Connelly, Michael. Dark Sacred Night.

NY: Little, Brown, 2018.

Harry Bosch retired from the LAPD several books ago, but that doesn’t mean he will ever stop being who he is. He’s a born investigator and a visceral seeker after justice, and it’s just not something he can let go of. Since leaving his old job, he’s been working mostly on cold cases as a reserve officer for the tiny San Fernando PD out in the Valley, which supplies the professional challenge he needs in his life.

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French, Tana. The Witch Elm.

NY: Viking, 2018.

French has been writing highly-regarded fiction for a decade, and each of her six previous novels has been better than the one before. True to form, this seventh book is her best yet — but it’s also different, in that it’s a standalone and not part of her “Dublin Murder Squad” series, though it’s still set in Dublin.

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Waldrop, Howard. Them Bones.

NY: Berkeley, 1984.

Howard Waldrop has long been one of American science fiction’s most under-appreciated authors. I read this lovely novel shortly after it first appeared, and then I recently stumbled upon it at my favorite used-paperback shop, which made me realize I really needed to read it again. I shouldn’t have waited so long, either.

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Wells, Martha. Exit Strategy.

NY: Tor, 2018.

When I first began the series of four “Murderbot” novellas, I sort of thought they would be separate little adventures. Turns out it’s all a single story arc, so you can really think of them as a single 600-page novel published in four parts. And it’s definitely worth reading.

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Published in: on 2 January 2019 at 8:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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Neuvel, Sylvain. Sleeping Giants.

NY: Del Rey, 2016.

The advance information I saw on this book was a bit confusing. The reviews were good, but the blurb was basically, “A little girl accidentally discovers a giant, glowing, metal hand buried in South Dakota, and when she grows up, she becomes a physicist and is put in charge of studying it.” I had no idea what to make of that, but what the hell. Del Rey doesn’t often publish crap, right? Well, I’m writing this review on not too much sleep, because I stayed up much of the night to finish it. It was an absolutely absorbing story.

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Galbraith, Robert. Lethal White.

NY: Little Brown, 2018.

The very entertaining “Cormoran Strike” mystery series has put paid to any question that J. K. Rowling couldn’t write anything but fantasy for children. This fourth entry may be the best yet. The sheer complexity of the plot and the interaction of the characters also gives it a Dickensian flavor.

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Griffiths, Elly. The Outcast Dead.

NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.

This is the sixth in the series about Dr. Ruth Galloway, forensic archaeologist in the wilds of Norfolk, and the overarching theme this time is the peculiar social status of full-time childminders (what we call “day care” in the U.S.). Do parents who park their kids with a sitter all day harm them by doing so? Is a woman wrong to not be a full-time at-home mother?

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Castle, Jennifer. You Look Different in Real Life.

NY: Harper-Collins, 2013.

This is an unusual sort of YA novel and a very enjoyable one. Justine is a sixteen-year-old student in a small town in New York’s Hudson Valley, and back when she was six, she and four of her schoolmates — all of them rather different from each other, of course — were chosen to star in a sort-of documentary film about what typical kids go through in the process of growing up. That film won awards and made them semi-famous, and the couple who filmed and produced it decided to do a series of sequels, five years apart, until the kids reached adulthood.

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Published in: on 21 December 2018 at 7:09 am  Leave a Comment  
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Griffiths, Elly. A Dying Fall.

NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

This is the fifth book in the very entertaining mystery series featuring Ruth Galloway of Norfolk — an overweight and middle-aged forensic archaeologist, underpaid college professor, and single mother. She and her daughter, now almost two, live in an isolated cottage on the saltmarsh in Norfolk, but the story this time is set mostly in Lancashire, in and around the resort town of Blackpool, which is also the hometown of DCI Harry Nelson

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Published in: on 18 December 2018 at 9:40 am  Leave a Comment  
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Caletti, Deb. He’s Gone.

NY Random House, 2013.

The plot of this psychological thriller may remind you of Kimberly Belle’s The Marriage Lie, but Caletti does it better. Dani is a middle-aged Seattlite who shares an upscale, two-story houseboat with Ian, her second husband. (She had finally escaped her abusive first husband for him, and he had finally left his unmanageable first wife for her.) Ian is half-owner of a successful software company and the morning after a party to celebrate a new product release, he’s nowhere to be found.

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Published in: on 9 December 2018 at 5:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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