Here are a few of the books on my to-read list this summer, and I hope to bring you some of these writers as guests on the blog in the coming months, too.
But first, a quick PSA. Reviews are a writer's life blood - and they're an easy gift to give. Just pick a star rating and write one or two sentences to provide other readers a quick impression, or feel free to write more if you like. I've provided links below so you can follow these folks and review their books.
In the Clearing by Robert Dugoni
Detective Tracy Crosswhite has a skill, and a soft spot, for tackling unsolved crimes. Having lost her own sister to murder at a young age, Tracy has dedicated her career to bringing justice and closure to the families and friends of victims of crime.
So when Jenny, a former police academy classmate and protégé, asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl forty years earlier, Tracy agrees. Following up on evidence Jenny’s detective father collected when he was the investigating deputy, Tracy probes one small town’s memory and finds dark, well-concealed secrets hidden within the community’s fabric. Can Tracy uphold the promise she’s made to the dead girl’s family and deliver the truth of what happened to their daughter? Or will she become the next victim?
Review on Goodreads and Amazon.
Follow Robert Dugoni on Facebook and Twitter.
Damascus House by Corrina Wycoff
Amy Rotolo's announcement to her family that she is a lesbian sets off a series of events that threaten to unravel the tight-knit members of Pastor Lou Bianchi's fundamentalist Christian church in Riverview, New Jersey. The resulting drama escalates to irrevocably affect Amy's parents, her "perfect" childhood friend Rachel, Rachel's husband Alan, Rachel's high school boyfriend Paul, and his wife, Lee.
Damascus House is a psychological novel written from the perspective of six different characters. Wycoff told the Puyallup Post, "It's not an indictment against the religious community. It asks how we make sense of faith and circumstance. What does it mean to figure out what to believe when you’ve been told what to believe all of your life?"
I reviewed Wycoff's short story collection O Street on the blog previously. She is a friend and former colleague of mine from Pierce College.
Review on Amazon and buy directly from the small press publisher.
Check out Corrina Wycoff's Wikipedia page.
Poems of Inspector Chen by Qiu Xiaolong
Fans of Inspector Chen--the poet in inspector's clothing--will love this compilation of his poetry.
The poems in the present collection are compiled chronologically. Some of them have appeared—either entirely or partially—in the Chen novels, but with his writing in a hurry under the stress of the job, he usually takes time later to revise them, so the poems here may show difference, sometimes substantial, from the original versions. And some of them, either written in his pre-inspector days, or conceived in fragments only in his mind, now appear for the first time in the collection here.
I reviewed Xiaolong's novels Shanghai Redemption and A Case of Two Cities on the blog previously. He is a friend and former colleague of mine from St. Louis Community College.
Review on Amazon and Goodreads. Visit Qui Xiaolong's web site for more information.
In the Dark by Chris Patchell
Marissa Rooney stands in her daughter’s empty dorm room, a half-used vial of insulin clutched in her trembling hand. Brooke has been missing for days. Her roommate hasn’t seen her since that night in the bar. And if Marissa has Brooke’s insulin, it means that Brooke does not.
But Marissa isn’t alone in her terror. A phantom from her past is lurking in the shadows, waiting in the night, and holding her family captive…
In the dark.
Review on Amazon and Goodreads.
Follow Chris Patchell on Facebook and Twitter.
More from MWA
As I wrote this roundup, an email from the Mystery Writers of America hit my inbox, so here's a whole other list to peruse, all the new books by members for August. You're welcome.