Fiction Previews, Aug. 2013, Pt. 3: More Good Beach Reading from Dahl, Spindler, and Others

Blake, Fanny. Women of a Dangerous Age. Thomas Dunne Bks: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9781250020949. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250020932. WOMEN’S FICTION
Lou has walked out on a husband who no longer loves her, and after going through a string of relationships, Ali has consented to marry a man she quickly learns is not what he seems. They’re women of a dangerous age who meet in front of the Taj Mahal and take their friendship from there. Calling all Elizabeth Berg fans; Blake’s been in publishing for years and should know here stuff.

Clark, Janice. The Rathbones. Doubleday. Aug. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780385536936. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385536943. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORICAL
Positioned as a literary gothic, this debut paddles through Moby-Dick territory, though the focus here is family. Clark limns the triumphs and travails of a New England whaling clan over a century, enfolding delicate coming-of-age moments and the painful collapse of a once-thriving industry. In-house enthusiasm.

Corleone, Douglas. Good As Gone. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781250017208. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250017215. THRILLER
Winner of the MB/MWA First Crime Novel Competition and author of the Kevin Corvelli crime novels, Corleone writes a stand-alone featuring former U.S. marshal Simon Fiske. Fiske tracks children abducted by an estranged parent but is too pained by his daughter’s unsolved kidnapping to handle abductions by strangers—until little Lindsay vanishes from her parents’ hotel room in Paris and the French police insist that he take the case—or else. Look for library marketing.

Dahl, Arne. Bad Blood: A Crime Novel. Pantheon. tr. from Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. Aug. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780375425363. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780375908537. Downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER
Jan Arnold is a literary critic, poet, and novelist, but when he wants to, he becomes Arne Dahl, the author of crime fiction that features the Intercrime team and wins major awards throughout Europe. Here, when a Swedish literary critic is found tortured to death in a janitor’s closet at Newark’s Liberty International Airport, his ticket home missing, the investigation ends up in the laps of Intercrime detectives Paul Hjelm and Kerstin Holm. Dark doings; I won’t easily fly through that airport again.

Garlock, Dorothy. Under a Texas Sky. Grand Central. Aug. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780446540230. $30; pap. ISBN 9780446540216. $15. ROMANCE
Over 50 novels, with 15 million copies in print, four hardcover and nine mass market titles having made the New York Times extended best sellers list, and a fistful of Affaire de Coeur and Romantic Times awards as well. Clearly, the numbers are going Garlock’s way. In her latest, Anna Finnegan has risen from the mean streets of 1920s Chicago and is about to make her first movie in Redstone, TX. There she meets Dalton Barnes (slightly defensive about what outsiders think of his hometown), and their affair would be going great if someone weren’t sabotaging the movie set. Note the (pricey) hardcover/paperback option.

Krueger, William Kent. Tamarack County. Atria: S. & S. Aug. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781451645750. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781451645781. MYSTERY
Christmas is coming, but then so is a deadly blizzard, and the wife of a retired local judge has vanished, her car left forlorn by the roadside. Former sheriff Cork O’Connor, now a private investigator, is part of the search-and-rescue team that comes up empty, and he’s unsettled by an emerging pattern of eerie events pointing back to a decades-old murder that may have led to the conviction of the wrong man. This latest in the New York Times best-selling series has a 75,000-copy first printing.

Leotta, Allison. Speak of the Devil. Touchstone: S. & S. Aug. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781451644852. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781451644876. THRILLER
Suspense magazine called Leotta’s debut, Law of Attraction, one of the best books of 2010; Strand magazine called the follow-up, Discretion, one of the best books of 2012. So one can reasonably expect good things from this new novel by the former Washington, DC, sex crimes officer. Here, prosecutor Anna Curtis’s investigation of a man called Diablo who unleashed a vicious attack on a brothel leads straight to a bad-news street gang and thence to official lies that make Anna’s job more complicated. Not huge (there’s a 30,000-copy first printing), but real credibility here.

Lyons, David. Blood Game: A Jock Boucher Thriller. Emily Bestler Bks: Atria. Aug. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781451629323. pap. $15. ebk. ISBN 9781451629347. THRILLER
Lyons’s series starring New Orleans–based Federal Judge Jock Boucher must have started off with a bang, because this follow-up has a 75,000-copy first printing. Having been compelled to kill two men, the Cajun-born Boucher is ready to resign from the bench, but the President convinces him otherwise. Alas, Boucher must kill again, and soon he’s deep in a case involving arms shipments to Mexican criminal insurgents.

Palin, Michael. The Truth. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9781250028242. $24.99. POP FICTION
In Palin’s first novel since 1998’s Hemingway’s Chair, the unassuming Keith Mabbut is given a life-changing opportunity to write the biography of humanitarian Hamish Melville, which require a trip to India to interview his subject. As the title suggests, Melville may not be what he claims. Okay, cool, but will this be funny?

Snelling, Lauraine. Wake the Dawn. Faithwords: Hachette. Aug. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780892969012. pap. $15. CHRISTIAN FICTION
Hard-drinking U.S. Border Patrol agent Ben James, still mourning the death of his beloved, is on a final patrol before a major storm arrives when he and canine partner Bo discover a babe in the woods. Rushing the little one to the local clinic in Pineville, MN, he encounters nurse Esther Hanson, distraught over her limited equipment but determinedly attending to all her patients when pouring rain cuts off the clinic from the outer world. A national best-selling Christian fiction author; buy if she’s popular in your stacks.

Spielman, Lori. The Life List. Bantam. Aug. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780345540874. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345540881. WOMEN’S FICTION
Happy with her boyfriend, her job, and her fabulous loft, Brett Bohlinger is entirely thrown by her mother’s death—and even more thrown when the will stipulates that before she receives her inheritance she must complete a list of goals she wrote two decades ago at age 14. Go to Paris? Become an awesome teacher? Get closer to her father (dead for seven years)? Brett’s journey has attracted considerable attention, with rights sold to 14 countries and film rights optioned by Fox 2000 Pictures. Great summer reading.

Spindler, Erica. Justice for Sara. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781250012524. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250012531. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
Cleared of sister Sara’s murder but still dogged by suspicion (including her own), Kat McCall returns to Liberty, LA, on the tenth anniversary of Sara’s death. She’s motivated in part by the last in a string of anonymous letters she has been receiving, this one demanding, “What about justice for Sara?” In Liberty, she’s got the support of Det. Luke Tanner, but this being a small Southern town, innuendo and nasty secrets are just around the corner. This New York Times best-selling author is great on atmosphere; look for big promotion, including an original e-story.

Tanenbaum, Robert K. Tragic. Gallery: S. & S. Aug. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781451635553. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781451635607. THRILLER
District attorneys Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi are back, ready to duke it out with a corrupt leader of the longshoremen’s union who’s put a hit on a whistleblower. Surely there will be more bloodshed before this is over. From a popular author and powerhouse trial lawyer; with a 35,000-copy first printing.

Williams, Amanda Kyle. Don’t Talk to Strangers. Bantam. Aug. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780553808094. $27; ISBN 9780345539649. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER
Well, hey, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called Williams’s Keye Street “one of the most addictive new series heroines since Stephanie Plum,” and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer said that she’s “the best fictional female P.I. since Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone.” So you should definitely check out this third in a series that started with the Shamus-nominated The Stranger You Seek. Here, Keye must track down a killer who’s been leaving women’s bodies deep in the Georgia woods for a decade.




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.