July 2014 Wrap Up

These are the books I read in July. 

The Neighbor (Short Story)

Every city has its wonders and mysteries. For the Pomerantz family, the most disturbing mystery at the moment is the identity and the intentions of their new neighbor, in this eBook original short story—a prequel to The City, the gripping and moving new novel by Dean Koontz.
 
The year is 1967. Malcolm Pomerantz is twelve, geeky and socially awkward, while his seriously bright sister, Amalia, is spirited and beautiful. Each is the other’s best friend, united by a boundless interest in the world beyond their dysfunctional parents’ unhappy home. But even the troubled Pomerantz household will seem to be a haven compared to the house next door, after an enigmatic and very secretive new neighbor takes up residence in the darkest hours of the night.

A Dust Bowl Tale of Bonnie and Clyde: A Short Story


A Dust Bowl Tale of Bonnie and Clyde: A Short Story

Sixteen-year-old Weldon Holland has had to grow up fast as he tries to support his family in the aftermath of the agricultural disaster of the Dust Bowl.

One night, a carload of strangers appears on the Hollands' property, carrying the air of incipient danger underneath a veneer of pleasantries. Weldon finds himself inexplicably drawn to the group of trespassing vagabonds who, despite being camped out on a hidden riverbank in the middle of nowhere, drive the most expensive automobile that Weldon has ever seen. 

In the unbearable, rainless heat of a Dust Bowl summer, Weldon will find himself mixed up in an encounter with the infamous bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde an encounter that changes the course of Weldon's life and history itself.

Rich with criminal and social history of the American West and a young boy's struggle to become a man,   
is just the beginning of Weldon Holland's story. 


Vertigo 42: A Richard Jury Mystery (Richard Jury #23)


Vertigo 42: A Richard Jury Mystery

The inimitable Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury returns in another “literate, lyrical, funny, funky, discursive, bizarre” (The Washington Post) mystery, now with a tip of the derby to Alfred Hitchcock’s famous movie, Vertigo.

Richard Jury is meeting Tom Williamson at Vertigo 42, a bar on the forty-second floor of an office building in London’s financial district. Despite inconclusive evidence, Tom is convinced his wife, Tess, was murdered seventeen years ago. The inspector in charge of the case was sure Tess’s death was accidental—a direct result of vertigo—but the official police inquiry is still an open verdict and Jury agrees to re-examine the case.

Jury learns that a nine-year-old girl fell to her death five years before Tess at the same country house in Devon where Tess died. The girl had been a guest at a party Tess was giving for six children. Jury seeks out the five surviving party guests, who are now adults, hoping they can shed light on this bizarre coincidence.

Meanwhile, an elegantly dressed woman falls to her death from the tower of a cottage near the pub where Jury and his cronies are dining one night. Then the dead woman’s estranged husband is killed as well. Four deaths—two in the past, two that occur on the pages of this intricate, compelling novel—keep Richard Jury and his sidekick Sergeant Wiggins running from their homes in Islington to the countryside in Devon and to London as they try to figure out if the deaths were accidental or not. And, if they are connected.

Witty, well-written, with literary references from Thomas Hardy to Yeats,Vertigo 42 is a pitch perfect, page-turning novel from a mystery writer at the top of her game.

Where There's Smoke


Where There's Smoke

Bestselling author Jodi Picoult is a masterful storyteller, who “writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships” (The Boston Globe). Now, in this original short story, available exclusively as an eBook, Picoult introduces Serenity Jones, one of the fascinating characters from her eagerly awaited new novel, Leaving Time.

Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts. When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage—to both her reputation and her show—Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1)


Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1)

Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong. 

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel Monument 14, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2)


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