Unpublished Saramago, an Icelandic Joy Ride, Cormac McCarthy’s First Screenplay, & Four Best-Selling Thriller Authors | Fiction, Dec. 2014, Pt. 1

Gerritsen, Tess. Die Again: A Rizzoli & Isles Novel. Ballantine. Dec. 2014.  352p. ISBN 9780345543851. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780345543868. THRILLER
Boston Detective Jane Rizzoli sees a connection between the death of a big game hunter, gerritsenfound with the body of a white snow leopard he had been commissioned to find and stuff, and other, seemingly random cases. All the victims were hanging upside down, which is how leopard treat their kills. Now Rizzoli tracking clues all the way to Botswana. Gerritsen’s latest, Last To Die, debuted at No. 3 on the New York Times best sellers list, and she’s expected to keep up her record.

Griffin, W.E.B. & William E. Butterworth. Deadly Assets. Putnam. Dec. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780399171178. $27.95. ACTION & ADVENTURE
Even as 27-year-old Homicide Sgt. Matt Payne investigates the murder of a reporter, he’s accused of murdering the head of Philadelphia’s Citizens Oversight Committee, which had been investigating shootings by police—with Payne a particular target. Pushed back from August; Griffin knows his Philadelphia police stuff.

Higgins, Jack. Rain on the Dead. Putnam. Dec. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780399171949. $26.95. SUSPENSE
Two Chechen mercenaries are wiped out in a failed attempt to assassinate former U.S. President Jake Cazalet on Nantucket—thank goodness black ops specialist Sean Dillon and his colleague, Afghan war hero captain Sara Gideon, were with him at the time. But how the mercenaries learned that Cazelet was on the island is another, scary story.

McCarthy, Cormac. Gardener’s Son. Ecco. Dec. 2014. 176p. ISBN 9780062287540. pap. $14.99. SCREENPLAY
In spring 1975, film director Richard Pearce asked McCarthy to write a screenplay, something mccarthycormacthe distinguished novelist had never done before. Drawing inspiration from a few footnotes in a 1928 biography of a famous antebellum industrialist, McCarthy ultimately completed a classically tough-minded McCarthy-esque tale of two Southern families, the mill-owning Greggs and the McElvoys, who are among the mill’s employees. The film was broadcast on PBS in 1976 and received two Emmy Award nominations; the screenplay is back in print and available in trade paperback for the first time.

Ólafsdóttir, Auður Ava. Butterflies in November. Black Cat: Grove Atlantic. 304p. tr. from Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon. ISBN 9780802123183. pap. $15. LITERARY
Translated into 22 languages, Ólafsdóttir’s The Greenhouse won a stack of awards worldwide; her new work sounds like wicked fun that could break her out here. Having been dumped by her husband and her lover in a single day, our heroine suddenly finds herself taking care of a friend’s deaf-mute four-year-old son. When he picks the winning number in a lottery, the two set out on an improbable road trip across Iceland, encountering sheep, lava fields, black-sand beaches, an Estonian choir, and two exes trying to make amends. The book has been optioned for film, to be shot on site in English with an American actress, which suggests broad appeal.

Robards, Karen. Hush. Gallery. Dec. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781476766584. $26. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Riley Cowan’s father-in-law infamously foisted a huge financial fraud on the world, and now Riley’s estranged husband is found dead—a victim, she suspects, of an angry investor who lost out big. Now she’s uniting with an old flame, FBI agent Finn Bradley, to track down the killer before more people in the family feel his wrath.skylight

Saramago, José. Skylight. Houghton Harcourt. Dec. 2014. 320p. tr. from Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa. ISBN 9780544090026. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544084988. FICTION
This is the first work ever by Nobel Laureate Saramago, and it was left unpublished in his widow’s care at his death. The setting is a rundown Lisbon apartment building directly after World War II, with the narrative daisy-chaining the stories of several residents, from Beethoven-loving Adriana, who is just discovering her sensuality; to Carmen, who’s come to Lisbon to marry Emilio and isn’t that happy; to an elderly couple who take in a runaway. Not a huge first printing but obviously of interest because it lays the groundwork for Saramago’s later achievements.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @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.