Week of December 5, 2011
The Boy Who Shoots Crows by Randall Silvis
Silvis (Disquiet Heart, 2002) introduces us into the search for a Pennsylvania boy who went missing while hunting crows. Charlotte Dunleavy, a recent escapee from Manhattan, may have heard something useful to the investigation -- but her memory isn’t working properly. Could she be hiding her complicity in this case, even from herself?
Week of November 28, 2011
Utu by Caryl Férey
Set in New Zealand, Utu follows Paul Osborne, who’s called back to the Auckland police force from a bender in Sydney to take over an investigation by Jack Fitzgerald, an ex-colleague who committed suicide. But probing Fitzgerald’s death will introduce Osborne into a mystery involving Maori discontents, revenge and political corruption.
Week of November 21, 2011
Assume Nothing by Gar Anthony Haywood
This spectacle of malicious retribution stars Los Angeles ex-cop Joe Reddick, who, along with his son and estranged wife, has been threatened by murderers. Having already lost one family to a demented killer, Reddick will stop at almost nothing to eradicate this fresh menace -- even if it means erasing his own future.
Week of November 15, 2011
Our Man in the Dark by Rashad Harrison
Set during the 1960s, Harrison’s debut crime novel follows John Estem, a bookkeeper who steals money from Martin Luther King Jr.’s organization, only to be found out by the FBI and coerced into playing informant against America’s most prominent civil rights leader -- a man whose reputation the feds hope to destroy.
Week of November 7, 2011
The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis
After helping an estranged friend retrieve luggage from the Copenhagen train station, only to discover a naked child in the suitcase, Nina Borg is drawn into a dangerous world as she tries to identify the boy and keep him safe from the people who trapped him, and who will now kill to get him back.
Week of October 31, 2011
Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr
No sooner has German homicide cop Bernie Gunther returned to a beleaguered Berlin in 1941, than he’s called away again -- this time to Prague, where a gathering of Nazi officials is taking place. Following a locked-room murder, it falls to Bernie to solve it, or maybe lose more than simply his good reputation in failing.
Week of October 24, 2011
Bad Signs by R.J. Ellory
Seized as hostages by a fleeing psychopath, orphaned half-brothers Clarence and Elliott -- blind to the world outside their institution’s walls -- are suddenly swept up in a frantic getaway across America’s Southwest. That escape leaves a trail of violence and threatens to consume the siblings in their kidnapper’s frightening vision of the world.
Week of October 17, 2011
Troubled Bones by Jeri Westerson
Disgraced knight-turned-sleuth Crispin Guest takes on a job for the Archbishop of Canterbury: figure out who’s behind threats to the displayed bones of martyr Thomas à Becket. But he’s distracted from that task by the arrival of an old acquaintance, poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who’s been accused of murdering a visiting pilgrim.
Week of October 10, 2011
The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin
Detective Inspector Malcolm Fox and his Internal Affairs investigators are back (after The Complaints, 2009), this time looking into misconduct charges against a fellow policeman. But that simple case soon adds dimensions and dangers, connecting to a vicious murder and to terrorist attacks by Scottish separatists in the mid-1980s.
Week of October 3, 2011
Bad Moon Rising by Ed Gorman
Set in 1968, this ninth Sam McCain mystery finds the lawyer/private eye in the midst of a culture and political clash, after the teenage daughter of a wealthy Black River Falls, Iowa, resident is found dead at a controversial hippie commune. Extremists and opportunists alike make McCain’s job tougher, and escalate local tensions.
Week of September 26, 2011
A Bespoke Murder by Edward Marston
It’s the early days of World War I, and Britain is already plagued by anti-German violence. So the death of an immigrant tailor and the rape of his daughter are chalked up to more of the same -- until Detective Inspector Harvey Marmion finds inconsistencies that lead him to look more closely into these crimes.
Week of September 12, 2011
Motor City Shakedown by D.E. Johnson
While pursuing revenge in 1911 against the killers of a friend -- and also struggling to kick a morphine habit -- Detroit auto company heir Will Anderson and his former fiancée, Elizabeth Hume, blunder into murder and the fiery midst of their city’s first mob war. A sequel to 2010’s The Detroit Electric Scheme.
Week of September 5, 2011
Temporary Perfections by Gianrico Carofiglio
Italian attorney Guido Guerrieri must exercise his detective talents in order to reinvigorate the months-old case of Manuela Ferraro, who went missing from a beach resort. As he digs into this woman’s secrets-filled life, Guerrieri discovers a drug ring, revisits his own uneasy past and questions the inevitability of justice.
Week of September 5, 2011
Damage Control by Denise Hamilton
Public relations exec Maggie Silver tries to protect U.S. Senator Henry Paxton of California from a crippling scandal, following the death of a female aide. At the same time, she must cope with re-entering the Paxtons’ sphere of celebrity and recollections of a long-ago tragedy that drove her and the senator’s daughter apart.
Week of August 29, 2011
The Cut by George Pelecanos
Spero Lucas specializes in recovering stolen property, taking a 40-percent cut of the value for his efforts. But when a crime boss asks Lucas to find out who’s stealing from his operation, 40 percent might be too high a price to pay for the risks it brings our hero and the people he loves.
Week of August 22, 2011
The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman
Skipping back and forth through time, this tale relates the experiences of a once-inseparable group of childhood friends who, after years of separation, are thrust back together by the car-crash death of their most wild-haired member. That’s when a secret they share threatens to be exposed and bring trouble all around.
Week of August 17, 2011
Bye Bye, Baby by Max Allan Collins
Back for the first time since Chicago Confidential (2002), P.I. Nate Heller is in Hollywood in 1962, helping Marilyn Monroe with a contract dispute. When the sex symbol suddenly dies, he’s sure it had as much to do with the politicians and mobsters she’d been cozying up to as with the drugs in her system.
Week of August 8, 2011
Murder in the Minster by Susanna Gregory
In 1358 teacher-investigator Matthew Bartholomew travels from the college of Michaelhouse, in Cambridge, to help claim a much-needed legacy from the Archbishop of York. But trouble brews: York is threatened by greed and the French, several of the Archbishop’s executors have died and proof of Michaelhouse’s bequest has vanished.
Week of August 1, 2011
The Hand That Trembles by Kjell Eriksson
Police detective Ann Lindell is already tackling the mystery of a severed female foot found in an area of Uppsala, Sweden, that’s dominated by single men. But then a second, related case comes her way: the sighting, in India, of someone closely resembling a county commissioner who went missing from Uppsala years ago.
Week of July 25, 2011
Thick as Thieves by Peter Spiegelman
Intrigue and paranoia marble this thriller about an ex-CIA agent, Carr, who’s planning to rob a former hedge fund manager now working as a money man for the worst -- and richest -- sorts of criminals. As the plot shifts from Texas to the Caribbean, Carr realizes he cannot trust anyone, least of all his fellow crooks.
Week of July 18, 2011
The Day Is Dark by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Small-time Icelandic attorney Thóra Gudmundsdóttir (last seen in 2009’s My Soul to Take) is hired to investigate the vanishing of two of her fellow countrymen, who had been working on the northeast coast of Greenland. Do the locals’ hostility toward Thóra’s questions derive from this case as well as a previous disappearance?
Week of July 11, 2011
Misterioso by Arne Dahl
Allocated to a special national task force, Stockholm police detective Paul Hjelm hunts for a murderer who’s targeting prestigious businesspeople, shooting them in the head while listening to Thelonious Monk’s music. The case will pit Hjelm against the Russian mafia and expose the xenophobia that’s become all too prevalent in Sweden.
Week of July 4, 2011
The End of Everything by Megan Abbott
Suburban adolescents Lizzie Hood and Evie Verver lived amid innocence and the promise of glamour. After Evie is apparently kidnapped, though, Lizzie is left to deal with -- and sometimes delight in -- the fallout. But as she manipulates the investigation, Evie starts to question whether she really knew her best friend at all.
Week of June 27, 2011
A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion by Ron Hansen
This enthralling fictionalization of a real-life 1927 murder case features Ruth Synder, a perfidious wife who begins an affair with traveling corset salesman Judd Gray -- and then encourages him to kill her older husband. Author James M. Cain drew from the same scandalous tale to write The Postman Always Rings Twice.
Week of June 6, 2011
A Fear of Dark Water by Craig Russell
As an environmental summit begins in Hamburg, Germany, a storm brings in flood waters -- and a headless corpse. Cop Jan Fabel figures it’s another victim of a serial killer who stalks victims through social-networking sites. But the case is soon complicated by a doomsday cult and an exploration of cyberspace’s dark side.
Week of May 30, 2011
The Rage by Gene Kerrigan
A retired nun’s call to Dublin police detective Bob Tidey, alerting him to a suspicious vehicle in her quiet street, leads Tidey into this suspenseful tale involving a slain banker, a recently freed thief planning to lay siege to a cash-delivery van and an unfortunate explosion of revenge following a crime gone wrong.
Week of May 23, 2011
Kiss Her Goodbye by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
Returning to Manhattan from Florida in the 1970s, P.I. Mike Hammer finds his world out of joint. His partner, Velda Sterling, has disappeared and his old police mentor has supposedly committed suicide. But Hammer, doubting the suicide explanation, opens up a case that leads to drug racketeers and a stock of Nazi diamonds.
Week of May 16, 2011
A Drop of the Hard Stuff by Lawrence Block
The first Matthew Scudder novel in six years finds Block’s man out of the NYPD and off the sauce. Following the murder of Jack Ellery, a childhood friend -- and criminal -- he hadn’t seen in years, Scudder goes looking for the killer among Ellery’s AA associates, and in the course of it risks his hard-won sobriety.
Week of May 9, 2011
The Snowman by Jo Nesbø
A young mother’s vanishing and the sudden appearance of a snowman lead Oslo, Norway, police detective Harry Hole into a shocking serial-killer case with no obvious solution. Could these crimes be the work of a doctor, or perhaps another cop? Hole’s instincts may lead him past distractions but right into a murderer’s trap.
Week of May 2, 2011
The Worst Thing by Aaron Elkins
Bryan Bennett is an expert at the art of hostage negotiation. He’s also a former kidnapping victim, with a lasting dread of enclosed spaces. So he balks at flying to Iceland to teach a kidnapping and extortion seminar. Things only get worse when Bennett is taken hostage again and must face his worst fears.
Week of April 25, 2011
Night on Fire by Douglas Corleone
Former Manhattan attorney Kevin Corvelli (One Man’s Paradise) is happily drinking at a Hawaiian resort, when two newlyweds begin arguing nearby. Later that night, a blaze strikes the hotel, killing the hubby and sending the spouse to Corvelli for help. The case could be trouble -- especially since the wife has a history of arson.
Week of April 18, 2011
A Hard Death by Jonathan Hayes
Looking to make a fresh start, after his serial-killer nightmare in New York, forensic pathologist Edward Jenner (Precious Blood) lands in a somnolent Florida coastal town -- only to have to deal with the torture slaying of his former mentor and the decomposing bodies of four migrant workers, whose deaths may be linked to Roburn.
Bloody Winter by Andrew Pepper
Escaping tensions at Scotland Yard, mid-19th-century detective Pyke heads off to a Welsh town, where he’s supposed to find the kidnapped son of an ironworks owner. Could that crime be linked to the brutal defeat of a workers’ strike and the influx of cheap Irish labor, or is the solution much more complicated?
Week of April 4, 2011
The Devil’s Edge by Stephen Booth
Things aren’t quite as cut-and-dried as they seem, when police detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry (Lost River, 2010) set out to put the cuffs on a crafty cadre of home invaders whose growing succession of crimes committed across England’s idyllic Peak District have suddenly turned deadlier than anyone expected.
Week of March 28, 2011
The School of Night by Louis Bayard
In gripping parallel plots, Bayard (The Black Tower) entwines the tale of a love-stuck 17th-century intellectual involved in a controversial debating society together with that of Henry Cavendish, a semi-disgraced modern Elizabethan scholar who’s hired by an antiquities dealer to find a missing treasure map linked to that historical society.
Week of March 21, 2011
The Troubled Man by Henning Mankell
Political scandal may be the result of Swedish Detective Kurt Wallander’s probe into the disappearance of 75-year-old former naval officer Håkan von Enke. The father of Wallander’s daughter’s fiancé, Håkan harbored secrets that will lead the ever-glum cop back to Cold War-era events and into the dark, dodgy alleys of espionage.
Week of March 14, 2011
Lucifer’s Tears by James Thompson
In this thrilling sequel to Snow Angels, we find sleep-deprived Finnish Inspector Kari Vaara probing the torture murder of a woman whose Russian husband may be off-limits to the Helsinki cops. Meanwhile, Vaara investigates charges of war crimes against a national hero -- someone perhaps friendly with Vaara’s beloved grandfather.
Week of March 7, 2011
Satori by Don Winslow
Thirty-two years after the release of Trevanian’s Shibumi, this prequel finds assassin Nicholai Hel released from an American prison cell in Japan in 1951 on the condition that he kill the Soviet Union’s commissioner to China. To complete his mission and survive, Hel must negotiate lethal intrigues in both China and war-torn Vietnam.
Week of February 28, 2011
The Priest by Gerald O’Donovan
Returning to his hometown of Dublin, former Europol drugs specialist Mike Mulcahy gets mixed up in a series of assaults on young women -- attacks involving torture with a crucifix. While the cops look for easy answers, Mulcahy teams with an ambitious reporter to uncover a serial slayer steeped in Ireland’s Catholic history.
Week of February 21, 2011
Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves
Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope gathers her team to investigate the strangling death of a woman she herself found in the sauna room of her local gym. A connection between the deceased and a scandalous case involving a child sets Stanhope and Sergeant Joe Ashworth on a hot trail, but one that may not be as straight as it seems.
Week of February 14, 2011
The Second Son by Jonathan Rabb
Aging former Berlin cop Nikolai Hoffner is in Spain in 1936, looking for his journalist son, whose plans to cover Barcelona’s “alternative” Olympics go awry with the outbreak of civil war. Helped by a beautiful doctor, Hoffner confronts spies, gunrunners and fascists in order to save his child -- and his own hope for the future.
Week of February 7, 2011
Shortcut Man by P.G. Sturges
Dick Henry cuts through red tape for a living -- sometimes legally, other times not. His free time is devoted to wooing the long-legged Lynette. But when porn producer Artie Benjamin hires him to shadow his perhaps straying spouse, Henry finds that the complications and threats may be too great even for him to handle.
Week of February 1, 2011
The Girl in the Green Raincoat by Laura Lippman
Originally serialized in The New York Times, this story follows Baltimore private eye Tess Monaghan -- now very pregnant, confined to bed and bored as hell -- as she investigates the apparent disappearance of a woman she’s seen only from her window, enlisting her boyfriend and best friend to do her legwork.
Week of January 17, 2011
Cold Shot to the Heart by Wallace Stroby
In need of money to expedite her mentor-lover’s release from prison, professional thief Crissa Stone ignores her intuition and training to rob a high-stakes poker game. Consequently, she has only herself to blame when things go wrong and a recently paroled hit man comes after her, hoping to impress an angry crime boss.
Week of January 10, 2011
The Sentry by Robert Crais
Los Angeles gumshoe Elvis Cole’s ex-cop/mercenary sidekick, Joe Pike, stars in his third novel (after The Watchman and The First Rule). This tale focuses on Pike’s efforts to protect a couple of sandwich-shop-owning refugees from New Orleans, who’ve been threatened by gang members -- but may not be as innocent as they appear.
Week of January 3, 2011
Death and the Maiden by Frank Tallis
Political minefields abound in this tale about the 1903 killing, in Vienna, of an operatic diva. As Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt and psychoanalyst Max Liebermann investigate, they grill opera director Gustav Mahler, suspect the city’s arrogant mayor of murder and confront dangerous agents charged with protecting Emperor Franz Josef.
Week of December 27, 2010
The House at Seas End by Elly Griffiths
The discovery of half a dozen bodies buried six decades ago launches forensic archeologist Ruth Galloway into a case involving her daughter’s father and a World War II-era plan to stop a German invasion of Britain. Someone is still keeping wartime secrets -- and they’re prepared to kill to keep them from getting out.
Week of December 7, 2010
The Left-Handed Dollar by Loren T. Estleman
Detroit gumshoe Amos Walker isn’t too thrilled to be working for “Joey Ballistic,” a mobster whose cunning lawyer is trying to win his freedom. But he is especially hesitant when he’s asked to prove that Joey wasn’t actually behind the car explosion that crippled and nearly killed Walker’s only friend, journalist Barry Stackpole.
Week of November 29, 2010
Nights of the Red Moon by Milton T. Burton
After a Methodist minister’s estranged (and drug-addicted) wife is murdered and then dumped in their church’s front yard, it’s up to small-town Texas Sheriff Bo Handel to identify the killer -- a challenge that will pit him against slick attorneys and a shady Houston banker who may also be the state’s narcotics king.