Mystery

Staff Pick: Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

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The first in a series, this is an addictively gritty dystopian sci-fi noir that's short enough to read in one go. The perfect endcap to your summer reading list.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: Hard Rain Falling

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Hard-bitten and hard-boiled, but tender too. Young men adrift and searching for meaning in 1960’s Portland, Oregon and Northern California. A nice blend of literary and genre fiction.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye

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You might be thinking that the last thing we need is yet another retelling of a classic novel, but bear with me. In this delightfully bloody retooling of Jane Eyre, our titular heroine becomes a serial killer - the kind who only kills the most sinister of bad guys! From her idyllic country home to a Trunchbull-worthy boarding school and on to grisly London, Faye has created a thoroughly modern (and yet innately Victorian) Jane whom we can all root for. GO JANE!

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From the publisher:

"Reader, I murdered him."

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Post Script!: I Refuse by Per Petterson

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Per Petterson has always been dark and Norwegiany and I Refuse is no exception. Boyhood friends meet again - sort of - after 35 years, and Petterson interweaves their vastly different present lives with their very close childhoods. Alternating voices and time periods give the novel fluidity and a sense of timelessness. This is the author’s best work.

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Staff Pick: The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

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Some might call this novel’s overarching impetus naiveté, but the story brims with the charming clarity of a young woman’s heart, its emotions uncensored and unadulterated. From its dismal, urban start to its daring, oft-cited conclusion, only some kind of faith in true love – or maybe just a simple taste for Sapphic intrigue – will bear the reader along the psychosomatic tumult of this book’s story.

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From the publisher:

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Staff Pick: The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye

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In the cut-throat world of 1845 NYC, a disfigured cop finds a girl running through the street in a blood-soaked nightgown. What follows is the mad hunt for a serial killer through the city’s underbelly, involving gangs of urchins, a manipulative madame, and ruthless politicians. Faye’s riveting plot is matched only by the beautiful language she weaves from the colorful diction of 19th century NYC.

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From the publisher:

1845: New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two events will change New York City forever.

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Staff Pick: Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

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When James Ellroy was 13, his mother was murdered in L.A. Since then, he has been clocking mayhem in his hometown. Insanely good.

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Staff Pick: The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders

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An entertaining survey of high profile murder cases in Victorian Britain, Judith Flanders takes the reader on a journey from murder as crime to murder as art. In her course, Flanders proves Thomas de Quincey right when he said, “the world in general... are very bloody-minded; and all they want in a murder is a copious effusion of blood.”

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