06 June 2012
Full Body Burden by Kristen Iverson (Random House hardcover, 5 June 2012).
A haunting work of narrative nonfiction about a young woman, Kristen Iversen, growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated "the most contaminated site in America." It's the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and--unknown to those who lived there--tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium.
12.21 by Dustin Thomason (Random House hardcover, 7 August 2012).
For decades, December 21, 2012, has been a touchstone for doomsayers worldwide. It is the date, they claim, when the ancient Maya calendar predicts the world will end.
In Los Angeles, two weeks before, all is calm. Dr. Gabriel Stanton takes his usual morning bike ride, drops off the dog with his ex-wife, and heads to the lab where he studies incurable prion diseases for the CDC. His first phone call is from a hospital resident who has an urgent case she thinks he needs to see. Meanwhile, Chel Manu, a Guatemalan American researcher at the Getty Museum, is interrupted by a desperate, unwelcome visitor from the black market antiquities trade who thrusts a duffel bag into her hands.
By the end of the day, Stanton, the foremost expert on some of the rarest infections in the world, is grappling with a patient whose every symptom confounds and terrifies him. And Chel, the brightest young star in the field of Maya studies, has possession of an illegal artifact that has miraculously survived the centuries intact: a priceless codex from a lost city of her ancestors.
The Fault in our Stars by John Green (Dutton Children's hardcover, 10 January 2012).
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
The Man on the Third Floor by Anne Bernays (The Permanent Press hardcover, 15 November 2012).
Walter Samson is a successful book editor in post World War Two New York. He has more than money, an interesting wife, Phyllis, two smart children and reason to believe he's leading the good American life. That is, until he meets Barry Rogers by chance. Barry is blue collar, handsome, single and poor.
Walter is instantly drawn to Barry and, despite the considerable risks, installs him in the Samson's three story house on the the Upper East Side, where the two men try to keep their amorous relationship secret.
Against a backdrop of McCarthy-era fear with its doleful consequences and with society's pervasive homophobia, Walter manages to alter the direction and course of his life, losing much, gaining more.
Looking for Przbylski by K.C. Frederick ( The Permanent Press hardcover, 15 October, 2012).
When Ziggy Czarnecki was big in Detroit, the Motor City was hot, and so was he, the numbers man in the neighborhood with even more juice than the monsignor. In the '50s he gave out tickets to Tigers games by the dozen, and even the mayor came to the famous parties at his place on Harsen's Island. But that was then and Ziggy, having long ago lost the numbers and wrecked a good part of his life in the process, is now sixty-five, and he's gotten used to keeping his head down as he makes his way through the desolate city that's his home. Which is why his reaction surprises him when he hears that Przybylski the undertaker who now lives in California may be the one who fingered him all those years ago and brought down the raids that led to his downfall: Ziggy feels a jolt from somewhere that convinces him he's got to go out there and find out if it's true.
An Unattended Death by Victoria Jenkins ( The Permanent Press hardcover, 15 October 2012).
On a hot August morning Anne Paris is found dead, her body floating in the slough at the bottom of her family's remote summer property on an island in Puget Sound, the apparent victim of a sailing accident. Irene Chavez, the lone female detective in a rural Washington State sheriff's department, is assigned to investigate the death of this privileged young psychiatrist.
As Irene gets to know Anne's family, their houseguests and neighbors, and Anne herself as the dead woman emerges in the accounts of the people who knew her, she comes to believe that it was not the boom of a sailboat that whacked Anne on the back of the head, but someone close to her.
Irene's own past loss and unrealized ambitions, along with her awareness of the distinctions of social strata, compromise her objectivity and professionalism as she attempts to maintain composure in the face of the opaque and entitled enclave of summer people. Working with unusual autonomy and urgency while her supervisor is on vacation, Irene resists the easy solution - and the family's wishes - to close the case as an accident, and persists in a homicide investigation.
Dead Anyway by Chris Knopf (The Permanent Press hardcover, 15 September 2012).
Imagine this: You have a nice life. You love your beautiful, successful wife. You're an easygoing guy working out of your comfortable Connecticut home. The world is an interesting, pleasant place.
Then in seconds it's all gone. You're still alive, but the world thinks you're dead. And now you have to decide. Make it official, or go after the evil that took it all away from you.
Arthur Cathcart, market researcher and occasional finder of missing persons, decides to live on and fight, by doing what he knows best - figuring things out, without revealing his status as a living breathing human being.
A Cup Full of Midnight (Jared McKean #2) by Jaden Terrell (The Permanent Press hardcover,
9 August 2012).
At thirty-six, private detective Jared mcKean is coming to terms with his unjust dismissal from the Nashville Murder Squad and an unwanted divorce from a woman he still loves. Jared is a natural horseman and horse rescuer whose son has Down Syndrome, whose best friend is dying of AIDS, and whose teenaged nephew, Josh, has fallen under the influence of a dangerous fringe of the Goth subculture. When the fringe group's leader - a mind-manipulating sociopath who considers himself a vampire - is found butchered and posed across a pentagram, Josh is the number one suspect. Jared will need all his skills as a private investigator and former homicide detective to match wits with the most terrifying killer he has ever seen. When he learns that Josh is next on the killer's list, Jared will risk his reputation, his family, and his life in a desperate attempt to save the boy he loves like a son.