New Books (July-August)

BlackRoad-02 Crop

Featuring: Margaret Atwood, Lauren Beukes, Rob Boffard, Jessie Burton, Nickolas Butler, Janie Chang, D. Nolan Clark, John Connolly, Jason Diamond, David Eggers, Clint Emerson, Joseph Finder, Amy S. Foster, Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, Max Gladstone, Lev Grossman, Joe Haldeman, Chris Holm, Humfrey Hunter, Joe Ide, Michael Koryta, Bracken MacLeod, Melina Marchetta, Seanan McGuire, Andy McNab, Liz Moore, Nicola Moriarty, Megan O’Keefe, Frank Owen, Tom Rosenstiel, Meg Rosoff, Roy Scranton, Gaie Sebold, Matthew Smith, Bruce Sterling, Peter Swanson, Adi Tantimedh, Mick Wall

Above artwork: Black Road #2 (crop), by Garry Brown (Image Comics)


Atwood-AngelCatbirdMargaret Atwood, ANGEL CATBIRD (Dark Horse Comics)

A young genetic engineer is accidentally mutated by his own experiment when his DNA is merged with that of a cat and an owl. What follows is a humorous, action-driven, pulp-inspired superhero adventure — with a lot of cat puns.

Yeah. This is easily one of the most anticipated books of the year. It also sounds kinda bonkers. So that’s good. Published by Dark Horse Comics on September 6th, 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


BeukesL-SlippingUSLauren Beukes, SLIPPING (Tachyon)

A Punk Lolita fighter-pilot rescues Tokyo from a marauding art installation. A young architect’s life is derailed by an inquisitive girl who happens to be a ghost. Unwitting recruits discover biohazardous plants on an inhospitable planet. Loyalty to a favorite product can be addictive when it gets under your skin.

In her edgy and satiric debut collection, award-winning South African author Lauren Beukes (The Shining Girls) never holds back. Ranging from Johannesburg to outer space, Beukes is a fierce and captivating presence in the literary landscape.

Always interested in reading new work by Lauren Beukes. This is an anthology of short fiction. Due to be published by Tachyon Publications in November 2016.

Also on CR: Reviews of The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters

Review copy received via Edelweiss


BoffardR-3-ImpactRob Boffard, IMPACT (Orbit)

A signal has been picked up from Earth.

The planet was supposed to be uninhabitable. But it seems there are survivors down there — with supplies, shelter and running water. Perhaps there could be a future for humanity on Earth after all.

Riley Hale will find out soon enough. She’s stuck on a spaceship with the group of terrorists that is planning to brave the planet’s atmosphere and crash-land on the surface.

But when the re-entry goes wrong, Riley ends up hundreds of miles from her companions Prakesh and Carver, alone in a barren wilderness. She’ll have to use everything she knows to survive. 

And all of them are about to find out that nothing on Earth is what it seems…

The final volume in Boffard’s fast-paced and entertaining Outer Earth trilogy! Published by Orbit in the UK (August 25th) and US (August 30th).

Also on CR: Interview with Rob Boffard; Guest Post on “What to do if you’re set adrift in Space?”; Review of Tracer; 64 Book Review Rap

Review copy received from publisher


BurtonJ-TheMuseJessie Burton, THE MUSE (Harper Collins)

July 1967, Mayfair, London — a painting left propped on the doorstep of the Skelton Gallery is discovered by Odelle Bastien, a Caribbean immigrant newly employed and in thrall with her enigmatic colleague, Marjorie Quick. The painting is rumoured to be the work of Isaac Robles, whose mysterious death at the burgeoning of his artistic powers has confounded the art world for decades. The excitement over the painting is only matched by the tension caused by the conflicting stories of its discovery. Odelle is unsure whom or what to believe as she finds herself drawn into a complex web of secrets and deceptions.

Thirty years earlier, as Spain is on the brink of civil war, Olive Schloss, the daughter of a Viennese Jewish art dealer, follows her parents to Arazuelo, a village in the south rife with unrest. It is here Olive meets Maria Teresita, the young housekeeper, and Maria’s half-brother Isaac Robles, newly returned from the Paris salons, his head full of revolution and dreams of being a painter as famous as Picasso. Both siblings are the illegitimate offspring of the local landowner and have nothing to lose when it comes to exploiting these new guests in their poverty-stricken town. They insinuate themselves into the family, helping to hide Olive’s own artistic talents while Isaac plays at both painting and revolution. The consequences are devastating and echo into the decades to come.

There has been much hype for Burton’s new novel. It sounds like it might be interesting. I also have The Miniaturist, which I still need to read. Published by Harper Collins.


ButlerN-HeartOfMenUSNickolas Butler, THE HEARTS OF MEN (Ecco)

Camp Chippewa, 1962. Nelson Doughty, age thirteen, social outcast and overachiever, is the Bugler, sounding the reveille proudly each morning. Yet this particular summer marks the beginning of an uncertain and tenuous friendship with a popular boy named Jonathan.

Over the years, Nelson, irrevocably scarred from the Vietnam War, becomes Scoutmaster of Camp Chippewa, while Jonathan marries, divorces, and turns his father’s business into a highly profitable company. And when something unthinkable happens at a camp get-together with Nelson as Scoutmaster and Jonathan’s teenage grandson and daughter-in-law as campers, the aftermath demonstrates the depths — and the limits — of Nelson’s selflessness and bravery.

The Hearts of Men is a sweeping, panoramic novel about the slippery definitions of good and evil, family and fidelity, the challenges and rewards of lifelong friendships, the bounds of morality — and redemption.

Nickolas Butler’s previous novel, Shotgun Lovesongs was quite the hit. As with so many books, I have it but have not yet read it. Now that I have his next novel — due to be published by Ecco on March 7th, 2017 — I feel like I should get my act together and get caught up. The novels aren’t part of a series, but March 17th is a long way away, so I’m not intending to read The Hearts of Men for a few weeks at least (probably months). Butler is also the author of the short story anthology Beneath the Bonfire.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


ChangJ-DragonSpringsRoadUSJanie Chang, DRAGON SPRINGS ROAD (William Morrow)

In early-twentieth-century Shanghai, an ancient imperial dynasty collapses, a new government struggles to life, and two girls — one a Eurasian orphan, the other a daughter of privilege — are bound together in a friendship that will be tested by duty, honour and love.

Abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate outside Shanghai, seven-year-old Jialing learns she is zazhong — Eurasian — and thus doomed to face a lifetime of contempt from both Chinese and Europeans. The Yang family, new owners of the estate, reluctantly take her in as a servant. As Jialing grows up, her only allies are Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the courtyard for more than 300 years. But when a young English girl appears and befriends the lonely orphan — and then mysteriously vanishes — Jialing’s life takes an unexpected turn and gives her hope of finding her long-lost mother.

Instead, Jialing finds herself drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves. Ultimately, she learns that for years Fox has been preparing her for a very different sort of fate… should she choose to accept it.

Thought this sounded interesting, so requested it. Due to be published by William Morrow on January 10th, 2017.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


ClarkDN-1-ForsakenSkiesD. Nolan Clark, FORSAKEN SKIES (Orbit)

Sometimes the few must stand against the many. 

From the dark, cold void came an unknown force. 

Their target a remote planet, the home for a group of people distancing themselves from mankind and pursuing a path of piety and peace. 

If they have any chance at survival a disparate group of pilots must come together to fight back any way they can.  

But the best these aces can do might not be good enough.

I hadn’t heard of this until I spotted it on NetGalley. Sounds like it could be an interesting sci-fi novel. (Interestingly, the copyright page says David Wellington is the author… Wonder why he chose a pen-name?) Forsaken Skies is due to be published by Orbit Books on September 6th, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley


ConnollyJ-CP14-ATimeOfTormentUSJohn Connolly, A TIME OF TORMENT (Atria)

Dangerous and driven private investigator Charlie Parker returns in the latest gripping thriller of internationally bestselling author John Connolly’s series, in which ungodly fears haunt a strange and isolated community.

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings, and in doing so destroyed himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.

But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death, but was saved; of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.

Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.

Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.

All in the name of the being they serve. All in the name of the Dead King.

The fourteenth novel in the Charlie Parker series. I really need to try these books… Published in the US by Atria, and in the UK by Hodder.

Review copy received via NetGalley


DiamondJ-SearchingForJohnHughesUSJason Diamond, SEARCHING FOR JOHN HUGHES (William Morrow)

For as long as Jason Diamond can remember, he’s been infatuated with John Hughes’ movies. From the outrageous, raunchy antics in National Lampoon’s Vacation to the teenage angst in The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink to the insanely clever and unforgettable Home Alone, Jason could not get enough of Hughes’ films. And so the seed was planted in his mind that it should fall to him to write a biography of his favorite filmmaker. It didn’t matter to Jason that he had no qualifications, training, background, platform, or direction. Thus went the years-long, delusional, earnest, and assiduous quest to reach his goal. But no book came out of these years, and no book will. What he did get was a story that fills the pages of this unconventional, hilarious memoir. 

In Searching for John Hughes, Jason tells how a Jewish kid from a broken home in a Chicago suburb — sometimes homeless, always restless — found comfort and connection in the likewise broken lives in the suburban Chicago of John Hughes’ oeuvre. He moved to New York to become a writer. He started to write a book he had no business writing. In the meantime, he brewed coffee and guarded cupcake cafes. All the while, he watched John Hughes movies religiously.

Though his original biography of Hughes has long since been abandoned, Jason has discovered he is a writer through and through. And the adversity of going for broke has now been transformed into wisdom. Or, at least, a really, really good story. 

In other words, this is a memoir of growing up. One part big dream, one part big failure, one part John Hughes movies, one part Chicago, and one part New York. It’s a story of what comes after the “Go for it!” part of the command to young creatives to pursue their dreams—no matter how absurd they might seem at first.

This sounds like it could be quite interesting. It could maybe also be a companion volume to Hadley Freeman’s Life Moves Pretty Fast. Published by William Morrow in North America, on November 29th, 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


EggersD-HeroesOfTheFrontierUSDave Eggers, HEROES OF THE FRONTIER (Knopf)

A captivating, often hilarious novel of family, loss, wilderness, and the curse of a violent America, this is a powerful examination of our contemporary life and a rousing story of adventure.

Josie and her children’s father have split up, she’s been sued by a former patient and lost her dental practice, and she’s grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée’s family, Josie makes a run for it, figuring Alaska is about as far as she can get without a passport. Josie and her kids, Paul and Ana, rent a rattling old RV named the Chateau, and at first their trip feels like a vacation: They see bears and bison, they eat hot dogs cooked on a bonfire, and they spend nights parked along icy cold rivers in dark forests. But as they drive, pushed north by the ubiquitous wildfires, Josie is chased by enemies both real and imagined, past mistakes pursuing her tiny family, even to the very edge of civilization.

A tremendous new novel from the best-selling author of The Circle, Heroes of the Frontier is the darkly comic story of a mother and her two young children on a journey through an Alaskan wilderness plagued by wildfires and a uniquely American madness.

I read and enjoyed The Circle some time ago, but never got around to reading anything else by Eggers. I did pick up a couple more of his novels, though. This one sounded interesting, so I decided to get it. Hopefully read it pretty soon. Out now, published by Knopf in North America, and Hamish Hamilton in the UK.

Also on CR: Review of The Circle


EmersonC-100DeadlySkillsUSClint Emerson, 100 DEADLY SKILLS: SURVIVAL EDITION (Touchstone)

The essential guide for surviving today’s emergencies — from navigating in the wild to staying alive in any disaster.

These 100 skills, adapted for civilians from actual field experiences of special forces operations, offer a complete hands-on and practical guide to help you survive in the wild no matter the climate or terrain; be prepared for any crisis; and have the critical life-saving knowledge for staying safe in any hostile environment or disaster.

Yesterday’s survival guide is no longer relevant. 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition is what you need for today’s world, combining survival hacks developed on the battlefield with the low-tech tools you have on hand. This book is your essential prep manual, from securing shelter, building fire, finding food, and navigating back to civilization no matter the environment to thinking like a special forces solider so that you can survive a hostage situation, an active shooter, a suicide bomber, or a terrorist threat on the subway, and even apply trauma medicine as a first responder.

Full of specific scenarios to help you get in the mindset of survival, 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition is better than a Swiss Army knife whether you’re lost at sea, forced to land a plane, fighting off a bear, or deciding whether to run, hide, or fight. Next to each skill are easy-to-grasp detailed illustrations, because when you need to survive the apocalypse, you don’t have time for complicated instructions.

This could be interesting. Due to be published by Touchstone in October 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


FinderJ-NH3-GuiltyMindsUSJoseph Finder, GUILTY MINDS (Dutton)

The chief justice of the Supreme Court is about to be defamed, his career destroyed, by a powerful gossip website that specializes in dirt on celebs and politicians. Their top reporter has written an exposé claiming that he had liaisons with an escort, a young woman prepared to tell the world her salacious tale. But the chief justice is not without allies and his greatest supporter is determined to stop the story in its tracks.

Nick Heller is a private spy — an intelligence operative based in Boston, hired by lawyers, politicians, and even foreign governments. A high-powered investigator with a penchant for doing things his own way, he’s called to Washington, DC, to help out in this delicate, potentially explosive situation.

Nick has just forty-eight hours to disprove the story about the chief justice. But when the call girl is found murdered, the case takes a dangerous turn, and Nick resolves to find the mastermind behind the conspiracy before anyone else falls victim to the maelstrom of political scandal and ruined reputations predicated upon one long-buried secret.

I read and enjoyed Finder’s Vanished, the first Nick Heller novel, quite some time ago. For some reason, I missed the release of the second novel, but now that the third is available, I’d like to get caught up. I’ve picked up the second (Buried Secrets) and bow this third novel, so should be able to read them ASAP. Published in the US by Dutton, and in the UK by Head of Zeus.

Also on CR: Review of The Vanished


FosterAS-Rift1-UprisingUSAmy S. Foster, THE RIFT UPRISING (Harper Voyager)

Normal seventeen-year-old girls go to high school, binge watch TV shows all weekend, and flirt with everyone on the face of the Earth. But Ryn Whitaker is trying to save it.

Ryn is a Citadel. A soldier. A liar. Ryn and her fellow Citadels were specially chosen and trained to guard a Rift — one of fourteen unpredictable tears in the fabric of the universe that serve as doorways to alternate Earths. Unbeknownst to her family, Ryn leaves for school each day and then reports for duty as an elite, cybernetically-altered soldier who can run faster, jump farther, and fight better than a Navy SEAL — which comes in handy when she’s not sure if axe-wielding Vikings or any number of other scared and often dangerous beings come through the Rift. A fine-tuned weapon, Ryn is a picture-perfect Citadel.

But that’s all about to change.

When a young man named Ezra is pulled through the Rift, Ryn finds herself immediately drawn to him, despite her training. What starts as a physical attraction quickly grows deeper, and Ezra’s curiosity throws Ryn off balance when he starts questioning the Rifts, the mysterious organization that oversees them, and the Citadels themselves — questions that lead Ryn to wonder if the lies she’s been telling her family are just the surface of a much bigger lie told to her. As Ryn and Ezra desperately try to get to that truth, they discover that each revelation blurs the line between the villains and the heroes even more. 

Apparently I requested this back in April, but I have no memory of doing so… It could be interesting, though, so I’ll give it a go sometimes soon. The first in a new series — from the synopsis, I’m guessing it’s aimed at the YA/crossover market. Published by Voyager on October 4th, 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


GaimanN-TrollBridgeNeil Gaiman, TROLL BRIDGE (Dark Horse Comics)

Young Jack’s world was full of ghosts and ghouls, but one monster — a ravenous and hideous troll — would haunt him long into manhood. As the beast sups upon a lifetime of Jack’s fear and regret, Jack must find the courage within himself to face the fiend once and for all!

Written by Neil Gaiman and adapted by Colleen Doran (who also did the art and cover), this sounds really interesting. Due to be published by Dark Horse Comics on September 21st, 2016.

Also on CR: Review of The View From the Cheap Seats

Review copy received via Edelweiss


GibsonW-N1-NeuromancerUK2016eWilliam Gibson, NEUROMANCER (Gollancz)

The Matrix is a world within the world, a global consensus — hallucination, the representation of every byte of data in cyberspace…

Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employees crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan. With a dead man riding shotgun and Molly, mirror-eyed street-samurai, to watch his back, Case embarks on an adventure that ups the ante on an entire genre of fiction. 

Hotwired to the leading edges of art and technology, NEUROMANCER ranks with 1984 and BRAVE NEW WORLD as one of the 20th century’s most potent visions of the future.

Ok, so I’m cheating slightly, here — I did not buy the Gollancz edition, but the Ace Books edition available in Canada. But, Gollancz just published the novel as an eBook in the UK (was it available previously? I have no idea), so I thought I’d flag it for readers of CR.


GladstoneM-C5-FourRoadsCrossMax Gladstone, FOUR ROADS CROSS (Tor)

The great city of Alt Coulumb is in crisis. The moon goddess Seril, long thought dead, is back — and the people of Alt Coulumb aren’t happy. Protests rock the city, and Kos Everburning’s creditors attempt a hostile takeover of the fire god’s church. Tara Abernathy, the god’s in-house Craftswoman, must defend the church against the world’s fiercest necromantic firm — and against her old classmate, a rising star in the Craftwork world.

As if that weren’t enough, Cat and Raz, supporting characters from Three Parts Dead, are back too, fighting monster pirates; skeleton kings drink frozen cocktails, defying several principles of anatomy; jails, hospitals, and temples are broken into and out of; choirs of flame sing over Alt Coulumb; demons pose significant problems; a farmers’ market proves more important to world affairs than seems likely; doctors of theology strike back; Monk-Technician Abelard performs several miracles; The Rats! play Walsh’s Place; and dragons give almost-helpful counsel.

Gladstone’s fifth Craft novel, all of which I now own. But… have still not got around to reading. Maybe the first one, Three Parts Dead, should be my “old” read of the month? Published by Tor Books.


Warp TP Mech.inddLev Grossman, WARP (St. Martin’s Press)

Twenty-something Hollis Kessler languishes in a hopelessly magician-less world (with the exception of a fleet-footed nymph named Xanthe) not too far from where he graduated college. His friends do, too. They sleep late, read too much, drink too much, talk too much, and work and earn and do way too little. But Hollis does have an obsession: there’s another world going on in his head, a world of excitement and danger and starships and romance, and it’s telling him that it’s time to stop dreaming and get serious.

This is a re-published version of Grossman’s debut, and contains some of the early ideas and kernels of ideas that would become the author’s superb Magicians series. I’m looking forward to giving this a read. Due to be published by St. Martin’s Press on September 20th, 2016.

Also on CR: Interview with Lev Grossman; Reviews of The MagiciansThe Magician King and The Magician’s Land

Review copy received via NetGalley


HaldemanJ-GuardianJoe Haldeman, GUARDIAN (Open Road Media)

During the Alaskan gold rush, a woman pursues a destiny that will change the world in this alternate-history novel from a sci-fi legend.

Sent from her Georgia home to Philadelphia to escape the carnage of the Civil War, Rosa Coleman studied astronomy and mathematics, ultimately settling into a new life as the wife of a wealthy man and mother of young Daniel. But when she discovers an unforgiveable secret about her reprobate husband, Rosa takes the boy and flees to the West on a desperate escape that takes them from Dodge City to San Francisco one step ahead of the Pinkertons hired to bring them back home.

On the run in a strange and exhilarating new world, Rosa and Daniel find a haven where they might never be found: the wilds of Alaska among the dreamers drawn to its magnificent wilderness by the promise of gold. It is here that her spiritual guide first appears to Rosa in the form of a raven — an incarnation of the trickster god of Native American and Eskimo lore — suggesting that her destiny lies not in sparkling riches but in something far greater. This mystical harbinger has come from a distant, alien place, and will set her on an astonishing course…


HaldemanJ-TheComingJoe Haldeman, THE COMING (Open Road Media)

A dystopian future Earth is thrown into fear and turmoil by the imminent arrival of extraterrestrials in this alien-contact classic from a sci-fi master.

With The Coming, multiple Hugo and Nebula Award–winning science fiction Grand Master Joe Haldeman ingeniously combines a troubling dark vision of a dystopian near-future with an alien first-encounter tale as thrilling and thought-provoking as Carl Sagan’s Contact and Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Despite technological advancements designed to alleviate the stress of everyday life, Earth at the midpoint of the twenty-first century is plagued by environmental crisis and manmade catastrophe. Tensions among the nations of Europe bring the threat of World War III closer by the hour as their lands are also ravaged by devastating climatic upheaval, the result of centuries of unchecked ozone depletion and global warming.

Meanwhile, in an America whose population has been sedated by DNA-specific drugs and virtual porn, homosexuality and free sexual expression have been outlawed by a repressive federal government led by an inept media-star president.

But everything changes on October 1, 2054, when Professor Aurora Bell, an astrophysicist at the University of Florida, picks up a message from deep space: “We’re coming…”

Two Haldeman classics, available in eBook at last. Really looking forward to reading them both. Hopefully soon. Both are published by Open Road Media on September 27th, 2016.

Review copies received via NetGalley


HolmC-H0-ApproachChris Holm, THE APPROACH (Mulholland)

When a strip-club mogul puts out a hit on a dancer who won’t give him off-the-clock attention, Hendricks takes a detour to Las Vegas to stop the job in its tracks. With tech genius Lester in his ear and a fake identity as cover, Hendricks has only one problem: he has no idea what the target looks like. Against the scorching heat of the city’s desert outskirts, a case of mistaken identity nearly turns fatal, but our principled hitman has a few tricks of his own up his sleeve.

I’ve let Holm’s Michael Hendricks novels slip me by, despite having them both (The Killing Kind and Red Right Hand), so with the release of this prequel novella, I really have no excuse to get started on the series. The novella is published by Mulholland Books.

Also on CR: Interview with Chris Holm (2012); Excerpt from The Wrong Goodbye

Review copy received from publisher


Storykiller.inddHumfrey Hunter, THE STORYKILLER (Silvertail)

Some secrets are worth killing for…

Jack Winter was once an idealistic and brilliant news reporter who broke the biggest stories around. But after wrongly blaming himself for a young girl’s murder he changed sides and became a crisis manager for the rich and powerful, protecting them from exactly the kind of journalist he used to be. 

Acutely aware of how he has betrayed his principles, Jack is ashamed of what he has become. But it is the only way he knows to make a living, so he continues covering up the sins of the wealthy and famous, and killing the stories his old friends want to publish.

But when a new client drags Jack into a lethal world of corruption and long-buried secrets, he finds himself wishing he could turn back the clock, because now he is fighting not just for headlines but his life.

This sounds like it could be pretty interesting. Published by Silvertail Books on September 29th, 2016.

Also on CR: Interview with Humfrey Hunter

Review copy received from publisher


IdeJ-IQUSJoe Ide, IQ (Mulholland)

A resident of one of LA’s toughest neighborhoods uses his blistering intellect to solve the crimes the LAPD ignores.

East Long Beach. The LAPD is barely keeping up with the neighborhood’s high crime rate. Murders go unsolved, lost children unrecovered. But someone from the neighborhood has taken it upon himself to help solve the cases the police can’t or won’t touch.

They call him IQ. He’s a loner and a high school dropout, his unassuming nature disguising a relentless determination and a fierce intelligence. He charges his clients whatever they can afford, which might be a set of tires or a homemade casserole. To get by, he’s forced to take on clients that can pay.

This time, it’s a rap mogul whose life is in danger. As Isaiah investigates, he encounters a vengeful ex-wife, a crew of notorious cutthroats, a monstrous attack dog, and a hit man who even other hit men say is a lunatic. The deeper Isaiah digs, the more far reaching and dangerous the case becomes.

This looks fantastic. I’ll be reading very soon (I’m very much in a thriller mood, as opposed to SFF at the moment). Published by Mulholland Books on October 18th, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley


KorytaM-MN2-RiseTheDarkUSMichael Koryta, RISE THE DARK (Little, Brown)

Mark Novak’s greatest mystery may be his own…

Rise the dark. These were the last words written in Lauren Novak’s notebook before she was murdered in a strange Florida village. They’ve never meant anything to the police or to her husband, investigator Markus Novak. Now the man he believes killed her is out of prison, and draws Markus to the place he’s avoided for so long: the lonely road where his wife was shot to death beneath the cypress trees and Spanish moss in a town called Cassadaga. 

In Red Lodge, Montana, a senseless act of vandalism shuts the lights off in the town where Sabrina Baldwin is still trying to adjust to a new home and mourning the loss of her brother, who was a high voltage linesman just like her husband, Jay. As the spring’s final snowstorm calls Jay deeper into the mountains, chasing the destruction on the electrical grid, Sabrina is abducted by Garland Webb, the man Markus Novak believes killed his wife. Drawing them all together is a messianic villain who understands that you can never outpace your past. You can only rise against the future.

This is the second Mark Novak novel, following Last Words (which I haven’t yet read). Published by Little, Brown in the US (out now), and Hodder in the UK (August 25th).

Review copy received via NetGalley


MacLeodB-StrandedBracken MacLeod, STRANDED (Tor Books)

Badly battered by an apocalyptic storm, the crew of the Arctic Promise find themselves in increasingly dire circumstances as they sail blindly into unfamiliar waters and an ominously thickening fog. Without functioning navigation or communication equipment, they are lost and completely alone. One by one, the men fall prey to a mysterious illness. Deckhand Noah Cabot is the only person unaffected by the strange force plaguing the ship and her crew, which does little to ease their growing distrust of him.

Dismissing Noah’s warnings of worsening conditions, the captain of the ship presses on until the sea freezes into ice and they can go no farther. When the men are ordered overboard in an attempt to break the ship free by hand, the fog clears, revealing a faint shape in the distance that may or may not be their destination. Noah leads the last of the able-bodied crew on a journey across the ice and into an uncertain future where they must fight for their lives against the elements, the ghosts of the past and, ultimately, themselves.

The synopsis and cover for this novel grabbed my attention from the first time I spotted it on Tor’s website. Ever since, I’ve been rather looking forward to it. Due to be published by Tor Books on October 4th, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley


MarchettaM-TellTheTruthShameTheDevilUSMelina Marchetta, TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL (Mulholland)

In the wake of a devastating bombing, a father risks everything to find out who was responsible.

When Bish Ortley, a suspended cop, receives word that a bus carrying his daughter has been bombed, he rushes to be by her side. A suspect has already been singled out: a 17-year-old girl who has since disappeared from the scene.

The press has now revealed that she is the youngest member of one of London’s most notorious families. Thirteen years earlier, her grandfather set off a suicide bomb in a grocery store, a bomb her mother confessed to building. Has the girl decided to follow in their footsteps?

To find her, Bish must earn the trust of her friends and family, including her infamous mother, now serving a life sentence in prison. But even as he delves into the deadly bus attack that claimed five lives, the ghosts of older crimes become impossible to ignore.

I don’t read many UK-based thrillers/crime novels, but I’d like to start reading more (I have become just a little bit homesick for the UK). Due to be published by Mulholland Books, on October 11th, 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley


McGuireS-DuskOrDarkOrDawnOrDaySeanan McGuire, DUSK OR DARK OR DAWN OR DAY (

When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.

But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

This sounds pretty interesting. Due to be published by on January 10th, 2017.

Review copy received from publisher


McNabA-StreetSoldierAndy McNab, STREET SOLDIER (Doubleday)

Sean Harker is good at two things: stealing cars and fighting. One earns him money, the other earns him respect from the gang that he calls family.

A police chase through the city streets is just another rite of passage for Sean… as is getting nicked. But a brutal event behind bars convinces him to take charge, and turn his life around.

Now he must put his street skills to the ultimate test: as a soldier in the British army. And the battlefield is London, where innocent people are being targeted by a new and terrifying enemy.

Undercover, under threat – only Sean Harker can save the streets from all-out war.

This is published by Doubleday Children’s. But, strangely, on the back of the book, there’s a graphic that reads, “Not Suitable for Younger Readers”… Odd. I’ve never read anything by Andy McNab, but I would like to. This novel looks like it would be a pretty easy, quick read. I’ll see if I can fit it into the schedule.

Review copy received from publisher


McNabA-DetonatorUKPBAndy McNab, DETONATOR (Corgi)

Betrayed and left for dead high in the Alps, Nick Stone is in trouble. The blood on his hands tells of a head wound he can’t see and his foggy memory confirms it. He knows only one thing for certain – someone, somewhere wants to kill him. And they think they’ve succeeded.

Stone wants revenge, but the only person who can help him is a seven year old boy. Not much protection in the pursuit of a gang of faceless men who trade in human misery. But this run-of-the-mill close protection task is about to become Stone’s most personal mission yet.

Payback is top of Stone’s agenda. The fuse has been ignited – but who really holds the detonator?

I really like that cover — puts me in mind of the Bourne movie series posters… This sounds pretty interesting (as many of McNab’s novels do). It is, however, the seventeenth novel in the author’s Nick Stone series. So, I wonder, is it ok to start here…? That being said, the first in the series — Remote Control — looks to be right in my biblio-wheelhouse, so maybe I’ll start there. Detonator is published in the UK on September 2nd, 2016, by Corgi.

Also on CR: Interview with Andy McNab

Review copy received from publisher


MooreL-UnseenWorldLiz Moore, THE UNSEEN WORLD (W.W. Norton)

The moving story of a daughter’s quest to discover the truth about her beloved father’s hidden past.

Ada Sibelius is raised by David, her brilliant, eccentric, socially inept single father, who directs a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston. Home-schooled, Ada accompanies David to work every day; by twelve, she is a painfully shy prodigy. The lab begins to gain acclaim at the same time that David’s mysterious history comes into question. When his mind begins to falter, leaving Ada virtually an orphan, she is taken in by one of David’s colleagues. Soon she embarks on a mission to uncover her father’s secrets: a process that carries her from childhood to adulthood. What Ada discovers on her journey into a virtual universe will keep the reader riveted until The Unseen World’s heart-stopping, fascinating conclusion.

This sounded pretty interesting. Published by W.W. Norton, it’s out now.


MoriartyN-FifthLetterNicola Moriarty, THE FIFTH LETTER (William Morrow)

A fun vacation game turns destructive, exposing dark secrets, deeply buried grudges, and a shocking betrayal…

Four friends…

Joni, Deb, Eden, and Trina have been best friends since high school, sharing a bond that has seen them through their teenage years and into adulthood. But now, time and circumstance is starting to pull them apart as careers, husbands, and babies get in the way. As their yearly vacation becomes less of a priority — at least for three of the women — how can Joni find a way to draw the four of them back together? 

Four secrets…

During a laughter and wine-filled night, the women dare one another to write anonymous letters, spilling their deepest, darkest secrets. But the fun game turns devastating, exposing cracks in their lives and the friendship they share. Each letter is a dark confession revealing shocking information. A troubled marriage? A substance abuse problem? A secret pregnancy? A heartbreaking diagnosis? 

Five letters…

Late on one of their last nights together, after the other three have gone to bed, Joni notices something in the fireplace — a burnt, crumpled, nearly destroyed, sheet of paper that holds the most shattering revelation of all. It is a fifth letter — a hate-filled rant that exposes a vicious, deeply hidden grudge that has festered for decades. But who wrote it? Which one of them has seethed with resentment all these years? What should Joni do? 

Best friends are supposed to keep your darkest secrets. But the revelations Joni, Deb, Eden and Trina have shared will ripple through their lives with unforeseen consequences… and things will never be the same.

Sounded like it might be interesting. Due to be published by William Morrow on January 24th, 2017.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


OKeefeM-SC2-BreakTheChainsMegan O’Keefe, BREAK THE CHAINS (Angry Robot)

A year has passed since Detan set the skies above Aransa on fire, and the armies of Aransa’s new dictator Thratia are preparing to knock on the door of his aunt’s city, Hond Steading…

As the city that produces the most selium – that precious gas that elevates airships and powers strange magic – Hond Steading is a jewel worth stealing. To shore up the city’s defenses, Detan promises his aunt that he’ll recover Nouli, the infamous engineer who built the century gates that protect the imperial capital of Valathea. But Nouli is imprisoned on the Remnant Isles, an impervious island prison run by the empire, and it’s Detan’s fault. 

Detan doesn’t dare approach Nouli himself, so his companions volunteer to get themselves locked up to make contact with Nouli and convince him to help. Now Detan has to break them all out of prison, and he’s going to need the help of a half-mad doppel to do it.

I have unfortunately not yet had a chance to read O’Keefe’s well-received debut, Steal the Sky. With the upcoming release of a second novel in the Scorched Continent series, though, I would like to rectify that. The series looks rather good. Break the Chains is due to be published by Angry Robot Books in October 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley


OwenF-SouthUKFrank Owen, SOUTH (Corvus)

The USA has been ravaged by Civil War. It’s thirty years since the first wind-borne viruses ended the war between North and South — and still they keep coming. Every wind brings a new and terrifying way to die. The few survivors live in constant fear, hiding from the wind — and from each other.

In this harsh Southern expanse, brothers Garrett and Dyce Jackson are on the run from brutal law-enforcers. They meet Vida, a lone traveller on a secret quest. Together, they will journey into the dark heart of a country riven by warfare and disease.

This is the story of Dyce and Vida.

This is the story of The Cure and how it came too late.

This is the story of South.

I was swayed not only by the interesting premise, but also by the endorsements from Sarah Lotz and Lauren Beukes. I’ll be reading South very soon. Published by Corvus in the UK


RiggsR-MPC1-MissPeregrinesHomeForPeculiarChildrenMovieRansom Riggs, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (Quirk)

When a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, he discovers the crumbling Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores the abandoned mansion, he wonders if the children who once lived here — including his own grandfather — were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow — impossible though it seems — they may still be alive.

This book completely passed me by, when it was first published in 2011. With the upcoming, Tim Burton-directed movie, though, I’m sure I’m not going to be the only new reader. It looks really interesting. Published by Quirk Books, this movie tie-in edition is out now.

Review copy received from publisher


RosenstielT-1-ShiningCityUSTom Rosenstiel, SHINING CITY (Ecco)

Peter Rena is a “fixer.” With his partner, Randi Brooks, he is hired by the powerful elite to make problems disappear. Whether it’s the Speaker of the House looking to get a scandal-ridden congresswoman to resign or the NFL calling about an out of control quarterback, Rena and Brooks have the skill, toughness, and discretion to get it done quickly and quietly.

They get their biggest job yet when the White House hires them to vet the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Judge Roland Madison is a legal giant — Dean of Stanford Law, district court judge, and now federal appellate judge — but he’s a political maverick, with views that might make the already tricky confirmation process that much more difficult. Rena and his team of investigators go full-bore to cover every inch of the judge’s past, all while the competing factions of Washington D.C. mobilize with frightening intensity: groups on the left and the right, ambitious senators, garrulous journalists, and wily power players of all stripes.

But none of that matters when a string of seemingly random killings overlaps with Rena’s investigation, putting Judge Madison right in the crosshairs. Racing against the clock to keep his nominee safe, the President satisfied, and the political wolves at bay, Rena learns that Washington’s obsession with power — how to get it and how to keep it — is a dangerous game.

Very much looking forward to reading this. Due to be published by Ecco on February 21st, 2017. (May read this very soon, but delay the review until closer to the release…)

Review copy received via Edelweiss


RosoffM-JonathanUnleashedUKMeg Rosoff, JONATHAN UNLEASHED (Bloomsbury)

Jonathan Trefoil’s boss is unhinged, his relationship baffling and his apartment just the wrong side of legal. His girlfriend wants to marry someone just like him – only richer and more organised with a different sense of humour.

On the plus side, his two flatmates are determined to fix his life – or possibly to destroy it altogether. It’s difficult to be certain as they only speak dog.

Poor Jonathan. He doesn’t remember life being this confusing back in the good old days before everyone expected him to act like a person. But one thing he knows for sure: if he can make it in New York City, he can make it anywhere.

Will he get out of advertising, meet the girl of his dreams and figure out the gender of his secret crush?

Given how it’s going so far, probably not.

I picked this up when it was a Kindle Daily Deal. It’s a quick read, and started off quite endearing and charming. Unfortunately, the second half of the novel went really off the rails. Full review soon. Out now, published by Bloomsbury in the UK, and Viking in the US.


ScrantonR-WarPornUSRoy Scranton, WAR PORN (pub)

“War porn,” n. Videos, images, and narratives featuring graphic violence, often brought back from combat zones, viewed voyeuristically or for emotional gratification. Such media are often presented and circulated without context,though they may be used as evidence of war crimes.

War porn is also, in Roy Scranton’s searing debut novel, a metaphor for the experience of war in the age of the War on Terror, the fracturing and fragmentation of perspective, time, and self that afflicts soldiers and civilians alike, and the global networks and face-to-face moments that suture our fragmented lives together. In War Porn three lives fit inside one another like nesting dolls: a restless young woman at an end-of-summer barbecue in Utah; an American soldier in occupied Baghdad; and Qasim al-Zabadi, an Iraqi math professor, who faces the US invasion of his country with fear, denial, and perseverance. As War Porn cuts from America to Iraq and back again, as home and hell merge, we come to see America through the eyes of the occupied, even as we see Qasim become a prisoner of the occupation. Through the looking glass of War Porn, Scranton reveals the fragile humanity that connects Americans and Iraqis, torturers and the tortured, victors and their victims.

I read a very good review of this novel by Tom A. Peter for New Republic, and I thought it sounded interesting, so I picked it up. Published by Soho Press, War Porn is out now.


SeboldG-2-SparrowFallingGaie Sebold, SPARROW FALLING (Solaris)

Master spy, former con-artist, Eveline Duchen returns in adventure set in a world of steam and magic.

Eveline Sparrow (formerly Duchen) hopes to put her past experiences as a thief and con-artist to more legitimate use; which is why some of the girls at her Sparrow School receive private lessons in burglary, fakery, and other such underhand practices.

But it’s hard to get honest work when few businesses will employ young ladies in the security professions. The duns are at the doorstep, her friend Liu the half-fox-spirit is in some sort of trouble, and the rivalries of the Folk are in danger of overspilling into the mundane world and forcing the Empire into a bloody and horrifying war. Can Eveline pull things out of the mire this time, or will the Sparrow’s wings be clipped once and for all?

This is the sequel to Shanghai Sparrow. This looks like an interesting series. I’ll try to get caught up ASAP. I enjoyed Sebold’s debut, Babylon Steel, so I don’t really know why I’ve been slow to get to her other novels… Out now, published by Solaris.

Also on CR: Interview with Gaie Sebold (2012); Review of Babylon Steel [A second, catch-up interview will go up later this week]

Review copy received from publisher


SmithM-JDY2-DownAndOutMatthew Smith, DOWN AND OUT (Abaddon)

Mega-City One, 2081, Joe Dredd’s second year on the streets as a full-eagle Judge. He’s got the experience, he’s done the sked-time, but no Judge is infallible – all it takes is one bad day, and all those years of training can disappear in the simple pulling of a trigger.

A routine arrest, an ambush, an explosion. The perp’s down, but Dredd is bleeding and burned, his Lawmaster is destroyed, and he’s in a bad part of town with no backup. For the first time in his career, he’s truly alone…

Judge Dread’s second year begins! I enjoyed one of the Year One stories, and have been meaning to read more of the series ever since (also the Judge Anderson fiction). I used to love the comics, and was a 2000AD subscriber for a few years. I’ll read this ASAP. Although, I may finish off the Year One omnibus, first. Published by Abaddon on September 16th, 2016.

Review copy received from publisher


SpiegelmanP-DrKnoxUKPeter Spiegelman, DR. KNOX (Quercus)

Dr Adam Knox returns from the war in Afghanistan a little rougher, a little wiser, and a lot more inclined to kick it to the ones at the top. The ones in charge.

He sets up a clinic in Los Angeles’s most notorious district, tending to the vagrant, the vulnerable and the victims of skid row. One night they’re beseeched by a Romanian woman who comes in with her son. Her bruises give away a story she’s too scared to tell; escaping from traffickers and forced prostitution to try to get her son back. He was kidnapped by his father — who happens to be heir to one of the most influential dynasties on the West Coast.

That same night, Knox is called upon for his private health service — cutting out a bullet from a businessman who was cutting himself a shady deal. Impressed by his ability to keep a secret, the impatient patient offers Knox a big tip for some extra work: helping him get revenge on the gangsters who shot him. Knox — and his clinic — need the cash.

Playing one team against another, Knox must keep his wits scalpel-sharp. If his diagnosis is on the money, he might be able to trick the gangsters, free the Romanian mother and put the ones at the top in their place for once.

This is a fantastic novel. Started it very soon after I got it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the best of the year, possibly. Due to be published by Quercus in the UK, on September 22nd, 2016; Dr Knox was published in July by Knopf in the US. I had a look to see what else was available by Spiegelman, and decided to pick up Thick As Thieves, too (I’ll read it very soon).

Review copy received via NetGalley


SterlingB-PirateUtopiaBruce Sterling, PIRATE UTOPIA (Tachyon)

Who are these bold rebels pillaging their European neighbors in the name of revolution? The Futurists! Utopian pirate-warriors of the tiny Regency of Carnaro, the unlikely scourge of the Adriatic Sea. Mortal enemies of communists, capitalists, and even fascists (to whom they are not entirely unsympathetic).

The ambitious Soldier-Citizens of Carnaro are lead by a brilliant and passionate coterie of the perhaps insane. Lorenzo Secondari, World War I veteran, engineering genius, and leader of Croatian raiders. Frau Piffer, Syndicalist manufacturer of torpedos at a factory run by and for women. The Ace of Hearts, a dashing Milanese aristocrat, spymaster, and tactical savant. And the Prophet, a seductive warrior-poet who leads via free love and military ruthlessness.

Fresh off of a worldwide demonstration of their might, can the Futurists engage the aid of sinister American traitors and establish world domination?

This sounds really interesting. Hopefully get to it soon. Published by Tachyon Publications in November 2016.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


SwansonP-HerEveryFearUSPeter Swanson, HER EVERY FEAR (William Morrow)

The danger isn’t all in your head…

Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life. 

But soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own — curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London. 

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves… until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment — and accidently learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? And what about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jetlagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself… So how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met? 

Yet the danger Kate imagines isn’t nearly as twisted and deadly as what’s about to happen. When her every fear becomes very real. 

And much, much closer than she thinks.

An author whose work I still need to read — despite now owning three of his novels, I keep forgetting to read them (damned eBooks…). This one sounds really interesting. Her Every Fear is published in North America by William Morrow, on January 10th, 2017.

Review copy received via Edelweiss


TantimedhA-RPI1-HerNightlyEmbraceUSAdi Tantimedh, HER NIGHTLY EMBRACE (Atria)

Ravi Chandra Singh is the last guy you’d expect to become a private detective. A failed religious scholar, he now works for Golden Sentinels, an upmarket London private investigations agency. His colleagues are a band of gleefully amoral and brilliant screw-ups: Ken and Clive, a pair of brutal ex-cops who are also a gay couple; Mark Chapman, a burned-out stoner hiding a great mind; Marcie Holder, a cheerful former publicist; Benjamin Lee, a techie prankster from South London; David Okri, an ambitious lawyer from a well-connected Nigerian immigrant family; and Olivia Wong, an upper-class Hong Kong financial analyst hiding her true skills as one of the most dangerous hackers in the world — all under the watchful eye of Roger Golden, wheeler-dealer extraordinaire, and his mysterious office manager, Cheryl Hughes.

Thrust into a world where the rich, famous, and powerful hire him to solve their problems and wash their dirty laundry, Ravi finds himself in over his head with increasingly gonzo and complex cases – and the recent visions that he’s been having of Hindu gods aren’t helping. As Ravi struggles to stay ahead of danger, he wonders if the things he’s seeing are a delusion – or if he might, in fact, be an unrecognized shaman of the modern world…

The first in a new trilogy “about a destructive private investigator and his eccentric coworkers, who handle cases so high-profile that they never make the headlines.” This sounds like it could be pretty interesting. It is also already being developed for TV, and is set to star Sendhil Ramamurthy (NBC’s Heroes and Heroes Reborn), which is cool. Published by Atria in November 2016.

Review copy received via NetGalley


WallM-FooFightersMick Wall, LEARNING TO FLY: FOO FIGHTERS (Orion)

Everyone from Sir Paul McCartney and Jimmy Page to Queens of the Stone Age now relishes the chance to share a stage with Dave Grohl and his legendary Foo Fighters. The question is: why? Musical depth? Not really. Major success? Well, yes. Despite no longer shifting albums in the same quantity as they did twenty years ago, this band can still fill stadiums the world over (when Dave’s not breaking his leg, of course).

Long before Kurt Cobain blew his brains out in 1994, Dave Grohl was planning for a life after Nirvana. The unflinching bright sunlight to Cobain’s permanent midnight darkness, Grohl had come from a similar broken home to his erstwhile band leader, but came out of the experience differently — brimming with positivity and a shrewd grasp of opportunities in the music industry.

Did Grohl merely take the sonic blueprint of Nirvana and embellish it with a more life-affirming pop sheen? Of course he did. Every band in America that sold over a million records in the post-grunge 90s did the same. The difference was that Grohl had real credibility. And he knew it.

With exclusive testimony from true insiders (including Krist Novoselic, Grohl’s bass-playing partner in Nirvana, ex-girlfirends, record company executives, tour photographers and confidantes), this book is an exploration of the real story behind Grohl and the Foo Fighters — the only serious literary biography of the group and its leader, one of the most famous and critically bulletproof rock figures of the 21st century.

I waited a long time to pick this up. It’s relatively short, so when it dropped in price (after paperback was released), I bought it for Kindle, and started it the next day. I… did not like it. For many reasons. Full review soon. Published by Orion in the UK.


2 thoughts on “New Books (July-August)

  1. Yeah, you should definitely read Three Parts Dead 🙂

    But you probably knew I would say that, as I recommended Gladstone in the first place.


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