Archive for the 'New Books' Category

New on the Shelves…

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

More great new books this week! First up, Killers by Howie Carr:

killersWhitey Bulger is gone from Boston, but Bench McCarthy is here to take his place.

Bench McCarthy is a thug’s thug, a hitman, an underworld jack-of-all-trades running his own mob out of Winter Hill in Somerville while simultaneously handling “wet work” for Sally Curto, a half-demented, totally obscene mob boss.

After years of gangland peace, Bench and Sally suddenly find themselves clay pigeons for unknown hit crews coming at them from every direction. The motives are as murky as the hitmen themselves, but all roads seem to lead back to the State House, where corrupt pols are battling over a bill to legalize billions of dollars’ worth of new casinos.

In order to stay alive as he puts an end to the uprising, the wisecracking Bench must set aside his objections and enlist the help of Jack Reilly, a dodgy ex-cop turned private investigator. The hunter has become the hunted.

Killers is a thrilling ride through the dark underbelly of Boston crime and politics that could only have been written by the man novelist James Ellroy calls “the Bacon-Banging Boston Bossman”-Howie Carr, the newspaper columnist on whom Whitey Bulger first put out a contract and then called as a defense witness during his 2013 murder trial in Boston.

New on the Shelves…

Monday, September 14th, 2015

I’ve been busy and I’ve gotten behind schedule, but I’ve got a stack of new books to tell you about, as well as some things I’ve finished that I want to review. But let’s start out with an easy one –  can’t wait to get this one on the TBR list! Menagerieby Rachel Vincent:

menagerieWhen Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Renowned author Rachel Vincent weaves an intoxicating blend of carnival magic and startling humanity in this intricately woven and powerful tale.

New on the Shelves…

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

This came in while I was out of town and I can’t wait to start on this one: All by Adriana Trigiani

starsAdriana Trigiani, the New York Times bestselling author of the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker’s Wife, returns with her biggest and boldest novel yet, a hypnotic tale based on a true story and filled with her signature elements: family ties, artistry, romance, and adventure. Born in the golden age of Hollywood, All the Stars in the Heavens captures the luster, drama, power, and secrets that could only thrive in the studio system—viewed through the lives of an unforgettable cast of players creating magic on the screen and behind the scenes.

In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling, and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Adriana Trigiani takes us back to Tinsel Town’s golden age—an era as brutal as it was resplendent—and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame and success. With meticulous, beautiful detail, Trigiani paints a rich, historical landscape of 1930s Los Angeles, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.

The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he’s already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly.

Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young’s secretary, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots. Over the course of decades, she and Loretta encounter scandal and adventure, choose love and passion, and forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they eventually face the greatest obstacle of their lives.

Anchored by Trigiani’s masterful storytelling that takes you on a worldwide ride of adventure from Hollywood to the shores of southern Italy, this mesmerizing epic is, at its heart, a luminous tale of the most cherished ties that bind. Brimming with larger-than-life characters both real and fictional—including stars Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, David Niven, Hattie McDaniel and more—it is it is the unforgettable story of one of cinema’s greatest love affairs during the golden age of American movie making.


New on the Shelves…

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

More new books – this time, a legal thriller. (Love those!) From Kevin Egan, The Missing Piece:

missingThe Salvus Treasure is a fabulous hoard of ancient Roman silver, worth a total of seventy million dollars. Uncovered decades ago under disputed circumstances, the treasure has been claimed by various parties, some of whom will stop at nothing to secure full ownership of its riches. People have died–and killed–to possess all fourteen pieces of silver.

The legal battle over who truly owns the treasure finally leads to the New York County Courthouse in Lower Manhattan. But as teams of high-priced lawyers wrangle over provenance and witnesses, a shocking act disrupts the trial…and a crucial piece of evidence goes missing.

The missing piece is a silver urn worth at least five million dollars. Now the race is on to discover what became of the urn…before the Salvus Treasure claims more lives.


New on the Shelves…

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

This one comes from my local library. I heard a bit about it on the radio and was so intrigued I ran right to my computer and requested it: My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family’s Nazi Past by Jennifer Teege:

grandfatherWhen Jennifer Teege, a German-Nigerian woman, happened to pluck a library book from the shelf, she had no idea that her life would be irrevocably altered. Recognizing photos of her mother and grandmother in the book, she discovers a horrifying fact: Her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the vicious Nazi commandant chillingly depicted by Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List—a man known and reviled the world over.

Although raised in an orphanage and eventually adopted, Teege had some contact with her biological mother and grandmother as a child. Yet neither revealed that Teege’s grandfather was the Nazi “butcher of Plaszów,” executed for crimes against humanity in 1946. The more Teege reads about Amon Goeth, the more certain she becomes: If her grandfather had met her—a black woman—he would have killed her.

Teege’s discovery sends her, at age 38, into a severe depression—and on a quest to unearth and fully comprehend her family’s haunted history. Her research takes her to Krakow—to the sites of the Jewish ghetto her grandfather “cleared” in 1943 and the Plaszów concentration camp he then commanded—and back to Israel, where she herself once attended college, learned fluent Hebrew, and formed lasting friendships. Teege struggles to reconnect with her estranged mother Monika, and to accept that her beloved grandmother once lived in luxury as Amon Goeth’s mistress at Plaszów.

Teege’s story is cowritten by award-winning journalist Nikola Sellmair, who also contributes a second, interwoven narrative that draws on original interviews with Teege’s family and friends and adds historical context. Ultimately, Teege’s resolute search for the truth leads her, step by step, to the possibility of her own liberation.

New on the Shelves…

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

This week in New on the Shelves, I’ve got the final installment in Gillian Philip’s Rebel Angel series, Icefall:

icefallDeath stalks Seth MacGregor’s clan in their otherworld exile. Kate NicNiven is close to ultimate victory, and she is determined that nothing will keep her from it. Not even the thing that took her soul: the horror that lurks in the sea caves. But Kate still needs Seth’s son Rory, and his power over the Veil. And she’ll go to any lengths to get him. Seth’s own soul is rotting from the wound inflicted by Kate, and survival for his loved ones seems all he can hope for. But might a mortal threat to his brother’s daughter force him to return to his own world to challenge Kate? And will Rory go with him? Because Rory suspects there’s a darkness trapped in the Veil, a darkness that wants to get out. But only one Sithe knows how near it is to getting its way: Seth’s bound lover, the witch Finn. Nobody gets forever. But some are willing to try…
From critically acclaimed author Gillian Philip, Icefall is the final installment in the Rebel Angels series.

New on the Shelves…

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

And the latest from my mailbag, The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach by Pam Jenoff:

chelseaYoung Adelia Montforte flees fascist Italy for America, where she is whisked away to the shore by her well-meaning aunt and uncle. Here, she meets and falls for Charlie Connally, the eldest of the four Irish-Catholic boys next door. But all hopes for a future together are soon throttled by the war and a tragedy that hits much closer to home.

Grief-stricken, Addie flees—first to Washington and then to war-torn London—and finds a position at a prestigious newspaper, as well as a chance to redeem lost time, lost family…and lost love. But the past always nips at her heels, demanding to be reckoned with. And in a final, fateful choice, Addie discovers that the way home may be a path she never suspected.

New on the Shelves…

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Let’s start the week with a new book! From the weekend’s mail bag, I’ve got All That Followed by Gabriel Urza:

allA psychologically twisting novel about a politically-charged act of violence that echoes through a small Spanish town; a dazzling debut in the tradition of Daniel Alarcón and Mohsin Hamid

It’s 2004 in Muriga, a quiet town in Spain’s northern Basque Country, a place with more secrets than inhabitants. Five years have passed since the kidnapping and murder of a young local politician–a family man and father–and the town’s rhythms have almost returned to normal. But in the aftermath of the Atocha train bombings in Madrid, an act of terrorism that rocked a nation and a world, the townspeople want a reckoning of Muriga’s own troubled past: Everyone knows who pulled the trigger five years ago, but is the young man now behind bars the only one to blame? All That Followed peels away the layers of a crime complicated by history, love, and betrayal. The accounts of three townspeople in particular–the councilman’s beautiful young widow, the teenage radical now in jail for the crime, and an aging American teacher hiding a traumatic past of his own–hold the key to what really happened. And for these three, it’s finally time to confront what they can find of the truth.

Inspired by a true story, All That Followed is a powerful, multifaceted novel about a nefarious kind of violence that can take hold when we least expect. Urgent, elegant, and gorgeously atmospheric, Urza’s debut is a book for the world we live in now, and it marks the arrival of a brilliant new writer to watch.

New on the Shelves…

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

When I saw “a novel of the first dog,” I was thinking something totally different – this is Presidential politics season, after all – but this looks really interesting!

dog masterSet against the most dramatic time in our species’ history, The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog tells the story of one tribe’s struggle for survival and one extraordinary man’s bond with a wolf-a friendship that changed mankind forever

Thirty thousand years ago, ice was storming the planet. Among the species forced out of the trees and onto the steppes by the advancing cold was modern man, who was both predator and prey.

No stranger to the experiences that make us human-a mother’s love and a father’s betrayal, tribal war and increasing famine, political intrigue and forbidden love, joy and hope and devastating loss-our ancestors competed for scant resources in a brutal landscape.

Mankind stood on the cold brink of extinction…but they had a unique advantage over other species, a new technology-domesticated wolves.

Only a set of extraordinary circumstances could have transformed one of these fierce creatures into a hunting companion, a bodyguard, a soldier, and a friend. The Dog Master by W. Bruce Cameron is an evocative glimpse of prehistory, an emotional coming of age saga, a thrilling tale of survival against all odds, and the exciting, imaginative story of the first dog.

New on the Shelves…

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

This just in from Harper Collins! Waiting for me on my Kindle, Spy Trade by Matthew Dunn:

spy tradeWhen a mission goes awry in Syria, senior CIA officer Bob Oakland is captured by aspiring members of ISIS, who demand the release of one of their own, Arzam Saud, in U.S. captivity. When their hands are tied by Washington’s refusal to negotiate, the CIA turns to MI6 officer Will Cochrane to find out what’s really going on. The threats are escalating quickly, and in order to save the CIA officer, Cochrane must uncover why Saud is truly so important . . .