Category: What's New!
Fall of Giants
By Ken Follett
Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man's world in the Welsh mining pits...Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson's White House...two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution...Billy's sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London...
These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as, in a saga of unfolding drama and intriguing complexity, Fall of Giants moves seamlessly from Washington to St. Petersburg, from the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty. As always with Ken Follett, the historical background is brilliantly researched and rendered, the action fast-moving, the characters rich in nuance and emotion. It is destined to be a new classic. (Modified Product Description taken from Amazon)
Wedding bells ring
Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories--is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?
A murderer returns
The case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims' movements--information that only a Washington insider could possess.
Caught in a lethal cross fire
As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson's most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever. (Product Description)
Indulgence in Death
By J. D. Robb
NYPD lieutenant Eve Dallas might have been on holiday, but as she knows all too well, murder never takes a vacation. No sooner does Eve return from Ireland with her husband, Roarke, than she is back on the job looking into the death of a limousine driver who has been shot with a crossbow. The very next day, a high-priced licensed companion is stabbed to death in an amusement park horror house. The only connection between the two killings is the choice of weapons: the second involved an antique bayonet. As Eve and her team scramble to find more clues, Eve begins to think she is on the track of a thrill killer. When it comes to finding a killer, the smart money is always on Eve Dallas. The latest addictive addition to Robb’s long-running series features spiky humor; a cleverly constructed, adrenaline-raising plot; and the requisite amount of sexy passion between Eve and her soulmate, Roarke. (From Booklist)
By Sara Paretsky
Paretsky's superb 14th novel featuring PI V.I. Warshawski (after Hardball) delves into Chicago's avant-garde art scene. At the trendy Club Gouge, where Warshawski is keeping an eye on Petra, a young cousin who caused trouble in the previous book, performance artist Karen Buckley (aka the Body Artist) invites members of the audience to step on stage to paint her nude body. The intricate design that one woman paints on Karen's back provokes a violent outburst from Chad Vishneski, a troubled Iraqi war veteran. When two nights later, someone shoots the woman who upset Chad outside the club, Chad is the logical murder suspect. Hired by Chad's estranged parents to clear his name, Warshawski straddles a minefield that reaches from the Windy City's neighborhoods to the Gulf War battlefields. Scenes with her aging neighbor and a new love interest give a much needed balance to the serious plot. This strong outing shows why the tough, fiercely independent, dog-loving private detective continues to survive. (from Publisher's Weekly)
One Day by David Nicholls
It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself. Synopsis from Amazon.ca
The Brave by Nicholas Evans
Summary: The motto of the boarding school to which Tommy Bedford is dispatched is 'Fortune Favours the Brave'. It's 1959 and the school bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. Tommy, a quirky loner, obsessed with cowboys and Indians, needs all the bravery he can summon. Salvation comes when his glamorous actress sister is swept off to Hollywood by one of his heroes, TV cowboy Ray Montane. But with the Cold War looming, the sinister side of Tinseltown seeps through and Tommy and Diane soon find themselves in jeopardy. Forty years on, Tommy has to confront his boyhood ghosts when his own son finds himself charged with murder.
Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans
Summary: Beth Cardall has a secret. For eighteen years, she has had no choice but to keep it to herself, but on Christmas Eve 2008, all that is about to change. For Beth, 1989 was a year marked by tragedy. Her life was falling apart: her six-year-old daughter, Charlotte, was suffering from an unidentifiable illness; her marriage transformed from a seemingly happy and loving relationship to one full of betrayal and pain; her job at the dry cleaners was increasingly at risk; and she had lost any ability to trust, to hope, or to believe in herself. Then, on Christmas Day, as she rushed through a blizzard to the nearest 7-Eleven, Beth encountered Matthew, a strikingly handsome, mysterious stranger, who would single-handedly change the course of her life. Who is this man, and how does he seem to know so much about her? He pursues her relentlessly, and only after she’s fallen deeply in love with him does she learn his incredible secret, changing the world as she knows it, as well as her own destiny.
The Charming Quirks of Others by Alexander McCall Smith
Summary: A couple who are old friends of Isabel’s ask for her help in a rather tricky situation: A successor is being sought for the headmaster position at their alma mater. The board has four final candidates but has received an anonymous letter alleging that one of them has a very serious skeleton in the closet. Could Isabel discreetly look into it? And so she does. What she discovers about all the candidates is surprising, but what she discovers in herself turns out to be equally revealing—and she finds that she has also unwittingly upset Jamie, the father of her young son.
New Fiction for September
The New Book Releases page on the RPL website has been updated for September. Click this link to see the full list of books.
Here are some highlights
From Hot Picks:
by Nevada Barr
Book # 16 with Anna Pigeon, a U.S. National Park Service ranger
NoveList calls the tone "Strong sense of place; Suspenseful" and the writing style "Richly detailed"
Summary: Recovering from recent emotional trauma, National Park Service ranger Anna Pigeon goes to New Orleans to visit her friend, Geneva, only to become the target of a dark curse, prompting her to investigate what it has to do with a fugitive mother accused of killing her family.
First book: Track of the Cat (1993)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
by Alexander McCall Smith
Book # 1 in a new series centering on the eccentric occupants of Corduroy Mansions, in present-day London, England
NoveList calls the tone "Heartwarming; Upbeat"
Summary: While a middle-aged wine merchant tries to emancipate his reluctant adult son from their crumbling Pimlico home, a hated Parliament member incites the disgust of his biography-writing mother and long-suffering literary agent girlfriend.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
from Best-selling Fiction:
The Rembrandt Affair
by Daniel Silva
Book # 10 with Gabriel Silva, art restorer and Israeli secret agent (series description from Stop, You're Killing Me! website)
NoveList calls the tone "Atmospheric, Suspenseful, Dramatic, Moody, Disturbing, Menacing"
Summary: Severing his ties with the Office to care for his traumatized wife after a violent showdown with Ivan Kharkov, Gabriel is reluctantly drawn into a case involving a murdered art restorer and discovers unsettling links between the killers and a recently discovered Rembrandt.
First book: The Kill Artist (2001)
One of the Most Enjoyable Books I've Read this Year
Girl in Translation
By Jean Kwok
When eleven year old Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to America, they speak little English and own nothing but debt. They arrive in New York hopeful for a better life, but find instead a squalid Brooklyn apartment lacking heat and real furniture and a life of backbreaking labor in a Chinatown sweatshop. Unable to accept this as her future, Kim decides to use her “talent for school” to earn a place for herself and her mother in their adopted country. Disguising the most difficult truths of her life—her staggering poverty, the weight of her family’s expectations, and the true depths of her culture confusion—she embarks on a double life: an exceptional student by day, and a sweatshop worker by evening and weekend. In time, Kim learns to translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the two worlds she straddles. (Book Description)
This book moved me. I was totally enthralled with Kim’s struggles for survival and completely awed by her strength, perseverance and single minded determination for something better. The writing was so raw and vivid that I couldn’t help but wonder just how much of the story was based upon the author’s own life experiences immigrating to America from China.
I went through broad rage of emotions while taking my journey with Kim. Many times I was completely indignant and fuming because of the unfairness and the conditions she had to endure. I also felt very sorry for her, having no choice but to navigate the intricacies of being a teenager trying so desperately to fit in with her peers in a new country to boot. She was also forced to take on the role of an adult, filling out tax forms at the age of 13, working inhumane hours at a sweatshop to make ends meet and translating everything for her mother who mainly spoke Chinese. I felt very frustrated for Kim in her dealings with her mother and her retched excuse for an aunt trying to balance between the cultural expectations of her birthplace, and the ideologies of her new home. But whatever I was feeling, one thing remained constant: I couldn’t help but root for our protagonist every step of the way. Kimberly Chang will haunt me for some time to come.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone but especially to those who knows someone who’s immigrated, has undergone immigration themselves or is the child of a parent who has come to North America. And I challenge those of you who believe that this “couldn’t possibly happen in North America” to pick up “Girl in Translation” and read it with an open mind. It may be a book labeled “fiction” but I can guarantee you it’s anything but.
New book by Regina's Gail Bowen
Here's the latest by Regina's own Gail Bowen
The Nesting Dolls (2010)
Book # 12 with Joanne Kilbourn, a political science professor in Regina, Saskatchewan
Description: The city of Regina is no stranger to snowstorms, but the blizzard that hits town shortly before one Christmas is particularly brutal. It chokes streets, knocks out power lines, and leaves tragedy in its wake.
In the hours before the storm hits full force, Joanne Kilbourn and her family brave the weather for her daughter Taylor's school concert. They are on the point of leaving for home when a young woman, a stranger, walks up to Taylor's friend Isobel, thrusts an infant car seat into her arms, and disappears. In the car seat, wearing a Thomas the Tank Engine snowsuit, is a baby, probably six months old, with dark curly hair, just like Isobel's.
They next day, after the blizzard has ended and the power has been restored, the young mother's frozen body is found...... (from book cover)
First book: Deadly Appearances (1990)
Watch for copies of this novel in the Popular Picks racks of Regina Public Library. (or you can put it on hold - find it in the online catalogue here: The Nesting Dolls )
New Book Releases for August
The RPL New Book Releases for August: New Fiction includes:
The Nobodies Album
by Carolyn Parkhurst (2010)
Summary: Best-selling novelist Octavia prepares to submit a remarkable manuscript that rewrites final chapters from her earlier works only to learn that her estranged rock-star son has been arrested for murder, an event that compels Olivia to examine their shared past for answers.
BookList: /*Starred Review*/ Best-selling novelist Octavia Frost has just finished her latest novel, an experimental work that contains the last chapters of all her previous books, which she has rewritten with the purpose of hiding their emotional truth. Then she learns that her rock-star son, Milo, has been charged with murdering his girlfriend. Mother and son have been estranged for four years, ever since Milo picked up one of his mother’s books and read this sentence: “They were exactly the wrong two to die.” He recognized it as a reference to the tragic accident that took the lives of his father and sister when he was just nine, and he has refused to speak to his mother ever since. Now the two reunite under the stress of his arrest, which has drawn hordes of paparazzi as well as high-priced legal counsel. As Olivia seeks to gain Milo’s forgiveness and the investigation into the murder of his girlfriend reveals surprising information, the narrative cuts away to excerpts from Olivia’s new book, adding layers of emotional complexity to the story of their family life. In a stunning blend of craft and ingenuity, Parkurst (The Dogs of Babel, 2003) makes the excerpts far more than a mere metafictional exercise, for they prove to be as riveting and as dramatic as the main story line.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender
The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse. On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents' attention, bites into her mother's homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother's emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother - her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother - tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose. Synopsis from Global Books in Print.
The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg
There are so many great crime novels coming out of Scandinavia, and another has been added, this one a debut by Swedish author Lackberg.
In The Ice Princess, Erica Falck, a writer, has returned to her home town of Fjallbacka to attend the funeral of her parents, killed tragically in an automobile accident. She is there only a few days when she, along with an elderly local man, discovers the body of her childhood friend, Alexandra Wijkner. Alex has apparently commited suicide - her nude body was in a bathtub, and her wrists were slashed.
It has been many years since Erica and Alex were in contact. Something mysterious happened in Alex's life when she was ten year old, causing her to become withdrawn, and driving a wedge between the two friends. Erica decides to write a memoir about their childhoods together, hoping to discover some answers. She begins to interview members of Alex's family, including her husband and parents. It soon becomes evident that there are secrets and lies surrounding the past, and Erica begins to question whether the death was in fact a suicide.
Meanwhile, police detective Patrik Hedstrom is assigned to the case, and it doesn't take him long to find holes in the suicide theory.
What are her parents trying to hide? What is the connection between Alex's death and the disappearance of the heir of a wealthy family in the community. But it isn't until he teams up with Erica that the disturbing web of deceit is exposed.
Lackberg builds suspense slowly, drawing us in to a complex plot with plenty of twists and turns. The characters, though sometimes stereotyped, are believable. And some interesting subplots provide added interest, especially the growing romantic relationship between Erica and Patrik.
This novel won the 2008 Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (France) Best International Crime Novel Of The Year. Readers will look forward to meeting Erica and Patrick again in The Preacher , coming out later this spring.
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova.
While not fitting in the traditional "mystery" genre, Kostova's new novel, after her very successful The Historian, certainly does contain a mystery, and a most fascinating one at that.
The book opens with a brief scene from late nineteeth century France - a woman, carrying a package in her arms, walks down a narrow village street in the snow. She is observed by a man in a window who is painting the scene, and who captures her lonely figure as she makes her way towards the last group of dwellings in the lane.
Cut to the present day. Psychiatrist Andrew Marlow receives a call from a colleague. An apparently deranged man has tried to attack a painting in the National Gallery in Washington with a knife, and Marlow is asked if he will take on the case. And so we begin a journey with Marlow, one that involves a painter of genius, a man who is silent and deeply troubled, and who has touched the lives of two beautiful women, one his wife and the other his mistress. Marlow's only clue is a bundle of 19th century French letters in the man's possession. What could have driven him to attempt to destroy a painting, and what kind of man would draw two women to an almost destructive love and loyalty? And what is the connection between this troubled soul and the yellowed and brittle letters exchanged between a French woman and her husband's uncle? As Marlow picks through the various threads of the painter's life, and decodes the meaning of the enigmatic letters, a mystery both disturbing and redeeming emerges, and the connection between the painter and the painted slowly takes shape.
Kostova's writing is evocative, and the characters of Marlow, his patient and the women he has loved are keenly drawn. The story is told in the voices of Marlow and these women, which allows us to be even more deeply involved in their stories. Also interspersed among these first-person accounts are translations of the letters which hold so many answers. This is a beautiful and satisfying novel, and highly recommended.
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