A crime book recommendation: Night School: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2lhP3MK.
Unlike most Reacher books, which start at breathless velocity and then wind up having to work through huge, empty action scenes later, this one gets better as it goes along. Its complexity pays off with a better than usual MacGuffin and real teamwork against a global enemy.
Book description from Google Books:
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER – The incomparable hero of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back takes readers to school in his most explosive novel yet. After eleven straight global #1 bestsellers, discover the thrillers that The New York Times calls “utterly addictive.” It’s 1996, and Reacher is still in the army. In the morning they give him a medal, and in the afternoon they send him back to school. That night he’s off the grid. Out of sight, out of mind. Two other men are in the classroom–an FBI agent and a CIA analyst. Each is a first-rate operator, each is fresh off a big win, and each is wondering what the hell they are doing there. Then they find out: A Jihadist sleeper cell in Hamburg, Germany, has received an unexpected visitor–a Saudi courier, seeking safe haven while waiting to rendezvous with persons unknown. A CIA asset, undercover inside the cell, has overheard the courier whisper a chilling message: “The American wants a hundred million dollars.” For what? And who from? Reacher and his two new friends are told to find the American. Reacher recruits the best soldier he has ever worked with: Sergeant Frances Neagley. Their mission heats up in more ways than one, while always keeping their eyes on the prize: If they don’t get their man, the world will suffer an epic act of terrorism. From Langley to Hamburg, Jalalabad to Kiev, Night School moves like a bullet through a treacherous landscape of double crosses, faked identities, and new and terrible enemies, as Reacher maneuvers inside the game and outside the law. Praise for Night School “The prose is crisp and clean, and the fighting is realistic. . . . This latest installment has all the classic ingredients: a great setting (Hamburg), a good villain, and a mystery that draws you in efficiently, escalates unpredictably, and has a satisfying resolution.”–The New Yorker “Another timely tour de force . . . The taut thriller is textbook [Lee] Child: fast-paced and topical with a ‘ripped from the headlines’ feel.”–Minneapolis Star-Tribune “As gripping as ever.”–The Florida Times-Union Praise for #1 bestselling author Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series “Reacher [is] one of this century’s most original, tantalizing pop-fiction heroes.”–The Washington Post
The book is rated 3.96/5 at goodreads.com, from 29277 ratings. See 2528 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2kvawh4.
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A crime book recommendation: Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives by Gary Younge

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2urGVPf.
Mr. Younge comes from a country that provides far more protections for the less fortunate. It may be the most valuable aspect of his sensibility: He recognizes that luck, by definition, is just that. It is not something you earn.
Book description from Google Books:
“On an average day in America, seven young people aged nineteen or under will be shot dead. In Another Day in the Death of America, award-winning Guardian journalist Gary Younge tells the stories of the lives lost during the course of a single day in the United States. It could have been any day, but Younge has chosen November 23, 2013. From Jaiden Dixon (9), shot point-blank by his mother’s ex-boyfriend on his doorstep in Ohio, to Pedro Dado Cortez (16), shot by an enemy gang on a street corner in California, the narrative crisscrosses the country over a period of twenty-four hours to reveal the powerful human stories behind the statistics. Far from a dry account of gun policy in the United States or a polemic about the dangers of gun violence, the book is a gripping chronicle of an ordinary but deadly day in American life, and a series of character portraits of young people taken from us far too soon and those they left behind. Whether it’s a father’s unspeakable grief over his son who was at the wrong place at the wrong time, a mentor who tries to channel his rage by organizing, or a friend and neighbor who finds strength in faith, the lives lost on that day and the lives left behind become, in Younge’s hands, impossible to ignore, or to forget. What emerges in these pages is a searing portrait of youth, family, and the way that lives can be shattered in an instant on any day in America. At a time when it has become indisputable that Americans need to rethink their position on guns, this moving narrative work puts a human face–a child’s face–on the “collateral damage” of gun deaths across the country. In his journalism, Younge is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and looking twice where others might look away. There are some things, he argues, that we have come to see as normal, even when they are unacceptable. And gun violence is one of them. A clear-eyed and iconoclastic approach to this contentious issue, this book helps answer the questions so many of us are grappling with, and makes it even harder to just look away”–
The book is rated 4.22/5 at goodreads.com, from 1878 ratings. See 339 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2uIhZ1p.
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A crime book recommendation: Idaho: A Novel by Emily Ruskovich

A critic review (source AV Club) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2mZbbtx.
Idaho is sad, but not despairingly so. Ruskovich’s prose is lyrical but keen, a poem that never gets lost in its own rhythm.
Book description from Google Books:
A stunning debut novel about love and forgiveness, about the violence of memory and the equal violence of its loss–from O. Henry Prize-winning author Emily Ruskovich Ann and Wade have carved out a life for themselves from a rugged landscape in northern Idaho, where they are bound together by more than love. With her husband’s memory fading, Ann attempts to piece together the truth of what happened to Wade’s first wife, Jenny, and to their daughters. In a story written in exquisite prose and told from multiple perspectives–including Ann, Wade, and Jenny, now in prison–we gradually learn of the mysterious and shocking act that fractured Wade and Jenny’s lives, of the love and compassion that brought Ann and Wade together, and of the memories that reverberate through the lives of every character in Idaho. In a wild emotional and physical landscape, Wade’s past becomes the center of Ann’s imagination, as Ann becomes determined to understand the family she never knew–and to take responsibility for them, reassembling their lives, and her own. Praise for Idaho “You know you’re in masterly hands here. [Emily] Ruskovich’s language is itself a consolation, as she subtly posits the troubling thought that only decency can save us. . . . Ruskovich’s novel will remind many readers of the great Idaho novel, Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping. . . . [A] wrenching and beautiful book.”–The New York Times Book Review “Sensuous, exquisitely crafted.”–The Wall Street Journal “The first thing you should know about Idaho, the shatteringly original debut by O. Henry Prize winner Emily Ruskovich, is that it upturns everything you think you know about story. . . . You could read Idaho just for the sheer beauty of the prose, the expert way Ruskovich makes everything strange and yet absolutely familiar.”–San Francisco Chronicle “Mesmerizing . . . [an] eerie story about what the heart is capable of fathoming and what the hand is capable of executing.”–Marie Claire “Idaho is a wonderful debut. Ruskovich knows how to build a page-turner from the opening paragraph.”–Ft. Worth Star-Telegram “Ruskovich’s debut is haunting, a portrait of an unusual family and a state that becomes a foreboding figure in her vivid depiction.”–The Huffington Post “Idaho is both a place and an emotional dimension. Haunted, haunting, Ruskovich’s novel winds through time, braiding events and their consequences in the most unexpected and moving ways.”–Andrea Barrett “Ruskovich digs deeply into everyday moments, and shows that it is there, in our quietest thoughts and experiences, where we find and create our true selves.”–Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief “[Idaho] caught and held me absolutely.”–Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams “Ruskovich has written a poem in prose, a beautiful and intricate homage to place, and a celebration of the defeats and triumphs of love. Beautifully crafted, emotionally evocative, and psychologically astute, Idaho is one of the best books I have read in a long time.”–Chinelo Okparanta, author of Under the Udala Trees “Ruskovich has intricately entwined a terrifying human story with an austere and impervious setting. The result–something bigger than either–is beautiful, brutal, and incandescent.”–Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover
The book is rated 3.52/5 at goodreads.com, from 5731 ratings. See 1124 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2mZ9psg.
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A crime book recommendation: The Gloaming by Melanie Finn

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2dJgYRl.
In sorting through their motives, “The Gloaming” delivers a searing taxonomy of loss, and shows the way it leads to a cycle of violence. By the novel’s surprising end, Finn even sheds light on the motives of sadistic rebels…
Book description from Google Books:
“Deeply satisfying. Finn is a remarkably confident and supple storyteller. [The Gloaming] deserves major attention.” –John Williams,New York Times “In this richly textured, intricately plotted novel, [Finn] assures us that heartbreak has the same shape everywhere.The Gloaming is chillingly cinematic in contrasting East Africa’s exquisite landscape with the region’s human needs. Yet even in a malevolent setting, Finn shows us acts of selflessness and redemption. Her fascination with the duality of Africa — “the most honest place on earth” — shines fiercely.” –Lisa Zeidner,New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice “A propulsive literary thriller. Finn, who writes with a psychological acuity that rivals Patricia Highsmith’s, switches between Europe and Africa in tense alternating chapters, rewarding close attention. The book is terrific… subtle and thrilling. Remarkably well-paced and well-written… Don’t expect to be able to set this book down or forget its haunted characters.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred “Intense, impressive.” –The Guardian “I rarely get as invested in the outcome of a novel as I did readingThe Gloaming, but the empathies that Finn evokes in this powerful and unpredictable book are not casual; these traumas could be our own. [Finn’s] prose is hypnotic and knife-precise and at times so beautiful it’s unnerving. I didn’t read this book so much as Iexperiencedit and it will haunt me for a very, very long time.” –Jill Alexander Essbaum,New York Times-bestselling author ofHausfrau Pilgrim’s husband left her for another woman, stranding her in a Swiss town where she is involved in an accident that leaves three children dead. Cleared of responsibility though overcome with guilt, she absconds to Africa, befriending a series of locals each with their own tragic past. Mysteriously, the remains of an albino appear, spooking everyone–sign of a curse placed by a witch doctor–though its intended recipient is uncertain. Pilgrim volunteers to rid the town of the box and its contents, though wherever she goes, she can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Melanie Finnwas born and raised in Kenya until age eleven, when she moved with her family to Connecticut. She is the author of the novelAway From You and wrote DisneyNature’s beautiful, haunting flamingo epicThe Crimson Wing, which was directed by her husband, filmmaker Matt Aeberhard. During the filming, Melanie established The Natron Healthcare Project, and now lives in Vermont with Matt and their twin daughters.
The book is rated 3.81/5 at goodreads.com, from 676 ratings. See 139 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2eDNRg1.
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A crime book recommendation: Liberty Street by Dianne Warren

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2ezjqaK.
Warren’s crisp, evocative and controlled prose allows the highly charged emotions of her characters space to breathe. The frustrations and simmering racist violence underlying the community are powerfully conveyed…
Book description from Google Books:
From the Governor General’s Award-winning author of Cool Water, a poignant and often witty new novel about rash acts and altered lives.When sharp-edged Frances Moon and her long-time partner encounter a funeral procession that brings traffic to a halt, she finds herself blurting out the barest thread of a story that she never intended to share. The reverberations drive her back to the past and her mother’s old rental property, the lone house in a failed subdivision called Liberty Street.There, memories are ghosts: Frances’s mother on her way to Nashville to become a country singer; her father determined to run his farm despite his failing eyesight; the town’s bad apple, Dooley Sullivan; a string of renters including the December bride, Esme Bigalow, and a man who met a tragic end, Silas Chance.When a domestic mishap and a torrential hailstorm send Frances to the questionable safety of an eccentric neighbour’s kitchen, she learns just how unreliable memory is, and that she was not the only one whose life after Elliot, Saskatchewan was determined by half-truths and bad decisions.With depth, insight and the subtle humour for which she is known, Dianne Warren gives us an engrossing and touching new novel about disappointment, anger and the redemptive power of kindness.
The book is rated 3.62/5 at goodreads.com, from 205 ratings. See 53 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2ezjgzV.
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A crime book recommendation: Angels of Music by Kim Newman

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2xfREMG.
The result is a delicious, gory Gothic romp that gives three-dimensionality to female characters such as Phantom’s Irene Adler, Trilby O’Ferrall and Christine Daaé perhaps underserved in the original.
Book description from Google Books:
Deep in the shadows under the Paris Opera House resides Erik the Phantom, mysteriously enduring through the decades as the mastermind behind a strange and secret agency. A revolving door of female agents are charged by wealthy Parisians and the French Government to investigate crimes and misdemeanours they would prefer to keep out of the public eye.  The toxic underbelly of Paris is exposed by Erik’s tenacious women operatives as they confront horror and corruption throughout the city. But it is one dreadful murder during the 1910 Great Flood of Paris that brings Irene Adler, Kate Reed and others together for a final, deadly confrontation.
The book is rated 3.69/5 at goodreads.com, from 151 ratings. See 27 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2wAXMeG.
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A crime book recommendation: Prince of Tricksters: The Incredible True Story of Netley Lucas, Gentleman Crook by Matt Houlbrook

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2usozhc.
…this is far more than a biography. It is a portrait of a period in transition which Houlbrook describes as an “age of disguise”. His book is theoretically aware, meticulously researched and brimming with insights into both the interwar years and this unscrupulous yet remarkable figure for whom identity was as fluid and fleeting as quicksilver.
Book description from Google Books:
Meet Netley Lucas, Prince of Tricksters—royal biographer, best-selling crime writer, and gentleman crook. In the years after the Great War, Lucas becomes infamous for climbing the British social ladder by his expert trickery—his changing names and telling of tales. An impudent young playboy and a confessed confidence trickster, he finances his far-flung hedonism through fraud and false pretenses. After repeated spells in prison, Lucas transforms himself into a confessing “ex-crook,” turning his inside knowledge of the underworld into a lucrative career as freelance journalist and crime expert. But then he’s found out again—exposed and disgraced for faking an exclusive about a murder case. So he reinvents himself, taking a new name and embarking on a prolific, if short-lived, career as a royal biographer and publisher. Chased around the world by detectives and journalists after yet another sensational scandal, the gentleman crook dies as spectacularly as he lived—a washed-up alcoholic, asphyxiated in a fire of his own making. The lives of Netley Lucas are as flamboyant as they are unlikely. In Prince of Tricksters, Matt Houlbrook picks up the threads of Lucas’s colorful lies and lives. Interweaving crime writing and court records, letters and life-writing, Houlbrook tells Lucas’s fascinating story and, in the process, provides a panoramic view of the 1920s and ’30s. In the restless times after the Great War, the gentlemanly trickster was an exemplary figure, whose tall tales and bogus biographies exposed the everyday difficulties of knowing who and what to trust. Tracing how Lucas both evoked and unsettled the world through which he moved, Houlbrook shows how he prompted a pervasive crisis of confidence that encompassed British society, culture, and politics. Taking readers on a romp through Britain, North America, and eventually into Africa, Houlbrook confronts readers with the limits of our knowledge of the past and challenges us to think anew about what history is and how it might be made differently.
The book is rated 3.86/5 at goodreads.com, from 7 ratings. See 2 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2us8DM3.
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Google Books preview available in full post.

A crime book recommendation: The Secret History of Twin Peaks by Mark Frost

A critic review (source National Post arts) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2kvgjTH.
It re-introduces all the major elements of the show, sets up the next season, and fills in a lot of blanks for anyone who’s ever been interested in the evil that lurks in those woods.
Book description from Google Books:
From the co-creator of the landmark series, the story millions of fans have been waiting to get their hands on for 25 long years.The Secret History of Twin Peaks enlarges the world of the original series, placing the unexplained phenomena that unfolded there into a vastly layered, wide-ranging history, beginning with the journals of Lewis and Clark and ending with the shocking events that closed the finale. The perfect way to get in the mood for the upcoming Showtime series.
The book is rated 4.00/5 at goodreads.com, from 4439 ratings. See 741 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2kvgoGZ.
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A crime book recommendation: The Lost Order: A Novel (Cotton Malone) by Steve Berry

A critic review (source Washington Times) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2s0Nbvr.
Berry’s fans will love his latest endeavor as he brings more detail into Malone’s past and how he came to be known as Cotton. The villains are a bit over the top, and their ultimate goal is somewhat confusing, but it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Book description from Google Books:
The Knights of the Golden Circle was the largest and most dangerous clandestine organization in American history. It amassed billions in stolen gold and silver, all buried in hidden caches across the United States. Since 1865 treasure hunters have searched, but little of that immense wealth has ever been found.Now, one hundred and sixty years later, two factions of what remains of the Knights of the Golden Circle want that lost treasure—one to spend it for their own ends, the other to preserve it. Thrust into this battle is former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone, whose connection to the knights is far deeper than he ever imagined. At the center is the Smithsonian Institution—linked to the knights, its treasure, and Malone himself through an ancestor, a Confederate spy named Angus “Cotton” Adams, whose story holds the key to everything. Complicating matters are the political ambitions of a reckless Speaker of the House and the bitter widow of a United States Senator, who together are planning radical changes to the country. And while Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt face the past, ex-president Danny Daniels and Stephanie Nelle confront a new and unexpected challenge, a threat that may cost one of them their life. From the backrooms of the Smithsonian to the deepest woods in rural Arkansas, and finally up into the rugged mountains of northern New Mexico, The Lost Order by Steve Berry is a perilous adventure into our country’s dark past, and a potentially even darker future.
The book is rated 4.12/5 at goodreads.com, from 3189 ratings. See 391 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2s0PHSv.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2s0RW86.
Google Books preview available in full post.

A crime book recommendation: The Trespasser: A Novel by Tana French

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2euXoWI.
“The Trespasser” is brisk but not breathless. It would be a pity if Ms. French raced through such beautifully conceived and executed material.
Book description from Google Books:
New York Times bestselling author Tana French is “required reading for anyone who appreciates tough, unflinching intelligence and ingenious plotting” (The New York Times). She “inspires cultic devotion in readers . . . (The New Yorker) and is “the most important crime novelist to emerge in the past 10 years” (Washington Post). “Atmospheric and unputdownable.” – People An Amazon Best Book of the Year In bestselling Tana French’s newest “tour de force,”* being on the Murder squad is nothing like Detective Antoinette Conway dreamed it would be. Her partner, Stephen Moran, is the only person who seems glad she’s there. The rest of her working life is a stream of thankless cases, vicious pranks, and harassment. Antoinette is savagely tough, but she’s getting close to the breaking point. Their new case looks like yet another by-the-numbers lovers’ quarrel gone bad. Aislinn Murray is blond, pretty, groomed to a shine, and dead in her catalogue-perfect living room, next to a table set for a romantic dinner. There’s nothing unusual about her–except that Antoinette’s seen her somewhere before. And that her death won’t stay in its neat by-numbers box. Other detectives are trying to push Antoinette and Steve into arresting Aislinn’s boyfriend, fast. There’s a shadowy figure at the end of Antoinette’s road. Aislinn’s friend is hinting that she knew Aislinn was in danger. And everything they find out about Aislinn takes her further from the glossy, passive doll she seemed to be. Antoinette knows the harassment has turned her paranoid, but she can’t tell just how far gone she is. Is this case another step in the campaign to force her off the squad, or are there darker currents flowing beneath its polished surface?
The book is rated 3.97/5 at goodreads.com, from 30546 ratings. See 3826 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2ev33vA.
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