It’s the spring of 1968, the sun shines down on an America on the brink of civil war. Martin Luther King preaches in vain for non-violent protest and the ghettos of Washington DC seethe with anger. In the middle of this powder-keg is thrust a young black cop, barely out of school himself. Derek Strange believes passionately that he can make a difference, but his friends and family think he’s a traitor and a patsy of the white establishment. On April 4th, 1968, Dr King is assassinated on the balcony of his motel in Memphis, Tennessee. And black America rises as one to condemn the slaying of their hero. For one week, it seems that the whole country will fall. And Derek, his brother, his father, his mother and his whole community find themselves at the heart of a battle for the heart and soul of the new world.
Caleb Carr - The Angel of Darkness
In one of the most critically acclaimed novels of the year, Caleb Carr-- bestselling author of The Alienist--pits Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and his colleagues against a murderer as evil as the darkest night. . . .
James Ellroy - Blood on the Moon
Detective Sergeant Lloyd Hopkins can’t stand music, or any loud sounds. He’s got a beautiful wife, but he can’t get enough of other women. And instead of bedtime stories, he regales his daughters with bloody crime stories. He’s a thinking man’s cop with a dark past and an obsessive drive to hunt down monsters who prey on the innocent. Now, there’s something haunting him. He sees a connection in a series of increasingly gruesome murders of women committed over a period of twenty years. To solve the case, Hopkins will dump all the rules and risk his career to make the final link and get the killer.
Paul Auster - The New York Trilogy
In three brilliant variations on the classic detective story, Paul Auster makes the well-traversed terrain of New York City his own, as it becomes a strange, compelling landscape in which identities merge or fade and questions serve only to further obscure the truth. What emerges in an investigation into the art of storytelling, notions of identity and the very essence of language.
George P. Pelecanos - Shame The Devil
Washington, D.C., 1995. What should have been a straightforward restaurant robbery goes horribly wrong. Several workers are shot in cold blood; the gunman's brother is killed by the police; a young boy is run over by a careering getaway car. Three years pass. Victims and their relatives gather in the aftermath, still trying to come to terms with their grief. But gunman Frank Farrow has other ideas. Now the heat has died down, he is on his way back to Washington, determined to avenge his lost brother - by killing everyone involved in his death.
James Ellroy - Blood's a Rover
America's master of noir delivers his masterpiece, a rip-roaring, devilishly wild ride through the bloody end of the 1960's. It's dark baby, and hot hot hot. Martin Luther King assassinated. Robert Kennedy assassinated. Los Angeles, 1968. Conspiracies theories are taking hold. On the horizon looms the Democratic Convention in Chicago and constant gun fire peppers south L.A. Violence, greed, and grime, are replacing free-love and everybody from Howard Hughes, Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover to the right-wing assassins and left-wing revolutionaries are getting dirty. At the center of it all is a triumvirate: the president’s strong-arm goon, an ex-cop and heroine runner, and a private eye whose quarry is so dangerous she could set off the whole powder keg. With his trademark deadly staccato prose, James Ellroy holds nothing back in this wild, startling and much anticipated conclusion to his Underworld USA trilogy.
James Ellroy - Because the Night
A botched liquor store heist leaves three grisly dead. A hero cop is missing. Nobody could see a pattern in these two stray bits of information–no one except Detective Sergeant Lloyd Hopkins, a brilliant and disturbed L.A. cop with an obsessive desire to protect the innocent. To him they lead to one horrifying conclusion--a killer is on the loose and preying on his city. From the master of L.A. noir comes this beautiful and brutal tale of a cop and a criminal squared off in a life and death struggle.
Charles Bukowski - Pulp
This is Charles Bukowski's brilliant, fantastical pastiche of a detective story. Packed with wit, invention and Bukowski's trademark lowlife adventures, it is the final novel of one of the most enjoyable and influential cult writers of the last century. Nicky Belane, private detective and career alcoholic, is a troubled man. He is plagued not just by broads, booze, lack of cash and a raging ego, but also by the surreal jobs he's been hired to do. Not only has been hired to track down French classical author Celine - who's meant to be dead - but he's also supposed to find the elusive Red Sparrow - which may or may not be real.
James Ellroy - L. A. Confidential
L.A. Confidential is epic "noir", a crime novel of astonishing detail and scope written by the bestselling author of The Black Dahlia. A horrific mass murder invades the lives of victims and victimizers on both sides of the law. And three lawmen are caught in a deadly spiral, a nightmare that tests loyalty and courage, and offers no mercy, grants no survivors.
Cormac McCarthy - Blood Meridian
"The fulfilled renown of Moby-Dick and of As I Lay Dying is augmented by Blood Meridian, since Cormac McCarthy is the worthy disciple both of Melville and Faulkner," writes esteemed literary scholar Harold Bloom in his Introduction to the Modern Library edition. "I venture that no other living American novelist, not even Pynchon, has given us a book as strong and memorable." Cormac McCarthy's masterwork, Blood Meridian, chronicles the brutal world of the Texas-Mexico borderlands in the mid-nineteenth century. Its wounded hero, the teenage Kid, must confront the extraordinary violence of the Glanton gang, a murderous cadre on an official mission to scalp Indians and sell those scalps. Loosely based on fact, the novel represents a genius vision of the historical West, one so fiercely realized that since its initial publication in 1985 the canon of American literature has welcomed Blood Meridian to its shelf. "A classic American novel of regeneration through violence," declares Michael Herr. "McCarthy can only be compared to our greatest writers."
Chuck Palahniuk - Snuff
From the master of literary mayhem and provocation, this is a full-frontal Triple-X novel that goes where no work of fiction has gone before. 'Six hundred dudes. One porn queen. A world record for the ages. A must-have movie for every discerning collector of things erotic'. 'Didn't one of us on purpose set out to make a snuff movie?' - Cassie Wright, porn priestess, intends to cap her legendary career by breaking the world record for serial fornication. On camera with six hundred men, "Snuff" unfolds from the perspectives of Mr 72, Mr 137 and Mr 600, who await their turn on camera in a very crowded green room. This wild, lethally funny and thoroughly researched novel brings the huge yet underacknowledged presence of pornography in contemporary life into the realm of literary fiction at last. Who else but Chuck Palahniuk would dare do such a thing? Who else could do it so well, so unflinchingly and with such an incendiary (you might say) climax?
Cormac McCarthy - Cities of the Plain
On a ranch in southeastern Texas, soon after World War II, a group of solitary, inarticulately lonely men gathers to work animals as the sun sets for good on the mythic American West. All of these men nurse losses both personal (siblings or wives) and collective (a shared lifestyle and philosophy). Among them is John Grady Cole, the adolescent hero of the first book in Cormac McCarthy's Border trilogy, All the Pretty Horses. John Grady remains the magnificent horseman he always was, and he still dreams too much. On the ranch, he meets Billy Parham, whose own tragic sojourn through Mexico in The Crossing, the second book of the set, continues to quietly suffocate him. The two form a friendship that will nurture both but save neither from the destiny that McCarthy's characters always sense lurching to meet them. Soaked in storm-heavy atmosphere but brightened by the ranch-hands' easy camaraderie and gentle humor, Cities of the Plain surprises with its sweetness. The awkward doomed-romance plot at the center of this tight, concise novel fails to convince, but, remarkably, does little to undercut the book's impact. What lingers here, and what matters, are the brooding, eerie portraits of the plains and the riders, glimpsed mostly alone but occasionally leaning together, who slip across them, over the horizon into memory. --Glen Hirshberg
Ned Vizzini - It's Kind of a Funny Story
Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life—which means getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job—Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That’s when things start to get crazy. At his new school, Craig realizes that he isn't brilliant compared to the other kids; he’s just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig stops eating and sleeping—until, one night, he nearly kills himself. Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety. Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness. For a novel about depression, it’s definitely a funny story.
Stephen King - The Stand
When a man crashes his car into a petrol station, he brings with him the foul corpses of his wife and daughter. He dies and it doesn't take long for the plague which killed him to spread across America and the world.
Stephen King - Bag of Bones
Bag of Bones is partly inspired by Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca, but there's more than homage in this novel of horror and romance. Like du Maurier's Manderley, King's scary old place (on the shore of Maine's remote Dark Score Lake) is haunted by the late lady of the manor. There are many gory ghosts afoot, though: men, women, and wailing kids. The hero, a thriller novelist, stirs up hell's plenty of angry shades while investigating his wife's death. It turns out she either had a dark secret herself or was onto some dread scandal lurking in Dark Score Lake. As in King's previous book, Wizard and Glass, the fabric of reality is thin, and nosy narrators are in peril of plunging right out of this world and into a rather hostile otherworld.
Erin Bowman - Forged
Gray Weathersby and his group of rebels must make their final stand in the epic conclusion to the Taken trilogy, which New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu called "an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end." The Order is building an unstoppable army, with every generation of Forgeries harder to detect and deadlier than the one before. It’s time for Gray and his fellow rebels to end the Order's world of lies. But when the most familiar faces—and even the girl he loves—can’t be trusted, Gray will have to tread carefully if he wants to succeed. Or survive.
Gregory Maguire - Wicked
When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil? Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. "Wicked" is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.
Paula Stokes - The Art of Lainey
Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back. And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they're sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few "dates", it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game. What's a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you're meant to be with if you're still figuring out the person you're meant to be?
M. C. Beaton - Death of a Perfect Wife
Although the Thomases were not initially liked by villagers, Trixie Thomas has become a model of domestic efficiency--the perfect wife. So it comes as a great shock to everyone when she is found dead--to everyone but police inspector Hamish Macbeth.
Rita Mae Brown - Rubyfruit Jungle
"I found myself laughing hysterically, then sobbing uncontrollably just moments later. A powerful story ... A truly incredible book." -- The Boston Globe "Molly Bolt is a genuine descendant -- genuine female descendant -- of Huckleberry Finn. And Rita Mae Brown is, like Mark Twain, a serious writer who gets her messages across through laughter." -- Donna E. Shalala, former Secretary of Health and Human Services
Eleni N. Gage - Other Waters
_“The best novels are those that invite you into an utterly believable world of entirely authentic people in situations about which you care instantly. Gage’s beguiling narrative talent is in splendid evidence in Other Waters, making this fiction debut one of those enthralling novels.”_ - Katharine Weber, author of The Little Women Maya is an accomplished psychiatry resident with a terrific boyfriend, loving family, and bustling New York social life. When her grandmother dies in India, a family squabble over property results in a curse that drifts across continents and threatens Maya's life. Or so her father says - Maya (being a modern woman, an American, and a doctor, for goodness' sake) doesn't believe in curses, Brahman, or otherwise. But when her father suffers a heart attack, her sister miscarries, and her career and relationship both start to falter, Maya starts to worry. A trip back to India with her best friend Heidi, Maya reasons, will be just what's needed to remove the curse, save her family, and to put her own life back in order. Thus begins a journey into Maya's parallel world - an India filled with loving and annoying relatives, vivid colors, and superstitious customs - a cross-cultural, transcontinental search to for a chance to find real love.