- Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery
Around this time of the year, we like to look back on what has come out so far in the year as we think of suggestions for reading for the rest of the summer. Below, you’ll find recommended reads that deserve their due. In fact some are so good I had to combine a few, so my top ten is a top twelve.
I know, an obvious choice, but it is so obviously great. This epic look at today’s New York through police eyes has plot, character, and theme singing together in this opera of city corruption. You can find copies of The Force on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
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For the murderous month of May, get your adrenaline pumping with three new works in some of our favorite new and continuing series. Ace Atkins brings us his latest Spenser and Hawk tale, Steve Hamilton follows up his brilliant The Second Life of Nick Mason with another tale of hard bargains and harder choices, while David Swinson gives us the second installment in his new series following a drug-addicted, accidental hero.
Spenser and Hawk go into the deep South to to find a con man mixed up in real estate, right-wing politics, religion, and gunrunning. A fun tale with our classic heroes confronting modern villains in a story that feels ripped from the political headlines of the Trump era. Ace will be at Book People Friday, July 21st, to sign and discuss Little white Lies and his latest Quinn Colson book, The Fallen – keep an eye on our website for more information closer to the event. You can find copies of Little White Lies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Hamilton’s sequel to his extraordinary The Second Life Of Nick Mason, has Nick continuing his indentured servitude to imprisoned kingpin Darius Cole by going after the witnesses in Darius retrial that stands between him and freedom. Only catch is that they are all in Witness Protection. An action packed crime thriller with all the players making great chess moves against the other. Steve will be here at BookPeople signing Exit Strategy on Tuesday, May 23rd, at 12 PM. You can find copies of Exit Strategy on our shelves starting May 16th, or pre-order via bookpeople.com.
D.C. drug-addicted private eye Frank Marr gets a case that hits way too close to home when his cousin is murdered. To make matters works, Frank’s apartment is broken into, yet their purpose remains mysterious given their failure to steal his narcotics stash. The trail leads to some well executed reveals, pitting Frank against some tough adversaries as he tries to keep his addiction hidden. Crime Song is the second book in what is becoming a great, gritty series with a complex and utterly human hero. You can find copies of Crime Song on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
- Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery
What surprised me this year was the variety of genres in which new talented authors popped up – from hard boiled, to historical, to rural. I usually want authors to take their time, but I really hope to see a follow up from everybody on this list by the end of 2017.
A former D.C. cop turned private investigator and junkie inadvertently saves a girl while searching for a fix. Soon he is hired to find another girl who disappeared under similar circumstances. As the clock runs out, he battles the need for a fix, while trying find her. A streetwise and human PI novel. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
In 1840s New York, a young reporter, Walt Whitman, attempts to clear the name of a friend hung for a crime she didn’t commit. His search leads to a grave robbing ring, politics, religion, and Edgar Allen Poe. A ripping historical yarn yarn that fully uses time and place. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
Newly minted Atlanta police detective Sarah Alt (aka Salt) catches a cold case involving the death of a bluesman. Her investigation involves a point in her city where race, politics, religion, and art meet in this involving procedure that any fan of Michael Connell’s harry Bosch should respect. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
A farmer makes ends meet by tossing his criminal war buddy’s murder victims to his hogs. When he recognizes one of the bodies he goes to a dirty little town for answers. Newman takes the structure and tightness of a paperback crime story and uses it as a elegy for a dying Midwest. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
A rural noir why-dunnit using a Kentucky town at the beginning of the Oxycontin crisis. As the interim sheriff looks into who killed his predecessor and the woman who did finds everything closing in on her, we see the the moral rot of small town America. You can find copies on our shelves and via bookpeople.com.
- Interview by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery
In The Second Girl, author David Swinson introduces us to private detective and drug addict Frank Marr. While robbing a drug den for their stash he inadvertently rescues a young girl, making him a reluctant hero. He is soon asked to look for another abducted girl. His search tests his skills and will, challenged by his addiction. We reached out to Mr. Swinson to see if he’s take some questions from us.
MysteryPeople Scott: What drew you to a detective like Frank Marr?
David Swinson: As a retired police detective I am a man of rules and procedure. I’m not the guy you want to watch certain crime shows or movies with because if they don’t follow correct procedure it drives me nuts. On the other hand, as a crime writer having to be bound by all those rules can be a burden. Frank Marr freed me from all that. He still has somewhat of a police code so he doesn’t do anything so stupid it’s drive me crazy, but also he’s not bound by those rules so he breaks some of them. That’s what made it fun.
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Coleman gives us a new character, ex-cop Gus Murphy, in a mystery involving old school mobsters, questionable cops, and a confrontation with loss and despair. After this hard-boiled story with heart, I can’t wait to see where this wounded hero is going. Signed copies available!
One of the best crafted crime novels I’ve read in some time, featuring a small time hood whose early prison release has him forced to do the bidding of criminal kingpin. Everything Hamilton sets up with his sharp premise falls perfectly into place by the end.
A layered Hollywood thriller with the murder of a movie star tied to the woman found guilty for shooting his director buddy when she was a teenager. Gaylin dives into celebrity crime, tapping into dark social psychology.
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June gives us three distinct private eyes that both build on and subvert the fedora and .45 standard.
The Second Girl by David Swinson
A former DC police detective, turned PI, Frank Marr, busts into a drug den to feed his habit and discovers a kidnapped girl. Now a local hero, he is asked to locate an abducted child that could be linked to the previous one. Frank races against the clock while struggling with his addiction. Great for fans of Lehane and Pelecanos. The Second Girl comes out June 7th. Pre-order now!
Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley
A new case brings Easy Rawlins in the employ of his his buddy Mouse’s associate, who is behind bars. In order to get a physicist that works with the criminal cleared of a murder rap, he has to hit the streets of 1968 Compton, finding hard answers, a few bodies, and his own share of violence. Mosely delivers a complete world brought to life by his jazz style prose. Charcoal Joe comes out June 14th. Pre-order now!
Murder On The Quay by Cara Black
Black travels back to Parian PI Aimee LeDuc’s first case tied to the murder of three German soldiers during the occupation. Few explore Paris’ culture, politics, and society with the depth of Cara Black. Cara Black , joined by Lisa Sandlin, will be speaking and signing her latest on Thursday, June 23rd, at 7 PM.