Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bond is back, and he brought friends! Find him @ your library

Sixkill by Robert B. Parker





Kirkus Reviews


The mysterious death of a star-struck young woman who struck a star's fancy provides the basis for Spenser's valedictory outing.


One minute Dawn Lopata was alive in her hotel-room bed, the next she was dead, somehow strangled while she was in the bathroom. At least that's the story Jumbo Nelson tells. Since it's not much of a story, his movie studio hires Rita Fiore's Boston law firm to dig deeper, and Rita hires Spenser to do the real digging. The job's not easy, because among all of Spenser's checkered clientele (Painted Ladies,2010, etc.), Jumbo is the most repellent, a truculent brat who cares about nothing but his own oversized appetites. It's no surprise when he fires Spenser and Rita, leaving Spenser to work the case pro bono and giving him the potential to irritate some very influential people. The only bright spot is Jumbo's Cree bodyguard, Zebulon Sixkill. On their first encounter, Spenser and Z sniff around each other; on their second, Spenser thrashes Z. But Spenser breaks the mold when Z turns up asleep outside Spenser's office door, and Spenser takes him in and starts the one-time college-football star, whose back story is presented through a series of awkward flashbacks, on the road to redemption. As luck would have it, the road winds through some familiar areas: serving as a sparring partner, passing on crucial information about Dawn Lopata's last moments, backing up Spenser's play against the local thugs hired to beat him up, and cutting back on the sauce so that he'll be sharp enough to help deal with the inevitable tough guys from Hollywood who regard Jumbo as a cash cow whose value has to be maintained no matter what.

By no means as substantial or resourceful as Parker's best, but a treasurable demonstration of the bromide that "life is mostly metaphor"—at least to the peerless private eye and his fans.







Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel by Jeffery Deaver



Publishers Weekly



The James Bond franchise is thriving, and this terrific new pastiche will amply reward Bond fans and possibly bring new readers into the fold. Deaver (Edge), an avowed fan of the Fleming canon, has set the novel in the post-9/11 present, and Bond, that icon of the 1960s, handles the transition perfectly. The book opens in Serbia with 007 trying to uncover the meaning of "Incident 20," a cryptic reference that suggests an impending terrorist plot. Deaver deftly sketches in Bond's background: a veteran of the Royal Naval Reserve who had served in Afghanistan, he was languishing in naval intelligence until recruited by a new, super-secret team whose mandate is to "protect the Realm… by any means necessary," hence the "carte blanche" of the title. Most of the action takes place in South Africa, and the plot is predictable in a purely Bond-ian way (credibly incredible), but also intricate and inventive, surprising and satisfying—a testament to Deaver's skill as a storyteller. The plot and setting may be up to the minute, but Bonds aficionados will be comforted by the usual Bond tropes: his love of fast cars, fine drink, and gorgeous women (two of whom sport the traditionally clever and ridiculous names: Ophelia Maidenstone and Felicity Willing); his colleagues M, Moneypenny, and Q (who creates the world's most powerful iPhone—dubbed the iQPhone); and an appropriately perverse villain, Severan Hydt, a self-made tycoon with a fetish for decay and death, complete with suitably evil henchman. Fleming purists may balk at the hint of a New Age sensitivity in Deaver's Bond, but they will recognize one of the world's most enduring fictional characters: competent, courageous, charming, and cool.







Buried Prey by John Sandford




Publishers Weekly




Sandford's outstanding 21st novel to feature Lucas Davenport of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (after Storm Prey) offers fans the chance to compare the young with the mature protagonist. In 1985, Davenport, then an eager patrol cop, made his bones as a homicide detective in an ugly kidnapping murder case. The present-day discovery of the mummified bodies of two girls wrapped in plastic, sisters Nancy and Mary Jones, leads Davenport to realize that he "messed up": the wrong man was credited with the crime and the real killer never caught. Cracking this very cold case becomes intensely personal for Davenport, who uses his own resources, including manipulating the media and pushing Marcy Sherrill, head of Minneapolis Homicide, to use all of her resources as well. A fusion of old-fashioned doggedness and modern technology pressures the killer into deadly action. Expert plotting and a riveting finish make this one of Sandford's best.







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