Titles to Know and Recommend, Week of June 19, 2017


Next week is fairly quiet in terms of the number of new releases. Big-name thriller authors lead the way in holds, with Janet Evanovich at the head of the list for the second in her new Knight and Moon series, Dangerous Minds (PRH/Bantam; RH Large Print; RH and BOT Audio).

A distant second in holds is Dean Koontz’s The Silent Corner, (PRH/Bantam; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample) the beginning of a new series, already set for a TV adaptation (see more below, under “Peer Picks”).

Don Winslow’s The Force (HarperCollins/Morrow; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Audio Sample) is getting an extraordinary amount of early attention (see below, under “Peer Picks”). Add to that a review in today’s NYT  by Janet Maslin who calls it a “shattering New York cop epic about an elite task force leader who’s a hero until he’s not.” Drawing on her earlier life as a movie critic, she says it “recalls Sidney Lumet’s great New York police films (Serpico, Prince of the City) and makes their agonies almost quaint by comparison.” Unsurprisingly, it is headed to the big screen. Maslin cautions that the novel “has a lot of exposition to get through in its initial pages … There are many characters and locations and illicit police habits to introduce,” but says, “the pace is kept up by the Winslow way with words, which almost entirely defies being quoted here, either because of the slang (Elmore Leonard league) or because of the everyday obscenities that lace every funny line.”

Those looking for a break from all that pacing, can turn to Adriana Trigiani’s Kiss Carlo (HarperCollins/Harper; Harper Audio; HarperLuxe; OverDrive Audio Sample), which brings together many of the author’s obsessions, the theater, a post World War setting, close-knit Italian-American families who are not above feuds, echoes of earlier lives in Italy and true love that strikes unexpectedly. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Trigiani on an upcoming Today Show, where she is a favorite guest and even manages out-talk Hoda and Kathie Lee.

The titles covered in this column, and several other notable titles arriving next week, are listed with ordering information and alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, EarlyWord New Title Radar Week of June 19 2017.

Peer Picks

Two Indie Next selections come out this week.

The Force, Don Winslow (HC/William Morrow; HarperLuxe; Blackstone Audio).

“Denny Malone, veteran NYPD detective and leader of the elite Manhattan North Task Force, didn’t start out as a dirty cop. Over the years, however, the odd payoff and favor became routine, and a talented and effective cop slid past the point of no return, stealing millions in money and drugs. As Winslow shows us, keeping citizens safe isn’t always clean and easy work, but even Malone and his team’s corruption is chump change compared to the real players behind the scenes who are busy rebuilding the city after the September 11 attacks. A gutsy and uncompromising look at the dark heartbeat of modern America.” —Patrick Millikin, The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, AZ

Additional Buzz: A big book of the summer, it is getting high profile reviews. The Washington Post says it is “a big, fat book of fast-moving fiction … riveting and scary.” The Guardian has a feature, the WSJ has a profile, The Seattle Times names it one of “15 books we recommend for your summer reading pleasure,” it is one of Entertainment Weekly Summer’s 20 Must-Read Books, and it is one of NYT Summer Reading choices on Janet Maslin’s list of “Books To Breeze Through This Summer.” It is also a GalleyChat recommendation. Film rights before it even had a title.

The Silent Corner, Dean Koontz (PRH/Bantam; Recorded Books; OverDrive Sample).

“Koontz’s new heroine is Jane Stark, a kick-ass-and-take-names FBI agent who is out to discover why her husband took his own life. When she finds out that other people in key positions are also committing suicide, the more mysterious and complicated the circumstances become and the more attention she draws to herself — and not in a good way. Koontz is a master of suspense, creating sharp twists and turns with originality that will challenge your intellect. The Silent Corner is a gripping, enthralling thriller. I can’t wait for the next installment!” —Robin Allen, Forever Books, St. Joseph, MI

Additional Buzz: It is one of Entertainment Weekly‘s Summer’s 20 Must-Read Books and is already heading to TV according to The Hollywood Reporter. Kirkus stars, saying “Perhaps Koontz’s leanest, meanest thriller, this initial entry in a new series introduces a smart, appealing heroine who can outthink as well as outshoot the baddest of bad dudes.” Romantic Times book reviews gives its 4 stars, writing “The story structure filled with short intense chapters keeps the pace fast and builds an ominous tension.” In the clip below, Koontz talks about his new main character:


Queen Sugar: A Novel (TV Tie-In), Natalie Baszile (PRH/Penguin; OverDrive Sample).

Queen Sugar returns for its second season with a two-night event on OWN starting on Tuesday, June 20. Season one pulled in a number of impressive awards, including the NAACP Image Award for Best Drama Series. As we wrote earlier, the story takes place in Southern Louisiana and features three siblings who inherit their father’s sugar cane plantation.

Entertainment Weekly reports that season two will continue the practice from the first season of using a “slate of female filmmakers including returning director Kat Candler (Hellion), Cheryl Dunye (Stranger Inside), DeMane Davis (Lift), Aurora Guerrero (Mosquita y Mari), and Amanda Marsalis (Echo Park).” Ava DuVernay, who created project with Oprah last year, will direct the final episode of the season.

Spider-Man Homecoming opens on July 7, and another tie-in is being released in advance of it premiere date: Spider-Man: Homecoming Prelude, Marvel Comics (Hachette/Marvel).

The film picks up after Captain America: Civil War ends and stars Tom Holland, Chris Evans, and Robert Downey Jr., among many others.

Polygon reports that the film launches a new trilogy and the next stand-alone feature for spidey will be July 5, 2019. Before that the webbed crusader will appear in Avengers: Infinity War.

For our full list of upcoming adaptations, download our Books to Movies and TV and link to our listing of tie-ins.

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