crime/suspense fiction

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Shelter by Jung Yun

Violence comes in many forms. Some we live with and replicate, and sometimes it is completely random. Is it ingrained within our culture? Do some cultures harbor it more than others? Kyung Cho grew up in Marlboro, MA after moving with his parents from Korea when he was a young boy. He married a non-Korean woman, whose father and brother are both police officers. They have a young son and are floundering financially. One day, while trying to figure out how to get out from the house they own but cannot afford, Kyung’s mom stumbles into the yard, completely naked.

Our Favorite Books Read in 2016

We read and read and read all year — all genres and audiobooks, too. Here are the books we loved reading the most this year. Some are old and some are new.

General Fiction

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz

If you like Sherlock Holmes stories, picking up this book is a no-brainer. This is the second novel by Anthony Horowitz to get Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate’s approval and the plot and writing style definitely fit in well with the established Holmes canon. While Holmes and Watson do not make appearances in this one, that’s okay - we have a couple of stand-ins who fill in quite nicely. The mystery itself is exciting, each action-packed encounter with the bad guys artfully builds up to the surprising climax.

The Strange Death of Fiona Griffiths by Harry Bingham

A minor payroll fraud turns into a risky year-long undercover investigation for Welsh Detective Constable Fiona Griffiths. Assuming the identity of down-on-her-luck, intermittently homeless Fiona Grey, she abandons her regular life and descends into the dangerous world of highly organized crime. In the world of police procedurals, Fiona is a unique character with her mysterious origins and unusual history of mental illness. This is the third book in the series but you could either start with this one or go back to Talking to the Dead if you like to read books in order.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Downton Abbey fans will enjoy visiting (or revisiting) this classic Agatha Christie murder mystery. Written one year after the current season of Downton takes place, in 1926, this book is set in a small English village with all the usual characters of British mystery fiction – the sly butler, the gossip, the housemaids, and the upper crust young people being forced into an arranged marriage. The story is narrated by the local Dr. Sheppard, a neighbor of Hercule Poirot’s, and a friend of the murder victim.

The Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg

Having trouble staying awake? Start reading this book and forget about sleeping until you’ve finished it. This outrageously high octane thriller features a pair of rival European criminal gangs engaged in a murderous competition for market domination, a gang of disturbingly corrupt Swedish cops, and an innocent but complicit nurse (and her completely innocent teenage son) who gets caught in the middle. Check Our Catalog—and buckle your seat belt!

Clockers by Richard Price

Desperate to conquer your addiction to the hit HBO series The Wire? Everyone curious to see how the show works in book form - here it is. While Baltimore has been replaced by Dempsey, New Jersey and Rocco and Strike fill in for McNulty and Bodie, Price's work paints for us the same tortured image recognizable to those who have experienced The Wire: an American inner city on fire. Check Our Catalog

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Never have I enjoyed a book so much in which the all of the main characters were so unsympathetic. But that was part of its charm. We do want to know what happens to these broken people - alternating between an eagerness for punishment for their sins and a hope that they can start anew. The book, a fairly straight suspense/crime novel, centers upon a woman’s disappearance, and another woman’s experience as a very unreliable witness. We actually jump between three women’s perspectives, which come together nicely near the end of the book. I was kept guessing until the very end.

Don’t Ever Get Old by Daniel Friedman

Pushing 90, shaky on his pins, and irascible as ever (not in an endearing way), retired Memphis cop Baruch "Buck" Shatz discovers that the Nazi who tortured him and got away after the war is still alive. Not only that, he may be sitting on a stash of gold stolen from the German Reich. Whether he suffers from a God complex or is just a thorough misanthrope, Buck is the funniest detective I've run into in a long time, and his refusal to concede to old age kept me laughing all the way through. This book was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

Angel Baby by Richard Lange

Luz made the biggest mistake of her life when she left her one-year-old daughter in L.A. with her aunt and threw her lot in with a Mexican drug lord in Tijuana. Now married to Mexican drug lord #2, she is captive to her husband and her drug habit. After a year of careful planning, she manages to escape both and make a run for her “angel baby” back in L.A. Almost immediately, her husband is on her trail via a murderous paid thug/convict and a thoroughly corrupt U.S. border patrolman. Her only hope is Malone, a drunken and dissolute drifter who smuggles illegals across the border for money.

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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