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Library Journal★ 04/01/2014
Seventeen-year-old Grace Adams goes into shock when she witnesses her mother's murder just outside her home in remote northern Montana. Eleven years earlier Grace's mom had skipped town during the tumultuous aftermath of a still-unsolved grisly sex trafficking murder case. No one understands why she came back, or what Grace knows. Grace struggles to recover, aided by an honest state detective named Macy Greeley, who's been dispatched to run the investigation. Macy, eight months pregnant, worked the earlier case and believes the death of Grace's mother is tied to that unsolved cold case. An increasingly desperate killer strikes again, attempting to get to Grace. With readers privy to Grace's secrets, the suspense meter spikes dramatically. If only clever Macy can connect the dots before she goes into labor. VERDICT This complicated, peel-away-layers debut procedural intoxicates from the opening page and has word-of-mouth selling power. To the fine roster of pregnant protagonists (Elly Griffiths's Ruth Galloway and Tess Gerritsen's Jane Rizzoli), add Macy Greeley. Recommend for fans of Archer Mayor, Gwen Florio, and Craig Johnson. C.J. Box's The Highway comes to mind, too.Terry's Reader ResolutionsTwo of the authors I hit up for reading resolutions (see LJ 1/14, p. 76, for the full report) mentioned Patricia Highsmith, which seems timely with the new Highsmith-based movie, The Two Faces of January, coming out this spring. (Grove Atlantic is reissuing Highsmith titles in paperback this year, too.)Meg Gardiner vowed to read Strangers on a Train. She declared in an email that it's "shameful that I haven't yet read the book" since the Hitchcock movie is one of her favorites. When I caught up with her in February, Gardiner attested that she had found the book "taut and insidious!"A best-selling thriller writer who writes both series and stand-alones (The Shadow Tracer), Gardiner was the guest of honor for 2013's Crime Bake conference, and is a strong library advocate. She's recently moved back to the United States after several years in London. Her next title, Phantom Instinct, comes out in June.Gardiner wants readers to try Zoë Sharp in 2014, noting, "Her Charlie Fox novels are fast-paced, gritty, and authentic." With that endorsement, better check your catalog. A quick check of Sharp's website (zoesharp.com) indicates ten Zoe Sharp thrillers are out there—just the ticket for your binge-readers.Author Wayne Arthurson (A Killing Winter) has vowed to read Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley. Playing it close to the vest, the Canadian wasn't divulging whether he's cracked the book yet. He is emphatic in his endorsement of fellow Edmontonian Janice MacDonald's mysteries. In his correspondence with me, he said, "They're traditional amateur sleuth mysteries set in academic backdrops or on the fringes of academia because MacDonald's protagonist, Miranda 'Randy' Craig, can't get a tenure-track job. The books are quirky, funny but very smart." See janicemacdonald.net for more. Give them a whirl.