New Books: March #2


A few more thrillers this time around, most of which I bought – this has been part of a conscious decision on my part to read more non-SFF books. Mainly because I think I’m overdosing on those genres, and I feel like I’m missing out on authors I ordinarily would love to read.

Featuring: Zachary Brown, Kristi Charish, Harlan Coben, Eve Darrows, Lindsey Davis, Christopher Golden, Richard Kadrey, Robert Karjel, Paul S. Kemp, Shane Kuhn, Owen Laukkanen, Mike Lawson, Tim Lebbon, Scott McCloud, Keija Parssinen, Dan Simmons, Lachlan Smith, Sue Tingey

[GIF from Black Books – a fantastic, curmudgeonly UK TV comedy series. Recommended.]

BrownZ-1-DarksideWarZachary Brown, THE DARKSIDE WAR (Saga Press)

Aliens have conquered Earth, but they haven’t conquered humanity—yet. A young army conscript battles for survival in this action-packed futuristic thriller that will appeal to fans of Halo and Inglorious Bastards.

People used to wonder if we were alone in the universe. Well, we’re not. Not by a long shot. Aliens come in all shapes and sizes, and even the good guys are likely to haunt your nightmares. And oh, you’ll have nightmares, even after you leave the service. If you leave the service.

Devin is a reluctant conscript to an alien-run army: when the Accordance conquered Earth, they said it was to prepare against the incoming alien Conglomeration forces. But as Devin travels to the dark side of the moon for boot camp and better acquaints himself with his so-called allies, his loyalties are increasingly tested. Because the enemy of the enemy is not always a friend. Sometimes they’re a far, far worse threat.

Another of Saga Press’s first wave of releases, it sounds like pretty good sci-fi. Published by Saga Press earlier this month. The sequel, Titan’s Fall, is due out in November 2015.


CharishK-1-Owl&JapaneseCircusUSKristi Charish, OWL AND THE JAPANESE (Gallery)

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.

The title caught my attention, and then the synopsis made it sound kind of interesting. So I picked it up. I seem to do that a lot…


CobenH-TheStrangerUSHarlan Coben, THE STRANGER (Dutton)

A well-placed lie can help build a wonderful life – and a secret has the same explosive power to destroy it.

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.

This would only be my second read by Coben. The first one I tried, which was one of his earliest novels, didn’t click for me and as a result I never got around to reading anything else by him. This novel has received a fair bit of fanfare, though, and on a whim I decided to pick it up. I won’t be reading it imminently, but I do hope to get to it in the not-too-distant future.


DarrowsE-TheAwesomeEve Darrows, THE AWESOME (Ravenstone)

Seventeen-year-old Maggie Cunningham is tough, smart, and sassy. She’s also not like other girls her age, but then, who would be when the family business is monster hunting? Combat boots, ratty hooded sweatshirts, and hair worn short so nothing with claws can get a grip, Maggie’s concerns in life slant more toward survival than fashion or boys. Which presents a problem when Maggie’s mother informs Maggie that she can’t get her journeyman’s license for hunting until she loses her virginity. Something about virgin blood turning vampires into pointy rage monsters. Blood and gore and insides being on the outside and all that. 

Maggie’s battled ghosts and goblins and her fair share of house brownies, but finding herself a boy—fitting in with her peers—proves a much more daunting task than any monster hunt. Did you know normal girls don’t stuff their bras with holy water balloons? Nor do they carry wooden stakes in their waistbands. And they care about things like “matching” and “footwear.” Of course, they also can’t clean a gun blindfolded, shoot a crossbow, or exorcise ghosts from a house. Which means they’re lame and Maggie’s not. Because Maggie’s awesome. 

The Awesome, in fact.

Just ask her. She’d be more than happy to tell you.

After she finds herself a date.

This sounds rather interesting. Also, that cover is the stuff of psychedelic nightmares…

Review copy received from publisher


DavisL-DeadlyElectionUKLindsey Davis, TITLE (Hodder)

From the creator of Falco comes Falco: the new generation, featuring her unforgettable heroine Flavia Albia in her third novel.

In the blazing July heat of imperial Rome, Flavia Albia inspects a decomposing corpse. It has been discovered in lots to be auctioned by her family business, so she’s determined to identify the dead man and learn how he met his gruesome end.

The investigation will give her a chance to work with the magistrate, Manlius Faustus, the friend she sadly knows to be the last chaste man in Rome. But he’s got other concerns than her anonymous corpse. It’s election time and with democracy for sale at Domitian’s court, tension has come to a head. Faustus is acting as an agent for a ‘good husband and father’, whose traditional family values are being called into question. Even more disreputable are his rivals, whom Faustus wants Albia to discredit.

As Albia’s and Faustus’ professional and personal partnership deepens they have to accept that, for others, obsession can turn sour, and become a deadly strain that leads, tragically, to murder.

This is the start of a new series set in the author’s take on Rome. I believe…

Review copy received from publisher


GoldenC-TinMenUSChristopher Golden, TIN MEN (Ballantine)

Economies are collapsing, environmental disasters are widespread and war the backdrop to life.

And so the military has developed a force of elite soldiers to keep the peace. A force like nothing seen before … codenamed Tin Man, soldiers are virtually transported to inhabit robot frames in war-torn countries.

When PFC Danny Kelso starts his day shift in Syria, an eerie silence welcomes him and a patrol confirms the area is totally deserted. But when a rogue electromagnetic pulse throws everything into darkness, Danny’s conscious mind is trapped within his robot body. 

The attack turns out to have been global – the world is facing a return to the dark ages with no electricity, no technology … no safe zones. And the Tin Men face a race against time to save not only themselves but society as we know it.

I’m looking forward to reading this – I think I’ll be starting it very soon, as I am in the mood for something like this (I’ve been binge-watching a lot of action/military Sci-Fi movies for some reason). Tin Men is published in North America by Ballantine, and in the UK by Headline. (The synopsis above is from the UK edition, as the US edition’s back cover copy is very sparse…)

Review copy received via NetGalley


JohnsonD-2-DarkTouchUKDebbie Johnson, DARK TOUCH (Del Rey)

It’s not easy finding out you’re a Goddess.

For Lily McCain, the move from local music journalist to being the incarnation of Mabe, Mother of Mortals was a surprise to say the least.

Thrust into a game of gods and monsters, the rules of which she barely knows, one thing is clear: if you have power, someone will try to take it from you.

The sequel to Dark Vision, which I still haven’t had a chance to read.

Also on CR: Guest Post on “Fantasy: It Isn’t a Choice – It’s a Way of Life”

Review copy received from publisher


Kadrey-7-KillingPrettyUSRichard Kadrey, KILLING PRETTY (Voyager)

Sandman Slim investigates Death’s death in this hip, propulsive urban fantasy through a phantasmagoric LA rife with murder, mayhem, and magic.

James Stark has met his share of demons and angels, on earth and beyond. Now, he’s come face to face with the one entity few care to meet: Death.

Someone has tried to kill Death — ripping the heart right out of him — or rather the body he’s inhabiting. Death needs Sandman Slim’s help: he believes anyone who can beat Lucifer and the old gods at their own game is the only one who can solve his murder.

Stark follows a sordid trail deep into LA’s subterranean world, from vampire-infested nightclubs to talent agencies specializing in mad ghosts, from Weimar Republic mystical societies to sleazy supernatural underground fight and sex clubs. Along the way he meets a mysterious girl — distinguished by a pair of graveyard eyes — as badass as Slim: she happens to be the only person who ever outwitted Death. But escaping her demise has had dire consequences for the rest of the world . . . and a few others.

For years, Slim has been fighting cosmic forces bent on destroying Heaven, Hell, and Earth. This time, the battle is right here on the gritty streets of the City of Angels, where a very clever, very ballsy killer lies in wait.

The sixth book in Kadrey’s excellent Sandman Slim series. I’ll be reading this very soon, immediately after The Getaway GodKilling Pretty is published by Voyager Books on July 28th, 2015.

Also on CR: Reviews of Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, Aloha From Hell, Devil in the Dollhouse, Devil Said Bang, Kill City Blues

Review copy received via Edelweiss


KarjelR-TheSwedeUSRobert Karjel, THE SWEDE (Harper)

Ernst Grip of the Swedish security police has no idea why he’s been dispatched to a remote American military base in the Indian Ocean. Met by FBI agent Shauna Friedman, he learns that the U.S. wants him to determine whether a prisoner they’re holding is a Swedish citizen.

The detainee, known only as “N.,” is a suspect in an Islamist-inspired terror attack in the U.S. heartland. Tortured by the CIA, he refuses to talk. Yet all the evidence points to a cabal of survivors from the devastating 2004 tsunami that struck Thailand: a ruthless American arms dealer, a Czech hit man, a mysterious nurse from Kansas, a heartbreakingly naïve Pakistani—and a Swede.

But the prisoner is not the only one harboring dangerous secrets. Grip hides a double life that will lead him into terra incognita, and Friedman, too, is not who she appears to be. In a world ruled by fear, mistrust, and deadly betrayal, these unlikely partners must learn to trust one another if they hope to stay alive.

Drawing on his military and diplomatic experience, Robert Karjel explores the uneasy repercussions of 9/11, illuminating the moral compromises that people—and nations—make in the name of security and survival.

I’d not heard of The Swede before I saw it pop up on Edelweiss. I liked the idea of reading a novel from the perspective of a non-American, non-British protagonist in a post-9/11 world (I have no doubt there are many such novels, but this is the first one that stumbled into my view that has stood out – if you know of more, please do leave suggestions in the comment section, below). Published in North America by Harper, on July 7th, 2015.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


KempPS-SW-LordsOfTheSithPaul S. Kemp, STAR WARS: LORDS OF THE SITH (Del Rey/Lucasbooks)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice, Darth Vader, find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely on each other, the Force, and their own ruthlessness to prevail.

“It appears things are as you suspected, Lord Vader. We are indeed hunted.”

Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight, is just a memory. Darth Vader, newly anointed Sith Lord, is ascendant. The Emperor’s chosen apprentice has swiftly proven his loyalty to the dark side. Still, the history of the Sith Order is one of duplicity, betrayal, and acolytes violently usurping their Masters—and the truest measure of Vader’s allegiance has yet to be taken. Until now.

On Ryloth, a planet crucial to the growing Empire as a source of slave labor and the narcotic known as “spice,” an aggressive resistance movement has arisen, led by Cham Syndulla, an idealistic freedom fighter, and Isval, a vengeful former slave. But Emperor Palpatine means to control the embattled world and its precious resources—by political power or firepower—and he will be neither intimidated nor denied. Accompanied by his merciless disciple, Darth Vader, he sets out on a rare personal mission to ensure his will is done.

For Syndulla and Isval, it’s the opportunity to strike at the very heart of the ruthless dictatorship sweeping the galaxy. And for the Emperor and Darth Vader, Ryloth becomes more than just a matter of putting down an insurrection: When an ambush sends them crashing to the planet’s surface, where inhospitable terrain and an army of resistance fighters await them, they will find their relationship tested as never before. With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force, and each other to depend on, the two Sith must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries.

This is the second new post-A New Hope novel to be released since the announcement that everything already available was now redundant. I’ve enjoyed Kemp’s work in the past, so have high hopes for this one. I’ve been experiencing quite a long Star Wars slump recently, having not been able to get into anything in the past couple of years. Hopefully this and Kevin Hearne’s Heir to the Jedi will knock me back on track? Here’s hoping. Published by Del Rey/Lucasbooks on April 28th, 2015.

Review copy received via NetGalley


KuhnS-2-HostileTakeoverUSShane Kuhn, HOSTILE TAKEOVER (Simon & Schuster)

Professional assassin John Lago faces off against his deadliest adversary yet: his wife…

At the end of The Intern’s Handbook, John tracks down his nemesis Alice but instead of putting a bullet in her head, he puts a ring on her finger and marries her. Together, they execute a hostile takeover of Human Resources, Inc., the “placement agency” that trains young assassins to infiltrate corporations disguised as interns and knock off high profile targets. As HR’s former top operatives, they are successful until conflicting management styles cause an ugly breakup that locks John out of the bedroom and the boardroom.

But when Alice takes on a new HR target, John is forced to return to the office battlefield in a role he swore he would never play again: the intern. What starts out as a deadly showdown turns into the two of them fighting side by side to save HR, Inc.—and their marriage.

The sequel to The Intern’s Handbook, this series has a lot of promise. I’ve read the prequel novella, Casual Friday and, while it was fun I also found it a bit… well, I didn’t love it. It felt purely like fanboy escapist fantasy – which is fine (I am a fan of escapism just as much as everyone else), but I’d hoped for a little bit more. Hostile Takeover is due to be published by Simon & Schuster in July 2015 (which gives me enough time to get the first novel read before reading this).

Review copy received via Edelweiss


LaukkanenO-S&W4-StolenOnesUSOwen Laukkanen, THE STOLEN ONES (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

When you’ve got nothing left, you’ve got nothing left to lose.

Cass County, Minnesota: A sheriff’s deputy steps out of a diner on a rainy summer evening, and a few minutes later, he’s lying dead in the mud. When BCA agent Kirk Stevens arrives on the scene, he discovers local authorities have taken into custody a single suspect: A hysterical young woman found sitting by the body, holding the deputy’s own gun. She has no ID, speaks no English. A mystery woman.

The mystery only deepens from there, as Stevens and Carla Windermere, his partner in the new joint BCA–FBI violent crime task force, find themselves on the trail of a massive international kidnapping and prostitution operation. Before the two agents are done, they will have traveled over half the country, from Montana to New York, and come face-to-face not only with the most vicious man either of them has ever encountered — but two of the most courageous women.

They are sisters, stolen ones. But just because you’re a victim doesn’t mean you have to stay one.

This is the fourth Stevens & Windermere novel by Laukkanen. I picked up the first two a while ago (The Professionals and Criminal Enterprise), and the third, Kill Fee, more recently. I have finished The Professionals already (it was a very fun, quick read — review went up yesterday), and I intend to read the next three ASAP. I have a weakness for Minnesota-/Wisconsin-based thrillers, thanks to John Sandford. The Stolen Ones is out now in North America. The series is published by Corvus in the UK.

Speaking of the Corvus editions, at the time of writing, all four novels were very reasonably priced for Kindle: The ProfessionalsCriminal EnterpriseKill Fee and The Stolen Ones. (Together, they would only cost £6.76!)


LebbonT-TheSilenceUKTim Lebbon, THE SILENCE (Titan)

In the darkness of a underground cave system, blind creatures hunt by sound. Then there is light, there are voices, and they feed… Swarming from their prison, the creatures thrive and destroy. To scream, even to whisper, is to summon death. As the hordes lay waste to Europe, a girl watches to see if they will cross the sea. Deaf for many years, she knows how to live in silence; now, it is her family’s only chance of survival. To leave their home, to shun others, to find a remote haven where they can sit out the plague. But will it ever end? And what kind of world will be left? 

This sounds interesting. Don’t read much horror, but I feel I should start branching out a bit more in this genre.

Review copy received from publisher


LeveinD-SignatureKillUKDavid Levien, SIGNATURE KILL (Transworld)

He’s going to leave his mark on you

The gripping new Frank Behr novel from David Levien, author of City of the Sun. Perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and Chris Carter.

The serial killer:

He’s disturbed and dark. Very dark. For this man, killing is like a craving he just can’t satisfy. Death is his art and his victims simply his materials. But half the fun is in the planning, and this killer knows how to plan, and how to stay unseen.

The cop:

Frank Behr isn’t even a cop. He used to be a cop, but now he’s just a man, down on his luck, and tangled up in a whole lot of trouble. When he discovers a connection between a missing persons case and one of the serial killer’s victims, he is forced to go it alone to find the culprit.

The wrong side of evil:

This is a hunt that will push Behr to the limits of his skills, and the limits of his morals. Because as Behr is drawn further into this killer’s grotesque mind, he finds that the line between good and evil is more grey than he ever imagined.

This is the fourth Frank Behr thriller. It sounds pretty interesting, too, so I hope to read it in the near future. I’ll see if I can hunt down the first three novels, too – City of the SunWhere the Dead Lay and The Contract (UK)/Thirteen Million Dollar Pop (US).

Review copy received from publisher


LawsonM-JD09-HouseReckoningMike Lawson, HOUSE RECKONING (Atlantic)

When Joe DeMarco was a boy, he always knew his father, Gino, had a shadowy job, working for a violent mafioso in New York. But he didn’t know that his father had been a hit man until he was murdered. The crime was never solved, but twenty years later, one of Gino’s former mob associates wants to get something off his chest before retiring to his grave: the truth about Gino DeMarco’s killer. Only the alleged killer was not just another hood, but a supposedly upstanding citizen who is now on the brink of taking a job in Washington, D.C., that would leave him virtually untouchable.

If DeMarco has any hope of finding out the truth and avenging his father’s death, he will have to act quickly. But is revenge over a two-decades-old tragedy worth his job, and maybe even his life?

House Reckoning tells DeMarco’s personal story in full for the first time, from his upbringing in Queens to his complicated relationship with his father. Full of great characters and featuring a twisty plot that builds to a shocking conclusion, it is a must-read for fans and an excellent introduction to this fantastic series.

The ninth book in Lawson’s excellent Joe DeMarco series of political novels. I’ve read them all so far, and hope to get to this ASAP. House Reckoning is out now, published by Grove/Atlantic. The next book in the series, House Rivals, is due out in July 2015.

Also on CR: Interview with Mike Lawson; Reviews of Dead on Arrival/House Rules, House Secrets, House Justice, House Divided, House Blood


LewisJF-2-OathkeeperUSJ.F. Lewis, OATHKEEPER (Pyr)

Rae’en has taken her father’s place as First of the practically immortal Aern, a race created by the Eldrennai as warrior-slaves to defend them from the magic-resistant reptilian Zaur. Freed from all Oaths by Kholster’s death, Rae’en decides to wage war on the Eldrennai anyway out of rage and grief. 

The war between the Eldrennai and Zaur has begun. Bloodmane, leader of the now independent mystic-warsuits, has underestimated both the sheer numbers of the Zaur and their field leader General Tsan. As the warsuits  prepare to assist the Eldrennai  in the  defense of their Watch cities, the Zaur warlord, Xastix, launches the bulk of his forces at the Vael in an attempt to cut off all outside help.

Prince Rivvek, having been accepted as an Aiannai (Oathkeeper) before Kholster’s death must claim the Eldrennai throne by completing the Test of Four so that he can enact his plan to save as much of his kingdom as possible.  Meanwhile, his brother Prince Dolvek hatches a plot to enlist the aid of the plant-like Vael to defeat the Zaur horde who are in league with the decapitated head of a dethroned deity.

The sequel to Grudgebearer.

Review copy received from publisher


McCloudS-TheSculptorScott McCloud, THE SCULPTOR (First Second Books)

David Smith is giving his life for his art–literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn’t making it any easier!

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world’s greatest city. It’s about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work.

The latest graphic novel by McCloud, it took me a long time to find it in a store in Toronto. As soon as I did, I snapped it up. Published by First Second Books, it’s out now.


ParssinenK-UnravelingOfMercyLouisUSKeija Parssinen, THE UNRAVELING OF MERCY LOUIS (Harper)

A fatal discovery near the high school ignites a witch-hunt in a Southeast Texas refinery town, unearthing communal and family secrets that threaten the lives of the town’s girls.

In Port Sabine, the air is thick with oil, superstition reigns, and dreams hang on making a winning play. All eyes are on Mercy Louis, the star of the championship girls’ basketball team. Mercy seems destined for greatness, but the road out of town is riddled with obstacles. There is her grandmother, Evelia, a strict evangelical who has visions of an imminent Rapture and sees herself as the keeper of Mercy’s virtue. There are the cryptic letters from Charmaine, the mother who abandoned Mercy at birth. And then there’s Travis, the boy who shakes the foundation of her faith.

At the periphery of Mercy’s world floats team manager Illa Stark, a lonely wallflower whose days are spent caring for a depressed mother crippled in a refinery accident. Like the rest of the town, Illa is spellbound by Mercy’s beauty and talent, but a note discovered in Mercy’s gym locker reveals that her life may not be as perfect as it appears.

The last day of school brings the disturbing discovery, and as summer unfolds and the police investigate, every girl becomes a suspect. When Mercy collapses on the opening night of the season, Evelia prophesies that she is only the first to fall, and soon, other girls are afflicted by the mysterious condition, sending the town into a tailspin, and bringing Illa and Mercy together in an unexpected way.

Evocative and unsettling, The Unraveling of Mercy Louis charts the downfall of one town’s golden girl while exploring the brutality and anxieties of girlhood in America.

This sounded interesting. Published in North America by Harper.


SimmonsD-FifthHeartUSDan Simmons, THE FIFTH HEART (Little, Brown)

In 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams, wife of the esteemed historian Henry Adams–member of the Adams family that has given the United States two Presidents. Clover’s suicide appears to be more than it at first seemed; the suspected foul play may involve matters of national importance.

Holmes is currently on his Great Hiatus–his three-year absence after Reichenbach Falls during which time the people of London believe him to be deceased. Holmes has faked his own death because, through his powers of ratiocination, the great detective has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character.

This leads to serious complications for James–for if his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power — possibly named Moriarty — that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows?

This sounded great – I also picked up Simmons’s Darwin’s Blade and The Crook Factory. Published in both North America and the UK by Little, Brown.


SmithL-LM2-LionPlaysRoughLachlan Smith, LION PLAYS ROUGH (Mysterious Press/Grove/Atlantic)

Leo Maxwell always lived in the shadow of his older brother, Teddy, but is now an ambitious criminal defense attorney in his own right, practicing in Oakland. When a mysterious woman nearly runs Leo down, then asks him to defend her brother on a murder charge, Leo thinks he’s found the case that will make his name.

One problem: He hasn’t actually met the client. And after taking a series of photographs that seem to blow the lid on corruption in the police department, Leo quickly learns that all is not as it seems—beginning with the alluring woman who hired him. Leo’s “client” is actually represented by one of Oakland’s most renowned gangland lawyers. And Leo soon realizes that he has unwittingly made himself enemy number one within the criminal community as well as Oakland’s police department. Both sides want him silenced before he uncovers the full extent of a scandal that is poised to engulf the whole city.

As bodies pile up, Leo must decide what he will sacrifice in order to bring those responsible for the murders to justice. And the truth behind the corruption proves far more sinister than he could have ever suspected.

The sequel to Bear Is Broken, the novel is out now. The third novel in the series, Fox is Framed, is scheduled for release next month.


TingeyS-SC1-MarkedUKSue Tingey, MARKED (Jo Fletcher Books)

With no family and very few friends, Lucky’s psychic ability has always made her an outcast. The only person she can rely on is Kayla, the ghost girl who has been with her since she was born. 

But Kayla is not all that she appears. 

And when Lucky is visited by a demonic assassin with a message for her friend, she finds herself dragged into the Underlands – and the political fight for the daemon king’s throne. 

Lucky, trapped in the daemon world, is determined to find her way home… until she finds herself caught between the charms of the Guardian Jamie, the charismatic Daemon of Death Jinx – and the lure of finding out who she really is.

This sounds kind of interesting. I spotted the cover a long while ago, but it slipped from my mind again until it arrived in the mail. I think I’ll read this soon.

Review copy received from publisher



5 thoughts on “New Books: March #2

  1. I cannot WAIT to read The Fifth Heart. I have a hold on the audiobook at the library, there’s only 1 more person ahead of me! Simmons is great, seems to be a very versatile writer as I’ve seen him do sci-fi, historical fiction, horror and I’ve enjoyed all of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great! I’ve never actually read anything by him. I picked up The Abomination and The Terror, but never got around to reading them. After hearing about The Fifth Heart (probably the only new Sherlock Holmes novel I’m even remotely interested in reading), I started to look into his other stuff. Less interested in the SF, but I picked up two of his other thrillers at the same time as The Fifth Heart. So… much reading of Simmons in the future. 🙂


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