Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Murder, Mischief and Mayhem: Recommendations From Margaret N.
The extraordinary new novel in New York Times-bestselling author Ace Atkins' acclaimed series about the real Deep South—“a joy ride into the heart of darkness” (The Washington Post).

Thirty-six years ago, a nameless black man wandered into Jericho, Mississippi, with nothing but the clothes on his back and a pair of paratrooper boots. Less than two days later, he was accused of rape and murder, hunted down by a self-appointed posse, and lynched.

Now evidence has surfaced of his innocence, and county sheriff Quinn Colson sets out not only to identify the stranger’s remains, but to charge those responsible for the lynching. As he starts to uncover old lies and dirty secrets, though, he runs up against fierce opposition from those with the most to lose—and they can play dirty themselves.

Soon Colson will find himself accused of terrible crimes, and the worst part is, the accusations just might stick. As the two investigations come to a head, it is anybody’s guess who will prevail—or even come out of it alive.
Sheriff Joanna Brady must solve two perplexing cases that hit close to home in New York Times bestselling author J. A. Jance's thrilling tale of suspense that brings to life Arizona's Cochise County and the desert Southwest in all its beauty, mystery, and danger

An old woman, both a hermit and a hoarder, is dying in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. While cleaning out her dilapidated house, her estranged daughter, Liza Machett, discovers a fortune in hundred-dollar bills hidden in the tall stacks of books and magazines that crowd every corner. After their father ran off with another woman, Liza and her older stepbrother grew up in this house, surviving poverty, squalor, and a mentally unstable mother. So where did all the cash come from?

For Liza, a waitress at a small local diner, the money seems like a blessing—until an elderly man she's never met appears at her mother's funeral, warning that she's in danger. Suddenly, Liza's quiet life is turned upside down. The house is torched, her apartment is broken into, and her elderly landlady is murdered. Someone very dangerous is looking for her and won't stop until she's found. Terrified, Liza sets off on a perilous cross-country journey that will lead her to Cochise County, Arizona, where Sheriff Joanna Brady is embroiled in a personal mystery of her own.

Junior Dowdle, a developmentally disabled man in his sixties, is found dead at the bottom of a hole in a limestone cavern near Bisbee. Inside the cave, the police also discover a badly injured kitten that is barely alive, as well as the remains of other mutilated pets. Joanna knows Junior's foster parents well, and she considered him a family friend. Though he'd always been kind and sweet, with the onset of dementia, he had begun having violent episodes. Could he have hurt those animals? Was his death an accident? Or is he a victim as well?

Joanna and her modest staff have their hands full investigating Junior's death and the animal abuse they uncovered. Then another case rocks the department—a shocking murder involving Liza and the money. Her department stretched to the limit, the undaunted sheriff must solve these two disturbing cases fast, before more innocent blood can be shed. 

What if a teacher’s most promising pupil is also her most dangerous? A tautly plotted psychological thriller, as intelligent as it is mesmerizing

What Has Become of You follows Vera Lundy, an aspiring crime writer and master of self-deprecation who, like many adults, has survived adolescence but hasn’t entirely overcome it. When she agrees to fill in for a private school English teacher on maternity leave, teaching The Catcher in the Rye to privileged girls, Vera feels in over her head. The students are on edge, too, due to the recent murder of a local girl close to their age.

Enter Jensen Willard. At fifteen she’s already a gifted writer but also self-destructive and eerily reminiscent of Vera’s younger self. As the two outcasts forge a tentative bond, a sense of menace enfolds their small New England town. When another student, new to the country, is imperiled by her beliefs, Vera finds herself in the vortex of danger—and suspicion.

With the threat of a killer at large, the disappearance of her increasingly worri-some pupil, and her own professional reputation at stake, Vera must thread her way among what is right by the law, by her students, and by herself. In this poignant page-turner, populated with beguiling characters and sharp social insights, coming-of-age can happen no matter how old you are.
Margaret N. says:
"Oh my.  I keep thinking this over and over while reading What Became of You.  Vera has returned home from New York and takes a temporary position at a girls school teaching English and working on a book about a serial killer that operated in the area when she was in high school.  She sees herself in a troubled and talented young girl and finds herself crossing boundaries of appropriate behavior.  History seems to repeat itself as girls begin to die.

This psychological thriller is a perfect read for anyone looking for more that a pat plot."

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