November Fiction Newsletter

Welcome to the monthly Fiction Newsletter. Here you will find our top three choices from each genre’s selected list of newly received fiction. This month we feature Suspense/Thriller fiction in our ‘Other Genres’ category all are guaranteed gripping page turners.

We sincerely hope you will enjoy our selections, and discover new writers, and genres you may not have tried before, happy reading.

Library News

Contemporary fiction

This month’s selection of New Contemporary Novels was comprised entirely of Award winning, international acclaimed writers; therefore selecting just three novels for this newsletter was extremely difficult. We hope you will be tempted to view the complete list of selections as there is great reading be found there.

Syndetics book cover Hag-seed : The tempest retold / Margaret Atwood.
“It’s got a thunderstorm in it. And revenge. Definitely revenge Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he’s staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds. Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda, and also brewing revenge. After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theatre course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The wonder : a novel / Emma Donoghue.
“Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl and soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Black rock white city / A. S. Patrić.
“During a hot Melbourne summer Jovan’s cleaning work at a bayside hospital is disrupted by acts of graffiti and violence becoming increasingly malevolent. For Jovan the mysterious words that must be cleaned away dislodge the poetry of the past. He and his wife Suzana were forced to flee Sarajevo and the death of their children. This is an essential story of Australia’s suburbs now, of displacement and immediate threat, and the unexpected responses of two refugees as they try to reclaim their dreams.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Graphic novels

Although this month’s selection of new Graphic novels included seven first volumes of new series, we have chosen the only three stand-alone titles for this newsletter. As you can see all three are highly accomplished, much praised graphic novelists and artists.

Syndetics book cover Something new : tales from a makeshift bride / by Lucy Knisley.
“DIY maven Lucy Knisley was fascinated by American wedding culture, but also sort of horrified by it. So she set out to plan and execute the adorable DIY wedding to end all adorable DIY weddings. And she succeeded.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Cigarette girl / Masahiko Matsumoto ; foreword by Yoshihiro Tatsumi ; translated by Spencer Fancutt, with assistance of Atsuko Saisho.
“Welcome to the quiet, evocative urban dramas of Masahiko Matsumoto, one of the leading lights of the Japanese alternative-comics movement known as “gekiga.” Originally published in 1974, these eleven stories now form the first English-language collection of Matsumoto’s mature work. His shy, uncertain heroes face broken hearts, changing families, money troubles, sexual anxiety, and the pressures of tradition, but with a whimsy and lightness of touch that is Matsumoto’s trademark.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Paul up North / Michel Rabagliati.
“Rabagliati continues his award-winning semi-autobiographical Paul series in this coming of age story. The action takes place in 1975-76 just before and during the summer Olympics in Montreal. Paul is now 16, a teenager, and he finds new experiences, changes schools, hitchhikes, falls deeply in love, gets dumped, smokes pot and drinks beer.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Mysteries

Mysteries this month included three translated Scandinavian mysteries and several historical mysteries mixed with the customary cold cases, missing persons and kidnappings, found with in this genre. We have selected a mixed assortment for your enjoyment.

Syndetics book cover The owl always hunts at night / Samuel Bjork ; translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund.
“When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found. Detective Mia Kruger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team is unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Malice of waves / Mark douglas-Home.
“Cal McGill is the sea detective: an oceanographer and one-of-a-kind investigator who uses his knowledge of the waves to find where objects came from, or track where they’ve gone. For five years Priest’s Island has guarded the mystery of Max Wheeler’s disappearance. In this isolated township on the edge of the Atlantic, there are no secrets, except what really happened to fourteen-year-old Max. Now Cal McGill has taken up the quest. A grieving father, a community riven by tragedy and resentful of the suspicion all make a powder keg of secrets and vengeance ready to explode.” (Adapted from Syndectics summary)
Syndetics book cover Blind sight / Carol O’Connell.
“A blind child and a Catholic nun disappear from a city sidewalk in plain sight of onlookers. There, then gone, vanished in seconds. Those who witnessed the event still cannot believe it happened. Detective Kathy Mallory and the NYPD’s Special Crimes Unit enter the investigation when the nun’s body is found with three other corpses in varying stages of decomposition left on the lawn of Gracie Mansion, home to the mayor of New York City. Sister Michael was the last to die. The child, Jonah Quill, is still missing. Behind her back, the squad’s name for her is Mallory the Machine, yet she has a dark understanding of what it is to be human. A child is waiting, time is running out, and atop her list of liars is the mayor himself, and a theory of the crimes in which no sane cop could believe.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Science fiction/fantasy

This month’s selection of new Science Fiction and Fantasy included some well-known much acclaimed writers. With all the usual plots found in this genre, from alternative histories to zombies, there is no limit to the imaginations of these writers, giving readers a truly out of world experience.

Syndetics book cover Obelisk / Stephen Baxter.
“This collection contains stories set in the worlds of the bestselling duology ULTIMA and PROXIMA, which expand on the characters and worlds of that series, including two brand new short stories. There is also a selection of alternate histories and possible futures, building on Baxter’s work with Terry Pratchett on the LONG EARTH series.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The span of empire / Eric Flint, David Carrico ; with K.D. Wentworth.
“A new novel in the Jao Empire series. It has become clear to both the Jao and their human and Lleix partners that if they are going to defeat the Ekhat who have been terrorizing the galaxy for eons, they need more allies. To that end, Preceptor Ronz, guardian of Earth and greatest living strategist of the Jao, has harnessed the energy of Earth’s humans to create and send out an exploration fleet under the command of Caitlin Kralik. But after a long search, all the expedition has found are dead worlds and now-extinct intelligent species slaughtered by the genocidal Ekhat. Do they continue to search down the galactic arm in which Earth and the Jao worlds lie, or do they make an astounding leap in another direction?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The ghoul king / Guy Haley.
“The Knight, Quinn, is down on his luck, and he travels to the very edge of the civilized world, whatever that means any more, to restock his small but essential inventory. After fighting a series of gladiatorial bouts against the dead, he finds himself in the employ of a woman on a quest to find the secret to repairing her semi-functional robot. But the technological secret it guards may be one truth too many.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary

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Other genres

With Suspense/thriller being the feature of this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category, there was a great variation in location, time, character. The three selected for this newsletter are good examples of the amazing variation in the suspense/thriller genre.

Syndetics book cover Home / Harlan Coben.
“A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: what can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Out of bounds.
“When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car, a routine DNA test could be the key to unlocking the mystery of a twenty-year-old murder inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is an expert at solving the unsolvable. With each cold case closed, justice is served. So, finding the answer should be straightforward, but it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Breaking cover / Stella Rimington.
“Liz Carlyle, still reeling from the aftershocks of a botched anti-terrorist operation in Paris, has been posted to MI5′s counter-espionage desk, where her bosses hope the relative calm might give her the chance to find her feet again. But they hadn’t counted on the fallout from Russia’s incursions into the Crimea and President Putin’s determination to silence those who would oppose him, wherever they may be living in the world. So it is not long before Liz finds herself on the hunt for a Russian spy on British soil, a spy whose intentions are unknown, and whose presence is a threat not only to Russian dissidents living in England but also to the security of the nation itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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New ‘Other Genres’ for October, this month featuring suspense & thrillers

The new titles selected for this month’s ‘Other Genres’ category are all indexed as suspense/thriller fiction. There is plenty of variation in location, time and character in these gripping stories as the plots include political corruption, kidnapping, organized crime, missing children, conspiracies, and intelligence organisations.

Syndetics book coverThe smoke hunter / Jacquelyn Benson.
“Frustrated suffragette and would-be archaeologist Ellie Mallory stumbles across a map to a city that shouldn’t exist, a jungle metropolis alive and flourishing centuries after the Mayan civilization mysteriously collapsed. Discovering it would make her career, but Ellie isn’t the only one after the prize. A disgraced professor and his ruthless handler are hot on her heels, willing to go any extreme to acquire the map for themselves. To race them through the uncharted jungle, Ellie needs a guide. The only one with the expertise is maverick surveyor Adam Bates. But with his determination to nose his way into Ellie’s many secrets, Bates is a dangerous partner. As Ellie gets closer to her goal; she realizes it’s not just her ambitions at stake. A powerful secret lies hidden in the heart of the city and if it falls into the wrong hands, it could shake the very fate of the world.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome / Harlan Coben.
“A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent. No trace of the boys ever surfaced. For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager. Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: what can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGood as gone / Amy Gentry.
“Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic, but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When sheis contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe second life of Nick Mason / Steve Hamilton.
“Nick Mason has already spent five years inside a maximum security prison when an offer comes that will grant his release twenty years early. He accepts, but the deal comes with a terrible price. Now, back on the streets, Nick Mason has returned to society, but he’s still a prisoner. Whenever his cell phone rings, day or night, Nick must answer it and follow whatever order he is given. It’s the deal he made with Darius Cole, a criminal mastermind serving a double-life term who runs an empire from his prison cell. Forced to commit increasingly more dangerous crimes, hunted by the relentless detective who put him behind bars, and desperate to go straight and rebuild his life with his daughter and ex-wife, Nick will ultimately have to risk everything his family, his sanity, and even his life to finally break free.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRazor girl / Carl Hiaasen.
“Andrew Yancy is still doing penance as a health inspector on roach patrol for an earlier assault with a car vacuum. But when the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren goes missing, Yancy sees a chance to win back his real cop job at the sheriff’s office. Merry Mansfield, the Razor Girl, runs car-crash scams but has the proverbial heart of gold, which lands her bejewelled flip-flops in a diabolically complicated story that includes, goofball characters, sand-restoration, and an ill-fated, mongoose-owning stinky copycat psycho. Also, an environmentally invasive infestation of Gambian pouched rats, electric cars, and cruise lines, along with Sharpie pens that create a male enhancement that perhaps only this author could dream up. Or maybe it is one of the true lurid Florida tales he claims to have incorporated into the story?” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOut of bounds.
“When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car, a routine DNA test could be the key to unlocking the mystery of a twenty-year-old murder inquiry. Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie is an expert at solving the unsolvable. With each cold case closed, justice is served. So, finding the answer should be straightforward, but it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe girl before / Rena Olsen.
“Clara Lawson is torn from her life in an instant. Without warning, her home is invaded by armed men, and she finds herself separated from her beloved husband and daughters. The last thing her husband yells to her is to say nothing. In chapters that alternate between past and present, the novel slowly unpeels the layers of Clara’s fractured life. As recollections of her past collide with new revelations, Clara must question everything she thought she knew, to come to terms with the truth of her history and to summon the strength to navigate her future.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBreaking cover / Stella Rimington.
“Liz Carlyle, still reeling from the aftershocks of a botched anti-terrorist operation in Paris, has been posted to MI5’s counter-espionage desk, where her bosses hope the relative calm might give her the chance to find her feet again. But they hadn’t counted on the fallout from Russia’s incursions into the Crimea and President Putin’s determination to silence those who would oppose him, wherever they may be living in the world. So it is not long before Liz finds herself on the hunt for a Russian spy on British soil, a spy whose intentions are unknown, and whose presence is a threat not only to Russian dissidents living in England but also to the security of the nation itself.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMethodical illusion / Rebekah Roth.
“The glamorous life of an international flight attendant can be anything but, as Vera Hanson discovered the morning one of her crew members was found murdered in a Paris hotel room. That morning began to put into focus some of the experiences of Vera’s thirty year airline career, which she had purposely been avoiding. It caused her to look more deeply into the questions surrounding 9/11 that never made sense to a flight attendant, but that no one had seriously investigated. With the help of her pilot friend Jim Bowman, they embark on a cross country journey employing their wisdom, experience and intense research to uncover the mysteries of what really happened to the four airplanes and the people on them that fateful day.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInfamy : a novel / Robert K. Tanenbaum.
“When a former Army veteran suddenly murders a colonel in New York, he claims that he had to do it because he was being used in mind control experiments. Is it a case of post-traumatic stress from his tours in Afghanistan or something more? New York District Attorney Roger “Butch” Karp prepares a murder case against the veteran, and meets with investigative reporter Ariadne Stupenagel, who suspects that one of her sources for a story on high-level government corruption was a victim in the shooting. They discover a monumental betrayal of the nation’s security and integrity.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

New ‘Other Genre’ fiction for January – This month: Suspense & Thrillers

Suspense/Thriller novels feature in this month’s selection of ‘Other Genre’ fiction. We have also added some psychological thrillers to the mix. The new novel from popular thriller writer Matthew Reilly titled, The great zoo of China, is highly recommended.

Syndetics book coverPrague summer : a novel / Jeffrey Condran.
“Stephanie and Henry are Americans living in Prague; she works for the State Department, he is a rare books dealer. They live the life of a comfortably married couple. Until one day their world is turned upside down by the arrival from the States of Stephanie’s old friend, Selma Al-Khateeb whose husband has been mysteriously arrested and indefinitely imprisoned. At first it appears that Selma has come to escape her problems, but soon her reasons for coming to Prague grow sinister and murky. Stephanie and Henry’s placid existence is turned upside down in ways they couldn’t have imagined.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrooked River / Valerie Geary.
“Sam’s mother has recently died and she’s trying to hold on to some sense of normality after she and her selectively mute younger sister Ollie move to rural Oregon to live with their societal-dropout, tent-dwelling father. Sam is exhausted with trying to care for Ollie, who communicates by pointing at apt sentences in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Then there’s a murder that’s close to home in every sense of the phrase, and Sam fears that all that is familiar to her, shaky though it is, will come asunder.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBlue warrior / Mike Maden.
“Troy, the CEO of Pearce Systems, a company specializing in drone operations, is more comfortable in the field than behind a desk. His work takes him to a number of hot spots around the globe, in particular to Mali, where the Chinese plan to gain control of important rare earth elements. His trip to Mali at the behest of former U.S. president Margaret Myers, a friend of Troy’s, to rescue a wounded American on a secret mission there, lands him in the middle of a nasty fight between rebel forces led by Mossa Ag Alla, the Tuareg known as the Blue Warrior, and highly trained Chinese soldiers led by the ruthless Guo Jun.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe hunter / Tony Park.
“Safari guide and private investigator Hudson Brand hunts people, not animals. He’s on the trail of Linley Brown who’s been named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. Linley’s friend, Kate, supposedly died in a fiery car accident in Zimbabwe, but Kate’s sister wants to believe it is an elaborate fraud. South African detective Sannie van Rensburg is also looking for Linley, as well as a serial killer who has been murdering prostitutes on Sannie’s watch. Top of her list of suspects is Hudson Brand. Sannie and Hudson cross paths and swords as they track the elusive Linley from South Africa and Zimbabwe to the wilds of Kenya’s Masai Mara game reserve.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe neighbour / Julie Proudfoot.
“When Luke is implicated in the tragic death of a child, he struggles to assert his innocence to those around him. While the accident invokes haunting memories of Luke’s late brother, who died when they were children, he strives to maintain a grip on reality as his relationships begin to unravel.” (Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe great zoo of China / Matthew Reilly.
“It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed. A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr Cassandra Jane ‘CJ’ Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTo the grave : a Jefferson Tayte genealogical mystery / by Steve Robinson.
“Genealogist Jefferson Tayte wants to reunite his client with her birth mother, but uncovers a secret with tragic results.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCloser than you think / Karen Rose.
“Deacon Novak has returned home. The experienced FBI Agent knows that his move to Cincinnati’s Major Crime Enforcement Squad will be challenging, but the greater challenge will be saving his younger brother before he becomes the kind of criminal Deacon is chasing. Faith Corcoran has escaped her identity. Being a therapist to victims of sex crimes was rewarding, but her work with their offenders has jeopardized her life. Her move represents a chance to build a new life in the empty old house her grandmother has left her. What Faith doesn’t know is that a killer has made the house his playground, taking girls into the basement and murdering them. With a murderer focused on her, Faith is going to have to put her trust in Deacon if she’s going to survive.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo fortunate son : a Pike Logan thriller / Brad Taylor.
“When veteran operator Pike Logan and partner Jennifer Cahill receive a letter from Blaisdell Consulting, the umbrella cover company for their real employer, a top secret counterterrorist unit called the Taskforce, they expect orders for their next mission-impossible tasking. Instead, they learn that their latest actions have gotten them fired, despite having saved thousands of innocent lives. Pike’s shock and fury is redirected when their commander, Colonel Kurt Hale, asks him and Jennifer for help with a personal matter: His niece Kylie, an exchange student in England, has gone missing. Neither Pike nor Jennifer understands how critical her disappearance will become.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInsatiable appetites / Stuart Woods.
“After celebrating the election of his friend Kate Lee to the U.S. presidency, Stone Barrington is saddened by the death of his elderly mentor, Eduardo Bianchi. Because of Eduardo’s rumored past mob connections, settling the estate is not simple and brings Dolce, Bianchi’s crazy daughter, back from the convent in Italy where she has been confined. Meanwhile, Evan Hills, a “first-term Republican congressman from Pennsylvania,” goes public with a story that will taint his party and even Stone can’t save him from paying a high price for doing so.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Popular author Tom Clancy has died

Syndetics book coverThe very popular American thriller author Tom Clancy has died aged 66. Born in Baltimore, where spent his life. After graduating in 1969 and before embarking on a literary career he ran an independent insurance agency. His first novel, The Hunt for the Red October, was published in 1984 and set a new genre of detailed military science and espionage storylines. A prolific writer, he was only one of three authors to have sold 2,000,000 copies of a title on first printing in the 1990’s and that was for his fifth novel, titled Clear and Present Danger. Some of his novels were adapted to film. He was also the co-founder of the video game developer Red Storm Entertainment; over fifty video games were released based on his novels and characters.

New Other Genre for January, this month: Suspense/thriller

This month’s selection of Other Genre fiction features Suspense/Thriller novels, exciting escapism in every read. Especially recommended is the latest novel from Michael Connelly titled The Black Box, another dangerous, but intriguing investigation for the popular character Harry Bosch.

Syndetics book coverThe empty glass / J.I. Baker.
“This debut novel re-creates the circumstances surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s mysterious death, using a mixture of fact and fiction. L.A. County Deputy Coroner Ben Fitzgerald is called to Monroe’s modest house in Brentwood during the early morning hours of August 5, 1962. He immediately notices several things amiss at the scene. Gossip columnist Jo Carnahan, claiming to work for the coroner’s office, is attempting to steal Monroe’s diary, and the position of the star’s dead body means she couldn’t have died of an overdose. It soon becomes apparent that a number of powerful people are invested in covering up the actual cause of Monroe’s death, among them, the Kennedy brothers, the Mafia, and the LAPD. As Ben comes under the sway of the sultry Jo, who is obsessed with deciphering and publishing the secrets contained in Monroe’s diary, the two find themselves in increasing danger.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Venice conspiracy / Sam Christer.
“When ex-priest Tom Shaman, jaded from years in the Los Angeles ghetto, decides on a last-minute trip to Venice, he gets much more than he expected. A brutal killer is on the loose and Tom finds himself in the midst of a series of ritualistic killings unlike anything Venice has ever seen. Enlisted by the Italian police, Tom teams up with young investigator Valentina Morassi to dig deep into the city’s darkest history, stretching from an ancient civilization to the sexual decadence of eighteenth-century Italy to the gritty underworld of modern-day Venice. As Valentina and Tom trace the killings through the centuries, they uncover a deadly secret that generations have killed to protect: a priceless mosaic known as the Gates of Hell.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThreat vector / Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney.
“Jack Ryan has only just moved back into the Oval Office when he is faced with a new international threat. An aborted coup in the People’s Republic of China has left President Wei Zhen Lin with no choice but to agree with the expansionist policies of General Su Ke Qiang. They have declared the South China Sea a protectorate and are planning an invasion of Taiwan. The Ryan administration is determined to thwart China’s ambitions, but the stakes are dangerously high as a new breed of powerful Chinese anti-ship missile endangers the US Navy’s plans to protect the island. Meanwhile, Chinese cyberwarfare experts have launched a devastating attack on American infrastructure. It’s a new combat arena, but it’s every bit as deadly as any that has gone before.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe black box : a novel / Michael Connelly.
“In a case that spans 20 years, Harry Bosch links the bullet from a recent crime to a file from 1992, the killing of a young female photographer during the L.A. riots. Harry originally investigated the murder, but it was then handed off to the Riot Crimes Task Force and never solved. Now Bosch’s ballistics match indicates that her death was not random violence, but something more personal, and connected to a deeper intrigue. Like an investigator combing through the wreckage after a plane crash, Bosch searches for the “black box,” the one piece of evidence that will pull the case together.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverHarry Lipkin, private eye / Barry Fantoni.Harry Lipkin, Private Eye
“Harry Lipkin is an 87-year-old Jewish private eye, plying his trade in Miami, but he’s neither cute nor abrasive. He’s just a shamus plugging away at his job, with an occasional stop for blintzes. Years ago his wife dumped him, and he tells tales of what the bad city does to innocents, but, really, he brings up all these hard-boiled staples mainly to show his lack of interest in them. A wealthy widow’s heirlooms are vanishing from her house, and Harry interrogates the staff and investigates their lives, looking for a motive.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShadow Creek : a novel / Joy Fielding.
“Due to a last-minute change in plans, a group of unlikely travelling companions finds themselves on a camping trip in the Adirondacks. They include the soon-to-be-divorced Valerie; her oddball friends, Melissa and James; her moody teenage daughter, Brianne; and Val’s estranged husband’s fiancée, Jennifer. Val is dealing with unresolved feelings toward her ex husband and is grappling with jealousy and resentment toward his younger, prettier new flame, a woman with some serious issues of her own. Brianne is sixteen and openly rebellious, caught up in a web of secrets and lies. What Val and her companions don’t know is that a pair of crazed killers is wreaking havoc in the very same woods. When an elderly couple is found slaughtered and Brianne goes missing, Val finds herself in a nightmare much worse than anything she could have anticipated.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe right hand / Derek Haas.
“Theft, kidnapping and assassination. There are some acts no government can sanction. There are some things all politicians must deny. Sometimes the left hand cannot know what the right hand is doing. Austin Clay is that right hand. His latest task: to track down a fellow CIA operative who has gone missing near Moscow. But nothing is what it seems, and he soon finds himself protecting a desperate woman with a deadly secret. Clay has always preferred to work on his own. But this time he has no choice and no idea who to trust.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe cutting season / Attica Locke.
“Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation that sits between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the past and the present coexist uneasily. The estate’s owners have turned the place into an eerie tourist attraction, complete with full-dress re-enactments and carefully restored slave quarters. Outside the gates, a corporation with ambitious plans has been busy snapping up land from struggling families who have been growing sugar cane for generations, and now replacing local employees with illegal labourers. Tensions mount when the body of a female migrant worker is found in a shallow grave on the edge of the property, her throat cut clean. As the investigation gets under way, the list of suspects grows. But when fresh evidence comes to light and the sheriff’s department zeros in on a person of interest, Caren has a bad feeling that the police are chasing the wrong leads. Putting herself at risk, she ventures into dangerous territory as she unearths startling new facts about a very old mystery, the long-ago disappearance of a former slave, that has unsettling ties to the current murder.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverDid you miss me? / Karen Rose.
“The last thing Ford Elkhart remembers is walking his girlfriend back to her car. Now he’s lying tied and gagged on a cold, dark floor, with only one chance to escape before he ends up like the bones surrounding him. Assistant State’s Attorney Daphne Montgomery is devastated by her son’s disappearance and is immediately convinced that his kidnapping is connected to the white supremacist she’s just had jailed for murder. FBI Special Agent Joseph Carter isn’t so sure, especially when he learns that Ford’s girlfriend is also missing. Is Ford’s abduction payback for Daphne’s courtroom victory, or is he a pawn in an even more dangerous game?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe fallen angel / Daniel Silva.
“Bruised and war-weary following his secret war to bring down a terrorist mastermind, Gabriel Allon returns to his beloved Rome to restore a Caravaggio masterpiece. But early one morning Gabriel is summoned by his friend and occasional ally Monsignor Luigi Donati, the all-powerful private secretary to the Pope. The broken body of a beautiful woman lies beneath Michelangelo’s magnificent dome. Donati fears a public inquiry will inflict more wounds on an already-damaged Church so he calls upon Gabriel to use his matchless talents and experience to quietly pursue the truth – was it suicide, or something more sinister? Gabriel discovers that the woman revealed a dangerous secret that threatens powers beyond the Vatican and an old enemy plots revenge in the shadows, an unthinkable act of sabotage that will plunge the world into a conflict of apocalyptic proportions. Once again Gabriel must return to the ranks of his old intelligence service and place himself, and those he holds dear, on the razor’s edge of danger.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

New Suspense/Thriller novels for February

Nothing beats a gripping suspense novel and this month’s selection showcases the best in this genre, with the latest novels from James Grippando, Tami Hoag and Faye Kellerman. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverCovert warriors / W.E.B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV.
“Mexican federals stop two U.S. Special Forces officers and two DEA agents at a roadblock near Acapulco, order them out of their SUV despite their diplomatic license plates, and shoot three of them dead, taking Lt. Col. James Ferris prisoner. It appears the drug cartels have Ferris, but agent Lt. Col. Charley Castillo figures out that his arch enemy, Vladimir Putin, is behind the attack. Charley’s other enemy, U.S. president Zeke Clendennen, decides to rescue Ferris in an operation that’s sure to get the man killed. Charley must snatch Ferris before the president can screw everything up.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNeed you now : a novel / James Grippando.
“ Abe Cushman, the evil genius behind a $60 billion Ponzi scheme, has killed himself and taken his secrets to the grave. For Patrick Lloyd, a young Wall Street advisor at the world’s largest Swiss bank, Cushman’s fall has unexpected and deadly repercussions. Lloyd’s girlfriend, Lilly, is directly tied to billions of dollars in losses suffered by Cushman’s most dangerous victims, a group of powerful investors whose identities and dirty finances are well hidden. What Lilly knows can get her and Patrick killed, and now the pair are in a run for their lives that leads to the heart of a clandestine operation, and to a cabal of powerful officials determined to keep their agenda hidden from the public.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverA devil is waiting / Jack Higgins.
“The President is coming to London, but not to an entirely warm welcome. A fanatical mullah is offering a blessing to anyone who will assassinate the President, and though most London Muslims think the mullah has crossed the line, a few think otherwise. Urgently, Sean Dillon, General Charles Ferguson, and the rest of the small band known as the “Prime Minister’s private army” are called in, augmented by an extraordinary new recruit, an intelligence captain and Afghan war hero named Sara Gideon. She has her own deep contacts, but the more she investigates, the more she discovers herself in a very dark place indeed. For the assassination plan is only the beginning.” (adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverDown the darkest road / Tami Hoag.
” Four years after the unsolved disappearance of her sixteen-year-old daughter, Lauren Lawton is the only one still chasing the ghosts of her perfect Santa Barbara life. The world has given her daughter up for dead. Her husband ended his own life in the aftermath. Even Lauren’s younger daughter is desperate to find what’s left of the childhood she hasn’t been allowed to have. Lauren knows exactly who took her oldest child, but there is not a shred of evidence against the man. Even as he stalks her family, Lauren is powerless to stop him. The Santa Barbara police are handcuffed by the very laws they are sworn to uphold. Looking for a fresh start in a town with no memories, Lauren and her younger daughter Leah move to idyllic Oak Knoll. But when Lauren’s suspect turns up in the same city, it feels to all that history is about to repeat itself. Leah Lawton will soon turn sixteen, and Oak Knoll has a cunning predator on the hunt.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe orphan master’s son : a novel / Adam Johnson.
” Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother, and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labour. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return. Considering himself “a humble citizen of the greatest nation in the world,” Jun Do becomes a professional kidnapper who must navigate the shifting rules, arbitrary violence, and baffling demands of his Korean overlords in order to stay alive. Driven to the absolute limit of what any human being could endure, he boldly takes on the treacherous role of rival to Kim Jong Il in an attempt to save the woman he loves, Sun Moon, a legendary actress “so pure, she didn’t know what starving people looked like”.(adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverGun games / Faye Kellerman.
” LAPD lieutenant detective Decker and his wife, Rina, have willingly welcomed fifteen-year-old Gabriel Whitman, the son of a troubled former friend, into their home. While the enigmatic teen seems to be adapting easily, Decker knows only too well the secrets adolescents keep, witnessed by the tragic suicide of another teen, Gregory Hesse, a student at Bell and Wakefield, one of the city’s most exclusive prep schools. Gregory’s mother, Wendy, refuses to believe her son shot himself and convinces Decker to look deeper. What he finds disturbs him. The gun used in the tragedy was stolen, evidence that propels him to launch a full investigation with his trusted team, Sergeant Marge Dunn and Detective Scott Oliver. But the case becomes darkly complicated by the suicide of another Bell and Wakefield student, a death that leads them to uncover an especially nasty group of rich and privileged students with a predilection for guns and violence.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe Cypress House / Michael Koryta.
“Arlen Wagner has seen it in men before-a trace of smoke in their eyes that promises imminent death. He is never wrong. So when he awakens on a train one hot Florida night and sees death’s telltale sign in the eyes of his fellow passengers, he abandons the train with 19-year-old Paul Brickhill. Soon, they stranded at the Cypress House-directly in the path of a hurricane. There are much deadlier threats than the storm in this place, and Arlen’s eerie gift warns that they’ll never leave. (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverTemple of the gods / by Andy McDermott. “Archaeologist Nina Wilde’s life has fallen apart. Her husband, ex-SAS soldier Eddie Chase is on the run, falsely accused of murder, and her only distraction has been investigating the origin of three strange statues stolen from her just before Eddie’s disappearance. When Nina discovers they may be relics from the lost civilisation of Atlantis, it’s clear that she has to get her head back in the game, and fast. Eddie, meanwhile, tries to stay ahead of the authorities as he hunts the man responsible for his fugitive status across the globe. A mysterious benefactor offers the information he needs, but the price will put him in direct conflict with his wife. When Nina learns that a Japanese industrialist has obtained the statues on the black market she immediately heads to Tokyo meet him, unaware that Eddie is already on his way. Their arrival unleashes a chain of events that could have devastating consequences for the world.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverGideon’s corpse / Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.
“A top nuclear scientist turns homicidal, taking an innocent family hostage at gunpoint. Gideon Crew, a colleague of the scientist at Los Alamos, is called in to talk the man down. But the standoff ends in an explosion of violence. When the authorities discover the scientist’s body is intensely radioactive, and that he had recently embraced Islamic extremism, all hell breaks loose.” (adapted from Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe killer is dying : a novel / James Sallis.
” A hired killer on his final job, a burned out detective whose wife is dying slowly, a young boy abandoned by his parents and living alone by his wits. Three people who are solitary and disconnected from society. The detective is looking for the killer, Christian, though he doesn’t know that. Christian is trying to find the man who stepped in and took down his target. And the boy, Jimmie, is having the killer’s dreams. While they never meet, they are inextricably linked and as their stories unfold, all find the solace of community.” (adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

New suspenseful thrilling fiction

Organised crime, fiendish deaths, hardboiled detectives and… Templars? Here are some new books in the genre colloquially known as ‘edge-of-your-seat’ fiction. We hope you enjoy them!

Syndetics book coverCure / Robin Cook.
New York City medical examiner Laurie Montgomery returns to work at the Office of Chief Medical Examiner. Worried that she still has what it takes, Laurie finds her first case back to be a dangerous puzzler, involving organized crime and two start-up bio-tech companies caught in a zero-sum game. Satoshi Machita, a former Kyoto University researcher, is set to own a valuable patent controlling pluripotent stem cells destined to spark a trillion-dollar industry of regenerative medicine. When he dies on a crowded New York subway platform, Laurie must decide whether his death was natural or something fiendish. (adapted from Amazon)

Syndetics book coverThe left-handed dollar : an Amos Walker novel / Loren D. Estleman.
In his exciting 20th mystery, hardboiled detective Amos Walker is hired to help free a mobster who once tried to kill Barry Stackpole, Walker’s only true friend. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Templar salvation / Raymond Khoury.
The much-anticipated follow-up to the “New York Times” bestseller “The Last Templar.” With his trademark blend of incendiary history and edge-of-your-seat suspense, Khoury returns to the world of the Templars with a sequel that’s every bit as eye-popping and gripping as its predecessor. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSecrets to the grave / by Tami Hoag.
The follow-up to Deeper Than the Dead (2009) begins in November 1986. The See-No-Evil killer’s trial is nearing when a woman’s mutilated body is found. Detective Tony Mendez and FBI profiler Vince Leone, along with Vince’s wife, Anne (who in the first book was nearly done in by the accused See-No-Evil killer), race to find the perpetrator before he kills someone else. (adapted from Amazon)

Syndetics book coverMidnight / Stephen Leather.
Jack Nightingale found it hard enough to save lives when he was a cop. Now he needs to save a soul, his sister’s. But to save her he has to find her and they’ve been separated since birth. When everyone Jack talks to about his sister dies horribly, he realises that someone, or something, is determined to keep them apart. If he’s going to save his sister, he’s going to have to do what he does best, negotiate. But any negotiation with the forces of darkness comes at a terrible price. And first Jack must ask himself the question: is every soul worth saving? (adapted from Amazon)

Syndetics book coverThe lost relic / by Scott Mariani.
Deadly conspiracies, bone-crunching action and a tormented hero with a heart (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverTick, tock / James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge.
A rash of horrifying crimes tears through the city, throwing it into complete chaos and terrorising everyone living there. Immediately, it becomes clear that they are not the work of an amateur, but of a calculating, efficient, and deadly mastermind. (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverThe Gordian knot / by Bernhard Schlink ; translated by Peter Constantine.
In this  Cold War spy novel, a young lawyer Georg Polger gives up a comfortable existence in Germany to work as a freelance translator in the South of France.  He is approached by a certain Mr Bulnakov, who wants Georg to take over a local translation agency. and he takes on a lucrative project left unfinished by his predecessor, translating plans for military helicopters. Georg quickly realises that he is stuck between the CIA and the KGB, and further out of his depth than he can begin to comprehend. (adapted from Amazon)

Syndetics book coverShadow sister / Simone van der Vlugt ; translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison.
A gripping psychological thriller. Lydia has her life in perfect order, marriage, career, motherhood, if only everyone else around her could be as organised as she is. Her unmarried twin sister Elisa is still struggling to find what she wants to do. And her colleagues at the school where she teaches often fail to reach her high standards. But one day, it all falls apart from Lydia and it begins when she is threatened by one of her pupils. (adapted from Amazon)

Syndetics book coverOperation Napoleon / Arnaldur Indriðason ; translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb.