FALL RELEASE PREVIEW
This fall, I eagerly await the release of two books in particular. (And I’ve pre-ordered both of them.) Even though I usually buy paperbacks, anything written by Michael Connelly and Charlie Huston will be bought as soon as it is released. This fall Charlie Huston continues my favorite hard-boiled series with another entry featuring Joe Pitt. However, the most anticipated book of the entire year is Michael Connelly’s follow-up to The Lincoln Lawyer, a legal thriller that I thought would only be a stand-alone novel.
A Cure for the Night – Justin Peacock – September 2
After reading Patrick Anderson’s review of this new author’s first book, I want to go out and buy it right now. The book’s tag line is also compelling: “In Brooklyn’s criminal courts, justice often depends on who has the better story to tell.”
Synopsis: After a drug-related scandal ejects Joel Deveraux from his job at a white-shoe law firm, he slides down the corporate ladder to the Public Defenders’ office in Brooklyn, where he defends the innocent and the guilty alike, a cog in the great clanking machine that is the New York City justice system. When his boss offers him the second chair to the savvy Myra Goldstein in a high-profile murder case, he eagerly takes it. The defendant is Lorenzo Tate, a black pot dealer from the projects who is charged with the murder of a white college student in a street shooting; and the tabloids have sunk their teeth into the racially tinged trial.
In this twisty and overwhelmingly authentic journey through the real Brooklyn, Justin Peacock paints a portrait of the law as a form of combat where the best story wins—but who’s telling the truth and who’s lying are matters of interpretation. And of life and death.
Red Knife – William Kent Krueger – September 2
Ever since I read Krueger’s first novel, Iron Lake, I’ve been a devoted fan to the Cork O’Connor series. This is the 8th novel in the series.
Synopsis: When the daughter of a powerful businessman dies as a result of her meth addiction, her father, strong-willed and brutal Buck Reinhardt, vows revenge. His target is the Red Boyz, a gang of Ojibwe youths accused of supplying the girl’s fatal drug dose. When the head of the Red Boyz and his wife are murdered in a way that suggests execution, the Ojibwe gang mobilizes, and the citizens of Tamarack County brace themselves for war, white against red.
Both sides look to Cork O’Connor, a man of mixed heritage, to uncover the truth behind the murders. A former sheriff, Cork has lived, fought, and nearly died to keep the small-town streets and his family safe from harm. He knows that violence is never a virtue, but he believes that it’s sometimes a necessary response to the evil that men do. Racing to find answers before the bloodshed spreads, Cork himself becomes involved in the darkest of deeds. As the unspeakable unfolds in the remote and beautiful place he calls home, Cork is forced to confront the horrific truth: Violence is a beast that cannot be contained.
Exit Music – Ian Rankin – September 17
Synopsis: It’s late in the fall in Edinburgh and late in the career of Detective Inspector John Rebus. As he is simply trying to tie up some loose ends before his retirement, a new case lands on his desk: a dissident Russian poet has been murdered in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. Rebus discovers that an elite delegation of Russian businessmen is in town, looking to expand its interests. And as Rebus’s investigation gains ground, someone brutally assaults a local gangster with whom he has a long history.
Has Rebus overstepped his bounds for the last time? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, controversial career, will Rebus even make it that far?
The Given Day – Dennis Lehane – September 23
Dennis Lehane hasn’t written a novel since 2003’s excellent thriller, Shutter Island. As a huge fan of his Patrick Kenzie/Angie Gennaro series, I’ve read everything Lehane has written. I can’t wait for this new stand-alone.
Synopsis: Set in Boston at the end of the First World War, New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane’s long-awaited eighth novel unflinchingly captures the political and social unrest of a nation caught at the crossroads between past and future. Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters more richly drawn than any Lehane has ever created, The Given Day tells the story of two families—one black, one white—swept up in a maelstrom of revolutionaries and anarchists, immigrants and ward bosses, Brahmins and ordinary citizens, all engaged in a battle for survival and power. Beat cop Danny Coughlin, the son of one of the city’s most beloved and powerful police captains, joins a burgeoning union movement and the hunt for violent radicals. Luther Laurence, on the run after a deadly confrontation with a crime boss in Tulsa, works for the Coughlin family and tries desperately to find his way home to his pregnant wife.
Here, too, are some of the most influential figures of the era—Babe Ruth; Eugene O’Neill; leftist activist Jack Reed; NAACP founder W. E. B. DuBois; Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson’s ruthless Red-chasing attorney general; cunning Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge; and an ambitious young Department of Justice lawyer named John Hoover.
Coursing through some of the pivotal events of the time—including the Spanish Influenza pandemic—and culminating in the Boston Police Strike of 1919, The Given Day explores the crippling violence and irrepressible exuberance of a country at war with, and in the thrall of, itself. As Danny, Luther, and those around them struggle to define themselves in increasingly turbulent times, they gradually find family in one another and, together, ride a rising storm of hardship, deprivation, and hope that will change all their lives.
Every Last Drop – Charlie Huston – September 30
I can’t wait to the continue the story which began in Already Dead. This is the fourth book in the Joe Pitt series. If you’ve never heard of it, get a clue.
Synopsis: A series of bullet-riddled bad breaks has seen rogue Vampyre and terminal tough guy Joe Pitt go from PI for hire to Clan-connected enforcer to dead man walking in a New York minute. And after burning all his bridges, the only one left to cross leads to the Bronx, where Joe’s brass knuckles and straight razor can’t keep him from running afoul of a sadistic old bloodsucker with a bad bark and a worse bite. Even if every Clan in Manhattan is hollering for Joe’s head on a stick, it’s got to be better than trying to survive in the outer-borough wilderness.
So it’s a no-brainer when Clan boss Dexter Predo comes looking to make a deal. All Joe has to do to win back breathing privileges on his old turf is infiltrate an upstart Clan whose plan to cure the Vyrus could expose the secret Vampyre world to mortal eyes and set off a panic-driven massacre. Not cool. But Joe’s all over it. To save the Undead future, he just has to wade neck-deep through all the archenemies, former friends, and assorted heavy hitters he’s crossed in the past. No sweat? Maybe not, but definitely more blood than he’s ever seen or hungered for. And maybe even some tears–over the horror and heartbreaking truth about the evil men do no matter who or what they are.
The Brass Verdict – Michael Connelly – October 14
I never imagined that Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer would be the start of a Mickey Haller series. I hear that Harry Bosch also makes an appearance in this new legal thriller. This is a definite winner.
Synopsis: Things are finally looking up for defense attorney Mickey Haller. After two years of wrong turns, Haller is back in the courtroom. When Hollywood lawyer Jerry Vincent is murdered, Haller inherits his biggest case yet: the defense of Walter Elliott, a prominent studio executive accused of murdering his wife and her lover. But as Haller prepares for the case that could launch him into the big time, he learns that Vincent’s killer may be coming for him next.
Enter Harry Bosch. Determined to find Vincent’s killer, he is not opposed to using Haller as bait. But as danger mounts and the stakes rise, these two loners realize their only choice is to work together.
Trigger City – Sean Chercover – October 14
After being introduced to PI Ray Dudgeon in Chercover’s first novel, Big City, Bad Blood, I’m intrigued enough to stick around for this second novel in the series.
Synopsis: Still suffering the physical and emotional consequences of going up against the Chicago Outfit, PI Ray Dudgeon needs an easy gig. A routine investigation of an open-and-shut case sounds perfect. The job is a loser, but the pay is good, and maybe Ray will bring some peace to a grieving father who yearns to learn the truth about the daughter he never really knew. But what begins as routine soon spirals out of control. The victim was not simply a quiet, shy, unassuming single woman whose luck ran out. She lived a double life, working in the shadowy realm of covert intelligence. In a world built on secrets and lies, she fought bravely for truth—and gave her life in the fight.
Suddenly, Ray finds himself caught in a war between private contractors and the darkest sectors of our own government—a war that stretches from the closed-door hearings of Congress to the frontlines of Iraq. Ensnared in a conspiracy of darkness that weaves its way through the very fabric of the nation, Ray must discover who’s really pulling the strings before he becomes collateral damage in America’s war on terror. No peril Ray Dudgeon has faced in the past could’ve prepared him for this. The stakes couldn’t be any higher, and no enemy could be more powerful. Ray is in way over his head. And his greatest enemy may be himself.
Once Were Cops – Ken Bruen – October 28
Synopsis: Michael O’Shea is a member of Ireland’s police force, known as The Guards. He’s also a sociopath who walks a knife edge between sanity and all-out mayhem. When an exchange program is initiated and twenty Guards come to America and twenty cops from the States go to Ireland, Shay, as he’s known, has his lifelong dream come true–he becomes a member of the NYPD. But Shay’s dream is about to become New York’s nightmare.
Paired with an unstable cop nicknamed Kebar for his liberal use of a short, lethal metal stick called a K-bar, the two unlikely partners become a devastatingly effective force in the war against crime.
But Kebar harbors a dangerous secret: he’s sold out to the mob to help his sister. Her rape and beating leaves her in a coma and pushes an already unstable Kebar over the edge just as Shea’s dark secrets threaten boil over and into the streets of New York.