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!
B. A. Paris's highly anticipated sophomore effort and a new Andy Carpenter mystery from David Rosenfelt highlight a fantastic week of books! See what else we're reading:
The Breakdown by B. A. Paris
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.
But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.
The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.
Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…
Look Behind You by Iris & Roy Johansen
A serial killer is on the loose in San Diego with a most unusual M.O. With each kill, the perpetrator leaves behind mystifying random objects. In this confusing array of unrelated evidence, the one thing that is clear is that the murders all have one characteristic in common: they all require the specific skills of Kendra Michaels, hired gun for both the CIA and FBI. Kendra, who was blind for the first twenty years of her life, gained her sight through a revolutionary surgical procedure and now uses her acute powers of observation to assist in cases all over the United States.
FBI investigators soon make a startling discovery: the left-behind objects are actually souvenirs of other unsolved serial murder cases from around the country. And the new crimes feature “holdback” characteristics never disclosed to the general public―meaning that one single killer was behind the nation’s most notorious serial murder cases and has now come to challenge and taunt Kendra.
The investigators―a “dream team” of profilers―join Kendra in the pursuit, but as the body count rises and the detectives themselves become the newest targets, Kendra must risk everything to defeat a psychopath whose terrifying plan is years in the making…
Collared by David Rosenfelt
Lawyer Andy Carpenter’s true passion is the Tara Foundation, the dog rescue organization he runs with his friend Willie Miller. All kinds of dogs make their way to the foundation, and it isn’t that surprising to find a dog abandoned at the shelter one morning, though it was accompanied by a mysterious anonymous note. But they are quite surprised when they scan the dog’s embedded chip, and discover that they know this dog. He is the “DNA dog.”
Two and a half years ago, Jill Hickman was a single mother of an adopted baby. Her baby and dog were kidnapped in broad daylight in Eastside Park, and they haven’t been seen since. A tip came in that ID’d a former boyfriend of Hickman’s, Keith Wachtel, as the kidnapper. A search of his house showed no sign of the child but did uncover more incriminating evidence, and the clincher that generated Wachtel’s arrest was some dog hair, notable since Wachtel did not have a dog. DNA tests showed conclusively that the hair belonged to Hickman’s dog. Wachtel was convicted of kidnapping, but the dog and baby were never found.
Now, with the reappearance of the dog, the case is brought back to light, and the search for the child renewed. Goaded by his wife’s desire to help a friend and fellow mother and Andy’s desire to make sure the real kidnapper is in jail, Andy and his team enter the case. But what they start to uncover is far more complicated and dangerous than they ever expected.
The Fallen by Ace Atkins
Tibbehah County Sheriff Quinn Colson had to admit he admired the bank robbers who’d been wreaking havoc in the MidSouth. A new bank was getting hit every week, and the robbers rushed in and out with such skill and precision it reminded him of raids he’d led as an Army Ranger. In fact, it reminded him so much of the techniques in the Ranger Handbook that he couldn’t help wondering if the outlaws were former Rangers themselves.
Quinn and his right-hand woman, straight-talking deputy Lillie Virgil, turned the county upside down after the crew hit Jericho First National, but they had disappeared like smoke. Almost as if they had help.
God knows, Tibbehah has always been a haven for outlaws, from long-ago bootleggers to the truck stop den of iniquity now run by flame-haired madam Fannie Hathcock. So when the pious new head of the county supervisors, a flinty man named Skinner, says he plans to make the county like it used to be by getting rid of Fannie, Quinn has to wonder what he really wants.
Standing between Quinn and the truth, he’ll cross paths with the last vestiges of the Dixie Mafia, a rising state senator fueled up with ambition and greed, and the recent disappearance of two teens that may be the secret to taking down the whole house of cards.
The Late Show by Michael Connolly
Renée Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood—also known as the Late Show—beginning many investigations but finishing none, as each morning she turns everything over to the day shift. A once up-and-coming detective, she's been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.
But one night she catches two assignments she doesn't want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Ballard is determined not to give up at dawn. Against orders and her partner's wishes, she works both cases by day while maintaining her shift by night. As the investigations entwine, they pull her closer to her own demons and the reason she won't give up her job, no matter what the department throws at her.