Here are the Adult Fiction department’s STAFF PICKS for best CRIME titles of 2010!

The Capitol Game

The Capitol Game
By Haig, Brian
2010-08 – Grand Central Publishing
0446195618 Check Our Catalog

“New York Times”-bestselling author Haig returns with a riveting new thriller about a man caught between the politics of big government and the corruption of big business. …More


Down to the Wire

Down to the Wire
By Rosenfelt, David
2010-03 – Minotaur Books
0312373945 Check Our Catalog

On the heels of his first standalone novel “Don’t Tell a Soul,” the acclaimed author of the Andy Carpenter mystery series returns with an explosive new thriller. …More


Faithful Place

Faithful Place
By French, Tana
2010-07 – Viking Books
0670021873 Check Our Catalog

Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was 19, growing up poor in Dublin’s inner city, and he and Rosie Daly were all ready to run away to London together. But on the night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie vanished. Twenty-two years later, Rosie’s suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not. …More


Fragile

Fragile
By Unger, Lisa
2010-08 – Shaye Areheart Books
0307393992 Check Our Catalog

A stunning new literary thriller from the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Beautiful Lies, Fragile” examines the small town secrets exposed with a teenager goes missing in circumstances similar to another young girl’s disappearance 20 years earlier. …More


The Good Son

The Good Son
By Gruber, Michael
2010-05 – Henry Holt & Company
0805091289 Check Our Catalog

“New York Times”-bestselling author Gruber delivers a taut, multilayered, riveting novel of suspense focused on peace activists who are being held hostage in Pakistan. …More


Innocent

Innocent
By Turow, Scott
2010-05 – Grand Central Publishing
0446562424 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

The sequel to the genre-defining, landmark bestseller “Presumed Innocent, Innocent” continues the story of Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto who are, 20 years later, pitted against each other in a riveting psychological match. …More


The Man from Beijing

The Man from Beijing
By Mankell, Henning
Translator Thompson, Laurie
2010-02 – Knopf Publishing Group
0307271862 Check Our Catalog

The acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries gives listeners an electrifying thriller that takes off into a sweeping international drama. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjovallen, 19 people have been massacred–and the only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene. …More


Never Look Away

Never Look Away
By Barclay, Linwood
2010-03 – Delacorte Press
055380717X Check Our Catalog

In this tense, mesmerizing thriller by the critically acclaimed author of “Fear the Worst” and “Too Close to Home,” a man’s life unravels around him when the unthinkable strikes. …More


Our Kind of Traitor

Our Kind of Traitor
By Le Carre, John
2010-10 – Viking Books
0670022241 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

The unrivaled master of spy fiction returns with a taut and suspenseful novel of dirty money and dirtier politics. Perry and Gail are idealistic and very much in love when they splurge on a tennis vacation at a posh beach resort in Antigua. But the charm begins to pall when a big-time Russian money launderer enlists their help to defect. …More


Secrets of Eden

Secrets of Eden
By Bohjalian, Chris A.
2010-02 – Shaye Areheart Books
0307394972 Check Our Catalog

From the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “Midwives” and “The Double Bind” comes a novel of shattered family ties, intimate secrets, and the nature of sacrifice. Few writers can manipulate a plot with Bohjalian’s grace and power.–”New York Times Book Review.” …More


The Third Rail

The Third Rail
By Harvey, Michael
2010-04 – Knopf Publishing Group
0307272508 Check Our Catalog
BookPage Notable Title

The ferocious new novel from the author of “The Chicago Way” and “The Fifth Floor” finds Harvey at the top of his game in an expertly plotted, impossible-to-put-down thriller, set in Chicago’s public transit system. …More


This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel

This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel
By George, Elizabeth
2010-04 – Harper
0061160881 Check Our Catalog

Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley is on compassionate leave after the murder of his wife. But when the body of a woman is found in an isolated London cemetery, he is prevailed upon to come back to work. Soon Lynley and his former partner, Barbara Havers, find that the roots of the crime trace to a long-ago act of violence. …More

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Frank Mackey left Faithful Place, a low income Dublin neighborhood, when he was nineteen. He had planned to run away to London with Rosie Daly on that winter night but Rosie didn’t show. Rosie was never seen again. Twenty-two years later Rosie’s suitcase is found in a fireplace in a demolished row house. Frank is a detective on the Dublin police force and is determined to solve the puzzle of what happened to Rosie.
Faithful Place is not picture perfect Ireland. It is grim, Frank’s father is a nasty wife beating alcoholic and Frank’s brothers and sisters are highly dysfunctional. The neighbors generally distain the Mackey family and distrust of the police is high. How Frank comes to terms with his past and his intense love for Rosie in the solution of the crime creates great pacing and character development. The steadfastness of Frank supports the structure of the novel. The novel’s strength lies not only in the suspense but in French’s forceful examination of family dynamics in contemporary Ireland.
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A light, fun mystery set in the South of England near Brighton. I am tempted to call this one a COZY mystery (meaning violence are downplayed or treated humorously with a light, refreshing take) but sometimes, that scares people off so I will not call it that. But, it really is a cozy. But, please do not be scared off. This is a fun, highly entertaining mystery that you will miss if you avoid anything “cozy.” The two main characters, Carole and Jude, are spunky middle-aged ladies who relish a good chance to sink their teeth into a good crime story. Carole and Jude are Brett’s continuing characters in his Fethering series…this book is the tenth in the series. Here, Carole and Jude set about trying to prove the innocence of a friend, the owner of a local pub where a murder is committed. The pub, before the murder, had been targeted with some other unsavory offenses (a poisoning (explains the title of the book) and an influx of biker-type clientele that was scaring away the other regular customers. So, Carole and Jude set about proving that the pub had been targeted specifically for some reason and the murder is a result of that harassment. Brett, most famously known for his famed Mrs. Pargeter mystery series, seems to enjoy writing Carole and Jude. The two amateur sleuths are enormously fun to read and Brett’s easy-going writing style makes this a top-notch mystery, filled with humor and dry wit. Do yourself a favor and ignore the “cozyness” of it and read it just for fun. You will not regret it!

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It isn’t easy being the new kid in the school, or in the house. Sophomore Lucy Norton is left in her new home with her stepmother and her evil twin stepsisters by Lucy’s bi-coastal working father. Feeling ostracized in the house and isolated in her new high school, she takes refuge in her art class. Inspired by an older classmate Sam’s painting, she thinks he’s a jerk in person, but her opinion changes after he invites her to a show at an art gallery. Lucy finds herself struggling to find her identity and place in the world when she has an assignment to create a self portrait. But when a basketball game comment in the cafeteria attracts the attention of Connor, the star of the varsity team, Lucy suddenly rises in social status. She gets a date and some new girlfriends who are plugged into the school’s gossip feed. Will she remain the art aficionado or become part of the “in” basketball crowd? Is Connor really her prince?

Melissa Kantor’s If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? provides her independent narrator heroine with the wit and sarcasm to have the reader identify with her. She allows Lucy to show us the humor in her uncomfortable home and school life – “It’s so Brothers Grimm.” As she tries to maintain her bond with her dad, she feels that her stepmother is changing everything.

This is a good account of a created family trying to adjust to their new life together. It is a charming story of a contemporary teen dealing with the change and uncertainty that being in a new environment can bring. This book shows that having different and creative talents can be a beneficial and positive experience. Kantor does a great job at updating the Cinderella fairy tale. A fine frothy read for young adults and a fun read for adults too.

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Immersing yourself within the covers of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet is a literary treat. The readers on the audio CD are also very good in their presentation of David Mitchell’s writing expertise. Sometimes the accents do not sound realistic but for the most part it is an enjoyable listening experience.

A mix of historical fiction, suspense, political intrigue, and a touching love story, this novel begins in 1799 in Diejima in Nagasaki Harbor, the farthest outpost of the Dutch East Indies Company. Jacob De Zoet arrives as the new clerk in hopes of earning a fortune so he can wed his wealthy fiancée back in Holland. Japan is a closed country for foreigners and the Dutch are their sole trading partners. In the opening chapters it takes a while to engage and understand the action and characters since the scenes jump around but soon one figures it out. After finishing the novel I was amazed by the quality of its construction. The themes, the action, the setting and the characterization all mesh in a seamless story.

Obviously well researched, the book flows beautifully with countless poetic passages, dialogue with subtle humor, and suspenseful scenes that appeal to both female and male readers. What I found particularly beautiful was the portrayal of men acting honorably amid corruption, greed, lust, and deception. With wondrous writing, Mitchell exposes the love between fathers and sons, respect for women and what it means to be a man.

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This is the one everyone is talking about. I usually stay away from uber-popular titles like the plague, but this was too popular to pass up. And, I believe, it deserves most, if not all, of the hype. But, be warned, it starts slow and ends kind of slow but in-between are some of the most compelling, can’t-put-it-down-in-the-middle-of-the-night fair. Like I said, at the start, I was pretty bored. But, once it kicks in (when you find out the essence of the “thriller” part of the story), I was hooked. The “thriller” part (which takes up most of the book, so don’t worry) involves a disgraced journalist who is asked by the head of a influential Swedish family to write his memoirs and also, in the process, find out what happened to his niece who went missing over 40 years ago. Be warned…this one is pretty dang gory and graphic in parts. Author Stieg Larsson doesn’t hold anything back when he describes a crime scene. And, I like that…it’s honest. Deliberate when it needs to be and riveting always, Larsson (who passed away after he submitted the final book in this trilogy to his publisher) deserves all of the credit he’s getting. Too bad he’s not here to enjoy it!

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Voting is open for the annual Teens Top Ten books!  Visit our website to see the list of nominations.  Teens can vote online and also at the library.  Visit the Ref or AV desks to vote and get free candy!

Voting will take place now through September 17.  The winners will announced during Teen Read Week (October 17-24).  All 26 nominations were chosen by teen reading groups across the country.

For more information about the Teens Top Ten, visit the official website.

Teens who vote at the library get free candy!

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Our summer reading club is almost over.  There’s just one week left to turn in your reading logs.  Friday, August 27 will be the last day.  Register and turn in your completed logs by 5:00pm that day to be eligible for prizes!

Our grand prize this year is an iPod Touch.  We’re also giving away two Sansa Clip+ mp3 players.  All of these devices are compatible with our downloadable audiobooks.

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