Fiction Previews, December 2013, Pt. 1: Big Commercial Fiction from Connelly to Weldon

Connelly, Michael. The Gods of Guilt. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780316069519. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Defense attorney Mickey Haller is back with a new case—the murder of a prostitute whom he thought he had saved from a life on the streets. Now he learns that he may have instead endangered her and sets out to solve her murder—and find redemption. Since Connelly’s latest, The Black Box, debuted at the top of both the combined print and ebook and ebook only New York Times best seller lists and is now in a third hefty printing, it’s safe to say that fans will be clamoring for this title.

Griffin, W.E.B. & William E. Butterworth IV. Hazardous Duty. Putnam. Dec. 2013. 480p. ISBN 9780399160677. $27.95. THRILLER
Mexican cartels and Somali pirates are running rampant, and the President decides that Col. Charley Castillo is the only man who can handle the mess. Alas, he has just forced Castillo to retire, so nastily that some of Castillo’s men have gone into hiding. Is this President nuts? More in the “Presidential Agent” saga.

Jackson, Joshilyn. Someone Else’s Love Story. Morrow. Dec.  2013. 320p. ISBN 9780062105653. $26.99. lrg. prnt. Downloadable: HarperAudio. POP FICTION
Hugely best-selling Jackson is being positioned to break out even bigger with a love story that starts with a holdup at a gas station mini-mart. There, tall, blond geneticist William Ashe steps between the gunman and 21-year-old college student Shandi Pierce’s three-year-old son. For William, wracked by past tragedy, it’s not just a noble gesture but a conscious choice to meet destiny head on. With a six-city tour and a 150,000-copy first printing; pushed at BookExpo America.

Kenyon, Sherrilyn. Kiss of the Night. St. Martin’s. Dec.  2013. 384p. ISBN 9781250036773. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429906135. PARANORMAL
Yes, you’ve seen it already: this is an early book in the blockbuster Dark-Hunter series, originally published in paperback in 2004. It features ancient Viking warrior Wulf, whom people cannot remember after he leaves their presence, and Cassandra, targeted for death by Daimons eager to free themselves from a curse—though her death means the death of the sun and everything with it. Here’s a special hardcover edition to replace your battered copies.

Perry, Anne. A Christmas Hope. Ballantine. Dec. 2013. 208p. ISBN 9780345530752. $18; ebk. ISBN 9780345545541. CHRISTMAS/HISTORICAL MYSTERY
Perry sets up a most unusual holiday party in her 11th Christmas novel. Claudine Burroughs, who works with William Monk’s wife at a women’s clinic, is bored at yet another festive event until a charming poet arrives with his prostitute companion. When the woman is found dead, Claudine starts to play sleuth. Books in this pleasing series sell in the 30,000-copy range.

Reich, Christopher. The Prince of Risk. Doubleday. Dec. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780385535069. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385535076. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. FINANCIAL THRILLER
Reich, who’s been writing New York Times best-selling financial thrillers for a while—The Patriots Club won an International Thrillers Writers award in 2006—takes another trip to Wall Street. Robert “Bobby” Astor is flying high as a New York hedge fund manager when his father, chair of the New York Stock Exchange, is murdered in a mysterious attack on the White House Lawn. Soon, as Bobby’s business begins to tumble, it appears that the entire U.S. financial system is slated for ruin by nasty foreigners. Reich’s 2002 thriller, The First Billion, has been optioned for film, so stand by for more Reich enthusiasm.

Trigiani, Adriana. The Supreme Macaroni Company. Harper: HarperCollins. Nov. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780062136589. $25.99. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION
As with last year’s The Shoemaker’s Wife, the author’s hottest seller to date, Trigiani picks up the cobbler’s toolkit to craft a story about love and work that ranges from New York to Italy and beyond. As Valentine Roncalli seeks to maintain the 100-year-old family business—the Greenwich Village–based Angelini Shoe Company—she complicates her life by falling in love with Gianluca Vechiarelli, a tanner whose secrets start to emerge on Christmas Eve as the couple celebrates the Feast of the Seven Fishes with Valentine’s family. With a one-day laydown on November 5 (news on this book just arrived), a ten-city tour, and a 150,000-copy first printing; pushed at BookExpo America.

Wasdin, Howard E. with Stephen Templin. Easy Day for the Dead: A SEAL Team Six Outcasts Novel. Gallery: S. & S. Dec. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781451682977. $26. THRILLER
Here’s the second in a New York Times best-selling series starring the Outcasts, an elite military operation that works outside of established boundaries to challenge anyone threatening U.S. security. In Iran, the Outcasts are about to assassinate the head scientist at a biological weapons lab when she explains that the government has established a dangerous satellite lab somewhere outside the country. She’ll reveals its whereabouts only if our team springs her husband from the secret detention facility where he’s being held to guarantee her work.

Weldon, Fay. The New Countess. St. Martin’s. Dec. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781250028020. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250028037. CD: Macmillan Audio. HISTORICAL
Grand of Weldon to have dreamed up an Edwardian-era story that has held fans in between bouts of Downton Abbey. Here she wraps up the trilogy with Lord Robert and Lady Isobel Dilberne’s household preparing for a visit from Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. Alas, the new heir, son of Arthur Dilberne and Chicago heiress Minnie O’Brien, isn’t entirely a proper little gentleman, and Mrs. O’Brien has arrived to stir up trouble. With a reading group guide.

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.