Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or Subscribe
The Lost Key

Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison. Putnam, $26.95 (464p) ISBN 978-0-399-16476-7

Coulter and Ellison's suspenseful sequel to 2013's The Final Cut finds Nicholas Drummond, once a New Scotland Yard star, now an FBI agent based in New York City. On his first day on the job for the FBI, Nicholas and his partner, Mike Caine, investigate a fatal stabbing in downtown Manhattan. The victim, Jonathan Pearce, was an antiquarian who owned extremely valuable books that he refused to sell. He was also a military historian—but that doesn't adequately explain his possession of classified intelligence material. The victim's beguiling daughter, Sophie Pearce, is a translator at the U.N., and Nicholas wonders if her professional ties might have something to do with papa's murder. Meanwhile, Britain's chancellor of the Exchequer, Alfie Stanford, drops dead. Can this be a coincidence? The authors' sophisticated third-person narration smoothly propels the action to the exciting climax. Readers may want to see a little more of the charming Mike Caine in the next installment. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Black Hat Jack

Joe R. Lansdale. Subterranean (www.subterraneanpress.com), $25 (128p) ISBN 978-1-59606-677-9

Based on a true story, this novella-length Western from Lansdale (The Thicket) offers a potent concoction of witty repartee and a rousing battle. Black Hat Jack and Nat, who goes by Deadwood Dick, make an unlikely pair. Although the former is white and the latter black, the difference in their skin color matters little to them as they ride into Adobe Walls, Tex., after discovering a man killed by Comanche Indians. Soon violence breaks out as the Indians attack the town. While their ammunition may run low, Nat's keen wit stays fully loaded throughout the skirmish. In fact, Nat's acerbic narration proves more diverting than his fighting prowess, as he remains more of an observer than a participant through much of the fight. Lansdale's classic Old West tale hits all the requisite plot points with the exuberance of a cowboy who has an overeager trigger finger, though it skimps on the necessary dose of buddy cowboy mischief that would make readers care more for the amusing duo. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Tita

Marie Houzelle. Summertime, $25 trade paper (312p) ISBN 978-1-940333-01-4

In Houzelle's first novel, Tita is a seven-year-old girl growing up in the south of France in the 1950s whose life seems to be defined by obstacles: the many foods that disgust her, the school that fails to challenge her, and parents who struggle to understand her. Tita is precocious and clever, but in some ways painfully inept. She is thoughtful but frail—obsessed with rules and rituals, and determined to understand the nuances. Through Houzelle's sharp, straightforward prose (which captures Tita's perspective), the story of how Tita grows takes center stage. She learns the alternatives to those things that have held her back or held her down. She challenges social strictures that she feels are meaningless. She battles her mother to get what she wants, and when sometimes that turns out to be the wrong decision, she acknowledges it. At the novel's end, Tita is still a little girl, but her brilliance, potential, and unusual way of looking at the world will have won readers over. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Flings

Justin Taylor. Harper, $23.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-231015-6

In this luminous collection of short stories, Taylor (The Gospel of Anarchy) takes on the theme of the constancy of self amid the ephemeral relationships that make up our lives. In "Adon Olam," a young counselor at a Jewish summer camp confronts his anger toward the surviving twin brother of a childhood friend; "A Talking Cure" finds two Ph.D. students navigating the waters of each other's sexual pasts. "Gregory's Year" reunites a restless, aspirational rock-star with high-school friend Kara, "a B-lister from the old vanished Hollywood of his adolescent porn dreams." Academics and pizza shop employees, the self-aware and the painfully deluded, a retiree, children at play in a Florida swimming pool—Taylor shows them all struggling with the daunting task of understanding love before it escapes them. The result is contemporary, intelligent, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. These stories, by turns witty and piercing, together form an uncommon portrait of the human heart. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Sight Unseen

Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen. St. Martin's, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1250020529

In this edgy sequel to Close Your Eyes (2012) from the bestselling mother/son Johansens, Dr. Kendra Michaels, a music therapist who was born blind but regained her sight at age 20, uses her acute senses of smell and hearing, as well as her extraordinary aptitude for reading people and interpreting crime scenes, to track ann unusual serial killer. When four people die in a three-car pileup on San Diego's Cabrillo Bridge, Kendra immediately realizes this was an act of murder. Furthermore, the staged-accident bears the hallmarks of another case of hers in Texas. At a meeting at San Diego's FBI headquarters, she learns of two other recent murders whose details mirror previous cases she has worked on. Other homicides connected to Kendra's past cases follow. When the current crimes are linked implausibly to a serial killer awaiting execution on death row, she has to face the first killer she put away. Kendra gets ample opportunities to display her deductive skills, fend off the advances of dangerously attractive former FBI agent Adam Lynch, and risk all to protect and save those she loves in this flashy romantic thriller. Agent: Andrea Cirillo, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (July)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Amado Women

Desiree Zamorano. Cinco Puntos, $16.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-935955-73-3

Debut novelist Zamorano's family drama purports to offer alternatives to Latina stereotypes, but winds up relying on shallow characterizations and easy targets. The three Amado sisters couldn't be more different: career-driven Celeste has been focused solely on money and investments ever since she suffered a tragedy years before; perfect wife and mother Sylvia secretly suffers physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her non-Latino husband; and Nataly, the baby sister, struggles to make ends meet as an artist and waitress. As the sisters rally around a crisis affecting Sylvia's family, individual and family secrets are dredged up, including a feud between Nataly and Celeste and a long-buried sorrow from their mother Mercy's past. The narration proceeds somewhat jerkily between past and present and among the women's points of view. There is little character development here, and characters' motivations are frequently unclear and their behaviors unexplained. Most troubling, however, is that this novel supposedly valorizing girl power does so at the expense of all of the male characters, who are, to a man, cruel, unfaithful, duplicitous, or all three. (July)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
A Cut-Like Wound

Anita Nair. Bitter Lemon, $14.95 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-908524-36-2

In this exceptional police procedural, Indian author Nair (The Better Man) adds yet another middle-aged, crisis-stricken, and world-weary detective to the contemporary mystery canon. Bangalore's Insp. Borei Gowda is an honest man, his integrity earning him only marginalization within a system increasingly flooded by abandoned investigations and crooked officers solely pursuing the power of the uniform. Gowda's superior would prefer to ignore a series of grisly strangling murders, but that doesn't stop Gowda and his idealistic young assistant, Santosh, from doggedly unraveling a web of political corruption involving a fanatical local official and a subculture of "hijras"—transgender individuals often driven to prostitution in the city's shadowy underbelly. Nair immerses her readers in Bangalore's alluring and sinister mélange of Hindu and Moslem cultures, revealing a people afflicted by the inability to allow unqualified praise for anything or anyone. Complex, psychologically deep characters are a plus. (July)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
A Swollen Red Sun

Matthew McBride. Open Road/MysteriousPress.com, $14.99 trade paper (254p) ISBN 978-1-4804-8575-4

Set in Missouri's Gasconade County, once labeled the methamphetamine capital of the world, this smoldering tale pits cop against dope dealer/desperate redneck against even more desperate redneck. In this rural area, "White-trash pharmacies run from beaten-down mobile homes at the end of dead-end roads would always trade pills for dope." Deputy Sheriff Dale Everett Banks finds $52,000 in the trailer of meth dealer Jerry Dean Skaggs, and decides to keep it. Jerry Dean needs that money to keep his secret partners happy. The plot spreads out to include more and more county residents, even Butch Pogue in his hilltop compound where he practices a weird religion and keeps his latest "wife" locked in the cellar. You know you're talking authentic hillbilly when the main characters each weigh 300 pounds. Gasconade local McBride (whose previous book was the cult favorite Frank Sinatra in a Blender) gives Breaking Bad fans more down and dirty meth action. (June)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Starfire

Dale Brown. Morrow, $27.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-06-226239-4

Bestseller Brown's exciting 19th entry in his loosely connected techno-thriller series (after 2012's Tiger Claw) focuses on Bradley McLanahan. As a precocious and well-connected engineering student at California Polytechnic State University, Bradley devises, with the help of his brilliant team of young scientists and fellow classmates, the blueprint for Starfire, an unparalleled source of solar energy in Earth's spatial orbit. The project at first sounds like a teenager's imaginative daydream, yet President Kenneth Phoenix's intention to turn the Armstrong Space Station into a weapon of mass destruction suddenly puts Bradley in the crosshairs of the dangerous Russian government. Entangled in a potentially catastrophic war stretching to the outer reaches of space, Bradley and his friends must formulate a new plan—one that could potentially save all mankind. While encumbered by too much jargon and a dizzying number of characters and plot developments, the novel does manage in its descriptions of spaceships, warfare, and the so-called "final frontier." (May)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Bilko Athletic Club: The Story Of The 1956 Los Angeles Angels

Gaylon H. White. Rowman & Littlefield, $38 (320p) ISBN 978-0-8108-9289-7

Before the Brooklyn Dodgers departed the fabled Ebbets Field in New York City in 1958 for the City of Angels, one of the key reasons leading to the exodus was the public frenzy for an much admired minor league player, Steve Bilko, and his red-hot Los Angeles Angels two years earlier. Former Denver Post sportswriter White relives that miracle season when the beer-guzzling, hefty Bilko, with his mighty bat, ignited the lowly minor league team in the Pacific Coast League during a historic year. Written in a subdued voice without any sensational prose, Bilko, known as the Sergeant of Swat and Mr. Biceps, is a stirring tribute of a superstar shining on a small stage, guiding "baseball's last great minor league team," slugging 313 homers in the minors, but the highly hyped athlete's luck fizzled in the majors with only 76 round-trippers. However, Bilko dazzled the sports world for the incredible 1956 season, at a time when Yankee star Mickey Mantle pursued Babe Ruth's home run record nationally and baseball fans held their breath. Weaving in anecdotes from Bilko's teammates and rivals both in the minors and the pros, White's precise, powerful account of a remarkable, unlikely athlete who peaked too early without achieving too much when his dream finally came true. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 07/25/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.