When the body of a retired Sheriff is discovered in his grand house in the New Town of Edinburgh, Detective Sergeant Alice Rice finds herself hunting his killer. The search leads her to an unfamiliar world where wind farm developers – with millions of pounds at stake – and protestors face each other with daggers drawn. And just as Alice thinks an answer is beginning to emerge, the Sheriff's lover is killed in an apparent hit-and-run accident. It's an unlikely coincidence, and the investigation widens as she now seeks a double murderer.
Kellerman returns to series hero Alex Delaware after last year's gripping stand-alone, The Conspiracy Club. The success of the long-running Delaware series is testament to both the author's skills and the reading public's hunger for mysteries featuring compassionate, intelligent protagonists, interesting secondary characters (including complex villains), strong plot lines and clear, unpretentious writing. Kellerman delivers all these once again in a tale that opens with Alex at dinner with his best friend, L.A. police lieutenant Milo Sturgis, when the sound of a police siren calls them to a nearby double homicide. The two victims are found in a Mustang convertible; the young man's zipper is open, the young woman's pants are down and each has a bullet in the brain. The man is identified as Gavin Quick, but little is known about the woman other than she's wearing Armani perfume and Jimmy Choo shoes. Milo and Alex interview Gavin Quick's nutty mother, Sheila, and his father, Jerry, a metals dealer and all-around shady character, as well as Gavin's therapist, Mary Lou Koppel. From there, the list of characters branches into an ever-widening delta of suspects and dead bodies. The investigation marches relentlessly on as Milo and Alex run each new lead to ground, slowly constructing an intricate motive that includes abusive boyfriends, eccentric ex-husbands, Medi-Cal fraud, a bent parole officer and Rwandan genocide. This one's more methodical than suspenseful and the final shoot-out and revelations feel tacked on, but fans won't mind as Alex and Milo eventually wrap everything up nicely, and Kellerman provides intriguing details of Alex's new love interest, Allison Gwynn.
The year: 1936. Europe dances while an invidious dictator establishes himself in Portugal. The city: Lisbon-gray, colorless, chimerical. Ricardo Reis, a doctor and poet, has just come home after sixteen years in Brazil. Translated by Giovanni Pontiero.
Something Rotten is the fourth installment of the Thursday Next series and she returns to her parallel universe of England in 1988 along with her son, Friday, and Hamlet, prince of Denmark. Both Friday and Hamlet need to be watched and cared for, so Thursday tries again to undo her husband's eradication by the Goliath Corp., which has now changed from a huge corporation to a huge religion. The fictional outlaw Yorrick Kaine decides he wants to be elected emperor and embarks on an anti-Danish tirade to win support. Meanwhile, moody Hamlet watches plays and movies about himself and the Swindon team has a shot at winning the Superhoop, the world championship of croquet. It's more fictional fancy and wild imagination from Jasper Fforde and Something Rotten has received positive reviews. The Denver Post says, "The latest installment in the Thursday Next series is impressive, and arguably Fforde's best work to date. It is a compliment to the author's skill and creativity that his humor remains fresh and his central character gains depth."