Fiction Previews, August 2012, Pt. 4: Reichs and Rendell Rule

Barnes, Steven & Tananarive Due. Devil’s Wake. Atria: S. & S. Aug. 2012. 288p. ISBN 9781451617009. pap. $15. PARANORMAL
Plague is sweeping the country, brought on by odd, uncontrollable biting attacks by the victims. The victims don’t die or join the realm of the undead, however; they’re simply front runners for an alien life force intent on taking over Earth. First in a new series from a husband-and-wife team who jointly boast a stack of awards and best sellers, this nicely cultic apocalyptic title has a built-in audience.

Greanias, Thomas. Dominus Dei. Atria: S. & S. Aug. 2012. 384p. ISBN 9781451612431. $24. THRILLER
At the time of the Emperor Domitian, himself a bossy sort who insists that all must bow down before him or be killed, a subversive group called Dominus Dei (Rule of God) has a nasty plan to extend Rome’s rule forever. The Greek playwright Athanasius, accused of being its leader, manages to escape execution at the Games and teams up with a mysterious woman and a prophet locked up in an island prison to beat Dominus Dei at its own game. Thus Greanias discloses the origins of the conspiracy that has driven his best-selling Atlantis novels and the trilogy that began with The Promised War. Fans will understand.

Krueger, William Kent. Trickster’s Point. Atria: S. & S. Aug. 2012. 320p. ISBN 9781451645675. $24.99. THRILLER
Cork O’Connor has gone bow hunting with Jubal Little, Minnesota’s first Native American governor-elect, when an arrow out of nowhere slices through Little’s heart. Alas, the arrow belongs to Connor, and he must find out who framed him for this murder, even as he ponders his past relationship with Little, an ambitious young man who grew up to be a perhaps too wily politician. With a nine-city tour to Minneapolis, Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, Houston, Phoenix, and San Diego.

Lennon, F.J. Devil’s Gate. Atria: S. & S. Aug. 2012. 384p. ISBN 9781439186602. pap. $15. PARANORMAL
Actually, what’s causing trouble here is not a gate but Pasadena’s notorious Suicide Bridge: some force there is drawing defenseless victims to their death and then snaring their souls. First seen in last year’s popular Soul Trapper, Kane Pryce investigates the bridge’s supernatural powers even as he finds himself sucked into the dark world of Hollywood’s underground music scene (Kane’s a guitarist), the minds of the suicide victims, and his own ill-advised romances. Note the paperback original after Soul Trapper‘s hardcover premier, which suggests the author’s audience.

Reichs, Kathy. Bones Are Forever. Scribner. Aug. 2012. NAp. ISBN 9781439102435. $26.99. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER
Temperance Brennan is examining the corpses of three babies in Montreal when their mother, a putative prostitute under investigation by Brennan’s beloved, Detective Ryan, flees to Canada’s distant diamond-mining country. They follow, joined by a Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant with whom our heroine once had a not-so-smart affair. With a seven-city tour to Charlotte, Denver, Houston, New York, Phoenix, Portland (OR), and Seattle; get multiples.

Rendell, Ruth. The St. Zita Society. Scribner. Aug. 2012. NAp. ISBN 9781451666687. $26. SUSPENSE
All the homes along London’s Hexam Place look imperturbably classy, but of course they aren’t. The valet to Lord Studley is sleeping with both the lord’s wife and his daughter, the au pair for Mrs. Still is earning extra money by covering for her affair, a housekeeper wants to form a society of disgruntled servants, and Dex the gardener is getting ghostly instructions on his cellphone that could lead to violence. More thrills from the ever-juicy Rendell, a three-time Edgar Award winner still going strong after more than 40 years.

Shomer, Enid. The Twelve Rooms of the Nile. S. & S. Aug. 2012. 544p. ISBN 9781451642964. $26. HISTORICAL
As it happens, Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert sailed up the Nile at the same time. No, they didn’t meet, but in this first novel Iowa Fiction Prize winner Shomer imagines that they did. Radical thinker Nightingale was not much familiar with men, especially true roués like Flaubert. But both were at turning points‚ Flaubert would soon write Madame Bovary and Nightingale would launch her famous career‚ so the idea of a friendship between them seems rich and fertile.

Sohn, Amy. Motherland. S. & S. Aug. 2012. 320p. ISBN 9781439158494. $25. POP FICTION
Upscale urban life, tellingly satirized by the author of Prospect Park West: as Labor Day looms, parents in Brooklyn’s chic Park Slope and Manhattan’s Greenwich Village or returning from Cape Cod face personal crisis. Among them are ubermommy Karen, deserted by her husband, who hopes to regain traction by launching an affair with a sexy single dad, and Marco, stuck with the kids when husband Todd goes on a business trip. How a certain set lives; it’s not all glamor.

Thor, Brad. Black List. Atria: S. & S. Aug. 2012. 336p. ISBN 9781439192986. $27.99. CD/downloadable: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER
The list? Comprising enemies of the nation, it’s known to very few in the government, and once your name has been placed there by the President, it won’t be erased until you are. Former Navy SEAL‚ turned‚ counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath discovers that his name is on the list, and he spends the novel evading assassins so that he can figure out why someone wanted him out of the way. From a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author gearing up for a ten-city tour.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.