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 a monster pub week! We've got the first in a new series from Arnaldur Indridason, a new Jack Reacher from Lee Child, and Krysten Ritter's debut mystery! See what else we're reading:
The Shadow District by Arnaldur Indridason
In wartime Reykjavik, Iceland, a young woman is found strangled in 'the shadow district', a rough and dangerous area of the city. An Icelandic detective and a member of the American military police are on the trail of a brutal killer.
A 90-year-old man is discovered dead on his bed, smothered with his own pillow. Konrad, a former detective now bored with retirement, finds newspaper cuttings reporting the WWII shadow district murder in the dead man’s home. It’s a crime that Konrad remembers, having grown up in the same neighborhood.
A MISSING LINK
Why, after all this time, would an old crime resurface? Did the police arrest the wrong man? Will Konrad's link to the past help him solve the case and finally lay the ghosts of WWII Reykjavik to rest?
The Vineyard Victims by Ellen Crosby
When Jamison Vaughn―billionaire real estate mogul, Virginia vineyard owner, and unsuccessful U.S. presidential candidate―drives his gold SUV into a stone pillar at the entrance to Montgomery Estate Vineyard, Lucie Montgomery is certain the crash was deliberate. But everyone else in Atoka, Virginia is equally sure that Jamie must have lost control of his car on a rain-slicked country road. In spite of being saddled with massive campaign debts from the recent election, Jamie is seemingly the man with the perfect life. What possible reason could he have for committing suicide … or was it murder?
Before long Lucie uncovers a connection between Jamie and some of his old friends―an elite group of academics―and the brutal murder thirty years ago of a brilliant Ph.D. student. Although a handyman is on death row for the crime, Lucie soon suspects someone else is guilty. But the investigation into the two deaths throws Lucie a curve ball when someone from her own past becomes involved, forcing her to confront old demons. Now the race to solve the mystery behind the two deaths becomes intensely personal as Lucie realizes someone wants her silenced … for good.
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
Can you ever outrun your past?
It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small-town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.
But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town’s most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’s biggest scandal from more than a decade ago, involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.
Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as she tries desperately to find out what really happened to Kaycee, troubling memories begin to resurface and she begins to doubt her own observations. And when she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game”—it will threaten reputations, and lives, in the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.
The Midnight Line by Lee Child
Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate: Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside. Reacher wonders what unlucky circumstance made her give up something she earned over four hard years. He decides to find out. And find the woman. And return her ring. Why not?
So begins a harrowing journey that takes Reacher through the upper Midwest, from a lowlife bar on the sad side of small town to a dirt-blown crossroads in the middle of nowhere, encountering bikers, cops, crooks, muscle, and a missing persons PI who wears a suit and a tie in the Wyoming wilderness.
The deeper Reacher digs, and the more he learns, the more dangerous the terrain becomes. Turns out the ring was just a small link in a far darker chain. Powerful forces are guarding a vast criminal enterprise. Some lines should never be crossed. But then, neither should Reacher.
Deadly Cure by Lawrence Goldstone
In 1899, in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Noah Whitestone is called urgently to his wealthy neighbor’s house to treat a five-year-old boy with a shocking set of symptoms. When the child dies suddenly later that night, Noah is accused by the boy’s regular physician—the powerful and politically connected Dr. Arnold Frias—of prescribing a lethal dose of laudanum.
To prove his innocence, Noah must investigate the murder—for it must be murder—and confront the man whom he is convinced is the real killer. His investigation leads him to a reporter for a muckraking magazine and a beautiful radical editor who are convinced that a secret, experimental drug from Germany has caused the death of at least five local children, and possibly many more. By degrees, Noah is drawn into a dangerous world of drugs, criminals, and politics, which threatens not just his career but also his life.
As he did in his first highly successful medical thriller, The Anatomy of Deception, Goldstone weaves a savvy tale of intrigue and stunning twists that incorporates real-life historical figures and events into the action while richly recreating the closing days of the nineteenth century—a time when American might 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.