5 New Books to Read this Week: January 17, 2017

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 new thrillers from Gregg Hurwitz, Heather Graham and Jon Land, and James Patterson and Candice Fox. See what else the week brought for books!

Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz

Spoken about only in whispers, the Nowhere Man can only be reached by the truly desperate, he can ―He will do anything to save them.

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man.

Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan Program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets―i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the Program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man.

But his new life is interrupted when a surprise attack comes from an unlikely angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, he finds himself heavily guarded and cut off from everything he knows. His captors think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don’t know who they’re dealing with―or that they’ve trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful men on earth.

Read an excerpt from The Nowhere Man or check out Katherine Tomlinson's review!

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The Rising by Heather Graham & Jon Land

Twenty-four hours. That's all it takes for the lives of two young people to be changed forever.

Alex Chin has the world on a plate. A football hero and homecoming king with plenty of scholarship offers, his future looks bright. His tutor, Samantha Dixon, is preparing to graduate high school at the top of her class. She plans to turn her NASA internship into a career.

When a football accident lands Alex in the hospital, his world is turned upside down. His doctor is murdered. Then, his parents. Death seems to follow him wherever he goes, and now it's after him.

Alex flees. He tells Samantha not to follow, but she became involved the moment she walked through his door and found Mr. and Mrs. Chin as they lay dying in their home. She cannot abandon the young man she loves. The two race desperately to stay ahead of Alex's attackers long enough to figure out why they are hunting him in the first place. The answer lies with a secret buried deep in his past, a secret his parents died to protect. Alex always knew he was adopted, but he never knew the real reason his birth parents abandoned him. He never knew where he truly came from. Until now.

Read an excerpt from The Rising or take a visual tour with GIFnotes!

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Never Never by James Patterson & Candice Fox

Never…
assume you know someone. Harry Blue is the top Sex Crimes investigator in her department. She's a seasoned pro who's seen it all. But even she didn't see this coming: her own brother arrested for the grisly murders of three beautiful young women.

Never…
accept a reassignment to the middle of nowhere “for your own good.” Harry's been sent to a makeshift town in a desolate landscape-a world full of easy money, plenty of illegal ways to spend it, and a ragtag collection of transient characters who thrive on the fringes of society. A place where little grows, but evil flourishes.

Never…
trust anyone. Looking into a seemingly simple missing persons case, Harry's been assigned to a new “partner.” But is he actually meant to be a watchdog? Still reeling from the accusations against her brother, Harry can't even trust her own instincts, which she's never doubted…until now.

Never…
go anywhere without leaving a trace. Far from the world she knows and desperate to clear her brother's name, Harry has to mine the dark secrets of her strange new home for answers to a deepening mystery-before she vanishes in a place where no one would ever think to look for her.

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Little Deaths by Emma Flint

It's 1965 in a tight-knit working-class neighborhood in Queens, New York, and Ruth Malone—a single mother who works long hours as a cocktail waitress—wakes to discover her two small children, Frankie Jr. and Cindy, have gone missing. Later that day, Cindy's body is found in a derelict lot a half mile from her home, strangled. Ten days later, Frankie Jr.'s decomposing body is found. Immediately, all fingers point to Ruth.

As police investigate the murders, the detritus of Ruth's life is exposed. Seen through the eyes of the cops, the empty bourbon bottles and provocative clothing which litter her apartment, the piles of letters from countless men and Ruth's little black book of phone numbers, make her a drunk, a loose woman—and therefore a bad mother. The lead detective, a strict Catholic who believes women belong in the home, leaps to the obvious conclusion: facing divorce and a custody battle, Malone took her children's lives.

Pete Wonicke is a rookie tabloid reporter who finagles an assignment to cover the murders. Determined to make his name in the paper, he begins digging into the case. Pete's interest in the story develops into an obsession with Ruth, and he comes to believe there's something more to the woman whom prosecutors, the press, and the public have painted as a promiscuous femme fatale. Did Ruth Malone violently kill her own children, is she a victim of circumstance—or is there something more sinister at play?

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A Puzzle to Be Named Later by Parnell Hall

The Puzzle Lady couldn’t be happier. Matt Greystone, the rookie sensation who just signed a huge contract with the Yankees after coming to the team as the player to be named later in a trade with the Diamondbacks, winning seventeen games as a starting pitcher, was coming to town to rehab from an arm injury. A diehard Yankee fan, Cora was delighted when Matt invited her to a weekend pool party.

On the plus side, she got to meet Derek Jeter.

On the minus side, she had to solve a puzzle (that was also named later), and a couple of the guests got killed.

Solving murders is right up the Puzzle Lady’s alley. Unfortunately, someone has broken into the house of a local psychiatrist and rifled her patient files, and Chief Harper wants Cora to solve that, too.

Cora already knows who broke into the house.

She did!

Read an excerpt from A Puzzle to Be Named Later, check out Dirk Robertson's review, or take a visual tour with GIFnotes!

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