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British Crime Writers' Assoc
2013 (Fiction)
Ghost Riders of Ordebec
Click to search this book in our catalog   Fred Vargas
2013 (Fiction)
Alex
Click to search this book in our catalog   Pierre Lemaitre
2012 (Fiction)
The Potter?s Field
Click to search this book in our catalog   Andrea Camilleri
 
2011 (Fiction)
Three Seconds
 Anders Roslund, Borge Helstrom

Book list *Starred Review* Piet Hoffman is a devoted husband and the father of two young sons. He's also an ex-con who has been working undercover for the Stockholm police for nine years. Code named Paula, Piet has risen through the ranks of the Polish mafia and is chosen to lead the Poles' effort to control the supply of amphetamines in Sweden's prisons. To do that, Paula must get himself arrested and sent to a maximum security prison, wipe out the existing supplier, and keep himself alive until he has all the information needed for the police to move on the gang. Roslund, a former journalist, and Hellstrom, a former criminal, have concocted a brilliant thriller that posits a nearly literal invasion of Sweden by East European criminals allied with former state security agents. Combine that with a morally compromised police and Ministry of Justice effort to combat the invasion, and you have a genuine crisis. Piet's growing fear of discovery or betrayal and his angst at his beloved wife's ignorance of his work ratchet up the story's tension page by page and make the novel extremely difficult to put down. Named the Swedish Crime Novel of the Year in 2009, Three Seconds puts Roslund and Hellstrom in the company of Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson. Crime fiction rarely gets as good as this.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Ex-con Piet Hoffmann, who for the past nine years has led a double life as a family man and a police snitch infiltrating the Stockholm drug world, takes on his most dangerous assignment yet in Roslund and Hellstrom's thrilling follow-up to Box 21. Hoffmann must go undercover at AspsAs, a maximum security prison, and take control of the methamphetamine sales so the police can dismantle the spread of drugs from the inside out. The murder of a man during one of Hoffmann's preliminary meetings with the members of Wojtek, the local Polish mafia, threatens the entire plan and puts Det. Supt. Ewert Grens, the returning hero from Box, on the case. Once Hoffmann steps inside the prison walls all hell breaks loose, and he's forced to fend for himself when it appears that everyone on either side of the law wants him dead. The authors ratchet the suspense beautifully right up to the final, inevitable confrontation. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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2010 (Fiction)
Blacklands
 Blinda Bauer
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2009 (Fiction)
A Whispered Name
 William Brodrick
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2008 (Fiction)
Blood From Stone
Click to search this book in our catalog   Frances Fyfield
2007 (Fiction)
The Broken Shore
Click to search this book in our catalog   Peter Temple
Library Journal : Starred Review. Despite our common Anglo-Saxon heritage, Australian mysteries have never done well in this country. Perhaps they aren't exotic enough for readers who prefer their murders set in the chilly climes of Scandinavia or the sultry heat of Italy. But if this superb novel by one of Oz's finest crime writers breaks out here, pop open a can of Fosters beer and get ready for an Aussie crime wave. Melbourne homicide detective Joe Cashin, reassigned temporarily to his hometown on the south Australian coast after an incident that left him severely injured and a partner dead, is called to investigate the brutal attack on Charles Burgoyne, a prominent and wealthy local citizen. Suspicion soon falls on three Aboriginal teenagers; two are killed in a botched stakeout, and the third drowns himself in the Kettle, a jagged piece of coastline also known as the Broken Shore. Case closed, but Joe, who has Aboriginal cousins, probes further and uncovers far darker crimes. Temple's (Identity Theory) eighth novel deservedly won the Ned Kelly Award, Australia's highest crime fiction prize; in prose that is poetic in its lean spareness, though not without laconic humor (a character has the "clotting power of a lobster"), it offers a haunting portrait of racial and class conflicts, police corruption, and strained yet unbreakable family ties. A helpful glossary defines such colorful Down Under terms as "stickybeak." Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/07.]—Wilda Williams, Library Journal

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Publishers Weekly : Starred Review. In Temple's beautifully written eighth crime novel, Joe Cashin, a city homicide cop recovering from an injury, returns to the quiet coastal area of South Australia where he grew up. There he investigates the beating death of elderly millionaire Charles Bourgoyne. After three aboriginal teens try to sell Bourgoyne's missing watch, the cops ambush the boys, killing two. When the department closes the case, Joe, a melancholy, combative cynic sympathetic to underdogs, decides to find the truth on his own. His unauthorized inquiry, which takes him both back in time and sideways into a netherworld of child pornography and sexual abuse, leads to a shocking conclusion. Temple (An Iron Rose), who has won five Ned Kelly Awards, examines Australian political and social divisions underlying the deceptively simple murder case. Many characters, especially the police, exhibit the vicious racism that still pervades the country's white society. Byzantine plot twists and incisively drawn characters combine with stunning descriptions of the wild, lush, menacing Australian landscape to make this an unforgettable read. (June)

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2006 (Fiction)
Raven Black
Click to search this book in our catalog   Ann Cleeves
 
2006 (Nonfiction)
The Dagenham Murder
 Linda Rhodes
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2005 (Gold)
Silence of the Grave
 Arnaldur Indridason
Library Journal: Led by Sweden's Henning Mankell (see below) and Norway's Karin Fossum, Scandinavian mystery writers have become increasingly popular in this country. In the second of an Icelandic series to be translated into English (the first was Jar City), Reykjavik detective Erlendur begins investigating the elderly inhabitants of an area after children find an old human skeleton partially uncovered at a building site. Concurrently, the author tells the story of a woman, horribly abused by her sadistic husband, and her three children living in fear of the father. Yet a third theme involves Erlendur's estranged daughter, drug-addicted and now pregnant, who thrusts herself back into his life. Like the long, cold Scandinavian winters, this novel features much darkness, yet as in the Icelandic sagas the author has studied, there is some hope amidst much pain and suffering. Ably translated, this title won the 2005 British Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger, a controversial choice that forced the CWA to create a separate category for mysteries in translation. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 6/1/06.]—RolandPerson, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale

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Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. In Indridason's excellent second mystery (after 2005's Jar City), a skeleton, buried for more than 50 years, is uncovered at a building site on the outskirts of Reykjavík. Who is it? How did he or she die? And was it murder? The police wonder, chief among them the tortured, introspective Inspector Erlendur, introduced in Jar City. While an archeologist excavates the burial site, several other narratives unfold: a horrifying story of domestic abuse set during WWII, a search for missing persons that unearths almost-forgotten family secrets involving some of the city's most prominent citizens, and Erlendur's own painful family story (his estranged, drug-addicted daughter is in a coma, after miscarrying her child). All these strands are compelling, but it's the story of the physical and psychological battering of a young mother of three by her husband that resonates most. And the denouement of this astonishingly vivid and subtle novel is unexpected and immensely satisfying. Indridason has won the CWA Golden Dagger Award.

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2005 (Silver)
Deadly Web
 Barbara Nadel
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2004 (Gold)
Blacklist
Click to search this book in our catalog   Sara Paretsky
2004 (Silver)
Flesh and Blood
Click to search this book in our catalog   John Harvey
Library Journal: After 30 years in the Nottinghamshire police, Frank Elder has retired to escape hassles and an unfaithful wife. Yet even fleeing to Land's End at the southwest tip of England can't prevent his being dogged by memories of the unsolved disappearance of a teenage girl. Soon Elder is drawn into helping the police investigate several violent crimes similar to those done by a man he helped catch 15 years ago. Past seems to merge with present, especially when Elder's own 16-year-old daughter is kidnapped. After ten highly acclaimed Charlie Resnick novels and a standalone (In a True Light), Harvey returns to the procedural (Elder even meets Resnick very briefly) for which he is so rightly praised. Tight plotting, gritty dialog, sympathetic characters and a lot of gray areas are the trademarks of a master still in great form. Highly recommended. Harvey lives in London.—Roland Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale

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2003 (Gold)
Fox Evil
Click to search this book in our catalog   Minette Walters
 
2003 (Silver)
Half-Broken Things
 Morag Joss
Library Journal: British suspense writer Joss (Funeral Music) won CWA's Silver Dagger Award for this novel about Jean, a housesitter being forced into retirement. With nothing to lose and nowhere to go, Jean moves into the master bedroom of the lovely Walden Manor, her final posting. She dons the owners' clothes, raids the wine cellar, and assembles an impromptu family that includes Michael, a petty criminal, and Steph, a pregnant woman searching for a place to belong. Joss does a credible job of showing how Jean and her guests at Walden Manor find a sense of community they've never before experienced. But then tension mounts as the owners' return draws ever closer and the interlopers become more desperately ensconced in their borrowed home. Jean pleads for understanding for herself and her fellow cohorts, but they are so cold-blooded in their pursuit of happiness that the reader may end up racing through the story as much to get away from these horrifying people as to find out what happens to them. Recommended where suspense fiction is in demand.—Jane la Plante, Minot State Univ. Lib., ND

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Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. British author Joss's brilliantly conceived, finely executed novel, which captured the CWA's Silver Dagger Award, offers psychological suspense of the highest order. The catalyst for a trio of misfits is Jean, a 64-year-old housesitter on the verge of forced retirement. Her last assignment is lengthy: nine months alone at an isolated country house, Walden Manor, whose wealthy owners are abroad for an extended stay. Jean's first casual liberties with the house are almost accidental. Then, as she begins to think of the place as home, she becomes bolder. She welcomes Michael, a middle-aged, less-than-successful thief, who becomes her "lost" son, and the pregnant, unmarried and abused Steph, who becomes her daughter-in-law. In Joss's capable hands, these three lonely losers begin to craft a family life. Even as they use another's property to do so, they're as appealing as they are appalling. How long will their idyll last? How far will they go to preserve it? What crimes are too great? This is a must-read. Joss is also the author of the Sara Selkirk mystery series (Fruitful Bodies, etc.).

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2002 (Gold)
The Athenian Murders
 Jose Carlos Samoza
Library Journal : In his U.S. debut, ambitious Spanish novelist Somoza parallels a murder at Plato's Academy and the predicament of a contemporary translator, who finds that a text about the murder speaks to him in a direct and frightening way.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : In a highly original and literary approach to crime fiction, Spanish writer Somoza's gripping English-language debut interweaves text from an ancient Greek manuscript with an account of the growing anxieties of its modern translator. In the Greek text, Heracles Pontor, Decipherer of Enigmas, is called upon to solve the grisly killings of young men at Plato's Academy of Philosophy. Athenian tutor Diagoras, a sort of Watson to Pontor's Holmes, comes to ask the sage's help after the corpse of a handsome ephebe (adolescent) is discovered. It is thought at first that he was attacked by wolves, but neither of the ancient sleuths accepts this explanation, and their investigations lead to interviews with family members, mistresses and schoolmates of a mounting number of victims. Insidiously, the translator himself becomes a murder target in the unfolding plot. As he looks for secret messages in the story (left in accordance with a Greek literary technique called eidesis), he begins to notice inexplicable allusions to himself in the text: Someone is reading the scroll right now, deciphering our thoughts and actions.... Such references become more threatening near the suspenseful buildup to the final chapter, especially when he identifies a statue of himself in the studio of a rapacious sculptor rumored to be part of a sacrificial cult terrifying the city. Somoza relies on lengthy footnotes to convey his translator's insights and growing fears, sometimes causing the modern and the ancient narratives to trip over each another, but generally moving the tale along smoothly. Underlying the text are homoerotic and pagan themes, giving an unvarnished and compelling view of Greek life in 400 B.C.

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2002 (Silver)
The Final Country
 James Crumley
Library Journal : Even Crumley's reliably sharp writing can't save this novel from its unlikable hero and convoluted plot. P.I. Milo Milodragovitch (Bordersnakes), usually a self-centered and reckless type, spends the entire novel trying to save a fugitive from being unfairly treated by the Texas justice system. Throughout, Crumley provides a steady stream of fighting, dull conversation, and shady but colorless characters. Milo's vices certainly make him a distinctive character in P.I. fiction, but they also make him difficult to care about. Not only is his sex-and-drug lifestyle unbelievable but it quickly becomes monotonous. This is certainly not one of Crumley's better efforts. Still, his wit, his descriptions of the Texas landscape, and the prose in general an excellent example of classic hard-boiled fiction make it worth consideration by public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/15/01.] Craig L. Shufelt, Lane P.L., Fairfield, OH

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2002 (First Novel)
The Cutting Room
Click to search this book in our catalog   Louise Welsh
Publishers Weekly: Yet another talented Scottish author makes a debut with this dark and twisty thriller, boasting a highly unusual hero and a compelling background that shows extensive inside knowledge. The protagonist ("hero" is not quite the word) is Rilke, a promiscuously gay auction dealer working for a struggling Glasgow firm. On an appraisal call one day at the house of Roddy McKindless, a wealthy and recently deceased citizen, he comes across an extensive library of pornography, which includes pictures suggesting a "snuff"-the slaughter of a woman for sexual purposes. Rilke finds himself, to his surprise, engaged in trying to find out who the girl in the picture was, and whether she was really killed. Using his seamy contacts in the city-a pornographer, a girl who poses nude for eager "cameramen," a shady bookseller-he sets out on his peculiar odyssey, pausing from time to time for a quick and wordless sexual encounter, and becoming engaged along the way in a plot with the glamorous and world-weary Rose, who runs his auction house, to abscond with the proceeds of a highly profitable sale. Rilke is hardly a likable character, but as Welsh presents him, he is so witty, self-aware and oddly vulnerable to the occasional decent instinct that he becomes disarming. The Glasgow color is expertly applied; Welsh obviously knows her auction business, and also how to keep an intriguing story moving. She is not good at action, however, and the actual climax, in which the mystery of McKindless's death is solved, is oddly muted and unconvincing. This is one of those books, however, in which the journey is infinitely more beguiling than the destination.

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2001 (Gold)
Sidetracked
Click to search this book in our catalog   Henning Mankell
Library Journal : A young girl spends a day almost catatonic in an isolated farm field, then immolates herself. Sweden's retired minister of justice--a man with a pornographic interest in young girls--takes his usual evening walk on the beach and meets a murderer's axe. With these possibly connected cases on his plate, series policeman Kurt Wallander (Faceless Killers, LJ 12/96) and his team interrupt their personal agendas to identify the girl, expose unsavory personal/political secrets, and deal with the subsequent connected murder of an art dealer. Full of emotion yet cleanly written, apparently straightforward yet fraught with intriguing revelations, Mankell's latest mystery is strongly recommended.

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : Told from the perspectives of both cop and criminal, Mankell's third Kurt Wallander mystery revolves around the veteran Swedish inspector's search for a savage serial killer who scalps his victims after delivering a fatal hatchet blow. The novel opens as Wallander is called to a farmer's field, where he helplessly witnesses a teenage girl's self-immolation. The suicide unsettles the inspector, who can't understand why someone so young would kill herself. As the police try to identify the young woman, the serial killer's first victim, a former justice minister, is discovered on a beach in a wealthy neighborhood. Three more people are found murdered and scalped, and other signs of violence suggest that the perpetrator is becoming increasingly agitated. Following standard procedure, Wallander and his crew try to link the four victims, all male, a difficult task because their lives never seem to have intersected. Using American profiling methods as well as his own intuition, Wallander struggles to make headway in the case. What he doesn't consider, and what readers know, is that the murderer isn't a man but a boy, who hopes to revive his catatonic sister by the ritual presentation of the scalps. Mankell's meticulously detailed descriptions of the inspector's investigation--and his often lyrical portrayal of Wallander's struggle to rearrange his thought processes in order to catch the criminal--are masterful. The author's treatment of modern themes such as juvenile killers and broken families adds richness to what is essentially a straightforward police procedural. But above all, the novel stands out for its nuanced evocation of even the peripheral characters. Winner of Sweden's 1997 Best Crime Novel of the Year, this is another terrific offering from the talented Mankell.

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2001 (Silver)
Forty Words for Sorrow
Click to search this book in our catalog   Giles Blunt
Library Journal : In recent years, our literary neighbors to the north have produced a wide array of fine fiction. Now comes Canadian Blunt's intelligent second novel (after Cold Eye). Set in the dead of winter in the small northern Ontario town of Algonquin Bay, it opens with the discovery in an abandoned mineshaft of the badly decomposed body of Katie Pine, a 13-year-old Chippewa girl who had disappeared several months before. Detective John Cardinal, demoted for insisting that Katie had not run away, is reinstated to work on the reopened case. In studying reports of other missing children, he begins to find a pattern that hints at a serial killer or killers. At the same time, Cardinal's new partner, French Canadian Lise Delorme, is secretly investigating him for possibly taking bribes from a drug runner. While an exciting crime story, the book is also a novel of place (the chilly isolation of a rural community is vividly portrayed) and a meditation on sorrow for the murdered children, for the emotionally damaged killers, and for Carpenter's mentally ill wife. "Eskimos, it is said, have forty different words for snow. Never mind about snow, Cardinal mused, what people really need is forty words for sorrow. Grief. Heartbreak. Desolation. There were not enough ." The only false note is a scene involving a librarian (no surprise there). Still, this is strongly recommended for patrons who want some substance in their mysteries. Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"

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Publishers Weekly : This brooding tale of a search for a serial killer in rural Ontario takes its title from the often-quoted fact that Eskimos have 40 words for snow. "What people really need is forty words for sorrow," thinks Det. John Cardinal, whose glum outlook aptly mirrors the mood of Blunt's atmospheric thriller. The story begins when the frozen body of 13-year-old Chippewa Katie Pine is discovered on one of the Manitou Islands near Algonquin Bay, Ontario. Cardinal, whose obsessive search for the missing girl when she first disappeared six months earlier got him kicked off the case, ends up back in the good graces of his superiors. Or so he thinks. But his new partner, Lisa Delorme, fresh from the Office of Special Investigations (think Internal Affairs), has been paired with Cardinal so she can covertly investigate him at the same time. Dogging Cardinal's record is his connection with drug dealer Kyle Corbett. Each time the police tried to bust Corbett, he was warned by someone on the inside; Cardinal, who is burdened with a guilty secret and a wife who's in and out of mental institutions, is the prime suspect. Focusing initially on Cardinal, Blunt (author of the praised Cold Eye) opens up the plot by chronicling what happens to the next potential victim of what the newspapers are calling the Windigo Killer. While the plot is formulaic (combining both a least-likely-suspect twist and a you-may-think-it's-over-but-it's-not finale), the plangent atmosphere gradually and effectively permeates the reader's consciousness. The characters achieve dimension slowly, like figures in a developing Polaroid, and then become vivid. Sorrow is palpable, and readers making their way through the book will feel like they're walking hunched over against a steady, chilling wind but the final destination, like Cardinal's final redemption, is well earned and well worth the trip. Agent, Helen Heller. (June 25)Forecast: Glowing advance praise from the likes of Jonathan Kellerman, Tony Hillerman and Lee Child augurs well for this deserving, intelligent thriller.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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2001 (First Novel)
The Earthquake Bird
 Susanna Jones
Library Journal : Though this small gem of a first novel revolves around a murder and is being billed as a psychological suspense, it defies ready categorization. Ten years after leaving her native Yorkshire for Tokyo, Lucy Fly, who uses her fluency in Japanese to translate technical documents, is arrested for killing her friend and countrywoman Lily Bridges, with whom she was seen arguing shortly before Lily disappeared. Lucy's story unfolds as neatly as origami, from her dysfunctional upbringing, including the death of a brother, through her sensuous love affair with Teiji, consummated shortly after their eyes meet for the first time. In concise prose perfectly suited to its setting, Jones reveals how Lucy loses both friend and lover and is at risk of losing even more. Jones, who worked as a teacher and radio script editor in Japan, captures the sense of a foreign country and culture and creates an unusually provocative protagonist. Word-of-mouth and book group interest alone would likely propel this to success. Recommended for public library fiction collections. Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : "If Lily had never met me she would be alive now," says Lucy Fly, the narrator of Jones's intriguing debut. She is being interrogated by Tokyo police for her friend Lily's murder. Making matters worse, Lucy's lover, Teiji, has also gone missing. Ten years ago, Lucy left behind an unhappy life in Yorkshire, England, to lose herself in the exotic, anonymous bustle of a faraway city. Now in her 30s, she is content with her job as a translator and her otherwise Spartan existence, fixating on Teiji, a photographer and loner rather like herself. Then she meets Lily, who also comes from Yorkshire and is on the lam from her stalker boyfriend. At first Lucy resents this reminder of her past, but she soon grows attached to the lonely, insecure girl. Lucy is full of contradictions: though once sexually promiscuous, she is jealous of Teiji's ex-lover, a mysterious woman who only seems to exist in his photographs. Jones's pacing is skillful and deliberate as she replays the troubling moments from Lucy's past distant and recent that seem to point to her guilt (for instance, Lily is not the first person of her acquaintance to have met an unfortunate end). The descriptions of Japan's landscapes, language, people and customs are delivered with fluency and intimacy, yet with the slightly detached clarity of an expat. Some readers may find Jones's intermingling of first- and third-person narration self-conscious and distracting "What I had chosen to share with him was my very first sexual encounter, Lucy's first crunch into the apple" and the hazy ending raises more questions than it answers. But this is less a whodunit than an examination of the slippery nature of truth and memory, obsessions and betrayals, all of which Jones handles with confidence and skill. National print advertising.

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2000 (Gold)
Motherless Brooklyn
 Jonathan Lethem
Library Journal : The short and shady life of Frank Minna ends in murder, shocking the four young men employed by his dysfunctional Brooklyn detective agency/limo service. The "Minna Men" have centered their lives around Frank, ever since he selected them as errand boys from the orphaned teen population at St. Vincent's Home. Most grateful is narrator Lionel. While not exactly well treated--his nickname is "Freakshow"--Tourette's-afflicted Lionel has found security as a Minna Man and is shattered by Frank's death. Lionel determines to become a genuine sleuth and find the killer. The ensuing plot twists are marked by clever wordplay, fast-paced dialog, and nonstop irony. The novel pays amusing homage to, and plays with the conventions of, classic hard-boiled detective tales and movies while standing on its own as a convincing whole. The author has applied his trademark genre-bending style to fine effect. Already well known among critics for his literary gifts, Lethem should gain a wider readership with this appealing book's debut. Recommended for most fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/99.]--Starr E. Smith, Marymount Univ. Lib., Arlington, VA

Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : Hard-boiled crime fiction has never seen the likes of Lionel Essrog, the barking, grunting, spasmodically twitching hero of Lethem's gonzo detective novel that unfolds amidst the detritus of contemporary Brooklyn. As he did in his convention-smashing last novel, Girl in Landscape, Lethem uses a blueprint from genre fiction as a springboard for something entirely different, a story of betrayal and lost innocence that in both novels centers on an orphan struggling to make sense of an alien world. Raised in a boys home that straddles an off-ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge, Lionel is a misfit among misfits: an intellectually sensitive loner with a bad case of Tourette's syndrome, bristling with odd habits and compulsions, his mind continuously revolting against him in lurid outbursts of strange verbiage. When the novel opens, Lionel has long since been rescued from the orphanage by a small-time wiseguy, Frank Minna, who hired Lionel and three other maladjusted boys to do odd jobs and to staff a dubious limo service/detective agency on a Brooklyn main drag, creating a ragtag surrogate family for the four outcasts, each fiercely loyal to Minna. When Minna is abducted during a stakeout in uptown Manhattan and turns up stabbed to death in a dumpster, Lionel resolves to find his killer. It's a quest that leads him from a meditation center in Manhattan to a dusty Brooklyn townhouse owned by a couple of aging mobsters who just might be gay, to a zen retreat and sea urchin harvesting operation in Maine run by a nefarious Japanese corporation, and into the clutches of a Polish giant with a fondness for kumquats. In the process, Lionel finds that his compulsions actually make him a better detective, as he obsessively teases out plots within plots and clues within clues. Lethem's title suggests a dense urban panorama, but this novel is more cartoonish and less startlingly original than his last. Lethem's sixth sense for the secret enchantments of language and the psyche nevertheless make this heady adventure well worth the ride. Author tour.

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2000 (Silver)
Friends in High Places
 Donna Leon
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2000 (First Novel)
God is a Bullet
Click to search this book in our catalog   Boston Teran
Library Journal : This first novel is pretty standard thriller fare--corrupt sheriff John Lee Bacon hires bad guy Cyrus to kill his wife's lover, Sam. But Cyrus also kills Sam's wife, Sarah, and kidnaps Gabi, Sarah's teenaged daughter from her first marriage to Bob. Bob just happens to be a cop working for Sheriff Bacon, and now Bob must rescue his daughter from Cyrus. This vicious circle is embedded in a dark cult world of drugs, pornography, and violence--Cyrus is a Charles Manson-like guru with a band of drugged-out, bloodthirsty followers who pursue the satanic "Left-Handed Path." This gives Teran an excuse to focus on graphic violence, depraved sex, and gross obscenities, demonstrating his "toughness." But he often pushes a metaphor too hard (describing Bob's truck as a "tin-sided garden of agony cruising in second gear") and sounds ridiculous instead of hard-bitten. At once silly and distasteful; not recommended.

Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : Strung-out on junk and tattooed with the dates of helter-skelter-style deaths they've caused, the kids who walk "The Left-Handed Path" talk Satanic talk and spread terror through the very Christian Southern California town of Clay. This tautly paced and harrowing debut thriller begins with the cult's murder of desk cop Bob Hightower's ex-wife and her husband, and the kidnapping of his 14-year-old daughter, Gabi. Desperate and driven, Hightower takes a leave of absence to look for the abducted girl. Fresh out of leads--his search has been stymied by a fellow policeman who's in league with the cult--Hightower meets Case, a 29-year-old, severely traumatized ex-heroin addict who is unable to forget her horrifying experiences as the sexual slave of the demonic Cyrus, who heads the bloodthirsty self-styled "tribe" that controls the local drug trade from a remote desert outpost. With Case's help, Hightower goes undercover and infiltrates the group. Though some of the book's early passages seem melodramatic, the tale becomes riveting as the unlikely duo follow Cyrus and his gang to hell and back. Teran does a fine job of contrasting Case's struggle to overcome Cyrus's pervasive presence in her mind with Hightower's ethical dilemma at taking orders from a junkie. The moral twists and turns of the searing narrative are jolting; the pair are even forced to commit murder for Cyrus before a climactic showdown in the desert. Cynical and DeLillo-like in its observations, paced with present-tense immediacy, Teran's hard-boiled prose does not belittle the tragedy at this novel's core. Not for the faint-hearted, the book is as addictive as illegal substances. Agent, David Hale Smith.

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1999 (Gold)
A Small Death in Lisbon
Click to search this book in our catalog   Robert Wilson
Library Journal : Klaus Felsen, a Berlin businessman forced into the SS against his will in 1941, has been assigned to Portugal. From there, he ships the Germans wolframDa mineral desperately needed by Hitler's war machineDand, near the end of the war, smuggles Nazi gold in the other direction, ultimately betraying the men who control him. Over 50 years later, Inspector Ze Coelho works to solve the murder of a young girl near Lisbon and in doing so unravels a tangled skein that ties the corruption of the past to the tragedy of the present. Wilson's fifth novel, winner of England's Golden Dagger for Best Crime Novel, richly deserves both the acclaim it has garnered overseas and a wide audience in this country. Using story lines that converge in time, Wilson skillfully weaves an engrossing and complex tale, characterized by an atmospheric evocation of past and present Portugal, fascinating characters of great psychological depth, a brilliant plot that grips the reader to the last word, and an immensely satisfying mastery of craft and language. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries.DRonnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson

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Publishers Weekly : The real star of this gripping and beautifully written mysteryDwhich won the British Crime Writers' Golden Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel last yearDis Portugal, whose history and people come to life on every page. Wilson tells two stories: the investigation into the brutal sex murder of a 15-year-girl in 1998, and the tangled, bloody saga of a financial enterprise that begins with the Nazis in 1941. Although the two stories seem unrelated, both are so strong and full of fascinating characters that readers' attentionDand their faith that they will eventually be connectedDshould never waver. The author creates three compelling protagonists: middle-aged detective Jose Coelho, better known as Ze; Ze's late British wife, whom he met while exiled in London with his military officer father during the anti-Salazar political uprisings of the 1970s; and Ze's wise, talented and sexually active 16-year-old daughter. The first part of the WWII story focuses on an ambitious, rough-edged but likeable Swabian businessman, Klaus Felsen, convinced by the Gestapo to go to Portugal and seize the lion's share of that country's supply of tungsten, vital to the Nazi war effort. Later, we meet Manuel Abrantes, a much darker and more dangerous character, who turns out to be the main link between the past and the present. As Ze sifts through the sordid circumstances surrounding the murder of the promiscuous daughter of a powerful, vindictive lawyer, Wilson shines a harsh light on contemporary Portuguese society. Then, in alternating chapters, he shows how and why that society developed. All this and a suspenseful mysteryDwho could ask for more? (Oct.)

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1999 (Silver)
Vienna Blood
Click to search this book in our catalog   Adrian Mathews
Publishers Weekly : Though it contains little that's original, Mathews's debut futuristic thriller, which borrows its title from one of Johann Strauss's waltzes, contains much that is excellent. In Vienna late in 2026, Oskar Gewinnler (who writes a column under the penname Sharkey) is approached by that classic noir mystery character, the widow of a friend. She is Petra Detmers, and she thinks her dead husband, Leo, was murdered. Doing a favor for a lady, Sharkey rapidly discovers that Leo was neither the biological child of his putative parents nor the father of Petra's child, but was in fact something else entirely, as well as an accomplished computerized bank robber. The plot rapidly expands to include the future social scene (a wonderfully described costume party), the ongoing war of high technology against high pollution, labyrinthine but clearly depicted politics and the entire history of genetic research. The final revelation concerns a project to create a population with no genetic weaknesses, and therefore immune to the genetically tailored biological agents expected to be unleashed any day. The last third of the book feels rushed, but otherwise this is an admirable work. Major and minor characters resonant with life, thanks in part to fluent dialogue, and the crisp detailing of everything from computer technology to fast food results in a vivid depiction of a Europe many of us may live to see. Here's a debut that deserves an encore. (Sept.)

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1999 (First Novel)
Lie in the Dark
 Dan Fesperman
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1998 (Gold)
Sunset Limited
 James Lee Burke
Library Journal : Cajun detective Dave Robicheaux is back, as polite as ever, after sitting out Burke's Cimarron Rose (LJ 6/15/97). Accompanying Dave is his buddy Clete and a marvelous cast of characters--downtrodden Cool Breeze Broussard, tortured Lila Terrebonne, slimy Harpo Scruggs, and photojournalist Megan Flynn, whose father, a labor organizer, was crucified on a barn wall 40 years ago. When Megan, still haunted by her father's unsolved murder, returns to New Iberia, she sets in motion a series of events that draws Dave into the dark, twisting relationships of these tortured characters, who are intertwined in a plot too convoluted to summarize but that bears all the hallmarks of a Burke mystery--bloody racial sins from the past mixed with violent, inbred kinships that haunt the present. Once again, with strong and graceful prose, Burke presents a tale as dark and rich as a cup of chicory coffee. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/98.]--Rebecca House Stankowski, Purdue Univ. Calumet Lib., Hammond, IN

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Publishers Weekly : After stepping into stand-alone territory with Cimmaron Rose (1997), Burke choreographs a masterful return to the lush and brooding world of volatile New Iberia Sheriff's Deputy Dave Robicheaux (Cadillac Jukebox, 1996). This tale's strength lies in breathtaking, moody descriptive passages and incisive vignettes that set time, place and character. Burke's major themes, that the past is key to the present and that money buys power, pervade this mystery. The narrative, with more twists and bounces than a fish fighting a hook, rises from the violent, unsolved murder 40 years ago of union organizer Jack Flynn. The story encompasses at least eight disparate but interlocking subplots: the crooked money behind a movie directed by Flynn's son Cisco; the hold that ex-con Swede Boxleiter has on Cisco's photojournalist sister, Megan; Willie "Cool Breeze" Broussard's theft of a mob warehouse; his wife Ida's suicide 20 years ago; the shooting of two white brothers who raped a black woman; alcoholic Lisa Terrebonne's haunted childhood; her wealthy, arrogant father's ties to Harpo Scruggs, a vicious murderer; the post-Civil War killing by freed slaves of a Terrebonne servant. Hired assassins, snitches, lawmen and FBI agents weave through the novel. Dave and his partner Detective Helen Soileau find the connections, but Dave knows that in the ongoing class war, the worst criminals wield too much influence to pay for their crimes. In rich, dense prose, Burke conjures up bizarre, believable characters who inhabit vivid, spellbinding scenes in a multifaceted, engrossing plot. $300,000 ad/promo; author tour.

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1998 (Silver)
Manchester Slingback
 Nicholas Blincoe
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1998 (First Novel)
Garnethill
Click to search this book in our catalog   Denise Mina
Publishers Weekly : From its opening pages, this winner of the 1998 John Creasy Memorial Award for best first crime novel pulls readers inexorably into the tortured world of sexual abuse victims and their struggle to survive as whole people. Eight months after spending almost half a year in a Glasgow psychiatric hospital devoted to treating sex abuse victims, Maureen O'Donnell is desperately trying to hold together her shattered life. Bored with her job at a theater ticket office and depressed because her affair with one of the hospital's doctors, Douglas Brady, is over, Maureen and a friend get drunk. The next morning Maureen finds Brady's body in her living room, his throat cut. With bloody footprints matching Maureen's slippers at the scene, Detective Chief Inspector Joe McEwan sets out to prove the woman's guilt. He's not alone in thinking her the culprit: to Maureen's shock, both her alcoholic mum and Douglas's politician mother also think she's the killer. Convincing them that she isn't becomes her goal. She picks up a rumor about one of the hospital therapists having sex with a patient and learns that, before his death, Douglas gave formerly hospitalized victims large sums of money. Maureen begins to suspect Douglas's killing is connected to the hospital's clinic. Did a relative of a molested client kill Douglas? Or was the deceased about to turn in a colleague who raped patients? With sharp dialogue and painfully vulnerable characters, Mina brings Maureen's world of drug dealers, broken families, sanctimonious health-care workers and debilitated victims to startling life. Maureen's valiant struggle to act sane in an insane world will leave readers seeing sex abuse victims in a new light.

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1997 (Gold)
Black and Blue
Click to search this book in our catalog   Ian Rankin
Publishers Weekly : Rankin's Inspector John Rebus (Mortal Causes; Let It Bleed) is something of an outlaw cop, a hard-drinking, rock-and-roll-loving loner who tends to make his superiors see red. At the outset of his latest outing, he has been posted to one of Edinburgh's toughest precincts, where he is following the trail of Johnny Bible, a serial killer who seems to have taken over from Bible John, a real-life serial killer who terrorized Glasgow in the late 1960s. Rebus is also being investigated for allegedly colluding with a former colleague in planting evidence on a suspect who committed suicide. Although the last thing Rebus needs is a new case, he gets one when a North Sea oil rig worker on shore leave is pushed, or scared, out of a second-story window and onto iron railings below. This case leads Rebus to some crooked cops in Aberdeen, home base of the oilworkers; a Glasgow gangster and his bumbling son; and a pair of devious American club owners. The case also begins to tie in with Johnny Bible. Rankin's book is long and complex but rich in character and incident as Rebus dodges his investigators, follows his hunches into some violent confrontations, and explores the strange mid-ocean world of North Sea oil. Rankin's only misstep is introducing Bible John as a character seeking to catch and kill Johnny Bible: these passages lack the brooding authenticity that marks the rest of the book. Still, as Rankin notes in a fascinating afterword, nearly 30 years after his killing spree, Bible John remains at large.

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1997 (Silver)
Three to Get Deadly
Click to search this book in our catalog   Janet Evanovich
Library Journal : Hunting for a local candy-store owner who jumped bail, Trenton's most famous bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum (last seen in Two for the Dough, LJ 1/96) is knocked out on the job. She awakens beside a dead man who happens to be in violation of a bond agreement with her cousin Vinnie, so homicide wants to give her the third degree. More fast and funny action from a winning writer. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/96.]

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publisher's Weekly : Trenton, N.J., bounty hunter and former lingerie buyer Stephanie Plum (last seen in Two for the Dough) becomes persona non grata when she tracks down a neighborhood saint who has failed to show up for his court appearance. No one wants to help Stephanie, who works for her bail-bondsman cousin, Vinnie. While questioning admirers of the man nicknamed Uncle Mo, Stephanie is attacked and knocked out as she cases his candy store. She comes to next to the dead body of her attacker, who turns out to be a well-known drug dealer. Suddenly, she can't avoid stumbling across the bodies of dead drug dealers: one in a dumpster, one in a closet and four in the candy store basement. Stephanie suspects that mild-mannered Mo has become a vigilante and is cleaning up the streets in a one-man killing spree. But when she's repeatedly threatened by men wearing ski masks, she wonders if Mo has company and just might be in over his head. Despite her new clownish orange hair job, Stephanie muddles through another case full of snappy one-liners as well as corpses. By turns buttressed and hobbled by her charmingly clueless family and various cohorts (including streetwise co-worker Lulu, detective and heartthrob Morelli and professional bounty hunter Ranger), the redoubtable Stephanie is a character crying out for a screen debut. Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild alternate; major ad/promo; author tour.

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1997 (First Novel)
Body Politic
 Paul Johnston
Publishers Weekly : This bleak, near-future hunt for a vicious serial killer won Britain's Creasy Award for best first novel and should capture admiring attention here as well. In the year 2020, Edinburgh is a virtual city-state (founded on the ideas of Plato's Republic) ruled by a benevolently despotic council riddled with corruption. This highly regimented society has lost most traces of individualism. Gone, too, are televisions, private cars, unsanctioned books and music--as well as most crime, at least until the reemergence of a serial killer known as the ENT (ear, nose and throat) man for his bizarre attentions to his victims. Shocked by the first murder in five years, the council is desperate enough to bring back disgraced private investigator Quintilian Dalrymple, a jazz-loving iconoclast with previous experience of the ENT man. Johnston's spare style doesn't hinder him from effectively limning a society drastically altered by desperate circumstances, and, at the same, spinning a thoroughly entertaining chase novel. Edinburgh's physical and spiritual transformation makes an intriguing backdrop, while Quint, a private eye of the classic mold contending with inept bureaucrats, corruption and a determined killer, makes a first-rate hero. Offbeat but on target, this is one exciting debut.

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1996 (Gold)
Popcorn
 Ben Elton
Library Journal : This satire, in which a stylish Hollywood action/thriller director has an unfortunate encounter with the type of twisted men portrayed in his movies, was a best seller in England. Look for a movie version from Warner Bros.

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : Bruce Delamitri is hot. He makes hip, ultra-violent, post-postmodern movies that everybody wants to be in. Kids think he's cool, and critics think he's a genius. He's got a mansion in Hollywood. He's up for an Oscar. Essentially, he's a thinly veiled version of Quentin Tarantino. But all is not entirely well in La-La Land, as English novelist-playwright Elton goes on to show in this entertaining, action-packed satire. A pair of homicidal maniacs known as the Mall Murderers--aka muscle-bound Wayne and his gun moll, Scout--are ravaging the nation. They're claiming that Bruce's movies drove them to it, and they're on their way to California to confront him. Elton has written a fast and unusually funny Hollywood thriller with all the right elements: a Playboy centerfold-turned-actress, a wisecracking New York agent, a spoiled Beverly Hills princess and any number of empty-headed anchormen and -women. Elton's ear for American mediaspeak is good, if not perfect, and he gets off his share of nifty one-liners. Less successful are the extended parodies of Tarantino's screenplays and Elton's heavy-handed attempts to make a serious point about media culture, namely, that Americans are too quick to blame the media for social ills for which they should be taking responsibility. Elton is at his waspish, Waugh-ish best when he sticks to what he does best: popcorn. Film rights optioned by Joel Schumacher.

Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

School Library Journal : YA--A unique novel that combines a thrilling story line with the thought-provoking question of society's responsibilities toward its various members. Oscar-winning director Bruce Delamitri makes popular movies containing senseless violence and murder. He feels nothing but disdain for the critics and "bleeding hearts" who condemn his work, for he believes that he is just giving the public what they want to see. On Oscar night, two psychopathic killers who have all of Bruce's movies memorized, and are emulating different scenes, invade the man's home, taking him captive, along with his soon-to-be-ex-wife, his daughter, and several other members of Hollywood society. As the police and media surround the house, the question that everyone is asking is, "Are Bruce Delamitri's movies to blame for the situation in which he now finds himself?" This novel often uses fairly sophisticated or graphic language that suits the theme and violent situations, but the plot is easy to follow. Fast-moving recreational reading or a springboard for discussions on the interrelationships of human beings and society.

Anita Short, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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1996 (Silver)
Bloodhounds
 Peter Lovesey
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1996 (First Novel)
The Mermaids Singing
Click to search this book in our catalog   None Awarded
Publishers Weekly : The second volume of the historical fantasy Celtic Crusades trilogy finds Magnus Ranulfsson's eldest son, Duncan, taking up his father's quest for relics of the Crucifixion--in this case, the last remaining traceable piece of the True Cross, the Black Rood. He does not go alone. Padraig, an unconventional priest of the Celtic Cele De, accompanies him, and on their bandit-troubled passage through France they are joined by Prince Roupen of Armenia, who is trying to return to his homeland. When the three reach the Mediterranean, their worries multiply, as the Knights Templars are less friendly than they seem, some Christians are openly at war with one another and the Moslems (particularly the Seljuq Turks) are ready to take advantage of the intrigues. Duncan finds himself up to his sword belt in those plottings, dealing with friends where he expected enemies and vice versa The narrative is framed by the diary of a turn-of-the-century Scots physician, a member of a secret order keeping Celtic wisdom alive. Coincidences are so numerous as to be jarring, and the sheer abundance of historical detail slows the pacing. Those same details also bring the setting to robust life, however; they do no harm to the characterizations and include such treasures as the cult of the Black Mary (Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus) and a gruesomely vivid narrative of the Crucifixion. With this novel, Lawhead likely will win no converts, but nor will he alienate his faithful. (June)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : The second volume of the historical fantasy Celtic Crusades trilogy finds Magnus Ranulfsson's eldest son, Duncan, taking up his father's quest for relics of the Crucifixion--in this case, the last remaining traceable piece of the True Cross, the Black Rood. He does not go alone. Padraig, an unconventional priest of the Celtic Cele De, accompanies him, and on their bandit-troubled passage through France they are joined by Prince Roupen of Armenia, who is trying to return to his homeland. When the three reach the Mediterranean, their worries multiply, as the Knights Templars are less friendly than they seem, some Christians are openly at war with one another and the Moslems (particularly the Seljuq Turks) are ready to take advantage of the intrigues. Duncan finds himself up to his sword belt in those plottings, dealing with friends where he expected enemies and vice versa The narrative is framed by the diary of a turn-of-the-century Scots physician, a member of a secret order keeping Celtic wisdom alive. Coincidences are so numerous as to be jarring, and the sheer abundance of historical detail slows the pacing. Those same details also bring the setting to robust life, however; they do no harm to the characterizations and include such treasures as the cult of the Black Mary (Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus) and a gruesomely vivid narrative of the Crucifixion. With this novel, Lawhead likely will win no converts, but nor will he alienate his faithful. (June)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : The second volume of the historical fantasy Celtic Crusades trilogy finds Magnus Ranulfsson's eldest son, Duncan, taking up his father's quest for relics of the Crucifixion--in this case, the last remaining traceable piece of the True Cross, the Black Rood. He does not go alone. Padraig, an unconventional priest of the Celtic Cele De, accompanies him, and on their bandit-troubled passage through France they are joined by Prince Roupen of Armenia, who is trying to return to his homeland. When the three reach the Mediterranean, their worries multiply, as the Knights Templars are less friendly than they seem, some Christians are openly at war with one another and the Moslems (particularly the Seljuq Turks) are ready to take advantage of the intrigues. Duncan finds himself up to his sword belt in those plottings, dealing with friends where he expected enemies and vice versa The narrative is framed by the diary of a turn-of-the-century Scots physician, a member of a secret order keeping Celtic wisdom alive. Coincidences are so numerous as to be jarring, and the sheer abundance of historical detail slows the pacing. Those same details also bring the setting to robust life, however; they do no harm to the characterizations and include such treasures as the cult of the Black Mary (Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus) and a gruesomely vivid narrative of the Crucifixion. With this novel, Lawhead likely will win no converts, but nor will he alienate his faithful. (June)

Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : The second volume of the historical fantasy Celtic Crusades trilogy finds Magnus Ranulfsson's eldest son, Duncan, taking up his father's quest for relics of the Crucifixion--in this case, the last remaining traceable piece of the True Cross, the Black Rood. He does not go alone. Padraig, an unconventional priest of the Celtic Cele De, accompanies him, and on their bandit-troubled passage through France they are joined by Prince Roupen of Armenia, who is trying to return to his homeland. When the three reach the Mediterranean, their worries multiply, as the Knights Templars are less friendly than they seem, some Christians are openly at war with one another and the Moslems (particularly the Seljuq Turks) are ready to take advantage of the intrigues. Duncan finds himself up to his sword belt in those plottings, dealing with friends where he expected enemies and vice versa The narrative is framed by the diary of a turn-of-the-century Scots physician, a member of a secret order keeping Celtic wisdom alive. Coincidences are so numerous as to be jarring, and the sheer abundance of historical detail slows the pacing. Those same details also bring the setting to robust life, however; they do no harm to the characterizations and include such treasures as the cult of the Black Mary (Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus) and a gruesomely vivid narrative of the Crucifixion. With this novel, Lawhead likely will win no converts, but nor will he alienate his faithful. (June)

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1995 (Gold)
The Mermaids Singing
Click to search this book in our catalog   Val McDermid
Library Journal : First published in Great Britain in 1995, this title marks a clean break from McDermid's Kate Brannigan/Lindsay Gordon series. Here, criminologist Dr. Tony Hill and Detective Inspector Carol Jordan search for an arrogant serial killer who tortures his victims and leaves no clues. A safe bet.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publisher's Weekly : McDermid (A Clean Break) enters new ground with a dark tale that is more complex, more carefully crafted and far more disturbing than her Kate Brannigan mysteries. By the time the police admit that Bradfield, a fictional city in northern England, has a serial killer, four men are already dead, each tortured in a different way and then abandoned outdoors in town. Baffled by a lack of physical evidence left by the meticulous sociopath, police bring in Tony Hill, a Home Office forensic psychologist who profiles criminals. Tony, who begins each day by ``selecting a persona,'' devours crime data with a fascination approaching admiration for the killer. The interest distracts him from obsessing over his own sexual impotence and over the ``exquisite torture'' of salacious phone calls he's been getting from a strange woman. DI Carol Jordan, a mercifully normal person who is Tony's liaison with the force, quickly grasps the profiling approach while keeping her policing instincts. Carol and Tony forge an uneasy relationship; but, as they pursue ``the Queer Killer,'' a cloddish policeman undermines them, a local reporter blows the case to get a byline and the murderer closes in on a new quarry. A warning: woven into this powerful story are journal entries in which the murder discusses torture in loving detail, an aspect that makes this graphic, psychologically terrifying tale almost as off-putting as it is impossible to put down. (Dec.) FYI: This novel won Britain's Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel of 1995.

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1995 (Silver)
The Summons
Click to search this book in our catalog   Peter Lovesey
Publishers Weekly : A resourceful convict's escape from a prison dubbed ``the British Alcatraz'' launches Peter Diamond's third case (after Diamond Solitaire). Once out of Albany Prison, John Mountjoy kidnaps the Assistant Chief Constable's daughter in order to force the Bath police to reopen his case. His demand: that the detective who put him away for murder now find the real killer. What he doesn't know is that Diamond--fat, bald and brilliant--has resigned from the force in a huff and lives in London, where his odd jobs include ``collecting supermarket trolleys from a car park.'' But his old bosses need him desperately and, to his own astonishment, he begins to be pursuaded that he had indeed goofed the first time. But a race is on between Diamond (with one helper, Detective Inspector Julie Hargreaves) and a team of trigger-happy cops who are itching to run Mountjoy down. The chase leads to a ``crusty'' (hippy) encampment, a horse funeral, a battered husband, ``buskers'' (street entertainers) and a siege of a huge old empty luxury hotel. Except for one irritating device used to delay the denouement, the action proceeds logically, with solid plot construction, savvy dialogue and great good humor.

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1995 (First Novel)
One for the Money
 Janet Evanovich
Library Journal : A wonderful sense of humor, an eye for detail, and a self-deprecating narrative endow Stephanie Plum with the easy-to-swallow believability that accounts for her appeal as heroine. Spontaneity and financial desperation push her into the life of a bounty hunter, a job that pits her inexperience against the charming wiles of her one-time high school seducer, who is now a purported murderer. Maneuvering around the scrappy environs of Trenton, New Jersey, Stephanie runs the gauntlet of recalcitrant criminals and puts up with a match-making Jewish mother to boot. A witty, well-written, and gutsy debut.

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publishers Weekly : First novels this funny and self-assured come along rarely; dialogue this astute and raunchy is equally unusual. The gutsy heroine introduced here is Stephanie Plum of Trenton, N.J., a recently laid-off lingerie buyer who has no job, no car and no furniture. She does have a hamster, a deranged grandmother, two caring parents and several pairs of biking shorts and sports bras. Finding work with her cousin Vinnie, she becomes a bond hunter and scrounges money enough to buy a gun, a Chevy Nova and some Mace. Her first assignment is to locate a cop accused of murder. Joe Morelli grew up in Stephanie's neighborhood. Possessed of legendary charm, he relieved Stephanie of her virginity when she was 16 (she later ran over him with a car). In her search, Stephanie catches her prey, loses him and grills a psychotic prizefighter, the employer of the man Morelli shot. She steals Morelli's car and then installs an alarm so he can't steal it back. Resourceful and tough, Stephanie has less difficulty finding her man than deciding what she wants to do with him once she's got him. While the link between the fighter and the cop isn't clear until too late in the plot, Evanovich's debut is a delightful romp and Stephanie flaunts a rough-edged appeal. Mystery Guild alternate; author tour; film rights optioned to Tri-Star.

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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