Commercial Fiction from Terry Brooks to Jeffery Deaver to Jane Green | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2014, Pt. 2


Box, C.J. Stone Cold. Putnam. Mar. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780399160769. $26.95. CRIME
Joe Pickett investigates a mysterious Black Hills rancher whose two companions include a “stone cold” killer and, even worse, a bad-news guy from Pickett’s past. From the multi-award-winning Box, who’s given us 14 Joe Pickett novels and four stand-alones.

Brooks, Terry. The High Druid’s Blade: The Defenders of Shannara. Del Rey: Ballantine. Mar. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780345540706. $28. CD: Random Audio. FANTASY
Fantasy star Brooks comes up with his first stand-alone Shannara novel since launching with The Sword of Shannara in 1977. When a sorcerer makes off with his sister, Paxon Leah follows with the old family sword, discovering its magical powers and a plot to wipe out the Druids. Look for more Shannara stand-alones in August 2014 and March 2015.

Cassella, Carol. Gemini. S. & S. Mar. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781451627930. $25.99. MEDICAL MYSTERY
After making her name with Oxygen and Healer, Cassella smartly returns with another medical mystery. Seattle-based ICU doctor Charlotte Reese is perplexed by an unidentified hit-and-run victim brought to her from the Olympic Peninsula. She’s rapidly deteriorating, and no one has stepped up to claim her, so for Charlotte it gets personal.

Coben, Harlan. Missing You. Dutton. Mar. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780525953494. $27.95. THRILLER
Another stand-alone from the multi-award-winning Coben, after six consecutive No. 1 New York Times best sellers and altogether 24 smash-hit thrillers. There’s no word on the plot except that it’s pulled straight from today’s headlines. With a five-city tour.

Cussler, Clive & Justin Scott. The Bootlegger. Putnam. Mar. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780399167294. $27.95. CD: Penguin Audio. ACTION & ADVENTURE
Seventh in the Det. Isaac Bell series, the only Cussler series set in the past, this volume opens in 1920. Prohibition has bred bootlegging, and when his boss is nearly killed chasing down a rum-running vessel, Isaac goes after the perpetrators. Then a witness is killed in a manner reminiscent of the Russian secret police, and Isaac knows that his troubles have gone global.

Daheim, Mary. The Alpine Yeoman: An Emma Lord Mystery. Ballantine. Mar. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780345535337. $26. MYSTERY
Another small-town murder, this one at the state fish hatchery, sets Alpine Advocate editor and publisher Emma Lord on the penultimate addition to this popular series. Emma can’t verify anything about the victim, so she can’t even run a story. Then there are all those runaway teenage girls, with no one willing to share insights.

Deaver, Jeffery. Trouble in Mind: The Collected Stories. Vol. 3. Grand Central. Mar. 2014. 560p. ISBN 9781455526796. $26. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. SHORT STORIES
Deaver, who’s set to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from Bouchercon 2014, has written 28 intensively twisty novels but also plenty of short stories; this is his third collection. Including stories starring Lincoln Rhyme, Kathryn Dance, and John Pellam, this collection also features four pieces that first appeared as ebook originals.

Estleman, Loren D. Don’t Look for Me: An Amos Walker Novel. Forge. Mar. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780765331212. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429946575. MYSTERY
In his 23rd outing, PI Amos Walker decides not to ignore a note from a missing woman that says, “Don’t look for me,” and soon finds himself mulling over Mafia or porn connections after discovering a corpse in a store basement.

Garrison, Paul. Robert Ludlum’s™ The Janson Option. Grand Central. Mar. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780446564489. $28. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Even as he joins with champion sharpshooter Jessica Kincaid to help burned-out agents find new lives, Paul Janson does international crisis management for a fee, as long as the cause is good. Now he’s agreed to rescue an oil executive’s wife from Somali pirates, in part because he sees it as leverage to keep a huge multinational from subverting the rights of sovereign nations in East Africa. Third in a series begun with Ludlum’s own The Janson Directive; Garrison’s The Janson Command appeared in February 2012, and this book is pushed back from February 2013.

Green, Jane. Tempting Fate. St. Martin’s. Mar. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780312591847. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466842038. CD: Macmillan Audio. POP FICTION
Happily married at 43, Gabby has no reason to be interested in the younger guy at the other end of the bar. But he does make her feel special again, and she starts out by risking emotional involvement. What’s the price she’ll finally pay? Ratcheted-up demand already.

Grippando, James. Black Horizon. Harper. Mar. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780062109880. $25.99.
lrg prnt. THRILLER
Following a drilling explosion in Cuban waters, not so far from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, attorney Jack Swyteck finds himself representing a woman whose husband died on the oil rig. Grippando’s 21st novel.

Harrison, Kim. The Undead Pool. Harper Voyager. Mar. 2014. 512p. ISBN 9780061957932. $27.99. PARANORMAL FANTASY
Our heroine, witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan, has kept the demonic ever after from shrinking to puddle size, but can she stop the civil war that’s looming? You bet she can. With a 250,000-copy first printing.

Herbert, Brian & Kevin J. Anderson. Mentats of Dune. Tor. Mar. 2014. 512p. ISBN 9780765322746. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429949767. CD: Macmillan Audio. SF
Attention, fans; here’s a sequel to Sisterhood of Dune. Even as Gilbertus Albans promotes his Mentat school, which aims to teach humans the techniques of thinking machines, long ago wiped out, the anti-technology Butlerian fanatics make their bid, and both the mutated Navigators and Mother Superior Raquella’s Sisterhood seek to secure a better fate for humanity.

Laukkanen, Owen. Kill Fee. Putnam. Mar. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780399165528. $26.95. CRIME
Minnesota state investigator Kirk Stevens and sometime colleague Carla Windermere, an FBI agent, witness a billionaire’s murder on a bright, sunny day by a milquetoasty kind of guy with haunting eyes. A few deaths later, they’ve discovered a high-tech, murder-for-hire website.

Martin, George R.R. (text), Daniel Abraham (adapt.), & Tommy Patterson (illus.).
A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel. Vol. 3. Ballantine. Mar. 2014. 240p. 9780440423232. $25. FANTASY
This is the third in a projected four-volume series adapting Martin’s immortal
A Game of Thrones to graphic format, comprising issues 13–18 of a 24–issue comic run. As with the other volumes, this volume has a unique content: dozens of studies done by illustrator Patterson of many characters.

Robotham, Michael. Watching You. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Mar. 2014. Mulho432p. ISBN 9780316252003. $26. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
More psychological suspense from the author of Say You’re Sorry, featuring a woman who feels she’s being watched and then makes a shocking discovery in husband Daniel’s Big Red Book after Daniel disappears.

Patterson, James & Marshall Karp. NYPD Red 2. Little, Brown. Mar. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780316211239. $28. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
When a wealthy woman is found slaughtered and tied to a Central Park carousel horse, the elite task force NYPD Red is dispatched. The first in this series has sold a half million copies since October 2012.

Sanderson, Brandon. Words of Radiance. Tor. Mar. 2014. 864p. ISBN 9780765326362. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429949620. CD: Macmillan Audio. FANTASY
Now that he’s finished the posthumous completion of Robert Jordan’s immortal fantasy series, “The Wheel of Time,” racking up three No. 1 New York Times best sellers in a row, Sanderson can devote his energies to his epic “Stormlight Archive,” launched in 2010 with The Way of Kings. Here, the humans in the magical land of Roshar find war with the Parshendi escalating, even as the slave Kaladin emerges as leader of the restored Knights Radiant. Pushed back from January 2014.

Stachniak, Eva. Empress of the Night: A Novel of Catherine the Great. Ballantine. Mar. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780553808131. $27. HISTORICAL FICTION
Polish-born, Canada-based Stachniak continues where she left off with The Winter Palace, an international best seller and Wall Street Journal and Washington Post best book about the early years of Catherine the Great. Here the Russian empress looks back on her ascension to the throne and continued consolidation of power.

Steel, Danielle. Power Play. Delacorte. Mar. 2014. 563p. ISBN 9780804121125. $28. POP FICTION
CEO Fiona Carson, dedicatedly raising her children on her own after the end of her long and loveless marriage. Liz Weston, who happily gave up a law career to be a corporate wife. Ashley Briggs, a young artist raising her twin daughters mostly on her own. They all meet significantly in Steel’s new work. Steel’s latest, Until the End of Time, debuted in the No. 1 spot on the New York Times best sellers list, which hasn’t happened for a while, so maybe she’s on a roll.

Steinhauer, Olen. The Cairo Affair. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781250036131. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250036148. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
When a diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary is shot to death, his distraught wife, Sophie; Cairo-based CIA agent Stan Bertolli; Egyptian agent Omar Halawi; and American analyst Jibril Aziz all converge in Cairo, where the victim was once assigned. A one-day laydown on March 18.

Talty, Stephan. Hangman. Ballantine. Mar. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780345538086. $26. SUSPENSE
Author of the nonfiction New York Times best seller Empire of Blue Water, Talty did nicely with his first thriller, Black Irish. Here, policewoman Abbie Kearney returns to track a nasty killer called the Hangman who has escaped from jail.

White, Randy Wayne. Bone Deep. Putnam. Mar. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780399158131. $26.95. CD: Penguin Audio. CRIME
When a stone fetish disappears from a Crow Indian tribe, Doc Ford finds himself in Florida’s infamous Bone Valley, investigating both murderous black marketeers and the ruthless owners of a multi-billion-dollar strip-mining phosphate firm. White knows the territory well, and he’s been around the block with Doc Ford 21 times.


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.