New Books (January-February)

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Featuring: Howard Blum, Becky Chambers, Marika Cobbold, David Dalglish, Will Dean, Jennifer Fawcett, Lee Goldberg, Elizabeth Hand, Tom Hindle, Chris Holm, Adam Oyebanji, Robin Peguero, Maggie Shipstead, Peter Spiegelman, Anna Stephens, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Saeed Teebi, Lavie Tidhar, P. J. Tracy, Jing Tsu, Kimberly Unger, Ally Wilkes, Gabrielle Zevin, Ying Zhu

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Upcoming: A SECRET ABOUT A SECRET by Peter Spiegelman (Knopf)

SpiegelmanP-ASecretAboutASecretUSHCBack in 2016, I read an excellent crime/thriller novel: Dr. Knox by Peter Spiegelman. It was one of my favourite novels from that year, and it led me to hunt down his other novels, not all of which are readily available — I was able to find Thick As Thieves. Anyway, I’ve often found myself wondering what he’s been up to recently, and it turns out he’s been writing A Secret About A Secret (among other things, I’m sure).

A hypnotic mystery about a murder at a secluded research facility and the secrets that it exposes.

In a world not quite our own, a stranger arrives at a brooding manor on a remote coast.

Myles is an agent of Standard Division, the most feared element of a vast security apparatus, and he has come to Ondstrand House, the headquarters of biotech firm Ondstrand Biologic, to investigate a murder. Ondstrand Biologic is engaged in advanced genetic engineering, and Allegra Stans, one of the firm’s most gifted scientists, has been found dead on the premises — her neck broken.

As his investigation proceeds, Myles quickly discovers that gifted scientist is only one thread in the complicated fabric of Allegra’s life; there are darker strands as well — of ambition, manipulation, and bitter grievance — all woven in a web of secrets and motives for murder. And Allegra’s aren’t the only mysteries Myles finds himself unraveling. Her colleagues, lovers and former lovers — the very halls of Ondstrand House itself — have much to hide, and Myles eventually learns that even his own masters in Standard Division haven’t told him everything they know.

When another murder is discovered, Myles finds himself an increasingly unwelcome presence in an ever more hostile landscape.

Peter Spiegelman’s A Secret About A Secret is due to be published by Knopf in North America, on June 7th.

Also on CR: Review of Dr. Knox

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

Review: DR. KNOX by Peter Spiegelman (Knopf/Quercus)

spiegelmanp-drknoxusAn excellent LA-based thriller

Adam Knox comes from a long line of patrician Connecticut doctors — a line he broke to serve with an NGO in the war-torn Central African Republic. His attempt to protect his patients there from a brutal militia ended in disaster and disgrace, and now he runs a clinic near Los Angeles’s Skid Row, making ends meet by making house calls — cash only, no questions asked—on those too famous or too criminal to seek other medical care.

When a young boy is abandoned at his clinic, Knox is determined to find the boy’s family and save him from the not-so-tender mercies of the child welfare bureaucracy. But Knox’s search for the volatile woman who may or may not be the boy’s mother leads him and his friend, a former Special Forces operator, into a labyrinth of human traffickers, Russian mobsters, and corporate security thugs; and squarely into the sights of a powerful, secretive, and utterly ruthless family that threatens to destroy Dr. Knox and everything — and everyone — he holds dear.

I actually read this quite a while ago, but I kept forgetting to write the review. Dr. Knox is the first novel I read by Spiegelman, but it certainly won’t be the last. An idealistic protagonist, single-minded antagonists, organized crime and vulture business collide in this novel. Easily one of my favourite novels of the year. Continue reading

New Books (July-August)

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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) Continue reading