Tuesday, March 24, 2015

12 Rose Street by Gail Bowen

Joanne's husband, Zack, is running for mayor in Regina, Saskatchewan, and faces an uphill battle against the incumbent, Scott Ridgeway. Joanne is an expert at running political campaigns, having helped her first husband, Ian, become the Attorney General of Saskatchewan many years ago. However, when a local slumlord is murdered, it unearths secrets, political mudslinging, and more violence. Will Joanne and her family be able to escape unscathed? This latest book in the long-running Joanne Kilbourn mystery series further explores the characters' lives, while bringing to the forefront the issue of poverty among the Aboriginal People in Canada.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

Lawyer Adam Price has his world turned upside down when a stranger tells him that his wife, Corinne, faked her recent pregnancy. Stunned by the news, Adam confronts Corinne who tells him that it's the truth. She then disappears, texting him that she needs some time away and asking him to take care of their two teenage boys, Thomas and Ryan. Where has Corinne gone? Has something bad possibly happened to her? The reader also learns that "the stranger" has gone to other people, revealing secrets about their family members. The puzzle that Adam tries to unravel kept me guessing until the end of the book--and kept me up late at night. The Stranger is a great read-alike for Linwood Barclay.

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Ghost Fields by Elly Griffiths

When a digger at a construction site uncovers a World War II airplane with a body inside, the police consult with forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway to find out if the plane has been there since the war. Based on soil samples, Ruth concludes that the plane has been there all along, but that the body inside, while long dead, was moved there recently. DNA tests show that the pilot was Frederick Blackstock, from a local wealthy family. He moved to the states before the war and fought for the Americans. How, then did he end up in a plane near his birthplace, while all this time his family thought he died in the war? In this seventh entry in the Ruth Galloway series, Griffiths writes a satisfying mystery that forwards the personal lives of the recurring characters and gives the reader an interesting puzzle to solve, partly owing to the rich heritage of the Norfolk coast. It will be published in May.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Golden State by Stephanie Kegan

Natalie lives in Berkeley with her husband, Eric, and two daughters. She grew up in a well-connected California political family, where she was closest to her brilliant older brother, Bobby. Bobby now lives off the grid, in a cabin in Idaho and isn't in touch with anyone in the family. As someone nicknamed the Cal Bomber is killing and maiming people in the state, Natalie starts to wonder if Bobby might be the perpetrator, based on writings of his and the bomber's that are very similar. Eric encourages her go to the FBI with her suspicions, and she does--getting them to promise to keep her involvement secret. However, they don't and Natalie and her family's lives are thrust into the public eye. The big question becomes whether Bobby is guilty and, if he is, how that will affect his family. Golden State is an emotional story about a family's past and present--and the choices we make and have to accept when things are not in our control. A book to think about even after the last page is turned.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

Grace and Riley are childhood sweethearts who secretly marry when she turns 18. Soon, things fall apart and Grace is in hiding in Paris, restoring antiques in a dodgy shop. While there, she learns that Riley and one of his best friends, Alls, have been released from prison three years after committing a robbery in their small Tennessee hometown. Grace happened to be studying in Prague at the time. Could she have played some part in the crime? Unbecoming details Grace's coming of age in Garland, her relationship with Riley, with his family and friends, and her general unease that someone from her past might be coming to find her.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Stolen Ones by Owen Laukkanen

In The Stolen Ones, FBI agent Carla Windermere teams with Kirk Stevens of Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to crack an international human-trafficking ring. Sisters Irina and Catalina Milosovici leave their home in Romania for a better life in the United States, but the man who arranges their passage has them transported in a shipping container, along with many other young women, to be sex slaves around the country. When Irina escapes and a policeman in Minnesota is shot, it sets in motion a cross-country chase, as Windermere and Stevens try to find the ringleaders and try to save the sisters' (and many other women's) lives.  However, the men in charge have a lot to lose, making them all the more dangerous. This fourth thriller in the Windermere/Stevens series is a great read-alike for Thomas Perry and C.J. Box's stand-alone novels. It will be published next month.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth

Neva and her mother, Grace are midwives who share both camaraderie and a passion for their life's work. Neva, though, has always been closer to her father, Robert, and when Neva refuses to tell Grace who the father of the baby she's carrying is, it puts more of a wedge between them. Neva also doesn't want to reveal that information to her grandmother, Floss (a retired midwife), either. Yet, Neva's pregnancy reminds Floss of her own life as a single mother to Grace years ago. In fact, Floss, has been carrying a secret of her own for many years. The Secrets of Midwives explores the bond between mothers and daughters and the joy of childbirth. While I liked it, I didn't feel the depth of enjoyment that I usually feel when reading this type of book. Give this novel to people who enjoy Jo-Ann Mapson and Courtney Miller Santo's The Roots of the Olive Tree.