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, a new Hap & Leonard novel from Joe R. Lansdale combines with C. J. Box's latest Joe Pickett thriller to highlight an amazing week of books! See what else we're reading:
Jackrabbit Smile by Joe R. Lansdale
Hap and Leonard are an unlikely pair-Hap, a self-proclaimed white trash rebel, and Leonard, a tough-as-nails black gay Vietnam vet and Republican-but they're the closest friend either of them has in the world. Hap is celebrating his wedding to his longtime girlfriend, Brett (who is also Hap and Leonard's boss), when their backyard barbecue is interrupted by a couple of Pentecostal white supremacists. They're not too happy to see Leonard, and no one is happy to see them, but they have a problem and only Hap and Leonard will take the case.
Judith Mulhaney's daughter, Jackrabbit, has been missing for five years. Well, she's been missing from them for five years, but she's been missing from everybody, including the local no-goods who ran with her, for a few months. Despite their misgivings about Judith and her son, Hap and Leonard take the case. It isn't long until they find themselves mixed up in a revivalist cult that believes Jesus will return flanked by an army of lizard-men—solving a murder to boot.
The Disappeared by C. J. Box
Wyoming's new governor isn't sure what to make of Joe Pickett, but he has a job for him that is extremely delicate. A prominent female British executive never came home from the high-end guest ranch she was visiting, and the British Embassy is pressing hard. Pickett knows that happens sometimes—these ranches are stocked with handsome young cowboys, and “ranch romances” aren't uncommon. But no sign of her months after she vanished? That suggests something else.
At the same time, his friend Nate Romanowski has asked Joe to intervene with the feds on behalf of falconers who can no longer hunt with eagles even though their permits are in order. Who is blocking the falconers and why? The more he investigates both cases, the more someone wants him to go away. Is it because of the missing woman or because he's become Nate's advocate? Or are they somehow connected? The answers, when they come, will be even worse than he'd imagined.
To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear
During the months following Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, Maisie Dobbs investigates the disappearance of a young apprentice working on a hush-hush government contract. As news of the plight of thousands of soldiers stranded on the beaches of France is gradually revealed to the general public, and the threat of invasion rises, another young man beloved by Maisie makes a terrible decision that will change his life forever.
Maisie’s investigation leads her from the countryside of rural Hampshire to the web of wartime opportunism exploited by one of the London underworld’s most powerful men, in a case that serves as a reminder of the inextricable link between money and war. Yet when a final confrontation approaches, she must acknowledge the potential cost to her future—and the risk of destroying a dream she wants very much to become reality.
Glimpse by Jonathan Maberry
Rain Thomas is a mess. Seven years an addict and three difficult years clean. Racked by guilt for the baby she gave up for adoption when she was sixteen. Still grieving for the boy’s father who died in Iraq. Alone, discarded by her family, with only the damaged members of her narcotics anonymous meetings as friends. Them, and the voices in her head.
One morning, on the way to a much-needed job interview, she borrows reading glasses to review her resume. There is a small crack in one lens and through that damaged slice of glass she sees a young boy go running down the aisle of the subway train. Is he screaming with laughter or just screaming? When she tries to find the boy, he’s gone and no one has seen him.
The day spins out of control. Rain loses whole chunks of time. She has no idea where her days went. The voices she hears are telling her horrible things. And even stranger things are happening. Unsure whether she is going insane, Rain sets out to find answers to long buried questions about an earlier life she has avoided for years―in what may be the most dangerous collision of all, that between reality and nightmare.
How far will one person go to save someone they love?
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien
Welcome to the Ho-Lee Noodle House, where the Chinese food is to die for…
The last place Lana Lee thought she would ever end up is back at her family’s restaurant. But after a brutal break-up and a dramatic workplace walk-out, she figures that helping wait tables is her best option for putting her life back together. Even if that means having to put up with her mother, who is dead-set on finding her a husband.
Lana’s love life soon becomes yesterday’s news once the restaurant’s property manager, Mr. Feng, turns up dead―after a delivery of shrimp dumplings from Ho-Lee. But how could this have happened when everyone on staff knew about Mr. Feng’s severe, life-threatening shellfish allergy? Now, with the whole restaurant under suspicion for murder and the local media in a feeding frenzy―to say nothing of the gorgeous police detective who keeps turning up for take-out―it’s up to Lana to find out who is behind Feng’s killer order … before her own number is up.