New Titles Arriving Week of 12/27

Now that the gift-buying season is over (and the rush to redeem gift certificates begins), the flow of new releases begins to rev up.

The Gambles

The Radleys: A Novel
Matt Haig
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Free Press – (2010-12-28)
ISBN / EAN: 1439194017 / 9781439194010

The Radleys by Matt Haig (Free Press) was touted at BEA (and was one of Neal Wyatt’s Librarians Shout & Share picks). About a family of vampires trying to pass for normal in a British suburb, it comes from the UK with a plenty of great quotes. Prepub reviews here were also strong. The first consumer review, Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+, finding it charming but not a standout in the crowded field of vampire stories. The Dallas Morning News has this amusing take, “Haig effectively treats the unhinging, fiendish desire to feast on human blood as, well, just another unfortunate family dysfunction. Like alcoholism or drug addiction, only with hemoglobin.”

It also has backing from Hollywood; it was announced in April that Alfonso Cuarón acquired film rights. The director (Y Tu Mamá También and HP & The Prisoner of Azkaban) calls the book “funny, scary and wickedly familiar…On the one hand it’s a parochial comedy of manners in a dull suburban setting, but it quickly gathers poison and then effortlessly enters the supernatural without ever betraying its worldly concerns.”

This may have crossover appeal; in the UK, it was released as both adult and YA.

American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare: The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee
Karen Abbott
Retail Price: $26.00
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2010-12-28)
ISBN / EAN: 1400066913 / 9781400066919

American Rose by Karen Abbott (Random House); we’ve heard good things from people who have read the ARE’s of this new biography of Gypsy Rose Lee and RH is backing it with an announced 100,000 copy printing. The NYT‘s Janet Maslin, however, faults the book for focusing more Lee’s times than on Lee herself.

The Usual Suspects

What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz (Bantam) is a supernatural thriller about the murder of a family that reawakens an investigator’s memories of surviving a similar family massacre. PW carps that the terror level doesn’t get high enough, but Booklist gives it a star, noting that “Koontz worked out a family-at-risk scenario in last year’s Relentless; but whereas that book was breakneck-paced, science-fictional, riddled with screwball humor, and concerned about cultural politics, this novel is deliberate, highly supernatural, somber throughout, and motivated by religious dread of Koontz’s weightiest performances.”

In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz (Putnam) is the first in the new Looking Glass trilogy, and also part of Krentz’s ongoing romantic suspense Arcane Society series, about a psychic detective agency. Booklist gives it a starred review: “Krentz’s flair for creating intriguing, inventive plots; crafting clever dialogue between two perfectly matched protagonists; and subtly infusing her writing with a deliciously tart sense of humor are, as always, simply irresistible.”

The Outlaws by W. E. B. Griffin & William Butterworth (Putnam) is the sixth military thriller in the Presidential Agent series, in which Lt. Col. Carlos “Charley” Castillo must face life after the disbandment of his secret organization, the Office of Organizational Analysis. PW says “Series fans who love these characters will find the novel fulfilling; newcomers and those expecting a big payoff will be disappointed.”

To Have and To Kill (Wedding Cake Mystery) by Mary Jane Clark is the first in a “promising new cozy series” (PW). Hear her editor, Carrie Feron, talk about Mary Jane’s transition from her harder-edge mysteries to this new series in HarperCollins Editors’ Buzz.

Secrets to the Grave by Tami Hoag (Dutton) is the second in the author’s Deeper Than the Dead series. Says PW, “Newcomers will have no trouble getting into this suspense novel rich in pre-DNA detecting methods.”

Young Adult Fiction

Bloody Valentine (Blue Bloods Series #7) by Melissa de la Cruz. Prolific author Cruz also begins a new adult fantasy series, Witches of East End this summer and is working on a Blue Bloods spinoff, Wolf Pack, coming April 2012.

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher (Penguin) is the sequel to Incarceron; Taylor Lautner has been signed to play the lead in the film adaptation of Incarceron, which appears on three Best Books lists; PW, SLJ, Washington Post and Hornbook.

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