From The Booking Desk:

It’s the first full week of Fall, and just a few weeks until Bouchercon in Toronto.  The publishing industry keeps chugging along and there are some great books out this week.

______________________________________________________________________

Kate Moretti – The Blackbird Season (Atria, Paperback, 16.00, 09/26/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

I was a huge fan of Kate Moretti’s debut, The Vanishing Year, and I am happy to report that this second stand-alone is also excellent. Scandal and secrets rock a small Pennsylvania town in this gripping novel which will have parents questioning how well they know their children. Filled with unexpected turns and deeper-than-normal insight, Moretti’s novel is sure to garner her many new fans.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Known for novels featuring “great pacing and true surprises” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and “nerve-shattering suspense” (Heather Gudenkauf, New York Time bestselling author), New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alecia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alecia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

Told from the alternating points of view of Alecia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.

______________________________________________________________________

Charles Todd – A Casualty of War (William Morrow, Hardcover, $26.99, 09/26/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

The Bess Crawford books are one of my favorite historical series. Once again the Todds place Bess at just the right place at the right time to ensure that justice is achieved. As always, it is Bess Crawford’s compassion that really shines here. This mother and son writing team always manages to make their historical tales resonate with modern audiences in unique ways. This is one of my favorites of this wonderful series.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

From New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd comes a haunting tale that explores the impact of World War I on all who witnessed it—officers, soldiers, doctors, and battlefield nurses like Bess Crawford.

Though the Great War is nearing its end, the fighting rages on. While waiting for transport back to her post, Bess Crawford meets Captain Alan Travis from the island of Barbados. Later, when he’s brought into her forward aid station disoriented from a head wound, Bess is alarmed that he believes his distant English cousin, Lieutenant James Travis, shot him. Then the Captain is brought back to the aid station with a more severe wound, once more angrily denouncing the Lieutenant as a killer. But when it appears that James Travis couldn’t have shot him, the Captain’s sanity is questioned. Still, Bess wonders how such an experienced officer could be so wrong.

On leave in England, Bess finds the Captain strapped to his bed in a clinic for brain injuries. Horrified by his condition, Bess and Sergeant Major Simon Brandon travel to James Travis’s home in Suffolk, to learn more about the baffling relationship between these two cousins.

Her search will lead this smart, capable, and compassionate young woman into unexpected danger, and bring her face to face with the visible and invisible wounds of war that not even the much-longed for peace can heal.

______________________________________________________________________

Suzanne Chazin – A Place in the Wind (Kensington, Hardcover, $25.00, 09/26/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

As evidenced by the BOLO Books review of No Witness But the Moon, I am a fan of Jimmy Vega. I haven’t read this new one yet, but there is no doubt that Suzanne Chazin will once again effectively weave social commentary into a compelling plot. Readers would be hard-pressed to find a series more timely than Suzanne Chazin’s Jimmy Vega books.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

The disappearance of a teenage girl in upstate New York sets off a powder keg of accusations, bigotry, and fear—with deadly results—in Suzanne Chazin’s stunning new mystery featuring Hispanic police detective Jimmy Vega . . .

On a frigid, January night, a blond, blue-eyed high school girl walks out of an English class she tutors for immigrants—and vanishes. Suspicion quickly falls on the men she was teaching, many of whom are undocumented. As disturbing evidence trickles in, news of the incident spreads beyond the scenic town of Lake Holly, New York, unearthing deep-seated fears and enflaming cultural tensions.

For county police detective Jimmy Vega, the situation is personal. His girlfriend, Harvard-educated attorney Adele Figueroa, heads the immigrant center where the teen volunteer disappeared. If Vega can’t find the girl soon and clear Adele’s clients, the place of refuge may be forced to shut its doors. Still reeling over his own recent career missteps, Vega does his best to run interference between Adele and the local police. But when Vega’s boss assigns him a grunt detail working for the new county supervisor, the man’s political ambitions clash with Vega’s deepest convictions. Vega can’t imagine a worse turn of events—until he uncovers even darker forces at play. Someone wants to destroy far more than Vega’s career. And no matter which way he turns, every step will put him and his family in the killer’s
cross-hairs.

______________________________________________________________________

Jon McGoran – Spliced (Holiday House, Hardcover, $18.95, 09/29/2017)

BOLO Books Comments:

Jon McGoran is known for his blend of science-based ideas and thriller-paced narratives. With Spliced, he takes that concept into the Young Adult book world.  Look for a review of this one on BOLO Books soon.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Sixteen-year-old Jimi knows people change, but nothing could prepare her for what s about to happen to her best friend, Del. Del is obsessed with becoming a chimera (k –mir-a): a person who pays back-alley geneticists, known as “genies,” to illegally splice animal genes into their own. The resulting physical changes have scared lawmakers into drafting legislation declaring chimeras officially nonpersons so when Del goes missing, Jimi is desperate to find him before he alters himself forever.

As she tries to save him, Jimi must face down unscrupulous people and risk her own life all while knowing that if getting spliced is the choice Del has made, it means he s leaving her behind forever.