Fifteen Essential Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4

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Adler, Elizabeth. The Charmers. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9781250058195. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466862265. THRILLER A villa in the south of France, inherited from an aunt? Sounds great for Mirabella Matthews until she’s nearly run off the road while driving there with the young woman to whom she’s giving a lift. As Mirabella […]

O’Nan in Jerusalem, a Newly Discovered Tolkien, Abu-Jaber’s New Memoir, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2016, Pt. 3

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Abu-Jaber, Diana. Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family. Norton. Apr. 2016. 256p. ISBN 9780393249095. $26.95. MEMOIR Abu-Jaber, a fiction writer known for sparkling award winners like Crescent, has also given us the luscious memoir The Language of Baklava. Here she continues wrapping her discussion of love and identity in the sweet […]

Debut Novels, in Love, War, & More | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2016, Pt. 3

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Donovan, Kemper. The Decent Proposal. Harper. Apr. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780062391629. $25.99. POP FICTION At 29, wannabe Hollywood producer Richard Baumbach has little to show for his efforts but remains cockily assured of success, while 33-year-old Elizabeth Santiago will surely make partner at her law firm but barely deviates from her ordered life. (One big […]

From Jeffrey Archer to Minette Walters | 22 Thriller & Mystery Previews, Feb. 2016, Pt. 2

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Archer, Jeffrey. Cometh the Hour. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9781250061621. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466867505. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER Billed as a thriller but as much a family saga, this sixth in Archer’s New York Times best-selling “Clifton Chronicles” (after last year’s Mightier Than the Sword) opens with a suicide note and ends up […]

Last of the September Pop Fiction, from Paula Daly to Kim Harrison & More | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 4

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Block, Sandra. The Girl Without a Name. Grand Central. Sept. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9781455583775. pap. $15. THRILLER Block scored a hit with her debut, Little Black Lies, featuring energized psychiatrist Zoe Goldman. Now the good doctor is back, dealing with an African American girl whose identity is unknown. She’s suffering from amnesia, and evidently wants […]

Linda Fairstein, Sophie Hannah, Michael Koryta, & More | Essential Thriller Titles, Aug. 2015, Pt. 4

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Burdett, John. The Asset. Knopf. Aug. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780307272683. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353205. POLICE PROCEDURAL Sonchai Jitpleecheep, a Buddhist detective with the Royal Thai Police Force, returns after Vulture Peak for some seriously techy trouble. With female inspector Krom, as capable socially and technologically as he’s not, Sonchai peers through a raging typhoon at […]

Coulter, Kadrey, McCall Smith, Silva, & More | Hot Commercial Fiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 4

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Abercrombie. Joe. Half a War. Del Rey. Jul. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780804178457. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780804178471.  FANTASY First Half a King (July 2014), then Half the World (February 2015), and now the wrap-up to a trilogy featuring Yarvi, unassuming heir to the throne, who avenges his father’s murder and, with a warrior-hopeful young woman named […]

Best-Selling Suspense from Higgins Clark, J.A. Jance, Brad Taylor, & More | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 2

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Brown, Holly. A Necessary End. Morrow. Jul. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9780062356376. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062356376. SUSPENSE Soon-to-be-40 Adrienne is so desperate for a baby that she allows a pregnant teenager whose child she will adopt to move into her and husband Gabe’s California home for the year after the baby’s birth. Does this sound like […]

Barbree on Neil Armstrong, Memoirs from Travis Barker & Lee Grant, Germaine Greer on Trees | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2013. Pt. 2

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Barbree, Jay. Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250040718. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466836341. BIOGRAPHY During 55 years at NBC News, Barbree covered all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings—the only reporter to have done so—and he got an Emmy for his efforts. So he seems like […]

Thrills from Lescroart, Patterson, Sandford, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 2

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Atkins, Ace. Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot. Putnam. May 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780399161582. $26.95. MYSTERY/DETECTIVE Top New England Patriots player Kinjo Heywood is the media’s bad boy, ever on display for violently acting out, so his agent hires Spenser to find the men reputedly causing Kinjo’s outbursts by harassing him. But Spenser’s assignment changes when […]