Morrow, Bradford, The Uninnocent, Pegasus. Never has a book deserved its title more than this brilliant and disturbing short story collection. Alienation appears to be the principal theme that binds these noir stories, often causing unexpected violence and death. The title story features a brother and sister, plus their unborn “Christmas brother,” and describes their youthful devotion to each other, but to no one else—not even to their dog or their best friend. In “The Hoarder,” a teenager becomes obsessed with his older brother’s girlfriend and secretly follows (and photographs) her every move. The unstated, casual undertone of impending tragedy in these stories will remind you of Roald Dahl or Shirley Jackson at their most chilling. $25.00
Dan, Ian and Sally's favorites after the jump!
Pintoff, Stephanie, Secret of the White Rose. Minotaur. Another great historical this month- this is the third in the Turn of the Century New York series featuring Detective Simon Ziele. This one centers on a series of brutal political murders targeting Manhattan's millionaires and explores the radical subculture of Anarchists in New York City of that time. Pintoff excels at discovering unusual and interesting subcultures from the past and this is no exception. Like many good historical thrillers we see today's issues reflected in the past. $14.99
deWitt, Patrick, The Sisters Brothers. Ecco. In the old West, two hired guns who happen to be brothers are hired to kill a prospector but their picaresque and violent journey proves daunting and one of the brothers starts questioning not only what he's doing for a living but life itself. This is a genre hopping novel- part crime, part Western and part literary. Imagine Sam Peckinpaw directing a Western with Robert Altman. $14.99
Potzch , Oliver, The Dark Monk, Mariner. Rounding out this month of historical reccomendations comes the smashing follow-up to last year's big surprise best seller The Hangman's Daughter. A priest’s death leads kindhearted 17th century German hangman Jakob Kuisl and daughter Magdelena on a wild chase for Templar treasure even as a dread Dark Monk follows their every move. Filled with atmosphere, arcane occultism and wild conspiracy theories, this is a smart and stylish entertaining read. $18.00
Smith, Tom Rob, Agent 6, Grand Central. The conclusion to Smith's amazing Demidov trilogy is not what you'd expect. After two novels filled with non-stop action and near-escapes, Agent 6 is almost tame with regards to physical confrontation. Instead it turns more toward the cerebral espionage of the best Cold War novels. After a trip to the US ends in tragedy, Demidov's family is split apart and he ends up in Afghanistan, addicted to opium, lost in visions of revenge. When he meets a young Afghani woman who has joined the Russian secret police, he finds himself in the midst of a journey that could lead him to the vengeance he desires. I loved the patient and measured approach to this novel, the political intrigue, and the layers of deception. Agent 6 can certainly stand on its own, but combined with Child 44 and The Secret Speech it only adds to one of the best trilogies of the 21st century. Signed. $25.99
Barr, Nevada, The Rope. Barr’s prequel to her Anna Pigeon series is, I think, the best book she has written in a long time. Set in 1995 Anna has, after losing her husband, taken a seasonal job at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. She is not, at this time, the Anna Pigeon her fans know and love. She is young, prickly (well, she remains that) and naive. It is her experiences at Glen Canyon that toughen up Anna and inspire her to join the National Park Service as a ranger. A must for Anna Pigeon fans, of course. $25.99
Stevens, Taylor, The Innocent. And speaking of tough women, Vanessa Michael Munroe ranks up there with the toughest! Munroe’s task this time is to infiltrate a cult in Buenos Aires to find an abducted child and her abductor. In order to do so, Munroe must navigate the members of this cult and struggle against her own increasingly violent nature. $24.00