Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Fiction Released the Week of 3/30/2010

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Barbary Pirates by William Dietrich
The Book of Murdock by Loren D. Estleman
The Book of Spies by Gayle Lynds
The Bradshaw Variations by Rachel Cusk
Deception by Jonathan Kellerman
The Divine Sacrifice by Tony Hays
Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff
Invisible Boy by Cornelia Read
Liars All by Jo Bannister
The Long Way Home by Robin Pilcher
The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
Pearl of China by Anchee Min
Rat by Fernanda Eberstadt
Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
Solar by Ian McEwan
What is This Thing Called Love? by Gene Wilder
Whiter Than Snow by Sandra Dallas
Without Mercy by Lisa Jackson

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz

This is the 7th book in the Arcane Society series, and the 1st in a sub-trilogy called the Dreamlight Trilogy. Most of the Arcane novels feature members of the Jones family who are the founders, and leaders of the Arcane Society. However, Fired Up brings the Winters family into focus. The Winters are historical rivals of the Jones family, and this novel begins to tell their side of the story.

Jack Winters contacts Chloe Harper, because he needs a dreamlight reader to locate and operate the Burning Lamp for him. The Burning Lamp was created by Nicholas Winters centuries ago, to increase his psychic ability. The Lamp ended up altering Nicholas' DNA, and this alteration has occasionally shown up in his descendants. Jack believes that he has inherited this alternation, and is afraid of becoming a psychic monster, if he cannot find a woman to operate the lamp for him.

Chloe Harper is a dreamlight reader, and a private investigator. At first, she believes that the Burning Lamp stories are simply myth, but she agrees to locate the lamp for Jack. Soon, she is embroiled in a conspiracy to expand and control psychic power, and in a fight for both hers and Jack's life.

I enjoyed learning about the Winters, and am intrigued by where this trilogy is going. I was initially disappointed to realize that Fallon Jones was not the main character in this story, but he still appeared frequently. Thankfully, it looks like his story is coming soon.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

Hannah Bryson is a marine architect. Her newest project is a decommissioned Russian submarine called the Silent Thunder. With her brother Connor by her side, they meet with their contact, Bradsworth, in Maine. Their job is go over the sub and make any modifications to it, so the public can tour the Silent Thunder. But before anything really gets done, Connor is murder and Hannah is determined to find out why.

Bradsworth, who turns out to be CIA, won't help Hannah and tries to persuade her to let it drop. But she can't. So with the help of a mysterious Russian named Kirov, Hannah will do anything to find out what happened to Connor. Kirov has his own agenda. He is out for revenge against a man named Pavski. Pavski murdered Kirov's crew mates aboard the Silent Thunder and also his wife. It looks like all the murders are related and together Hannah and Kirov will find Pavski and make him pay.

This is the first book written together by Iris and Roy Johansen. I really enjoyed it. Silent Thunder kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't wait to find out how it would end. Their next collaboration is Storm Cycle.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert

Don't read this book if you are expecting a compelling love story. Read it if you want to understand the history of marriage and if you're ready to examine your own feeling about the institution.

The author of the mega-hit, Eat, Pray, Love, had quite a lot to live up to when she embarked on this "follow-up". Her style of writing is very honest and very relatable so I found this book easy to read, despite the jumping from history to travel narrative to memoir.

The book starts with the exile she and her love, "Felipe" are forced into when U.S. immigration decides that Felipe" can no longer keep coming and going from the U.S. unless they are married. Liz and Felipe spend a year wandering around Southeast Asia waiting and waiting for the government to allow them back to the U.S. to get married. But does Liz really want to get married? Why should she? She just spent a year of her life trying to heal from the heartache of a divorce, why would she want to plunge into marriage again? She decides to set out to understand the history of marriage and explore it in as many cultures as she can in an attempt to convince herself that it's okay to try again.

While the topic is certainly not light, I found it refreshing and thought-provoking. It certainly made me think that if I had spent this much time thinking about marriage before I actually got married, I might not be divorced now!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New Fiction Released the Week of 3/23/2010

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

212 by Alafair Burke
Bite Me by Christopher Moore
The Bone Thief by Jefferson Bass
Caught by Harlan Coben
The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen
Fragile Beasts by Tawni O'Dell
Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott
Known to Evil by Walter Mosley
Losing Charlotte by Heather Clay
Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger by Lee Smith
Shattered by Karen Robards
The Sheen of Silk by Anne Perry
Still Midnight by Denise Mina
Take Three by Karen Kingsbury

Monday, March 22, 2010

Running Hot by Jayne Ann Krentz

Running Hot is the fifth book in the Arcane Society series. It opens up with an unnamed woman who can read auras knowing that her boss is planning to kill her. In the confrontation that follows, she escapes and goes on the run.
We then jump ahead to Hawaii where Luther Malone works at a bar that caters to sensitives, the Arcane Society's term for people with paranormal abilities. He is recovering from an injury from a job he did for J & J, an investigative agency for the Society, and from his marriage and former job as a cop. Luther decides to take a new J & J job with a Society librarian who can see incredible detail in people's auras. J & J is sending her to Hawaii to read the aura of a potential serial killer, and Luther is supposed to be her bodyguard.

Luther and the librarian, who we find out is Grace Renquist, have instant chemistry. Grace has begun a new life as a librarian in the Society's Bureau of Genealogy, after escaping from her homicidal boss. Both Luther and Grace are extremely powerful sensitives who have struggled, as a result, to find people they can relate to. They stumble upon a meeting of Nightshade operatives, the rogue group that seeks to enhance their paranormal powers illicitly, and realize that the potential murder mystery they were supposed to solve is in fact a larger and more dangerous conspiracy.

Grace and Luther have good chemistry, and are well rounded characters with interesting histories. The action is lively, and the tone playful, yet sexy. I enjoyed the continued story of the Arcane Society, and I'm waiting for the book where Fallon, the head of J & J, finally meets his match. This was definitely a fun read.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

Picoult's seventeenth novel is another page-turning amalgam of medicine and law, but this time the focus is on an eighteen year-old high school student with Asperger's Syndrome, Jacob Hunt. For Jacob, being on the Autism spectrum means that everything about him is extraordinary. In addition to having be the first one to use the shower, having to have all his clothes organized by the colors of the rainbow, eating only a certain color of food contingent upon the day of the week, Jacob has a strong passion for CSI and must watch Crimebusters at 4:30 everyday. His obsession with crime scene investigations is so strong that he has been known to show up at crime scenes, much to the chagrin of the Townsend, Vermont PD, that he listens for on his police radio.

Anything that deviates from his schedule results in a complete meltdown, a violent demonstration of frustration that is equivalent to a toddler's temper tantrum, but by a 180 lb grown adult. Jacob's quirks have caused hardships on both his brother Theo, who is embarrased to be known in school as the brother of a freak, and his mother Emma, who has spent her life dedicated to making Jacob's world more comfortable. In fact, the boys' father, not wanting to deal with Jacob's issues, bailed on the family when Theo was just a baby, leaving Emma to raise two boys on her own. She tells her sons that they must adhere to the house rules: the most important one being "to take care of your brother, he is the only one you have."

When Jacob's social skills tutor, graduate student Jess Olgivy, goes missing, police first look at her boyfriend Mark Maguire. After Jess's body is found and when Emma discovers evidence that Jacob could be involved, police arrest Jacob for this horrible crime of violence. In a moment of panic, Emma hires lawyer Oliver Bond, an attorney with little criminal law experience, to help her save her son.

Picoult doesn't reveal what really happened until the last few pages, leaving readers anxious to get to the end. As usual, she has done her homework when it comes to learning about her subject, in this case autism spectrum disorders, so readers will be educated while being immersed in a character's personal story. Readers who enjoy Picoult's signature twist endings may be disappointed in this latest offering; however, those who shied away from her books because of the sad endings may want to give House Rules a chance.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate

Rebecca Strand is not having a good week. Her dad just died of cancer and before he died he dropped a bombshell. Rebecca has a half sister named Joy. He explained when Rebecca was two he had affair when they were on vacation in Maine. Her mom and him were having problems and he strayed. When they got back home to New York he ended it and stayed with Rebecca's mom. Then he received a phone call telling him that he was going to be a father again. Eight months later Joy was born. So he did the cowardly thing. He moved his family and got an unlisted phone number and that was the end of that.

Rebecca is in disbelief. She decided she has to find her sister. Joy is the only family she has left. Rebecca's boyfriend, Michael, doesn't want her to look for Joy. But Rebecca doesn't listen. She isn't enjoying her job as a paralegal, Michael and her aren't in love anymore, and she really wants a sister.

Once in Maine, Rebecca is a little scared but determined. What she didn't plan for was Joy shutting the door in her face. But Rebecca was never a quitter. She stays in the town hoping Joy will come around. While there Rebecca meets Theo, the local carpenter. She is very much attracted to him but is still with Michael. Then she meets Charlie. A stray dog who she falls in love with. Then she sees the house. The house she was meant to have.

With all these signs pointing for her to stay in Maine and leave New York, Rebecca is confused. And it doesn't help when Joy starts to come around and they start building a relationship. Now Rebecca has to decide: stay in Maine or go back to New York.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Fiction Released the Week of 3/16/2010

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Capitol Betrayal by William Bernhardt
Dimiter by William Peter Blatty
Down to the Wire by David Rosenfelt
Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Hazard by Gardiner Harris
In the Company of Angels by Thomas Kennedy
The Irresistible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald
King, Ship, and Sword by Dewey Lambdin
The Pallbearers by Stephen J. Cannell
The Queen's Lover by Vanora Bennett
The Spellman's Strike Again by Lisa Lutz
Take Your Pleasure Where You Find It by J.D. Mason
Think Twice by Lisa Scottoline
Trade of Queens by Charles Stross
Wedding Season by Katie Fforde
Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie
The Winter Thief by Jenny White

Sunday, March 14, 2010

White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz

This is the 2nd in the Arcane Society novels, and the first in a contemporary setting. Clare Lancaster is a level-ten human lie detector. This makes relationships complicated, and many sensitives uncomfortable with her. Jake Salter is a level-ten hunter, who also makes people uncomfortable. However, Clare and Jake are immediately attracted to each other, instead of intimidated.

Jake is in Arizona, working on an investigation for J & J, when Clare shows up at her father's annual party. She is the product of a one night stand that her father, Archer Glazebrook, had years ago, which makes her relationship with her father and his wife tense. However, she is close to her half sister, Elizabeth, who was recently widowed. In fact, Clare helped Elizabeth escape her former husband, Brad, before he was conveniently found dead. Most of the locals think that Clare killed Brad, because she was the one who found the body, but she was not prosecuted and she returned home to San Francisco.

However, now that Clare is back in town, she comes across another body. Few people believe her innocence, but Jake does and is willing to help her discover the truth. Along the way, family secrets are exposed, a conspiracy is revealed, and two people who didn't believe that they would ever be able to make a relationship work, fall in love.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Continuing the story from 2009's Very Valentine, Trigiani creates a new enterprise for her endearing protagonist, shoe designer Valentine Roncalli. Following Grandma Teodora's wedding, Gram says that she is leaving both Valentine and her brother, Alfred, in charge of the family's Greenwich Village business, Angelini Shoes. Valentine will continue to manage the creative side whereas Alfred, a former Wall Street banker, will handle all the finances. Valentine is less than enthused to be sharing her passion with her brother, who is critical and sometimes cold-hearted, but vows to be open-minded.

With Angelini's hefty debt on her shoulders, Valentine is hoping her vision of a new design, the Bella Rosa, will save the business. While working on her design, Valentine comes across an old sketch signed by a Rafael Angelini and is perplexed by the discovery of a family member whose name has never been mentioned. Upon further research, Valentine learns that she has a cousin named Roberta in Buenos Aires who runs a shoe factory.

Roberta, who refuses to talk about what happened over the phone, invites Valentine to visit her and the factory in Argentina. Valentine, with the mission of not only mending the strife that has carried on for generations in their family but also to strike a business deal, arrives at her hotel and is greeted by a pleasant surprise: Gianluca, the Italian man who may just be the "one."

However, Valentine's inability to make Gianluca a priority in Buenos Aires has him questioning her commitment to him and their future. What's more is even though her professional life is starting to move in a positive direction, the failing marriages and relationships of her friends and family makes her wonder if she could ever truly have success in love.

What makes Trigiani's books so delightful is her characters, who are always so genuine and relatable, and Brava, Valentine is no exception. In addition to the lovable cast, Trigiani peppers the novel with a exotic locale and descriptions of food and decor to die for. I can't wait to see how Valentine's future evolves in the next book in this proposed trilogy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

New Fiction Released the Week of 3/09/2010

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman
Bone Fire by Mark Spragg
Deep Shadow by Randy Wayne White
The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo
Fate of the Jedi Backlash by Aaron Allston
Hell Gate by Linda Fairstein
Lost by Alice Lichtenstein
Secret Daughter by Shilpi Gowda
The Silent Sea by Clive Cussler
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
Subterranean by James Rollins
The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Jacqueline Carey is known for her epic historical fantasies, but Santa Olivia is a jewel of a novel set in the dystopic near future. A sickness has ravaged Mexico and the United States, and Texas becomes a buffer zone between the two countries. Santa Olivia is a town in the former state of Texas that becomes Outpost No. 12. The people who choose to stay in their town, can no longer leave and are under military rule. They are completely isolated, and belong to no country. They have no idea what is going on in the world outside Santa Olivia. In the midst of this bleak setting, Carey sets her coming of age story, and modern werewolf fairytale.

Loup Garron is the daughter of Carmen Garron and Martin. Carmen is a resident of Santa Olivia who meets Martin at the diner she works at. Although he is dressed like any other soldier, there is an unusual stillness, and awareness about him. Carmen senses that he is different, and soon Martin has moved in with her and her son. Their relationship progresses, until Martin has to run because his cover is about to be blown. Martin is a genetically engineered soldier who
escaped from the military, and was on his way over the wall, until he met Carmen. Carmen helps him escape, but she is already pregnant.

When Loup is born, is becomes evident that she has inherited her father's unique abilities: strength, speed, and an inability to feel fear. She grows up under the guidance of her brother Tommy, after Carmen dies. Tommy works and trains at the local gym, where he hopes to be the first Santa Olivia resident to win a ticket out of town. For the general is a huge boxing fan, and he promises to give any resident who can win a match against his soldiers two tickets out of town. But when Tommy is betrayed, Loup decides to avenge her brother by beating his opponent in the ring. She begins to secretly train, using the help of her fellow orphans at the church. She also helps the town by disguising herself as the town's patron saint, and using her speed and strength to avenge their wrongs. Once again, she is aided by the orphans. Slowly she grows stronger, and waits for the day that she can fight Tommy's opponent.

This is a modern fairytale, and Carey uses the tone of a storyteller to emphasize this. The language is lyrical, yet crisp, and the characters are wonderfully drawn. While I loved Loup's story, I was just as interested in what was going to happen to her brother and friends. By the end, I was anxiously awaiting the resolution, and was thrilled find out that Carey was going to write another book set in this world. This was one of the best books that I read last year.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Horns by Joe Hill

Ig Perrish had it all - once. He grew up in a wealthy, stable family. He was on his way to London for an internship. He had his girlfriend Merrin. That all changed the night Merrin was brutally murdered, and he became a suspect.

Although he was never charged, most people in Gideon, New Hampshire thought that he was guilty, and that his rich parents had pulled some strings to get him off.

So now he’s THAT guy, and he finds himself, one year later, in a very dark place. He wakes up in his car, hung over, and discovers that he doesn’t remember what happened the night before. And apparently, he’s growing horns. Out of his head. And he finds that along with the horns, he’s got a strange new power, one that’s a blessing and a curse. With his new look and his new abilities, Ig sets out to find out who the real murderer is and to get his revenge.

Beware: this book will keep you up at night – because you can’t put it down. And, it’s kind of creepy. In a really good way.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Fiction Released the Week of 3/02/2010

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
The Bad Kitty Lounge by Michael Wiley
Blood Hina by Naomi Hirahara
Blood Vines by Erica Spindler
Cook the Books by Jessica Conant-Park
Freeze Frame by Peter May
Game Over by Fern Michaels
The Highly Effective Detective Plays the Fool by Ricard Yancey
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Hush by Kate White
The Lady and the Poet by Maeve Haran
The Last Illusion by Rhys Bowen
Murder in the Palais Royal by Cara Black
One Good Dog by Susan Wilson
Our Lady of Immaculate Deception by Nancy Martin
The Teaberry Strangler by Laura Childs

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd

The FBI is in over their heads, and this isn't the first time. An extortionist group who calls themselves the Rubico Pentad is killing individuals who have bad blood with the FBI. To prevent further murders, the group demands the FBI give them $2 million in cash at a specified drop-off location.

However, something goes horribly awry during the drop-off, and now the FBI is out the cash and an agent. They need someone who has the savvy to outsmart this group and who can also be trusted not to leak anything to the media. Deputy Assistant Director Kate Bannon calls in a former agent who had recently disarmed two gunned men during a bank robbery and not wanting any attention for his act of heroism, walked away from the scene.

Stephen Vail was a rogue agent who got fired because of his inability to trust the Bureau and authority in general who now works as a brick layer in Chicago. After some convincing, Vail agrees to help with the case under certain conditions. Little does he know he will be thrown into a series of chases and explosions where his life is jeopardized more than once. The FBI is counting on Stephen to retrieve the lost money and capture this group before the next murder.

Nothing in the story is what it seems and no one can be trusted. I hope that this is the start to a series, as Vail is a character readers will want to see again. The Bricklayer is a first rate thriller from debut author Noah Boyd who was a former FBI agent himself and who certainly is a master at his craft.