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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of August 24, 2009

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Got your back-to-school summer reading stocking-stuffer cash for clunkers and quality needs right here!

The Final Detail (Myron Bolitar Series #6)
by Harlan Coben

Take me out to the ball game / Take me out with the crowd…
Otherwise, buy me some peanuts and a crackerjack mystery, because, as sports fiction writer Harlan Coben once said in an interview:

People care about winning and losing way too much. We treat kids who are barely old enough to vote like neo-gods. We make role models out of young men and women whose only claim to such a lofty title is the ability to hurl a sphere with great velocity or jump high or grow big muscles. The money, the power, the fame, the passion – it's scary and it's a ripe arena for murder and suspense. Whoa, that was deep. Give me a second…

Time’s up. If you haven’t read Coben’s humor-imbued mysteries — many of which star sports agent Myron Bolitar and feature distinct and intriguing secondary characters – then Michael Connelly, an author whose widely-read books are tantamount to a “ripe arena for murder and suspense,” may be more  persuasive when he suggests that "The world needs to discover Harlan Coben. He's smart, he's funny, and he has something to say.”

The Final Detail
indeed says it all. When a baseball pitcher is killed, sports agent Myron Bolivar loses not only a client but also his partner, Esperanza Diaz, who's charged with the pitcher's murder. Now it's up to Bolivar to prove her innocence – that is, if she is innocent. Obligated to solve to such a bizarre and challenging case, Myron views it from various perspectives: a transsexual nightclub called Take A Chance where you never know whether the bouncers beating you up are really men or not, a baseball owner with a long-lost daughter, an implausible murder scene, a dubious drug test, and a computer disk with the image of a disintegrating girl. But most startling of all in this twisting, turning, zig-zagging, and mesmerizing novel of wisecracks and fast-paced thrills is that of all the digging around that he does, Myron’s own investigation points to only one other suspect: himself… constituting perhaps, indeed, The Final Detail.


Await Your Reply
by Dan Chaon

Resurrecting Midnight (Gideon Series #4)
by Eric Jerome Dickey

Even Money
by Dick Francis, Felix Francis

Blood Promise (Vampire Academy Series #4)
by Richelle Mead

Alex Cross's Trial
by James Patterson, Richard DiLallo

206 Bones (Temperance Brennan Series #12)
by Kathy Reichs

A Duty to the Dead
by Charles Tod


Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat
by Gwen Cooper

Strength in What Remains: A Journey of Remembrance and Forgiveness
by Tracy Kidder

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog
by Dean Koontz

You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment
by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
by J. Randy Taraborrelli, J. Randy Taraborrelli

Madoff's Other Secret: Love, Money, Bernie, and Me
by Sheryl Weinstein

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About Gordon Hauptfleisch