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 strong debut rounds out a monster week that includes a new Nora Roberts, Clive Cussler, and Lisa Jackson! See what we're reading this week:
Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Dark Zone by George Galdorisi & Jeff Rovin
Former US Ambassador to the Ukraine Douglas Flannery meets with an old friend and former spy near New York’s South Street Seaport. She is seeking his help to thwart a Russian plan to overrun her native Ukraine, but those for whom she is working propose an infinitely more dangerous scheme, one that could draw in NATO forces and possibly ignite World War III. Moments later, as she jogs along the East River, her throat is slashed.
Within hours, Op-Center learns of the killing and alarm bells go off. Director Chase Williams and his team have been following events as Ukraine, her NATO allies, and Russia rapidly deploy forces in a dangerous game of brinksmanship. But the secret that Flannery has learned threatens to take the looming battle to a whole new and very lethal level. Using cutting edge techniques of cyber warfare and spycraft, Op-Center must respond to the rapidly unfolding crisis before the U.S. is forced to take sides in a conflict that could change history.
Come Sundown by Nora Roberts
The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…
When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.
Nighthawk by Clive Cussler
When the most advanced aircraft ever designed vanishes over the South Pacific, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are drawn into a deadly contest to locate the fallen machine. Russia and China covet the radical technology, but the United States worries about a darker problem. They know what others don’t—that the X-37 is carrying a dangerous secret, a payload of exotic matter, extracted from the upper reaches of the atmosphere and stored at a temperature near absolute zero. As long as it remains frozen, the cargo is inert, but if it thaws, it will unleash a catastrophe of nearly unthinkable proportions.
From the Galapagos Islands to the jungles of South America to an icy mountain lake many believe to be the birthplace of the Inca, the entire NUMA team will risk everything in an effort to avert disaster…but they may be caught in a race that no one can win.
You Will Pay by Lisa Jackson
It starts as a prank—a way to blow off steam after a long summer at Camp Horseshoe. Among the teen counselors, tensions and hormones are running high. No wonder the others agree when Jo-Beth Chancellor suggests they scare Monica O’Neal a little . . . or a lot. Monica has it coming, and no one will really get hurt. What could go wrong?
Twenty years later, Lucas Dalton, a senior detective with the sheriff’s department, is investigating the discovery of human remains in a cavern at what used to be Camp Horseshoe. Lucas knows the spot well. His father, a preacher, ran the camp, and Lucas worked there that infamous summer when two girls went missing. No one knows what happened to either of them, though with a dangerous convict on the loose, gossip was rife that they may have been kidnapped, or worse.
For Lucas, the case is personal—perhaps too much so. But it’s time to uncover the whole truth at last. That’s why seven former female counselors are coming back to the small Oregon town—among them, Bernadette Alsace, the woman Lucas has never forgotten. Each one knows something about that terrible night. Each promised not to tell. And as they reunite, a new horror unfolds. First come texts containing a personal memento and a simple, terrifying message: YOU WILL PAY. Then, the murders begin.
It started years ago. But it will end here—as a web of lust, greed, and betrayal is untangled to reveal a killer waiting to enact the perfect revenge.
Only the Dead Know Brooklyn by Chris Vola
Ryan Driggs has lived in Brooklyn for 128 years, 96 of them as one of the last members of a tribe of blood-eating immortals who have called the borough home since before colonial times. Besides the occasional hard-to-control thirst, his life in the twenty-first century is uneventful, until he meets Jennifer, a human from Manhattan with whom he falls in love.
Unable to leave Brooklyn without reverting back to his original, cancer-stricken human state, Ryan knows he must tell Jennifer who and what he really is. But before he can find the words, she is kidnapped by a tribe of Manhattan vampires—and Ryan discovers that, for a reason unknown to him, he is a target too. After contacting the oldest member of his tribe, a former slave named Frank Lafayette, and after an attempt on their lives that leaves two of Frank’s employees dead, Ryan realizes he’s been thrust into a world that is more dangerous than anything he’d imagined.
As he travels to Manhattan to rescue Jennifer, forsaking his immortality, he gets caught up in a roller coaster of violence, lies, manipulation, and a power struggle that stretches back thousands of years. In a world where conspiracies are more than just theories and where he is the key to an ancient secret, Ryan must decide to fight or forsake both of the species he’s called his own.