Partners & Crime Mystery
features reviews of some of our favorite first novels - Partners'
Picks - from our First Editions collection.
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Faces of the Gone
by Brad Parks
novel is a gritty Newark noir mystery
which introduces investigative
reporter Carter Ross of the Newark Eagle-Examiner.
quadruple homicide is discovered, in which four seemingly
corpses are stacked in a vacant lot, the police leak a theory to
the body count and calm the residents -- but Carter doesn’t buy
Carter's background is far from the streets, but he's learned a
lot on the
job. He joins forces with his city editor and fields an unlikely
neighborhood experts to go down those mean streets (and Newark has
mean ones!) and find the truth. As a former print reporter,
conveys the pace and politics of the newspaper business with
slams to television reportage, and the casually brutal wit of a
people who live on — and for —
words. Faces of the Gone is a feast of newsroom smarts and
savvy, expert pacing and textured dialog —
don't miss it!
Shades of Grey
by Jasper Fforde
What if everything about
your life and the society you live in were dictated by which
the spectrum you could see? As measured in a foolproof
by the most revered authority in your world? This is the central
Jasper Fforde's exceptional new novel, Shades of Grey.
society several removes from our own and about 600 years into the
everyone is calmly and politely living out the lives dictated by
of Munsell, or almost everyone... The preferred mode is
Previous is inexplicable and uninteresting to most of the
remnants of the world as we know it survive, although in wildly
forms: Friending has become a powerful social force and public
fuel status and behavior cues; technology LeapBacks and
DeFacting are offset by Loopholery and Standard Variables as
endeavor to interpret the Rules; spoons are a precious commodity;
one can see the Apocryphal Man. We LOVE this book! First of a
by Steve Hamilton
long been a favorite of ours, in The Lock Artist
a uniquely appealing protagonist that we hope to see more of: "I
was the Miracle Boy, once upon a time. Later on, the Milford Mute.
Golden Boy. The Young Ghost. The Kid. The Boxman. The Lock Artist.
was all me. But you can call me Mike." Mike doesn’t
but writes his story in fits and starts from a prison cell. One of
most striking aspects of The Lock Artist is the author’s
graphic novel panels to communicate between Mike and the only
has ever wanted to be with; there are no illustrations in the
the panels are so clearly described that you can see them as you
Hamilton has delivered a complete and utterly fascinating
his superb Alex McKnight crime novels. An added attraction to The
Artist is that it can be read by adventurous YA readers (fans of
Collins or Patrick Ness) and NO vampires!
Bad Things Happen
by Harry Dolan
What we really loved
about Bad Things Happen is how completely
unexpected it is. Every time we
thought, OK, now I get it, the writer went somewhere else – not A,
but C. Harry Dolan brings a fresh new voice (think deadpan
noir) and a
bottomless bag of tricks to the contemporary mystery novel. While
reading Bad Things Happen, you are totally
captivated by the characters
and their all-too-human secrets and passions, which drive the plot
breakneck speed. But along with the constant reversals and
also get an homage to and send-up of the crime fiction genre
after you finally are able to put it down (some sections demand
re-reading), you realize that you have also read a murderous
meditation on the business of writing... and editing. Dolan
had us from
his sinister opening line: "The shovel has to meet certain
The Ghosts of
by Stuart Neville
The Ghosts of Belfast
is a haunting literary dirge of a thriller about the 'troubles'
Northern Ireland. Former IRA hit man Gerry Fegan sees dead
ghosts of those he killed, assigned targets as well as innocent
civilians caught in the crossfire. Neville walks a razor’s edge
balances Fegan’s need for personal atonement (we’re talking
personal atonement here, folks) against the complexities of a
order that desperately wants to Move On. This is a scorching
noir debut, the first book in a projected series.
by Marcus Sakey
With raves from every notable crime writer in the business,
either heard about this first novel or you've been
confinement. Danny Carter's contented, quintessential
collides with a crunch when he runs into his old burgling buddy
who is newly released from prison with a really nasty jones for
Danny's life miserable. Evan is a splendidly villainous
steals every scene. It's a creepy pleasure watching him make
squirm. Sakey's debut crime novel asks, "How far would
you go to
protect everything you love?" and that's exactly what
you'll find out.
This debut bodes very well for Sakey's future -
guaranteed if his next novel is anywhere half as good as Blade.
Collectors and readers for pleasure alike should snap this up.
A Corpse in the
by James Church
Every once in a
while we encounter something completely different, and James
first novel is one of them. Set in what is likely the
closed society in the world – North Korea – this is a police
procedural with a distinctively Kafkaesque flavor. Inspector O
given a rather vague assignment to watch a certain border
early one morning, and when he fails to complete it to
satisfaction of his superiors he unintentionally sets off a
firestorm of competing agendas among the nation’s security
Church (not his real name, he’s still in the intelligence
has created a hero worth admiring in O, and a definite
of place that will haunt you beyond the reading. Per Olen
“If you like fine writing, eye-opening characters and locales,
quiet but purposeful intelligence wrapped inside a thrilling
get ready to go to Church.“
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Revised: April 2010