07 October 2011
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson (Random House hc, 10 January 2012, $26.00).
Pak Jun Do is the haunted son of a lost mother—a singer “stolen” to Pyongyang—and an influential father who runs Long Tomorrows, a work camp for orphans. There the boy is given his first taste of power, picking which orphans eat first and which will be lent out for manual labor. Recognized for his loyalty and keen instincts, Jun Do comes to the attention of superiors in the state, rises in the ranks, and starts on a road from which there will be no return.
Where Lilacs Still Bloom by Jane Kirkpatrick (Waterbrook Multnomah tp, 17 April 2012, $14.99).
German immigrant and farm wife Hulda Klager possesses only an eighth-grade education—and a burning desire to create something beautiful. What begins as a hobby to create an easy-peeling apple for her pies becomes Hulda’s driving purpose: a time-consuming interest in plant hybridization that puts her at odds with family and community, as she challenges the early twentieth-century expectations for a simple housewife.
Defending Jacob by William Landay (Random House hc, 31 January 2012, $26.00).
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.
Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, Andy will face a trial of his own.
Rust by Julie Mars (The Permanent Press hc, 1 February 2012, $26.00).
An article in a random travel magazine - about coyotes freely roaming the banks of the Rio Grande right in the middle of the city of Albuquerque - comples talented but socially-isolated artist Margaret Shaw to pack up and move from New York City to New Mexico. She quickly settles into a Chicano/Mexican barrio near the river, spending long days at local junkyards attempting to satisfy another recent obsession - her determination to mover her art from two dimensions to three. As she collects rusty parts from obsolete machinery, she imagines welding them into sculptures, and she never looks back at the sorrowful past she left behind in the east.
The Rape of the Muse by Michael Stein (The Permanent Press hc, October 2011, $28.00).
Rand Taber, one of The Times’ “25 artists under 25 to watch” has painter’s block. He needs to get out of New York to work again. Introduced to Harris Montrose, an artistic giant and eccentric who has secluded himself in Providence, Rhode Island, Rand becomes Montrose’s studio assistant.
Rand’s journey, as he falls for a woman who pushes him to paint again, is one of artistic inspiration, love and betrayal, hero worship and disappointment. This novel is based on a true art-world rivalry and courtroom drama.
Buried by the Roan by Mark Stevens (People's Press tp, 2 August 2011, $14.95).
Josh Keating’s demise could be a case of a hunter drinking too much and stumbling late at night, or it could be something much worse. Plenty of other strange things are going on to make hunting guide Allison Coil think the death is no accident. There’s word that Keating and his neighbor were tangled up in a property dispute triggered by a centuries-old doctrine known as adverse possession. The future of the way of life in the rugged Colorado mountains is at stake. Allison finds the killer’s trail but doesn’t avoid being trapped in the simple but wicked device that murdered her client.
Racing the Devil by Jaden Terrell (The Permanent Press hc, 1 January 2012, $28.00).
Nashville private investigator Jared McKean has a son with Down's Syndrome, a best friend with AIDS, an ex-wife he can't seem to fall out of love with, and a weakness for women in jeopardy - until one frames him for muder.
His DNA and fingerprints are found at the murder scene. His voice is on the victim's answering machine, and the victim was killed with a bullet from his gun. To make matters worse, his teen-aged nephew comes out of the closet and runs away to join a dangerous fringe of the Goth subculture.
Now Jared must find a way to clear his name, hold his family together, and solve a case that could cost him his life.