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April 2014

Giveaway: THE COLD NOWHERE by Brian Freeman

Just popping in to give you a chance to one of three copies of Brian Freeman‘s The Cold Nowhere from Quercus. I haven’t had a chance to read this one yet so the review will come later.

Here’s the description from the author’s website:

cold nowhere coverThe eighth psychological suspense novel by international bestselling author Brian Freeman brings the long-awaited return of Lieutenant Jonathan Stride to the bitter cold of Duluth, Minnesota.

“My mother told me that if there was ever a time in my life when I needed protection, and no one was around for me, I should go to you. Find Mr. Stride, she told me. She said you’d help me.”

As Jonathan Stride returns home to his cottage on the shore of Lake Superior after midnight, he finds a teenage girl hiding in his bedroom. She’s pretty, scared, and soaked to the bone…and she says that someone is trying to kill her. The girl isn’t a stranger to Stride. She’s the daughter of a woman he tried—and failed—to protect from an abusive, murderous ex-husband years earlier.

With the guilt of that failure still hanging over his head, Stride is determined to protect this young girl, Cat Mateo, from a shadowy predator. However, Cat seems to have secrets of her own. She’s led a tough life on the streets; she doesn’t always tell the truth; and she has an unhealthy obsession with knives. Stride’s partner Maggie is convinced that the girl can’t be trusted, and she’s afraid that Stride may be putting himself in danger by letting Cat inside his house.

Wherever Cat goes, death seems to follow. A journalist who interviewed the girl has disappeared. Two more women are found murdered. Stride feels as if he is always one step behind a brutal killer who has Cat in his sights, and as the investigation races ahead, he finds himself on a collision course with another detective—a woman who shared his bed for years: Serena Dial. With all of their fragile relationships hanging in the balance, Stride, Serena, and Maggie must find out why this young girl has been targeted for death – and why a decade-old crime is coming back to life.

Sound good to you? Enter by answering the following question in the comments: What/who is the strangest thing/person you’ve ever found in your bedroom? As usual, lies are accepted. All entries without an answer will be disqualified. If you don’t even want to read all of this post for the instructions, you probably don’t want to read the book that much.

Giveaway ends next Wednesday, April 30, at 9 p.m. PST. Winners will have 48 hours after being notified to claim the prize before alternate winners are chosen.

Good luck! Let me know what funkiness you’ve found in your bedroom!


Book Review: THE INTERN’S HANDBOOK by Shane Kuhn

intern's handbook coverThis originally appeared as a starred review in Shelf Awareness for Readers and is reprinted here with permission.

Shane Kuhn’s The Intern’s Handbook may have an innocuous title, but the titular instruction manual is far from toothless. The handbook is written by John Lago for the new employees at Human Resources, Inc., a placement agency for assassins who pretend to be interns to infiltrate major corporations and eliminate targets. Lago is about to turn twenty-five, forced retirement age for HR, Inc. employees; any older and the interns would draw attention. Lago wants to pass on his knowledge and survival skills so the new recruits can avoid the “all-inclusive interrogation and torture package” at Guantanamo Bay. He does this by detailing his final assignment, which he initially worried wasn’t challenging enough to be his swan song but it turned out to be all kinds of wrong.

Lago is an appealing narrator, a hit man with his own code of honor about collateral damage that sometimes puts him at odds with his elusive boss, Bob, who may or may not have Lago’s best interests in mind. Fans of Duane Swierczynski’s Charlie Hardie trilogy and Josh Bazell’s Beat the Reaper should enjoy this witty but deadly thriller. The pace may induce whiplash and some of the action is way over the top, but that’s what makes the story so fun and w(h)acky. Just when Lago thinks he knows where his last job is headed, it jinks in an unexpected direction, with the biggest surprise for him and readers being how affecting the journey is.

Nerd verdict: Wild and thrilling Handbook

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