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Click to search this book in our catalog The Outsider
by Stephen King

Publishers Weekly MWA Grand Master King wraps a wild weird tale inside a police procedural in this nicely executed extension of his Bill Hodges detective trilogy (begun with 2014's Mr. Mercedes). Det. Ralph Anderson of the Flint City, Okla., police force appears to have beloved youth baseball league coach Terry Maitland dead to rights when he publicly arrests him for the grisly murder of an 11-year-old boy, since the crime scene is covered with Terry's fingerprints and DNA. Only one problem: at the time of the murder Terry was attending a teachers' conference in a distant city, where he was caught clearly on videotape. The case's contradictory evidence compels Anderson and officials associated with it to team up with Holly Gibney (the deceased Hodges's former assistant) to solve it. What begins as a manhunt for an unlikely doppelgšnger takes an uncanny turn into the supernatural. King's skillful use of criminal forensics helps to ground his tale in a believable clinical reality where the horrors stand out in sharp relief. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal When a young boy's mutilated corpse is found in a public park, the evidence points to Little League coach and high school English teacher Terry Maitland. Despite his vehement claims of innocence, witnesses put him at the scene of the crime, and his fingerprints and DNA are found all over the murder scene. The police have an airtight case, except that other witnesses and video also confirm Terry's alibi: that he was miles away at a teacher's convention on the night of the murder. For Det. Ralph Anderson, it is simultaneously the most straightforward and frustrating case of his career. How can a man be in two places at once? After the success of his "Bill Hodges" series and Sleeping Beauties, coauthored with his son Owen, King's latest feels somewhat flat and predictable. Followers of the horror master's career will likely guess the outcome early on. Usually a maestro of character development, King casts his novel with tired and one-dimensional figures, including Anderson, whose emotional development is disappointingly nonexistent. An extended cameo from a favorite past King character does little to increase the enjoyment. VERDICT King's fans may be dispirited by this latest disappointing thriller; however, his name alone will ensure it flies off the shelves. [See Prepub Alert, 12/1/17.]-Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn P.L. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Staff Picks - Kelly in Andrews
Click to search this book in our catalog The Half-Mammals Of D
by Singleton, George

Publishers Weekly Singleton expands upon the peculiar conceits of his debut collection, These People Are Us, in these 15 offbeat stories. Set mostly around the little South Carolina backwater of Forty-Five, they take on everything from racism to alcoholism to head lice, with plenty of laughs along the way. A hapless father clumsily tries to use his nine-year-old son to win back his high-school sweetheart (now the boy's teacher) in "Show and Tell," sending him off to school with old love notes, corsages and jewelry he had given her and making the boy pass them off as precious antiques. Another father launches a one-man crusade against a racist newspaper deliverer in "Fossils." "What Slide Rules Can't Measure" details the bizarre lives of denizens of the flea market circuit, while the title story follows an aquarium salesman to a bizarre motivational seminar, where he meets a scarred woman who sells audio books to the blind. "This Itches, Y'all" features a boy who fled youthful ignominy as the star of an educational film on head lice, then returns to his 25th class reunion to find unexpected celebrity. As in the first volume, the narrators tend to be relatively sophisticated men (or boys) who find themselves surrounded by feckless "pallet-heads." Some may find the tone of intellectual superiority condescending, but it's usually tempered by self-deprecation, to wonderful comic effect. Agents, Liz Darhansoff and Kristin Lang. (Sept. 13) Forecast: Singleton seems to be building up a reputation, as evidenced by a recent NPR feature, as well as appearances in Harpers, the Atlantic and other literary reviews. A national ad campaign and 10-city author tour will help keep up the momentum. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Book list To some readers, the mere threat of 15 stories about lovable southern eccentrics is enough to prompt a quick retreat north. Fortunately, Singleton's quick wit, keen intelligence, and empathy for his characters mean we can issue an "all clear" rather than a hurricane warning. Set in and around fictional Forty-Five, South Carolina, these often-hilarious tales depict ordinary people's struggle to evolve and adapt in an environment of religiosity and sometimes backward ways. Characters pop up in each other's stories as if demonstrating how interwoven our fates can be, or that--to use a metaphor of which the author might approve--we all shop at the same flea market. Whether writing of flea-market vendors, fishing-lure collectors, aquarium salesmen, or faux primitive artists, Singleton has a gift for rendering goofy situations poignant even as he slyly sticks a sociopolitical barb. No matter what their needs or dilemmas, we see ourselves in his characters. This fine collection reveals an author who, despite his penchant for evolution, has a gift for the act of creation. --Keir Graff

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

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Staff Picks - Jacqueline in Andrews
Click to search this book in our catalog A Cold Day for Murder
by Stabenow, Dana

School Library Journal YA-- Up in the cold Alaskan countryside, a young National Park Ranger disappears. When the investigator on the case also vanishes, it's time for detective Kate Shugak to start hunting for answers. For those who like murder mysteries, female sleuths, and books set in Alaska, this is the one.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly This whodunit rides the crest of today's styles: a female detective, a remote locale and the conflict between the traditional way of life (in this case Aleut) and modern America. Detective Kate Shugak became the top investigator for the Anchorage District Attorney's Office. But after getting her throat cut while apprehending a child abuser, she has retired to the Park, 20 million acres of Alaskan wilderness, snow and eccentrics--yet the children's cries keep reverberating in her head. When a park ranger--a congressman's son--disappears, as does the investigator sent after him, the FBI and Shugak's old boss ask for her help. In the process Shugak gets shot at twice and readers get a guided tour of the local landmarks, including Shugak's manipulative grandmother's house in Niniltna (pop. 800) and Bernie's Roadhouse, site of a hilarious showdown between two drunken pipeline workers with a stolen 30-ton excavating machine and a helicopter-flying state trooper. Stabenow's ( Second Star ) tale lacks tension, and Shugak's unfocused anger at the world seems a bit forced, but overall this is an enjoyable and well-written yarn. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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