Summer House With Swimming Pool
By: Herman Koch
Format/Source: galley courtesy of Crown Publishing via NetGalley
When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers. After all, reputation is everything in this business. Personally, he’s not exactly upset that Ralph is gone, but as a high profile doctor to the stars, Marc can’t hide from the truth forever.
It all started the previous summer. Marc, his wife, and their two beautiful teenage daughters agreed to spend a week at the Meier’s extravagant summer home on the Mediterranean. Joined by Ralph and his striking wife Judith, her mother, and film director Stanley Forbes and his much younger girlfriend, the large group settles in for days of sunshine, wine tasting, and trips to the beach. But when a violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s later death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.
I read his other novel, The Dinner (review), earlier this year and rather enjoyed it with all of its themes and dark twists and turns, so I was curious to see where this novel would go. This book will be available on 3 June 2014. The following review contains some minor spoilers (though the big spoiler is under a spoiler tag)
I Am Pilgrim
By: Terry Hayes
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Simon and Schuster CA
An intelligent and taut debut thriller that depicts the collision course between two geniuses, one a tortured hero and one a determined terrorist.
In a seedy hotel near Ground Zero, a woman lies face down in a pool of acid, features melted off her face, teeth missing, fingerprints gone. The room has been sprayed down with DNA-eradicating antiseptic spray. Pilgrim, the code name for a legendary, world-class secret agent, quickly realizes that all of the murderer’s techniques were pulled directly from his own book—a cult classic of forensic science written under a pen name.
In offering the NYPD some casual assistance with the case, Pilgrim gets pulled back into the intelligence underground. Meanwhile, his adversary—a man simply known as “the Arab”—is plotting his next move in service to jihad. What follows is a thriller that jockeys between astonishingly detailed character study and breakneck globetrotting. It takes us from Pilgrim’s hidden life of leisure in Paris to the Arab’s squalid warrior life in Afghanistan, from the hallways of an exclusive Swiss bank to the laboratories of a nefarious biotech facility in Syria. Secrets are exposed and tension builds until Pilgrim and the Arab arrive in Turkey—where the two masterminds inevitably meet to face off in the shocking finale.
How intense does this premise sound? It caught my attention when I first heard of it so naturally I wanted to read it! It was also encouraging that I heard good things about this book 😉 I kindly received an ARC of this novel courtesy of the publishers in exchange for an honest review; this review is also part of a book blog tour hosted by the publishers.
Before I continue on to my review, for those of you who are from Toronto, there is an event coming up featuring Terry Hayes at TIFF. More details about this event and how to attend can be found on this Facebook page 🙂
Chasing the Storm
By: Martin Molsted
Format/Source: eBook courtesy of the publishers via the LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme
While in Hamburg, lawyer and former elite soldier Torgrim Rygg witnesses the assassination attempt on Marko Marin, a Russian journalist investigating the disappearance of a ship ostensibly carrying timber bound for Algiers. He gets drawn into a world of conspiracies, cover-ups and the relentless search for a missing ship. Disenchanted with his mundane office-life, he agrees to help Mr. Marin, and together with Marin’s girlfriend, Lena, and their hacker, Sasha, he sets out on a journey to discover the truth about the missing ship.
Their truth-seeking kicks off a series of life-threatening events and a relentless race against time to foil whoever is behind the disappearance of the ship, the Alpensturm. Their revelation puts not only their own lives at risk but the safety of the whole world …
Some of the elements of this novel caught my attention–current events, guy gets drawn into crazy events–so I was interested in checking this novel out. This novel was first published last year and I was approved a copy of it by the LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme in exchange for an honest review. Contains some untagged spoilers ahead!
In the Blood
By: Lisa Unger
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA
Lana Granger lives a life of lies. She has told so many lies about where she comes from and who she is that the truth is like a cloudy nightmare she can’t quite recall. About to graduate from college and with her trust fund almost tapped out, she takes a job babysitting a troubled boy named Luke. Expelled from schools all over the country, the manipulative young Luke is accustomed to controlling the people in his life. But, in Lana, he may have met his match. Or has Lana met hers?
When Lana’s closest friend, Beck, mysteriously disappears, Lana resumes her lying ways—to friends, to the police, to herself. The police have a lot of questions for Lana when the story about her whereabouts the night Beck disappeared doesn’t jibe with eyewitness accounts. Lana will do anything to hide the truth, but it might not be enough to keep her ominous secrets buried: someone else knows about Lana’s lies. And he’s dying to tell.
I’ve seen Lisa Unger’s books in the bookstore before but I’ve never gotten around to any of her titles until now. To be honest I wasn’t too sure about the premise at first–all the lying sounds like it would be a stressful read! I received an ARC copy of this novel courtesy of the publishers in exchange for an honest review. May contain some minor spoilers ahead!
The View from the Tower
By: Charles Lambert
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of Angry Robot Ltd. via NetGalley
“Can she trust them? Can you?”
Helen is in a hotel room with her lover in Rome, when a gunman murders her husband, a high-level politician, less than a mile away.
Helen immediately finds herself both a suspect and suspicious of those around her – including her friends and her husband’s family, and her lover, Giacomo, an ex-terrorist with a new wife and a reinvented life.
As Helen struggles to understand her husband’s death and the extent to which she and the people she knows may have been responsible for it, she is forced to examine her own past and peel back the years of secrets and lies.
Okay, I admit, the primary reason I was intrigued by this novel was that it was set in Rome =P But I was also in the mood for a bit of a thriller/mystery so this book was perfect. I was approved of an ARC of this title from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.