Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wendy is Recommending:
From an NPR contributor and investigative journalist, a striking debut novel that chronicles the first twenty-four hours after a mass burglary in a suburban Chicago neighborhood and the suspicions, secrets, and prejudices that surface in its wake.

Nestled on the edge of Chicago’s gritty west side, Oak Park is a suburb in flux. To the west, theaters and shops frame posh homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. To the east lies a neighborhood trying desperately to recover from urban decline. Although the community’s Diversity Assurance program has curbed the destructive racial housing practices that migrated from Chicago's notorious west side over the past decades, cultural and racial integration has been tenuous at best.

In the center of the community sits Ilios Lane, a pristine cul-de-sac dotted with quiet homes that bridge Oak Park’s extremes of wealth and poverty. On the first warm day in April, as Mary Elizabeth McPherson, a lifelong resident of Ilios Lane plays hooky from high school, a series of home invasions rock her neighborhood. A shocking act of violence and another of unexpected compassion in the wake of the burglaries leave the entire community indelibly altered, while the residents of Ilios Lane are thrust into an uneasy alliance and must take stock of the world they believed they lived in—and the world many of them were attempting to create. Snyder builds the story with subtle suspense, leading ultimately to an explosive conclusion.

Incisive and panoramic, What We’ve Lost Is Nothing weaves together an impressive cast of characters, whose lives collide in the wake of disaster. In this powerful fiction debut, Rachel Louise Snyder sheds light on the gray area where idealism confronts reality.
In the Blood is the Lisa Unger novel we've all been waiting for—and a return to the dark psychological suspense that made Beautiful Lies a bestseller around the world.

Lana Granger lives a life of lies. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to controlling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?

When Lana’s closest friend, Beck, mysteriously disappears, Lana resumes her lying ways—to friends, to the police, to herself. The police have a lot of questions for Lana when the story about her whereabouts the night Beck disappeared doesn’t jibe with eyewitness accounts. Lana will do anything to hide the truth, but it might not be enough to keep her ominous secrets buried: someone else knows about Lana’s lies. And he’s dying to tell.

In Grimes’s new sendup of a world she knows very well, Candy and Karl, hitmen with a difference— they have scruples—once again venture into the murky Manhattan publishing scene. This time they come to the aid of a writer who is being sued by her unscrupulous literary agent, L. Bass Hess, a man determined to get a 15 percent commission for a book he didn’t sell.

The contract killers join forces with publishing mogul Bobby Mackenzie and megabestselling writer Paul Giverney to rid the mean streets of Hess, not by shooting him, but by driving him crazy. They are helped by other characters from Foul Matter and a crew of new colorful personalities, including an out-of-work Vegas magician, an alligator wrangler, a glamorous Malaysian con lady, and Hess’s aunt in Everglades City, who has undergone a wildly successful sex change.

This wickedly funny sequel to Grimes’s bestselling novel Foul Matter is another character-driven “satire of the venal, not to say murderous, practices of the New York publishing industry” (The New York Times Book Review). - See more at:
In the second installment in a new international thriller trilogy, a young man is on the run to escape a “game” that blurs the lines between reality and fiction.

It’s been four months since he was dragged into the Alternative Reality Game that nearly cost him his life, and HP is still on the run. He has everything he ever wished for—freedom, money, and no responsibilities, but he still isn’t happy. Plagued by insomnia and paranoia, HP misses the rush and attention of The Game. Sometimes he almost wishes the Game Master would find him.

In Dubai, HP meets Anna Argos, a sophisticated and beautiful Swedish IT millionaire. When she disappears, HP is questioned by the police. Fearing he has been found by The Game, HP returns to Sweden after being released from custody. Determined to uncover the truth about Anna’s disappearance, HP uses a fake identity to apply for a job at ArgosEye, the company Anna worked for. In the business of online information management, ArgosEye is involved in some questionable practices, under the control of Anna’s husband, the CEO Philip Argos.

Meanwhile, HP’s sister Rebecca has started dating Philip Argos. When she unknowingly reveals her brother’s real identity to Philip, the police try to bring HP in for questioning again. On the run again, HP refuses to give up and tries to uncover what is really happening at ArgosEye. Before he can find the truth, HP is stopped in his tracks. Thinking he’s about to be thrown in prison, HP is taken to the outskirts of the city and left in the woods, where an elderly man hands him a piece of paper. HP believes the game is over, but is it really just beginning?
The most appealing mystery heroine since Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, TV reporter Riley Spartz is a star investigative journalist for Channel 3—and no stranger to the seedier side of her hometown. But when she receives a package of smelly human teeth in the mail at work, she’s quickly embroiled in a homicide investigation that spirals into one of the odder cases the Minneapolis police force has ever seen. Though the cops try to keep certain grisly details quiet, this murder has a strange twist—it seems that the killer wants the crime publicized.

Is it a revenge killing, or something more? Riley’s investigation takes her inside a lucrative identity theft ring that links low-life crooks like now-dead Leon Akume to white-collar opportunists like once-wealthy Jack Clemens. Despite a prime motive for murder, Jack also has the ultimate alibi: he's behind bars. While Riley pushes to keep the homicide in the news, her boss is convinced that coverage of the Mall of America’s unique version of a royal wedding is key to the station winning ratings. As the stakes continue to rise for her job and her life, Riley must outwit the killer in a trap that could leave yet another person dead...

An irresistible suspense novel that will keep readers turning pages until the stunning conclusion, Delivering Death brings the humor, intrigue, and twists and turns Julie Kramer’s fans have been waiting for.

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