It is my favorite thing to blog about ....it is getting to be award nomination season again. I love to see who was nominated and read the ones I haven't read yet. This past week, the 2015 Edgar Nominees were announced. I have listed the ones up for Best Novel below with snippets on the plot in alphabetical order. Just as a reminder, Edgar Awards are given by the Mystery Writers of America at the end of April .....so you have time to read them all!!
Wiley Cash's This Dark Road To Mercy is told from the point of view of 3 different people, 12 year old Easter; her father, Wade and Bobby Pruitt, and enforcer who is out for Wade. Easter and her 6 year old sister Ruby are put into the foster care system in Gastonia, NC when their mother dies. Their father had abandoned them years earlier. Brady Weller is a court appointed guardian who is looking out for their welfare. Wade, a use to be minor league ballplayer, reappears and steals the girls away. He is on the run, being chased by Pruitt who is a danger to everyone. Brady gets in on the chase to try to find the girls before Pruitt does. Cash has a great sensitivity in his writing for the voice of children and his portrayal of Easter is one of his best.
Mo Hayder's Wolf is the seventh in the Jack Caffery series and the fifth to include the mysterious Walking Man - a vagrant. The Walking Man finds a dog wandering alone and he has the words "HELP US" written on his collar. He convinces Detective Inspector Jack Caffery to investigate. He has no idea who or what he is searching for but he is running out of time. An affluent family is being held captive by 2 individuals. The terror they are experiencing is palpable. On critic says, "Hayder takes your worst nightmares, translates them into words and sets them down on a page."
Perennial favorite, Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes is the first of a planned trilogy featuring Bill Hodges. This is a straight suspense book from the king of horror and it has many of his original fans upset. However, it has lots of critics applauding his venture into this genre. A madman driving a Mercedes plows into a crowd lined up for a job fair. Eight were killed and many more were injured. One year later, a retired detective, Bill Hodges, receives a letter from the killer threatening many more deaths. Can Hodges find the killer before he kills again? One critic says "Stephen King doesn't have to write horror to write a great book and this book proves that, once again."
Stuart Neville's The Final Silence is the fourth in the Jack Lennon series. This is an Irish mystery and there are those that love them and those that don't. They tend to be dark and complex...that is certainly true with this title. The series lead is dark, has been forced off the police force and is now addicted to pain killers and alcohol. A young woman, Rea inherits a house and while cleaning it out makes the discovery of a book entailing a list of murders. Rea's father, a prominent politician, talks her out of going to the police so she goes to Jack Lennon, a former lover. He is not in the mood to listen but when Rea turns up dead, he is intent on making amends. Lennon won't stop till he finds the murderer.
Ian Rankin's Saints of the Shadow Bible is the nineteenth in the Inspector Rebus series. Well, let's see - North Carolina; England; the Mid West; Ireland.....might as well throw in Rankin's Scottish detective. Rebus is back on the force from retirement forced to take a demotion to Detective Sergeant. He is investigating a car crash when he finds out that a case his team investigated 30 years ago is being reopened by internal affairs. They are suspected of helping a murderer escape justice. Malcolm Fox is tasked with finding out the truth. Fox has been high on Rebus' enemy list for a while but here, they seem to join together to solve the case.
Lastly, a Georgia favorite, Karin Slaughter's Cop Town is a stand alone. Kate Murphy is a new recruit to the Atlanta Police Department in 1974. Slaughter pictures the attitude of 1970 police to having women on the force and the problems faced about all types of prejudice very accurately. Kate is not sure the job is for her. She is assigned Maggie Lawson as a partner. Pairing two females was meant to isolate them from the action but nothing like that was going to happen. A killer is on the street and he is taking aim at police officers. Really highly reviewed and perhaps a down home favorite for us for the win.
Hope you find something to read among these standouts. I will do a quick listing of the best first novels and the Mary Higgins Clark nominees next time.