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August 15, 2011 / C.T. Henry

The Best Reads of the Year (so far)

1. Rupture (UK title) / A Thousand Cuts (US title) by Simon Lelic

Synopsis:

In the depths of a sweltering summer, teacher Samuel Szajkowski walks into his school assembly and opens fire. He kills three pupils and a colleague before turning the gun on himself.

Lucia May, the young policewoman who is assigned the case, is expected to wrap up things quickly and without fuss. The incident is a tragedy that could not have been predicted and Szajkowski, it seems clear, was a psychopath beyond help. Soon, however, Lucia becomes preoccupied with the question no one else seems to want to ask: what drove a mild-mannered, diffident school teacher to commit such a despicable crime?

Piecing together the testimonies of the teachers and children at the school, Lucia discovers an uglier, more complex picture of the months leading up to the shooting. She realises too that she has more in common with Szajkowski than she could have imagined. As the pressure to bury the case builds, she becomes determined to tell the truth about what happened, whatever the consequences . . .

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2. Fault Line by Barry Eisler

Synopsis:

Alex Treven has sacrificed everything to make partner in his high-tech law firm. But then the inventor of a technology Alex is banking on is murdered—and Alex narrowly escapes an attack in his house. Running out of time, he calls his estranged brother, Ben, an elite undercover soldier in the United States’ war on terror. When Ben receives Alex’s frantic call he hurries to San Francisco to help him.

Only then does Alex reveal that there’s another player who knows of the technology: Sarah Hosseini, a young Iranian American lawyer whom Alex has long secretly desired and whom Ben immediately distrusts. As these three struggle to identify the forces attempting to silence them, Ben and Alex must examine the events that drove them apart—even as Sarah’s presence deepens the fault line between them.

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3. Pariah by Dave Zelsterman

Synopsis:

Once part of the holy triumvirate ruling the South Boston Irish Mob, Kyle Nevin is set up with the Feds by head mobster Red Mahoney, who leads him to a court case and a stretch in the slammer. Now out of prison, Kyle wants revenge on his old boss and mentor and, just as importantly, to reclaim his former glory.

A kidnapping gone wrong leads, bizarrely, to a major book deal and a newfound celebrity status for Kyle. However, it also brings about bigger problems for both himself and anyone unlucky enough to cross his path.

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4. Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

Synopsis:

The Continental Op first heard Personville called Poisonville by Hickey Dewey. But since Dewey also called a shirt a shoit, he didn’t think anything of it. Until he went there and his client, the only honest man in Poisonville, was murdered.

Then the Op decided to stay to punish the guilty. And that meant taking on the entire town…

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5. The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly

Synopsis:

In tough times, crime is one of the few things that still pays, but even criminals are having to make cut-backs. So for defence lawyer Mickey Haller, most of his new business is not about keeping people out of jail; it’s about keeping a roof over their heads as the foreclosure business is booming. Lisa Trammel has been a client of Mickey’s for eight months, and so far he’s stopped the bank from taking her house.

But now the bank’s CEO has been found beaten to death – and Lisa is about to be indicted for murder…

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What is the best book you’ve read so far in 2011?

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One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. Derrick / Aug 16 2011 8:00 pm

    This year I have read and been impressed by:

    21 Tales by Dave Zeltserman
    The Science of Paul by Aaron Philip Clark
    Already Gone by John Rector
    Dust Devils by Roger Smith
    Late Rain by Lynn Kostoff
    Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson

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