Monday, July 2, 2012

Five fiction titles to watch for in July

Summer is here! Dust of the deck chairs and grab a great book: like one of these releases you can expect to see in July!

If the main character in the summer flick-based-on-a-book Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (M) interests you but the undead elements do not, you might be interested in a reimagining of Lincoln's life that is more based in our own earthly plane.

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln (M) by Stephen L. Carter (July 10) is still taking liberties with the historical record, but there are no vampires here. From the publisher: "An electrifying, provocative new novel that asks the question: What would have happened had Lincoln not been assassinated? President Abraham Lincoln survives the assassination attempt at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865 - only to be charged with overstepping his Constitutional authority during the Civil War, and faced with impeachment. Abigail, a young black woman recently graduated from Oberlin, is hired by a D.C. law firm to assist in Lincoln's defence." 

On the Island (M) by Tracey Garvis Graves (July 10). This is the sort of success story we all like to dream about. Graves originally self-published her first novel about a teacher who becomes stranded on a deserted island with only her young student to keep her company. The book was recently picked up by a division of Penguin and has been optioned for a film adaptation. Get your hold in now to be ahead of the crowd!

The premise of Year Zero (M) by Rob Reid (July 10) makes me so happy: I'm not sure what that says about me. In a nutshell, sometime in our past (about 1977) distant aliens first heard the pop music of earth: and they loved it. However, their illegal downloading activities now mean that they owe so much to us earthlings in copyright infringement fines that they are now bankrupt and the quickest solution to their problem is to simply destroy us all. Lawyer Nick Carter has 48 hours to broker a solution and save the world. Early reviews have lots of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy comparisons for this zany Sci Fi treat.

Fallen Angel (M) by Daniel Silva (July 17): It's time for the latest installment in his popular series, featuring the art restorer by day, intelligence agent by night: Gabriel Allon. In this one Allon is called to investigate the discovery of a body in the Vatican: the police think it's suicide, Allon suspects otherwise. These fast paced, intricately plotted novels by a former CNN correspondent have quickly become favourites amongst readers looking for spy thrillers in the mood of John le CarrĂ© or Alan Furst. (digression: Alan Furst had a new book out last month—if you haven't already checked out Mission to Paris (M), you might want to add that to your summer reading list too!)

I have a bit of soft spot for translated thrillers so it's not surprising that I'm rounding out this list with Pimp's Notes (M) by Giorgio Faletti (July 20), a translated from Italian, 1970s set noir thriller. From the publisher "It’s 1978. Italy has just been shocked by the kidnapping of the politician Aldo Moro by the left-leaning terrorist group the Red Brigades. In Milan, the upper class continues to amuse itself in luxury restaurants, underground clubs, and cabarets. This is Bravo’s milieu. Enigmatic and cynical, Bravo makes his living catering to the tastes, fantasies, and fetishes of the wealthy and depraved. When the mysterious Carla enters his life, what begins as a clandestine romance quickly becomes a nightmare that will transform Bravo into a man wanted by the police, by organized crime, and even by the Red Brigades." While you're waiting for the release date for this one, why not check out Faletti's first book, I Kill (M).

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