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Booklist 2013

03 Jan

  ***/5 – On a winter night in 1964, Dr. David Henry is forced by a blizzard to deliver his own twins. His son, born first, is perfectly healthy. Yet when his daughter is born, he sees immediately that she has Down’s Syndrome. Rationalizing it as a need to protect Norah, his wife, he makes a split-second decision that will alter all of their lives forever. He asks his nurse to take the baby away to an institution and never to reveal the secret. But Caroline, the nurse, cannot leave the infant. Instead, she disappears into another city to raise the child herself. So begins this story that unfolds over a quarter of a century – in which these two families, ignorant of each other, are yet bound by the fateful decision made that long-ago winter night. Norah Henry, who knows only that her daughter died at birth, remains inconsolable; her grief weighs heavily on their marriage. And Paul, their son, raises himself as best he can, in a house grown cold with mourning. Meanwhile, Phoebe, the lost daughter, grows from a sunny child to a vibrant young woman whose mother loves her as fiercely as if she were her own.

 *****/5 – 1944: Daniel, a soldier, legendary among the Norwegians fighting the advance of Bolshevism on the Russian front, is killed. Two years later, a wounded soldier wakes up in a Vienna hospital. He becomes involved with a young nurse, the consequences of which will ripple forward to the turn of the next century.
1999: Harry Hole, alone again after having caused an embarrassment in the line of duty, has been promoted to inspector and is lumbered with surveillance duties. He is assigned the task of monitoring neo-Nazi activities; fairly mundane until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest. Ellen Gjelten, his partner, makes a startling discovery. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel’s nail-biting conclusion.

 *****/5 – How do you catch a killer when you’re the number one suspect? A man is caught on CCTV, shooting dead a cashier at a bank. Detective Harry Hole begins his investigation, but after dinner with an old flame wakes up with no memory of the past 12 hours. Then the girl is found dead in mysterious circumstances and he beings to receive threatening emails: is someone trying to frame him for her death? As Harry fights to clear his name, the bank robberies continue with unparalleled savagery…

 *****/5 – A young woman is murdered in her Oslo flat. One finger has been severed from her left hand, and behind her eyelid is secreted a tiny red diamond in the shape of a five-pointed star – a pentagram, the devil’s star. Detective Harry Hole is assigned to the case with his long-time adversary Tom Waaler and initially wants no part in it. But Harry is already on notice to quit the force and is left with little alternative but to drag himself out of his alcoholic stupor and get to work.
A wave of similar murders is on the horizon. An emerging pattern suggests that Oslo has a serial killer on its hands, and the five-pointed devil’s star is key to solving the riddle.

*****/5 – A 14-year old girl is raped at one of the Salvation Army summer camps. Twelve years later, at a Christmas concert in a square in Oslo, a Salvation Army soldier is executed by a man in the crowd. A press photographer has caught a suspect on one of the photos of the concert. Beate Lønn, the identification expert, is confused by how the face can change from one photo to the next. Inspector Harry Hole’s search for the faceless man takes place on the seamy side of the city, among those who seek eternal – or just momentary – redemption. And the gunman has not yet completed his mission.

 ***/5 –  Kayleigh Towne is gorgeous with a voice that is taking her to the heights of the country pop charts. Her hit single “Your Shadow” puts her happily in the spotlight, until an innocent exchange with one of her fans leads Kayleigh into a dark and terrifying realm.
The fan warns, “I’m coming for you,” and soon accidents happen and people close to Kayleigh die. Special Agent Kathryn Dance must use her considerable skills at investigation and body language analysis to stop the stalker—but before long she learns that, like many celebrities, Kayleigh has more than just one fan with a mission.
A former folksinger, Deaver has written the actual song, “Your Shadow.” Readers will be able to download it from his website, JefferyDeaver.com

 *****/5 –  Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf.
Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised and constantly revised by the killer.
Fiercely suspenseful, its characters brilliantly realized, its atmosphere permeated with evil, The Snowman is the electrifying work of one of the best crime writers of our time.

 *****/5 – In this electrifying new addition to Jo Nesbø’s internationally acclaimed series, Harry Hole must confront the darkest demons in his city—and in himself. Inspector Harry Hole has retreated to Hong Kong, escaping the trauma of his last case in squalid opium dens, when two young women are found dead in Oslo, both drowned in their own blood. Media coverage quickly reaches a fever pitch. There are no clues, the police investigation is stalled, and Harry—the one man who might be able to help—can’t be found. After he returns to Oslo, the killer strikes again, Harry’s instincts take over, and nothing can keep him from the investigation, though there is little to go on. Worse, he will soon come to understand that he is dealing with a psychopath who will put him to the test, both professionally and personally, as never before.

 **/5 – General Bottando can’t believe his rotten luck. He has just been promoted–to a position that’s heavy on bureaucratic duties-but disturbingly light on investigative responsibilities. As if that wasn’t annoying enough, he’s received a tip about a planned raid at a nearby monastery. He’s relying on his colleague Flavia di Stefano and her art-expert fiancé, Jonathan Argyll, to thwart the plot-but both are beyond baffled. The only valuable item in the monastery’s art collection is a supposed Caravaggio that’s currently being restored. There are no solid suspects-unless you count the endearing art thief, the flagrantly flamboyant “Rottweiler of Restoration,” and the strangely shady icon expert. And there’s really no reason to cause an unholy uproar-until someone commits an unconscionable crime…

 *****/5 – When Harry left Oslo again for Hong Kong—fleeing the traumas of life as a cop—he thought he was there for good. But then the unthinkable happened. The son of the woman he loved, lost, and still loves is arrested for murder: Oleg, the boy Harry helped raise but couldn’t help deserting when he fled. Harry has come back to prove that Oleg is not a killer. Barred from rejoining the police force, he sets out on a solitary, increasingly dangerous investigation that takes him deep into the world of the most virulent drug to ever hit the streets of Oslo (and the careers of some of the city’s highest officials), and into the maze of his own past, where he will find the wrenching truth that finally matters to Oleg, and to himself.

 ****/5 – After an early morning machine-gun attack by a madman called the Digger leaves dozens dead in the Washington, D.C., subway, the mayor’s office receives a message demanding twenty million dollars by midnight or more innocents will die. It is New Year’s Eve, and with the ransom note as the only evidence, Special Agent Margaret Lukas calls upon retired FBI agent and the nation’s premier document examiner Parker Kincaid to join the manhunt for the Digger — or for hundreds, the first moments of the new year will be their last on earth.

 *****/5 – A story that follows the tracks of a man, grown up playing with cars and planes and motorbikes, and who for a long time, walks in unstable balance between women and motors. And not as a way of saying. The motors are those of the family tradition. The women are his nanny, his mother, his wife, his daughter, his friends. A world of women able to take care of the wounds every time that the game become too much dangerous.

 ***/5 – Once again, Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs have been asked to help investigate a crime, yet this is one of their hardest to date. The victim is a United States citizen that had been recently targeted by the U.S. Government and is found to be assassinated in the Bahamas. The biggest problem they face is the complete lack of evidence and the fact that someone appears to be two steps ahead of them and is going back and covering up their tracks by destroying evidence and eliminating witnesses.

 *****/5 – God really is coming, and he is going to be pissed. Having left his son in charge, God treated himself to a well-earned break around the height of the Renaissance. A good time to go fishing. He returns in 2011 to find things on earth haven’t gone quite to plan…
The world has been rendered a human toilet: genocide; starvation; people obsessed with vacuous celebrity culture; ‘and,’ God points out, ‘there are fucking Christians everywhere.’ God hates Christians. There’s only one thing for it. They’re sending the kid back. JC, reborn, is a struggling musician in New York City helping people as best as he can. Gathering disciples along the way – a motley collection of basket cases, stoners and alcoholics – he realises his best chance to win hearts and minds may lie in a TV talent contest. American Pop Star is the number one show in America, the unholy creation of English record executive Steven Stelfox… a man who’s more than a match for the Son of God.

 **/5 – In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

 **/5 – If you thought Mitch McDeere was in trouble in “The Firm,” wait
until you meet Kyle McAvoy, “The Associate”. Kyle McAvoy grew up in his father’s small-town law office in York, Pennsylvania. He excelled in college, was elected editor-in-chief of “The Yale Law Journal,” and his future has limitless potential. But Kyle has a secret, a dark one, an episode from college that he has tried to forget. The secret, though, falls into the hands of the wrong people, and Kyle is forced to take a job he doesn’t want–even though it’s a job most law students can only dream about. Three months after leaving Yale, Kyle becomes an associate at the largest law firm in the world, where, in addition to practicing law, he is expected to lie, steal, and take part in a scheme that could send him to prison, if not get him killed.
An unforgettable cast of characters and villains–from Baxter Tate, a drug-addled trust fund kid and possible rapist, to Dale, a pretty but seemingly quiet former math teacher who shares Kyle’s “cubicle” at the law firm, to two of the most powerful and fiercely competitive defense contractors in the country–and featuring all the twists and turns that have made John Grisham the most popular storyteller in the world.

 ****/5 – New York, spring 2008. The young and successful Marcus Goldman is living a period of crisis because of the so-called writer’s block.” Not succeeding in putting down just one line of the new book, he contacts his old teacher and friend, the famous writer Harry Quebert, looking for comfort and suggestions. The teacher invites him to pass a period in his calm house in Aurora, in the New Hampshire, to find again the concentration and the calm. Marcus accepts with enthusiasm but something unforeseen upsets the life of both: Harry is accused in fact to have killed, in the distant 1975, the young Nola Kellergan, whose dead body is accidentally recovered in the garden of the villa of the writer. Harry admits to have had a love story with Nola, then fifteen-year-old and younger than him of almost twenty years. Convinced of the innocence of his friend, Marcus starts his own investigation looking for, over thirty years later, answers to the question “who has killed Nola Kellergan?” After numerous signs, equivocal and false footsteps, Marcus discovers that the girl has attracted the love and the sexual appetites of other men and it unmasks the guilty ones individualizing one of them in the same agent who have conducted the investigations in the’75. The last sensational discovery is that the bestseller that has made Harry Quebert a famous writer (his love story with Nola) had not been written by him but by another character, Luther Caleb, also secretly in love with Nola….So the real question is “who really was Nola Kellergan?”….

 ***/5 – When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

 ***/5 – In the city of Atlanta, women are dying—at the hands of a killer who signs his work with a single, chilling act of mutilation. Leaving behind enough evidence to fuel a frenzied police hunt, this cunning madman is bringing together dozens of lives, crossing the boundaries of wealth and race. And the people who are chasing him must cross those boundaries too. Among them is Michael Ormewood, a veteran detective whose marriage is hanging by a thread—and whose arrogance and explosive temper are threatening his career. And Angie Polaski, a beautiful vice cop who was once Michael’s lover before she became his enemy. But another player has entered the game: a loser ex-con who has stumbled upon the killer’s trail in the most coincidental of ways—someone who may be the key to breaking the case wide open…

 ***/5 – There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother. . . .
When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, not enough answers. To find her mother, she’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they’ll both need the help of trauma doctor Sara Linton. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore she’s a witness. She’s also a suspect.
The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light or bury it forever.

 **/5 – A stormy night of August: a sailboat shipwrecks next to the island of Skye. The owners, the German Livias and Nathan Moor, succeed in being saved and they are welcomed in the vacation house of the Quentins.
Nathan is clearly attracted to Virginia Quentin, a wife and woman in crisis, with frequent attacks of panic, that she succeeds in calming down only with Kim, her seven year-old little child.
And he tries also to approach her after the Quentins are back home, at King’s Lynn, a town devastated by the recovery of the dead bodies of two local little girls, violated and killed. After an initial moment of dismay, Virginia believes to find in Nathan the man who will  give back to her the joy to live, being now distant from a husband with whom she’s not in love anymore, and dogged by a dark past that burdens her present.
But the things are destined to suffer an abrupt turn when little Kim also disappears, insinuating in Victoria a sorrowful doubt…………….

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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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