Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 4: Four Commercial Blockbusters from Brown, Gruber, Lindsay, & Sparks

Brown, Sandra. Deadline. Grand Central. Sept. 2013. 300p. ISBN 9781455501519. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. SUSPENSE
War-weary journalist Dawson Scott needs the distraction of the case dropped into his lap by an FBI contact; former U.S. Marine Jeremy Wesson, son of terrorists who have been on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for decades, is missing and presumed murdered. Dawson finds himself interested in Jeremy’s ex-wife, but the case becomes more complicated when her nanny turns up dead. Looks as if Dawson’s biggest story yet could be the end of him.

Gruber, Michael. The Return. Holt. Sept. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780805091298. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781466805026. THRILLER
Richard Marder appears to be a quiet, cultured man, but he has just received some shocking news that kindles within him a rage for vengeance against those who forced his life off course years earlier. He’s joined in this trip to hell by Vietnam army buddy Patrick Skelly, who knows how nasty Richard can get, and together they up the ante as Gruber considers whether it is morally acceptable to fight fire with fire.

Lindsay, Jeff. Dexter’s Final Cut. Doubleday. Sept. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780385536516. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385536516. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER
“Dexter’s Debut” was the working title of this seventh novel starring Dexter Morgan, a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami police who channels his murderous proclivities into killing only bad guys who truly deserve to die. That the title has been changed to Final Cut has already stirred considerable online debate about whether this is Dexter’s last outing. If I knew, I’d tell you; meanwhile, no other plot details but a definite sense of suspense.

Sparks, Nicholas. The Longest Ride. Grand Central. Sept. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781455520657. $27. POP FICTION
After a car crash, 91-year-old Ira Levinson manages to survive because he imagines that he sees Ruth, the beloved wife he lost nine years earlier, sitting next to him and chatting about the life they shared. Meanwhile, Wake Forest College senior Sophia Danko is recovering from a broken heart when she meets a cowboy named Luke who promises to turn her life around (but what about that secret in his past?). Of course, the stories of these two disparate couples eventually intersect. A classic Sparks tearjerker.

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.