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, Andy Weir's latest space thriller and a new Molly Murphy mystery from Rhys Bowen highlight an awesome week of books! See what else we're reading:
Artemis by Andy Weir
Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she's stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.
The Ghost of Christmas Past by Rhys Bowen
Semi-retired private detective Molly Murphy Sullivan is suffering from depression after a miscarriage following her adventure in San Francisco during the earthquake of 1906. She and her husband, Daniel, are invited for Christmas at a mansion on the Hudson, and they gratefully accept, expecting a peaceful and relaxing holiday season.
Not long after they arrive, however, they start to feel the tension in the house’s atmosphere. Then, they learn that the host couple's young daughter wandered out into the snow ten years ago and was never seen again. Molly can identify with the mother's pain at never knowing what happened to her child and wants to help, but there is so little to go on. No ransom note. No body ever found. But Molly slowly begins to suspect that the occupants of the house know more than they are letting on.
Then, on Christmas Eve, there is a knock at the door and a young girl stands there. “I'm Charlotte,” she says. “I've come home.”
Sleep No More by P. D. James
No one gets inside the head of the murderer—or makes it a more thrilling read—than the late, great P. D. James. Fast on the heels of her latest bestseller: a new, fiendishly entertaining gathering of previously uncollected stories.
It's not always a question of “whodunit?” Sometimes there's more mystery in the why or how. And although we usually know the unhealthy fates of both victim and perpetrator, what of those clever few who plan and carry out the perfect crime? The ones who aren't brought down even though they're found out? And what about those who do the finding out who witness a murder or who identify the murderer but keep the information to themselves? These are some of the mysteries that we follow through those six stories as we are drawn into the thinking, the memories, the emotional machinations, the rationalizations, the dreams and desires behind murderous cause and effect.
American Drifter by Heather Graham & Chad Michael Murray
A young veteran of the US Army, River Roulet is struggling to shake the horrors of his past. War is behind him, but the memories remain. Desperate to distract himself from the images haunting him daily, River abandons the world he knows and flees to the country he’s always dreamed of visiting: Brazil.
Rio de Janeiro is everything he hoped for and more. In the lead-up to Carnaval, the city is alight with music, energy, and life. With a few friends at his side, River seems to be pulling his life together at last.
Then he meets the enchanting Natal, an impassioned journalist and free spirit—who lives with the gangster that rules much of Rio.
As their romance blossoms, River and Natal flee together into the interior of Brazil, where they are pursued by the sadistic drug lord, Tio Amato, and his men. When River is forced to kill one of those men, the chase becomes even deadlier. Not only is the powerful drug boss after them, the Brazilian government is on their trail as well.
Will the two lovers escape—and will River ever be free of the bloody memories that haunt him?
A Season to Lie by Emily Littlejohn
On a cold dark night in February, as a blizzard shrieks through Cedar Valley, police officer and new mother Gemma Monroe responds to an anonymous report of a prowler at the local private high school, The Valley Academy. In her idyllic Colorado small town, Gemma expects the call was just a prank by a bored teenager.
But there in the snow lies the savaged body of a man whose presence in town was meant to be a secret. And a disturbing message left by his killer promises more death to come.
This is only the beginning . . .
Nothing is as it seems in Cedar Valley and stories, both fact and fiction, ensnare Gemma as her investigation moves from the halls of an elite academy to the forests that surround Cedar Valley.
Against a backdrop of bleak winter weather, stymied by those who would lie to protect what is dearest to them, Gemma hunts a ruthless killer before he strikes again.was on the march in the Pacific, medicine was poised to leap into a new era, radical politics threatened the status quo in American and Europe, and the role of women in American society was undergoing profound change.