Catch Me

To say that the case before Boston detective D.D. Warren in CATCH ME, the latest novel by Lisa Gardner, is unusual is putting it mildly. As readers will discover, the oddity of the case is merely one of the baffling and frightening complications in this seventh series entry.

While investigating the latest of what appears to be a series of vigilante-style shootings of local pedophiles, Warren is suddenly approached by Charlene Rosalind Carter Grant, who’s been hanging around the crime scene, and says she has reason to believe that she will be murdered in four days.

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PREVIEW >> Exit Music: The Radiohead Story

The following is an excerpt of EXIT MUSIC: THE RADIOHEAD STORY, UPDATED EDITION by Mac Randall, published by Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard. This first chapter is reprinted with permission of the publisher.

The day was Monday, June 9, 1997, and a concert was about to begin near New York City’s Union Square. Over the weekend that had just ended, thousands of music fans had made pilgrimages much further uptown, to Downing Stadium on Randalls Island in the East River between Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens, to witness the second annual two-day Tibetan Freedom Concert. An all-star event organized by New York’s own hip-hop kings the Beastie Boys to focus world attention on Tibet’s plight under harsh Chinese rule and to raise money for the cause of Tibetan independence, the concert had featured such rock luminaries as U2, Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and Mike Mills from R.E.M., Alanis Morissette, and the Beastie Boys themselves.

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Dead of Winter

Brian Moreland’s DEAD OF WINTER is set in the isolated wilderness of Canada during an especially nasty winter. It begins promisingly enough with the arrival of a malnourished, sickly young girl at Fort Pendleton, a fur trading post. The girl is apparently the lone survivor of an affliction that turned her family and friends into ravenous cannibals.

Naturally, the girl is sick herself with … whatever it is that turns the people into monstrous-looking creatures that exist solely to dine on human flesh, and of course, the men folk of Fort Pendleton are going to mount a search-and-rescue party to see if there are other survivors out there.

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The Good, the Bad and the Godawful: 21st-Century Movie Reviews

About the last person I ever expected to read a book’s worth of film criticism from would be Kurt Loder, who’s written just that with THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE GODAWFUL. For one thing, he’s an iconic face of MTV and known as a music journalist. For another … well, that’s it, really: MTV!

But you know what? He does a pretty damned good job at it! While offering perhaps too much in the way of plot synopsis (free of spoilers, however), he conveys the story flow in an imminently readable fashion. He also comments often on the work of that unsung hero of the movies: the cinematographer, naming him by name and familiar with his prior successes playing with light.

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Dead Man’s Switch

For some reason, mysteries about auto racing are few and far between. There’s Jim Lavene’s NASCAR series; I remember Bob Judd wrote a few books back in the early ’90s I enjoyed (BURN, CURVE); and Garth Stein wrote a memorable novel about racing, family and dogs (THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN), but it wasn’t really a mystery.

Now, here’s Tammy Kaehler exploring the world of sports car racing with her debut novel, DEAD MAN’S SWITCH. Our protagonist, Kate Reilly, is an up-and-coming race car driver, trying to land a full-time ride with one of the good teams in the American Le Mans Series. She’s had the occasional fill-in role with decent results, so she attends each event, hoping to substitute if someone comes down sick or injured. Or dead.

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A Bad Night’s Sleep

Entry three in the Joe Kozmarski series, A BAD NIGHT’S SLEEP, shows author Michael Wiley at his down-and-dirty hardcore P.I. best. His terse sentences couple perfectly with the slam-bang action as Kozmarski finds himself in very, very deep trouble right from the stunning opening chapter.

Our hero is investigating thefts from a construction site when he manages to actually see the thieves in action. They’re uniformed cops. He calls for the what-he-hopes-to-be-not corrupt police and when they arrive, a cop vs. cop shootout occurs, ending when Kozmarski is forced to use his own gun.

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Breaking Silence

What a stroke of genius for Linda Castillo to set her thriller/police procedurals in the heart of Amish country in Ohio. The Amish culture is exotic enough for most readers, what with its banns, fervent faith, close-knit community, horse-drawn buggies and lack of electricity. Having her protagonist, Police Chief Kate Burkholder, be brought up in the Amish faith, only to turn away from it, positions her as a necessary bridge between Amish and non-Amish culture and society.

My own experience in Pennsylvania Dutch country tells me that the author knows her stuff, and she treats her fictional Amish subjects with respect and sensitivity. Unfortunately, she also knows that because of their exoticism, the Amish are occasionally targeted by bigots and vandals.

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Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom

The influence of Edgar Rice Burroughs is almost incalculable. Nearly every major science-fiction author whose work would define the Golden Age was swept away in their youth by A PRINCESS OF MARS and the other author’s books chronicling the heroic adventures of Civil War veteran John Carter on the red planet Barsoom — or Mars, as we Earthlings call it.

To this day, readers continue to discover the Barsoom stories — via interviews or articles about their favorite contemporary fantasy or sci-fi writers and their list of recommended reading — and understand how they touched nearly everything that followed.

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Power Play

Science-fiction master Ben Bova’s POWER PLAY is similar to a previous work, 2010’s ABLE ONE, in that it is a techno-thriller more concerned with characters than contraptions. Speculative technology plays a major role, to be sure, but the real essence of this new work is the murky and often dangerous world of politics.

For most of his adult life, Jake Ross has looked upon Leverett Caldwell as his mentor. After all, it was Professor Caldwell who initially inspired Jake to study astronomy and eventually become a university instructor himself.

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The Bigfoot Filmography: Fictional and Documentary Appearances in Film and Television

I wish THE BIGFOOT FILMOGRAPHY were as compelling as the amateur home-video footage that made the cryptid such a pop-culture phenomenon. David Coleman certainly has the passion for the project — and at first glance and a hold in your hands, the book’s thickness and heft promises a lot — but the end result is less than enthralling. Kinda like so many of the movies it catalogues.

Arranged in alphabetical order, the paperback gives ink across all genres, from drive-in efforts like SNOWBEAST to Hammer’s THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN and greasy kids’ stuff like HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS, as well as TV appearances like the epic bionic showdown with THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN.

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