Fiction Previews, Feb. 2013, Pt. 2: Top Commercial Fiction from Cain, Garwood, and More

Billingham, Mark. The Dying Hours. Mysterious Pr: Grove Atlantic. Aug. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780802121486. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780802193285. THRILLER
Tom Thorne, no longer a detective but back in uniform owing to his headstrong ways, doubts that several deaths among London’s elderly are suicides, as they have been classified. As he investigates, he must go it alone. From an award winner and No. 1 best-selling author in Britain who’s making headway here.

Cain, Chelsea. Let Me Go. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780312619817. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250022387. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
Det. Archie Sheridan is attending a masked Halloween party at the island estate of Jack Reynolds, whose drug enterprise he’s investigating, when a guest turns up dead. Looks as if Gretchen Lowell, the serial killer who defines brutal beauty, is back…again. Note that Cain’s five Sheridan novels were all New York Times best sellers.

Cook, Thomas H. Sandrine’s Case. Mysterious Pr: Grove Atlantic. Aug. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780802126085. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780802193520. THRILLER
Cook, a seven-time Edgar Award nominee (he won for The Chatham School Affair), returns with the story of a milquetoast professor accused of murdering his wife, Sandrine, a brilliant, chaotically beautiful woman found dead from an overdose of painkillers and alcohol. With town, gown, and media lined up against him and even his daughter having her doubts, Samuel Madison must dig deep into his wife’s secrets to prove his innocence.

Ellis, David. The Last Alibi. Putnam. Aug. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780399158803. $26.95. THRILLER
Already a physical and emotional wreck owing to his previous case, defense attorney Jason Kolarich agrees to defend oddball James Drinker on charges of murder. As he digs deeper, though, Kolarich realizes that he’s the one being framed. Ellis, winner of the 2002 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel (Line of Vision) and a James Patterson coauthor (see Mistress, previewed below), was the House Prosecutor who tried and impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich—a case that served as the basis for the second Jason Kolarich outing.

Fairstein, Linda. Death’s Angel. Dutton. Aug. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780525953876. $26.95. CD: Penguin Audio. LEGAL THRILLER
New York’s Central Park is the setting of New York Times best seller Fairstein’s latest crime novel, as Assistant DA Alex Cooper and Det. Mike Chapman try to determine whether the woman whose body was just discovered there is the first victim of a brand-new serial psychopath or the latest in a long line they haven’t quite drawn. Fairstein was once chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of Manhattan’s District Attorney’s office. With a seven-city tour.

Fossum, Karin. Eva’s Eye: An Inspector Sejer Mystery. Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780547738758. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780547738772. CRIME
American fans have been chilling with Fossum’s Inspector Sejer titles for a while, perhaps not realizing that they were missing out on the first in the series. Finally, it’s been translated. As divorced mom Eva Magnus walks along the river with her daughter, they spot a floating object that turns out to be a man Eva knows. Obviously the victim of foul play, he’s been missing for months—since the unsolved murder of a prostitute.

Garwood, Julie. Hotshot. Dutton. Aug. 2013. 358p. ISBN 9780525953012. $26.95. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Just-fired food critic Peyton Lockhart is elated when she and her sisters inherit an upscale oceanfront resort, even if it does come with the condition that they run it for a year at a profit before they can truly call it their own. Then she realizes that someone is trying to sabotage their efforts—her nearly getting killed in a suspicious accident is one clue—and Peyton must turns to old buddy Finn MacBain, now with the FBI, for protection. Since Garwood’s last two titles debuted in the second spot on the New York Times best sellers list, you can bet that there will be an audience.

Gregory, Philippa. The White Princess. Touchstone: S. & S. Aug. 2013. 544p. ISBN 9781451626094. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781451626155. CD: S. & S. Audio. HISTORICAL
The so-called queen of royal fiction brings us a princess—specifically, Princess Elizabeth of York, who has a keen interest in the outcome of the Battle of Bosworth. Not only will it determine which house will rule England, York or Tudor, but whom she must marry—Richard III, the man she loves, or Henry Tudor, the enemy to whom she has been betrothed. We know the outcome, but it’s nice to see Henry turning to his new wife for guidance and Elizabeth falling in love. Just pushed to the last week in July.

Griffin, W.E.B. & William Butterworth. The Last Witness: A Badge of Honor Novel. Putnam. Aug. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780399162572. $27.95. POP FICTION
The author of six best-selling series, Griffin (joined by son Butterworth) offers the 11th in the “Badge of Honor” series, which started life in paperback original and has laid claim to the New York Times best sellers list since breaking into hardcover in 1995. Here, Philadelphia homicide detective Matt Payne again links up with Texas Ranger Jim Byrth, this time to investigate a Mexican drug cartel–Russian mob operation that smuggles Russian girls into the United States to do less than savory work. American girls from foster homes are disappearing, too, and Payne must track down a witness in hiding.

Hurwitz, Gregg. Tell No Lies. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780312625528. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250026101. THRILLER
Having shucked off his old-money San Francisco heritage, Dan Brasher counsels recently paroled ex-cons and is preparing to open a private practice. Then, after inadvertently reading a threatening note at the office whose intended recipient later turns up dead, Dan finds himself in the crosshairs of a killer. Look for a regional tour for this Los Angeles–based TV producer and New York Times best-selling author.

Jance, J.A. Second Watch: A J.P. Beaumont Novel. Morrow. Aug. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780062134677. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062134691. CD: Harper Audio. THRILLER
While undergoing knee replacement surgery, no joke even for a retired police officer, Jance regular J.P. Beaumont starts having nightmares recalling his early day on Seattle’s force and before that his service in Vietnam. He thinks he’s just reacting to the medications until problems from the past start surfacing for real. With a one-day laydown on August 20 and a 200,000-copy first printing, not surprising for an author whose titles jointly sell over 1,000 copies per month.

Kellerman, Faye. The Beast: A Decker/Lazarus Novel. Morrow. Aug. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780062121752. $26.99. lrg. prnt. CD: Harper Audio. THRILLER
Two new cases confound Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus—and could wreak havoc with their family. One involves Gabe, the troubled boy they are caring for, the other a man who seems to have been mauled to death by his pet tiger. Both cases are of course more complicated than they seem. Kellerman’s increased interest in the personal as well as the perp seem to have confounded a few fans, but there’s still a one-day laydown on August 6 and a 200,000-copy first printing

McLaughlin, Emma & Nicola Kraus. The Girl in the Blue Dress. Atria: S. & S. Aug. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781451643428. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781451643442. POP FICTION
The Nanny Diaries coauthors step into the political arena with this tale of White House seduction. When her internship at the White House leads to an affair with President Gregory Rutland that she can’t seem to break off, Jamie McAllister confesses a few details to close friends. Alas, someone spills the beans, and Jamie finds herself cruelly targeted by Rutland’s enemies. Told from the perspective of a sadder but wiser Jamie; how ripped-from-the-headlines do you want to get?

Macomber, Debbie. Rose Harbor in Bloom. Ballantine. Aug. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780345528933. $26; lrg. prnt. ebk. ISBN 9780345543325. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. WOMEN’S FICTION
Even as Rose Harbor Inn proprietor Jo Marie Rose commemorates her late husband by brightening the property with a magnificent rose garden (which brings both conflict and closeness with the handyman), guests swirl through on their own missions. Annie is arranging her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary, for instance, while recovering from a broken engagement. Mega-best-selling romance queen Macomber adds to a series launched just last summer

Patterson, James & David Ellis. Mistress. Little, Brown. Aug. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780316211079. $27.99. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. lrg. prnt. THRILLER
No, gorgeous Diana Hotchkiss would never have returned smitten Ben’s affections, but that doesn’t keep him from trying to find out what happened when she is found dead. He’s not entirely prepared for the gasp-producing double life she’s been leading.

Reichs, Kathy. Bones of the Lost. Scribner. Aug. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781439102459. $26.99l ebk. ISBN 9781439112830. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER
When the body of a teenage girl is discovered along a deserted two-lane highway, forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan gets involved. The vicitm could have been an illegal immigrant turning tricks, and her case could be connected to that of Desert Storm veteran Dominick Rockett, accused of smuggling Peruvian dog mummies into the country. (Eye-catching detail.) Some family trauma for Temperance, too; with a six-city tour to Atlanta, Charlotte, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and San Diego.

Robards, Karen. The Last Kiss Goodbye: A Charlotte Stone Novel. Ballantine. Aug. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780345535825. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780345535832. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. PARANORMAL ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
After helping get a hysterical, blood-soaked woman who claims that she has been forced to kill two other people, serial killer expert Dr. Charlotte Stone uses her ability to chat with the newly dead to discover that a nasty piece of work called the Ringmaster uses his kidnap victims to play sadistic games. Charlie helps the feds investigate while continuing her love affair with a dead man who had been convicted of murder. Whoa. Second in a new series from a perennially best-selling author.

Siddons, Anne Rivers. The Girls of August. Grand Central. Aug. 2013. 350p. ISBN 9780446527958. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780446565844/9781935170952. CD: Hachette Audio. WOMEN’S FICTION
“The Girls of August”: four women who have vacationed together at the beach (in a different house each summer) from the time their husbands were in medical school. They spin apart when one dies tragically, but a new marriage brings them together again for a heartfelt reunion on one of South Carolina’s barrier islands. Classic beach reading.

Strieber, Whitley. Alien Hunter. Tor. Aug. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780765331533. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429922715. PARANORMAL THRILLER
A best-selling author of more than two dozen books who has seen his ink turned into film (e.g., Superstorm became the movie The Day After Tomorrow), Strieber turns in a story about a police officer whose wife has disappeared investigating similar disappearances nationwide. All the victims seem to have departed willingly—and have left not a trace. Perhaps the abductors aren’t from this world. Look for BEA, Thrillerfest, and Comic-con promotion.

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.