Posted by Book Mavens on 3rd April 2013
Title: What Dies in Summer
Author: Tom Wright
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co, 2012
Summary/Review: This is a debut novel that is packed with so much emotion and surprises you won’t be able to put it down. The story is narrated by one of the main character James- also known as Biscuit. He, along with his cousin Lee Ann (also known as L.A.), and their Grandma live together in Dallas Texas. They were brought together by unfortunate circumstances. The story begins with the two cousins just doing what normal teenagers do, hanging out and trying to stay out of trouble. They soon discover a dead body in the woods and then everything seems to start spiraling out of control.
Family secrets are revealed, and more dead bodies are found. You will not want to put this book down until you have read the very last page. It brings everything together-family bonding, first love, and terrible secrets.
Who would like this: Anyone who enjoys books with a lot of characters and different stories.
If you like this, try this: Books by Mary Higgins Clark. She always has a bunch of characters but they’re easy to keep straight.
Recommended by: Virginia, Circulation
If you’d like to put a hold on this book and/or see if it’s available, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog!
Tags: 2012 Releases, Coming of Age, Crime, Family, Texas
Posted in Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 7th March 2013
Title: Rage Against the Dying
Publisher: Minotaur Books, March 2013
Summary/Review: If you’re looking for a fast paced thriller that you just can’t put down, look no further. Rage against the Dying, the debut thriller by Becky Masterman, will not disappoint you.
Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn is adjusting to her new life as a newlywed in Tucson, Arizona. Forced into early retirement after shooting an unarmed suspect, the 59 year old Quinn has seemingly moved on. That is until the Route 66 Killer, the case that has haunted her for years, becomes news once again. Not only the most frustrating unsolved case of Brigid’s career, the Route 66 Killer cost the life of her protégé Jessica Robertson. Now a suspect has confessed and Brigid is once again drawn into this disturbing case. Laura Coleman, the new FBI agent assigned to Route 66, has asked for Brigid’s help but no one can foresee the horror that lies ahead.
This novel has everything: suspense, dark humor, and of course some blood and guts. I sincerely hope Brigid’s story does not end here. Unlike any character I’ve ever read, she is strong, smart, funny, and a little bit of a loose cannon. I can’t wait to see her again.
Who will like this book?: Anyone who’s not afraid of a little gore. Someone looking for a thriller that they won’t be able to put down.
If you like this, try this: If you liked Masterson’s writing, be on the lookout for more from her: this is a debut novel, but the story leads itself to more. If you liked the intensity, try Chelsea Cain, who has a number of books including “Heartsick” and “Sweetheart”. If you’re looking for the same level of darkness without the gore, try Neil Gaiman.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
This book isn’t quite out yet, but we still have it on order, so visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to place a hold!
Tags: 2013 Releases, Crime, Detective, Murder
Posted in COMING SOON, Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 31st January 2013
Author: Richard Ford
Publisher: Ecco , May 2012
Summary/Review: Dell (the narrator) and Berner Parsons are ordinary fifteen year old twins living a somewhat isolated life with their parents in Montana circa 1956. Their father has failed at a number of ventures in his life but has oddly always envisioned himself as a successful bank robber. So being a little short on money, he decides to carry out a plan and takes their mother along as his accomplice. They are undetected for a little while, but one day the police finally come and take the parents away to jail, leaving the brother and sister to fend for themselves. Mrs. Parsons, fearing they would be caught had arranged for a friend to look after the kids, but by the time she shows up, Berner has left for California on her own. So she drives Dell to Canada to be taken in by her brother. The brother turns out to be not at all what he first appears to be and when the reasons he is in Canada become evident it provides a twist in the story. Amazingly, Dell never assigns blame or feels anger and continues to believe that both his parents, though misguided, did truly love him and his sister. What happens in this novel is very unpredictable and leaves you wanting to read more to see what finally happens. There is some foreshadowing as Dell alludes to events which he has not yet related, but you don’t see how can occur until they unfold. The themes of crossing all sorts of boundaries and the force and effect of corrupt acts make this a thought provoking and absorbing read.
Who will like this book: Someone who likes thought provoking fiction.
Recommended by: Jan, Administration
If you would like to see if this book is available or place a hold, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog [Link will open in a new window]
Tags: 2012 Releases, Canada, Coming of Age, Crime, Robbery
Posted in Fiction, Literary, Popular | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 8th December 2012
Author: By Amity Gaige
Publisher: Grand Central, 2013
Summary/Review: Erik Schroder is writing a letter to his estranged wife. It is an apology and an explanation as to why he felt compelled to kidnap their daughter. Writing from the correctional facility from which he awaits trial, Erik recounts his life and the choices he’s made that have brought him to this point.
Soon after fleeing East Germany with his father, a young Erik made his first mistake, the ramifications of which were not fully realized until several years later. This lie, his invention of a new name and life history on a summer camp application seemed harmless enough at the time. Out of desperation to leave his German roots and Boston home behind him, Erik Schroder becomes Eric Kennedy. It is as Eric Kennedy, not Erik Schroder that he attends summer camp, goes off to college, falls in love and gets married. It is as Eric Kennedy that he kidnaps his daughter, but it is as Erik Schroder that he now sits in jail.
This is a moving and thought provoking novel that will demand discussion, making it a great choice for book groups. The moral and ethical issues that arise, as well as who may be Erik’s most sympathetic victim, are all fodder for a lively conversation.
Who will like this?: Someone who’s looking for a book that will cause a lively discussion.
If you like this, try this: “My Abandonment” by Peter Rock touches on this subject, though in a very dark way. “Room” by Emma Donoghue shows an alternative viewpoint, of the kidnapped rather than the one kidnapping.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
Visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if this book is available, or to place a hold on it! [Link will open in a new window]
Tags: 2013 Releases, Crime, Family, Kidnapping
Posted in COMING SOON, Fiction, Literary | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 25th October 2012
Title: After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall
Author: Nancy Kress
Publisher: Tachyon, April 2012
Summary/Review: In 2035, the Earth as we know it is no more. An alien attack by the mysterious ‘Tesslies’ has devastated the planet, transforming it into a poisoned wasteland. A small band of humans have been culled to survive in The Shell, a futuristic shelter installed on the Earth’s damaged surface by the aliens. Damaged by radiation, the survivors are desperate to reproduce, thrive and restart the human race. In 2013, a brilliant statistician working for the FBI is trying to connect the dots between seemingly random kidnappings of young children and bizarre robberies occurring all over the East coast. All the cases, witnesses insist, end in a bright flash of light and the disappearance of the assailant and whatever they were taking. And in 2014, an undetected bacterium is slowly attacking plant life all over the planet.
Nancy Kress is an award-winning science fiction force and this book is a great introduction to her work. Told in the voices of Julie, the FBI analyst and Pete, a teenager born in the Shell, After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall weaves together three separate timelines that tell the story of the end of the world as we knew it.
Who will like this book? This short novel is a great choice for fans of dystopian fiction and ecological non-fiction. It is suitable for both adults and older teen readers. And with a surprising twist at the end, it’s not as bleak as it sounds.
If you like this, try this: “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman. “Eternity Road” by Jack McDevitt. “Life as We Knew It” by Susan Beth Pfeffer.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian
If you think you would like this book, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or place a hold! [Link will open in a new window]
Tags: 2012 Releases, Crime, Post-Apocalyptic, science fiction
Posted in Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Teen Books for Adults | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 14th October 2012
Title: Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Feelings Betray Us. (Fear Can’t Help You. An FBI Profiler Can. )
Author: Mary Ellen O’Toole, Ph.D.
Publisher: Penguin, 2011
Summary/Review: The author knows her business. She is a retired FBI profiler and has seen and interviewed violent criminals of all types: mass murderers, rapists, kidnappers, pedophiles. The purpose of this book is to impart to readers how people don’t make safe decisions on a regular basis: hiring a contractor in the home, deciding at whose home your child can play, or even opening the door to a complete stranger. We get lulled into a false sense of safety because our biases lead us to deem someone harmless when we really don’t have enough information to make a decision. The author tries to instruct on how to assess risk: physical risk, health risk, social or emotional risk, professional, or financial. Being a good listener is key; but “listening between the lines” is even better. She also discusses how to observe a persons behavior to try to make an assessment. She also discusses those people in our society who are most dangerous: the sociopath.
Scary when I think of the number of times that I have done exactly what the author warns us against. I will never be able to read someone’s mind, but I will try to employ some of these techniques in my own danger-filled life!
Who will like this book?: Those who are interested in psychology, or are interested in true crime.
If you like this, try this: If you are interested in the psychology topics discussed in the book, Malcolm Gladwell has a number of books, including “Blink” which you may find interesting- especially because he discusses the decisions made on impulse. “The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout may also be interesting for you, as she discusses the nature of humans and what makes them stray from a healthy psychological profile.
If you would like to learn more about criminal profiling, Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood”, Erik Larson’s “Devil in the White City”, and Vincent Bugliosi’s “Helter Skelter” might be good choices, but beware – they may be graphic.
Recommended by: Sue Z, Reference Librarian
If this looks like your kind of book, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check if its available and place a hold. [Link will open in a new window]
Tags: 2011 Releases, Crime, Decision-Making, Psychology
Posted in Non-Fiction, True Crime | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 6th September 2012
Title: Defending Jacob
Author: William Landay
Publisher: Delacorte Press, 2012
Summary/Review: Andy Barber has been a well-respected assistant district attorney in Massachusetts for many years until his 14-year-old son Jacob is accused of killing former classmate Ben Rifkin. As the community presumes Jacob’s guilt before the trial starts, Andy and his wife, Laurie, struggle internally and externally to maintain their son’s innocence. Even after evidence points toward his son, Andy sticks to his belief that the neighborhood pedophile is responsible for this murder.
As the story unfolds, it brings up many questions, such as how well do parents know their own child, how far would they go to protect him, what role do genes and family history play in influencing an individual’s destiny, and do childhood actions indicate future behavior?
Defending Jacob is a compelling novel with a shocking ending. Once you start it, you can’t put it down.
Who will like this book?: Someone who is interested in crime dramas but who is more interested in the psychology of crimes and the criminal mind. Someone who is interested in
family bonds and how far someone will go to protect them.
If you like this, try this: If you’re interested in novels about the criminal mind, try “Hannibal” or “Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris, which both focus on the question of mental insanity. If you would like a newer novel that focuses on criminal minds, try any Chelsea Cain book.
If you are more interested in the suspense/thriller aspect, try Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” or the popular Stieg Larsson novels. Michael Connelly and John Grisham are also well-known for their legal thrillers.
If you’re interested in this book, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check availability and place a hold! [Link will open in a new window]
Finally, this isn’t William Landay’s first book- his historical novel is focused on the Boston Strangler, entitled “the Strangler”, and he also writes other fiction such as “Mission Flats”.
Recommended by: Sharyn, Circulation Assistant
Tags: 2012 Releases, Crime, Family, Massachusetts, Mental Illness, Murder, Psychology
Posted in Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 30th August 2012
Title: Don’t Ever Get Old
Author: Daniel Friedman
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, 2012
Summary/Review: “Old age is not for sissies”, “Old age isn’t so bad – when you consider the alternative”, (and the more optimistic) “every day I wake up on this side of the grass is a good one.” Aging is inevitable, and if you hit eighty seven with the sharp mind and wit of Baruch “Buck” Schatz, you’re doing fine.
Don’t Ever Get Old is Daniel Freedman’s debut novel about the cigarette smoking, gun toting, wickedly funny former police officer, Buck Schatz, who finds himself drawn into the hunt for a former Nazi war criminal and a fortune in gold. Buck is assisted by his grandson, Tequila, who has a lot to learn from his caustic grandfather. It’s easy to see the tough guy, take no prisoners cop that Buck used to be as he stalks his prey with the help of his more technologically savvy grandson, but Friedman never lets you forget that Buck is closing in on ninety and is facing the serious health and independence issues that old age brings. Rose, his wife of many years, is slowing down and there is the great fear that he will no longer be able to care for her at home. The issues that come with aging are never trivialized yet you know that Buck will definitely not be “going gentle into that good night.”
It would be great to see a Buck Schatz series, though given his age it might be a short one.
Who Will Like This: Anyone who likes a fast paced thriller, no matter how old the protaganist.
If you like this, Try this: I couldn’t help but think of Miss Marple, only a lot edgier, and packing a .357.
Recommended by: Sue D’Num, Library Assistant
Does Buck Schatz sound like your kind of guy? If so, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to take a look at its availability and/or to place a hold [link will open in a new window]
Tags: 2012 Releases, Adventure, Crime
Posted in Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 22nd July 2012
Title: Stolen Prey
Author: John Sanford
Publisher: Penguin, May 2012
Review/Summary: I came across John Sanford years ago when looking for my favorite type of fiction about Cops and Detectives and Thugs. Twenty-two books later, featuring detective Lucas Davenport, Mr. Sanford still knows how to write a great story filled with an intense plot and lots of different angles taking place.
Lucas Davenport is a Minneapolis Cop who is tough with that peculiar sense of humor that makes him so likeable. In Sanford’s latest Prey book the opening sees Lucas getting robbed at an ATM, breaking his wrist in the confrontation as well as wounding his ego a tad. The two thugs, man and big burly woman, get away but Lucas is determined to find the two punks who robbed him. It leads to some very smelly horse manure as his puts another cop, Virgil Flowers, on the case.
In the meantime he’s called into a case of an entire family being murdered. A husband, wife, kids, pets – dead. It’s horrible. As the investigation heats up computer geeks, a bank, and some trigger happy Mexicans become central to finding out the truth about what happened.
Lucas Davenport is older and mellower in this story and as usual sidesteps the rules whenever necessary but you won’t be disappointed with the action and the conclusion.
Who will like this?: Someone looking for an exciting criminal thriller. Fans of Sanford, who have read the other Lucas Davenport books.
If you like this, try this: This book is a part of a collection of books featuring Lucas Davenport, including “Chosen Prey”, “Broken Prey”, and “Hidden Prey”. If you liked this one, you may want to check out the others. This one is #22, so you’ll have a lot of choices!
If you like this author’s style and would like to try out some similar authors, try Michael Connelly or Jeffrey Deaver. If you’re looking for an international crime author, Stieg Larsson (“Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”) may be a good choice.
Recommended by: Nancy, Branch Librarian
If this looks like something you’d be interested in, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to place a hold or see if it’s available right now! [Link will open in a new window]
Tags: 2012 Releases, Crime, Detective, Minnesota, Murder
Posted in Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, Popular | No Comments »
Posted by Book Mavens on 28th June 2012
Title: The Expats
Author: Chris Pavone
Publisher: Crown, 2012
Summary: If you love John Le Carre, Graham Greene, Frederick Forsythe you will absolutely love this debut thriller from Chris Pavone. Picture George Smiley as a female and you have protagonist, Kate Moore – average government bureaucrat or master spy? Kate Moore living the bucolic life of an expat in Luxembourg with her secretive financial industryhusband and two children, taking coffee with other expat wives, weekend jaunts to the Alps all seemingly part of a normal life. As they travel around Europe, Kate’s long dormant training kicks in, she launches a covert investigation into her new “friends”, uncovering secrets and deceit. Pavone is genius in melding Kate’s feminine instincts with her spy craft which is most evident when her suspicions about an American couple who have befriended her and her husband uncover the couple as a fraud. Their activities did not overtly give them away it was more subtle nuances in their relationship and behavior that only a woman would notice and Pavone captures perfectly. Pair her suspicions with a husband acting bizarre and a sordid past that may be finally catching up with her and you have a fast-paced, unpredictable and fresh masterpiece from Chris Pavone.
A carefully woven smart thriller that does not disappoint and will leave you craving more.
Who will like this?: Anyone who enjoys a fast-paced thriller or has read other spy novels and enjoyed them. Anyone who enjoys a crafty and strong lead female character.
If you like this, try this: Other thrill/spy writers such as Graham Greene or John LeCarre.
Recommended by: Dawn, Assistant Director
A second look:
Kate Moore is an expat in Luxembourg, trying to adjust to her new life of full-time motherhood in a foreign country. Having left her old CIA job behind to support her husband and this move, her dreams for the future are nothing but rosy. But nothing is ever as it seems, and as she begins to make a new life and new friends she is increasingly aware that the old life and her very deep secret can never be left completely behind. Is her old life catching up with her or does her husband have a deep dark secret of his own that is causing the problems she faces now?
You will love this book if you’ve read Robert Ludlum or John LeCarre in the past, or if you’d just like a great read with lots of twists.
Recommended by: Linda Q, Circulation Assistant
Think you may want to read this? You can visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to check availability or place a hold!
Tags: 2012 Releases, Crime, Luxembourg, Spies
Posted in Mysteries & Thrillers | No Comments »