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The Early Word: New and Notable Fiction for the Week of July 14, 2008

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It’s been a year since the final installment of the wildly popular Harry Potter book series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hit the bookshelves to great fanfare. Since the end of the Harry Potter series (despite the rumored prequels and other such buzz among Harry Potter fans), book publishers have scrambled to find a children’s book series that would match the marketing prowess J. K. Rowling has created.

Even though there haven’t been too many contenders so far, count Eoin Colfer’s popular Artemis Fowl series as one. The series has generated a sizable fanbase, and the series continues this week with the much anticipated Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox.

Unlike the Harry Potter series, Colfer’s books aren’t centered around a tale between good and evil; in fact, his main character is comically evil, making things better (and eventually worse) for himself by manipulating the system around him for financial gain. In The Time Paradox, Artemis’ mother contracts a disease that can only be cured by the brain fluid of the now extinct African Lemur. The problem is that Artemis knows his actions were what caused the African Lemur’s extinction, so he must find a way to go back in time to find the curing brain fluid. Colfer enlists all of the fantastical elements of his Artemis Fowl series, fairies and all. But now, Artemis’ mission is personal, even if he hasn’t always been on his best behavior.

For the adults, there are plenty of new hardcovers out right now that follow along the same lines as some of our recent new hardcovers this month. Women’s mystery writer Lisa Gardner’s latest novel, Say Goodbye, is bound to be a thrilling read. Say Goodbye follows FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy as she find out details about a recent string of disappearing prostitutes – and the stories behind the disappearances become strange and twisted. Before she knows it, Kimberly is stuck trying to uncover clues to the disappearances as she gets wrapped further into the complexities of the cases – she discovers there might be a psychopathic serial killer hot on her trail. Although it follows a fairly predictable plot line for a mystery novel, Gardner’s latest will surely appeal to fans of suspense.

New Thriller Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich is also worth checking out, since it pits a tale of mountain survival against a conspiratorial plot against the protagonist, Dr. Jonathon Ransom. Reich’s story is set in the Swiss Alps, where Ransom and his wife embark on a climbing trip when a blizzard hits them, killing his wife and forcing him to retreat to find help. Distraught, Ransom eventually seeks out his wife’s possessions to head home, when things get strange and he ends of in a life-and-death brawl with two thugs who claim to have his wife’s possessions. When he discovers they were Swiss police officers, he gets caught in a strange plot to frame him as the perpetrator in the brawl for his wife’s stuff. It’s certainly a page-turning novel for those who love a good thriller.

Here are some more books out this week that are making their way up the bestseller’s lists:

Killer View by Ridley Pearson
The Last Kiss by Luanne Rice
Just Too Good To Be True by E. Lynn Harris
The Likeness by Tana French
Real World by Natsuo Kirino
Ultimate Iron Man II Premiere HC by Orson Scott Card, Pasqual Ferry (Illustrator)

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