Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Isn't it time to curl up with a good book?

Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke

Publishers Weekly -

In Edgar-winner Burke's outstanding third novel featuring small town Texas sheriff Hackberry Holland (after Rain Gods), Hackberry joins a motley crew of killers, idealists, psychos, mobsters, and Feds in the search for Noie Barnum, a disgruntled former intelligence asset who escaped the human smugglers that were trying to sell him to al-Qaeda. Barnum finds an unexpected protector in Preacher Jack Collins, a quixotic mass murderer, whom Hackberry calls "he most dangerous man I've ever met." The richness of Burke's characters, always one of his strengths, reaches new heights, as shown particularly in Krill, a mentally scarred veteran of Central American violence driven by grief over his slaughtered children, and Cody Daniels, would-be minister and xenophobe, who undergoes a spiritual sea change during his own via crucis. The intricately plotted narrative takes numerous unexpected turns, and Burke handles his trademark themes of social justice and corruption with his usual subtlety.

Heat Rises by Richard Castle

From Barnes & Noble -

NYPD homicide detective Nikki Heat can't turn her back on any murder, but in this case, however, her own career and perhaps even her life might be at stake. The grotesque murder of a parish priest at a New York bondage club begins as a by-the-book investigation; rapidly though, it escalates into a hunt for devious conspirators in high places. Isolated, disgraced, and stripped of her badge, Heat finds herself bereft of friends, except for one: reporter Jameson Rock. Another installment of the thriller detective series inspired by ABC's popular Castle.

Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues by Michael Brandman

Kirkus Reviews -

Now that summer's here, the advent of the tourist season brings the same old crime-based problems to idyllic Paradise, Mass., but now at the hands of a different author.

Has anything changed since the death last year of series creator Robert B. Parker? Not really. Police chief Jesse Stone still misses his girlfriend Sunny Randall (Split Image, 2010, etc.), off in Europe on a job. Dispatcher/receptionist Molly Crane still gives him a hard time over his requests for coffee and monosyllabic responses to her questions. When somebody starts stealing cars from the streets of Paradise, Jesse's take-charge reaction is still the same. He shows the same omni-sensitive side when 14-year-old Lisa Barry holds her school principal hostage at gunpoint to protest her bullying by the Lincoln Village girls, and the same reliable intuition when he hears that Rollo Nurse, whose skull he fractured while arresting him in L.A. years ago, is out of prison and may be looking for him. He's still catnip to women like Alexis Richardson, who got the job of organizing and publicizing summer events through her uncle, selectman Carter Hansen. He still wrestles with the bottle, shares confidences with his therapist and cleans up his town with his usual laconic aplomb. The only differences are his new rental place right on the bay; Mildred Memory, a cat who finds him equally irresistible; and the unconvincing voices that bid the worst of the bad guys to do the bad things he does.

Film and TV producer Brandman, who collaborated on several of Jesse's TV adaptations, obviously believes that no news is good news. Series fans will probably agree.

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