Suggested Reading October 4, 2022

Hi everyone, here are our recommended reads for the week!

*More information on the three catalogs and available formats is found at the end of the list of recommended reads*

Weekly Suggested Reading postings are published on Tuesdays.

And the next Suggested Reading posting will be published on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.

Blackout by Simon Scarrow

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print, Hoopla instant checkout eBook & audiobook)


Horst Schenke, the protagonist of this exceptional mystery set in 1939 Berlin from British author Scarrow (the Eagles of the Empire series), became a respected Kriminalpolizei inspector after a near-fatal accident six years earlier ended his career as a racing driver. His decision not to join the Nazi party has stymied any hopes for advancement, but his distance from the party leads to his being tapped to investigate a high-profile homicide. Once-prominent film star Gerda Korzeny, ex-mistress of Josef Goebbels and wife of the Nazi attorney “who rewrites certain laws to make the party’s actions legal,” was found near some railroad tracks, her skull crushed by a single blow. Korzeny’s possessions were undisturbed, and her state of undress suggests she was resisting a sexual assault. Schenke’s role is to reduce the prospects of friction between Nazi factions and to serve as a scapegoat if things go south. Scarrow plausibly conveys the complexities of his hero’s efforts to do an honest job of seeking justice while serving under a corrupt and criminal regime. Fans of Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther will hope for a sequel. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Blowback by James Patterson & Brendan DuBois

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & CD audiobook)

Blow Back

Early in this fast-moving thriller from bestseller Patterson (the Alex Cross series) and DuBois (the Lewis Cole series), President Keegan Barrett, a former CIA director, tells CIA officers Liam Grey and Noa Himel that he’s tired of America being “the world’s punching bag.” He’s setting up two CIA teams, one domestic and one foreign, with authorization to “break things, kill bad guys, and bring back our enemies’ heads in a cooler.” Despite it being illegal for the CIA to operate on American soil, Liam and Noa carry out a series of successful missions on Keegan’s behalf. Eventually, the two begin to have doubts about what they’re doing, and it becomes clear that Keegan—who has expanded his personal kill list—is sounding more than a little delusional. The president is soon acting totally paranoid, good people start to die, and war with China looms. The authors offer nothing new, but they throw in some historical anecdotes of interest, deliver tense action scenes, and tie up all the loose ends. Those who haven’t already encountered the insane president plot will have fun. – Publishers Weekly Review

The Golden Couple: A Novel by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

(Available Formats: Print Book, CD audiobook, eBook & downloadable audiobook)

Golden Couple

Never mind that Avery Chambers’s approach to therapy is so controversial that she’s lost her license. Marissa Bishop willingly signs up herself and her husband because Avery says she’ll take on only clients whose problems she can mend in ten sessions. Marissa intends to confess her infidelity, but far more dangerous secrets sneak into the room when the “golden” Bishops join their new therapist to talk. – Library Journal Review

The Hunt by Faye Kellerman

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & CD audiobook)

The Hunt

Pete Decker and Rina Lazarus are mainly supporting players in this twenty-seventh installment of Kellerman’s ever-popular series. This one focuses on Teresa “”Terry”” McLaughlin, Pete and Rina’s old friend and the biological mother of their foster son, Gabe. Facing an ugly divorce, Terry has fled to L.A., where she is attacked, and her two kids are abducted. She calls Gabe for help, and he enlists Rina, Pete, and Terry’s ex-husband (and his biological father), the hitman-turned-brothel-owner Christopher Donatti. Fans of the Decker and Lazarus novels are familiar with both Terry and Chris; they’ve been in and out of the series for years. But we’ve never seen them quite like this: Terry is fragile to the point of breaking, and Chris, who freely admits he’s a despicable person, is vulnerable and appears to be making a good-faith effort to be gentle and welcoming. Of course, Chris has anything but a heart of gold, and we can’t help waiting for him to explode into violence at any moment. And, even though they’re mostly in the background, Pete and Rina remain among the genre’s most appealing partnerships. – Booklist Review

The New Neighbor by Karen Cleveland

(Available Formats: Print Book, Large Print & eBook)

The New Neighbor

In the new thriller from the author of You Can Run (2021), Cleveland has carefully constructed a story about Beth Bradford, a CIA counterintelligence analyst who’s trying to identify a traitor living in a quiet suburban cul-de-sac–or, and the narrative makes this seem like a distinct possibility, perhaps Beth is becoming steadily more ensnared by a paranoid delusion. The author, a former CIA analyst specializing in counterintelligence, uses her insider knowledge of tradecraft and the workings of the CIA to imbue the novel with realism; in Beth Bradford, she’s created a character of substantial complexity. We want Beth to unmask the traitor known as The Neighbor, but, at the same time, we see some of the things Beth does, and they seem like the actions of someone who’s definitely confused. Full of surprises and revelations, steeped in paranoia and fear, this is a thriller that keeps readers guessing right up until the final moments. A sequel is hinted at and much to be desired. – Booklist Review

Red Flags by Lisa Black

(Available Formats: Print Book, eBook & Hoopla instant checkout eBook)

Red Flags

This solid series launch from bestseller Black (the Maggie Gardiner and Jack Renner series) introduces forensics experts Ellie Carr and Rachael Davies. Ellie, part of the FBI’s evidence response team in Washington, D.C., arrives at a mansion on the banks of the Potomac to investigate the disappearance of four-month-old Mason Carlisle, who vanished from his crib in the middle of the afternoon with no trace and, so far, no ransom demand. The baby’s father, Hunter, owns a lobbying firm, and his mother, Rebecca, is a policy adviser to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. She also happens to be Ellie’s cousin, with whom she hasn’t communicated in more than 15 years. Hunter, not satisfied with the FBI’s progress, calls in Rachael from the Locard Institute, one of the best equipped forensics labs in the country, to help with the investigation. Soon other children whose parents are connected to an online gaming site are kidnapped, and Ellie and Rachael join forces to solve a multilayered crime. Black packs the novel with fascinating details for crime scene buffs, who will eagerly await the next case for the intrepid CSIs. – Publishers Weekly Review

The Swift and the Harrier by Minette Walters

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Swift and the Harrier

Readers who are initially alarmed at the page count of Walters’s (“Last Hours” series) latest historical novel will come to the end and wonder why the story couldn’t have gone on longer. During the English Civil War in 1642, families and friends are divided between the warring Parliamentarians and Royalists. Jayne, daughter of Royalists, was already a respected physician who treated the wealthy and the poor. She chooses neutrality to continue her work, treating persons from both sides. While on her way to help a sick child, Jayne’s chance meeting with Lady Alice Stickland and her mysterious footman, William Harrier, kicks off a series of events that present Jayne with difficult choices she never expected, with joy and sorrow coming in equal measure. Walters’s characters are true to their historical period, yet relatable to a modern audience, and notable historical figures and events are described accurately in detail—informative and full of dramatic tension. An author’s note provides a brief summation of the book’s era, and there are maps for better understanding. VERDICT Endearing characters spark life into centuries-old history in Walters’s latest, which will appeal to fans of Philippa Gregory, Margaret George, and Sharon Kay Penman. Starred Library Journal Review

Treasure State by C. J. Box

(Available Formats: Print Book & CD audiobook)

Treasure State

Edgar winner Box’s excellent fifth Cassie Dewell novel (after 2019’s The Bitterroots) sets the former police officer, now a PI in Bozeman, Mont., on the trail of a con man who bilked wealthy widow Candyce Fly out of $5 million and vanished. Fly earlier employed another PI—the marvelously noxious J.D. Spengler—to track the man down, but both Spengler and his quarry disappeared into the old mining town of Anaconda, Mont. Cassie travels there to investigate, and soon realizes that she has stumbled on a lethal conspiracy that goes far beyond the victimization of her client. A second case involving a buried treasure adds to the intrigue. Box has rarely been better in his plotting, with shifting timelines revealing the scope of the crimes. The criminal conspirators are both inventively corrupt and chilling, and the cleverly constructed mystery is leavened with generous doses of Montana history, along with the welcome appearances of characters from earlier Cassie novels. The story culminates with one of Box’s most satisfying payoffs. Hopefully, fans won’t have to wait another three years for the intrepid Cassie’s next adventure. – Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Twice A Quinceañera by Yamile Saied Mendez

(Available Formats: Print Book & eBook)

Twice a Quinceanera

Nadia kicks out her cheating longtime lover-turned-fiancé one month before their wedding day. With her thirtieth birthday coming up and the fact that she stands to lose the money for her wedding venue, she decides to have a second quinceañera after reading about this trend in a magazine. In short, Nadia decides to use the venue to celebrate herself. What she doesn’t expect is to find her boyfriend from college, the man she never forgot, running the facility. Marcos never wanted to manage the family wedding-venue business, but when his sister is on vacation, he finds he wants to prevent his ailing father from selling it to his uncles. He then becomes fascinated with Nadia all over again, remembering how much she meant to him when they dated before. This second-chance romance is a warm, romantic story made all the more compelling by the focus on Nadia and Marcos learning what they truly want for their lives. The details about what a second quinceañera is all about add to the vivid romance. –Booklist Review

The Unkept Woman by Allison Montclair

(Available Formats: Print Book)

The Unkept Woman

The friendship of Gwen Bainbridge and Iris Sparks, the “intelligent and resourceful” owners of the Right Sort Marriage Bureau, is tested in Montclair’s exemplary fourth mystery set in post-WWII London (after 2021’s A Rogue’s Company). When someone is shot to death in Iris’s flat, where an ex-boyfriend of hers has been living as a renter, Iris’s ability to be fully frank with Scotland Yard is limited by the connection of the victim to her previous life as a British intelligence operative. Iris decides to investigate on her own and asks Gwen to help search for the killer. The case comes at a fraught time for Gwen, who attempted suicide in 1944 after learning her husband was killed in battle; she was subsequently institutionalized in an asylum. Gwen is in the process of petitioning to end the guardianship controlling her life, which could be jeopardized if she once again probes a murder. The solution to the crime is both surprising and fair to the careful reader. Montclair’s capable, funny, and fully developed leads set a gold standard for the amateur sleuth subgenre. Dorothy Sayers’s fans will hope this series has a long run. Starred Publishers Weekly Review

Have a great week!

Linda Reimer

*Information on the three catalogs*

Digital Catalog:

The Digital Catalog, is an online catalog containing eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, digital magazines and a handful of streaming videos. The catalog, which allows one to download content to a PC, also has a companion app, Libby, which you can download to your mobile device; so you can enjoy eBooks and downloadable audiobooks on the go!

All card holders of all Southern Tier Library System member libraries can check out items from the Digital Catalog.

Hoopla Catalog:

The Hoopla Catalog features instant checkouts of eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, comic books, albums, movies and TV series. Patron check out limit is 6 items per month.

Hoopla is a Southeast Steuben County Library service available to all Southeast Steuben County Library card holders.

The Hoopla App is available for Android or Apple devices and most smart TVs & media streaming players.

StarCat: The catalog of physical/traditional library materials:

Card holders of all Southern Tier Library System member libraries can access StarCat to search for and request materials available at libraries through out the Southern Tier Library System.

Format Note: Under each book title you’ll find a list of all the different formats that specific title is available in; including: Print Books, Large Print Books, CD Audiobooks, eBooks & Downloadable Audiobooks from the Digital Catalog (Libby app) and Hoopla eBooks & Hoopla Downloadable Audiobooks (Hoopla app).

Note: Book summaries are from the respective publishers unless otherwise specified.

Have questions or want to request a book?

Feel free to call the library! Our telephone number is 607-936-3713.

Tech Talk is a Southeast Steuben County Library blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s