New Title Radar – Week of July 18

Next week brings various views of the post-9/11 world, including a book that examines ten years worth of evidence about the attacks (The Eleventh Day) and another that looks at upheavals in the Middle East after bin Laden’s death (Rock the Casbah). In fiction, publishers continue to fill the beach reading pipeline.

Watch List

Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) follows 11-year-old Harri Opuku, a recent Ghanaian immigrant in London’s housing projects, as he investigates the apparent murder of one of his classmates. LJ says, “If your patrons liked Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and if they rooted for Jamal Malik in Slumdog Millionaire, they will love Harri Opuku.”

Rising Star

Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill (Minotaur Books) launches a new mystery series featuring one of Thailand’s hottest crime reporters, who’s roped into running a down-at-the-heels resort purchased by her possibly senile mother and stumbles into murder. It has THREE starred reviews, from LJ, PW and Booklist, which says “Cotterill combines plenty of humor with fascinating and unusual characters, a solid mystery, and the relatively unfamiliar setting of southern Thailand to launch what may be the best new international mystery series since the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” Librarians on GalleyChat agree that it’s a fun read.

Usual Suspects

Burnt Mountain by Anne Rivers Siddons (Grand Central) explores a disintegrating marriage and familial betrayal in rural North Carolina. Kirkus says, “Siddons is at her usual incisive best at skewering the mores of socially pretentious Southerners, and her prose is limpid and mesmerizing, but the Grand Guignol denouement beggars belief.”

Happy Birthday by Danielle Steel (Delacorte) follows a mother-daughter duo—one a Martha Stewart-style lifestyle guru, the other a shy, gifted chef—both facing turning points, and each about to find love when she least expects it.

Justice by Karen Robards (Gallery Press) is the latest adventure featuring criminal attorney Jessica Ford, as she defends the victim of a rape case involving a sentor’s son.

Split Second by Catherine Coulter (Putnam) continues the FBI Thriller series with agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock, this time locking horns with a serial killer who has ties to Ted Bundy. Booklist says, “Told from several points of view, including the serial killer’s, the novel moves quickly, thanks to short chapters and numerous plot twists. One plot element, the appearance of a magic ring, requires significant suspension of disbelief and proves jarring in this otherwise realistic and, in the main, riveting story.”

Portrait of a Spy by Daniel Silva (Harper) is an espionage thriller whose protagonist is both an art enthusiast and secret agent.

Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Dominian by Eric Van Lustbader (Grand Central Publishing) continues Robert Ludlum’s story of Jason Bourne, a rogue secret agent who has lost his memory. Publishers Weekly says, “it’s a testament to Lustbader’s skills that he can keep everyone in place and blazing away without losing track of the ongoing plot. While one needn’t have read the earlier volumes, knowledge of the last two or three would help keep things straight.” This is the fourth in the Bourne series written by Lustbader. Of course, Ludlum’s Bourne titles have been made into successful movies, starring Matt Damon. The first of the series to be written by Lustbader, The Bourne Legacy, is currently in pre-production as a movie, but this time without Damon. The planned release date is Aug. 3, 2012.

Star Wars: Choices of One by Timothy Zahn (LucasBooks) is a new adventure for Luke Skywalker and friends set during the original trilogy.


The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA by Joby Warrick (Doubleday) is a Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post intelligence reporter’s investigation of the intelligence failures that allowed a suicide bomber to kill seven CIA agents in Afghanistan. LJ says, “Warrick’s straight journalistic report, without editorializing, is highly recommended both to those who follow the U.S. war on terror and to all readers of spy and espionage thrillers.”

The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama bin Laden by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan (Ballantine) uses a decade of new information to analyze the 9/11 attacks.

Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World by Robin Wright (Simon & Schuster) is look at the upheaval in the Middle East following Osama bin Laden’s death and the recent uprisings that delivers the stirring news that jihadism is fading, and Arab nations are finally entering the modern world. Kirkus ays that it is “more journalism than deep analysis, [and] paints a vivid portrait of dramatic changes in the Islamic world.”

Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and Life by Mike Leach (Diversion) is a look at the unorthodox career path and coaching techniques that helped Leach take the Texas Tech Red Raiders to numerous bowl games, achieving the #2 slot in national rankings and being voted 2008 Coach of the Year before being unceremoniously fired at the end of the 2009 season.

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