April Crime And Suspense At The Essex Library

March 29, 2014

Crime at the Library has never been more plentiful. April’s new releases include series installments by favorites Colin Cotterill, Donna Leon, Stuart Woods, Nevada Barr, and Ted Bell.  You’ll also find new adventures by popular authors Nora Roberts, Andrew Gross, Mary Higgins Clark, Lisa Scottoline, Greg Iles, Iris Joahnsen and David Baldacci. Emma Donoghue makes her mystery debut with Frog Music. Also included are new books by authors you’ll enjoy getting to know better.

The Axe Factor by Colin Cotterill
Since Jimm Juree moved, under duress, with her family to a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, she misses the bright lights of Chiang Mai. Most of all, she’s missed her career as a journalist, which was just getting started. In Chiang Mai, she was covering substantial stories and major crimes. But here in Maprao, Jimm has to scrape assignments from the local online journal, the Chumphon Gazette–and be happy about it when she gets one. This time they are sending her out to interview a local farang (European) writer, a man in his late fifties, originally from England, who writes award-winning crime novels, one Conrad Coralbank. At the same time, several local women have left town without a word to anyone, leaving their possessions behind. These include the local doctor, Dr. Sumlak, who never returned from a conference, and the Thai wife of that farang writer, the aforementioned Conrad Coralbank. All of which looks a little suspicious, especially to Jimm’s grandfather, an ex-cop, who notices Coralbank’s interest in Jimm with a very jaundiced eye.

By Its Cover by Donna Leon
One afternoon, Commissario Guido Brunetti gets a frantic call from the director of a prestigious Venetian library. Someone has stolen pages out of several rare books. After a round of questioning, the case seems clear: the culprit must be the man who requested the volumes, an American professor from a Kansas university. The only problem#151;the man fled the library earlier that day, and after checking his credentials, the American professor doesn’t exist. As the investigation proceeds, the suspects multiply. And when a seemingly harmless theologian, who had spent years reading at the library turns up brutally murdered, Brunetti must question his expectations about what makes a man innocent, or guilty.

Carnal Curiosity by Stuart Woods
Stone Barrington seems to have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When Manhattan’s elite are beset by a series of clever crimes–and Stone is a material witness–he and his former partner Dino Bacchetti find themselves drawn into the world of high-end security and fraud, where insider knowledge and access are limited to a privileged few, and the wealthy are made vulnerable by the very systems meant to keep them safe. As Stone and Dino delve deeper into their investigation, they learn that the mastermind behind the incidents may have some intimate ties to Stone . . . and that the biggest heist is still to come.

The Cold Nowhere by Brian Freeman
Lieutenant Stride goes home to his cottage on the shore of Lake Superior, where he is confronted with a crime he cannot ignore. He discovers a young woman, Cat Mateo, hiding in his bedroom, scared and dripping wet from a desperate plunge into the icy lake. The girl isn’t a stranger to Stride; she is the daughter of a woman he tried and failed to protect from a violent husband years ago. When Cat asks Stride for protection from a mysterious person she claims is trying to kill her, Stride is driven by guilt and duty to help her. Stride’s police partner Maggie Bei doubts the homeless orphan, who has been supporting herself as a prostitute and living rough on the streets of Duluth. She marvels at how easily the hard-bitten young girl, who sleeps with a knife under her pillow, has won Stride’s trust. As Stride investigates Cat’s case off the record, Maggie’s suspicions solidify and a single question haunts the void between them: should Stride be afraid for–or of–this damaged girl?

The Collector Nora Roberts
Lila Emerson lives a free-spirited life as a New York housesitter and author of paranormal YA novels. But her peace is irrevocably shattered when she witnesses a woman being pushed through a window to her death. While assisting the police with their investigation, Lila meets artist Ash Archer, whose brother, Oliver, was initially a suspect. Police thought Oliver killed the woman and then committed suicide, but soon it becomes apparent that he was a victim himself. Ash is instantly attracted to Lila, and as the body count rises, he draws her into his world of wealth and privilege in an attempt to keep her safe.

The Dead Of Summer by Mari Jungstedt
While vacationing on the Swedish island Gotland, a young father of two is shot on the beach while jogging. Assistant commissioner Karin Jacobsson, who must lead the investigation while Anders Knutas is on vacation, is at a loss until another horrific crime is committed. Mari Jungstedt successfully combines a thrilling, raw crime novel with a multilayered relational drama.

Dead People by Ewart Hutton
Detective Sergeant Glyn Capaldi, in disgrace and exiled from Cardiff to the deep heart of rural Wales, is called to the discovery of a human skeleton at a remote site in the hills during excavation work for a new wind farm. The body is missing its head and hands, making it unidentifiable. When other bodies are uncovered, Capaldi’s superiors assume that it is either the work of a hit squad or a serial killer, and that the site is just a dumping ground. Capaldi is not convinced. To him, the remoteness of the location points to some local knowledge. However, an apparent suicide in the valley, along with incriminating evidence, appears to back-up his superiors’ theory. Believing that they have found the killer, they move the investigation to the city to try and discover the identity of the victims. Capaldi is left in place to tidy up the loose ends. He sets about trying to discover a motive among the varied characters that inhabit the area.

Deal Killer by Vicki Doudera
Multimillion-dollar listings, hefty commissions, and cutthroat deals are the name of the game for Kyle Cameron, south Florida’s stylish and driven star broker. But her fast-track life ends abruptly when she is fatally stabbed at an open house. Suspicious of the cops’ haste in blaming the infamous “Kondo Killer,” real estate agent Darby Farr puts her sharp instincts to work. Along with a disputed listing worth a cool forty million, Kyle had a shocking secret–one that could’ve sealed her violent fate. Suspects include Kyle’s estranged suicidal husband; her ex-lover, a ruthless billionaire developer; and his resentful, politically ambitious wife. And Darby’s investigating puts her at the top of the killer’s hit list.

Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr
Anna Pigeon, a ranger for the U.S. Park Services, sets off on vacation–an autumn canoe trip in the to the Iron Range in upstate Minnesota. With Anna is her friend Heath, a paraplegic; Heath’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Elizabeth; Leah, a wealthy designer of outdoor equipment; and her daughter, Katie, who is thirteen. For Heath and Leah, this is a shakedown cruise to test a new cutting edge line of camping equipment. The equipment, designed by Leah, will make camping and canoeing more accessible to disabled outdoorsmen. On their second night out, Anna goes off on her own for a solo evening float on the Fox River. When she comes back, she finds that four thugs, armed with rifles, pistols, and knives, have taken the two women and their teenaged daughters captive. With limited resources and no access to the outside world, Anna has only two days to rescue them before her friends are either killed or flown out of the country.

Don’t Look For Me by Loren Estleman
Amos Walker doesn’t mean to walk into trouble. But sometimes it finds him, regardless. The missing woman has left a handwritten note that said, “Don’t look for me.” Any P.I. would take that as a challenge, especially when he found out that she’d left the same message once before, when having an illicit affair. But this time it’s different. The trail leads Walker to an herbal remedies store, where the beautiful young clerk knows nothing about the dead body in the basement…or about any illegal activity that might be connected to the corpse. She is, however, interested in Walker’s body, and he discovers he’s interested in hers as well. But he can’t tarry long, for the Mafia could be involved…or maybe there’s a connection to the porno film studio where the missing woman’s former maid now works. But when two Mossad agents accost Walker–and then are brutally killed–he realizes he’s discovered a plot far darker run by someone more deadly than either the Detroit Mafia or a two-bit porn pusher.

Everything To Lose by Andrew Gross
While driving along a suburban back road, Hilary Cantor, who’s just lost her job and whose deadbeat husband has left her to care for her son who has Asperger’s, witnesses a freakish accident when a deer suddenly darts in front of the car ahead of her. The driver careens down a hill and slams into a tree. Rushing to help, she discovers the car smoking, the driver dead–and a satchel on the floor stuffed with a half million dollars. That money could prevent her family’s ruin and keep her son in school. In an instant, this honest, achieving woman who has always done the responsible thing makes a decision that puts her in the center of a maelstrom of unforeseeable consequences and life-threatening recriminations. It isn’t long before someone comes looking for the money, and as they get closer and closer to Hilary, she is pulled into a terrifying scheme involving a twenty-year-old murder, an old woman whose entire life has been washed out to sea by the storm, and a powerful figure determined to maintain the secret that can destroy him.

A Few Drops Of Blood by Jan Merete Weiss
When the bodies of two men are found, shockingly posed, in the garden of an elderly countess, Captain Natalia Monte of the Carabiniere is assigned the case. Soon she finds herself shuttling betweennbsp; Naples’ decadent art galleries and violent criminal underworld. If she is to succeed in solving the heinous crime, Natalia must deal with not only her own complicated past and allegiances, but also those of the city as a whole.

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
Summer of 1876: San Francisco is in the fierce grip of a record-breaking heat wave and a smallpox epidemic. Through the window of a railroad saloon, a young woman named Jenny Bonnet is shot dead. The survivor, her friend Blanche Beunon, is a French burlesque dancer. Over the next three days, she will risk everything to bring Jenny’s murderer to justice–if he doesn’t track her down first. The story Blanche struggles to piece together is one of free-love bohemians, desperate paupers, and arrogant millionaires; of jealous men, icy women, and damaged children. It’s the secret life of Jenny herself, a notorious character who breaks the law every morning by getting dressed: a charmer as slippery as the frogs she hunts.

The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn
John Lago is a very bad guy. But he’s the very best at what he does. And what he does is infiltrate top-level companies and assassinate crooked executives while disguised as an intern. Interns are invisible. That’s the secret behind HR, Inc., the elite “placement agency” that doubles as a network of assassins for hire who take down high-profile targets that wouldn’t be able to remember an intern’s name if their lives depended on it. At the ripe old age of almost twenty-five, John Lago is already New York City’s most successful hit man. He’s also an intern at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, clocking eighty hours a week getting coffee, answering phones, and doing all the grunt work actual employees are too lazy to do. He was hired to assas-sinate one of the firm’s heavily guarded partners. His internship provides the perfect cover, enabling him to gather intel and gain access to pull off a clean, untraceable hit.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin by Mary Higgins Clark
When Laurie Moran’s husband was brutally murdered, only three-year-old Timmy saw the face of his father’s killer. Five years later his piercing blue eyes still haunt Timmy’s dreams. Laurie is haunted by more-the killer’s threat to her son as he fled the scene: “Tell your mother she’s next, then it’s your turn . . .” Now Laurie is dealing with murder again, this time as the producer of a true-crime, cold-case television show. The series will launch with the twenty-year-old unsolved murder of Betsy Powell. Betsy, a socialite, was found suffocated in her bed after a gala celebrating the graduation of her daughter and three friends. The sensational murder was news nationwide. Reopening the case in its lavish setting and with the cooperation of the surviving guests that night, Laurie is sure to have a hit on her hands. But when the estranged friends begin filming, it becomes clear each is hiding secrets . . . small and large. And a pair of blue eyes is watching events unfold, too . . .

Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline
Jake Buckman’s relationship with his sixteen-year-old son Ryan is not an easy one, so at the urging of his loving wife, Pam, Jake goes alone to pick up Ryan at their suburban movie theater.  On the way home, Ryan asks to drive on a deserted road, and Jake sees it as a chance to make a connection. However, what starts as a father-son bonding opportunity instantly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes, and with Ryan’s entire future hanging in the balance, Jake is forced to make a split-second decision that plunges them both into a world of guilt and lies. Without ever meaning to, Jake and Ryan find themselves living under the crushing weight of their secret, which treatens to tear their family to shreds and ruin them all.

Lion Plays Rough by Lachlan Smith
Leo Maxwell always lived in the shadow of his older brother Teddy, one of San Francisco’s most ruthless and effective criminal defense lawyers. Then a gunman shot Teddy in the head. Although Teddy survived the shooting, he has been left disabled and dependent on Leo, now a criminal defense attorney practicing in Oakland. The Maxwell brothers are living together in Oakland while Leo, chafing in his role as junior attorney in his former sister-in-law’s small criminal defense firm, is on the lookout for the big case that will make his reputation. He thinks he’s found that when a mysterious woman nearly runs him down, then appears at his office to hire him to defend her brother on a murder charge. One problem: Leo hasn’t actually met the client when he sets out to investigate what seems like a hot tip on a burgeoning scandal in the Oakland Police Department.

Live To See Tomorrow by Iris Johansen
Catherine Ling is one of the CIA’s most prized operatives. Raised on the unforgiving streets of Hong Kong, she was pulled into the agency at the age of fourteen, already having accumulated more insight and secrets than the most seasoned professionals in her world. If life has taught her anything, it is not to get attached, but there are two exceptions to that rule: her son Luke and her mentor Hu Chang. When Luke was kidnapped at the age of two, it nearly broke her. Now, nine years later, her son has astonishingly been returned to her and Catherine vows never to fail him again. But when her job pulls her away from home, she relies on the brilliant and deadly Hu Chang to safeguard Luke in her absence. Now Erin Sullivan, an American journalist with mysterious ties to Hu Chang, has been kidnapped in Tibet. If Catherine doesn’t agree to spearhead the CIA rescue mission, she knows that Hu Chang himself will go, a possibility she can’t risk.

Long Man by Amy Greene
A river called Long Man has coursed through East Tennessee from time immemorial, bringing sustenance to the people who farm along its banks and who trade among its small towns. But as Long Man opens, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plans to dam the river and flood the town of Yuneetah for the sake of progress–to bring electricity and jobs to the region–are about to take effect. Just a few days remain before the river will rise, and most of the town has been evacuated. Among the holdouts is a young, headstrong mother, Annie Clyde Dodson, whose ancestors have lived for generations on her mountaintop farm; she’ll do anything to ensure that her three-year-old daughter, Gracie, will inherit the family’s land. But her husband wants to make a fresh start in Michigan, where he’s found work that will bring the family a more secure future. As the deadline looms, a storm as powerful as the emotions between them rages outside their door. Suddenly they realize that Gracie is nowhere to be found. Has the little girl simply wandered off into the rain? Or has she been taken by Amos, the mysterious drifter who has come back to Yuneetah, perhaps to save his hometown in a last, desperate act of violence?

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
Raised in the historic southern splendor of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned all he knows of honor and duty from his father, Dr. Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor and pillar of the community has been accused of murdering Viola Turner, the African-American nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the 1960s. Once a crusading prosecutor, Penn is determined to save his father, but Tom, stubbornly invoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to even speak in his own defense. Penn’s quest for the truth sends him deep into his father’s past, where a sexually charged secret lies waiting to tear their family apart. More chilling, this long-buried sin is only a single thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK controlled by some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the state.

Notorious by Alison Brennan
Maxine Revere has dedicated her life to investigating murders that the police have long since given up any hope of solving. A nationally renowned investigative reporter with her own TV show and a tough-as-nails reputation, Max tackles cold cases from across the country and every walk of life. But the one unsolved murder that still haunts her is a case from her own past. When Max was a high school senior, one of her best friends was strangled and another, Kevin O’Neal, accused of the crime. To the disgrace of her wealthy family, Max stood by her friend, until she found out he lied about his alibi. Though his guilt was never proven, their relationship crumbled from the strain of too many secrets. Now Max is home for Kevin’s funeral–after years of drug abuse, he committed suicide. She’s finally prepared to come to terms with the loss of his friendship, but she’s not prepared for Kevin’s sister to stubbornly insist that he didn’t kill himself. Or for an elderly couple to accost her at the airport, begging her to look into another murder at Max’s old high school. Max is more interested in the cold case at her alma mater than in digging around Kevin’s troubled life, but she agrees to do both.

The Poor Boy’s Game by Dennis Tafoya
When US Marshal Frannie Mullen gets one of her best friends shot during a routine apprehension, her career is over. Still reeling from the loss, Frannie is trying to sort out her feelings for Wyatt, the reformed outlaw who loves her, and to support her newly-sober sister, Mae, as she struggles with the fallout of their unstable, violent childhood. Their father Patrick Mullen is a thug, a vicious enforcer for a corrupt Philadelphia union, and when he escapes from prison, bodies of ex-rivals and witnesses begin piling up. Now Frannie is suspected as an accomplice in his escape and targeted by shadowy killers from the Philadelphia underworld. Unsure who to trust, drawing on the skills she’s learned as a Marshal and her training as a boxer, Frannie is forced to fight to protect her shattered sister and Patrick’s pregnant girlfriend from the most dangerous criminal she’s ever faced–her own father.

Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman
Liz Daniels has every reason to be happy about setting off on a rare family vacation, leaving behind her remote home in the Adirondack Mountains for a while. Instead, she feels uneasy. Her children, eight-year-old Reid and six-year-old Ally, have met their paternal grandparents only a handful of times. But Liz’s husband, Paul, has decided that, despite a strained relationship with his mother and father, they should visit the farm in western New York where he spent his childhood. On their way to the farm, the family stops at a hotel for the night. In the morning, when Liz goes to check on her sleeping children, all her anxiety comes roaring back: Ally and Reed are nowhere to be found. Blind panic slides into ice-cold terror as the hours tick by without anyone finding a trace of the kids. Soon, Paul and Liz are being interviewed by police, an Amber Alert is issued, and detectives are called in. Frantic worry and helplessness threaten to overtake Liz’s mind–but in a sudden, gut-wrenching instant she realizes that it was no stranger who slipped into the hotel room that night. Someone she trusted completely has betrayed her.

Savage Girl by Jean Zimmerman
A riveting tale from the author of The Orphanmaster about a wild girl from Nevada who lands in Manhattan’s Gilded Age society. Jean Zimmerman’s new novel tells of the dramatic events that transpire when an alluring, blazingly smart eighteen-year-old girl named Bronwyn, reputedly raised by wolves in the wilds of Nevada, is adopted in 1875 by the Delegates, an outlandishly wealthy Manhattan couple, and taken back East to be civilized and introduced into high society. Bronwyn hits the highly mannered world of Edith Wharton era Manhattan like a bomb. A series of suitors, both young and old, find her irresistible, but the willful girl’s illicit lovers begin to turn up murdered.

The Target by David Baldacci
The President knows it’s a perilous, high-risk assignment. If he gives the order, he has the opportunity to take down a global menace, once and for all. If the mission fails, he would face certain impeachment, and the threats against the nation would multiply. So the president turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel. Together, Robie and Reel’s talents as assassins are unmatched. But there are some in power who don’t trust the pair. They doubt their willingness to follow orders. And they will do anything to see that the two assassins succeed, but that they do not survive.

Warriors by Ted Bell
British counterspy Lord Alexander Hawke must rescue a kidnapped American scientist and catch a villainous megalomaniac–a man obsessed with horrifying experiments in state-of-the-art warfare–in Ted Bell’s latest mesmerizing, high-action thriller in his New York Times bestselling series, reminiscent of the very best of Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, and Daniel Silva On the streets of Washington, D.C., a brilliant scientist in the high-tech military industry, the brains behind a revolutionary fighter aircraft prototype in development by the Pentagon, is snatched by masked thugs–along with his wife and children–and disappears without a trace. Now, five years later, an elderly professor at Cambridge University has been murdered, a victim of bizarre, ancient Chinese torture methods. Alex Hawke teams up with former chief inspector Ambrose Congreve, his Scotland Yard colleague and friend, to find the killer, but this death is merely the opening gambit in a tense and lethal game of geopolitical brinkmanship.

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