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A Billion Ways to Die - Chris Knopf
"They’re back—tech genius researcher and financial wiz, Arthur Cathcart and his lady love, blackjack dealer and psychologist, Natsumi Fitzgerald. But so are some powerful adversaries, out for billions, and out for blood, Arthur's and Natsumi's. The odd couple met four years and two novels ago, when award-winning Chris Knopf introduced Arthur and, in the process, burnished his reputation as one of the wittiest and most intelligent thriller writers around. Now in A Billion Way To Die, his 12th book, Knopf again shows his polymath creds. How many writers would pun on James Joyce’s phrase, “the ineluctable modality of the visible” and go on to describe colorful graffiti on cars as “Ken Kesey by way of Vincent van Gogh.”
Not to worry, though. For all the literate references and intricacy of the plot, Knopf’s crafted an exciting caper here that moves all over the world. It’s Arthur’s embrace of imagination as well as scientific expertise that proves most endearing in our over-specialized, data-centered world. Not your typical murder mystery but for that, well worth reading." —Joan Baum, NPR
River of Glass - Jaden Terrell
"In Terrell’s solid third Jared McKean mystery (after 2012’s A Cup Full of Midnight), the Nashville PI takes on a case with an unexpected family connection. When Khanh, a scarred Vietnamese woman around his age, shows up one day at his door, claiming to be his half-sister, Jared is forced to concede that his soldier father may have had a second family overseas. Khanh wants Jared’s help in finding her 19-year-old daughter, Tuyet, who vanished after coming to America with a young man. A prologue reveals that Tuyet is in the hands of brutal sex slavers and that her situation is desperate. McKean must work his way through layers of pimps, ostentatious do-gooders, and desperately overworked cops in his effort to rescue Tuyet and her fellow victims. In addition to the story’s emotional rewards, Terrell offers insights into the mechanics of domination and submission" —Publishers Weekly
"This Jared McKean mystery is a worthy successor to the first two, with a tough yet sympathetic protagonist who goes to all ends for friends and family. Solid plotting and well-drawn characters make this a series to add to any hardboiled-mystery reader’s list." —Booklist