Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pg. 69: Laura Lippman's "The Most Dangerous Thing"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Some secrets can’t be kept....

The Most Dangerous Thing

Years ago, they were all the best of friends. But as time passed and circumstances changed, they grew apart, became adults with families of their own, and began to forget about the past—and the terrible lie they all shared. But now Gordon, the youngest and wildest of the five, has died and the others are thrown together for the first time in years.

And then the revelations start.

Could their long-ago lie be the reason for their troubles today? Is it more dangerous to admit to what they’ve done or is it the strain of keeping the secret that is beginning to wear on them and everyone close to them? Each one of these old friends has to wonder if their secret has been discovered—and if someone within the circle is out to destroy them.
Learn more about the book and author at Laura Lippman's website and blog.

Laura Lippman's top 10 memorable memoirs.

The Page 69 Test: Another Thing to Fall.

The Page 69 Test: What the Dead Know.

The Page 69 Test/Page 99 Test: Life Sentences.

The Page 69 Test: I'd Know You Anywhere.

The Page 69 Test: The Most Dangerous Thing.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top 10 novels of solitude

Teju Cole was raised in Nigeria and came to the United States in 1992. He is a writer, photographer, and professional historian of early Netherlandish art. Open City is his first novel. He lives in New York City.

For the Guardian, he named his top ten novels of solitude, including:
Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

Yourcenar's marvellous account of the life and mind of the Emperor Hadrian is a flawless historical fiction. Hadrian, as depicted here, is a lonely and sensual philhellene; an introvert and philosopher who, for the sake of Rome, had to be a public man. It is the story of a philosopher-king's struggle to understand himself, but such is Yourcenar's skill that we absorb, along the way, both the flickering memories in Hadrian's mind as well as a lot of information about ancient Rome.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Susan Matt's "Homesickness: An American History"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Homesickness: An American History by Susan J. Matt.

About the book, from the publisher:
Homesickness today is dismissed as a sign of immaturity, what children feel at summer camp, but in the nineteenth century it was recognized as a powerful emotion. When gold miners in California heard the tune "Home, Sweet Home," they sobbed. When Civil War soldiers became homesick, army doctors sent them home, lest they die. Such images don't fit with our national mythology, which celebrates the restless individualism of colonists, explorers, pioneers, soldiers, and immigrants who supposedly left home and never looked back.

Using letters, diaries, memoirs, medical records, and psychological studies, this wide-ranging book uncovers the profound pain felt by Americans on the move from the country's founding until the present day. Susan Matt shows how colonists in Jamestown longed for and often returned to England, African Americans during the Great Migration yearned for their Southern homes, and immigrants nursed memories of Sicily and Guadalajara and, even after years in America, frequently traveled home. These iconic symbols of the undaunted, forward-looking American spirit were often homesick, hesitant, and reluctant voyagers. National ideology and modern psychology obscure this truth, portraying movement as easy, but in fact Americans had to learn how to leave home, learn to be individualists. Even today, in a global society that prizes movement and that condemns homesickness as a childish emotion, colleges counsel young adults and their families on how to manage the transition away from home, suburbanites pine for their old neighborhoods, and companies take seriously the emotional toll borne by relocated executives and road warriors. In the age of helicopter parents and boomerang kids, and the new social networks that sustain connections across the miles, Americans continue to assert the significance of home ties.

By highlighting how Americans reacted to moving farther and farther from their roots, Homesickness: An American History revises long-held assumptions about home, mobility, and our national identity.
Learn more about Homesickness at the Oxford University Press website.

Susan J. Matt is Presidential Distinguished Professor of History at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. She is the author of Keeping Up with the Joneses: Envy in American Consumer Society, 1890-1930.

The Page 99 Test: Homesickness.

--Marshal Zeringue

Irene Fleming's "The Brink of Fame" the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The Brink of Fame by Irene Fleming.

The entry begins:
I have to mix actors from different eras to get the desired effect. The actress who plays Emily Daggett should have a beautiful speaking voice, which lets out most of the young moderns with their nasal California accents. Carey Mulligan, maybe. Or back in the day, Jean Arthur.

I have always seen Holbert Bruns as Jimmy...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Irene Fleming's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Edge of Ruin.

My Book, The Movie: The Brink of Fame.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What is Jodi Compton reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Jodi Compton, author of Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot.

Her entry begins:
This summer has seen me on a science-and-mathematics tangent, which is unusual, because I’m usually all about fiction. However, I was intrigued by the listings in the Scientific American Book Club catalog and gave a chance to several of their offerings. Most recently, this was Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife.

More of the book was about politics, polls and elections than I’d expected -- I thought it would have more to do with advertising, propaganda, and the misuse of results of scientific and medical studies. So I admit I didn’t read it cover to cover. But Seife is a light, funny writer, which helps a great deal with potentially dense material. Meanwhile, the pictures of mis-marked ballots in the Norm Coleman - Al Franken race for Senate are, alone, worth the price of admission. (One ballot, in which the voter filled in the “o” in “Norm” rather than the bubble, made me laugh until my eyes watered).

Here’s an example of the kind of “proofiness” Seife calls out. Say there’s a syndrome called “head-exploding disease” or HES...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot is the gripping sequel to Jodi Compton’s Hailey’s War. When we last left her, West Point dropout Hailey Cain had defied a powerful mobster to protect a pregnant teenager and child. The events of Hailey’s War nearly cost Cain her life, but Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot sees Hailey back in Los Angeles, now second-in-command to rising gangster Serena “Warchild” Delgadillo.

At the heart of this thrilling novel is a complex case of stolen identity, ruthless motives, and violent crime that puts Hailey back on the road, with her old friend Warchild by her side, to reclaim her name and chase down the murderer who has taken it.

Fast-paced, suspenseful, and teeming with powerful young characters, Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot is a ringing affirmation of Jodi Compton’s high-octane talent.
Learn more about the book and author at Jodi Compton's website.

Writers Read: Jodi Compton (July 2010).

The Page 69 Test: Hailey's War.

My Book, The Movie: Hailey's War.

The Page 69 Test: Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot.

My Book, The Movie: Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot.

Writers Read: Jodi Compton.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five of the best new 9/11 books

At Salon, Emma Mustich tagged five of the best new books about 9/11 and its aftermath.

One book on her list:
The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda, by Ali H. Soufan

Writing for the New Yorker in 2006, Lawrence Wright described Ali Soufan -- the author of this highly anticipated volume -- as "America's best chance to stop the attacks of September 11th." (Read Wright's full profile -- and explanation of what went wrong in the months and years before the attacks -- here.) This work sees the former FBI special agent give his own uniquely informed, granular take on 9/11 -- and the momentous, long decade that has followed.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: David Liss's "The Twelfth Enchantment"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss.

About the book, from the publisher:
Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances. After the death of her beloved father, she is forced to maintain a shabby dignity as the unwanted boarder of her tyrannical uncle, fending off marriage to a local mill owner. But just as she is on the cusp of accepting a life of misery, events take a stunning turn when a handsome stranger—the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron—arrives at her house, stricken by what seems to be a curse, and with a cryptic message for Lucy. Suddenly her unfortunate circumstances are transformed in ways at once astonishing and seemingly impossible.

With the world undergoing an industrial transformation, and with England on the cusp of revolution, Lucy is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy in which her life, and her country’s future, are in the balance. Inexplicably finding herself at the center of cataclysmic events, Lucy is awakened to a world once unknown to her: where magic and mortals collide, and the forces of ancient nature and modern progress are at war for the soul of England ... and the world. The key to victory may be connected to a cryptic volume whose powers of enchantment are unbounded. Now, challenged by ruthless enemies with ancient powers at their command, Lucy must harness newfound mystical skills to prevent catastrophe and preserve humanity’s future. And enthralled by two exceptional men with designs on her heart, she must master her own desires to claim the destiny she deserves.

The Twelfth Enchantment is the most captivating work to date of a master literary conjurer.
Learn more about the book and author at David Liss's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Twelfth Enchantment.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pg. 99: Erik Bleich's "The Freedom to Be Racist?"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Freedom to Be Racist?: How the United States and Europe Struggle to Preserve Freedom and Combat Racism by Erik Bleich.

About the book, from the publisher:
We love freedom. We hate racism. But what do we do when these values collide? In this wide-ranging book, Erik Bleich explores policies that the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and other liberal democracies have implemented when forced to choose between preserving freedom and combating racism. Bleich's comparative historical approach reveals that while most countries have increased restrictions on racist speech, groups and actions since the end of World War II, this trend has resembled a slow creep more than a slippery slope. Each country has struggled to achieve a balance between protecting freedom and reducing racism, and the outcomes have been starkly different across time and place. Building on these observations, Bleich argues that we should pay close attention to the specific context and to the likely effects of any policy we implement, and that any response should be proportionate to the level of harm the racism inflicts. Ultimately, the best way for societies to preserve freedom while fighting racism is through processes of public deliberation that involve citizens in decisions that impact the core values of liberal democracies.
Learn more about The Freedom to Be Racist? at the Oxford University Press website.

Erik Bleich is Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College. He writes on issues of race and ethnicity in European and American politics for both scholarly and public outlets.

The Page 99 Test: The Freedom to Be Racist?.

--Marshal Zeringue

Elana Johnson's "Possession," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Possession by Elana Johnson.

The entry begins:
If Possession were made into a film, I’d really like to see David Henrie (Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place) as Jag Barque. He’s got the whole rebel vibe going on, even though he’s the good guy on Wizards. Give him some gel though, and yeah. He could totally be Jag Barque.

For the female lead, Violet Schoenfeld, I honestly have no idea, because I always picture her as a cartoon in my head. Lame, I know!

Maybe for Zenn Bower, the calm, cool “good guy” I’d pick...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Elana Johnson's website and blog.

Writers Read: Elana Johnson.

My Book, The Movie: Possession.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five books on Islamic militancy

Jason Burke is a British journalist and the author of several non-fiction books. Lee Konstantinou called Burke’s Al-Qaeda" a really eye-opening look at how the terrorist organization was born and how it really operates."

At The Browser, he discussed five books on Islamic militancy with Daisy Banks, including:
A Fury for God
by Malise Ruthven

Next up is A Fury For God, by Malise Ruthven, which explores the whole question of modernity and Islam.

Malise Ruthven is one of the grand writers on the Islamic world and on Islam. He also wrote The Islamic World, which is a classic, and I was thinking about choosing that. But A Fury for God is a book that I learnt an awful lot from. Often with books it is what they bring to you. What Ruthven was saying in 2002 immediately after 9/11 has been said and re-said many times since. I read this book in northern Iraq in 2002 and it taught me an enormous amount about the complexity of the engagement in many societies that have a strong Muslim identity with what in the West we know as “modernity”.

He is very good on Sayyid Qutb, a leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic activist and ideologue in the 1950s and 1960s and one of the foundational authors of modern militant Islam. He explores Qutb’s reaction to what he saw as the licentiousness and the moral degradation of the West. The book is very good at explaining how Islamic militants view the West, particularly on the moral side of things.

And it also explores their frustration with the West’s refusal to conform to what they see as the right path.

It more about how they see it as a threat to their own society, and how the answer to that threat is to return to the fundamentals of religion as they interpret it.
Read about another of Burke's picks.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Steve Hockensmith & Amy

Today's featured duo at Coffee with a Canine: Steve Hockensmith and Amy.

The author, on how Amy came to join his household:
It was fate. My daughter had been begging us for a dog for quite a while, but I’d resisted out of deference to my beloved old cat Izzy. I wasn’t going to force a 17-year-old cat to deal with a dog all of a sudden. After Izzy finally passed away last summer, I gave myself a few months to grieve. Then I gave in. We knew we wanted a small-ish dog -- we have small-ish children and a small-ish house -- so we monitored the websites of various rescue societies hoping to find a candidate of the right size. We came close a few times, but nothing ever worked out. Finally, frustrated after months of web-surfing, my wife said, “Why don’t we throw the kids in the car and just go to the pound right now?” So we drove to the SPCA facility in Oakland, started to go inside...and bumped into a volunteer taking Amy out for a walk just as we arrived. Amy was the perfect size, cute as the dickens and sweet with the kids. So...[read on]
Hockensmith, on his new e-book, My Dog Needs Surgery:
It’s a collection of mystery stories and humorous essays that I’ve written over the years. But Amy was the inspiration for the collection. She has a condition called luxating patella that affects her hind legs. Basically, her knee caps don’t like to stay in her knees, which (as you can imagine) doesn’t feel so great. It can also lead to debilitating arthritis. Luxating patella can be corrected surgically, but Amy doesn’t have the money for it and unfortunately neither do I. So the collection’s called My Dog Needs Surgery and it’s available as a 99 cent ebook via Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. If I sell enough downloads, Amy can get her surgery sooner rather than later. Not that I’m trying to hold my dog’s health hostage to drum up sales. I’m not National Lampoon!
Steve Hockensmith is the author of Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the best-selling prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. He also writes the “Holmes on the Range” mystery series. He lives in Alameda, Calif., with a grown-up person, two non-grown-up people and a semi-grown-up dog.

Writers Read: Steve Hockensmith.

My Book, The Movie: Dreadfully Ever After.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Steve Hockensmith and Amy.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Ann Napolitano reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Ann Napolitano, author of A Good Hard Look.

Her entry begins:
I was a reader - a voracious one - before I was ever a writer. I simply love books. When I was a child and teenager, I read every genre. I was blissfully unaware of what was considered a "good" book; I thought a good book was simply one you couldn't put down. I loved the Louis L'Amour westerns, Sherlock Holmes, The Flowers in the Attic, everything Madeleine L'Engle wrote, Anne of Green Gables, The Lord of the Rings, the Betsy-Tacy series, Trixie Belden... I could go on and on (very happily). The three books, however, that had the biggest impact on me as a young writer, I read in my late teens and early twenties. Those were The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing,....[read on]
Among the early praise for A Good Hard Look:
“Ann Napolitano has written a mesmerizing tale of southern life, ambition and destiny that will leave readers dazed and shaken, as if they’d stared directly into the Georgia sun.”
—Bookreporter.com

“[A Good Hard Look] is a powerful and touching work about truth, forgiveness, and redemption as told through the experiences of Flannery O’Connor, a woman who chose to live by her own terms in spite of incredible personal adversity.”
The Wichita Eagle

“Napolitano’s protagonist is a marvelously outspoken, uncompromising force who becomes the impetus for several fictional Milledgeville residents to reassess and radically alter their lives….. she [Napolitano] has spun an absorbing, old-fashioned tale about how, as in Flannery O’Connor’s stories, “Grace changes a person…. And change is painful.”
The Washington Post
Learn more about the book and author at Ann Napolitano's website.

Writers Read: Ann Napolitano.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pg. 69: Christine Cody's "Bloodlands"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Bloodlands by Christine Cody.

About the book, from the publisher:
It was called the New Badlands, home to the survivors of a cataclysm that altered the entire nation. Then the vampires arrived, and it was rechristened the Bloodlands. Not because of the vampire, but because of the gun-for- hire who'd decided to slay every monster in the country by any and every means necessary.
Learn more about the book and author at the Bloodlands wesbite and on Twitter.

Christine Cody is the author of the new postapocalyptic supernatural Western Bloodlands series. The first book, Bloodlands,  launched July 26 and will be followed by Blood Rules (August 30) and In Blood We Trust (September 27).

My Book, The Movie: Bloodlands.

The Page 69 Test: Bloodlands.

--Marshal Zeringue

Nine literary works about earthquakes

David L. Ulin is the author of The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith.

Earlier this year he came up with a list of "ways of looking at earthquakes through literature." One title to make his list:
Five Fires: Race, Catastrophe, and the Shaping of California by David Wyatt.

In this 1999 book, Wyatt makes a case for fire as the central social shaping mechanism in California history, tracing five events in particular, including the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906. "With the earthquake and fire," he writes, "San Francisco began the immediate translation of the text into the myth.... The particular story that San Francisco told itself about the earthquake and fire was of a city coolly eyeing its own destruction, a city acting 'casual,' as Kathryn Hulme describes a man blowing drifting char from his hands, 'casual when you knew he wasn’t feeling so.'"
Read about another book on Ulin's list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Jeff Sharlet's "Sweet Heaven When I Die"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country In Between by Jeff Sharlet.

About the book, from the publisher:
Linked narrative nonfiction from the best-selling author of The Family.

No one explores the borderlands of belief and skepticism quite like Jeff Sharlet. He is ingenious, farsighted, and able to excavate the worlds of others, even the flakiest and most fanatical, with uncanny sympathy. Here, he reports back from the far reaches of belief, whether in the clear mountain air of "Sweet Fuck All, Colorado" or in a midnight congregation of urban anarchists celebrating a victory over police.

From Dr. Cornel West to legendary banjo player Dock Boggs, from the youth evangelist Ron Luce to America's largest "Mind, Body, Spirit Expo," Sharlet profiles religious radicals, realists, and escapists. Including extended journeys published here for the first time, Sweet Heaven When I Die offers a portrait of our spiritual landscape that calls to mind Joan Didion's classic Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
Learn more about the book and author at Jeff Sharlet's website and blog.

Jeff Sharlet, a contributing editor for Harper's Magazine and Rolling Stone, is the bestselling author of The Family, C Street, and, with Peter Manseau, Killing the Buddha. He is Dartmouth College's first tenure track professor of creative nonfiction.

The Page 99 Test: Sweet Heaven When I Die.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What is Meg Gardiner reading?

This weekend's featured contributor to Writers Read: Meg Gardiner, author of The Nightmare Thief.

Her entry begins:
At the moment I'm reading two vastly different books about music. The big, bad, serious nonfiction book is The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross's majestic and incisive history of music in the Twentieth Century. How Ross manages to bring music to life through words amazes me. His research is both encyclopedic and fascinating. Colorful stories -- of affairs, riots, suicides, passion, supermarket rage -- add richness to the narrative. I come from a family of musicians (classical and rock 'n' roll). They've all either read and loved this book, or are lurking, waiting to grab it from my hands.

I'm also reading...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Nightmare Thief:
"A tense, thrill-a-second race against time."
--Daily Mail

"[A] tidal wave of adrenaline."
--People (3 1/2 out of 4 stars)

“The story is as white-knuckled and breathtaking as a season of '24.’"
--Florida Times-Union

"[A] strong thriller... Gardiner really gets the adrenaline pumping."
--Publishers Weekly

"Mystery fans will stay up late reading Gardiner's breathless latest."
--Booklist

"[W]ildly entertaining....there are plenty of surprises as this runaway train of a novel barrels along. With its taut plotting and bleak desert setting, THE NIGHTMARE THIEF is a great summer read, the kind of book you might pull out of your beach bag in the morning and devour by dinner."
--Bookreporter.com
Learn more about the author and her work at Meg Gardiner's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Dirty Secrets Club.

The Page 69 Test: The Memory Collector.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Evan Delaney series.

Writers Read: Meg Gardiner (July 2010).

The Page 69 Test: The Liar's Lullaby.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Jo Beckett series.

The Page 69 Test: The Nightmare Thief.

Writers Read: Meg Gardiner.

--Marshal Zeringue

Jodi Compton's "Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot by Jodi Compton.

Her entry begins:
Let me start with this: Thieves is a sequel, so if you’re an obsessive reader of “My Book, the Movie”, you might remember that last year I picked two actors for the lead roles of Hailey Cain and Serena Delgadillo. They were Abbie Cornish (Stop-Loss) and, age notwithstanding, Sara Ramirez (Grey’s Anatomy). I say “age notwithstanding” because Hailey, who was 23 at the beginning of Hailey’s War, is still only 25 as Thieves gets underway. Serena “Warchild” Delgadillo is only six months older than her.

You might also, if you have perfect recall like that famous Russian guy, remember that I promised to watch more youth television and movies, in order to find the ideal actors to age-appropriately play these roles. After some thought, I've decided the 29-year-old Cornish is still a good choice for Hailey. For Serena, I'm bumping Ramirez in favor of...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Jodi Compton's website.

Writers Read: Jodi Compton.

The Page 69 Test: Hailey's War.

My Book, The Movie: Hailey's War.

The Page 69 Test: Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot.

My Book, The Movie: Thieves Get Rich, Saints Get Shot.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten great hurricane reads

The writers at The Daily Beast came up with a list of "good book[s] about people enduring hurricanes and other aquatic misadventures," including:
Condominium and Cape Fear
by John D. MacDonald

The author of the Travis McGee mysteries wrote a lot of great pulp novels before he invented his bestselling detective. One of them formed the basis for the movie starring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck, where Mitchum plays devilish ex-con Max Cady (yes, remade by Scorsese with De Niro, and it’s a movie with a few good moments, but if you want to see pure evil burn right through the screen, you’ll have to go with Mitchum, abetted by one of Bernard Herrmann’s best scores), and yes, there’s a hurricane in it, too. Condominium is a much later MacDonald, a sort of bid to outdo Michener with a big novel about feckless developers on Florida’s Gulf Coast and the whirlwind they reap for building on the sand. The characters are cardboard, but MacDonald’s descriptions of a hurricane are as good as they come.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 26, 2011

What is Elana Johnson reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Elana Johnson, author of Possession.

Her entry begins:
Right now, I have an advanced reader’s copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door. I’m a huge sucker for romance, and based on Stephanie Perkins’s first book (Anna and the French Kiss), I know I’m going to get my kissing fix.

Besides romance, I love books that move quickly, with characters that I can really feel something for. One of my recent faves is...[read on]
About Possession, from the publisher:
Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even think about kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn… and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.

But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them….starting by brainwashed Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous: everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.

This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.
Learn more about the book and author at Elana Johnson's website and blog.

Writers Read: Elana Johnson.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five books on aliens

For the Independent, Alice-Azania Jarvis came up with a reading list on aliens.

Her selection under the category of humor:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

First published in 1985 following a successful radio series of the same name, Adams' series of Hitchhiker books remain a pop-cultural phenomenon, spawning multiple spin-offs on stage and in comic books. The laugh-out-loud tale follows Arthur Dent, a hapless Englishman, as he travels through space.
Read about another book on the reading list.

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy appears on TDon Calame's top 10 list of funny teen boy books and John Mullan's list of ten of the best instances of invisibility in literature.

Related: Ten of the best aliens in science fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: David Stasavage's "States of Credit"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: States of Credit: Size, Power, and the Development of European Polities by David Stasavage.

About the book, from the publisher:
States of Credit provides the first comprehensive look at the joint development of representative assemblies and public borrowing in Europe during the medieval and early modern eras. In this pioneering book, David Stasavage argues that unique advances in political representation allowed certain European states to gain early and advantageous access to credit, but the emergence of an active form of political representation itself depended on two underlying factors: compact geography and a strong mercantile presence.

Stasavage shows that active representative assemblies were more likely to be sustained in geographically small polities. These assemblies, dominated by mercantile groups that lent to governments, were in turn more likely to preserve access to credit. Given these conditions, smaller European city-states, such as Genoa and Cologne, had an advantage over larger territorial states, including France and Castile, because mercantile elites structured political institutions in order to effectively monitor public credit. While creditor oversight of public funds became an asset for city-states in need of finance, Stasavage suggests that the long-run implications were more ambiguous. City-states with the best access to credit often had the most closed and oligarchic systems of representation, hindering their ability to accept new economic innovations. This eventually transformed certain city-states from economic dynamos into rentier republics.

Exploring the links between representation and debt in medieval and early modern Europe, States of Credit contributes to broad debates about state formation and Europe's economic rise.
Learn more about States of Credit at the Princeton University Press website.

David Stasavage is professor of politics at New York University. He is also the author of Public Debt and the Birth of the Democratic State.

The Page 99 Test: States of Credit.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: David Levien's "Thirteen Million Dollar Pop"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Thirteen Million Dollar Pop (Frank Behr Series #3) by David Levien.

About the book, from the publisher:
The bestselling author of City of the Sun returns with a relentlessly taut new novel featuring enigmatic private investigator Frank Behr and the American heartland setting that has won David Levien critical acclaim.

In an Indianapolis underground parking structure, Frank Behr is on an executive protection detail for Bernard “Bernie Cool” Kolodnik, a hard-driving business mogul on the verge of making a move into big-time Indiana politics. Behr is working for an exclusive investigation company, and it’s an uncomfortable fit, both literally and philosophi­cally. The uneasy stability is quickly rocked by a burst of automatic weapons fire as an attempt is made on the promi­nent client, and Behr manages to protect him and repel the attackers. Though Behr is celebrated for his heroism, he can’t help but investigate what happened in that garage—and why the Indianapolis cops seem to be burying the incident.

As David Levien has masterfully done in his previous nov­els, he weaves a crime story that is teeming with real charac­ters and electric energy—centered on the brooding psyche of Frank Behr. Thirteen Million Dollar Pop is unyieldingly compelling and will give readers yet another reason to enlist with this superbly talented writer.
Learn more about the book and author at David Levien's website.

Writers Read: David Levien.

The Page 69 Test: Thirteen Million Dollar Pop.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What is Mary Daheim reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Mary Daheim, author of All the Pretty Hearses.

The entry begins:
Readers who know my books probably realize that I base many of my characters on family members, especially in the B&B series. In the Emma Lord mysteries, the setting is the once-real town of Alpine where my ancestors lived almost a hundred years ago. Thus, I’ve shamelessly mined the characteristics and quirks of my nearest and dearest for over twenty years. Luckily, a sense of humor is a family trait.

I once used a relative much earlier in my publishing career. I cast Thomas Cromwell, Chancellor of England under Henry VIII, as my heroine’s uncle in one of my historical novels, Destiny’s Pawn. To my pleasure and enlightenment...[read on]
About All the Pretty Hearses, from the publisher:
Bed-and-breakfast owner and amateur sleuth Judith McMonigle Flynn has to deal with a case of insurance fraud—and mystery meat gone bad—in this delightful entry to the beloved series by USA Today bestselling author Mary Daheim

There’s no “fun” in “fund-raiser” for Judith McMonigle Flynn when she donates an overnight stay at Hillside Manor for the parish school’s annual auction—not when the pricey winning bid goes to the persnickety Paine family. Dinner is included—if Judith can sort through the endless allergies and aversions of the painfully picky Paines. The last thing she needs is another B&B guest who checks out permanently. Thankfully, her husband, Joe, is home early. His latest surveillance job has just ended abruptly with a .38 Smith & Wesson blowing away the insurance fraud suspect. Unfortunately, the gun belongs to Joe, who finds himself in a jail cell as a murder suspect while Judith tries to find what’s left of her mind—and the real killer.

But Joe’s dilemma and the unbearable Paines aren’t Judith’s only problems. Her cantankerous mother, Gertrude, has agreed to let a wealthy parishioner stable a horse in her toolshed apartment; cousin Renie is trying to force-feed her loathsome Shrimp Dump recipe to the parish cookbook fundraising committee; and neighbor Arlene Rankers wants to know why some parish schoolkids, including her grandson, are sick after the weekly hamburger lunch.

Judith figures she’s already got way too much on her plate, so what else could possibly go wrong? On the other hand, at Hillside Manor, what can possibly go right?
Learn more about the book and author at Mary Daheim's website.

The Page 69 Test: Vi Agra Falls.

The Page 99 Test: The Alpine Uproar.

Writers Read: Mary Daheim.

--Marshal Zeringue

The 10 best fictional holidays

At the Guardian, Kate Kellaway named the ten best fictional holidays.

One book on the list:
The Comfort of Strangers
Ian McEwan

Never accept hospitality from strangers on holiday, at least, not if you’re in an Ian McEwan novel. “When you are tired, a hotel is not such a good place. I will make you so comfortable you’ll forget your terrible night…” says Robert, a stranger... whom Mary and Colin encounter in what might be Venice, were McEwan to grace the setting with anything as reassuring as a name. Holidays are journeys into the unknown, and this compelling, driven, sadistic novel explores what it might be like to lose yourself for ever
Read about another novel on the list.

The Comfort of Strangers is on John Mullan's list of ten of the best visits to Venice in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue

Linda Urbach's "Madame Bovary's Daughter," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Madame Bovary's Daughter by Linda Urbach.

The entry begins:
Before the first scene is even shot, I have to pay a visit to my bank to deposit the enormous check I’ve received for the movie rights to Madame Bovary’s Daughter. Then I have to make an appointment with my accountant to find out how I can avoid paying taxes on such a huge sum. (Unfortunately, there turns out to be no legal way.)

Then I hold auditions for the much sought after part of Berthe Bovary. If you think it’s easy choosing between Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Nicole...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Linda Urbach's website and blog.

Writers Read: Linda Urbach.

The Page 69 Test: Madame Bovary's Daughter.

My Book, The Movie: Madame Bovary's Daughter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Cathy N. Davidson's "Now You See It"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn by Cathy N. Davidson.

About the book, from the publisher:
A digital innovator shows how we can thrive in the new technological age.

When Cathy Davidson and Duke University gave free iPods to the freshman class in 2003, critics said they were wasting their money. Yet when students in practically every discipline invented academic uses for their music players, suddenly the idea could be seen in a new light-as an innovative way to turn learning on its head.

This radical experiment is at the heart of Davidson's inspiring new book. Using cutting-edge research on the brain, she shows how "attention blindness" has produced one of our society's greatest challenges: while we've all acknowledged the great changes of the digital age, most of us still toil in schools and workplaces designed for the last century. Davidson introduces us to visionaries whose groundbreaking ideas-from schools with curriculums built around video games to companies that train workers using virtual environments-will open the doors to new ways of working and learning. A lively hybrid of Thomas Friedman and Norman Doidge, Now You See It is a refreshingly optimistic argument for a bold embrace of our connected, collaborative future.
Learn more about Now You See It at the publisher's website.

The Page 99 Test: Now You See It.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What is David Levien reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: David Levien, author of 13 Million Dollar Pop.

His entry begins:
Killing Pablo, Mark Bowden

This book is a definitive telling of Colombian law enforcement, along with U.S. Delta Force, going after the richest, most powerful and notorious drug cartel boss in history. Pablo Escobar was a billionaire and in many ways more powerful than even the President of his country. Finally, his brazen criminality and outrageous violence compelled the governments to overcome corruption and act. Entire countries, with military resources, have an incredibly difficult time bringing down this criminal overlord. Ultimately, it is the families of Escobar’s victims (innocents and criminals alike) who come forth to help the soldiers in his being taken out. Not quite as riveting as Bowden’s brilliant Black Hawk Down, but...[read on]
Among the early praise for 13 Million Dollar Pop:
“Hired to protect prominent businessman-turned-political candidate Bernard "Bernie Cool" Kolodnik, private investigator Frank Behr proves his worth by saving Kolodnik when an attempt is made on his life. But he's really not sure what happened when those automatic weapons started blazing, and he's even more suspicious when the police hush up the incident. Levien has Edgar and Shamus nominations to his credit and seems to be building. Thriller fans should definitely investigate.”
--Library Journal

“If you take heart medicine, you'll want to consult with a doctor before reading this pulse-quickening thriller from David Levien…. With his machete-sharp wit, Levien paints a vivid picture of what happens when power lands in the hands of the wrong people. Not surprisingly, his characters are alive with energy, and his rapid-fire plot is hunkered in realism. All in all, [13 Million Dollar Pop] is a thunderous book that shines a light on dirty politics and the repercussions of getting caught in the crossfire. Bullet for bullet, this is one explosive read.”
--Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star
Learn more about the book and author at David Levien's website.

Levien, author of Where the Dead Lay and City of the Sun, has been nominated for the Edgar, Hammett, and Shamus awards, and is also a screenwriter and director (including co-director of Solitary Man (2009) starring Michael Douglas). 13 Million Dollar Pop is his third Frank Behr novel.

Writers Read: David Levien.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top 5 teen fantasy series

At the Christian Science Monitor, Megan Wasson compiled a list of "five fantasy series geared towards teens that adults will love too."

One title on the list:
"The Maze Runner" series, by James Dashner

This three-part series – made up of "The Maze Runner," "The Scorch Trials," and "The Death Cure" – centers on a teen named Thomas as he fights to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. He wakes up one morning, memory gone, in a glade in the middle of a massive, dangerous maze, and must work with a band of "Gladers" to escape. But that's only the first of the trials he has to go through. It's an absorbing, action-packed series – think "Harry Potter" and "The Hunger Games" combined.
Read about another trilogy on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Linda Urbach's "Madame Bovary's Daughter"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: Madame Bovary's Daughter by Linda Urbach.

About the book, from the publisher:
Whatever happened to the only daughter of the scandalous Madame Bovary, literature’s greatest adulteress and worst mother? Picking up after the shattering end of Gustave Flaubert’s classic novel, this beguiling novel answers the question: how does a daughter survive the legacy of a mother’s sinful past?

One year after her mother’s suicide and just one day after her father’s broken hearted demise, twelve-year-old Berthe Bovary is sent to live on her grandmother’s impoverished farm. Amid the beauty of the French countryside, Berthe becomes a model for famed painter Jean-Francois Millet, but fate has more in store for her. Her determination to rise above her mother’s scandalous past will take her from the dangerous cotton mills of Lille to a convent in Rouen to the wealth and glamour of 19th century Paris.

There, as an apprentice to renown designer Charles Frederick Worth, Berthe is ushered into the high society of which she once only dreamed.

But even as the praise for her couture gowns steadily rises, she still yearns for the one thing her insatiable mother never had: the love of someone she loves in return.

Brilliantly integrating one of classic literature’s fictional creations with real historical figures, Madame Bovary’s Daughter is an uncommon coming-of-age tale, a splendid excursion through the rags and riches of French Fashion and a sweeping novel of poverty and wealth, passion and revenge.
Learn more about the book and author at Linda Urbach's website and blog.

Writers Read: Linda Urbach.

The Page 69 Test: Madame Bovary's Daughter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What is Anna Sheehan reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Anna Sheehan, author of A Long, Long Sleep.

Her entry begins:
When I was asked [what I was reading], I realized I do an awful lot of rereading. My favorite stories are comfortable as old shoes, for one. For another, as I read and reread I learn different aspects of storytelling, focusing on different tricks of the trade. I just finished Diana Wynne Jones’ The Lives of Christopher Chant for the umpteenth time. Is there any superhero more cool or more exciting than the nine-lived enchanter, Chrestomanci? (Except maybe ...[read on]
Among the early praise for A Long, Long Sleep:
"Beautiful and bittersweet, romantic and riveting, with characters I didn't want to leave behind when I reached the end. A Long, Long Sleep is my absolute favorite kind of book!"
--Jaclyn Dolamore, author of Magic Under Glass and Between the Sea and Sky

"In this intriguing first novel, Rose Fitzroy, biologically 16 years old, comes out of stasis to discover that her billionaire parents and the world she knew are long dead. Having survived the plague-ridden Dark Times, the Earth is doing quite well, with Rose's father's former company in charge of much of it. This puts Rose--the sickly, shy, and self-hating daughter of overbearing parents--in the unusual position of "waking up to discover she's the sole surviving heiress to an interplanetary empire." Before taking on any responsibilities, Rose simply wants to survive high school, make a few friends, and work on her art. Her plans are swiftly interrupted, though, when a strange, virtually unstoppable creature called a Plastine attempts to assassinate her. Aided by handsome Bren and blue-skinned alien hybrid Otto, schoolmates she develops crushes on, Rose must defeat the assassin, learn to live as an independent adult, and discover why her parents essentially abandoned her in stasis. With well-developed characters, a touch of romance, and a believable future that, for once, is not entirely dystopian, Sheehan's tale should please many readers."
--Publishers Weekly
Learn more about the book and author at Anna Sheehan's website and Amazon and Facebook pages.

Writers Read: Anna Sheehan.

--Marshal Zeringue

Brandi Lynn Ryder's "In Malice, Quite Close," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: In Malice, Quite Close by Brandi Lynn Ryder.

The entry begins:
So, who would you cast in the movie? Oddly enough, this is probably the question I’m asked more than any other. Perhaps, it’s not that odd… We are a visual culture, after all. Like everyone, I love the movies (though I tend to favor films made long before I was born), and I’m great at casting other people’s books. Why is it that I find it impossible to cast my own?

It’s not that I don’t think it would make a great movie: art, obsession and murder are the fodder of my favorite films. And I even think of writing in a very visual way, as painting with words... I see scenes play out before me like theater: my characters walk and talk in finely detailed rooms; I see the views through their windows, hear their voices in my head, smell their perfume and cologne and what they’re having for dinner. My job, as I see it, is just to type as fast as I can once they do something interesting!

But the truth is, I don’t see Johnny Depp or Julia Roberts (as wonderful as they are), or even my beloved Jeremy...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Brandi Lynn Ryder's website.

Writers Read: Brandi Lynn Ryder.

The Page 69 Test: In Malice, Quite Close.

My Book, The Movie: In Malice, Quite Close.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten of the best books set in Berlin

Malcolm Burgess is the publisher of Oxygen Books' City-Lit series, featuring writing on cities including Berlin, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Venice and Dublin.

For the Guardian, he named ten of the best books set in Berlin, including:
Ian McEwan, The Innocent, 1990

After England, the cold war Berlin of 1955 is like no place Leonard Markham has ever experienced: surreal, complex and dangerous.

"Almost too soon he was on Adalbertstrasse … There were apartment blocks with facades drilled by small arms fire, especially round the doors and windows. Every second or third building had a gutted interior, and was without its roof. Whole structures had collapsed and the rubble lay where it had fallen."
Read about another novel on the list.

The Innocent is on Suzanne Munshower's list of the top ten books about the Berlin Wall.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Joshua Rovner's "Fixing the Facts"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Fixing the Facts: National Security and the Politics of Intelligence by Joshua Rovner.

About the book, from the publisher:
What is the role of intelligence agencies in strategy and policy? How do policymakers use (or misuse) intelligence estimates? When do intelligence-policy relations work best? How do intelligence-policy failures influence threat assessment, military strategy, and foreign policy? These questions are at the heart of recent national security controversies, including the 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq. In both cases the relationship between intelligence and policy broke down—with disastrous consequences.

In Fixing the Facts, Joshua Rovner explores the complex interaction between intelligence and policy and shines a spotlight on the problem of politicization. Major episodes in the history of American foreign policy have been closely tied to the manipulation of intelligence estimates. Rovner describes how the Johnson administration dealt with the intelligence community during the Vietnam War; how President Nixon and President Ford politicized estimates on the Soviet Union; and how pressure from the George W. Bush administration contributed to flawed intelligence on Iraq. He also compares the U.S. case with the British experience between 1998 and 2003, and demonstrates that high-profile government inquiries in both countries were fundamentally wrong about what happened before the war.
Learn more about Fixing the Facts at the Cornell University Press website.

Joshua Rovner is Associate Professor of Strategy and Policy at the U.S. Naval War College.

The Page 99 Test: Fixing the Facts.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 22, 2011

What is Gerry Bartlett reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Gerry Bartlett, author of Real Vampires Don't Wear Size Six.

Her entry begins:
I recently had the pleasure of taking a trip to England and Scotland. I used it to research a castle for my next vampire novel and to shop for my antiques business in Galveston. What fun! But as the long flight across the Atlantic loomed, I realized my Kindle couldn’t be switched on until we were in the air. Losing myself in a good story helps me forget that the airplane is actually taking off. I’m not a fearless flyer. So I like to have a book handy. You know those nice paper varieties? I’m still addicted to them and my bulging bookshelves are the proof of that. I have to admit, though, an e-reader is ideal for a vacation and I enjoyed it for the two weeks I was on the road.

But back to my story. I was in what the Brits call a “Charity Shop”. I love to hunt in them for treasures and there on the bookshelves was a find. It was a slim book called The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike. I checked the date and was surprised to discover it...[read on]
About Real Vampires Don't Wear Size Six, from the publisher:
For a vampire, losing weight can be hellish-from the national bestselling author of Real Vampires Hate Their Thighs.

After Glory St. Clair kicked out the demon that had set up shop in her body, she had a serious fallout with longtime lover Jeremy Blade. But before Glory can win him back, she has some issues of the hellish variety to deal with.

When Lucifer himself offers Glory the ultimate temptation-work for the devil and he'll make her a size six-the curvy vampire's not sure if she can resist. But what Glory does know is that somehow, she's going to get back the man she loves and show everyone that real vampires always have more to love.
Learn more about the book and author at Gerry Bartlet's website and blog.

See--Coffee with a Canine: Gerry Bartlett & Jet.

The Page 69 Test: Real Vampires Have More to Love.

Writers Read: Gerry Bartlett (December 2010).

My Book, The Movie: Real Vampires Have More to Love.

Writers Read: Gerry Bartlett.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five best dispatches from the natural world

Brad Leithauser was born in Detroit and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He is a poet and novelist. Among his many awards and honors are a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and, in 2005, the induction by the president of Iceland into the Order of the Falcon for his writings about Nordic literature. He is a professor in the writing seminars at Johns Hopkins University.

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of nature books, including:
Deadly Kingdom
by Gordon Grice (2010)

In 'Deadly Kingdom,' Gordon Grice eagerly seeks encounters that most of us would gladly avoid. ("I once spent fifteen minutes handling a parson spider in an effort to get bitten.") The book is good when describing creatures that are patently murderous—sharks, crocodiles, bears—but even better when recounting the hazards of those regarded as cuddly and benign. Grice gives us bunnies that have taken off fingertips, swans that with a blow of their beak have killed children. The author clearly adores the fearsome creatures he corrals here, even if they might make Thoreau reconsider his observation that the natural world is filled with "an infinite and unaccountable friendliness."
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Dorothy Hearst & Jude

Today's featured duo at Coffee with a Canine: Dorothy Hearst and Jude.

Hearst is the author of Promise of the Wolves and Secrets of the Wolves, the first two novels in a trilogy about how the wolf became the dog from the wolf's point of view. The author, on the greatest challenge presented by telling the story from the wolf's point-of-view in the novels:
The biggest challenge became the biggest opportunity. I struggled, at first, to describe the world from a wolf's perspective. If I had been completely accurate about how a wolf perceives the world, it would have been difficult for my human readers to understand the world, but I didn't want to make the wolves seem like humans in wolf suits. I spent a great deal of time on this, and in the end, it was what shaped the entire world of the book and much of the action.

I had to think not just about how a wolf perceives things, but about what is most important to a wolf. What does she care most about and how is that different from what a human would care about? It also kept me from using clich├ęs. I couldn't say there was a blanket of leaves on the ground because...[read on]
About Secrets of the Wolves, from the publisher:
Years of research into the world of wolves combines with mythical tale-telling to present a fantastical adventure set in a world filled with lore. The rules of the Wide Valley wolves were clear: Never consort with humans; never kill a human unprovoked; never allow a mixed-blood wolf to live. But they were rules destined to be broken.

Now, in the second riveting installment of The Wolf Chronicles the stakes are higher than ever. Young Kaala of the Swift River pack shattered the rules of the valley and exposed the lies hidden beneath them. Now, responsibility for the consequences rests with her. Along with her young packmates and the humans they have befriended, she must find a way for the wolves and humans of the Wide Valley to live in harmony. If they succeed, Kaala will finally prove herself worthy of her pack. But if she fails, the Greatwolves who rule wolf-kind will kill every wolf and human in the valley.

Told from the wolf 's point-of-view and set 14,000 years ago in a time when the cultures of wolves and humans were not so different, Secrets of the Wolves transports us to a world where instincts are our only compass and cooperation between potential enemies could mean the difference between life and death.
Visit Dorothy Hearst's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Promise of the Wolves.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Dorothy Hearst & Jude.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Meg Gardiner's "The Nightmare Thief"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: The Nightmare Thief by Meg Gardiner.

About the book, from the publisher:
Forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett returns in a fourth taut, groundbreaking thriller from Edgar Award winner Meg Gardiner.

Autumn Reiniger expects something special for her twenty-first birthday. Daddy's already bought her the sports car, the apartment, and admission to the private college where she parties away her weekends. Now she wants excitement, and she's going to get it.

Her father signs up Autumn and five friends for an "ultimate urban reality" game: a simulated drug deal, manhunt, and jailbreak. It's a high-priced version of cops and robbers, played with fake guns and fast cars on the streets of San Francisco. Edge Adventures alerts the SFPD ahead of time that a "crime situation" is underway, so the authorities can ignore the squealing tires and desperate cries for help.

Which is convenient for the gang of real kidnappers zeroing in on their target and a mammoth payday. Because what Daddy doesn't know is that someone has spotted his hedge fund's bulging profits, and the path to those riches runs right through Daddy's Little Girl.

Working on a case nearby is forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett and her partner Gabe Quintana. When the pair encounters a suspicious group of men carting six sullen college kids to the woods for a supposed wilderness adventure, alarm bells ring. Jo takes a closer look, and winds up with an invite to Autumn Reiniger's twenty-first birthday party-a party they may never leave.
Learn more about the author and her work at Meg Gardiner's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Dirty Secrets Club.

The Page 69 Test: The Memory Collector.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Evan Delaney series.

Writers Read: Meg Gardiner.

The Page 69 Test: The Liar's Lullaby.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Jo Beckett series.

The Page 69 Test: The Nightmare Thief.

--Marshal Zeringue