Detectives, murder mysteries, and psychics…

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This week at the Gilpin Library

by Larry Grieco, Librarian

J.K. Rowling writing under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith was perhaps the worst kept secret ever. Still, the result was the debut novel in a new hard-boiled detective series, the emergence of one Cormoran Strike. Strike is a private detective almost by default. He has nothing else to do, and he’s operating minus one leg, lost to a land mine in Afghanistan. He is down to one client, he’s just broken up with his longtime girlfriend, and his creditors are beginning to take notice that the payments have not been forthcoming of late. Not only that, he is living in his office. So it is with a new sense of hope that he accepts the case brought to him by John Bristow. Bristow’s sister, the legendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, fell to her death a few months earlier, and Bristow is having none of the police theory that it was suicide. He hires Strike to investigate the circumstances surrounding Lula’s death, and the down-and-out detective is off and running. The book is called The Cuckoo’s Calling, and it has received critical acclaim not often afforded to first novels, but it really isn’t Rowling’s first novel, just her first writing as Galbraith. After you sort it all out, you may find that it’s pretty damn good.

Next we have the new novel by C.J. Box (writing as himself), The Highway. The title refers to a remote stretch of Montana road where two sisters disappeared along with their car. Cody Hoyt, a former police investigator who just lost his job, has begun drinking again after a long stretch of sobriety. His former rookie partner, Cassie Dewell, convinces him to get involved in this case as a civilian, and he does. Hoyt quickly discovers that these two missing girls are not the first ones to disappear in this area of lonely highway. This may be the hunting ground for a killer who has struck before and will again unless he is caught. Cassie must overcome her own lack of experience to stay hot on the trail, and Hoyt has to battle his own special demons, if they are going to succeed. Library Journal (in a starred review): “A nonstop, action-filled race against time. Rolling down the superhighway of suspense, this thriller will leave readers breathless.”

Less the crime aspect, but not without its own brand of suspense, is Curtis Sittenfeld’s new novel, Sisterland. Identical twins Kate and Violet were born with unusual “senses,” enabling them to predict future events as well as other people’s secrets. Vi grew up to be a psychic, while Kate had an aversion to her “gift.” Now a devoted wife and mother, Kate has “settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children.” When a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, Kate’s normal life begins to shift a bit. Then she sees Vi on television predicting another, more powerful earthquake is going to hit the St. Louis area, and Kate is not only horrified, but realizes, as only she can, that her sister’s premonition is correct. This is a page-turner that will show you no mercy. Happy reading!

Keep in mind one of our favorite summer events: A Midsummer Night’s Poetry Reading on Saturday evening, August 31, from 7:00 to 9:00, with special guest Robert King, an outstanding writer from Greeley, CO. Bob will be joined by some of Gilpin County’s best poets: Christine Weeber, Marcelo Games, and Burt Rashbaum, and by Karla Schorzman, a fine poet and an honorary Gilpinite. There will be an opportunity to join in with your own poems during an open mic session.

2 recommended
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