April 2012

Reading Recommendations · Beyond Bestsellers: Notable New Fiction Titles (April 2012)

Only a few books reach the top of the fiction bestseller charts, but there are many more terrific new titles available at the Library. Here are some recent favorites.

The Whisperer

Donato Carissi
Already an international success and winner of crime fiction awards in five European countries, Carrisi’s first novel makes its US appearance to critical acclaim. “Whisperers” are very clever serial killers who never actually commit crimes themselves but put their blood lust inside the heads of others. Despite finding a body in the trunk of a known pedophile’s car, profiler Mila Vasquez and criminologist Goran Gavila ignore the obvious and continue to search for the mastermind behind the mutilation and murder of six young girls. Graphic and gripping.

Slash and Burn

Colin Cotterill
Cotterill, recipient of the Crime Writers’ Association’s “Dagger in the Library“ award, draws his Dr. Siri series to a close with this eighth book. After all, the Laotian coroner was set to retire just as this last case called for his attention. It seems an American GI, thought to have died in a helicopter crash in 1968, has been recognized. When Siri and his entourage, including American officials, brave the jungle to find the crash site, the story takes on a “Ten Little Indians” atmosphere, leaving Siri fighting the clock before “Then There Were None.”

Blue Monday

Nicci French
The married team of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French begin a new suspense series featuring psychotherapist Frieda Klein. When a young boy is abducted, Klein realizes that he fits a description she recognizes; she has a client who talks about his desire for a child exactly like Matthew Farraday. Feeling guilty about breaking her professional need for a patient’s confidence, she doesn’t find the police are as interested as she thinks they should be. Heightening suspense and a moody amateur sleuth will leave you anticipating what Tuesday’s story will bring.

Girlchild

Tupelo Hassman
“My name is Rory Dawn Hendrix, feebleminded daughter of a feebleminded daughter, herself the product of feebleminded stock. Welcome to the Calle.” Growing up in a trailer park outside Reno, Nevada, young Rory is left far too much on her own, but perhaps she wouldn’t be able to share such astute observations of life around her if she had much company. Lacking an adult role model, Rory sticks her nose in books, most often the Girl Scout Handbook, to figure out the rules of life that will find her permanently looking at Calle Trailer Park from a rearview mirror.

The Translation of Bones

Francesca Kay
In a style comparable with the elegant restraint of Barbara Pym, the characters of Kay’s second novel are caught, willingly or not, in a religious fervor that has taken hold when a miracle may have occurred at the Church of the Sacred Heart in London. Certainly Mary-Margaret O’Reilly, the recipient of the religious sighting, believes and is compelled to prove her love for the Lord. Every character is poignantly portrayed, with fascinating backgrounds which link them into the climactic tragedy of Mary-Margaret’s act of faith.

Drifting House

Krys Lee
Reviewers describe this nine story collection as “breathtaking” and “sublime.” Lee is a young writer who draws on her Korean background to present snapshots of the gradual dissolution of traditional family life. Some family units are split as individuals immigrate to the US while others are left abandoned as casualties of the current political situation in Korea. Some reunite while others are irrevocably broken. Written in a very touching and simple style, Lee’s stories convey the dislocation and depersonalization involved in the quest to redefine a home.

Mr. Kill

Martin Limón
Although this is the seventh title in a series, it isn’t necessary to have read the others to enjoy what is a fine combination of a police procedural, an author with a real expertise of the place he writes about, and a fine suspenseful mystery. When a rape victim on the Blue Train line between Pusan and Seoul identifies her attacker as an American GI, US Army investigators Sueño and Bascom are on the case. Their search takes them to military establishments all over South Korea, coincidentally on the same path as a USO entertainer looking for her ex-husband.

History of a Pleasure Seeker

Richard Mason
Raised by an academic father, young and handsome Piet Barol “learned the arts of charm at his mother’s knee.” When he takes up residence as a tutor to the son of one of Holland’s wealthiest families, he seizes the opportunity to experience everything that he believes he has been denied. Mason’s writing is sensual and seductive, as are his hero’s wily ways. An assault on all five senses with sultry descriptions of Belle Époque society, this period piece calls to sophisticated readers who will look forward to Piet’s further adventures in Mason’s next book.

The Song of Achilles

Madeline Miller
Miller has taken the ancient story of Achilles and fantasized about his relationship with Patroclus, his “therapon” (favored companion). Beginning with Patroclus telling the story of how he came to the royal court of Peleus, father of Achilles, and was chosen by Achilles to always be by his side, it is a new twist on the age-old story of loyalty and love. The times when gods, demi-gods, and magical creatures meddled in human affairs is given a fresh, new vitality in the hands of this debut author. Destined to be a notable book of 2012.

The World We Found

Thrity Umrigar
In a story celebrating the strength of female friendship, four college classmates prepare to reunite when one receives a heartbreaking diagnosis. As Laleh, Kavita, and Nishta reconnect with each other to grant Armaiti her wish of a last reunion, the women reflect, individually and together, on the path that their lives have taken since their university years in Bombay. Once free to follow their dreams, they have husbands, partners, children, and jobs that have isolated them as surely as the ocean that separates them from Armaiti in America.
Need more suggestions? Contact your local branch and our staff will be happy to assist you!