And Sometimes I Wonder about
By Walter Mosley.
May 2015. 304p. Doubleday, $26.95 (9780385539180).
Some things never change for Leonid Mc-Gill (All I Did Was Shoot My Man, 2012), like
the orbiting relationships with his suicidal
wife and his off-again soul-mate girlfriend,
a bad ending and sends him away. But that
night, burglars break into Leonid’s office and
kill a security guard, and Hiram is murdered
in a suspicious mugging. Leonid resolves to
deliver justice for the guard and Hiram. But
he has plenty of distractions: his son and fellow PI, Twill, has gone deep undercover trying
to bust a murderous modern-day Fagin; Leonid has become enraptured with a mysterious
new temptress; and his long-lost father’s reappearance forces him to confront the legacy
of his childhood. This fifth entry in the series
brings forth a truckload of resolutions and
fresh starts in Leonid’s personal story, delivered with Mosley’s celebrated poetic style and
genius for wrapping fascinating, quirky characters in complex cons. While Mosley is best
known for his Easy Rawlins novels, set in the
post-WWII and later twentieth-century era,
this gritty, present-day series deserves serious
attention from all fans of mainstream hard-boiled detective fiction. —Christine Tran
The Anger Meridian.
By Kaylie Jones.
July 2015. 288p. Akashic, $26.95 (9781617753503);
paper, $15.95 (9781617753510).
Merryn Huntley has taped notes written in
French around her house to remind her what
not to tell her wealthy husband, Beau, or ask
him about. So when police notify her that
Beau died in a car crash, along with a wait-
ress found in a compromising position, she’s
relieved. Finding all her credit cards blocked,
she sells her engagement ring for ready cash
and leaves Dallas for her mother’s home in San
Miguel de Allende, Mexico, along with her
beloved, precocious nine-year-old daughter,
Tenney. But this is no safe haven. FBI agents
are after her about Beau’s financial dealings,
and Merryn’s mother, Bibi, is an alcoholic
harridan who continues to psychologically
abuse her only daughter. Bright spots are Dr.
Steve Fuller (called Dr. Handsome), an Amer-
ican who treats the local expats, and the yoga
teacher who spots Merryn’s “anger meridian,”
relieving her chronic TMJ and headaches.
Jones, daughter of author James Jones, has
written a compulsively readable novel about a
woman who manages to come into her own.
With engaging characters, a compelling story,
and a seductive sense of place, this is a literary
treat. —Michele Leber
The Arc of the Swallow.
By Sissel-Jo Gazan. Tr. by Barslund
May 2015. 480p. Quercus, $26.99 (9780857387714);
Respected immunologist Dr. Kristian Storm
is found hanging in his University of Copenhagen office, and a suicide note professing his
shame over academic dishonesty easily convinces the
police that he committed
suicide. But some of Storm’s
colleagues raise questions
about missing research from
Storm’s latest trip to Africa
and about his ego, which
left little room for suicidal
thoughts. Marie Skov, Storm’s favorite researcher, is both devastated and perplexed
because Storm finally had solid evidence to
prove his controversial theory that the DTP
vaccine administered by the WHO caused
side effects that killed thousands of children
worldwide. Marie goes into hiding when her
home is ransacked, and risks death to carry
on Storm’s work as her marriage disintegrates
and painful family secrets are resurrected.
Soren Marhauge (The Dinosaur Feather,
2013) has just resigned his ill-fitting post as
Copenhagen Police deputy chief but agrees
to look into Storm’s death unofficially. The
Dinosaur Feather was declared Danish Crime
Novel of the Decade by the Danish Broad-
casting Corporation, and this follow-up foray
into the contentious world of health-care re-
search is a smart and compelling thriller. Two
well-developed and nicely integrated mystery
plots and a set of lifelike characters make this
a high-end thriller for readers of Jo Nesbø
and of John le Carré’s The Constant Gardener.
Ashes to Ashes.
By Margaret Duffy.
June 2015. 224p. Severn, $28.95 (9780727884824);
Approaching its twentieth installment,
the Patrick Gillard and Ingrid Langley series
shows no sign of slowing down. In their latest adventure, the husband-and-wife team
of sleuths (he’s a former British intelligence
agent; she’s a crime novelist) are approached
by a woman who has a difficult problem: she’s
pretty sure that, at her husband’s funeral,
the wrong man’s body was cremated. Whose
body was it? And why was it there? Turns out
these are the first of many questions in this
very suspenseful novel. As in earlier series entries, the author keeps us glued to the page by
doing two things and doing them very well:
constructing an intriguing story and creating
compelling interplay between the two lead
characters. Patrick and Ingrid make a compelling team, and their personal and professional
relationship is what keeps readers tuning in.
For fans of the series, this one’s a sure thing—
and a great read-alike for those who enjoy
other hard-boiled husband-and-wife teams,
like Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro. —David Pitt
By C. J. Box.
July 2015. 288p. Minotaur, $26.99 (9780312583217);
e-book, $12.99 (9781466881501).
Box has been making a series of sorts out of
his stand-alones. Following the death of Cody
Hoyt in The Highway (2013), Hoyt’s partner,
Cassie Dewell, now takes center stage as the
new chief investigator in Grimstad, North
Dakota, in the heart of the Bakken shale oil
fields. Though she’s still trying to catch the
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