This week, we review some of this summer’s top suspense novels that are sure to keep you on the edge of your beach chair. The best-selling and top rated releases feature unique themes, settings, and protagonists, but all are guaranteed to thrill.
James Lee Burke
Publisher’s synopsis: In 1934, sixteen-year-old Weldon Avery Holland happens upon infamous criminals Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after one of their notorious armed robberies. A confrontation with the outlaws ends with Weldon firing a gun and being unsure whether it hit its mark.
Ten years later, Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland barely survives the Battle of the Bulge, in the process saving the lives of his sergeant, Hershel Pine, and a young Spanish prisoner of war, Rosita Lowenstein—a woman who holds the same romantic power over him as the strawberry blonde Bonnie Parker, and is equally mysterious. The three return to Texas where Weldon and Hershel get in on the ground floor of the nascent oil business.
In just a few years’ time Weldon will spar with the jackals of the industry, rub shoulders with dangerous men, and win and lose fortunes twice over. But it is the prospect of losing his one true love that will spur his most reckless, courageous act yet—one that takes its inspiration from that encounter long ago with the outlaws of his youth.
The City: A Novel
Publisher’s synopsis: A young boy, a musical prodigy, discovering life’s wonders—and mortal dangers.
His best friend, also a gifted musician, who will share his journey into destiny.
His remarkable family, tested by the extremes of evil and bound by the depths of love…on a collision course with a band of killers about to unleash anarchy.
And two unlikely allies, an everyday hero tempered by the past and a woman of mystery who holds the key to the future.
These are the people of “The City”, a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart. Brilliantly illumined by magic dark and light, their unforgettable story is a riveting, soul-stirring saga that speaks to everyone, a major milestone in the celebrated career of #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz and a dazzling realization of the evergreen dreams we all share.
Publisher’s synopsis: Andy Carpenter isn’t sure what to think when he gets a mysterious phone call from a good friend, policeman Pete Stanton, asking him to drop everything, drive to an unfamiliar address, and bring his girlfriend, Laurie Collins. He certainly isn’t expecting to show up at a crime scene. But that’s exactly where he arrives—at the house where Pete has just discovered the body of ex-convict Danny Diza. Upstairs are Danny’s now orphaned eight-year-old son and basset hound. And that, Andy discovers, is why he and Laurie were called to the scene—Pete wants them to take care of the boy and the dog so they won’t get thrown into the “system.” This is already asking a lot, but soon Pete needs another big favor from Andy. Pete himself has come under suspicion for Danny’s murder, and he needs defense attorney Andy to represent him…and to find out what really happened in Danny’s house that day.
David Rosenfelt has done it again. Told with his characteristic humor and wit, Hounded is at once a heartfelt story about family and a page-turning legal thriller.
All the Light We Cannot See
Publisher’s synopsis: From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
For these and even more excellent beach reads, look no further than Cape Atlantic Book Co. of Cape May’s Washington Street Mall. This helpful staff is full of recommendations and ready and willing to point you in the direction of the book to make your beach day complete. Mystery-lovers are encouraged to check out Cape Atlantic Book’s collection of the seven original mystery titles re-released from Hard Case Crime by the late Michael Crichton writing as John Lange. These titles are best described as the perfect “Hard-Boiled” mysteries.