Xpress Reviews: Fiction | First Look at New Books, September 14, 2012

Week ending September 14, 2012

Cussler, Clive & Thomas Perry. The Tombs: A Fargo Adventure. Putnam. Sept. 2012. c.384p. ISBN 9780399159268. $27.95. F
As treasure hunters Sam and Remi Fargo (The Kingdom) begin a quiet underwater dive off the Louisiana coast, they notice a boat shadowing them. They later receive a call from their archaeologist friend, Dr. Albrecht Fisher, who has discovered an unusual battlefield site in Szeged, Hungary; lying in full battle dress, the dead warriors appear to have been murdered rather than killed in combat. When Albrecht is kidnapped by a crazed Hungarian drug boss who believes himself to be a direct descendant of Attila the Hun, the Fargos travel to Hungary to rescue him. As they embark on the treasure hunt of their lives through Hungary, Italy, France, Transylvania, Russia, and Kazakhstan, they must deal with thieving treasure hunters, a Russian mob boss, and the Hungarian who always seems to be one step ahead of them.
Verdict Partnering with the Edgar Award–winning Perry (The Butcher’s Boy; Poison Flower), Cussler delivers another adventure of nonstop, nerve-wracking suspense.—Cynde Suite, Bartow Cty. Lib. Syst., Cartersville, GA

Lindqvist, John Ajvide. Little Star. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2012. c.544p. tr. from Swedish by Marlaine Delargy. ISBN 9780312620516. $26.99. HORROR
If it’s true that characterization is the hallmark of excellent fiction, then this novel should have no trouble rising to that level. Lindqvist (Let the Right One In; Handling the Undead: Harbor), whom many are calling the Swedish Stephen King, presents his readers with not one but two female protagonists—Theres and Teresa—following each of them from childhood until the electric moment when they meet as adolescents. Each girl has an unusual history and set of personality traits that launch her toward the gruesome results of the bond they eventually forge. Theres, blessed from birth with a singular musical talent, is abandoned as an infant, then rescued by a middle-aged couple who lock her away in their basement for more than a decade. Teresa grows up with a dark view of life but watching Theres on a broadcast of Idol gives her a glimmer of hope and compels her to reach out to the young singer. What follows, like the climax of King’s Carrie, is not for the faint of heart.
VERDICT Be sure to recommend this import to all serious horror fans. [See Prepub Alert, 4/9/12.]—Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT

Lustbader, Eric Van. Father Night: A Jack McClure Novel. Forge: Tor. Sept. 2012. c.320p. ISBN 9780765333391. $25.99. F
Nature abhors a vacuum. Lustbader’s (Blood Trust) fourth Jack McClure thriller opens with the Middle East’s Arab Spring in full bloom. When one power topples, who or what will replace it? Shadowy key players like the Syrian, Father Night, and a Russian named Dadya Gourdiev all play a part in this elaborate chess match, with each vying to be the winner. Alli Carson, the former president’s daughter, finds herself a tormented pawn by someone who intimately knows details of her past kidnapping. However, the real target is Jack, who cannot resist stepping in to protect Alli, his dead daughter’s lover. The Department of Defense special agent will find his task exceedingly difficult because some devils may never die.
Verdict Lustbader expertly spins multiple story lines that tie together neatly in this fast-paced, plot-driven tale of political suspense and international intrigue. Pages will fly as fans of Jason Bourne thrillers and such authors as David Baldacci, Vince Flynn, and Daniel Silva race to the exciting conclusion.—Susan O. Moritz, Montgomery Cty. P.L.s, Silver Spring, MD

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"