Two quite different debuts launch with high expectations this week; a Swedish thriller (The Hypnotist) and a historical novel of manners (The Heiress). In addition, many fan favorites return with books ready for beach bags.
The American Heiress by Daisy Godwin (St. Martin’s) is the tale an early 20th-century American heiress who marries the most eligible bachelor in England. She has the money, he’s got the title, but is the price they pay worth it?This was a popular pick on our recent Galley Chat. PW calls it ” a propulsive story of love, manners, culture clash, and store-bought class from a time long past that proves altogether fresh.” In a starred review, LJ recommends it for book clubs.
The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is a debut thriller by a Swedish husband-and-wife team that’s been signed for a movie to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and was covered in USA Today‘s Scandi Noir roundup. Booklist says, “A cracking pace makes up for the rather-flat-seeming characters.”
Silver Girl by Elin Hilderbrand (Reagan Arthur) follows the disgraced wife of a fraudulent money manager during a summer on Nantucket. This week’s People gives it 3 of 4 stars and describes the plot this way, “What if Ruth Madoff headed for Nanctucket and got a second chance at love?.” Booklist says, “Another winner from Hilderbrand (The Castaways, 2009), who in this sensitive and suspenseful tale succeeds in portraying a seemingly unlikable character, besieged Meredith, and making her human.”
Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Bantam) finds Stephanie Plum’s name on a killer’s list.
The Devil Colony by James Rollins (Morrow) is a new Sigma Force novel with Painter Crowe, in which he uncovers a massive conspiracy with roots in Mormonism, Native American legends, Thomas Jefferson, and explorer Meriwether Lewis, to name just a few.PW calls it “riveting,” and says, “Rollins gets better with each book, and his position at the top of this particular subgenre remains unshaken.”
Disturbance: An Irene Kelly Novel by Jan Burke (Simon & Schuster) finds the sons of serial killer Nick Parrish, now master criminals in their own right, who have formulated a plan to spring their father from prison and murder the person who put him there — investigative journalist Irene Kelly. Booklist says, “The Kelly novels have a devoted following, and its been five years since the last one, so expect considerable interest.”
Buried Secrets: A Nick Heller Novel by Joseph Finder (St. Martin’s Press) is the second novel to feature the ”private spy” who finds out things powerful people want to keep hidden. PW says, “Self-effacing, wry, and ridiculously competent, Heller makes a reasonably engaging protagonist, but this thriller’s real star is the suspenseful, expertly paced plot.”
The Dog Who Came in from the Cold: A Corduroy Mansions Novel by Alexander McCall Smith (Pantheon Books) is the second novel to feature the Pimlico terrier Freddie de la Hay. He belongs to failed oenophile William French, who has been recruited by MI6 to infiltrate a Russian spy ring. Early reviews are mixed: PW finds the characters “somewhat anemic… and a lack of trenchant observations about human nature,” while Booklist and Kirkus say the fans of Smith’s many series won’t be disappointed.
Fort Freak: A Wild Cards Novel, ed. by George R. R. Martin (Tor Books) Martin, whose Game of Thrones is a hit on HBO, is the editor of this long running anthology series set in a shared universe. This volume includes contributions from authors Cherie Priest, Melinda M. Snodgrass, David Anthony Durham, Stephen Leigh, Paul Cornell, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Victor Milan, and John Jos. Miller.
Fallen by Karin Slaughter (Delacorte Press) brings together Slaugher’s Grant County and Atlanta characters for a second time, after Undone. Booklist says, “With its relentlessly grim depiction of the desperate circumstances of those trapped by deep-seated poverty, Slaughter’s latest entry in her series overlays the standard police procedural with a burning sense of social justice.”
Starting Over by La Toya Jackson and Jeffré Phillips (Gallery) chronicles the fifth Jackson sibling’s challenges in life and her feelings about the death of her brother Michael.