Fiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 5: Lots of Action from Lisa Scottoline, Anne Hillerman, & More

Abrams, JJ & Doug Dorst. The Secret JJ Abrams Project. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780316201643. $35. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Abrams has created, produced, written, and directed multiple Emmy– and Golden Globe Award–winning television series and films (yes, he’s helming the next Star Wars film), so it’s no surprise that he can whip off a debut novel, too. For this Rubik’s-cube tale of love and adventure, he’s joined forces with PEN/Hemingway Award– and Shirley Jackson Award–nominated novelist Dorst (Alive in Necropolis), which should make for some high-class chills.

Bass, Jefferson. Cut to the Bone: A Body Farm Novel. Morrow. Oct. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780062262301. $26.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER
In case you were wondering how Dr. Bill Brockton’s Body Farm got started, here’s the prequel to the nerve-inducing series from Bass (really Dr. Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson). In 1992, as Clinton starts his run for the White House, Brockton finds his plans for a new research facility nearly wrecked when bodies start appearing whose lethal injuries recall cases from his past. A nice 50,000-copy first printing and author appearances in Atlanta, Florida locales, Huntsville (AL), Nashville, and Knoxville, the book’s setting.

Dekker, Ted. Outlaw. Center Street: Hachette. Oct. 2013. 432p. ISBN 9781599954158. $25. THRILLER
Having been enslaved by a Stone Age civilization somewhere in the jungles of Irian Jaya, Julie Carter is relieved to learn that her infant son, Stephen, did not drown at sea. When Stephen turns 18, he learns that his mother may still be alive and sets out to find her, making himself Outlaw. Dekker is so good at combining thrills with good Christian feeling that he was named Best Inspirational Suspense Author in 2012 by RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Awards and typically finds himself on the New York Times best sellers list. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Hillerman, Anne. Spider Woman’s Daughter. Harper: HarperCollins. Oct. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780062270481. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062270504. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY
Good news, mystery lovers. Navajo Tribal Police detectives Joe Leaphorn and  Jim Chee return with another Hillerman in charge. When Navajo Nation Police Officer Bernadette Manuelito witnesses the shooting of a loved one in a parking lot, she’s told that as an eyewitness she can’t be involved in the investigation. Fat chance, with husband Jim Chee in charge and the event harking back to a cold case involving the retired Joe Leaphorn. Hillerman, daughter of the beloved Tony Hillerman and an award-winning reporter and nonfiction author, gets a 250,000-copy first printing—not bad for a first novelist.

Johansen, Iris. Silencing Eve. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9781250020024. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250020017. THRILLER
In Johansen’s latest Eve Duncan trilogy, we’ve had Taking Eve and Hunting Eve, and now it could be the end of Eve. Certainly she is being stalked. Will she survive, or is her fate more complicated? With a one-day laydown on October 15, 2013.

Palahniuk, Chuck. Doomed. Doubleday. Oct. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780385533034. $24.95. THRILLER
First, there was Damned, in which spoiled 13-year-old Madison Spencer wakes up in Hell after a drug overdose and promptly takes on the Devil himself. Here, she’s made it to Purgatory—which is to say, Earth—where she has continuing misadventures as a gallivanting spirit and ends up on a plastic continent in the Pacific called Madlantis. Palahniuk’s Divine Comedy? Divine satire, at least, for his fans; the blogosphere is lighting up. With a seven-city tour to Chicago, Milwaukee, Wichita, Tulsa, Houston, Baltimore, and New Orleans.

Paretsky, Sara. Critical Mass. Putnam. Oct. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9780399160561. $26.95. MYSTERY
Here’s another V.I. Warshawski novel from Paretsky, named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 2011. Viennese-born doctor Lotty Herschel, concerned when the daughter of a childhood friend claims to be in danger, turns to her close buddy Warshawski for help. Soon, Warshawski is investigating dark secrets dating back to the race to develop the atomic bomb. No, Paretsky is not an authority on subatomic physics, but she interviewed Dr. Johann Marton, director of the Stefan Meyer Institute in Vienna, to get her facts straight.

Parker, Robert B. with Helen Brann. Silent Night: A Spenser Holiday Novel. Oct. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780399157882. $24.95. CRIME FICTION
One of crime fiction’s greats, Parker left behind the uncompleted manuscript of this work when he died in 2010. His longtime agent, Brann, also literary executor of the Robert B. Parker Estate, completed the work. On a snowy Boston day, an 11-year-old named Slide visits Spenser to ask him to help a shelter for homeless boys that’s being threatened with closing. Alas, Spenser finds the threats far more ominous than he first imagined.

Pelecanos, George. The Double. Little, Brown. Oct. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780316078399. $26. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Getting back the painting stolen from Grace Kinkaid will be child’s play for Spero Lucas. But tracking down the violent criminal who humiliated her is going to be dirty and dangerous business. A big push at BEA; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Sandford, John. Storm Front. Putnam. Oct. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780399159305. $27.95. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
Best known for his 23 Prey novels, Sandford (aka Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist John Camp) also has written six Virgil Flowers and four Kidd titles, along with a couple of stand-alones. Here, Virgil teams ups with an Israeli cop chasing a guy who’s walked out of an archaeological dig with a crucial find—a copper scroll that could make us rethink our understanding of King Solomon.

Scottoline, Lisa. Accused: A Rosato & Associates Novel. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9781250027658. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250027665. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
When Fiona Gardner was murdered six years ago, Lonnie Stall was convicted of the crime. But Fiona’s little sister, Allegra, now 13, doesn’t believe that Lonnie is guilty, even though he was seen fleeing the scene covered in her blood and later confessed. Why would Rosato & Associates fly in the face of such obvious evidence and take Allegra seriously, especially given how powerful the Gardner family is? Because New York Times best-selling and Edgar Award–winning Scottoline’s all-female law firm is tough. With a one-day laydown on October 22 and a national tour.

Sears, Michael. Mortal Bonds. Putnam. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780399158674. $26.95. THRILLER
Sears launched his writing career with a bang; Black Fridays won Edgar, Barry, and ITW Thriller first-novel nominations. Smart of him, then, to pick up the story of his hero, disgraced Wall Streeter Jason Stafford. Here, Stafford is asked to follow the money trail when the privately held investment bank run by financial wizard William Von Becker collapses, proving to have been held together with little more than spit. The money must be somewhere, and the family wants to find it before the government does. Ripped from the headlines, and Sears worked in finance for more than 20 years, so he knows his stuff.

Simmons, Dan. The Abominable. Little, Brown. Oct. 2013. 704p. ISBN 9780316198837. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
After the publication earlier this year of Tanis Rideout’s affectingly psychological Above All Things, here’s more fiction on climbing Mount Everest. Simmons, though, takes a supernatural approach. In 1926, a woman funds the expedition of three climbers, insisting that though her son supposedly fell to his death on the mountain, they will find him alive. Meanwhile, others are looking for the lost climber, and the mystery surrounding him is getting positively creepy. Reminiscent of The Terror, Simmons’s biggest hit of the last decade; with a five-city tour to Denver, San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, and Los Angeles.

Smith, Wilbur. Vicious Circle. Thomas Dunne Bks: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 480p. ISBN 9781250000316. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250037626. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
Born in Central Africa 80 years ago, Smith writes gripping best sellers set mostly on the continent. His recent series of in-your-face contemporary thrillers, which launched in 2011 with Those in Peril, stars former solider Hector Cross. His specialty? Battling pirates and terrorists in the dangerous waters off Africa’s coast. No word on the plot here, but note that film rights have been sold for Those in Peril.

Woods, Stuart. Doing Hard Time. Putnam. Oct. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780399164149. $26.95. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
Stone Barrington’s son, Peter, already an accomplished filmmaker, drives cross-continent to California after graduating from Yale to make his career with Centurion Studios. He’s joined by his best friend, Benito Bacchetti, and his girlfriend. Along about New Mexico, they run into Stone’s old nemesis, Teddy Fay, and things get pretty bad. Know that if you invite Woods in for a chat, he’ll pilot his own plane to your door.


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.