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!
Check back every Wednesday and see what we're reading for the week!
Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley
Walter Mosley’s indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve.
Picking up where his last adventures in Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready—finally—to propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he’s taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and, together with two partners, Saul Lynx and Tinsford “Whisper” Natly, has started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy’s friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class in physics at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Joe tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see this young man exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour literally was found standing over the man’s dead body at his cabin home, and considering the racially charged motives seemingly behind the murder, that might prove to be a tall order.
Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and his life in shambles around his feet.
Widowmaker by Paul Doiron
In Paul Doiron's Windowmaker, When a mysterious woman in distress appears outside his home, Mike Bowditch has no clue she is about to blow his world apart. Amber Langstrom is beautiful, damaged, and hiding a secret with a link to his past.. She claims her son Adam is a wrongfully convicted sex offender who has vanished from a brutal work camp in the high timber around the Widowmaker Ski Resort. She also claims that Adam Langstrom is the illegitimate son of Jack Bowditch, Mike’s dead and diabolical father. He is the half-brother Mike never knew he had.
After trying so hard to put his troubled past behind him, Mike is reluctant to revisit the wild country of his childhood and again confront his father’s history of violence. But Amber’s desperation and his own need to know the truth make it hard for him to refuse her pleas for help.
In search of answers, Bowditch travels through a mountainous wilderness to a place hidden from the rest of the world, where the military guards a top-secret interrogation base, sexual predators live together in a backwoods colony, and self-styled vigilantes are willing to murder anyone they consider their enemies.
Mike Bowditch must exorcise the demons of the past before the real-life demons of the present kill him first.
Foreign Agent by Brad Thor
Terrorism in Europe has spun out of control. The United States has decided on a dramatic response. Now, the CIA needs a very special kind of operative.
Scot Harvath has exactly the skills the CIA is looking for. He’s a former U.S. Navy SEAL with extensive experience in espionage. Working for a private intelligence company, he will provide the CIA, and more important, the President, with absolute deniability.
But deep within the Russian Caucasus, Moscow also has its own special kind of operative. As a child, Sacha Baseyev endured an unimaginable horror. Today, he lives and breathes for only one reason—to kill. And he will kill as many Americans as it takes to accomplish his mission.
When a clandestine American operations team is ambushed near Syria, all signs point toward a dangerous informant in Brussels. But as Harvath searches for the man, he uncovers another actor—a rogue player hell-bent on forcing America’s hand and drawing it into a confrontation deadlier than anyone could have imagined.
As the attacks mount, and terror is brought to the very doorstep of the White House, Harvath finds himself in the race of his life. From Vienna, Brussels, and Berlin, to Malta, Jordan, and Syria—he will push himself beyond the edge in order to confront one of the greatest evils the world has ever known.
Filled with action, intrigue, and edge-of-your-seat suspense, Foreign Agent is a nonstop thrill ride that reaffirms Thor’s position as the “master of thrillers.”
Death on the Sapphire by R.J. Koreto
An extraordinary woman living in extraordinary times, Lady Frances Ffolkes is an Edwardian-era suffragette who has an uncanny ability to attract danger and romance.
When Major Colcombe, a family friend and war veteran, dies under mysterious circumstances, the good Lady Frances discovers that he was working on a manuscript about South Africa’s bloody Boer War, which reportedly revealed a scandalous mistake that cost many innocent lives. Now, it’s up to Frances and her loyal lady's maid, June Mallow, to track down the missing manuscript and bring the killer to justice. Despite clashes with Scotland Yard and the British Secret Service, Frances never backs down and finds herself in several very unfortunate positions—and one very fortunate love triangle.
Polaris by Todd Tucker
One day in the not-too-distant future, Pete Hamlin regains consciousness deep inside the nuclear submarine Polaris. He's got a gun in his hand, a fire raging outside his door, and a dead man at his feet. Soon Pete discovers that the ship is in the middle of a mutiny – and he has no idea what side he's on.
He finds the ship is now commanded by the beautiful but volatile Hana Moody. She's locked the former captain, Finn McCallister, inside a steel trunk, accusing him of treason. Frank Holmes is Moody's loyalist, an imposing physical presence who shares Moody's unquestioning devotion to the cause of the Alliance. The ship's feckless doctor hovers in the background, unable to help Pete find out the truth about the Polaris. And outside the ship's steel hull lurks another submarine, yet another presence that might be either friend or deadly foe.
To save himself and discover the truth, Pete must journey with Polaris back to a forlorn piece of rock in the middle of a dangerous ocean: Eris Island. To get there he must fight murderous shipmates, a swarm of bomb-dropping drones, and a plague that is attacking everyone on both sides of a battle that Pete barely understands. Only on Eris Island does Hamlin finally learn the truth.
See also: Polaris: New Excerpt