ALA Fallout: Seven Terrific Genre Novels I Discovered Last Minute, including Buehlman, Stine, Kingsbury, and More

Buehlman, Christopher. Between Two Fires. Ace. Oct. 2012. 432p. ISBN 9781937007867. $25.95. HORROR
Having made a huge bloody splash with Those Across the River, Buehlman returns with a book set in 1348 Europe. Thomas, a disgraced knight, encounters a girl orphaned by the ravening Black Plague who claims that it’s only a glimpse of a much bigger, much nastier cataclysm to come. Delirium or true visions? It’s intriguing that Buehlman has leapt so far from the mid-century Southern setting of his first novel, just as intriguing that he’s also an award-winning poet. Expect demand.

Capus, Alex. Lèon and Louise. Haus, dist. by Consortium. Nov. 2012. 265p. ISBN 9781908323132. pap. $15. HISTORICAL FICTION
A huge hit at the AAP Annual Librarians Book Buzz at BEA, this book was also featured at Consortium’s booth at ALA. And it just sounds so good. Drawing on the life of his paternal grandfather, Swiss French author Capus recounts how Lèon and Louise meet in northern France at the close of World War I but are separated by shellfire and believe each other to be dead. Ten years later, Lèon spots Louise in Paris and, while promising his wife never to leave her, tracks her down. Any book that spends 50 consecutive weeks on a best sellers list (in this case Der Spiegel‘s) is defintiely worth investigating.

Ford, Jeffrey. Crackpot Palace: Stories. Morrow. Aug. 2012. 352p. ISBN 9780062122599. pap. $14.99. SHORT STORIES
Ford backs up this story collection with some hefty chops; he’s an Edgar Award winner for The Girl in the Glass and a Shirley Jackson Award winner for The Shadow Year. The spooky locales range from New Jersey’s Pine Barrens to Dr. Moreau’s Island of Lost Souls. Although these pieces have mostly been published elsewhere, one, The Wish Head, was written expressly for this collection. Mystery and horror fans will be intrigued.

Gremillon, Hélène. The Confidant. Penguin. Nov. 2012. 256p. ISBN 9780143121565. pap. $15. POP FICTION
In 1975 Paris, Camille encounters a mysterious unsigned note while looking through condolence letters after the death of her mother. The stranger keeps writing, recalling first love Annie, how they were separated, and events that led to a brutal act of revenge even as the Germans marched into Paris. Former Le Figaro writer Gremillon has done well with this title, having sold it to 18 territories; boosted for readers of Sarah’s Key, Suite Française, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Kingsbury, Karen. The Bridge. Howard: S. & S. Oct. 2012. 272p. ISBN 9781451647013. $19.99. CHRISTIAN FICTION
The Bridge is a bookstore, based in Franklin, TN, where Molly and Ryan used to meet. Now Molly is in Portland, having left Ryan, who still pines for her. Then they both learn that the store is in trouble, with the bank threatening to yank the lease right before Christmas, and the rest you can guess. New York Times and USA Today best seller Kingsbury, who’s been called the Queen of Christian fiction by Time magazine (and has 15 million books out there to prove it), recently signed a multibook deal with Howard Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Definitely get for fans.

Stine, R.L. Red Rain. Touchstone: S. & S. Oct. 2012. 384p. ISBN 9781451636123. $24.99. HORROR
Hugely best-selling children’s author Stine aims to give you goose bumps with his adult horror novel. Having weathered a hurricane on an island off the South Carolina coast, travel writer Lea Sutter boldly decides to adopt two boys orphaned by the storm. Alas, husband Matt and children aren’t thrilled, and as the boys start showing their true colors‚ and Matt is suddenly implicated in a murder‚ you have to agree with the family.

Wagman, Diana. The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets. Ig, dist. by Consortium. Nov. 2012. 240p. 9781935439646. pap. $15.95. THRILLER
As if Winnie Parker doesn’t have enough troubles. Single mom to a troubled teenager and ex-wife of a celebrated game-show host who left her for a glamour-puss contestant, she has dropped off her car at the repair shop and accepted what she thinks is a ride to pick up her rental car. Oops, it’s not. One of small-press distributor’s biggest books of the season, this is reportedly a a swift, creepy, engrossing read. And Pen Center USA Award winner Wagman can write.




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.