Didn’t I warn you that October was an outstanding month of books. I’ve shared two lists thus far (Part I & Part II) and I’m wrapping up with the final list of books today. These lists have covered the gamut as far as books go. You’ll have to let me know if I’ve overlooked any!
Sometimes the Wolf by Urban Waite (Oct. 21):
Set in the Pacific Northwest, a spellbinding story of family, violence, and unintended consequences that showcases the searing prose, soulful characters, and vivid sense of place of an acclaimed writer in the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, Dennis Lehane, and Elmore Leonard
Sheriff Patrick Drake tried to lead an upstanding life and maintain some financial stability until his wife passed away. He did okay for a while, singlehandedly raising his family in a small mountain town. Then he was hit with money troubles, fell in with some unsavory men, and ended up convicted of one of the biggest crimes in local history.
Twelve years later Patrick is on parole under the watchful eye of his son Bobby, who just happens to be a deputy sheriff in his father’s old department. Bobby hasn’t had it easy, either. He’s carried the weight of his father’s guilt, forsaking his own dreams, and put off the knowledge that his own marriage could be stronger and more hopeful. Yet no matter how much distance he’s tried to put between himself, his father, his grandfather, and the past, small town minds can have very long memories.
Trouble isn’t done with the Drakes—and a terrifying threat boils up from Patrick’s old life. And this time, no one will be spared . . .
The Wolf in Winter: A Charlie Parker Thriller by John Connolly (Oct. 28):
The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town…
But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.
Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive.
Prosperous, and the secret that it hides beneath its ruins…
The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron (Oct. 28):
Ruddy McCann, former college football star, has experienced a seismic drop in popularity; he is now Kalkaska, Michigan’s full-time repo man and part-time bar bouncer. His best friend is his low-energy Basset hound Jake, with whom he shares a simple life of stealing cars.
Simple, that is, until Ruddy starts hearing a voice in his head.
The voice introduces himself as Alan Lottner, a dead realtor. Ruddy isn’t sure if Alan is real, or if he’s losing his mind. To complicate matters, it turns out Katie, the girl he’s fallen for, is Alan’s daughter.
When Alan demands Ruddy find his murderers, Ruddy decides a voice in your head seeking vengeance is best ignored. When Alan also demands he clean up his act, and apartment, Ruddy tells him to back off, but where can a voice in your head go?
With a sweet romance, a murder mystery, a lazy but loyal dog and a town full of cabin-fevered characters you can’t help but love, New York Times bestselling novelist W. Bruce Cameron’s The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man is yet another laugh-out-loud, keep-you-up-late, irresistible read.
The Disappearance Boy by Neil Bartlett (Oct. 28):
A man. A woman. A disappearance boy. This is the story of Reggie, an illusionist’s assistant, and the performances that come to define him.
Reggie Rainbow got his name at the orphanage. He had polio as a child, and seventeen years of using crutches have given him strong hands and nimble fingers. It is this dexterity, perfect for illusions, which first led Mr. Brookes to hire him for the act. Reggie has been a disappearance boy for years now, making a long string of alluring assistants vanish while Mr. Brookes tricks and misdirects the audience.
But in the spring of 1953, the public no longer seem interested in illusionists. Bookings are slim, even in London. When Mr. Brookes gets a new slot at the down-at-the-heel Brighton Grand, Reggie finds himself in a strange town, one full of dark and unexplored corners. And it is the arrival of Pamela Rose, a beautiful new assistant, that truly turns his life upside down. As the Grand’s spectacular Coronation show nears, Reggie begins to wonder how much of his own life has been an act—and sets out to find somebody who disappeared from his life long ago.
Masterful and heartfelt, The Disappearance Boy is the tale of one young man coming into adulthood amidst the smoke-and-mirrors backstage world; a story of love, tears, and illusion—of all that stays behind the curtain.
The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester by Nicholas Knight (Oct. 28):
Go back on the road with Sam and Dean Winchester in this revised and updated edition of the best-selling The Essential Supernatural. Filled with interviews with the cast and crew of the hit show, stunning behind-the-scenes-imagery and art, and a wealth of thrilling removable items, this updated version includes new chapters on seasons 8 and 9 and a preview of the upcoming season 10.
This deluxe edition dissects the show season by season, state by state, tracking the Winchester brothers as they travel across the U.S. in their distinctive classic car. Join them as they hunt all those things that go bump in the night, seek vengeance on the Yellow-Eyed Demon that killed their parents, deal with the Knights of Hell, and stop the bona fide Apocalypse! Illustrated with full-color images, behind-the-scenes photos, exclusive production art, and other elements-such as continuity photos and even the covers of the in-universe Supernatural novels by Chuck Shurley-this is the ultimate guide to Supernatural for the show’s legion of fans.
Us by David Nicholls (Oct. 28):
Douglas Petersen may be a mild-mannered scientist, but his reserve hides a sense of humor that, against all odds, seduces beautiful art-school graduate Connie into a second date…and into marrying him. Now, almost three decades after their relationship first blossomed in London, they live in the suburbs with their moody seventeen year-old son, Albie. Douglas is still deeply in love with his wife, and is looking toward Albie leaving for college so that he can reconnect with Connie, and somehow reignite the spark that seems to be missing. That is, until Connie tells him she thinks she wants a divorce.
Connie’s timing couldn’t be worse. Wanting to encourage her son’s artistic interests, she’s planned a month-long tour across Europe, where they’ll experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family, which she can’t bring herself to cancel. But perhaps going ahead is for the best? Douglas feels sure that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance they’ve lost along the way, as well as help him to bond with Albie. He prepares with a meticulously detailed itinerary, but they barely make it to Amsterdam before his plans go awry.
Narrated from Douglas’s endearingly honest, stealthily witty, and at times achingly optimistic point of view, Us is the story of a man rising to the challenge of rescuing his relationship with the woman he loves—as he embarks on a life-changing journey on the heels of a son who’s always felt like a stranger. It is an authentic meditation on the demands of marriage and parenthood, the regrets of abandoning youth for middle age, and the complicated relationship between the heart and the head. And in David Nicholls’s gifted hands, Douglas’s odyssey brings Europe—from the famed museums of Paris to the cafés of Venice to the beaches of Barcelona—to vivid life just as he experiences a powerful awakening of his own. Will this summer be his last as a husband and involved father, or the moment when he turns his marriage—his whole life—around?
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (Oct. 28)
A monumental, genre-defying novel over ten years in the making, from the internationally bestselling author of The Crimson Petal and the White.
The Book of Strange New Things tells the story of Peter Leigh, a devoted man of faith called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him literally light years away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment and the ego-gratifying work of ministering to a native population hungry for the Bible—this “book of strange new things.” But he soon begins to receive increasingly desperate letters from home. North Korea is devastated by a typhoon; the Maldives are wiped out by a tsunami; England endures an earthquake, and Bea’s faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.
A separation measured in galaxies, and defined both by one newly discovered world and another in a state of collapse, is threatened by an ever-widening gulf that is much less quantifiable. Peter’s and Bea’s trials lay bare a profound meditation on faith, love tested beyond endurance, and the responsibility we have to others.
The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood (Oct. 28):
Alex Marwood’s debut novel, The Wicked Girls, earned her lavish praise from the likes of Stephen King, Laura Lippman, and Erin Kelly, and was shortlisted for an Edgar Award. Now Marwood’s back with a brilliant, tightly paced thriller that will keep you up at night and make you ask yourself: just how well do you know your neighbors?
Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be renting rooms in a dodgy old building for cash—no credit check, no lease. It’s the kind of place you end up when you you’ve run out of other options. The six residents mostly keep to themselves, but one unbearably hot summer night, a terrible accident pushes them into an uneasy alliance. What they don’t know is that one of them is a killer. He’s already chosen his next victim, and he’ll do anything to protect his secret.
Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam (Oct. 28):
Who put the word fun in funeral? I can’t think of anything fun about Rachel’s funeral, except for the fact that she won’t be there.
Aubrey Glass has a collection of potential suicide notes—just in case. And now, five years—and five notes—after leaving her hometown, Rachel’s the one who goes and kills herself. Aubrey can’t believe her luck.
But Rachel’s death doesn’t leave Aubrey in peace. There’s a voicemail from her former friend, left only days before her death that Aubrey can’t bring herself to listen to—and worse, a macabre memorial-turned-high-school reunion that promises the opportunity to catch up with everyone…including the man responsible for everything that went wrong between she and Rachel.
In the days leading up to the funeral and infamous after party, Aubrey slips seamlessly between her past and present. Memories of friendship tangle with painful new encounters while underneath it all Aubrey feels the rush of something closing in, something she can no longer run from. And when the past and present collide in one devastating night, nothing will be the same again.
But facing the future means confronting herself and a shattering truth. Now, Aubrey must decide what will define her: what lies behind . . . or what waits ahead.