Friday, December 30, 2016

Coming in February...

A debut thriller that will keep you guessing, a new, long-awaited book by Christina Baker Kline (The Orphan Train), the second book in Kelley Armstrong's new series about an off-the-grid town and so much more for the shortest month of the year!

What You Don’t Know by Joann Chaney
Seven years after a serial killer is caught, the detective who arrested him is working in cold cases, the journalist who told his story is selling cosmetics at the mall, and his wife is trying to hide in plain sight.  Then the murders begin again.  Is Jacky Severs manipulating someone on the outside from death row or does someone need to get Jacky’s crimes back in the spotlight in order to regain their life?  Told from three points of view along with an omniscient narrative observing the action from time to time, the unique structure of this novel helps propel the plot forward and keep tension high in this debut psychological thriller.

A Darkness Absolute by Kelley Armstrong 
Homicide detective Casey Duncan moved to the off-the-grid town of Rockton looking for safe haven from her past, but instead found murder.  Starting a new job in a new town, especially one as secretive as Rockton, is hard enough, but Casey has also started a relationship with her boss Dalton, the Sheriff of Rockton, who has his own set of secrets from his past.  As the winter comes to the Yukon, Casey finds herself, with Will, a sheriff’s deputy, searching for a runner in the woods outside of Rockton.  Stranded in a blizzard, they seek shelter in a cave system where they find a woman who disappeared from Rockton over a year ago and was presumed dead.  After Nicole is safely back in Rockton, Casey and Will find the bodies of two other women missing from Rockton in the cave system.  They still have a resident missing, are being stalked by a man in a snowmobile suit and need to find who is kidnapping the women of Rockton before another goes missing.  Not sure if it is a resident or someone from the groups of outliers who live in the woods and caves, further off the grid, if that is possible, than the residents of Rockton.  Once again, Casey and the people of Rockton pull readers into their world;  well-developed characters, a twisty plot and a strange setting will quickly pull readers into Casey’s world, wanting to stay as long as Rockton will have them. 

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline 
This vividly rendered novel, by the best-selling author of The Orphan Train, tells the story of Andrew Wyeth and his muse for the painting Christina's World, Christina Olson.  Christina lives in her family's legacy, a home off the coast of Maine and has a debilitating disease that leaves her unable to walk.   Stubbornly, sometimes to her detriment, Christina pulls herself through life and it is only through Wyeth's painting is she able to see how others see her and how she presents herself to others.  The deceptively simple prose imbues so much detail the reader is quickly transported to early 20th century Maine were the story of Christina, her ancestors and her legacy is revealed.

The Young Widower’s Handbook by Tom McAllister
Hunter Cady is almost thirty but in many ways feels as if he’s sometimes still in high school and is startled and amazed when he meets Kaitlyn who is not only smart, beautiful, and funny but also loves Hunter to distraction.  The two marry and are planning to start a family when the unthinkable happens: Kaitlyn dies unexpectedly, and to compound the tragedy, she dies of an ectopic pregnancy.  Hunter doesn’t have the skill set to handle this tragedy and cannot deal with Kaitlyn’s family who are still very attached to her and feel they have a claim on her ashes.  Hunter feels they are “his” and puts them in his car and sets off on a cross country trip without much of a plan.  Along the way he grieves, and grows up so that his return to home and rather jarring reentry into his world that has been turned around finds him better able to cope with Kaitlyn’s death and the new life he must forge for himself.

                                      The Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth 
Alice and her daughter Zoe have created a tight family unit, Zoe, who has a severe anxiety disorder, relying heavily on her mother for shelter and protection until Alice is diagnosed with an aggressive cancer.  With no family to speak of, her parents are dead, her brother and alcoholic, Zoe’s father never acknowledged, Alice does not know where to turn for help and for assistance in caring for fifteen-year-old Zoe during her treatment and possibly longer term if the inevitable and yet unthinkable occurs.  Alice, and in turn Zoe, find help from two unexpected women, neither of whom have been in Alice’s or Zoe’s lives before yet become the most important part of their present and possibly future.  As Alice and Zoe each come to their own terms with Alice’s disease and prognosis and with Zoe’s need to gain some confidence and coping skills for her own disorder, they form an unusual partnership with Kate and Sonja and in the process, Kate and Sonja face their own demons, revealing secrets that have the potential to change everything for everyone, not only in a good way, but perhaps in a negative way as well.  Filled with love, heart, and the willingness to go to the ends of the earth for those we love and hold dearest, there is not one character in this book left unchanged by the courage show by Alice and Zoe as they face the hardest thing they must ever learn to do: say goodbye all the while keeping faith that love will abide.

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan
As World War II comes to England, more and more young men are being called up, vanishing from the small villages, fighting in the war; Chilbury is no exception.  When the last of the men are called up, the Vicar declares the choir will be disbanded due to the lack of male voices; the women of the village band together declaring if ever there is a time for uplifting, spiritual music, the time is now, and form their own choir.  Told from the points of view of five choir members, through their letters and journals, a portrait of a village emerges, with romance, heartbreak, and all the foibles of human nature as a young girl pines for her childhood crush, her older sister becomes involved with a man who is not who he seems; a mother watches her friend bury a son and worries for her own son, and a mid-wife sees the chance to earn some illicit extra money, hoping that it will mend fences with her sister.  This debut will charm and warm the soul as endearing characters are introduced intrepid while they keep the home fires burning and hope alive.   

I See You by Clare Mackintosh
Commuting home on the London tubes one evening, Zoe is startled to see her face in a classified ad for a dating service called  Her live-in boyfriend Simon and her grown children Justin and Katie convince Zoe it is just a coincidence and only someone who looks like her.  Day after day, the advert changes and Zoe realizes the women in the pictures are victims of crimes ranging from petty theft to murder.  Finding someone to investigate is difficult, as when Zoe brings her concerns to the police they chalk it up to coincidence; Zoe chases down the advert’s purpose and finds a cop who will listen to her, but the closer Zoe gets to the truth, she realizes that the person behind this evil ad is closer to her than she realized.  This taut thriller has one surprise after another until at last, it seems all has been uncovered…or has it? A shocking last revelation will have readers turning back to see what clues were missed.

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