I hope most of you are enjoying the summer. I certainly am. The sun is shining most days, the mosquitoes aren’t that bad (yet), flowers are blooming everywhere, and the smell of barbeque permeates the evening air. What a great time! I doubt many of you are thinking ahead to the fall, when the leaves will turn golden or brown or red, start to fall, signalling the colder weather to come. Some of us have to. It’s my job; I order the library’s fiction books four to six months in the future. While you probably don’t want to think about raking leaves, harvesting our gardens, and pulling out the warmer coats and gloves, at least there’s comfort to be found in the great titles coming out this fall. Have you got your library cards ready? It’s time to start placing some holds. On your mark, get set, go!
The usual suspects will be releasing titles this fall, including James Patterson, who along with various co-authors, has four new titles this fall – Guilty Wives; Private: #1 Suspect; Kill Alex Cross; and, Christmas Wedding. How does he do it? I swear he must live at his keyboard! Clive Cussler has also been a busy bee, giving us two new titles: Devil’s Gate and The Race. Sue Grafton continues her Kinsey Millhone alphabet mysteries with V is for Vengeance. Other noteworthy bestsellers include: Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer, Zero Day by David Baldacci, Accident by Linwood Barclay, Lethal by Sandra Brown, Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell, The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, Bonnie by Iris Johansen, 1225 Christmas Tree Lane by Debbie Macomber, A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny, Forgotten Affairs of Youth by Alexander McCall Smith, and 11/22/63 by Stephen King. I could go on and on, but I don’t think our blog editors would appreciate that!
There are a number of titles I’m quite anxious to read myself. Some of them will undoubtedly be bestsellers, while others will be quietly enjoyed by a smaller audience. Either way, I think this list has a little something for everyone:
Guillermo Del Toro’s Night Eternal is the third and final book in his Strain trilogy about a vampire invasion, following The Fall. Nuclear Winter blankets the land, darkening the Earth for 23 hours a day. Vampires control the planet; the defeated humans have been interred in vast camps and are harvested for the sustenance of the Master Race. But not all have been contained. A ragtag network of humans roams free, continuing the desperate resistance. As the final battle dawns, the group’s only hope is the intervention of an unexpected race of beings – avenging “angels.”
Out of Oz, by Gregory Macguire, concludes the extraordinary series The Wicked Years, following Lion Among Men. The marvellous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest – the Emerald Cityis mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And here comes Dorothy. Amid all this chaos, Elphaba’s tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch has come of age. Now, Rain will take up her broom in an Oz wracked by war.
Ami McKay’s Virgin Cure has been much anticipated, and it won’t disappoint. Set in Victorian New York in the year 1871, as a crowded, sweltering summer of riots and poverty comes to a close, 12-year-old Moth’s journey is just beginning. Sold away by her mother, Moth becomes a pickpocket on the streets of the Lower East Sideand becomes involved in a world of danger and violence. The Virgin Cure is a tale of secrets and truths, of dark myths and magic of the heart – of one woman’s fight to be heard, and one girl’s desire to be loved.
A Bitter Truth, by Charles Todd, is the third novel in the Bess Crawford series, following An Impartial Witness. When battlefield nurse Bess returns from Francefor a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London flat. The woman reveals that she has fled her abusive husband – an officer on leave. When Bess accompanies the woman back to her small village, she gets caught in the centre of the hunt for a killer when a wounded soldier is murdered in the woman’s home.
Arnaldur Indridason’s Outrage is sure to be a hit. In a flat near Reykjavikcity centre, a young man lies dead in a pool of blood although there are no signs of a break-in or any struggle. A woman’s purple shawl, found under the bed, gives off a strong and unusual aroma. A vial of narcotics found in the victim’s pocket among other clues soon lead Erlendur’s colleagues down a trail of hidden violence and psychological brutality, and of wrongs that will never be fully righted.
Domestic Violets, by Michael Norman, is a darkly comic family drama about love, loss, and ambition. Tom Violet has failed, once again, to have sex with his wife. And that’s not the worst of it. There’s the 9-5 office job that’s slowly crushing his spirit, his lovelorn stepfather who’s in constant need of counsel, and the strange realization that his boozy stepmother is sort of stalking him. Then there’s the inappropriate crush he has on a 23-year-old colleague. Too young to have these kinds of problems, but too old to see anyway out, Tom finds himself mired in hopeless inaction.
Lee Bermejo’s Batman: Noel, inspired by Charles Dickens’ immortal classic A Christmas Carol, features different interpretations of The Dark Knight, along with his enemies and allies, in different eras. Along the way, Batman must come to terms with his past, present and future as he battles villains from the campy 1960s to dark and brooding menaces of today, while exploring what it means to be the hero that he is. Members of Batman’s supporting cast enact roles analogous to those from A Christmas Carol, with Robin, Catwoman, Superman, The Joker and more playing roles that will be familiar to anyone who knows Dickens’ original holiday tale.
Finally, Terry Pratchett returns to his wildly popular Discworld in Snuff, featuring my favourite character, Sam Vimes. According to the writer of the bestselling crime novel ever to have been published in the city of Ankh-Morpork, it is a truth universally known that a policeman taking a holiday would barely have time to open his suitcase before he finds his first corpse. Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch is on holiday in the pleasant and innocent countryside, but not for him a mere body in the wardrobe – there are many, many bodies and an ancient crime more terrible than murder. He is out of his jurisdiction, out of his depth, and out of his mind, but never out of guile. Where there is a crime there must be a finding, there must be a chase and there must be a punishment.