Monday, May 27, 2024

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

 


Blinded at six years by a disease, Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris.  He is the lockmaster at the Museum Of Natural History where he overseas thousands of locks.  To give Marie some independence, he makes an exact model of the blocks between their apartment and the museum so that she can study it and eventually make her own way around her home.  But this is the 1940's and Paris is not safe.  The Germans will soon occupy it so Marie and her father make their way to a small French town on the coast where his uncle lives.  Etienne has not left his house in several decades, afraid of the things he sees after his own war experience. 

Werner is a German orphan, living with his sister in a home in a mining town in Germany.  He knows that he will be sent underground at age fifteen to the same mines that killed his father.  But Werner is brilliant, able to repair almost anything mechanical and especially radios.  His aptitude is noted and he is sent to one of the premier schools in Germany and then finally to the front where his job is to locate the transmitters of the Resistance so that they can be stopped and those who risk their lives to exchange information imprisoned or killed.  At last they come to the same town where Marie-Laure and Etienne live.  They have become part of the Resistance and their broadcasts are the ones the Germans most want to stop.

By now, the war is almost over and the Americans are about to take back the town.  This means that the town becomes a battlefield.  The two meet when the battle is over and Werner helps Marie to escape the town.  She shows him her secrets, including the diamond that her father had been trusted to leave the museum with to preserve it from capture.  

This book won the Pulitzer Prize and was a National Book Award finalist.  Doerr tells the story of these two individuals forever marked by the war in alternating chapters.  The reader sees the tragedy of war through the lives of Marie and Warner and the love that sustains even in wartime.  This book is recommended for readers of historical and literary fiction.

Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Boys From Santa Cruz by Jonathan Nasaw

 

Luke Sweet didn't have much of a chance in life.  Raised by a serial killer father and his partner, Little Luke managed to escape when the police came for them.  Raised with little school but plenty of drugs and violence, he went to his grandparents, hoping to live with them but they turned him in to the police and he was put in a juvenile center.  There he was taken on a wilderness trip that ended up with two other juveniles dead, deaths that were put on Luke's list. When he is caught this time, he is put into a mental hospital and drugged into compliance.

Ten years later, FBI Agent E.L. Pender hears about a mental hospital that had a gas explosion with lots of patient deaths.  Pender had been part of the team that took down Big Luke and when deaths occur to those close to Little Luke, he believes that the son has somehow escaped and is now taking revenge.  He goes back to California to finish what he started all those years ago.  Will he be successful this time?

I'd forgotten how much I like Jonathan Nasaw.  His thriller are not for the faint-hearted as they are full of violence and gore, but Pender is an engaging character and his adventures are always fun to read.  He sees what other law enforcement seem to miss and his policy of ask forgiveness instead of permission is engaging.  This book is recommended for thriller readers. 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

All The Colors Of Darkness by Peter Robinson

 

DI Annie Cabbot is called out to a death.  A man's body has been found in the woods, the death a suicide by hanging.  The man, when identified, was a set designer at the local theatre.   When police go to his address, they find another body, that of his partner, a retired man who had spent much of his adult life abroad.  This man had been beat to death with a cricket bat.

What could have caused such a scenario?  DCI Alan Banks discovers the older man was the son of a famous woman who owned one of the most successful retail establishments in England.  Even more surprising, she tells Banks that her son had been a spy for his country, thus the time spent overseas.

Now the field was wide open.  Had the death of the second man been a lover's quarrel gone wrong and the hanging a result of guilt and loss?  Had the deaths been committed by another country's spies?  Or our own?  Banks is visited by a representative of M16 and it leaves a bad taste in his mouth.  He refuses to be warned off.  But as the investigation proceeds, Banks starts to believe the answer lies in one of Shakespeare's plays.  

This is the eighteenth in the DCI Alan Banks series.  Alan has a new girlfriend in this one, a woman much younger than himself who lives in London.  His boss wants to close down the investigation quickly but Banks refuses to be pressured by the government and works the case on his forced vacation days.  I didn't care for this one as much as others in the series but it is well written and readers who enjoy spy stories will enjoy this one.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Holmes Marple & Poe by James Patterson and Brian Sitts

 

The newest investigators in town are Brendan Holmes, Margaret Marple and Auguste Poe.  Where have they come from and are they really related to the famous ancestors they claim?  Regardless of their back story, they are effective and solve cases that have the police running circles.

Currently, they have three cases they are working.  One is a locked room mystery where rare books were stolen somehow.  Another is a kidnapping case where a young girl and her stepfather have been taken and there is a ransom demand.  A third case starts when they uncover a mass grave under the subway system that has scores of young women's bodies.  Can they solve the cases?

This is the start of a fun series.  Poe is a womanizer who loves cars.  Miss Marple has a checkered history and many secrets while Holmes is a computer hacker whose penchant for drugs can place any investigation in peril.  The three live together and work together and solve the cases they are given.  This book is recommended for mystery readers. 

Day One by Abigail Dean

 


At the end of every school year, there's the Day One ceremony.  The current students put on a program for the students who will be coming next year so that their first day is a memory of fun.  Mrs. Ward is everyone's favorite teacher, the one who makes every pupil feel wanted and who spends time preparing riveting lessons.  Marty is her daughter and was the town's golden girl until she failed her exams and didn't get a place at university.  Marty now works at the school teaching sports to the kids.

But today's program is different.  Part way through, when Mrs. Ward's class is performing, a gunman breaks in and starts firing.  Before all is done, people are dead and many are injured.  The dead include students and Mrs. Ward, who dies trying to save her class.  The local policeman's son, Oliver, is also among the dead.  The shooter, who had worked at the school for a while, is also dead.

At first the country is horrified and Marty and her mother are seen as heroes.  Mrs. Ward for her actions and Marty as the person who gave the first interview about what happened afterwards before she even found out her mother was dead.  But soon the conspiracy theorists start up.  Why wasn't the town's policeman there?  Did Mrs. Ward really save anyone?  What secrets does Marty hold?  Trent used to live in the town and remembers the shooter as a friend to a lonely boy.  He falls in with the radio commentator who heads up the conspiracy theorists and soon is chief among them.  What was the truth of Day One?

This is Abigail Dean's second novel.  Her first was Girl A and was a bestseller both in her native England and in the United States.  She has a way of writing suspense that is different from the average thriller.  Her work is full of secrets that are slowly revealed, changing the reader's thoughts about what happened from revelation to revelation.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.


Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Devil's Feast by M.J. Carter

 

Captain Avery has come to London from his rural estate to help his old friend Blake.  Blake has ended up in debtor's prison, the infamous Marshalsea, not because he really owes a debt but because he has refused a case from a man high up in government.  Avery tries to get Blake to change his mind and be released but to no avail.  

Avery is invited to dinner with the renowned chef, Monsieur Soyer at the Reform Club.  Avery and Blake had managed to get their friend, Matty, a place in the kitchens there and she is doing well.  But all is not well at the Reform.  A man sickens after the dinner and Avery stays to help as it appears to be cholera and he had experience with that in India.  The man dies and it turns out to be arsenic.  The club asks Avery to stay and look into the death as there is soon to be a major diplomatic dinner there.  Avery knows that Blake is the real detective in their partnership but agrees to do what he can.

Things get worse with more deaths.  Blake escapes and comes to help Avery.  Can they solve the case before more people die and Chef Soyer loses his reputation?

This is the third and final book in the Blake and Avery series and I'm sorry to see it come to an end.  I love the time period in the mid 1800's and the world of men's dining clubs and the Victorian era.  The two men are similar to Sherlock and Watson, although Blake is definitely not a refined Victorian gentleman but much closer to the streets.  The friendship between the two men was forged during their time serving in India and while they seem an unlikely pair for friendship, it has been forged in danger and they have admiration for each other.  This book is recommended for mystery readers. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Eighth Sister by Robert Dugoni

 


Charles Jenkins thought he had it all together as he entered his sixties.  He had found the love of his life, Alex, and married her.  They had a nine year old son and another baby on the way.  He had his own security company, based on his former work for the CIA when he was young.  But his biggest client is far behind on payments and it's causing Jenkins financial woes.  He has had to take out loans to make payroll and worse, had to put his family farm up for collateral.  When his former CIA boss shows up unexpectedly, Jenkins is willing to listen to him.

The man explains that they need someone to go to Russia for a quick mission.  For decades, there have been seven women who have spied for the Americans there.  They are buried deep in the Russian government and should have been safe.  But two of them have been killed recently and it's feared that under torture, they could have given information that could make finding the others possible.  There is a woman assassin called The Eighth Sister who would kill them all.  Since Charles has a branch of his company in Moscow and CIA experience, he would be the perfect person to go and find the name of the eighth sister.

Jenkins reluctantly agrees and there are issues as soon as he arrives.  It is clear that he is being watched and he barely escapes Moscow with the help of a woman who is obviously another of the sisters.  She helps him get out of Moscow and eventually, with the help of his lawyer and a contact in Mexico, Jenkins gets home.  But when he tries to report what is going on, the CIA denies they had hired him and he is arrested for treason.  Can Jenkins reclaim his former life?

Robert Dugoni is known for his Tracy Crosswhite series and other spy and legal thriller series.  This is the first in the three Charles Jenkins books.  Dugoni can't write a bad book which is obvious to me because spy novels aren't my favorite but I enjoyed this one.  It is split into two parts.  The first is the spy trip Jenkins takes to Russia and the second is a courtroom drama at his treason trial.  I liked the first part better as it was more exciting.  This book is recommended for readers of spy novels.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Devil & Sherlock Holmes by David Grann

 

This anthology is a series of twelve nonfiction articles that David Grann has written over the years.  Those readers hoping for stories about Sherlock Holmes will be disappointed.  Only the first article has anything to do with the famous detective.  It is about the search, over the years, for a cache of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's papers and who eventually ended up with them.  

This is a varied list.  One story relates the search of marine biologists for a viable specimen of the giant squid.  Another story tells of an arson in Texas in which three children died and whether the man who was executed for their murder was really responsible.  A cold case investigator in Poland and the man he brought to justice years after he wrote a story outlining the murder is a topic.  Another man in France who spent his life impersonating missing children is highlighted.  

The men that devote their lives to digging the tunnels under New York to carry the city's water are a topic as is the story of a fireman's day on 911 and his inability to remember what he did that day in the disaster.  There is a profile of baseball great, Ricky Henderson and one of a man who spent his entire life as a bank robber and escape artist.  The Aryan Brotherhood, also known as The Brand, and its members are highlighted in another article.  

David Grann is known for his intensive research and bestselling nonfiction books such as Killers Of The Flower Moon and The Lost City Of Z.  His books have been turned into movies and documentaries.  He is also a staffer at the New Yorker.  This book is a good introduction to his wide ranging interest as readers can pick and choose those articles that are interesting to them.  My favorite was probably The Old Man And The Gun about the lifelong bank robber and his escape from Alcatraz.  This book is recommended for nonfiction readers.

Monday, May 20, 2024

The Darkest Place by Phillip Margolin

 

When Robin Lockwood returns to her hometown to grieve the loss of her fiance, she also walks into an intriguing legal case.  Marjorie Loman had agreed to be a surrogate for a family who couldn't have children.  But after delivery, she had been allowed to bond with the baby and wanted to change her mind and keep the baby she had carried and given birth to.  A few weeks later, she had burst into the house of the surrogate parents, pistol-whipped the mother and kidnapped the baby.  The baby was recovered a few hours later but Marjorie was arrested and charged with various crimes.

Robin believes that Margorie was acting under the influence of temporary psychosis brought on by her pregnancy and the trauma surrounding it.  She and her local partner line up experts and start the trial.  Robin believes in Marjorie even when she finds that Marjorie is under indictment in Portland, Oregon, for the murder of her husband and that Marjorie is not even her real name.  Can Robin win these cases?

Phillip Margolin is known for his work in the thriller genre.  This book is the fifth in the series but can be read as a stand alone.  Robin has spent her life fighting the odds and her career as a lawyer allows her to fight for those who otherwise might not have a voice.  I listened to this book and the narrator did a great job.  This book is recommended for mystery and thriller readers.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Last Days Of Night by Graham Moore

 


This book is set in the late 1880's and tells the story of how electricity was harnessed and used to light the world.  Thomas Edison was the first to market with his direct current light bulbs and held the patent.  George Westinghouse was trying to displace Edison in the market and had a competing product.  A brilliant inventor from Croatia came to the United States, Nikola Tesla.  Direct current worked but only over short distances.  Tesla had the idea of alternating current which worked over much longer distances, allowing an entire town to be lit with one large generator instead of the small individual generators direct current required. 

An epic legal battle ensued.  Westinghouse picked a young recent law graduate named Paul Cravath to represent him.  The battle went through the courts for several years with both legal and extralegal maneuvers abounding.  Paul fell in love with an opera singer who also was one of Tesla's few trusted friends.  Together, they watched out for Tesla and helped him during an epic breakdown after his laboratory was set of fire while he and Paul were inside.  

This was a fascinating story of how scientists and inventors work and the legal battles over patents that could make or break a man's financial standing.  This was the author's second novel and he also is known for writing screenplays.  Telling the story from the viewpoint of Paul and the legal battles is an interesting choice and made the novel more focused on the epic courtroom case that ultimately determined the success of AC current to light the world.  This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction. 

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Animal's People by Indra Sinha

 

Animal, like almost every other person in his village, is a victim of the American Kampani.  The company that built a factory that made poisons and that had such lax safety requirements that one night a noxious cloud arose and killed off much of the village.  Animal was a baby and lost both his parents.  The poisons in the air twisted his body so that he can only move by walking on all fours, the dream of standing upright only a dream.

Now nineteen, Animal gets by scrounging and stealing, doing what little work he can.  He is known to be bright but insists that he is not human but an animal.  He loves the daughter of the village's former singing star, but she is the girlfriend of the local resistance leader.  That man has spent over a decade trying to bring the company to court in India and to make reparations and clean up the land and water.  

Then Ellie appears.  She is an American doctor and has come to India to open a free clinic.  The resistance leader insists that there is more to her kindness and organizes a boycott of her help.  Ellie tells Animal that she believes he could be helped with an operation and promises to take him to America to get it.  Animal is afraid to believe but can't help but want her help.

When the company is compelled to come to an Indian court after all this time, at first the people are jubilant.  But when a team of American lawyers comes to the village before the court date, it is obvious they are trying to cut a deal with the government.  Zahreel, the resistance leader, goes on a hunger strike and after days is close to death.  Will the village be saved?

Indra Sinha was born in India of British and Indian parents.  He was raised and lives in Britain but has written several books that depict the issues of India.  This book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.  Readers will not be able to resist Animal with his profane outlook, a man hopeful when it seems life should have crushed the hope from him.  The book is based on the 1984 toxic Union Carbide leak in Bhopal, India.  It is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

Friday, May 17, 2024

The Enchanters by James Ellroy

 

In Ellroy's latest, he revisits the police department of Los Angeles.  The book opens with the main character, Freddy Otash, a disgraced former policeman and current P.I., working with some old police chums on a starlet kidnapping.  They throw one of the suspects off a cliff and get the woman's location from his partner.  

Freddy has been spying on Marilyn Monroe for Jimmy Hoffa.  Hoffa wants blackmail information on Robert and John Kennedy and the rumor is that both have had affairs with her.  But when Freddy goes into Marilyn's house to remove his bugs and cameras, he finds her dead, an apparent overdose.

There are lots of well-known names in the mix.  There's Bill Parker and Darryl Gates, current and future LAPD Chiefs.  J. Edgar Hoover is in the mix along with a ton of well known actors and actresses.  Freddy has a long standing love affair with Pat Lawford, the President's sister married to Peter Lawford.  It turns out that the kidnapped starlet has been having a long term affair with a studio head and was a friend of Marilyn's.  She also had a sister who was kidnapped off the L.A. streets and killed, the murder never solved.  

Readers need to strap in before starting an Ellroy novel.  The action comes fast and furious and everything, everything, counts and needs to be paid attention to.  I'm on a current Ellroy kick and this one is as much of a roller coaster ride as I've come to expect.  My biggest joy is that Ellroy is prolific and I still have lots of titles yet to read.  This book is recommended for readers of literary and historical fiction.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Blood Sugar by Sasha Rothchild

 


Ruby is a therapist and she considers herself a great one.  The fact that she's killed three people shouldn't change that, should it?  Her first murder was when she was five and killed the bully that made her adored big sister's life miserable.  She didn't kill again until she was a senior in high school when she killed one of her friends' father.  The father was a letch who targeted young girls.  Finally, in almost an offhand thought she killed the most miserable patient she'd ever encountered years later when she was about to start her own practice.

But now Ruby is in trouble.  Her husband, who she loved unabashedly, had died in the night and she is accused of killing him.  He had life long diabetes and neither of them heard his alarm bell going off in the night.  Ruby can't believe she got by with real murders and now is set to go on trial for killing the one person she never would.  Will she be convicted?

Sasha Rothchild is known for her work in television and is an Emmy-nominated writer.  The reader will see that influence in the book which is written in short vignettes that could be adapted for a tv series or movie.  Ruby isn't a particularly likeable person no matter the justifications she adopts.  The irony in being put on trial for the one death she would never cause is perhaps her best punishment.  This book is recommended for mystery readers. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

In The Dark by Deborah Moggach

 

Britain during the first World War.  Eithne Clay's husband is in France, fighting, leaving her to run the boarding house with only the help of her son and the maid, Winnie.  Times are tight and it's getting hard to feed everyone.  There's the enigmatic man blinded in battle. There's the family whose father came home shell shocked and cannot leave their room.  Several older women live there.  Eithne knows some of them are getting behind on their rent but what can she do?  There's nowhere else for them to go.  

Things get worse when her husband is killed but help is around the corner.  Mr. Turk is the neighborhood butcher but much more.  His shop has expanded to triple the size during the war and he always has plenty of meat when other shops have only scraps.  He sets his sights on Eithne and Mr. Turk always gets what he wants.  Soon the two are married and everything is about to change.

Eithne's son and Winnie unite in a silent battle against Mr. Turk.  They can see that there is something wrong about him even when no one else can.  Then Winnie has a personal issue and leaves and Mr. Turk gives the other lodgers notice.  What will happen to everyone?

Deborah Moggach is an English author whose best known book is Tulip Fever about the obsession with tulip bulbs that seized the world.  She writes about family relationships and women finding their way in the world.  Her work has been adapted for television series and movies.  In this novel, Eithne's discovery of obsessional sex leading her to ignore all her other relationships is revelatory.  The son is the silent hero who struggles on to keep things going and to fight the evil that has overtaken their lives.  This book is recommended for readers of historical and family fiction. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Ocean State by Stewart O'Nan

 

Like most coastal cities, Ocean State was divided between the haves and the have nots.  Miles was a have, rich, attractive and the one all the girls sighed over.  Birdy was poor but attractive and popular.  When these two get together, it was a secret as Miles has a three year girlfriend and Birdy a steady boyfriend.  But, inevitably, the secret leaks out with tragic circumstances.

This story is told by Marie, Birdy's little sister who was nine at the time but telling the story as an adult many years later.  When Birdy and Miles' relationship leaks out, Birdy is scorned at her high school, branded as a man stealer and a slut.  She is physically attacked by Miles's girlfriend.  The girlfriend also demands things of Miles to stay with him, auditing his phone, making him promise to never talk or look at Birdy and eventually forcing him to make an assignation with Birdy at their secret hideaway.  But this assignation is a setup to again beat up Birdy with both Miles and the girlfriend participating.  But things don't go as planned and the girlfriend ends up dead.  

Stewart O'Nan is an author who writes about New England and the surrounding states.  His work portrays the working people of the region and the way their lives have changed as manufacturing has moved overseas.  This book portrays the angst of teenage relationships and the way that they can go wrong, sometimes with deadly results.  The reader will emphasize more with Marie than any of the main protagonists as Marie is an innocent child struggling to understand what went wrong and what will happen to the older sister she idolizes.  I listened to this book and the narrator, while not having the strong New England accent, still portrays the sorrow and pain that this family went through.  This novel is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Booksie's Shelves, May 13, 2024

 

Art by RF Skia & Culpeo S. Fox

Spring is here and blooming.  North Carolina has been in the 80's lately and beautiful with a Tarheel Blue sky.  Sports are over until fall football and that's my other obsession besides reading. We've been slowly but surely trapping our semi-feral pack and getting those who aren't neutered fixed.  We eventually hope to find homes for two of them and bring one inside to join our two inside cats.  But on to books! I've been filling in the backlists of Booker and Women Prize nominees as those are the two prize lists I follow and try to read.   Here's what's come through the door:

  1. Creatures Of Passage, Morowa Yejide, literary fiction, purchased
  2. Summer, Ali Smith, literary fiction, purchased
  3. This One Sky Day, Leone Ross, literary fiction, purchased
  4. Civilisation Francaise, Mary Fleming, literary fiction, sent by publisher
  5. The Safekeep, Yael Van Der Wouden, literary fiction, sent by publisher
  6. Middletide, Sarah Crouch, mystery, sent by publisher
  7. Mr. Loverman, Bernardine Evaristo, literary fiction, purchased
  8. End Of Watch, Stephen King, mystery, purchased
  9. The Wedding People, Alison Espach, literary fiction, sent by publisher
  10.  Masquerade, O.O. Sangoyomi, literary fiction, sent by publisher
  11. Homesick, Jennifer Croft, literary fiction, purchased
  12. Destination Morgue, James Ellroy, literary fiction, purchased
  13. Exciting Times, Naoise Dolan, literary fiction, purchased
  14. I'm A Fan, Sheena Petal, literary fiction, purchased
  15. Goddess In The Machine, Lora Beth Johnson, fantasy, purchased
  16. Ignorance, Michele Roberts, literary fiction, purchased
  17. The Trick Of Time, Kit De Waal, literary fiction, purchased
  18. The Night Guest, Hildur Knutsdottir, mystery, won in contest
  19. Such A Bad Influence, Olivia Muenter, women's fiction, sent by publisher
  20. The Familiars, Stacey Halls, historical fiction, purchased
  21. Mrs. England, Stacey Halls, literary fiction, purchased
  22. Serious Sweet, A.L Kennedy, literary fiction, purchased
  23. The Many, Wyl Menmuir, literary fiction, purchased
  24. Hystopia, David Means, literary fiction, purchased
  25. The Schooldays Of Jesus, J. M. Coetzee, literary fiction, purchased
  26. How It Works Out, Myriam LaCroix, women's fiction, sent by publisher
  27. A Pair Of Wings, Carole Hopson, multicultural fiction, sent by publisher
  28. What The Birds See, Sonya Hartnett, literary fiction, purchased
  29. The Witch's Heart, Genevieve Gornichec, fantasy, purchased
  30. Hot Stage, Anita Nair, mystery, sent by publisher
  31. Canary, Duane Swierczynski, mystery, purchased
Here are the ebooks I've bought:
  1. The Robber Bride, Margaret Atwood, literary fiction
  2. Awakening Sin, Kennedy Layne, mystery
  3. Not The Faintest Trace, Wendy Wilson, mystery
  4. Lesser Evil, C.J. Lyons, mystery
  5. Song For Night, Chris Abani, literary fiction
  6. Champion Of Fate, Kendare Blake, fantasy
  7. Empire Of The Vampire, Jay Kristoff, fantasy
  8. The Magician's Lie, Greer Macallister, mystery
  9. Ravencaller, David Dagleish, fantasy
  10. The Belly Of The Bow, K.J. Parker, fantasy
  11. Evil For Evil, K.J. Parker, fantasy
  12. Colours In The Steel, K.J. Parker, fantasy
  13. An Early Grave, Robert McCracken, mystery
  14. The Murder Diaries, David Carter, mystery
  15. An Aura Of Mystery, Joy Ellis, mystery
  16. 8 Lives Of A Century-Old Trickster, Mirinae Lee, literary fiction
  17. A Past Unearthed, Jin Yong, fantasy
  18. The Two Minute Rule, Robert Crais, mystery
  19. The Art Thief, Michael Finkel, nonfiction
  20. The Girl In The Eagle's Talons, Karin Smirnoff, mystery
  21. Essex Dogs, Dan Jones, historical fiction
  22. The Good Ones, Polly Stewart, literary fiction
  23. The Black Jacobins, C.L.R. James, nonfiction
  24. Swim Home To The Vanished, Brendan Basham, literary fiction
  25. The Uninvited, Cat Winters, horror
  26. This Time Tomorrow, Emma Straub, literary fiction
  27. Someone Like Me, M.R. Carey, mystery
  28. Bonegrinder, John Lutz, mystery
  29. The Garrick Year, Margaret Drabble, literary fiction
  30. Refiner's Fire, Mark Helprin, literary fiction
  31. True Crime, Andrew Klaven, mystery
  32. Summer Will Show, Sylvia Townsend Warner, literary fiction
  33. The First Cut, Ellery Kane, mystery
  34. The Missing, C.L. Taylor, mystery
  35. The Ones We Trust, Kimberly Belle, mystery
  36. The Confusion, Neal Stephenson, fantasy
  37. American Taboo, Phillip Weiss, true crime
  38. Jane And Prudence, Barbara Pym, literary fiction
  39. The Retreat, Sarah Pearse, mystery
  40. Residue, Michael McGarrity, mystery
  41. Dead Or Alive, Michael McGarrity, mystery
  42. The Children Of Red Peak, Craig DiLouie, horror
  43. Naked Addiction, Caitlin Rother, mystery
  44. Son Of A Grifter, Kent Walker, true crime
  45. The Wild Inside, Christine Carbo, mystery
  46. Botchan, Natsume Soseki, literary fiction
  47. Disappearances, Howard Frank Mosher, literary fiction
  48. The White Feather Killer, R.N. Morris, mystery
  49. The Novels Of The Jaran, Kate Elliot, fantasy
  50. The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern, fantasy
  51. Silence For The Dead, Simone St James, mystery
  52. Moon Of The Crusted Snow, Waubgeshig Rice, literary fiction
  53. Valor, John Gwynne, fantasy
  54. Ruin, John Gwynne, fantasy
  55. Wrath, John Gwynne, fantasy
  56. Jade War, Fonda Lee, fantasy
  57. Jade Legacy, Fonda Lee, fantasy
  58. Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie, fantasy
  59. Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie, fantasy
  60. Memory, K.J. Parker, fantasy
  61. A Dance Of Shadows, David Dagleish, fantasy
  62. A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena, Anthony Marra, literary fiction
  63. The Lies You Told, Harriet Tyce, mystery
  64. House Of The Hunter, J.A. Jance, mystery
  65. Dorothy Must Die, Danielle Paige, fantasy
  66. The Birchbark House, Louise Erdrich, literary fiction
  67. The Brides Of Maracoor, Gregory Maguire, fantasy
  68. Exposed, Jane Velez-Mitchell, true crime
  69. Daughter Of The Moon Goddess, Sue Lynn Tan, fantasy
  70. Freya, Anthony Quinn, literary fiction
  71. Seven Deadly Shadows, Courtney Alamada, fantasy
  72. The Sixteen Pleasures, Robert Hellenga, literary fiction
  73. The Windsor Knot, SJ Bennett, mystery
  74. Thirst For Salt, Madelaine Lucas, literary fiction
  75. The House Of Silk, Anthony Horowitz, mystery
  76. Beastly Things, Donna Leon, mystery
  77. The Dark Forest, Cixin Liu, fantasy
  78. The Time Has Come, Will Leith, literary fiction
  79. Penance, David Housewright, mystery
  80. Sun Damage, Sabine Durrant, mystery
  81. The Tree Of Hands, Ruth Rendell, mystery
  82. The Final Confession Of Mabel Stark, Robert Hough, literary fiction
  83. Brazzaville Beach, William Boyd, literary fiction
  84. Summer Island, Kristin Hannah, women's fiction
  85. A Tangled Web, Lesley Rule, true crime
  86. Hotel Cuba, Aaron Hamburger, literary fiction
  87. Rovers, Richard Lange, fantasy
  88. The Wanderers, Richard Price, mystery
  89. The Lock-Up, John Banville, mystery
  90. Folly, Stella Cameron, mystery
  91. Blue Lonesome, Bill Pronzini, mystery
  92. The Eye, Bill Pronzini, mystery
  93. In An Evil Time, Bill Pronzini, mystery
  94. The Fatal Tree, Jake Arnott, historical crime
  95. Want Now, Jonathan Miles, literary fiction
  96. The First Cut, Peter Robinson, mystery
  97. Liliana's Invincible Summer, Cristina Garza, true crime
  98. The Waltham Murders, Susan Clare Zalkind, true crime
  99. Judgment Ridge, Dick Lehr, true crime
  100. Trial And Error, Robert Whitlow, legal thriller
  101. Feral, George Monbiot, nonfiction
  102. Putney, Sofka Zinovieff, literary fiction
  103. Knight's Shadow, Sebastien de Castell, fantasy
  104. Saint's Blood, Sebastien de Castell, fantasy
  105. The Sea, The Sea, Iris Murdoch, literary fantasy
  106. The Bonus Room, Ben Winters, fantasy
  107. Untamed Shore, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, literary fiction
  108. The Girl In Room 12, Kathryn Croft, mystery
  109. Himself, Jess Kidd, literary fiction
  110. Suffer The Little Children, Donna Leon, mystery
  111. Age Of Assassins, RJ Baker, fantasy
  112. By Its Cover, Donna Leon, mystery
  113. Cadillac Jukebox, James Lee Burke, mystery
  114. The Secret Diary Of Charles Ignatius Sancho, Paterson Joseph, literary fiction
  115. Blackwood, Charles Ferris Smith, literary fiction
  116. The Revisioners, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, literary fiction
  117. About Face, Donna Leon, mystery
  118. Running Blind, Lee Child, mystery
  119. The Calamitous Bob, Alex Gilbert, fantasy
  120. Covered With Night, Nicole Eustace, true crime
  121. Knowing What We Know, Simon Winchester, nonfiction
  122. Drawing Conclusions, Donna Leon, mystery
  123. The Citadel, AJ Cronin, literary fiction
  124. Malice Of Crows, Lila Bowen, mystery
  125. The Shadow Lines, Amitav Ghosh, literary fiction
  126. Fatal Lies, Andrew Cunningham, mystery
  127. Lolth's Warrior, R. A. Salvatore, fantasy
  128. On Animals, Susan Orleans, nonfiction
  129. The Infinite Blacktop, Sara Gran, literary fiction
  130. One Day I Shall Astonish The World, Nina Stibbe, literary fiction
  131. PrairyErth, William Least Heat-Moon, travel
  132. River-Horse, William Least Heat-Moon, travel
  133. Transient Desires, Donna Leon, mystery
  134. Gun, With Occasional Music, Jonathan Lethem, literary fiction
  135. Dead Man In A Ditch, Luke Arnold, fantasy
  136. Guardian, Joe Haldeman, science fiction
  137. Dead Girls, Alice Bolin, true crime
  138. Demon Knight, Dave Duncan, fantasy
  139. A Question Of Belief, Donna Leon, mystery
  140. The Riverman, Robert Keppel, true crime
  141. Blood From A Stone, Donna Leon, mystery
  142. Lullabies For Little Criminals, Heather O'Neill, literary fiction
  143. My Life Among The Serial Killers, Helen Morrison, true crime
  144. The Less People Know About Us, Axton Betz-Hamilton, memoir
  145. The Girl Of His Dreams, Donna Leon, mystery
  146. Death And Croissants, Ian Moore, mystery
  147. Pattern, K.J. Parker, fantasy
  148. A Field Guide To Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit, literary fiction
  149. Falling In Love, Donna Leon, mystery
  150. Evil Eye, Etaf Rum, literary fiction
  151. Clandestine, James Ellroy, literary fiction
  152. The Waters Of Eternal Youth, Donna Leon, mystery
  153. The Lost Get-Back Boogie, James Lee Burke, mystery
  154. Traitor's Blade, Sebastien de Castell, fantasy
  155. Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset, literary fiction
  156. Blood Tracks, Matt Hilton, mystery
  157. Clawback, J.A. Jance, mystery
  158. The Coffin Dancer, Jeffrey Deaver, mystery
  159. Braiding Sweetgrass, Robin Wall Kimmerer, nonfiction
  160. The Old Silent, Martha Grimes, mystery
  161. Act Of Oblivion, Robert Harris, historical fiction
  162. Phoenix Rising, Pip Ballantine, fantasy
  163. The Janus Affair, Pip Ballantine, fantasy
  164. Thunder Bay, Douglas Skelton, mystery
  165. My Brother, The Killer, Alix Sharkey, true crime
  166. The Two Of Swords, K.J. Parker, fantasy
  167. Sword Catcher, Cassandra Clare, fantasy
  168. Reasonable Adults, Robin Lefler, women's fiction
  169. None Shall Sleep, Ellie Marney, mystery
  170. October In The Earth, Olivia Hawker, women's fiction
  171. How To Be Eaten, Maria Adelmann, fantasy
  172. Texasville, Larry McMurtry,literary fiction
  173. A Wedding In December, Anita Shreve, literary fiction
  174. Menagerie, Rachel Vincent, fantasy
  175. King Solomon's Carpet, Ruth Rendell, mystery
  176. In The Shadow Of Wolves, Alvydas Slepikas, literary fiction
  177. Mumbo Jumbo, Ishmael Reed, literary fiction
  178. The Summer He Didn't Die, Jim Harrison, literary fiction
  179. Snake Eyes, Joyce Carol Oates, literary fiction
  180. Talking To Strange Men, Ruth Rendell, mystery
  181. The Escapement, K.J. Parker, fantasy
  182. The House Across The Lake, Riley Sager, thriller
  183. Half A World Away, Mike Gayle, literary fiction
  184. Liberation Day, George Saunders, anthology
  185. The Twenty, Sam Holland, mystery
  186. Little Drummer, Kjell Dahl, mystery
  187. The Assistant, Kjell Dahl, mystery
  188. The Courier, Kjell Dahl, mystery
  189. The Lazarus Solution, Kjell Dahl, mystery
  190. Wolves At The Door, Gunnar Staalsen, mystery
  191. Wolves In The Dark, Gunnar Staalsen, mystery
  192. Fallen Angels, Gunnar Staalsen, mystery
  193. Big Sister, Gunnar Staalsen, mystery
  194. The Siege, Isadare Kadare, literary fiction
  195. The Lost Ones, Sheena Kamal, mystery
  196. Anglesey Blue, Dylan Jones, mystery
  197. Doll Face, Dylan Jones, mystery
  198. Shadow Soul, Dylan Jones, mystery
  199. Soul Of The Fire, Terry Goodkind, fantasy
  200. J M Barrie And The Lost Boys, Andrew Birkin, nonfiction
  201. Fatal, John Lescroart, mystery
  202. The Monstrous Misses Mai, Van Hoang, literary fiction
  203. I Am The Only Running Footman, Martha Grimes, mystery
  204. The Five Bells And Bladebone, Martha Grimes, mystery
  205. His Favorite Graves, Paul Cleave, mystery
  206. The Forgery Of Venus, Michael Gruber, literary fiction
  207. American Boy, Larry Watson, literary fiction
  208. Nickel Mountain, John Gardner, literary fiction
  209. The Love Of Impossible Sums, Panayotis Cacoyannis, literary fiction
  210. Remote Sympathy, Catherine Chigley, literary fiction
  211. The Storyteller's Death, Ann Davila Cardinal, literary fiction
  212. The Publicist, Natalie Tambini, mystery
  213. What Kind Of Mother, Clay Chapman, horror
  214. Flowers Over The Inferno, Ilaria Tuti, mystery
  215. The Cormorant, Chuck Wendig, mystery
  216. Uniform Justice, Donna Leon, mystery
  217. Doctored Evidence, Donna Leon, mystery
  218. Nine Times Nine, Anthony Boucher, mystery
  219. One Of The Good Guys, Araminta Hall, mystery
  220. Jade City, Fonda Lee, fantasy
  221. Five Survive, Holly Jackson, mystery
  222. Women Are The Fiercest Creatures, Andrea Dunlop, women's fiction
  223. The Children's Book, A.S. Byatt, literary fiction
  224. The Dead Romantics, Ashley Poston, mystery
  225. Standing In The Shadows, Peter Robinson, mystery
  226. The Hangman's Story, James Oswald, mystery
  227. Natural Causes, James Oswald, mystery
  228. Dead Country, Max Gladstone, fantasy
  229. Tulips And Chimneys, E.E. Cummings, poetry
  230. Laws Of Depravity, Eriq La Salle, mystery
  231. The Warden, Daniel Ford, fantasy
  232. Obsession, John Douglas, true crime
  233. Nothing More To Tell, Karen McManus, mystery
  234. The Lie Maker, Linwood Barclay, mystery
  235. Murder Your Employer, Rupert Holmes, mystery
  236. Grace, Paul Lynch, literary fiction
  237. Deadly Greed, Joe Sharkey, true crime
  238. Evil Intent, Jane Issac, mystery
  239. Hidden Things, Doyce Testerman, mystery
  240. The Golden Egg, Donna Leon, mystery
  241. A Deadly Education, Naomi Novik, fantasy
  242. Dawnshard, Brandan Sanderson, fantasy
  243. Mister Lullaby, J. H. Markert, mystery
  244. Trace Elements, Donna Leon, mystery
  245. The Temptation Of Forgiveness, Donna Leon, mystery
  246. Dressed For Death, Donna Leon, mystery
  247. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell, literary fiction
  248. A Sudden Light, Garth Stein, literary fiction
  249. Freeze Frame, Peter May, mystery
  250. Out Of Time, Lynn Segal, nonfiction
  251. Clockwork Boys, T. Kingfisher, fantasy
  252. Later, Stephen King, horror
  253. Frogkisser!, Garth Nix, fantasy
  254. Human Croquet, Kate Atkinson, literary fiction
  255. Slant, Greg Bear, fantasy
  256. Mariposa, Greg Bear, fantasy
  257. A Death In White Bear Lake, Barry Siegel, true crime
  258. Watching You, Michael Robotham, mystery
  259. The Bookwoman's Last Fling, John Dunning, mystery
  260. The Incarnations, Susan Barker, literary fiction
  261. The Wise Men, Walter Issacson, nonfiction
  262. Born To Die, Lisa Jackson, mystery
  263. The Guilty Couple, C.L. Taylor, mystery
  264. The Last Mona Lisa, Jonathan Santlofer, mystery
  265. What Are You Like? Anne Enright, literary fiction
  266. White City, Kevin Power, literary fiction
  267. The Devil I Know, Claire Kilroy, mystery
  268. Blightborn, Chuck Wendig, fantasy
  269. Red Sky In Morning, Paul Lynch, literary fiction
  270. The Everything Box, Richard Kadrey, fantasy
  271. The Hole We're In, Gabrielle Zevin, literary fiction
  272. The New Neighbor, Carter Wilson, mystery
  273. The Sunset Years Of Agnes Sharpe, Leonie Swann, mystery
  274. The London Train, Tessa Hadley, literary fiction
  275. Gilgamesh, Joan London, literary fiction
  276. Palm Beach, Finland, Antti Tuomainen, mystery
  277. The Visible World, Mark Slouka, literary fiction
  278. The Casuarina Tree, William Somerset Maughn, literary fiction
  279. One Puzzling Afternoon, Emily Critchley, mystery
  280. A Crack At The End Of The World, Simon Winchester, nonfiction
  281. Incendiary Circumstances, Amitav Ghosh, nonfiction
  282. I Am Not Who You Think I Am, Eric Rickstad, mystery
  283. Brooklyn, Colm Toibin, literary fiction
  284. Devil's Gate, David Roberts, nonfiction
  285. The House Of God, Samuel Shem, literary fiction
  286. Mozart's Starling, Lyanda Haupt, literary fiction
  287. Furyborn, Claire Legrand, fantasy
  288. The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, literary fiction
  289. Mystery, Jonathan Kellerman, mystery
  290. The Unquiet Ghost, Adam Hochschild, nonfiction
  291. Duel To The Death, J.A. Jance, mystery
  292. The Big Crowd, Kevin Baker, literary fiction
  293. The Surrogate Mother, Freida McFadden, mystery
  294. One Year Gone, Avery Bishop, mystery
  295. Snobs, Julian Fellowes, literary fiction
  296. Queen Of Angels, Greg Bear, fantasy
  297. Moving Mars, Greg Bear, fantasy
  298. Dead Cert, Dick Francis, mystery
  299. Capture The Crown, Jennifer Estep, fantasy
  300. The Quite Nice And Fairly Accurate Good Omens Script Book, Neil Gaiman, fantasy
  301. Lord Of The Fire Lands, Dave Duncan, fantasy
  302. The Ethical Swordsman, Dave Duncan, fantasy
  303. Know My Name, Chanel Miller, memoir
  304. The Novels Of Jimmy Breslin, Jimmy Breslin, literary fiction
  305. Rush Of Blood, Mark Billingham, mystery
  306. The Callashire Chronicles, Catherine Aird, mystery
  307. Booked For Murder, Val McDermid, mystery
  308. Hostage To Murder, Val McDermid, mystery
  309. Mrs. Caliban, Rachel Ingalls, literary fiction
  310. LaRose, Louise Erdrich, literary fiction
  311. Oathbound, Todd Herzman, fantasy
  312. I'll Show Myself Out, Jessi Klein, nonfiction
  313. My Better Half, M.M. Boulder, mystery
  314. The Cruelty Men, Ermer Martin, literary fiction
  315. Sneak Peek For Service Model, Adrian Tchaikovsky, fantasy
  316. Hearts Of Darkness, Jana Monroe, true crime
  317. Kill Show, Daniel Sweren-Becker, true crime
  318. No Way Out, Cara Hunter, mystery
  319. The Mole People, Jennifer Toth, nonfiction
  320. Broken, Daniel Clay, literary fiction
  321. The Stranger In The Mirror, Liv Constantine, mystery
  322. The Coffin In The Wall, M J Lee, mystery
  323. Bitter Flowers, Gunnar Staalesen, mystery
  324. Close Your Eyes, Chris Tomasini, literary fiction
  325. Burning Angel, James Lee Burke, mystery
  326. The Mind Of A Murderer, Michael Wood, mystery
  327. The Woman Who Gave Birth To Rabbits, Emma Donoghue, anthology
  328. Buffalo Girls, Larry McMurtry, literary fiction
  329. The House We Grew Up In, Jisa Jewell, mystery
  330. The End Of Ordinary, Edward Ashton, fantasy
  331. Swordheart, T. Kingfisher, fantasy
  332. The Raven Tower, Ann Leckie, fantasy
  333. The Devil's Diadem, Sara Douglass, fantasy
  334. Red Famine, Anne Applebaum, nonfiction
  335. Never, Jessa Hastings, literary fiction
  336. Freshwater, Akwaake Amenzi, literary fiction
  337. Evicted, Matthew Desmond, nonfiction
  338. Table For Two, Amor Towles, anthology
  339. Feet Of Clay, Terry Goodkind, fantasy
  340. Through A Glass, Darkly, Donna Leon, mystery
  341. Bad Dog, Alex Smith, mystery
  342. Wonderous Times On The Frontier, Dee Brown, nonfiction
  343. Talking With Serial Killers, Christopher Berry-Dee, true crime
  344. Sleeping With Psychopaths, Christopher Berry-Dee, true crime
  345. I Keep My Exoskeletons To Myself, Marisa Crane, fantasy
  346. Ragdoll, Daniel Cole, mystery
  347. A Place For Us, Fatima Farheen Mirza, literary fiction
  348. Genius Makers, Cade Metz, nonfiction
  349. Bride Of The Tornado, James Kennedy, horror
  350. These Burning Stars, Bethany Jacobs, fantasy
  351. Beneath The Bleeding, Val McDermid, mystery
  352. The Killer's Daughter, Kate Wiley, mystery
  353. The Winter Girls, Roger Stelljes, mystery
  354. This Is The Way, Gavin Corbett, literary fiction
  355. Sin Eater, Megan Campsi, horror
  356. Disrupting Destiny, Jan Foster, fantasy
  357. Anarchic Destiny, Jan Foster, fantasy
  358. The Maleficent Seven, Cameron Johnson, fantasy
  359. Briarpatch, Ross Thomas, mystery
  360. The Gravedigger's Son And The Waif Girl, Sam Feuerbach, fantasy
  361. The Peripheral, William Gibson, fantasy
  362. All The Pretty Girls, J.T. Ellison, mystery
  363. Atlanta Burns, Chuck Wendig, mystery
  364. The Hunt, Chuck Wendig, mystery
  365. Desolation Mountain, William Kent Krueger, mystery
  366. The Alone Time, Elle Marr, mystery
  367. Hokuloa Road, Elizabeth Hand, mystery
  368. The Intruder, Peter Blauner, mystery
  369. The Radetzsky March, Joseph Roth, literary fiction
  370. Calico, Lee Goldberg, mystery
  371. Little Bird Of Heaven, Joyce Carol Oates, literary fiction
  372. Fall, Tracy Clark, mystery
  373. Death In A Strange Country, Donna Leon, mystery
  374. Lost And Never Found, Simon Mason, mystery
  375. The Deaths Of Sybil Bolton, Dennis McAuliffe and David Gran, nonfiction
  376. The House Of Sky, Ivan Doig, literary fiction
  377. Leave No Trace, Mindy Mejia, mystery
  378. Bodily Harm, Margaret Atwood, literary fiction
  379. Friends Like These, Hannah Ellis, literary fiction
  380. Turning Pages, John Sargent, nonfiction
  381. Kairos, Jenny Erpenbeck, literary fiction
  382. Site Unseen, Dana Cameron, mystery
  383. Is Mother Dead, Vigdis Hjorth, literary fiction
  384. The Nowhere Girls, Dana Perry, mystery
  385. A Clock Stopped Dead, J.M. Hall, mystery
  386. The Lewis Trilogy, Peter May, mystery
  387. Poison, Sara Pinborough, fantasy
  388. Outposts, Simon Winchester, travel
  389. Fatal Remedies, Donna Leon, mystery
  390. Earthly Remain, Donna Leon, mystery
  391. Blood And Guts In High School, Kathy Acker, literary fiction
  392. Beneficence, Meredith Hall, literary fiction
  393. Pale Morning Light With Violet Swan, Deborah Reed, literary fiction
  394. The Wedding Of The Year, Jill Mansell, women's fiction
  395. The Chosen Sarah Sala, mystery
  396. Doughnut, Tom Holt, fantasy
  397. Pascoe's Ghost, Reginald Hill, mystery
  398. The Darkness Of Evil, Alan Jacobsen, mystery
  399. Winterman, Alex Walters, mystery
  400. Keeper Of The Light, Diana Chamberlaine, women's fiction
  401. John Woman, Walter Moseley, mystery
  402. Resistance, Halik Kochanski, nonfiction
  403. Dixie City Jam, James Lee Burke, mystery
  404. The Unquiet Grave, Sharyn McCrumb, mystery
  405. The Things We Keep, Janet Dawson, mystery
  406. Snapped, C.M. Sutter, mystery
  407. In The Moon Of Red Ponies, James Lee Burke, mystery
  408. All The Good Things, Claire Fisher, literary fiction
  409. Hear That Lonesome Whistle Blow, Dee Brown, nonfiction
  410. The Night She Died, Dorothy Simpson, mystery
  411. Docherty, William McIlvanney, mystery
  412. The Paper Wasp, Lauren Acampora, literary fiction
  413. A Stolen Tongue, Sheri Holman, mystery
  414. Alligator, Lisa Moore, literary fiction
  415. Killing Season, Carlton Smith, true crime
  416. Blind Faith, CJ Lyons, mystery
  417. Black Sheep, CJ Lyons, mystery
  418. The Next Widow, CJ Lyons, mystery
  419. Say My Name, Joe Clifford, true crime
  420. Future Home Of The Living God, Louise Erdrich, literary fiction
  421. Confessions Of A Domestic Failure, Bunmi Laditan, memoir
  422. The Taxidermist's Daughter, Kate Mosse, literary fiction
  423. Burnt Shadows, Kamila Shamsie, literary fiction
  424. Where The Pieces Lie, JD Kirk, mystery
  425. Knife, Salmon Rushdie, memoir
  426. The Newborn King, Julian May, fantasy
  427. The Adversary, Julian May, fantasy
  428. Black Widow, Chris Brookmyre, mystery
  429. Carolina Crimes, Rita Shuler, true crime
  430. Rabbits For Food, Bonnie Kirshenbaum, literary fiction
  431. Dead Midnight, Marcia Mueller, mystery
  432. A Raging Dawn, CJ Lyons, mystery
  433. Some People Need Killing, Patricia Evangelista, memoir
  434. Stillborn Armadillos, Nick Russell, mystery
  435. Rising, Elizabeth Rush, nonfiction
  436. All The Names, Jose Saramago, literary fiction
  437. The Scent Of Death, Simon Beckett, mystery
  438. The Hollows, Mark Edwards, mystery
  439. Destiny Arising, Jan Foster, fantasy
  440. The Diamond Eye, Kate Quinn, fantasy
  441. The Gargoyle, Andrew Davidson, literary fiction
  442. Jacob's Ladder, Ludmila Ulitskaya, literary fiction
  443. A Noble Radiance, Donna Leon, mystery
  444. The Last Housewife, Ashley Winstead, mystery
  445. Salt To The Sea, Rupa Sepetys, historical fiction
  446. Everybody Knows, Jordan Harper, mystery
  447. Holiday Country, Inci Atrek, literary fiction
  448. Death And The Sisters, Heather Redmond, mystery
  449. Cold In Hand, John Harvey, mystery
  450. Still Water, John Harvey, mystery
  451. Reckoning, Catherine Coulter, mystery
  452. A Great Improvisation, Stacy Schiff, nonfiction
  453. By Two And Two, Jim Schultz, true crime
  454. Under My Skin, Sarah Dunant, mystery
  455. The Vegetarian, Han Kang, literary fiction
  456. Darkness, Take My Hand, Dennis Lehane, mystery
  457. Cold Light, John Harvey, mystery
  458. Murder Untimely, Anita Waller, mystery
  459. In The Rogue Blood, James Carlos Blake, historical fiction
  460. The Traitor God, Cameron Johnson, fantasy
  461. Apples Never Fall, Liane Moriarty, women's fiction
  462. M And M, John Peak, mystery
  463. All The Flowers Are Dying, Lawrence Block, mystery
  464. Splinter In The Blood, Ashley Dyer, mystery
  465. Acqua Alta, Donna Leon, mystery
  466. Death And Judgement, Donna Leon, mystery
  467. The List Of 7, Mark Frost, mystery
  468. Life Or Death, Michael Robotham, mystery
  469. A Case Of Betrayal, Neil Turner, mystery
  470. Vanishing Day, Valerie Davisson, mystery
  471. Truth In The Smoke, SP Neeson, fantasy
  472. Snow So White, C. Gockel, fantasy
  473. Do You Remember?, Freida McFadden, mystery
  474. Night Boat To Tangier, Kevin Barry, literary fiction
  475. The Girl In Green, Derek Miller, mystery
  476. The Crone Of Midnight Embers, Iris Beaglehole, fantasy
  477. The Removed, Brandon Hobson, literary fiction
  478. The King's Dragon, Kate Elliott, fantasy
  479. Hard Country, Reavis Wortham, mystery
  480. Above Suspicion, Joe Sharkey, true crime
  481. Red Rising, Pierce Brown, fantasy
  482. A Fatal Obsession, Trevor Negus, mystery
  483. The First Cut, Trevor Negus, mystery
  484. Comanche Moon, Larry McMurtry, literary fiction
  485. The House Is On Fire, Rachel Beanland, historical fiction
  486. Devotion, Howard Norman, literary fiction
  487. Dr. Neruda's Cure For Evil, Rafael Yglesias, literary fiction
  488. Make Them Cry, Smith Henderson, literary fiction
  489. Mr. Flood's Last Resort, Jess Kidd, literary fiction
  490. The Bone Fire, Gyorgy Dragoman, literary fiction
  491. The Fog Ladies, Susan McCormack, mystery
  492. When You Are Engulfed In Flames, David Sedaris, humor
  493. Friends In High Places, Donna Leon, mystery
  494. Unto Us A Son Is Given, Donna Leon, mystery
  495. The Green Man, Ellen Datlow, anthology
  496. The Master Of Whitestorm, Janny Wurts, fantasy
  497. You Again, Debra Jo Immergut, women's fiction
  498. Dead Man's Thoughts, Carolyn Wheat, mystery
  499. The Piano Teacher, Robert Tanenbaum, true crime
  500. Cry For Help, Wendy Dranfield, mystery
  501. Dark Passage, JT Vargas, mystery
  502. There Will Be Fire, Rory Carroll, nonfiction
  503. Prisoner's Dilemma, Richard Powers, literary fiction
  504. Lake Country, Lori Roy, mystery
  505. The Pike, JJ Richards, mystery
  506. The Children, David Halberstam, nonfiction
  507. Neon Gods, Katee Roberts, fantasy
  508. Stone Blind, Natalie Haynes, fantasy
  509. Wandering Souls, Angela van Liempt, fantasy
  510. Work Like Any Other, Virginia Reeves, literary fiction
  511. Little Shoes, Pamela Everett, true crime
  512. The Luminous Dead, Caitlin Starling, horror
  513. The Sea Queen, Linnea Hartsuyker, historical fiction
  514. Wrecking Crew, John Ferak, true crime
  515. Everyone Is Beautiful, Katherine Center, women's fiction
  516. An Honest Living, Dwyer Murphy, mystery
  517. A River Of Golden Bones, A.K. Mulford, fantasy
  518. The Wolf And The Rain, Tanya Lee, fantasy
  519. The Thief And The Waste, Tanya Lee, fantasy
  520. Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff, fantasy
  521. The Destroyer Of Worlds, Matt Ruff, fantasy
  522. The Black Book, Orhan Pamuk, literary fiction
  523. Lost Man's Lane, Scott Carson, mystery
  524. The Worlds I See, Fei-Fei Li, nonfiction
  525. The Sword Of Shannara, Terry Brooks, fantasy
  526. The Last Child, John Hart, mystery
  527. Pursuit, Thomas Perry, mystery
  528. A Dark Devotion, Clare Francis, mystery
  529. Snake Skin, CJ Lyons, mystery
  530. Tyll, Daniel Kehlmann, literary fiction
  531. The Manor House, Gilly Macmillan, mystery
  532. I Shall Wear Midnight, Terry Prachett, fantasy
  533. Gallant, V.E. Schwab, fantasy
  534. The Palace Job, Patrick Weekes, fantasy
  535. The Prophecy Con, Patrick Weekes, fantasy
  536. The Paladin Caper, Patrick Weekes, fantasy
  537. Under The Empyrean Sky, Chuck Wendig, fantasy
  538. At The River, Kendra Elliott, mystery
  539. The Last Sister, Kendra Elliott, mystery
  540. The First Death, Kendra Elliott, mystery
  541. Master Of The Revels, Nicole Galland, fantasy
  542. My Absolute Darling, Gabriel Talent, literary fiction
  543. Our Little Secret, Roz Nay, mystery
  544. An Unofficial Rose, Iris Murdoch, literary fiction
  545. Our Hideous Progeny, C. E. McGill, horror
  546. The Southern Lawyer, Peter O'Mahoney, legal thriller
  547. The Free, Willy Vlautin, literary fiction
  548. Mockingbird, Chuck Wendig, mystery
  549. The Long Song, Andrea Levy, literary fiction
  550. Willful Behaviour, Donna Leon, mystery
  551. Victim 14, KJ Kalis, mystery
  552. Soon To Be Mine, KJ Kalis, mystery
  553. Small Gods, Terry Prachett, fantasy
  554. A Kingdom Besieged, Raymond Feist, fantasy
  555. In The Time Of Night, Antonio Munoz Molina, literary fiction
  556. The Year Of The Flood, Margaret Atwood, fantasy
  557. Say Her Name, Dreda Mitchell, mystery
  558. Broken Harbour, Tana French, mystery
Here's what I'm reading:
  1. Animal's People, Indra Sinha, hardcover
  2. The Devil And Sherlock Holmes, David Gran, paperback
  3. The Last Days Of Night, Graham Moore, kindle
  4. The Eighth Sister, Robert Dugoni, kindle
  5. The Devil's Feast, M.J. Carter, kindle
  6. The Enchanters, James Ellroy, hardback
  7. House Of Names, Colm Toibin, kindle
  8. The Darkest Place, Philip Margolin, audio
Happy Reading!

The Other Side Of Nothing by Anastasia Zadeik


 

After the death of her beloved father, Julia has fallen into a depression.  She checks herself into a residential treatment program.  She and her mother, Laura, have grown distance since the death and Laura doesn't know how to talk or act with Julia.  As Julia starts to feel better with treatment, she falls in love with an magnetic patient, Sam.  He is about to leave treatment and when he does he convinces Julia to leave with him.

Both Laura and Sam's mother, Arabella, are worried about this.  The two aren't making contact.  Arabella knows this is a repeating pattern with Sam, a fast infatuation with a girl, spiraling out of control and disaster but she doesn't share this with Laura.  Instead, the two set off on the road trying to guess where their children are headed.  Julia had a bucket list that seems to give clues.  

The mothers almost catch up with Sam and Julia at one location but Sam sees them and they flee.  It soon becomes apparent that the two are headed to a remote, dangerous location where Sam hopes to duplicate one of Ansel Adam's most famous images.  Can they find the two before Sam spins completely our of control?

This is an important book about mental illness and suicide that is relevant to many.  The author has family experience with the topics and offers a ray of hope when all may seem dark and uncharted territory.  It emphasizes the necessity of getting help when one's mind is cluttered and spinning and the fact that there is a better life waiting.  Julia sees how Sam becomes more and more focused on his obsessions and she tries to help him but eventually realizes that she cannot do what is not wanted.  This book is recommended for readers of family relationships. 

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Friend Of The Devil by Peter Robinson

 

In this edition, the team are working on two different murders of women.  Annie Cabbott has been seconded to another police station for a few weeks so she catches the first one.  A woman from a nearby nursing home, paralyzed and in a wheelchair, has been taken to a nearby field and cliff.  Her throat is cut and of course she can do nothing to stop it.  It becomes even more interesting when it turns our that this was the wife of the serial killer DCI Banks had caught several years ago.  Although he always suspected that the wife was a partner in the killings a case never was made especially after the woman dove through a window to evade capture and ended up helpless.

Back home, another woman has been killed.  This one was killed in the maze of alleys and deserted buildings after the pubs had closed.  She had gone in there on a dare but never emerged.  Even worse, as the investigation proceeds, it hits home close to Bank's team as another murder occurs.  Can these cases be solved?

This is the seventeenth novel in the DCI Alan Banks series.  This one is interesting for its look back to a prior case that shaped the team in many ways and for the hubris that ends the life of one of the team.  Outside of that, Annie takes a new lover she isn't sure she was wise to engage with and those around her are worried about her state of mind.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.  


Saturday, May 11, 2024

The Golden Couple by Greer Hendriks and Sarah Pekkanen

 

When Marissa Bishop comes to counselor Avery Chambers, she says she and her husband Matthew need marital counseling.  The Bishops are an attractive, wealthy couple with one son who have been together since their teenage years.  But at the first session, Marissa blows everything Avery had planned out the window when she confesses that she has been unfaithful.

Matthew is stunned but ultimately agrees that he is willing to work on their marriage.  Marissa says that he had become so remote that she strayed in her loneliness.  Avery finds that both Marissa and Matthew are hiding secrets and being less than honest with each other.  Marissa's partner in adultery has no plans to give her up and is waging a campaign behind the scenes to get her to leave Matt and be with him.   Can this marriage be saved?

These two authors have worked together before to write thrillers.  This one has interesting characters and lots of red herrings before everything is brought into the light.  I listened to this one and the narrators did a great job, especially with Marissa's soft, beguiling voice.  The story is told in alternating chapters by Avery and Marissa and the climax is satisfying.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Nimona by ND Stevenson

 


Lord Ballister Blackheart had trained as a hero at the Institution Of Law Enforcement and Heroics.  But after he lost his arm in an unfair joust with his best friend, Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin, he leaves the Institution and becomes a villain.  He is doing pretty well in this but lacks one thing; a sidekick.

When Nimona, a teenage shapeshifter shows up, she wants the job.  She adores Blackheart and is much more bloodthirsty than he is.  She can also shapeshift into any creature she wants.  Together the two start to realize that the Institution is not doing good but instead is releasing disease and pestilence into the land.  Even worse, they want to kill Nimona.

Although they try to kill her several times, Nimona always manages to escape.  Blackheart is forced to choose between her and Goldenloin and he makes the only choice he can.  

This graphic novel is written by ND Stevenson who is known as one of the most talented graphic artists currently writing.  It is a National Book Award Finalist and has been turned into a series on Netflix.  Stevenson writes about how being different is valuable not something to be regretted and his own life history proves that point as well.  This book is recommended for fantasy readers.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck

 

It is the end of the 1980s in East Berlin.  Katharina is nineteen when she meets and starts an affair with Hans, a man in his fifties who is a decade older than her own father.  He is married but a serial adulterer and his wife knows about the affair but doesn't seem to care.  Her friends tell her that its a bad idea but the two seem entranced with each other.

Over the next two years, we watch as the affair sours just as the East German government is souring and failing as reunification looms.  Hans is controlling, desperate to dictate every moment of Katharina's life.  She begins to rebel against this and eventually has an affair with a man close to her own age.  This insures that Hans beats her down psychologically for the rest of their time together.  

At the end of the novel, reunification has happened.  Katharina has moved on, into a theatre career in set design and finds a more stable love.  Hans is caught in the fact that his talents are no longer needed as a radio commentator and that his ideas have passed.  His relevance is over and he has a hard time adjusting to the new reality of reunification.

This book is on the 2024 shortlist for the International Booker Prize.  It is an allegory using the doomed love affair to shadow the doomed government of East Germany and the control of the government similar to the control Hans needs to have over all around him.  Hans is a despicable character and we only learn the depths of his degradation at the end of the novel but Katharina also has issues as the hope of the future.  Jenny Erpenbeck is recognized as one of the leading voices of German literature and she lived through this time period and experienced much of what was happening.  This book is recommended for literary fiction readers.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Killers Of The Flower Moon by David Grann

 

The Osage nation of Native Americans, like other tribes were pushed from their traditional lands by the Western expansion of settlers.  They eventually were pushed into Oklahoma onto poor land.  But in the 1900's oil was discovered on their land and by the 1920's, the Osage nation were the richest in the country.  

But their troubles weren't over.  Instead, there were systematic attempts to defraud them and steal their money.  Many white people married Osage individuals to share in their money.  The governments and banks had Osage individuals declared incompetent to manage their money and appointed guardians who gave them allowances and stole their money while supposedly overwatching it.

Yet even that was not enough.  In the 1920's, a criminal conspiracy targeted various Osage families for murder so that their money could be taken.  The man behind the conspiracy was William Hale, a man who moved there and became wealthy, stating that he was the Osage tribe's best friend.  One of his nephews, Ernest, married into an Osage family and the murders starting happening.  Before it was over, the matriarch, three sisters and one of their husbands were killed.  One murder was a house blown up even though Ernest knew his own wife and children were supposed to be there that night.

Eventually, the murders became so egregious that the federal government stepped in.  The newly formed FBI sent an agent named White to the area where he used undercover agents and turned conspirators against each other until the men could be charged.  Although they were imprisoned for long periods, none were put to death.  This is that story and the one told in the recent movie.  But there was more.   In a part two not referenced in the movie, the author discusses all the cases that occurred before and after the infamous ones and how the reign of terror has affected the Osage nation even today.

David Grann is a journalist and staff writer at the New Yorker.  His work is extensive and his research impeccable.  He is known for his intense immersement in his topics and this book is probably his most impressive and the one he has given most of his professional life to.  It was a National Book Award finalist and the reader will be appalled at yet another example of how the Native Americans were treated by those who came after them.  This book is recommended for nonfiction readers. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

 


Demming Guo and his mother Polly don't have much time together.  Polly came to the United States undocumented and had Demming there, making him a citizen.  But she sent him back to China to live with his grandfather when he was one as she didn't have anyone to watch him and had to work to pay back her passage.  Demming came back to New York and Polly when he was five after his grandfather died.  By then, Polly had given up factory work and was working in a nail salon, living with her boyfriend Leon, his sister Vivian and her son Michael.  

Demming had from five to twelve with his mother, the person he adored above all others.  Then she started getting antsy and talked about moving them to Florida.  When she disappeared, everyone thought she had gone without Demming or telling anyone.  Eventually, Vivian signed Demming over to social services and he was adopted by a set of white college professors in New England.

He had lost all track of his mother and had no hope of finding her.  He went back to New York only to find Leon, Michael and Vivian gone also from their apartment.  Demming grew up being called Daniel by his parents.  They wanted him to follow them into an academic career.  Demming wanted to play music and went back to the city to play with a friend from high school.  Just as they were about to break through, Demming's got into gambling and debt.  He lost his friends over money and lost his parents over refusal to do what they wanted.

But he was contacted out of the blue by Michael and eventually found Leon in China and from there he found his mother's number.  She had been in China all those years, deported back in an ICE sweep but never contacting Demming as she had no way of finding him.  He starts talking with her and the connection is instantaneous across the years.  Will he reconnect?

Lisa Ko has written a haunting story of connection and family.  What makes a family?  Is it the blood connection or is it whoever shows up to take care of a child.  Both Demming and Polly are restless souls, constantly moving and changing their lives to try to find a fit.  Polly is ambitious and determined to make a life that is comfortable while Demming just wants to find a place to belong.  This novel was a National Book Award Finalist and is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

Monday, May 6, 2024

Scarecrow Has A Gun by Michael Paul Kozlowsky

 

On the first night Sean and Gina leave their baby, Nike, with a babysitter, Gina is killed in their apartment.  Sean was there but knocked out.  The police have never solved the case, even now sixteen years later.  Sean is now with another woman who he has a daughter with.  But he can't move past the grief and uncertainty of that night.  If only he could remember.

At work, he is in a strange group.   His boss, a business entrepreneur has created a 'Widowers Club' as he himself has been widowed.  Every year there is a competition between the men in this club and the winner advances through the company.  This year Sean wins and his prize is a new technology.  It's called a Memory Palace and it replays a person's memories.

Now Sean is sure he will be able to find the answers he has wanted for so long.  But that memory doesn't come up at first.  He relives his childhood and his time with his own parents.  He relives his courtship of Gina and that of his current partner.  He revisits the birth of his son and realizes that what is shown on the memory palace doesn't match his own memories.  Now he starts to see more contradictions between what he has always believed to be true about his past and the reality.  Will he find the truth?

This is an interesting look at the science of memories and how two different people might remember the same event very differently.  What is reality?  What is truth?  I listened to this novel and the narrator really brought Sean to life, his voice exactly how I imagined Sean would sound.  As Sean delves deeper into his past life, he sees the way forward to living the rest of it.  This book is recommended for thriller readers.  

Sunday, May 5, 2024

The Mercy Of The Tide by Keith Rossen

 

Riptide, Oregon is a small Oregon fishing town, the kind of town where kids can't wait to leave.  It is further depressed by a recent car wreck that killed two women.  One was the sheriff's wife and the other was a wife and mother of two children, Sam and Trina.  Sam is a senior planning on a road trip after graduation with his friend but now trying to think of a way to tell him the trip is off after all their planning and saving.  He needs to take care of his little sister, Trina who is nine and reading books about nuclear holocaust to try to take back control of her life.

Things start happening.  Sam, Trina and his friend find a skeleton buried in the local park, an Indian girl from a century ago who was killed by an animal.  On the beach, feral dogs and cats are being found mutilated maybe by an descendant of that animal.  Hayslip, a deputy fighting depression and alcohol, becomes obsessed with the skeleton and it's ties to a mystic Indian superstition.  When a new death occurs and appears to also be by the same animal, he spins out of control and is put on suspension.

Keith Rossen is an author and graphic designer.  He has created a world in a small town where everyone knows everyone and their business and depend on each other to make it through.  The hero of the book is Sam, who although no whiz kid, is a kind guy who is loyal and takes care of everyone around him, the kind of kid who is often overlooked.  The various threads weave together to end up in a climax that satisfies the reader.  This book is recommended for literary fiction readers.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

The Black Hour by Lori Rader Day

 


Amelia Emmet is headed back to work after a year away.   She is a sociology professor at a private college in Chicago but last year has not been her finest.  She broke up with her long term partner, Doyle, who is also her department head.  She became dissatisfied with her latest work in progress and burned it ceremonially on her grill.  Worst of all, as the semester was ending, she was shot in the hallway outside of her office.  The student who shot her then killed himself.

Amelia barely survived and after months of hospitalization and rehab is still dependent on pain pills and a cane.  But she is determined to claw back as much of her life as she can.  On her first day back, she hires a graduate assistant, Nathaniel, to help in the classroom but also help her personally when needed.  She makes the rounds with her peers in the department and discovers her old boyfriend got married while she was away.  She teaches her first class although the stares and whispers tell her that the rumors are still alive.  No one believes Amelia when she insists she had never met or had any relationship with the student who shot her.  Many think she was having an affair with him.

Amelia is determined to find out what happened that day.  There are lots of threads to pull on.  Her new graduate assistant seems to have a hidden motive for working for her.  There's a colleague who has been in competition with her since they both arrived and now he has pulled ahead of her.  A reporter is determined to use Amelia's story to make his big break.  There is the head of the college suicide hotline who seems to think that Amelia might need his help in her personal life.  Other students such as the boy's former roommate and a privileged legacy student.  All seem to hold a piece of the puzzle but can Amelia retrieve those pieces and solve her mystery?

Lori Rader-Day is a mystery writer who lives in Chicago.  She is a past president of the Sisters In Crime organization and has won various mystery awards such as the Agatha and Anthony awards.  Amelia's story rings true both in her recovery and determination to win back as much of her old life as she can and her desire to move forward with a new life that suits her better.  The mystery has several twists and turns and the reader will find themselves engaged in the various personalities and conflicts.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.