Archive for the ‘Thriller’ Category

GONE GIRL Unchanged

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Gone GirlReviews of David Fincher’s film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl are arriving, in advance of its premiere on Friday at the New York Film Festival. Word is strong, with Rolling Stone calling it “shockingly good” and ” the date-night movie of the decade,” some seeing Oscars on the horizon. There are, of course, a naysayer or two (“bait too slick,” Village Voice).

One thing the reviews agree upon; the ending has not been changed. Still, New York magazine says there are reasons to read the book first.

The movie opens in theaters on Oct. 3.

KICK Gets Boost From Maslin

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

9781476749785_a7da7Chelsea Cain’s latest, One Kick, (S&S; S&S Audio), releasing today, is the beginning of a new series, one that the NYT‘s Janet Maslin says “is capable of reaching a much broader audience because it is far less gruesome [than the author's Gretchen Lowell series], at least by Ms. Cain’s standards.”

The reviewer for sister publication, the NYT Book Review, however, sees it as an “unsettling new thriller, which delves into the bleak and disturbing subject of child abduction and pedophilia,” and compares the protagonist to Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.

See how disturbing you find it, by reading the OverDrive Sample.

One Kick is also the #1 LibraryReads pick for August.

Holds are currently modest in most libraries, but if Maslin’s prediction proves true, they are likely to grow.

BIG LITTLE LIES To Movies

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

big little lies  What Alice Forgot  The Husband's Secret

Following in the footsteps of Gillian Flynn, author Liane Moriarty has been discovered by Hollywood. Three of her six novels are now in development.

Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon’s production companies just joined forces to option her latest, Big Little Lies, (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn; Penguin Audio; Recorded Books; Thorndike). Released last week, it got a prepub rave from the NYT‘s Janet Maslin, followed by another stellar review in the Washington Post. Unsurprisingly, given that her previous title, The Husband’s Secret, (Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn, 2013), only recently began dropping on best seller lists, it arrives at #3 on today’s USA Today list,.

Both actress/producers seem to have developed a taste for domestic thrillers. Kidman stars in Before I Go to Sleep, opening Sept. 12, based on the novel by S.J. Watson (Harper, 2011). She’s also bought the rights to The Silent Wife, by A. S. A. Harrison (Penguin original trade pbk, 2013). Witherspoon is a producer for Gone Girl, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn (RH/Crown, 2012), which releases on Oct. 2

It may be a race to see which Moriarity title makes it to the screen first. What Alice Forgot(Penguin/Putnam/Einhorn, 2011) is in development, with David Frankel attached as director. Also in development, but with no director attached as yet, is The Husband’s Secret to be produced by CBS Films.

Moriarty talks about The Husband’s Secret below (the video was produced by the author’s U.K. publisher and therefore features the U.K. cover):

Koryta Gains Fans

Monday, July 21st, 2014

9780316279963_05770Reviwer love is growing for Michael Koryta’s. latest thriller, Those Who Wish Me Dead, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 6/3/14).

Featured yesterday as one of of NPR.org’s “You Must Read This” picks, it gets this strong recommendation, “If you want an elegantly written, taut thriller with an amazing sense of place, then look no further.” It’s on the Amazon’s editors’ list of the Best Books of the Year So Far (even though it is published by Hachette, the company Amazon is famously feuding with), and  Janet Maslin praised it last week in the New York Times.

The NPR reviewer ends by saying, “Koryta, I might add, is only 31 years old. I mention this not to be ageist — but to delight in the fact that he’s got a lot of time to keep on telling us stories. That, dear readers, is great news for us.”

We can add that Koryta already has a considerable body of work, having published ten novels.

Several of Koryta’s books, including Those Who Wish Me Dead, are in development for films or television.

Third Gillian Flynn Book Set for Adaptation

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Sharp ObjectsThis time, it’s for a TV series.

Gillian Flynn’s debut Sharp Objects, (RH/ Shaye Areheart Books, 2006) is being developed as a one-hour serialized drama, according to many sources, including Entertainment Weekly.  Marti Noxon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will handle day-to-day operations as the show runner, with Flynn as one of the executive producers. It has not yet been sold to a network.

The novel was an Edgar Award finalist for best first novel and Stephen King was a big supporter, 

To say this is a terrific debut novel is really too mild. I haven’t read such a relentlessly creepy family saga since John Farris’s All Heads Turn as the Hunt Goes By, and that was thirty years ago, give or take. Sharp Objects isn’t one of those scare-and-retreat books; its effect is cumulative. I found myself dreading the last thirty pages or so but was helpless to stop turning them. Then, after the lights were out, the story just stayed there in my head, coiled and hissing, like a snake in a cave. An admirably nasty piece of work, elevated by sharp writing and sharper insights.

Two movies based on the other books by Flynn arrive this fall. Dark Places, starring Charlize Theron, is listed for release on September 1 (although some sites list it as still TBD), and Gone Girl, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and Neil Patrick Harris, on October 3.

BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP Gets Release Date

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

It’s been several months since three’s been news about the film adaptation of S.J. Watson’s domestic thriller, Before I Go to Sleep, (Harper, 2011), and making us fear it had disappeared into Production Limbo. Suddenly today, it was announced that it will be released in the U.S. on 9/12/14.

Before I Go to Sleep is about Christine, played by Nicole Kidman, who wakes up every morning, with no memory of the past. Each day, she discovers a diary she’s been keeping and uses it to try to piece together her life.

A trailer appeared online earlier today, but has since been inexplicably taken down. UPDATE: The U.K. trailer, below,  became available a few days after we wrote this. In a significant change from the book, Christine keeps a video diary rather than a written one.

Colin Firth co-stars as Kidman’s husband and Mark Strong as her psychiatrist. The movie is produced by Ridley Scott, and directed by Rowan Joffe, (Brighton Rock, The American).

Tie-in :

Before I Go to Sleep tie-in : A Novel
S. J. Watson
Harper Paperbacks; September 30, 2014
(with the announcement of the movie release date, the pub date may be moved up)
9780062353887, 0062353888
Paperback / softback
$14.99 USD / $18.50 CAD

Holds Alert: I AM PILGRIM

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

I Am PilgrimThe opening line is not promising, “Neither its plot nor its provenance do much to recommend Terry Hayes’s I Am Pilgrim,” (S&S/Atria/ Emily Bestler; S&S Audio; Thorndike), but Janet Maslin’s review in today’s New York Times quickly becomes a rave, describing the book as “the most exciting desert island read of the season … a big, breathless tale of nonstop suspense,”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer spotted it two weeks ago, and called it “one of the strongest thrillers in years, and certainly the best so far of this year.”  Published in the U.K. last year (although set in New York City), it also won over British reviewers. The Guardian went so far as to agree with the publisher’s hype that it is “the only thriller you need to read this year.”

The book is expected to be the first in a series (in fact, Maslin’s only grumble is that “This book doesn’t exactly end; it just stops … At the price of credibility, [Hayes] paves the way for a sequel. It’s not a fair trade.”)

Libraries show growing holds.

Closer To Screen, RED SPARROW

Monday, June 16th, 2014

red-sparrow-book-cover-396x600

It seems less and less likely that the sequels to The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo will be adapted in to English language movies.

However, the team that worked on the first Dragon, director David Fincher and star Rooney Mara, are in talks to join forces again for another adaptation, based on Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews (S&S/ Scribner), which won an Edgar this year for best first novel.

The Washington Post gave the book a particularly strong review, calling it a “sublime and sophisticated debut,” noting that some of the plot points might render it a “hodgepodge of the fantastic [the main character sees emotions] and the prurient [agents are trained in the art of seduction; “an Upper Volga Kama Sutra”] amid a series of spy vs. spy shenanigans. But the novel is far more grounded.”

Ripped From the Headlines

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The DirectorIf your readers want to understand how the internet has opened the government to security leaks, but can’t get their hands on Glenn Greenwald’s best seller, No Place to Hide, you can offer them a new novel released yesterday.

David Ignatius’s The Director(W.W. Norton), provides, according to NYT reviewer Michiko Kakutani, “a harrowing sense of the vulnerability of governments and ordinary people alike to cybercrime, surveillance and digital warfare in this day when almost anything and everything can be stolen or destroyed with some malicious pieces of code and a couple clicks of a mouse.”

Ignatius knows the territory; he has covered the CIA for The Washington Post for over 25 years.

The Director also gets high praise from NPR reviewer Alan Cheuse, who says the author, in this his 9th novel,  provides “yet another deeply engaging spy thriller, rooted at that point where the intricacies of the intelligence community and the everyday world of civilians converge.”

Did fact inspire fiction? No, says Ignatius, in an interview on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday, He began working on the novel months before the news about Snowden broke. But he seems happy with “ripped from the headlines” comments. As he reminds listeners, “Snowden, before he worked for the NSA, worked for the CIA.”

NATCHEZ BURNING is #2

Monday, May 12th, 2014

9780062311078_1be7f.jpgThe book we called “THE Title You Need to Know” for the last week of April, Natchez Burning by Greg Iles, (HarperCollins/Morrow; HarperLuxe; HarperAudio), debuts at #2 on this week’s New York Times Fiction best seller list and at #5 on the USA Today list, where is is just below Veronica Roth’s Divergent.

It’s been five years since Iles’s most recent book, The Devil’s Punchbowl. He published 13 thrillers in rapid succession and was on track to release Natchez Burning in 2011, when twin tragedies changed that plan. He nearly died in a car accident, losing part of his right leg, and then his father died, making him realize, as he tells the Greenville S.C. newspaper, “life was too short to pull any punches. I decided there was no room in this book for formula and fluff. The story had to be handled with appropriate gravitas. I had to deal with it not only the way it deserved but in a way that would make my father proud.”

He ultimately decided to make Natchez Burning the first in a trilogy. On his Web site, Iles says, “I’m working like a madman to finish The Bone Tree, volume 2 of the trilogy.”

Harlan Coben Movie Deals

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Missing You   Six Years   Tell No One

So far, only one film has been made of  Harlan Coben’s best selling novels, the 2006 French film, Ne le dis à personne, and it was not released to U.S. theaters (several libraries own the DVD). [UPDATE: We stand corrected. As one of the comments points out, the film was shown in 112 U.S. theaters].That seems odd, since, as the Washington Post characterizes  the writer, he is the “master” of a film-worthy type of story, “a life suddenly unraveling, the past summoned back into a swiftly shifting present, secrets peeling back to reveal more secrets.”

Hollywood seems to have caught on. Three of Coban’s books now in various stages of development.

His latest thriller, one of his many standalones, Missing You, (RH/Dutton; Brilliance Audio; Thorndike) releasing today, was just picked up for adaptation by Warner Bros., according to Deadline.

The plot involves an internet dating site. Booklist says, “Coben never met a technological device he couldn’t turn into a riveting plot element … Coben’s meticulous plotting and his incorporation of the technology are first-rate. His characterization and dialogue? Not so much.”

In the pipeline are two other standalones. One is an English-language version of Tell No One, currently being scripted at Universal. The second, Six Years, published last year, is being produced at Paramount, with Hugh Jackman set to star.

GALLEYCHATTER: Eight Titles To Top Your TBR Pile

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Editor’s Note: We’re delighted to welcome Robin Beerbower as the regular “GalleyChatter” columnist for EarlyWord. Robin’s day job is as the  readers’ advisor and homebound services coordinator for the Salem [OR] Public Library. She has been a supporter of GalleyChat from its inception, calling those discussions “pure gold for selectors and readers advisors.” She’s enthusiastic about the importance (and fun) of reading books ahead of publication and tirelessly tracks down galleys, making her the local authority on new books. She is also very active on the Edelwiss Community Board, using it to spot titles and gauge developing buzz among librarians (you can join in; just register on Edelweiss and “friend” Robin). She plans to write regular roundups on the titles she discovers through the monthly GalleyChats, with regular updates on books to watch for.

From Robin:
Thanks to everyone on GalleyChat for their warm reception about my contributions to EarlyWord, and thanks to Nora for giving me this opportunity. The chats are  fast and furious with tweets flying everywhere. I’ll do my best to summarize each chat (for a full transcript, check our board on Storify).

GalleyChats are held on Twitter the first Tuesday of each month. The next one is on April 1. Please join us (details here).

Below are the titles that rose to the top of the TBR lists as we chatted last week. If you haven’t received print galleys of these titles, check for e-galleys on NetGalley and Edelweiss.

All The Light We Cannot See   9781616203214_95fa2

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Scribner, May 2014; Audio exclusive from MidWest Tape), a historical novel set in occupied France during WWII, received high praise from a couple of chatters including Susan Balla, who called it “A once-in-a-lifetime book.” The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Algonquin, April 2014), a moving novel set in a small island bookstore, also received an outpouring of love from multiple chatters. Vicki Nesting said she wanted to reread it as soon as she finished, and it has received “Much Love” from 47 peers on Edelweiss. Scroll through those reviews; you’ll be convinced (UPDATE: it’s the #1 title on the just released April LibraryReads list). Selectors, stock up on this one.

Bees Kristi Chadwick said the intriguing novel set in a beehive, The Bees by Laline Paull (HC/Ecco, May 2014), was amazing, and during the January chat, Wilda Williams from Library Journal called it “a Watership Down for insects.”

authorityTwo science fiction/fantasy books received several mentions. The e-galley of Jeff VanderMeer’s second book in the Southern Reach trilogy, Authority (Macmillan/FSG, May 2014), was well received by Megan McArdle, who loved the first book,  Annihilation. The Macmillan rep reported the good news that the third book, Acceptance, will be released next September. Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor (Tor, April 2014) was mentioned by multiple members with Jane Jorgenson saying it was the best fantasy she’s read in years. Addison also writes the Doctrine of Labyrinth series as Sarah Monnette.

Suspense thrillers were popular during the exchange with the third in the Keye Street series, Don’t Talk to Strangers by Amanda Kyle Williams (RH/Bantam, July, 2014), at the top of the list. Jane Jorgenson said  “It’s got good, claustrophobic, small-town feel – kind of reminds me of the mood of  True Detective (love).”  This has been a popular readalike series for Karin Slaughter and Lisa Gardner fans. Chevy Stevens’That Night and Chelsea Cain’s departure from the Sheridan/Lowell series, One Kick,(Simon & Schuster, August 2014) received nods from fans of their earlier books.

life drawing

My personal favorite of the past month was Robin Black’s Life Drawing (RH, July 2014), a gorgeously written suspenseful study of marriage and betrayal. Not exactly a Gone Girl readalike but just as compelling.

If you read any of these mentioned books, please let us know what you enjoyed by either entering your comments below or in Edelweiss.

Happy Reading!

Chick Noir

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Examining “Why We Can’t Get Enough of Twisted Marriage Thrillers,” in the Daily Beast, regular contributor Lucy Scholes looks at the spate of recent “psychological page-turners that subvert the ‘happily ever after’ formula of classic chic lit.”

9781250018199Following in the footsteps of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, A.S.A Harrison’s The Silent Wife, S. J. Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, and “the less well known but equally creepy How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman,” (Macmillan/St. Martin’s; Thorndike) are some new titles (Entertainment Weekly also looks at recent titles in the genre this week).

 

Before We Met  You Should Have Known  Season to Taste

Scholes considers Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse, (Bloomsbury USA), published last month, as “truly formulaic in every sense of the word, but it’s an easy read and will go some way in filling the Gone Girl shaped hole in Flynn fans’ lives,” (it got a B from Entertainment Weekly).

The one Scholes calls a “significantly superior addition to the genre” arrives next month, Jean Hanff Korelitz’s You Should Have Known, (Hachette/GrandCentral; Hachette Audio, March 18), the author’s next novel after the successful Admission (made into a less successful movie starring Tina Fey). Entertainment Weekly also adds their voice to this one, in their list of “14 Reads That Are Worth the Wait” calling it, ‘The thriller we’re already obsessed with.” LJ did not give it similar cred, saying “the suspense is marred by the overwritten prose” but PW calls it an “intriguing and beautiful book.”

Scholes also suggests keeping an eye out for a summer publication, Natalie Young’s Season to Taste, (Hachette/Little, Brown, 7/15). The American edition does not included the U.K. subtitle, … or How to Eat Your Husband, which gives fair warning that it is not “for the faint hearted or the weak stomached…” It hasn’t been reviewed by the prepub sources yet, so libraries we checked have not ordered it.

Unhappy Valentines

Friday, February 14th, 2014

With Gone Girl about to hit 75 weeks on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list, the new issue of Entertainment Weekly takes a dystopian view of love by highlighting novels featuring couples whose happiest times are now behind them (one small ray of hope; none of these are by Americans).

Apple Tree Yard   Before We Met  9780805098723

Apple Tree Yard, Louise Doughty, (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton; Brilliance Audio), published Jan 14

Along with The Silent Wife, also reviewed in the story, even though it’s already achieved long-lasting best seller status, this one gets the highest rating for the group, an A-.  The reviewer says it’s “fascinating to see a brilliant woman destroy her life with a few impulsive decisions. In Doughty’s hands, [main character] Yvonne’s actions are both shocking and weirdly understandable.” Libraries are showing 1:1 holds.

Before We Met, Lucie Whitehouse, (Bloomsbury USA), published Jan 21

The exploding rose on the cover has become a popular image (see The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and Perfect by Rachel Joyce). Entertainment Weekly gives this a solid B, noting, “Thanks to the novel’s overt Britishness, the twists that ensue are more taut and fraught than manic and frantic.”

The Innocent Sleep, Karen Perry, (Macmillan/Holt), coming next week

Here’s another cover with echoes of an earlier domestic thriller, which also happened to have “Sleep” in the title (bet you’ve already guessed which one). This debut is set in Dublin and Tangier. Giving it another solid B, the reviewer warns that you won’t see the big twist coming.

Watching YouWatching You, Michael Robotham, (Hachette/Mulholland; Brilliance Audio) coming March 11

Australian author Robotham already has a strong track record (Stephen King picked his previous title, Say You’re Sorry, as one of his favorites of 2012).

“It’ll keep you guessing and gasping” says Entertainment Weekly, giving it a B+

Breaking Out: THE WINTER PEOPLE

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Winter peopleJennifer McMahon’s sixth novel, the psychological thriller, The Winter People (RH/Doubleday; RH Audio, published today) may be her breakout. It is both a LibraryReads and an IndieNext pick for February. Holds in libraries we checked are currently around 4:1.

Holds are particularly heavy in the Cleveland area, where the  Cleveland Plain Dealer‘s  influential reviewer Laura DeMarco, recommended it in a blog post:

Chilling is just the tip of the iceberg in describing new fantastic suspense-horror novel The Winter People, set in rural Vermont in 1908 and today. When people begin to disappear in small-town West Hall, including their hippie mother, 19-year-old Ruthie and 6-year-old Fawn think a centuries-old journal may hold clues to the disappearances that have plagued the town since Sara Harrison Shea’s beloved daughter Bertie died in 1908. They’re right – and the answer offered in this late-night page-turner is equal parts horrifying and heartbreaking, compelled by the power of a mother’s love.

A full-page ad in the upcoming 2/16 NYT Book Review includes quotes from Lisa Unger and Chris Bohjalian as well as one from an LA. Times review of two of the authors’ earlier books calling her “one of the brightest new stars of literary suspense.” The review is by Sarah Weinman, one of the brightest stars of  mystery reviewing (she published the anthology, Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense, Penguin).

McMahon is already called a “NYT best selling author” because one of her paperback originals appeared for three weeks on the combined print and ebook list. This title looks poised to bring her to a new level.

Thanks to Wendy Bartlett, Cuyahoga Public Library, for the alert.