New in MysteryPeople: April 23rd 2013

Here’s your weekly dose of new releases. Get em’ while they’re hot!

The Hit by David Baldacci

Will Robie is a master of killing. A highly skilled assassin, Robie is the man the U.S. government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst-enemies of the state, monsters committed to harming untold numbers of innocent victims. No one else can match Robie’s talents as a hitman…no one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, equally professional and dangerous, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now, she’s gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency. To stop one of their own, the government looks again to Will Robie. His mission: bring in Reel, dead or alive. Only a killer can catch another killer, they tell him. But as Robie pursues Reel, he quickly finds that there is more to her betrayal than meets the eye. Her attacks on the agency conceal a larger threat, a threat that could send shockwaves through the U.S. government and around the world.
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Kaleidoscope by Gail Bowen

 A Globe and Mail bestseller in its first week, the thirteenth in Gail Bowen’s beloved Joanne Kilbourn mystery series is the best of them all: very bad things happen very close to home, and Joanne may never be quite the same again.

“Security for any one of us lies in greater abundance for all of us.” For many years, this was the core of Joanne’s political beliefs, but for a number of reasons, she has drifted away from it. But soon after she retires from her university teaching post, Joanne is forced to experience its truth. Two groups — developers with a vision for a revitalized neighbourhood on one side, protestors who fear gentrification will further marginalize their community on the other — are close to war and Joanne and Zack have loved ones on both sides. One night their house is blown up, and that is only the first of several terrible incidents that force Joanne to consider what it means to live in a world where she can count on nothing.

Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende

This contemporary coming-of-age story centers upon Maya Vidal, a remarkable teenager abandoned by her parents. Maya grew up in a rambling old house in Berkeley with her grandmother Nini, whose formidable strength helped her build a new life after emigrating from Chile in 1973 with a young son, and her grandfather Popo, a gentle African-American astronomer. When Popo dies, Maya goes off the rails. Along with a circle of girlfriends known as “the vampires,” she turns to drugs, alcohol, and petty crime–a downward spiral that eventually leads to Las Vegas and a dangerous underworld, with Maya caught between warring forces: a gang of assassins, the police, the FBI, and Interpol. Her one chance for survival is Nini, who helps her escape to a remote island off the coast of Chile. In the care of her grandmother’s old friend, Manuel Arias, and surrounded by strange new acquaintances, Maya begins to record her story in her notebook, as she tries to make sense of her past and unravel the mysteries of her family and her own life.

New Releases in MysteryPeople: April 16th 2013

BOOOOOOOKS! Come and get ’em! Some are new this week, and some are great recent releases that have just hit our shelves.

Pale Horses by Jassy Mackenzie (new this week)

Johannesburg, South Africa: At first, the case appears to be one of simple misadventure. Sonet Meintjies, a base jumper, falls to her death while attempting to parachute off a newly built sixty-five-story skyscraper. But Sonet’s jumping partner insists that this was no accident, and he hires private investigator Jade de Jong to uncover the truth.

Jade discovers that Sonet worked for a charity that helped impoverished communities become self-supporting farming units. When Jade travels out to the community farm in Limpopo, she finds it not just abandoned but razed to the ground. Digging deeper for answers about where the residents went, Jade learns about a fatal but unidentified disease that swept through the entire community. A deadly harvest has been gathered, and the person who knows the real truth about it has been forced to become collateral in its trade.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (speaking and signing at BookPeople on April 21st)

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can — will she?

Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original — this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.

Six Years by Harlan Coben

Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for…but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life—a time he has never gotten over—is turned completely inside out.

As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found, or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction. Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking page-turner that deftly explores the power of past love, and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.

New Releases in MysteryPeople: April 9th 2013

As always, great new books are hitting our shelves this week. Pick one (or three) up!

Heartbroken by Lisa Unger

Long after anyone expected Kate to do anything with her life, she did. Using the journals left behind by her aunt and grandmother, she wrote a novel based on a very real generation-old love story that ended in tragedy. On the other side of town, Emily is about to set fire to her life. She’s in a dead-end job and is involved with the wrong man; she can feel herself being drawn into darkness, with horrific consequences. With nowhere to go, she finds herself on the run.  Without knowing each other, and with lives that couldn’t be more different, Kate and Emily head to the same point on the map: Heart Island, an idyllic place in the middle of a lake in the Adirondacks, owned for generations by Birdie Burke’s family. The harsh and unyielding Birdie is at one with this island, which has a terrifying history all its own. She, too, has consequences to face. Heartbroken is a tense, mesmerizing novel about the limits of dysfunctional families, of an island haunted by dark memories and restless ghosts, and of the all-too-real demons we must battle.  Wonderfully suspenseful, exquisitely crafted, and written with raw, emotional power, this is Lisa Unger at her very best.

Let The Devil Sleep by John Verdon

The most decorated homicide detective in NYPD history, Dave Gurney is still trying to adjust to his life of quasi-retirement in upstate New York when a young woman who is producing a documentary on a notorious murder spree seeks his counsel.  Soon after, Gurney begins feeling threatened: a razor-sharp hunting arrow lands in his yard, and he narrowly escapes serious injury in a booby-trapped basement.  As things grow more bizarre, he finds himself reexamining the case of The Good Shepherd, which ten years before involved a series of roadside shootings and a rage-against-the-rich manifesto.  The killings ceased, and a cult of analysis grew up around the case with a consensus opinion that no one would dream of challenging  — no one, that is, but Dave Gurney.

Mocked even by some who’d been his supporters in previous investigations, Dave realizes that the killer is too clever to ever be found.  The only gambit that may make sense is also the most dangerous – to make himself a target and get the killer to come to him. To survive, Gurney must rely on three allies: his beloved wife Madeleine, impressively intuitive and a beacon of light in the gathering darkness; his de-facto investigative “partner” Jack Hardwick, always ready to spit in authority’s face but wily when it counts; and his son Kyle, who has come back into Gurney’s life with surprising force, love and loyalty.

Nine Days by Fred Hiatt

A fast-paced contemporary thriller in the vein of James Patterson and Anthony Horowitz set against the bustling backdrop of Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the border of China. This heart-pounding adventure takes place as two teens, an American teenage boy and his friend, a Chinese girl from his Washington, DC-area high school, must find her father who has been kidnapped—and they only have nine days. Although the characters in the novel are fictionalized, they are based on a real Chinese family who were part of the Chinese Democracy Movement and inspired this story.

New Releases in MysteryPeople: April 2nd 2013

Boom!

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

The school is on fire. Her children are inside. Grace runs toward the burning building, desperate to reach them. In the aftermath of the devastating fire which tears her family apart, Grace embarks on a mission to find the person responsible and protect her children from further harm.  This fire was not an accident, and her daughter Jenny may still be in grave danger. Grace is the only one who can discover the culprit, and she will do whatever it takes to save her family and find out who committed the crime that rocked their lives.  While unearthing truths about her life that may help her find answers, Grace learns more about everyone around her — and finds she has courage she never knew she possessed. Powerful and beautiful, with a riveting story and Lupton’s trademark elegant style that made Sister such a sweeping success, Afterwards explores the depths of a mother’s unswerving love.

The Song Dog by James McClure

The year is 1962. Young Lieutenant Tromp Kramer of the Trekkersburg Murder and Robbery Squad has been ordered up to Jafini, a small, dusty town in northern Zululand, to investigate the “hero’s death” of the town’s chief detective, Maaties Kritzinger—another Afrikaner maverick, and one with many secrets. Kramer finds himself increasingly identifying with the victim as the investigation proceeds. And then his path crosses that of Bantu Detective Sergeant Mickey Zondi, who is trying to locate a multiple killer whose summary execution will quiet the spirits of his ancestors. Despite the racial differences, the two men sense a kinship … one that might prove dangerous in rural South Africa in the year of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment.

Another Sun by Timothy Williams

The sun-drenched Caribbean island of Guadeloupe is technically part of France, subject to French law and loyal to the French Republic. But in 1980, the scars of colonialism are still fresh, and ethnic tensions and political unrest seethe just below the surface of everyday life.

French-Algerian judge Anne Marie Laveaud relocated to this beautiful Caribbean island confident that she could make it her new home. But her day-to-day life is rife with frustration. Now she is assigned a murder case in which she is sure the chief suspect, an elderly ex-con named Hégésippe Bray, is a political scapegoat. Her superiors are dismissive of her efforts to prove Bray innocent, and to add insult to injury, Bray himself won’t even speak to her because she’s a woman. But she won’t give up, and Anne Marie’s investigations lead her into a complex tangle of injustice, domestic terrorists, broken hearts, and maybe even voodoo.

New Releases in MysteryPeople: March 26th 2013

As always, here’s what’s new this week in MysteryPeople.

Last Call for the Living by Peter Ferris (paperback release)

For bank teller Charlie Colquitt it was another Saturday. For Hobe Hicklin, an ex-con with nothing to lose, it was another score. For Hobe’s drug-addled, sex-crazed girlfriend, it was more lust, violence, and drugs. But Hicklin’s first mistake was double-crossing his partners in the Aryan Brotherhood. His second was taking a hostage. He and Charlie could hide out for only so long before Hicklin’s past catches up to them. Hot on Hicklin’s trail are a pair of Brotherhood soldiers, ready to burn a path of murder and mayhem to get revenge. GBI Special Agent Sallie Crews and Sheriff Tommy Lang catch the case, and soon Crews is making some dangerous connections. For hard-drinking, despondent Lang, rescuing Charlie might be the key to personal salvation.

Frozen Solid by James Tabor

The South Pole’s Amundsen Scott Research Station is like an outpost on Mars.  Winter temperatures average 100 degrees below zero; week-long hurricane-force storms rage; for eight months at a time the station is shrouded in darkness. Under the stress, bodies suffer and minds twist. Panic, paranoia, and hostility prevail.  When a South Pole scientist dies mysteriously, CDC microbiologist Hallie Leland arrives to complete crucial research. Before she can begin, three more women inexplicably die. As failing communications and plunging temperatures cut the station off from the outside world, terror rises and tensions soar. Amidst it all, Hallie must crack the mystery of her predecessor’s death.

In Washington, D.C., government agency director Don Barnard and enigmatic operative Wil Bowman detect troubling signs of shadowy behavior at the South Pole and realize that Hallie is at the heart of it. Unless Barnard and Bowman can track down the mastermind, a horrifying act of global terror, launched from the station, will change the planet forever—and Hallie herself will be the unwitting instrument of destruction. As the Antarctic winter sweeps in, severing contact with the outside world, Hallie must trust no one, fear everyone, and fight to keep the frigid prison from becoming her frozen grave.

Death in Breslau by Marek Krajewski

Occupied Breslau, 1933: Two young women are found murdered on a train, scorpions writhing on their bodies, an indecipherable note in an apparently oriental language nearby …Police Inspector Eberhard Mock’s weekly assignation with two ladies of the night is interrupted as he is called to investigate. But uncovering the truth is no straightforward matter in Breslau. The city is in the grip of the Gestapo, and has become a place where spies are everywhere, corrupt ministers torture confessions from Jewish merchants, and Freemasons guard their secrets with blackmail and violence. And as Mock and his young assistant Herbert Anwaldt plunge into the city’s squalid underbelly the case takes on a dark twist of the occult when the mysterious note seems to indicate a ritual killing with roots in the Crusades …

The Bone Man by Wolf Haas

The wry and rueful Columbo of Austria investigates a grisly murder at a beloved restaurant where snooty Viennese gourmands go to eat … fried chicken. At a wildly popular chicken shack in the Austrian countryside, a gruesome discovery is made in the pile of chicken bones waiting to be fed into the basement grinder: human bones. But when former-police detective now private eye Simon Brenner shows up to investigate, the woman who hired him has disappeared …

Brenner likes chicken, though, so he stays, but finds no one will talk. And as he waits for the disappeared manager, there’s one ghastly find after another. Perhaps the most raucous book in the series, The Bone Man manages to make fun of institutions from high cuisine to soccer while nonetheless building relentless suspense based in all-too-real social issues. Smart, tense, and funny, the book makes clear why Carl Hiaasen called Wolf Haas “the real deal.”

New Releases in MysteryPeople: March 19th 2013

Books on books on books. Come to BookPeople and grab one of these great new titles!

The Leviathan Effect by James Lilliefors

Homeland Security Secretary Catherine Blaine receives a frightening communication from a hacker identified only by the pseudonym Janus. The message is the latest in a series correctly predicting natural disasters around the world—disasters that, Janus claims, were manufactured, not natural at all. And, according to the email, unless the United States does as Janus instructs, another disaster is coming—a Category 5 hurricane that will hit the Eastern Seaboard and destroy the lives of tens of millions of people.

Unaware of the crisis in Washington, investigative journalist Jon Mallory stumbles on a list of seven prominent scientists who have been murdered over the past dozen years. When the person who gave him the list disappears herself, Jon realizes he has unwittingly become part of a deadly chain of events and contacts his brother, private intelligence contractor Charles, for help. Meanwhile, Catherine Blaine has also come to Charles for help tracking down the hacker Janus and uncovering the frightening new weather technology that threatens the world.

The Fallen by Jassy Mackenzie

When P.I. Jade de Jong invites Superintendent David Patel on a scuba diving holiday in St. Lucia, she hopes the time away will rebuild their conflicted relationship. Jade’s dreams are soon shattered when David calls off their affair, forcing her into the arms of environmentalist Craig Niewoudt. But the next morning, romantic issues are put aside when a scuba diving instructor, Amanda Bolton, is found brutally stabbed to death.

Amanda is a most unlikely candidate for murder—a quiet and intelligent woman who until a few months ago pursued a high-powered career as an air traffic controller. She had few acquaintances and no lovers. The only loose end is a postcard in her room from Jo’burg-based Themba Msamaya, asking how she is doing “after 813 and The Fallen.” Jade and David put their differences aside and start the deadly hunt.

The Ionia Sanction by Gary Corby

Athens, 460 B.C.  Life’s tough for Nicolaos, the only investigating agent in ancient Athens.  His girlfriend’s left him and his boss wants to fire him.  But when an Athenian official is murdered, the brilliant statesman Pericles has no choice but to put Nico on the job.

The case takes Nico, in the company of a beautiful slave girl, to the land of Ionia within the Persian Empire.  The Persians will execute him on the spot if they think he’s a spy.  Beyond that, there are only a few minor problems: He’s being chased by brigands who are only waiting for the right price before they kill him. Somehow he has to placate his girlfriend, who is very angry about that slave girl. He must meet Themistocles, the military genius who saved Greece during the Persian Wars, and then  defected to the hated enemy. And to solve the crime, Nico must uncover a secret that could not only destroy Athens, but will force him to choose between love, and ambition, and his own life.

New Releases in MysteryPeople: March 12th 2013

Mystery book galore! Check out these great new titles.

The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg

When Sophie Brinkmann—nurse, widow, single mother—meets Hector Guzman, her life is uneventful.  She likes his quiet charm and easy smile; she likes the way he welcomes her into his family.  She quickly learns, though, that his smooth façade masks something much more sinister. Guzman is the head of a powerful international crime ring with a reach into drugs and weapons that extends from Europe to South America.  His interests are under siege by a ruthless German syndicate who will stop at nothing to stake their claim.  But the Guzmans are fighters and will go to war to protect what’s rightfully theirs.  The conflict quickly escalates to become a deadly turf war between the rival organizations that includes an itinerant arms dealer, a deeply disturbed detective, a vicious hit man, and a wily police chief.  Sophie, too, is unwittingly caught in the middle.  She must summon everything within her to navigate this intricate web of moral ambiguity, deadly obsession, and craven gamesmanship. The Andalucian Friend is a powerhouse of a novel—turbo-charged, action-packed, highly sophisticated, and epic in scope—and announces Alexander Söderberg as the most exciting new voice in thrillers in a generation.

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he’s grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, and snappers in his backyard. The critters, he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.  When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called Expedition Survival!, Wahoo figures he’ll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show’s inept and egotistical star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger foolishly believes his own PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo’s acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who’s sporting a shiner courtesy of her father and needs a place to hide out.  They’ve only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna’s dad shows up with a gun. . . It’s anyone’s guess who will actually survive Expedition Survival. . . .

The Paris Directive by Gerald Jay

In Berlin, two former French intelligence agents hire Klaus Reiner, a ruthlessly effective hit man, to eliminate an American industrialist vacationing in southwestern France. Reiner easily locates his target in the small village of Taziac, but the hit is compromised when three innocent people are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Enter Inspector Paul Mazarelle, formerly of Paris but now living in Taziac, charged with bringing his experience in the capital to bear on the gruesome quadruple homicide. Both Mazarelle’s investigation and Reiner’s assignment become complicated when Molly Reece, a New York City district attorney and daughter of two of the victims, arrives and begins asking questions. Though all evidence points to a local handyman, Mazarelle and Molly have their doubts, forcing Reiner to return to ensure they see things as he has arranged them—and that no one suspects the international political motives behind the murder.

The Quick Red Fox by John D. MacDonald

She’s the opposite of a damsel in distress: a famous movie star, very beautiful, very much in control of her life. She’s just made one little mistake and now she needs Travis McGee to set it right. The money is good and Travis’s funds are in need of replenishing. But that’s not the only reason he takes the case. There is the movie star’s assistant—efficient and reserved, with a sadness underneath that makes McGee feel he’d brave any danger to help her.

Sultry movie star Lysa Dean has gotten herself into a spot of blackmail, posing for naked photos while participating in a debauched party near Big Sur. If the pictures get out, Lysa’s engagement to her rich, strait laced fiancé doesn’t stand a chance. Enter Travis McGee, who’s agreed to put a stop to the extortion, working alongside Lysa’s assistant, Dana Holtzer. They begin by tracking down everyone associated with the lurid evening, and soon enough they’re led on a chase across the nation as murder after murder piles up. Further complicating matters, Travis and Dana’s relationship soon turns steamy. And just when he thinks he knows exactly where things are headed, one big twist shakes McGee’s life to the very foundation.

MysteryPeople Review: EVIL IN ALL ITS DISGUISES by Hilary Davidson

Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson

Review by Scott Montgomery

Evil In All Its Disguises has solidified Hilary Davidson’s Lily Moore as one of my favorite series heroines. Her books have all the trappings of an elegant thriller, that Davidson applies a gritty edge to, with the highs and lows of the locations she chooses, and the dark secrets her characters carry. What really keeps me reading is her engaging protagonist.

In Evil In All Its Disguises Lily’s job as a travel writer is the catalyst for the plot. Sent on a journey to Acapulco, a place that has a history with her favorite actress, Ava Gardner, Lily finds herself with fellow travel writers in a hotel that has seen better times. Davidson uses her own background in this field to delve into the different personalities in this occupation; providing much of the book’s humor. It does get serious however, when one of her colleagues, Skylar, disappears after she tells Lily she’s working on an expose’ that will bring someone in the travel industry down. As Lily looks into the disappearance, things become more dangerous, especially when her unscrupulous ex-boyfriend, Martin Sklar, becomes involved.

As with all her books, Davidson uses the setting as a supporting character. From its luxurious resort areas, to drug cartel run streets, Acapulco comes off live an aging once glamorous femme fatale who can turn on you at any time. She creates an interesting tension with the hotel that first serves as a sanctuary from the streets, but soon reveals as many creepy secrets; enough to rival Stephen King’s Overlook, as it soon turns into a prison.

When it comes down to it, it’s the character of Lily that makes the book an involving read. Davidson realizes that her fans know Lily has the ability to pull herself together and find strength in times of trouble, and she uses this to move the plot. What Lily is mainly confronted with are emotional wounds that haven’t fully healed. While the book can be read as a standalone, there will probably be more books featuring Lily in the future, it serves as the end of a trilogy for Lily by getting her to a certain point in her life. Davidson achieves this in a way both unexpected,  and yet in the only way the character could find that moment of grace.

Evil in All Its Disguises is a pairing of plot and character. It has all the the trappings of a Hitchcockian thriller, with the gritty tone and dark psychology to rival your tougher noir. But any way you look at her, Lily Moore is a character I root for and hope to see more of in the future.

 

New Releases in MysteryPeople: March 5th, 2013

More great mysteries are hitting our shelves this week. Check them out and take them home with you!

Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson

When travel writer Lily Moore joins a group of journalists for an all-expenses-paid press junket to Acapulco, she expects sun, sand, and margaritas. Instead, she finds that the Mexican city, once the playground of Hollywood stars, is a place of faded glamour and rising crime. Even the luxurious Hotel Cerón, isolated from the rest of the town, seems disturbing to her, with its grand, empty rooms, ever-watchful staff, and armed guards patrolling the grounds. Lily isn’t the only one who suspects something rotten under the hotel’s opulent facade. Skye McDermott, another journalist on the trip, asks Lily for help with an article she’s working on about fraud and corruption in the hotel industry. Skye claims she’s eager to write a piece of real journalism rather than the fluff she’s known for. But she also lets slip that she’s deeply upset at a lover who jilted her, and she plans to exact her revenge by exposing his company’s illegal activities.

After Skye disappears suddenly, Lily suspects that her friend is in grave danger. But the hotel’s staff insists that everything is fine and refuses to contact the police. Only after Lily tries—and fails—to leave the Hotel Cerón does she discover the truth: the journalists are prisoners in a gilded cage. Too late, Lily realizes that she has been maneuvered into the role of bait in a vicious, vengeful plot. Faced with unthinkable choices, Lily must summon all her strength to survive, confront the past she’s still running from, and save other lives.

*Hilary Davidson will be appearing at BookPeople Tuesday, March 26th.

Murder Below Montparnasse by Cara Black

When Aimée’s long-term partner and best friend Rene leaves their detective agency for a new job in Silicon Valley, Aimée knows she can handle the extra workload. At least, that what she tells herself. Repeatedly. But all bets are off when Yuri Volodya, a mysterious old Russian man, hires Aimée to protect a painting. By the time she gets to his Montparnasse atelier, the precious painting has already been stolen, leaving Aimée smelling a rat. The next day, Yuri is found tortured to death in his kitchen. To top it all off, it looks like Aimée isn’t the only one looking for the painting. Some very dangerous people are threatening her and her coworkers, and witnesses are dropping like flies. Now Aimée has to find the painting, stop her attackers, and figure out what her long-missing mother, who is on Interpol’s most wanted list, has to do with all this—fingers crossed she wasn’t Yuri’s murderer, despite clues pointing in that direction.

The Romanov Cross by Robert Masello

Nearly one hundred years ago, a desperate young woman crawled ashore on a desolate arctic island, carrying a terrible secret and a mysterious, emerald-encrusted cross. A century later, acts of man, nature, and history converge on that same forbidding shore with a power sufficient to shatter civilization as we know it. The Romanov Cross is at once an alternate take on one of history’s most profound mysteries, a love story as unlikely as it is inevitable, and a thriller of heart-stopping, supernatural suspense. With his signature blend of fascinating history and fantastic imagination, critically acclaimed author Robert Masello has once again crafted a terrifying story of past events coming back to haunt the present day . . . and of dark deeds aching to be unearthed.

Lehrter Station by David Downing (Book 5 in the John Russell historical thriller series)

Paris, November 1945. John Russell is walking home along the banks of the Seine on a cold and misty evening when Soviet agent Yevgeny Shchepkin falls into step alongside him. Shchepkin tells Russell that the American intelligence will soon be asking him to undertake some low grade espionage on their behalf—assessing the strains between different sections of the German Communist Party—and that Shchepkin’s own bosses in Moscow want him to accept the task and pass his findings on to them. He adds that refusal will put Russell’s livelihood and life at risk, but that once he has accepted it, he’ll find himself even further entangled in the Soviet net. It’s a lose-lose situation. Shchepkin admits that his own survival now depends on his ability to utilize Russell. The only way out for the two of them is to make a deal with the Americans. If they can come up with something the Americans want or need badly enough, then perhaps Russell will be forgiven for handing German atomic secrets over to Moscow and Shchepkin might be offered the sort of sanctuary that also safeguards the lives of his wife and daughter in Moscow. Every decision Russell makes now is a dangerous one.