Recommended New Novels by Female Authorsby Larry Cox on Jan. 31, 2012, under Uncategorized
Gun Games: A Decker/Lazarus Novel by Faye Kellerman (William Morrow, $25.99)
Psychopath Chris Donatti returns in Faye Kellerman’s electrifying new novel featuring LAPD Lieutenant Detective Decker and his wife, Rina.
When the couple welcomes fifteen-year-old Gabriel Whitman, the son of a troubled friend, into their home, they quickly realize that Gabe is an enigmatic teen who is both gifted and secretive. The suicide of another teenage boy, Gregory Hesse, is followed by yet another death, this time a sixteen year old girl. The only connection seems to be that both of the dead teens attended the same elite prep school.
As the detectives began to investigate, they uncover a group of nasty high-school students with a predilection for guns and violence. When Christopher Donatti, a former hit man, is added to the mix, all bets are off.
Kellerman’s latest thriller is a heady brew of strong characters, unexpected plot twists, and suspense that hooks readers from the very first page.
Left for Dead by J.A. Jance (Touchstone, $25.99)
J.A. Jance is one of the most successful novelists in the country. With more than 21 million copies of her books in print, the author divides her time between Tucson, Bisbee, and Seattle.
Her latest book features investigator Ali Reynolds and involves illegal border crossings, escalating drug wars and murder. When one of Ali’s classmates from the Arizona Police Academy, Santa Cruz deputy Jose Reyes, is gunned down during a seemingly routine traffic stop, Ali takes a closer look and quickly discovers that the event is not as cut and dried as it had first appeared.
As the deputy clings to life, the evidence suggests a connection to a coldhearted drug cartel and casts a sudden shadow over the injured deputy and his pregnant wife, Teresa.
This novel is J.A. Jance at her best. “Left for Dead” is a story that is engaging, exciting, and fast paced.
J.A. Jance will make several appearances in Tucson to promote her new book including one at Barnes and Noble, 5130 E. Broadway, February 7th, at 7 pm.
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson (Grand Central Publishing, $25.99)
New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson sets her latest novel in Mississippi. A long-hidden grave is unearthed in the backyard of the Slocumb family home and fifteen-year-old Mose is determined to find out who used their yard as a make-shift cemetery and why.
This is a quirky mystery that serves up a delicious blend of likeable characters, plot twists and life as seen through the eyes of three remarkable women in a Southern family, namely Mosey, Ginny, and Liza. The dialogue is authentic and the writing insightful and unexpectedly witty.
Jackson is based in Georgia and her previous books have included “gods in Alabama,” “The Girl Who Stopped Swimming,” and “Backseat Saints.”
Heft by Liz Moore (W.W. Norton, $24.95)
Arthur Opp, a former academic, is middle-aged and weighs an astonishing 550 pounds. For more than a decade, his obesity has discouraged him from leaving his deceased parents’ Brooklyn brownstone but this is a much more complex story than one just about weight. “Heft” is also about the weight of secrets, the amount of courage it takes to open up a new life, and the enormous strength involved in trying to correct life’s many mistakes.
This novel is smart, disarming, and crisply written. It begins with Arthur recounting the friendship he formed during his teaching days with Charlene, a student, and how they managed to drift apart. Charlene’s son, Kel Keller, who loves baseball but seems to lack a course in life, chooses to reach out to Arthur and when he does, their two worlds collide with unexpected consequences.
Moore’s gift as a writer is her ability to create characters that we care about. Their dreams and heartbreaks become our dreams and heartbreaks. Simply put, this is a terrific piece of writing that will stick to your literary ribs long after you’ve devoured the last page.
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie (William Morrow, $25.99)
Metropolitan Police officer Rebecca Meredith, a former Olympic rowing hopeful, begins training on the Thames near her Henley cottage, in the hopes of making a comeback. One foggy October evening, she goes out for a row and vanishes. The following day, a K9 search and rescue team finds the woman’s empty boat and then her body. Thus begins Deborah Crombie’s latest psychological thrill-ride that explores the allure of power, the pull of jealousy, and the seduction of greed.
Called to investigate Rebecca Meredith’s death is Scotland Yard superintendent Duncan Kincaid who discovers that more than one person in the woman’s life wanted her dead.
In what originally seemed like a tragic accident quickly evolves into a twisted murder investigation that reveals the crime might be connected to enemies within the heart of the Met itself. An Olympic rowing coach whose team Rebecca was close to upsetting, a coworker she threatened, a jealous ex-husband all become suspects in this baffling case.
Bond Girl by Erin Duffy (William Morrow, $24.99)
This debut novel knocked my socks off.
Erin Duffy, who spent ten years working in the world of fixed income sales, used her experience on “The Street” to create Alex Garrett, a character so full of moxie and drive, she almost seems to suck the oxygen out of the room.
Alex joins the elite firm of Cromwell Price and as one of the few women working at the firm she is made to sit and observe her male colleagues. Despite a temptation to quit, she keeps herself focused on the prize and advances from lowly analyst to an associate in almost record time. Just when things are looking up, the Stock Market Meltdown of 2008 occurs and she must choose between remaining at Cromwell Piece during this difficult time or kicking off her Jimmy Choos to run for higher ground.
What makes this novel work is its sassiness. It is a witty, fun, fast-paced story with a touch of romance. This delicious book is so well crafted, it will have readers rooting for “Bond Girl” Alex until the very end. This one of the most satisfying novels of the season.