Monday, May 4, 2009

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.

Here's what I got ~

Intent to Kill: A Novel of Suspense by James Grippando ~ Grippando takes a break from the Jack Swyteck series—some readers would call it a much-needed break—and delivers a fine stand-alone thriller. Ryan James was an up-and-coming baseball player, a minor leaguer who seemed destined for the majors. Then a car accident took the life of his wife, Chelsea, and now, three years later, he cohosts a sports-themed talk radio show while raising his young daughter and trying not to fall into an alcoholic spiral. Out of nowhere, on the third anniversary of Chelsea’s death, an anonymous tipster claims not only that her death was no accident but also that he knows who killed her. Teaming up with Emma Carlisle, the prosecutor in charge of the hit-and-run case, Ryan uncovers a conspiracy that puts his own life at risk. This is an excellent thriller, the kind of novel Grippando was turning out on a regular basis before he began devoting his time to the increasingly formulaic Swyteck series. It’s a return to the character-driven storytelling that made his earlier novels, including Found Money (1999), The Abduction (1998), and The Informant (1996), so successful. Ryan is a strong, sympathetic lead, and the supporting cast, including Emma Carlisle and Babes, Chelsea’s autistic brother, is uniformly excellent. The story is convoluted but not excessively so and has a satisfying resolution. Grippando readers who know him mostly from the Swyteck series may find themselves thinking: wow, this guy is really good

Patterns in the Sand: A Seaside Knitters Mystery by Sally Goldenbaum ~ When young fiber artist Willow Adams visits Izzy Chambers’ knitting studio, she’s immediately embraced by the Seaside knitters, and they see the monthly arts event at Canary Cove as a perfect place to showcase Willow’s work. But the idyllic summer in Sea Harbor turns somber when the body of Nick Peabody—owner of a popular gallery—is found in a garden. Soon Nick’s secrets begin to surface, and the residents of Sea Harbor realize they didn’t know him at all. And when Nick’s will reveals that his entire estate has been left to Willow, the knitters find that Willow has some dark secrets of her own…

Love Stories in This Town by Amanda Eyre Ward ~ Ward's powerful first collection (after three novels) travels from Montana to Saudi Arabia, tackling love, terrorism and grave matters of the heart. In The Stars Are Bright in Texas, Kimmy and Greg, days after losing a child, fly to Houston and tool around with a realtor, looking for a new home. In The Way the Sky Changed, Casey, a literary agent and 9/11 widow, gets set up with Kent, who lost his wife on 9/11. They go antiquing and eat cheeseburgers, considering loss and filling another's shoes. The second half of the book includes six stories following a young woman named Lola's frantic search for herself. In one, her boyfriend leaves her for Miss Montana, and she finds solace with a bartender. In another, Lola becomes an oil wife in Saudi Arabia, where her growing fears of terrorism are leavened by thoughts of motherhood. We meet Lola's mother, Nan, a fading beauty now dependent on her hairdresser for companionship, and Lola's thrice-divorced father, Fred, with his cigars and cheese-only diet and ongoing search for true love. The way Ward balances ruefulness and hope is singularly impressive.

Dead Before Dark by Wendy Corsi Staub ~ In this intense follow-up to 2008's Dying Breath, just as self-described psychic detective Lucinda Sloan is helpless to stop a monomaniacal serial killer, readers will be helpless to stop turning pages until the end. From the moment the killer branded the Night Watchman sees Lucinda on television, he knows that she will be the grand finale in his latest series of brutal murders. He busies himself sending cryptic messages to her and her friend, Cam Hastings, whose daughter was kidnapped the previous summer and whose sister was the victim of a long-ago murder. Retired FBI agent Vic Shattuck, who is writing a book about the Night Watchman, also receives messages that only tease at the edges of clues about the next victim. A few inconsistencies are tiny bumps on the twisty road to the chilling conclusion.

The 8th Confession (The Women's Murder Club) by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro ~ As San Francisco's most glamorous millionaires mingle at the party of the year, someone is watching--waiting for a chance to take vengeance on Isa and Ethan Bailey, the city's most celebrated couple. Finally, the killer pinpoints the ideal moment, and it's the perfect murder. Not a trace of evidence is left behind in their glamorous home. As Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile murder, someone else is found brutally executed--a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless. His death nearly falls through the cracks, but when reporter Cindy Thomas hears about it, she knows the story could be huge. Probing deeper into the victim's history, she discovers he may not have been quite as saintly as everyone thought.As the hunt for two criminals tests the limits of the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay sees sparks fly between Cindy and her partner, Detective Rich Conklin. The Women's Murder Club now faces its toughest challenge: will love destroy all that four friends have built? The exhilarating new chapter in the Women's Murder Club series, The 8th Confession serves up a double dose of speed-charged twists and shocking revelations as only James Patterson can. And remember, this is the only Murder Club episode of the year.

Saints in Limbo by River Jordan (for review) ~ Ever since her husband Joe died, Velma True’s world has been limited to what she can see while clinging to one of the multicolored threads tied to the porch railing of her home outside Echo, Florida.When a mysterious stranger appears at her door on her birthday and presents Velma with a special gift, she is rattled by the object’s ability to take her into her memories–a place where Joe still lives, her son Rudy is still young, unaffected by the world’s hardness, and the beginning is closer than the end. As secrets old and new come to light, Velma wonders if it’s possible to be unmoored from the past’s deep roots and find a reason to hope again.

1 comment:

Kristie said...

You got some great books in the mail. I am currently reading Wendy Corsi Staub's book and I will be looking forward to your review.