Stephen's parents used to put books in his crib to keep him quiet when he woke up early in the morning, thus starting him on a lifetime of loving literature. At home, he enjoys reading mysteries and poetry, with occasional forays into horror and fantasy. A displaced Vermonter, he has lived in southwest Michigan since the mid-'90s.
Bryson's latest book discusses the major human systems and organs and discusses how they function, what they do, and how they can go wrong, all in Bryson's inimitable style. Highly recommended!
Facing a crisis of faith, Timothy Egan decided to reconnect with his Catholic roots by making a pilgrimage along the Via Francigena—a medieval route from Canterbury to Rome. Along the way, he encounters believers of various types and asks some of the hard questions of belief. A complicated and insightful book.
A young woman and her seven-year-old son, on the run from an abusive relationship, settle in a small, Pennsylvania town. Life is hard for the two, but generally good, until the son disappears for six days and comes back with a voice in his head that only he can hear. The voice tells him to build a tree house in the forest or else the whole town will suffer, and things spiral out of control from there. A rich, nuanced novel of horror on an epic scale.
A brutal serial killer is terrorizing Copenhagen, leaving behind little dolls made of chestnuts as a calling card. Two detectives must put aside their differences and overcome internal police politics and government pressure to solve the case. This may sound like a typical, by-the-numbers police procedural, but Sveistrup ratchets up the tension and adds enough unexpected twists to raise this mystery to a level way above the average thriller.
In an alternate 1921 New York, a wall running the length of Broadway divides Manhattan into the normal, although overcrowded, Eastside and the strange, magical, dangerous, feral Westside. Westsider Gilda Carr works as a private detective solving “small mysteries.” But one of her cases—finding a missing glove—drags her into the very large mystery of why the Westside is the way it is and who is profiting from it. A stunningly imaginative debut novel.
After a brutal car accident, college student Tara Beckley finds herself in a “locked in” coma: aware of everything happening around her but unable to move. Meanwhile, insurance investigator Abby Kaplan discovers the accident may not have been all that it initially seemed. Her discovery, and what follows, put both women in the sights of a ruthless young hit man. Excellent suspense from a master of the genre.
Joe Thorne is back in the northern English mining town her grew up in, ostensibly to get a new start as a teacher, but also to avoid some nasty people collecting gambling debts. That’s at least the top two layers, but there are even greater depths, involving the disappearance (and reappearance) of his sister as a child and strange goings-on in an abandoned mine. Tudor has written another compulsive page-turner, with enough creepiness and mystery to keep readers hooked.
Samuel lives a lonely life in a run-down manor, his only companion the strict housekeeper Ruth. His mother has been gone for months, supposedly tending to his late father’s business interests abroad. But Samuel starts to suspect that his mother is in fact dead, killed by Ruth. And so begins a cat-and-mouse game between the two. An excellent, suspenseful mystery that has been compared to the works of Daphne Du Maurier and Shirley Jackson.
Helen Franklin is a reclusive Englishwoman living in Prague. Her friend Karel tells her about a letter he found that speaks of a mysterious figure known as Melmoth, an immortal woman who is doomed to wander the earth forever and who tries to trap others into joining her. Helen is skeptical, but when Karel disappears and unexplained events start piling up, she begins to wonder if there is some truth behind the legends. An atmospheric novel in the Gothic tradition, marked by beautiful writing.
In a near-future America, women have been reduced to second-class citizens, limited (among other things) to speaking only 100 words a day, a limit enforced with electric-shock cuffs. But that’s only the beginning of this story of family sorrow, political oppression, and eventual redemption. Bears comparison to A Handmaid’s Tale.
A girl whose touch can kill or resurrect. A house on the edge of a haunted forest. Mysterious disappearances. Handsome heroes and scheming villains. What Should Be Wild reads like a classic fairy tale with unique modern twists. A stunning debut novel.
Five women on a corporate team-building exercise hike off into the Australian bush; only four come out. Federal Agent Aaron Falk becomes involved because the missing woman is a whistle-blower in case of corporate money laundering. Another excellent mystery from Harper, whose debut, The Dry, also featured Falk.
In the mid-80’s, Eddie and his friends made a game of communicating with little chalk drawings, until a set of chalk figures led them to a dismembered body. Now, thirty years later, the past is intruding on Eddie’s comfortable life. Old mysteries will be revisited and old secrets will be revealed before it all ends. A gripping thriller with truly startling twists and turns.
Anna is agoraphobic, spending her days communicating online with fellow sufferers, watching old movies, spying on her neighbors, and mixing psychiatric medications and Merlot. When she sees one of her neighbors being murdered, she has trouble convincing anyone of the fact, and she finds herself in middle of a ever deeper mystery. Fans of The Girl on the Train will definitely enjoy this gripping novel.
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Robin, Diana, Stephen, Beth, and Poppy