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 is stacked with great books—with new offerings from Allison Brennan, Charles Finch, and Hank Phillippi Ryan! See what else the 1st of November brought to the world of crime and mystery:
The Lost Girls by Allison Brennan
Photojournalist Siobhan Walsh has been searching for two sisters who disappeared two years ago in Mexico, so when she receives a call from a priest in Texas about an abandoned baby holding a locket with her name, she calls her friends in the FBI for help. The infant obviously belongs to one of the sisters, but how did she end up in Texas? And why did she abandon her newborn?
Lucy Kincaid and her mentor, Supervisory Special Agent Noah Armstrong, track the missing girls and uncover a human-trafficking organization that leads to a seedy underworld in which nothing is as it seems. The bad guys seem to stay two steps ahead of them, leaving behind a trail of dead bodies and Lucy with more questions than answers.
Meanwhile Lucy’s fiance Sean Rogan has a crisis of his own. An old girlfriend returns with shocking news: not only does Sean have a son, but Jesse and his step-father have disappeared. The last thing Sean wants to do is leave Lucy when she’s investigating a horrific case, but his son is in grave danger. Torn between an impossible choice, he makes a decision that has far-reaching consequences for Sean, Lucy, and everything they hold dear.
The Inheritance by Charles Finch
Charles Lenox has received a cryptic plea for help from an old Harrow schoolmate, Gerald Leigh, but when he looks into the matter he finds that his friend has suddenly disappeared. As boys they had shared a secret: a bequest from a mysterious benefactor had smoothed Leigh’s way into the world after the death of his father. Lenox, already with a passionate interest in detective work, made discovering the benefactor's identity his first case – but was never able to solve it.
Now, years later, Leigh has been the recipient of a second, even more generous bequest. Is it from the same anonymous sponsor? Or is the money poisoned by ulterior motives? Leigh’s disappearance suggests the latter, and as Lenox tries, desperately, to save his friend’s life, he’s forced into confrontations with both the most dangerous of east end gangs and the far more genteel denizens of the illustrious Royal Society. When someone close to the bequest dies, Lenox must finally delve deep into the past to uncover at last the identity of the person who is either his friend’s savior – or his lethal enemy.
Say No More by Hank Phillippi Ryan
When Boston reporter Jane Ryland reports a hit and run, she soon learns she saw more than a car crash—she witnessed the collapse of an alibi, and now she's under pressure to tell all to the police. She's also digging up the inside scoop for an expose of sexual assaults on Boston's college campuses for the station's new documentary unit, and is working with a victim to reveal her heartbreaking experience on camera. But, a disturbing anonymous message—SAY NO MORE—has Jane really and truly scared.
Homicide detective Jake Brogan is on the hunt for the murderer of Avery Morgan, a hot-shot Hollywood screenwriter. As Jake chips his way through a code of silence as shatterproof as any street gang, he'll learn that one newcomer to the neighborhood may have a secret of her own.
A young woman faces a life-changing decision—should she go public about her assault? What's really going on behind closed doors at a prestigious Boston college? And when will the killer strike again? Jane and Jake—now semi-secretly engaged and beginning to reveal their relationship to the world—are both on a high-stakes quest for answers. Can they handle the consequences of the truth?
Christmas in the Lone Star State by Jason Manning
Texas Ranger Bill Sayles rode scout for Sam Houston when he was no more than fifteen. These days the lawman’s on the wrong side of three score years, and the glory days of the Rangers are on the wane. But Sayles still hits what he aims at and is not a man to cross. Ten days before Christmas in the harsh winter of 1876, Sayles arrives at the state prison in Huntsville to escort prisoner Jake Eddings on a furlough to his hometown, where his ten-year-old son is being laid to rest.
In a desperate scheme to save his farm, Eddings took part in a stagecoach holdup in which the driver was killed. After serving two years of a fifteen-year sentence, he is already a broken man. Despite the agony of regret, he longs to see his wife and bury his beloved boy.But when Sayles gets wind that the murderous Litchfield brothers are headed in the direction of Eddings’ farm, the Ranger and his prisoner join forces to keep Eddings’ wife from harm—and maybe grab a last shot at redemption.
Black Widow by Christopher Brookmyre
Diana Jager is clever, strong, and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism in medicine. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing. Then she meets Peter. He is kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past—the second chance she's been waiting for. Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident, a nightmare end to their fairy-tale romance. But Peter's sister Lucy doesn't believe in fairy tales, and tasks rogue reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling the Black Widow.
Still on the mend from a turbulent divorce, Jack's investigation into matters of the heart takes him to hidden places no one should ever have to go.