By Matthew Reilly.
July 2015. 26p. Gallery, $26 (9781476749549).
Reilly’s previous novel, The Great Zoo of
China (2015), was a contemporary thriller
set in a high-tech theme park; this one is a
historical adventure that takes place nearly
half a millennium ago. Set in 1546, the book
tells the story of an English
scholar, Roger Ascham, who
travels to Constantinople,
where the sultan of the Ottoman Empire is hosting a
chess tournament in which
the best players in the world
are competing. Accompanying Ascham is his young
student, Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of
Henry VIII who would later become queen
of England. Soon after their arrival in Constantinople, Ascham and Elizabeth encounter
murder, political intrigue, and decadence on
a scale unknown to them. While the story is
fictional, the novel’s main characters are so
vividly rendered and the world in which the
story takes place is made so palpably real, it’s
easy to forget that a talented writer is mixing
fact and fiction. This is a definite change of
pace for Reilly, who’s known primarily for
fast-paced, high-concept action thrillers, but
it’s a complete success—a vibrantly detailed
environment, richly drawn characters, and
a great story. Action fans and PBS types can
share their enthusiasm this time. —David Pitt
The Truth and Other Lies.
By Sascha Arango. Tr. by Imogen Taylor.
June 2015. 256p. Atria, $24.99 (9781476795553).
Best-selling author Henry Hayden is as
famous for his novels as for his winning personality. He is modest about his success and
appears the perfectly devoted husband to his
wife of many years. Beneath the polished veneer, however, lies a very different story, indeed.
When his mistress becomes pregnant, and the
truth threatens to leak, Henry commits a crime
with shockingly unexpected consequences.
Then, as the police close in, and secrets about
his writing and his past threaten to surface,
Henry constructs lie after lie to avoid being
caught. It isn’t long before the entire complex
web he has woven threatens to collapse, but
Henry is inventive, if nothing else he is purported to be, and he is not giving up without
at least a duel of wits. Arango uses dark humor to probe the depths of human depravity
in Henry’s borderline psychotic profile. Fans
of psychological thrillers will be eager to see
whether Henry’s increasingly detailed spin job
will protect him or if the chaos he has created
will blow his own cover. —Cortney Ophoff
By Dick Wolf.
June 2015. 352p. Morrow, $27.99 (9780062286833);
Torn from today’s headlines! Wolf must have
that phrase framed above his desk. He’s the
very successful television producer of the Law
& Order television franchise and the best-
selling author of two previous novels featuring
NYPD detective Jeremy Fisk. Using the famil-
iar L&O signature, Wolf takes a newsworthy
event or issue to use as a starting point for his
plot. Here it’s whistle-blowers. Verlyn Merritt,
a hacker, is arrested after releasing sensitive
documents concerning the NYPD Intelligence
Division to WikiLeaks. Soon after, assassins
attempt to take Fisk down, and, after that, a
sniper begins killing random, innocent New
Yorkers. Why? A series of text messages and
e-mails to the NYPD demand the release of
Merritt. Each day’s delay will cause the death
of another innocent. Fisk heads up the inves-
tigation, but each time he thinks he’s made a
breakthrough, the Yodeler, as the blackmailer
calls himself, slips out of Fisk’s grasp. A curfew
is enacted, and the streets are deserted. Wolf
is not just a brilliant TV producer; he’s a fine
writer, too. He keeps the pages turning and the
suspense building. Exciting reading for sus-
pense and procedural junkies. —Wes Lukowsky
Unidentified Woman #15.
By David Housewright.
June 2015. 304p. Minotaur, $25.99 (9781250049650);
On a wintry day, Minnesota ex-cop Rushmore McKenzie sees something no one should
ever have to see: a woman is tossed from the
back of a moving vehicle. She survives her
extensive physical injuries but is apparently
suffering from amnesia, unable to remember
what happened to her or who she is. The cop
investigating the incident, McKenzie’s former partner, asks Rushmore to keep an eye
on the woman and maybe help determine her
identity. Housewright’s prose style is reminiscent of Donald E. Westlake’s: smoothly
flowing, graceful, but never calling attention
to itself. Rushmore is an amiable series lead,
a genuinely nice guy who lucked into a lot
of money—he quit the St. Paul police department so he could collect on a private reward
for nailing a crook—and now spends his time
as a freelance investigator. A strong addition
to an always-reliable series, and a crime novel
that will appeal both to readers looking for
complex characters and satisfying style and to
those interested mainly in story. —David Pitt
By Bill Pronzini.
June 2015. 224p. Forge, $24.99 (9780765335685);
Nameless, the venerable, semi-retired San
Francisco private eye, meets Cory Beckett, a
model, as a favor to an associate, bail bondsman Abe Melikian. Abe is holding the ticket
on Cory’s younger brother, Kenneth, who is
accused of stealing a valuable necklace from
his employers, the Voorhees family. Cory
says Kenneth is a drug addict, but when one
of Nameless’ operatives, Jake Runyon, tracks
down Kenneth, he finds not an addict but
a very scared young man who claims he was
ONLINE ALERT! You’ll find even more
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Exclusives—we’ll email them to you!
The Angel Court Affair. By Anne Perry.
Ballantine, $27 (9780553391350). March.
Blood Ties. By Nicholas Guild. Forge,
$25.99 (9780765378453). May.
Burnt River. By Karin Salvalaggio. Minotaur, $25.99 (9781250046192). May.
Cat out of Hell. By Lynne Truss. Melville,
$24.95 (9781612194424). March.
The Dismantling. By Brian DeLeeuw.
Plume, paper, $16 (9780142181744). April.
Duet in Beirut. By Mishka Ben-David.
Overlook, $26.95 (9781468310207). April.
Fallout. By Paul Thomas. Bitter Lemon,
paper, $14.95 (9781908524492). April.
A Good Killing. By Allison Leotta. Touchstone, $25 (9781476760995). May.
The Ice Twins. By S. K. Tremayne. Grand
Central, $26 (9781455586059). May.
Innocent Blood. By Michael Lister. Pulpwood, $26.99 (9781888146493). May.
Ithaca Falls. By Steve Thayer. Conquill,
paper, $15 (9780990846116). April.
Lash-Up. By Larry Bond. Forge, $25.99
Love Is Red. By Sophie Jaff. Harper,
$25.99 (9780062346261). May.
Memory Man. By David Baldacci. Grand
Central, $28 (9781455559824). April.
Mirror World. By Jeremy Robinson.
St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, $25.99
Poison Ivy. By Cynthia Riggs. Minotaur/
Thomas Dunne, $25.99 (9781250058676).
See Also Murder. By Larry D. Sweazy.
Prometheus/Seventh Street, paper, $15.95
Stone Cold Dead. By James W. Ziskin.
Prometheus/Seventh Street, paper, $15.95
Thieves Fall Out. By Gore Vidal. Hard
Case Crime, $22.99 (9781781167922).
Traitor’s Gate. By Charlie Newton.
Amazon/Thomas & Mercer, paper, $14.95
Under the Channel. By Gilles Pétel. Tr. by
Emily Boyce and Jane Aitken. Gallic, paper,
$15.95 (9781908313669). March.