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, we get some great cozies, a couple of kickass thrillers, and a ridiculous anthology edited by Lawrence Block and featuring Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Michael Connelly, and more! See what else this week brings in the way of books:
Don't Turn Out the Lights by Bernard Minier
“You did nothing.”
Christine Steinmeyer thought the anonymous suicide note she found in her mailbox on Christmas Eve wasn’t meant for her. But the man calling in to her radio show seems convinced otherwise.
“You let her die. . . .”
That’s only the beginning. Bit by bit, her life is turned upside down. But who among her friends and family hates her enough to want to destroy her? And why?It’s as if someone has taken over her life, and everything holding it together starts to crumble. Soon all that is left is an unimaginable nightmare.
Martin Servaz is on leave in a clinic for depressed cops, haunted by his childhood sweetheart Marianne’s kidnapping by his nemesis, the psychopath Julian Hirtmann. One day, he receives a key card to a hotel room in the mail―the room where an artist committed suicide a year earlier. Someone wants him to get back to work, which he’s more than ready to do, despite his mandatory sick leave. Servaz soon uncovers evidence of a truly terrifying crime. Could someone really be cruelly, consciously hounding women to death?
What if the people closest to us are not what they seem? What happens when someone takes control of your life and your relationships? And what is hiding in the darkness? In Bernard Minier's Don't Turn Out the Lights, you won’t see who’s coming after you.
Tom Clancy True Faith and Allegiance: A Jack Ryan Novel by Mark Greaney
It begins with a family dinner in Princeton, New Jersey. After months at sea, U.S. Navy Commander Scott Hagan, captain of the USS James Greer, is on leave when he is attacked by an armed man in a crowded restaurant. Hagan is shot, but he manages to fight off the attacker. Though severely wounded, the gunman reveals he is a Russian whose brother was killed when his submarine was destroyed by Commander Hagan’s ship.
Hagan demands to know how the would-be assassin knew his exact location, but the man dies before he says more.
In the international arrivals section of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport, a Canadian businessman puts his fingerprint on a reader while chatting pleasantly with the customs official. Seconds later he is shuffled off to interrogation. He is actually an American CIA operative who has made this trip into Iran more than a dozen times, but now the Iranians have his fingerprints and know who he is. He is now a prisoner of the Iranians.
As more deadly events involving American military and intelligence personnel follow, all over the globe, it becomes clear that there has been some kind of massive information breach and that a wide array of America’s most dangerous enemies have made a weapon of the stolen data. With U.S. intelligence agencies potentially compromised, it’s up to John Clark and the rest of The Campus to track the leak to its source.
Their investigation uncovers an unholy threat that has wormed its way into the heart of our nation. A danger that has set a clock ticking and can be stopped by only one man … President Jack Ryan.
In Sunlight or In Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper, Edited by Lawrence Block
“Edward Hopper is surely the greatest American narrative painter. His work bears special resonance for writers and readers, and yet his paintings never tell a story so much as they invite viewers to find for themselves the untold stories within.”
So says Lawrence Block, who has invited seventeen outstanding writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories: In Sunlight or In Shadow. The results are remarkable and range across all genres, wedding literary excellence to storytelling savvy.
Contributors include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Craig Ferguson, Nicholas Christopher, Jill D. Block, Joe R. Lansdale, Justin Scott, Kris Nelscott, Warren Moore, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, and Lawrence Block himself. Even Gail Levin, Hopper’s biographer and compiler of his catalogue raisonée, appears with her own first work of fiction, providing a true account of art theft on a grand scale and told in the voice of the country preacher who perpetrated the crime.
In a beautifully produced anthology as befits such a collection of acclaimed authors, each story is illustrated with a quality full-color reproduction of the painting that inspired it. Illustrated with 17 full color plates, one for each chapter.
Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae
Set in the weeks before the annual Inversgail Literature Festival in Scotland, Plaid and Plagiarism begins on a morning shortly after the four women take possession of their bookshop in the Highlands. Unfortunately, the move to Inversgail hasn’t gone as smoothly as they’d planned.
First, Janet Marsh is told she’ll have to wait before moving into her new home. Then she finds out the house has been vandalized. Again. The chief suspect? Una Graham, an advice columnist for the local paper―who’s trying to make a name for herself as an investigative reporter. When Janet and her business partners go looking for clues at the house, they find a body―it’s Una, in the garden shed, with a sickle in her neck. Janet never did like that garden shed.
Who wanted Una dead? After discovering a cache of nasty letters, Janet and her friends are beginning to wonder who didn’t, including Janet’s ex-husband. Surrounded by a cast of characters with whom readers will fall in love, the new owners of Yon Bonnie Books set out to solve Una’s murder so they can get back to business.
Trigger Yappy by Diana Orgain
Although still not quite a dog lover, Maggie Patterson meets with her new group of dog-loving friends for “Yappy Hour” every Friday night in the sleepy seaside town of Pacific Cove, CA. Both she and her sister Rachel have put the past murderous summer behind them, with Rachel even securing a headline feature for the Wine & Bark in the famous Doggie Day magazine. But when her sister comes down with a case of salmonella poisoning, Maggie is left to run the business in her absence. Even worse, Maggie overhears an argument between her friend Yolanda and Bonnie, who runs the Chic Chickie shop. Then poor Bonnie turns up dead.
With evidence pilling up against Yolanda, the Roundup Crew is desperate to find the real killer and convince Maggie to investigate. With the help of charming detective Officer Brad Brooks, Maggie finds that everyone has a motive, even some of her beloved Roundup Crew friends. Maggie must put her new job as a purser on hold while she tracks down a murderer. Will Maggie’s investigation kill her budding romance with Officer Brooks? Sometimes getting to the truth is not for the faint of bark…er…heart. Between running the bar, managing her love life, and solving a murder in time for the editorial spread, things are about to get a little hairy in this laugh-out-loud cozy mystery.