Spring Book Preview: April 2014, Part II

Yesterday, I shared the first half of the April releases I’m most excited about. Who knew April was such a big book month!? Following is the second half of that list, including publisher’s summary and links to preorder. Get your wallets ready!

Robot Uprisings (April 8): As real robots creep into our lives, so does a sense of fear-we have all wondered what horrifying scenarious might unfold if our technology were to go awry. This anthology brings to life the half-formed questions and fears we all have about the machines we live with. With contributions by Alan Dean Foster, Charles Yu, Hugh Howey, Daniel H. Wilson, Corey Doctorow, Ian McDonald, Ernie Cline, Jeff Abbott, Robin Wasserman, and Anna North,Robot Uprisings contains meticulously described, exhilarating trips to futures in which humans can only survive by being more clever and tenacious than the rebellious machines they have unwittingly created.

Under a Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes (April 15): Two women share one fate. A suspected murder at an English Farm. A reported suicide at a local quarry.
Can DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather the evidence and discover a link between them, a link which sealed their fate one cold night, Under a Silent Moon? A tense, compelling and unsettling novel mystery brimming with source material and evidence set over just six days, Under a Silent Moon will keep you gripped until the very last page and asks: Can you connect the clues and name the Killer?


Ruin Falls by Jenny Milchman (April 22): When Liz wakes up one morning in her hotel room to discover her two children Ally and Reid aren’t in their beds, her mind races, imagining a million worst-case scenarios, playing out her every nightmare. When she discovers that the kids were taken, not by some anonymous monster in a ski mask but by her own husband, Paul, her frantic worries turn into desperate questions. Unable to comprehend why the man who had been her trusted partner would willingly take from her all she loves most, Liz throws herself into the search for her kids. Her investigation uncovers a disturbing incident from her husband’s past and she begins receiving ominous threats, warning her to stay away. No more able to abandon her search than stop breathing, Liz digs deeper into her husband’s secrets-only to discover that Paul’s plans are far more extreme than she ever could have imagined.

Afterparty by Daryl Gregory (April 22):  It begins in Toronto, in the years after the smart drug revolution. Any high school student with a chemjet and internet connection can download recipes and print drugs, or invent them. A seventeen-year-old street girl finds God through a new brain-altering drug called Numinous, used as a sacrament by a new Church that preys on the underclass. But she is arrested and put into detention, and without the drug, commits suicide.

Lyda Rose, another patient in that detention facility, has a dark secret: she was one of the original scientists who developed the drug. With the help of an ex-government agent and an imaginary, drug-induced doctor, Lyda sets out to find the other three survivors of the five who made the Numinous in a quest to set things right.

The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore (April 22): Venice, a long time ago. Three prominent Venetians await their most loathsome and foul dinner guest, the erstwhile envoy of Britain and France, and widower of the murdered Queen Cordelia: the rascal-Fool Pocket.

This trio of cunning plotters—the merchant, Antonio; the senator, Montressor Brabantio; and the naval officer, Iago—have lured Pocket to a dark dungeon, promising an evening of sprits and debauchery with a rare Amontillado sherry and Brabantio’s beautiful daughter, Portia. 

But their invitation is, of course, bogus. The wine is drugged. The girl isn’t even in the city limits. Desperate to rid themselves once and for all of the man who has consistently foiled their grand quest for power and wealth, they have lured him to his death. (How can such a small man, be such a huge obstacle?). But this Fool is no fool . . . and he’s got more than a few tricks (and hand gestures) up his sleeve.

Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (April 29): Growing up in the rural Southern hamlet of Natchez, Mississippi, Penn Cage learned everything he knows about honor and duty from his father, Tom Cage. But now the beloved family doctor and pillar of the community is accused of murdering Viola Turner, the beautiful nurse with whom he worked in the dark days of the early 1960s. A fighter who has always stood for justice, Penn is determined to save his father, even though Tom, stubbornly evoking doctor-patient privilege, refuses to speak up in his own defense. 

The quest for answers sends Penn deep into the past—into the heart of a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the Double Eagles, a vicious KKK crew headed by one of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the state. With the aid of a local friend and reporter privy to some of Natchez’s deadliest secrets, Penn follows a bloody trail that stretches back forty years, to a shocking truth that will forever alter his perception of both his father and himself. 

With everything on the line, including his own life, Penn must decide how far he will go to protect those he loves . . . and judge whether justice is worth the cost. 

Rich in Southern atmosphere and electrifying plot turns, Natchez Burning marks the brilliant return of a genuine American master of suspense. Tense and disturbing, it is the most explosive, exciting, sexy, and ambitious story Greg Iles has ever written.

Whew! Well, that completes it! My most anticipated books of April. What did I miss? Any of the books that I’ve mentioned in particular catch your eye!?

If you do decide to read any of these, I’d love to hear about your experience. I’ll keep the comments open on this post so please come back and share!

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