Deadlines, terrorists, murder, and captured reporters…

This week at the Gilpin Library

by Larry Grieco, Librarian

Sandra Brown’s thrillers never disappoint. Her newest one, Deadline, is about a journalist hot on the trail of two domestic terrorists who have eluded capture for decades. Dawson Scott has just returned from Afghanistan where he was covering the war. He is suffering from battle fatigue, but keeps it to himself. One of his sources in the FBI gives him a tip about a new development in a story that began forty years ago. A former marine, Jeremy Wesson, has disappeared and believed to be murdered. Wesson was the biological son of a pair of terrorists who are on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Dawson begins his investigation and, along the way, develops feelings for Wesson’s ex-wife and two young sons. When their nanny turns up dead, a whole new slant opens up in the case. Dawson begins to search for Wesson’s outlaw parents and he turns up a startling secret about their past. With over 80 million copies of her books in print, Brown has been at the top of her game for many years, and was named Thriller Master by the International Thriller Writers Association in 2008.

Bill James, who Booklist calls “one of Britain’s best and most creative crime-fiction writers,” has written more than 30 novels. His latest is Play Dead, and continues the long-running “Harpur and Iles” mystery series. The two travel to Larkspur to investigate a murder, and are successful in cracking the case. The problem is what was preventing the Larkspur constabulary from pursuing their local investigation. With the hint of the existence of possible corruption in the ranks, Detective Colin Harpur and Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles are sent back to Larkspur to further investigate the police force there. Just how far and how high did the corruption go? Now, it is important to note that Harpur and Iles aren’t exactly fond of each other, in fact they can be downright hostile. If you haven’t yet discovered this intriguing series of British police procedurals, jump in any time. Kirkus Reviews: “Harpur and Iles, Britain’s most irresistible duo since crumpets were first paired with tea.”

As you may recall, the library received a grant for the “Muslim Journeys Bookshelf” some time ago. We’ll be dipping into this deep well of Muslim literature for our Let’s Talk About It series after the first of the year, but many of the other titles in the bookshelf bear mention. One such is House of Stone, by two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, Anthony Shadid. Shadid was one of four New York Times reporters captured in Libya in 2011. The reporters were taken, cuffed and beaten by revolutionary forces. When he was released he didn’t return to Boston or Beirut, where he has homes, or even to Oklahoma, where his Lebanese-American family had settled. Instead he returned to his great-grandfather’s estate in Lebanon. He reconstructed the old home of his ancestors, and in doing so, repaired both the structure and his “jostled spirit.” House of Stone is “an unforgettable meditation on war, exile, rebirth, and the universal yearning for home.” (Tragically, on February 16, 2012, Haddid died while on assignment in Syria.) Author Dave Cullen on House of Stone: “I was captivated, instantly, by Anthony Shadid’s lushly evocative prose…Lose yourself in these pages, where empires linger, grandparents wander, and a battered Lebanon beckons us home.”

Coming in November, we’ll be signing up people to participate in the Muslim Journeys: Literary Reflections reading and discussion series. The five-part series will run from mid-January to early March and will be facilitated by Prof. Nancy Ciccone, head of the English Department at the University of Colorado, Denver. This series will be limited to fifty people (the official capacity of the library’s meeting room), so you’ll want to be sure to get on the list when the time comes. Watch the library column in this newspaper or stop by the library for updated information.

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