Last year was an eclectic one, as for the writers, but you can tell I like mysteries and thrillers…..I usually read in english if I can get the book I want (and luckily I have friends abroad who send me some) just to keep my english alive…..
Cold Shoulder by Lynda La Plante (**/5) – Lorraine Page is a down-on-her-luck ex-LAPD cop, recruited against her will to hunt for a serial killer. Cold Shoulder is the story of a young woman who has everything: a devoted husband, two beautiful daughters, and a successful career as a lieutenant with the Pasadena Homicide Squad. But when her partner is shot and dies in her arms, Lorraine’s life starts to unravel. The after-hours drinking that once was social becomes her refuge, and soon she’s not waiting until the end of her shift. From there it all comes undone with frightening speed: drunk, she kills an innocent boy while on duty, is fired from the force, is abandoned by her family, and ends up living on the street as a prostitute. Cold Shoulder is the dramatic, frighteningly explicit account of Lorraine Page’s fall and nightmarish recovery while caught between the danger of a serial killer on the loose and the manipulations of the old-boy police force that had ostracized her not so long before. The book reverberates with realism because it is based on a true story, one that has been meticulously researched and crafted by Lynda La Plante.
Possession by A.S. Byatt (***/5) – Winner of the Man Booker Prize and the literary sensation of the year, Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. The novel explores the postmodern concerns of similar novels, which are often categorized as historiographic metafiction, a genre that blends approaches from both historical fiction and metafiction. The novel follows two modern-day academics as they research the paper trail around the previously unknown love life between famous fictional poets, Randolph Henry Ash and Christabel LaMotte. Possession is set both in the present day and the Victorian era, pointing out the differences between the two time periods, and satirizing such things as modern academia and mating rituals. The structure of the novel incorporates many different styles, including fictional diary entries, letters and poetry, and uses these styles and other devices to explore the postmodern concerns of the authority of textual narratives. The title Possession highlights many of the major themes in the novel: questions of ownership and independence between lovers; the practice of collecting historically significant cultural artifacts; and the possession that biographers feel toward their subjects.
Edge Of Eternity by Ken Follett (*****/5) – #3 of the Century Trilogy. Throughout these books, Follett has followed the fortunes of five intertwined families – American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh – as they make their way through the twentieth century. Now they come to one of the most tumultuous eras of all, the enormous social, political, and economic turmoil of the 1960s through the 1980s, from civil rights, assassinations, mass political movements and Vietnam to the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution – and rock and roll.
A Supremely Bad Idea by Luke Dempsey (*/5) – In this uneven debut, Dempsey details his bird-watching misadventures as he and two friends quest after America’s rarest birds. The hapless trio try to defend osprey in Florida, pacify Texan smugglers, unwittingly set up a spotting scope in the middle of a busy road, lug around (and forget) a cooler of fancy cheeses on a trip through Arizona. Although amusing, the series of pratfalls blunt and obscure Dempsey’s more pointed observations on why birders are so passionate about the pursuit and the urgency bird watching takes on in the face of habitat destruction. When the author writes passionately about pine beetle damage in Colorado or permits readers access to a triumphant glimpse of a cerulean warbler, the episodes cease reading like vacation-slide narrative and approach an affecting honesty about life.
Traps by Paul Lindsay (**/5) – Justice has become a distant ideal for disenchanted FBI agent Jack Kincade. Once a bright light of the Bureau, he lives in a seedy motel with his loyal Border collie, his largely off-duty hours dominated by rotgut vodka spiked with hot sauce and an unusual sideline: robbing banks. Then he gets a call about a cold case that has just come back to haunt the Bureau in the worst time of his life.Justice has become a distant ideal for disenchanted FBI agent Jack Kincade. Once a bright light of the Bureau, he lives in a seedy motel with his loyal Border collie, his largely off-duty hours dominated by rotgut vodka spiked with hot sauce and an unusual sideline: robbing banks. Then he gets a call about a cold case that has just come back to haunt the Bureau in the worst possible way. FBI veteran Paul Lindsay’s fifth FBI thriller, “Traps,” portrays an agency wracked by apathy and infighting.
Mistress Of Justice by Jeffery Deaver (**/5) – Taylor Lockwood spends her days working as a paralegal in one of New York’s preeminent Wall Street law firms and her nights playing jazz piano anyplace she can. But the rhythm of her life is disrupted when attorney Mitchell Reece requests her help in locating a stolen document that could cost him not only the multimillion-dollar case he’s defending but his career as well. Eager to get closer to this handsome, brilliant, and very private man, Taylor signs on…only to find that as she delves deeper and deeper into what goes on behind closed doors at Hubbard, White & Willis, she uncovers more than she wants to know–including a plentitude of secrets damaging enough to smash careers and dangerous enough to push someone to commit murder.
Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (*/5) – The nameless hero of Andrew Davidson’s first novel is a pornographer and cocaine addict who runs his car into a ravine one night while he’s high, thinking a shower of arrows is coming at him. The car catches fire but he survives, suffering horrific burns to most of his body. While recovering in the burn unit of a hospital he is befriended by Marianne Engel, who claims to have been born in 14th-century Germany, but who the hero has reason to believe is really just an inmate in the hospital’s psych ward. Marianne and the hero become close, and during the months of his recovery she reconstructs the story of their long-ago love affair, which the hero has forgotten. She also tells him stories about other lovers. Set in 14th-century Italy, Victorian England, medieval Japan and Viking Scandinavia, these passions always conclude with the death of one or both parties.
Missing Julia by Catherine Dunne (**/5) – When Julia Seymour goes missing without warning one ordinary october morning, William Harris is catapulted into a life he’s never imagined. As he pieces together Julia’s movements in the week of her disappearance, William begins to learn that the woman he loves has a past and a secret that she has never shared. At first, he feels bewildered, guilty: has he failed her in some way? And so he embarks on a mission to find her and bring her home. He tracks down Julia’s friends and colleagues, deals with her distraught and hostile daughter Melissa, and follows up on every lead, no matter how tenuous. As he begins to search for the missing Julia, William begins a journey of his own: one that will have profound implications for his future. He learns lessons about life, about love and about what drives people to seek for peace and forgiveness.
The Light In The Ruins by Chris Bohjalian (***/5) – 1943: Tucked away in the idyllic hills south of Florence, the Rosatis, an Italian family of noble lineage, believe that the walls of their ancient villa will keep them safe from the war raging across Europe. Eighteen-year-old Cristina spends her days swimming in the pool, playing with her young niece and nephew, and wandering aimlessly amid the estate’s gardens and olive groves. But when two soldiers, a German and an Italian, arrive at the villa asking to see an ancient Etruscan burial site, the Rosatis’ bucolic tranquility is shattered. A young German lieutenant begins to court Cristina, the Nazis descend upon the estate demanding hospitality, and what once was their sanctuary becomes their prison. 1955: Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Florence police department, has her own demons. A beautiful woman, Serafina carefully hides her scars along with her haunting memories of the war. But when she is assigned to a gruesome new case – a serial killer targeting the Rosatis, murdering the remnants of the family one-by-one in cold blood – Serafina finds herself digging into a past that involves both the victims and her own tragic history. Set against an exquisitely rendered Italian countryside, the novel unveils a breathtaking story of moral paradox, human frailty, and the mysterious ways of the heart.
Daddy’s Gone A Hunting by Mary Higgins Clark (***/5) – In this novel Mary Higgins Clark, the beloved, bestselling “Queen of Suspense,” exposes a dark secret from a family’s past that threatens the lives of two sisters, Kate and Hannah Connelly, when the family-owned furniture firm in Long Island City, founded by their grandfather and famous for its fine reproductions of antiques, explodes into flames in the middle of the night, leveling the buildings to the ground, including the museum where priceless antiques have been on permanent display for years. The ashes reveal a startling and grisly discovery, and provoke a host of suspicions and questions. Was the explosion deliberately set? What was Kate—tall, gorgeous, blond, a CPA for one of the biggest accounting firms in the country, and sister of a rising fashion designer—doing in the museum when it burst into flames? Why was Gus, a retired and disgruntled craftsman, with her at that time of night? What if someone isn’t who he claims to be? Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in the hospital badly injured and in a coma, so neither can tell what drew them there, or what the tragedy may have to do with the hunt for a young woman missing for many years, nor can they warn that somebody may be covering his tracks, willing to kill to save himself . . .
The October List by Jeffery Deaver (****/5) – Jeffery Deaver has created the most riveting and original novel of the year: a race-against-the-clock mystery, told in reverse. “Gabriela waits desperately for news of her abducted daughter. At last, the door opens. But it’s not the negotiators. It’s not the FBI. It’s the kidnapper. And he has a gun.” How did it come to this? Two days ago, Gabriela’s life was normal. Then, out of the blue, she gets word that her six-year-old daughter has been taken. She’s given an ultimatum: pay half a million dollars and find a mysterious document known as the “October List” within 30 hours, or she’ll never see her child again. A mind-bending novel with twists and turns that unfold from its dramatic climax back to its surprising beginning, it’s Jeffery Deaver at his masterful, inventive best.
Bones by Jan Burke (**/5) – Only one person knows where Julia Sayre is: her killer. Four years ago, the young mother of two disappeared, a story that soon became a personal mission for Irene Kelly. But the search for Julia proved fruitless. Now on death row for unimaginable acts of torture and murder, inmate Nick Parrish is plea-bargaining for a life sentence, promising to lead investigators—and Irene—into the dark isolation of the Sierra Nevadas, where they will discover what really happened to Julia Sayre. But Parrish has other terrifying secrets and plans, and now his deadly focus is on a new potential victim—Irene Kelly.
The Dutch Shoe Mystery by Ellery Queen (***/5) – The operating room was ready, the surgeon called for his patient. A door opened and the long, still form was wheeled in – dead! Abby Doorn had been murdered only a few minutes earlier and almost under their very eyes. This is one of the most baffling murder mysteries Ellery Queen ever had to solve.
The Last pope by Luis Miguel Rocha (***/5) – Pope John Paul I reigned over the Catholic Church for 33 days in 1978. The premise of this book is that he was murdered. By a shadowy group called the P1 who are, for the record, more dastardly and secretive than the dastardly and secretive P2. Thirty years later a journalist receives a list of names. An Italian man tries to kill her. So does the CIA.
The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster (****/5) – Nathan Glass has come to Brooklyn to die. Divorced, retired, estranged from his only daughter, the former life insurance salesman seeks only solitude and anonymity. Then Glass encounters his long-lost nephew, Tom Wood, who is working in a local bookstore–a far cry from the brilliant academic career Tom had begun when Nathan saw him last. Tom’s boss is the colorful and charismatic Harry Brightman–a.k.a. Harry Dunkel–once the owner of a Chicago art gallery, whom fate has also brought to the “ancient kingdom of Brooklyn, New York.” Through Tom and Harry, Nathan’s world gradually broadens to include a new circle of acquaintances. He soon finds himself drawn into a scam involving a forged page of The Scarlet Letter, and begins to undertake his own literary venture, The Book of Human Folly, an account of “every blunder, every pratfall, every embarrassment, every idiocy, every foible, and every inane act I have committed during my long and checkered career as a man.”
Sacrifice by Sharon Bolton (*/5) -Moving to remote Shetland has been unsettling enough for consultant surgeon Tora Hamilton; even before the gruesome discovery she makes one rain-drenched afternoon . . . Deep in the peat soil of her field she is shocked to find the perfectly preserved body of a young woman, a gaping hole where her heart has been brutally removed and three rune marks etched into her skin. The marks bear an eerie resemblance to carvings Tora has seen all over the islands, and she quickly uncovers disturbing links to an ancient legend. But as Tora investigates she is warned by the local police, her boss, and even her husband, to leave well alone. And even though it chills her to the bone to admit it . . . something tells her their concern isn’t genuine..
Eva and Claretta. Lovers Of The Devil by Arrigo Petacco (***/5) – An identical and cruel destiny has marked the life of the secret lovers of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Claretta Petacci and Eva Braun were born the same month and the same year, at a distance of few days, in February 1912, and in the same month and in the same year, at a distance of few days (28 and on April 30 1945), they chose to die close to their men, at the age of 33 years. But Beyond these suggestive coincidences, to unite their fate has been above all the human stories that has put them close to the two dictators as their privileged, as well as faithful custodians of theirs most intimate secrets.
The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie (****/5) – The placid village of Lymstock seems the perfect place for Jerry Burton to recuperate from his accident under the care of his sister, Joanna. But soon a series of vicious poison-pen letters destroys the village’s quiet charm, eventually causing one recipient to commit suicide. The vicar, the doctor, the servants—all are on the verge of accusing one another when help arrives from an unexpected quarter. The vicar’s houseguest happens to be none other than Jane Marple.
Before The Frost by Henning Mankell (****/5) – In woodland outside Ystad, the police make a horrific discovery: a severed head, and hands locked together in an attitude of prayer. A Bible lies at the victim’s side, the pages marked with scribbled corrections. A string of macabre incidents, including attacks on domestic animals, have been taking place, and Inspector Wallander fears that these disturbances could be the prelude to attacks on humans on an even more alarming scale. Linda Wallander, in preparation to join the police force, arrives at Ystad. Exhibiting some of the hallmarks of her father – the maverick approach, the flaring temper – she becomes entangled in a case involving a group of religious extremists who are bent on punishing the world’s sinners.
Lost Perfumes by Charlotte Link (*****/5) – Felicia Donnelly, a young lady from the German middle class, is overwhelmed, as her whole generation, by the first world war that changes in dramatic way the perspectives and the destinies of everybody. Felicia, rebellious spirit and nonconformist, adapts her life to the new times and, in the dark years of the postwar period, becomes a very succesfull business woman, marries and has two daughters: Belle, who will marry a Berliner actor maintaining however a relationship with a succesfull manager and Susan who becomes the wife of a Nazi captain. Having lived in Berlin for many years, Felicia is yet sentimentally tied up to Lulinn, the beautiful family estate in the oriental Prussia, where she had spent her childhood and adolescence and where she decides to return after divorced from her husband. Here Felicia attends the elderly mother and tries to hold the family unite. But by now the Country is in war again, the operations on the Russian front interrupt the communications with the Prussia, and Felicia is forced, in order to not lose the firm his ex husband founded and that she rules, to come back to Germany and try to built a new Lulinn on a Bavarian lake. Second book of the “Storm” trilogy.
Dublin by Edward Rutherfurd (**/5) – Dublin: a city founded as much on folklore and mythology as on stone; a meeting point of pagan tradition and Christian belief; a city which grew from a small Celtic village to a bustling urban settlement under the Vikings and became, even before the Plantagenet kings arrived in the twelfth century, effectively the capital city of the Island. Edward Rutherfurd, the bestselling author who brought the city of London to life, returns with this magnificent novel that spans centuries from the Celtic warlords and pagan gods who were ‘glossed’ into historical persons by the increasingly Christian-orientated Celtic tradition, to the potato famine, and finally to Irish independence in the twentieth century. Told in Rutherfurd’s unique voice, this compelling novel entwines fact and fiction to create a faithful portrait of Dublin’s fascinating past and vibrant present.
The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark (**/5) – Biblical scholar Jonathan Lyons believes he has found the rarest of parchment; a letter that may have been written by Jesus Christ. Stolen from the Vatican Library in the 1500s, the letter was assumed to be lost forever. Now, under the promise of secrecy, Jonathan is able to confirm his findings with several other experts. But he also confides in a family friend his suspicion that someone he once trusted wants to sell the parchment and cash in. Within days Jonathan is found shot to death in his study. At the same time, his wife, Kathleen, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, is found hiding in the study closet, incoherent and clutching the murder weapon. Even in her dementia, Kathleen has known that her husband was carrying on a long-term affair. Did Kathleen kill her husband in a jealous rage, as the police contend? Or is his death tied to the larger question: Who has possession of the priceless parchment that has now gone missing? It is up to their daughter, twenty-eight-year-old Mariah, to clear her mother of murder charges and unravel the real mystery behind her father’s death.
Emma’s Baby by Abbie Taylor (**/5) – A young mother’s nightmare comes true…the tube doors close with her baby still on the train.Struggling as a single mother, Emma sometimes wishes that her thirteen-month-old son Ritchie would just disappear. But when, one quiet Sunday evening, Ritchie is abducted by a stranger from the London Underground, Emma is thrown into a situation worse than she could have ever imagined. But why don’t the police seem to fully believe her story? Why would they think that she would want to hurt her own baby? If Emma wants Ritchie back, it looks like she’ll have to find him herself. With the help of a stranger called Rafe, the one person who seems to believe her, she goes in search of her son. And she is determined to get him back…no matter what it takes.
Foibe by Gianni Oliva (**/5) – The foibe killings or foibe massacres refers to the killings that took place mainly in Venezia Giulia, Istria and Dalmatia during and after World War II from 1943 to 1949, perpetrated mainly by Yugoslav Partisans against the local Italian population.The name derives from a local geological feature, a type of deep karst sinkhole called a foiba. The term includes by extension killings in other subterranean formations, such as the Basovizza “foiba“, which is not a true foiba but a mine shaft. The author tried to remind what happened in those days and explain the following tense relationships between two people.
What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George (**/5) – The brutal, inexplicable death of Inspector Thomas Lynley’s wife has left Scotland Yard shocked and searching for answers. Even more horrifying is that the trigger was apparently pulled by a twelve-year-old boy. Who is he? Where did he come from? And what were the circumstances that led to his final act of desperation? That story begins on the other side of London, in rough North Kensington, where the three mixed-race, virtually orphaned Campbell children are bounced first from their grandmother then to their aunt. The oldest, fifteen-year-old Ness, is headed for trouble as fast as her high-heeled boots will take her. That leaves the middle child, Joel, to care for the youngest, Toby. No one wants to put it into words, but something clearly isn’t right with Toby. Before long, there are signs that Joel himself has problems. A local gang starts harassing him and threatening his brother. To protect his family, Joel makes a pact with the devil–a move that leads straight to the front doorstep of Thomas Lynley.
Magic Places in Parma by M. Poltronieri-E. Fazioli (***/5) – A journey through the city, exploring sites and places that hid secret and esoteric messages, from the Baptistery that represents an unique book of stone, to the world of the mysterious alchemy of the Parmigianino and the obscurity of Correggio. From the discovery of the tracks of the Templaris to the mysticism of Hebraic Kabbalah and the heresy under the vigilant eye of the Inquisition.
Police by Jo Nesbo (***/5) – A man is lying critically wounded in an Oslo hospital under police protection. Meanwhile, police officers are found dead at scenes of crimes they once investigated but did not solve. Without Harry Hole, the Oslo police is struggling as the number of dead police officers grows higher.
Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson mandela (****/5) – Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa’s antiapartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. This book is his moving and exhilarating autobiography, destined to take its place among the finest memoirs of history’s greatest figures. Here for the first time, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela tells the extraordinary story of his life–an epic of struggle, setback, renewed hope, and ultimate triumph.
The Murder At The Vicarage by Agatha Christie (****/5) – The tranquil village of St. Mary Mead, which nestles picturesquely in the rolling hills of the English countryside, is not quite as peaceful as it might first appear. Over dinner at the vicarage, the vicar, his glamorous young wife Griselda, the handsome artist Lawrence Redding and Hawes, the nervous curate, discuss how they each would murder the odious Colonel Protheroe. Only Miss Marple has the foresight to warn them not to tempt fate. The next day, Protheroe is found with a bullet in his head, slumped across the writing desk in the vicar’s study. Inspector Slack duly arrives to find that the case is not as simple as it might appear. At first he refuses to believe that a frail and fluffy old maid can help in any way — but appearances can be deceptive and eventually he has to bow to Miss Marple’s intimate knowledge of village life, her superior razor-sharp mind and her surprising knowledge of love and lust…
Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross (****/5) – As its title reveals, the novel is based on the life of one of the most fascinating, extraordinary women in Western history–Pope Joan, a controversial figure of historical record who, disguised as a man, rose to rule Christianity in the 9Th century as the first and only woman to sit on the throne of St. Peter.
Brilliant and talented, young Joan rebels against the medieval social strictures forbidding women to learn to read and write. When her older brother is killed during a Viking attack, Joan takes up his cloak and identity, goes to the monastery of Fulda, and is initiated into the brotherhood in his place. As Brother John Anglicus, Joan distinguishes herself as a great Christian scholar. Eventually she is drawn to Rome, where she becomes enmeshed in a dangerous web of love, passion, and politics. Triumphing over appalling odds, she finally attains the highest throne in Christendom.
Pope Joan is a sweeping historical drama set against the turbulent events of the 9Th century — the Saracen sack of St. Peter’s, the famous fire in the Borgo that destroyed over three-quarters of the Vatican, the Battle of Fontenoy, arguably the bloodiest and most terrible of medieval conflicts. The novel is a fascinating vivid record of what life was really like during the so-called Dark Ages, as masterwork of suspense and passion.
The Lost Child Of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith (**/5) – When she became pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee was sent to a convent to be looked after as a “fallen woman.” Then the nuns took her baby from her and sold him, like thousands of others, to America for adoption. Fifty years later, Philomena decided to find him. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, Philomena’s son was trying to find her. Renamed Michael Hess, he had become a leading lawyer in the first Bush administration, and he struggled to hide secrets that would jeopardize his career in the Republican Party and endanger his quest to find his mother. A gripping exposé told with novelistic intrigue, Philomena pulls back the curtain on the role of the Catholic Church in forced adoptions and on the love between a mother and son who endured a lifelong separation.
The Pope’s Assassin by Luis Miguel Rocha (*/5) – London journalist Sarah Monteiro joins her unrequited love interest, Fr. Rafael Santini, who’s a Vatican secret agent, in a struggle between the Jesuits and the Vatican to control artifacts in the possession of London businessman Ben Isaac. Priests are being murdered for access to the artifacts, in this case the Gospel of Jesus and the bones of Christ. The usual crazy assassin with a serious sexual problem heads up a cast of characters so large that it’s difficult to remember who’s a good guy and who’s evil incarnate.
The Resurrection Maker by Glenn Cooper (*/5) – Arthur Malory, a seemingly ordinary Englishman, has a burning interest in the Grail, a passion inherited from his father. Thrust into a life-or-death quest to find the precious artifact, he will discover not only his own amazing heritage but the power that the Grail possesses, a power that informs the resurrection of Christ and explosively merges spiritual and scientific thought.
A Heavy Heritage by Charlotte Link (****/5) – Third book of the “Storm” series, the novel tells the lives, loves, secrets and joys of Felicia Donnelly’s heirs from the 60s to the Berlin Wall fall.
A Parmesan in Paris by Alessandro Freschi (**/5) – A fantasy novel trying to tell the story of our local professional cyclists team that from 1962 to 1972 won pretty almost everything on the streets around the world.
Sand Storm by James Rollins (*/5) – An inexplicable explosion rocks the antiquities collection of a London museum, setting off alarms in clandestine organizations around the world. And now the search for answers is leading Lady Kara Kensington; her friend Safia al-Maaz, the gallery’s brilliant and beautiful curator; and their guide, the international adventurer Omaha Dunn, into a world they never dreamed existed: a lost city buried beneath the Arabian desert. But others are being drawn there as well, some with dark and sinister purposes. And the many perils of a death-defying trek deep into the savage heart of the Arabian Peninsula pale before the nightmare waiting to be unearthed at journey’s end: an ageless and awesome power that could create a utopia… or destroy everything humankind has built over countless millennia.
Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George (**/5) – Sergeant Barbara Havers is at a loss: the daughter of her friend Taymullah Azhar has been taken by her mother, and Barbara can’t really help—Azhar had never married Angelina, and his name isn’t on Hadiyyah’s, their daughter’s, birth certificate. He has no legal claim. Azhar and Barbara hire a private detective, but the trail goes cold. Azhar is just beginning to accept his soul-crushing loss when Angelina reappears with shocking news: Hadiyyah is missing, kidnapped from an Italian marketplace. The Italian police are investigating, and the Yard won’t get involved, until Barbara takes matters into her own hands — at the risk of her own career. As both Barbara and her partner, Inspector Thomas Lynley, soon discover, the case is far more complex than a typical kidnapping, revealing secrets that could have far-reaching effects outside of the investigation. With both her job and the life of a little girl on the line, Barbara must decide what matters most, and how far she’s willing to go to protect it.
The Bat by Jo Nesbo (***/5) – Detective Harry Hole is meant to keep out of trouble. A young Norwegian girl taking a gap year in Sydney has been murdered, and Harry has been sent to Australia to assist in any way he can. When the team unearths a string of unsolved murders and disappearances, nothing will stop Harry from finding out the truth. The hunt for a serial killer is on, but the murderer will talk only to Harry.