Six Thrillers, November 2012: Baldacci, Connelly, Haas, Littell, Ochse, Patterson

Baldacci, David. The Forgotten. Grand Central. Nov. 2012. 416p. ISBN 9780446573054. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Last year’s first John Puller thriller debuted in the top spot on the New York Times best sellers list and so far has sold an impressive 237,000 copies in ebooks alone. So fans will be waiting for this second in the series. Here, Puller doesn’t believe that his Aunt Betsy’s drowning death in her backyard pool was an accident‚ she sent a letter before she died saying that something was scaring her‚ and starts investigating. Basic thriller premise, Baldacci writing, buy multiples.

Connelly, Michael. The Black Box. Little, Brown. Nov. 2012. 400p. ISBN 9780316069434. $27.99; lrg. prnt. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
LAPD Det. Harry Bosch is back, smart enough to connect a current murder with the 1992 killing of a young female photographer during riots in Los Angeles. That killing, never solved by the Riot Crimes Task Force, now seems a whole lot more personal than anyone ever thought. Bosch must search for the “black box,” that one piece of information that will explain the link between the two deaths that’s just been proved by ballistics. Look for special promotions this year for Connelly, who’s releasing his 25th book in 20 years of publishing.

Haas, Derek. The Right Hand. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Nov. 2012. 288p. ISBN 9780316198462. $25.99; Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
In this latest from Haas, a Hollywood screenwriter (e.g., 3:10 to Yuma) and author of the Silver Bear thrillers, Austin Clay does down-and-dirty deep-secret jobs for the government that would be disavowed if ever he were caught. Here, he starts by hunting for a missing American operative held somewhere outside Moscow and soon teams with a woman who’s convinced that a mole sits somewhere in the top echelons of U.S. government. Let’s see where that goes. Meanwhile, note that Haas is editor of, a site the publisher runs for him that presents short stories by top novelists and screenwriters.

Littell, Robert. Young Philby. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2012. 288p. ISBN 9781250005168. $24.99; eISBN 9781250013651. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
The story of double agent Kim Philby is well known but little understood. What were his motivations and, finally, his ideals? Best-selling author and Gold Dagger winner Littell tries to answer those questions by reconstructing Philby’s early life, as told from the perspectives of 20 real-life characters. If truth is stranger than fiction, fictionalized truth can really shake you up. Look for excerpts at Scrib’d, Watpad, and Issuu.

Ochse, Weston. SEAL Team 666. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2012. 320p. ISBN 9781250007353. $24.99; eISBN 9781250013460. THRILLER
Cadet Jack Walker doesn’t know what he’s in for when he’s plucked from SEAL training and sent on a secret mission with four full-fledged SEALs and their dog (a Belgian Malinois?). SEAL Team 666’s members soon discovery that the enemy is literally out of this world, as they battle demons and possessed humans, animated by an ancient cult, who are intent on taking over not just the United States but the world. Since Ochse’s Scarecrow Gods won the Bram Stoker Award for First Novel, you might take a chance on this paranormal thriller; his Pushcart Prize nomination is added confirmation of his writing skills.

Patterson, James & Michael Ledwidge. Merry Christmas, Alex Cross. Little, Brown. Nov. 2012. 208p. ISBN 9780316210683. $19.99; lrg. prnt. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Wow, a Christmas thriller (and another Christmas book from Patterson after last year’s The Christmas Wedding, which is being reissued in November). On a cozy Christmas Eve, Alex Cross has just wrapped up a little case‚ someone robbing the church’s poor box‚ when he gets word of a hostage situation that could tie his holidays in knots. The last Alex Cross novel has sold over a million copies (so far).

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.