-clock thriller.
A Killing in the Hills by Julia Keller
In A Killing in the Hills, a powerful, intricate debut from Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Julia Keller, a mother and a daughter try to do right by a town and each other before it's too late.
What's happening in Acker's Gap, West Virginia? Three elderly men are gunned down over their coffee at a local diner, and seemingly half the town is there to witness the act. Still, it happened so fast, and no one seems to have gotten a good look at the shooter. Was it random? Was it connected to the spate of drug violence plaguing poor areas of the country like Acker's Gap? Or were Dean Streeter, Shorty McClurg, and Lee Rader targeted somehow?
One of the witnesses to the brutal incident was Carla Elkins, teenaged daughter of Bell Elkins, the prosecuting attorney for Raythune County, West Virginia. Carla was shocked and horrified by what she saw, but after a few days, she begins to recover enough to believe that she might be uniquely placed to help her mother do her job.
After all, what better way to repair their fragile, damaged relationship? But could Carla also end up doing more harm than good—in fact, putting her own life in danger?
The Dark Winter by David Mark
A series of suspicious deaths have rocked Hull, a port city in England as old and mysterious as its bordering sea. They have captured the attention of Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy. He notices a pattern missed by his fellow officers, who would rather get a quick arrest than bother themselves with finding the true killer. Torn between his police duties and his aching desire to spend more time with his pregnant wife and young son, McAvoy is an unlikely hero: a physically imposing man far more comfortable exploring computer databases than throwing around his muscle. Compelled by his keen sense of justice, he decides to strike out alone—but in the depths of the dark winter, it’s difficult to forget what happened the last time he found himself on the wrong side of a killer’s blade…
Original Skin by David Mark
Detective Aector McAvoy returns in a thrilling new case set in Yorkshire; a series of salacious murders has him on the hunt for a sadistic killer in David Mark’s critically acclaimed series.
When “swinger” Simon Appleyard is found strung-up and naked in his Hull apartment, the authorities are only too happy to chalk up his death to a suicide. After all, a new gang has taken over the local drug trade, and Detective Superintendent Trish Pharaoh’s Serious and Organized Crime Unit is being run ragged by this well-connected and merciless group of criminals. With violent drug-related crime on the rise, the last thing the police need is an investigation of a depressed young man’s death.
But more bodies begin to turn up, and all are somehow connected to the local underground erotic scene. Although Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy would be perfectly content to stay at home with his beloved wife and newborn baby, he begins to suspect that murder is just the tip of the iceberg. As his shrewd investigation brings him uncomfortably close to the local political elite—powerful people who would kill to keep their secrets buried, and who have the power to make or break his career—McAvoy realizes he is hunting a killer who has plenty more targets in sight, and a lust that won’t be satisfied until the River Humber runs red.
On the vacation of a lifetime in Egypt, an elderly French couple is brutally murdered. Then, days later, on the streets of Paris, a young French accountant is kidnapped. When Amelia Levene, who in six weeks is due to take over as the first female Chief of MI6, disappears without a trace while in the south of France, it is the gravest crisis MI6 has faced in more than a decade. Desperate not only to find her but to keep the press from learning that she has gone missing, Britain’s top intelligence agents turn to one of their own: disgraced former MI6 officer Thomas Kell.
Tossed out of the Service only months before, Kell is given one final chance to redeem himself—all he has to do is find Amelia Levene: quickly, quietly, and at any cost. Following a trail that leads him to France and then Tunisia, Kell uncovers a shocking secret and a conspiracy that could have unimaginable repercussions for Britain and its allies. All that stands in the way of personal and political catastrophe is Kell himself…
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. You must be 18 or older and a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C. to enter. Promotion begins May 18, 2013, at 2 pm ET, and ends June 1, 2013, 1:59 pm ET. Void in Puerto Rico and wherever prohibited by law. Click here for details and official rules.