In this YA thriller with a Native teen at its center, Firekeepers Daughters opens upon a small Canadian town over the border from the U.S., embedded with indigenous culture, yet still discriminatory and separate, and above all a small town hiding dark secrets. Daunis, a fierce hockey player, sister and friend, bridges the divide in her own family between white and Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman). After making tough decisions to choose family over her college careers after a series of tragedies, Daunis finds a bright spot in charming Jaime, a new to town hockey star. All is not as it seems however, when she witnesses a tragic murder, discovers the depth of drug use and trafficking in her town, and reluctantly joins the FBI as an undercover source.
Drawing on her connections in town and her Ojibwe knowledge, Daunis slowly begins uncovering secrets of the small town, secrets she begins to wish she did not know. But she presses on for the sake of helping her community despite impending danger. As the threats and death count grows, Daunis must dig deep into the heart of what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe and survive, despite all the odds stacked against her.
Thea, a Hevetz intern, and a small crew are hurtling through space responding to a distress call. After two months of space travel and they land at a research site, they thought was long abandoned until now. Once they arrive, the crew isn’t sure what they’ve stumbled upon, with blood smears and the dead bodies of the research crew around each corner. Now the small team, with no easy way back to safety, realizes they’ve uncovered a terrible a deadly secret they must escape before it devours them too.
This is the expanded version of a short story called “Iphigenia in Aulis” that Mike Carey wrote for a collection of horror stories set in schools (An Apple For The Creature). To describe the premise beyond that would spoil the story for you, so I will just say that it is beautifully written and has stayed with me ever since I read it. It is deeply creepy, and yet heartwarming and, ultimately, hopeful.
(Well, OK, just a taste: “Melanie is a very special girl. Dr. Caldwell calls her “our little genius.” Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be taken to class. When they come for her, Sergeant keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh. Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.”)
This book is also available as an eBook, an eAudiobook, and a recent movie adaptation, if that’s more your thing! Don’t miss the sequel, The Boy On The Bridge.
My name is Wendy Fink. My husband Matt and I have raised our three children in Evanston (where we have resided for almost 30 years). I like to read, knit, cook, scrapbook and exercise. I volunteer at EPL and ETHS regularly.
1) A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (2014)
I relished the delightful character development of Ove from a depressed bitter man seeking to check out of life into a warm giving grandfather figure in his Swedish community. The simple narrative style and sparse dialogue work well to mimic Ove himself. Continue reading “Wendy Fink’s Best Reads of 2016”
The Chicago Tribune ran an interesting article entitled The Evolution of the Thriller about the resurgence of the thriller as a popular genre in the post 9/11 world. According to Brad Thor, the author of the bestseller Full Black, the time period after the Cold War through the 1990s was a stagnant period for the thriller genre. 9/11 gave readers and writers a common, well-defined enemy back. Gone are the spy novels and simmering tension of superpowers of the mid-twentieth century replaced instead by detailed novels about military hardware and modern spycraft. According to author David Morrell, thrillers are the most popular form of reading in the past 10 years. Other books mentioned in the article include Rules of Betrayal by Christopher Reich and Die Twice by Andrew Grant. The article also pays homage to some classic gems of the genre including The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carre, The Tears of Autumn by Charles McCarry, and Absolute Power by David Baldacci.
Our final Book Trailer of the Week for 2010 is this chilling award winner for Norwegian author Jo Nesbo’s haunting mystery The Snowman. Billed as the perfect crime fiction fix for Stieg Larsson fans, The Snowman is the fifth heartstopping read in a bestselling series favorably compared to Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch books. So check it out, or if you prefer, climb aboard on the ground floor with The Redbreast, the series opener voted by Norwegian book clubs as the best crime novel ever. Either way, though, beware… this snowman is nothing like Frosty.
(Hint: Select “Search All Libraries” to locate The Snowman.)
The fifth annual awards from the International Thriller Writers was announced several weeks ago in NYC. Twist Phelan won for her story ” A Stab in the Heart.” ( EPL owns a few of her novels, some of which I am currently investigating!) Phelan is an endurance athlete and former trial attorney.
Barbara Vey, an editor/blogger from Publishers Weekly described the banquet for the above mentioned awards. Scroll down this post for the awards for Amazon’s “Worst Reviews.”
If you count yourself among author Stieg Larsson’s many legions of fans, it’s likely that these days you’re caught in somewhat of a predicament. If, on the one hand, you were one of the fortunate first to devour Larsson’s new The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, you’re probably already wondering what new crime fiction fare could possibly satisfy your continued hunger for the tragically-shortened Millennium Trilogy. If, on the other hand, you find yourself buried deep on the waiting list for Larsson’s last, the chances are good you’re in need of a literary elixir to both stoke the pleasures and soothe the pains of anticipating your third and final date with what Entertainment Weekly recently dubbed “the hottest books on the planet.” Whichever your situation, however, rest assured that there’s still a wealth of incredible Scandanavian crime fiction just waiting to be discovered. In particular, Larsson’s native Sweden boasts a bumper crop of talented authors writing books that explore their country’s dark underbelly and feature mesmerizing characters, complex mysteries, and seat-of-your-pants suspense in the same vein as Larsson’s international bestsellers. So, as they do in Sweden, pour yourself a coffee from the table thermos, stretch out on an IKEA-brand futon, and give one of the following thrilling translations a try: Continue reading “In Stieg’s League: Millennium Trilogy Readalikes”
Lee, Janice Y.K. The Piano Teacher. 2009. (Fiction Lee.J)
Soon after following her husband to Hong Kong in 1951, Claire Pendleton is hired as piano teacher to the daughter of a wealthy Chinese family and becomes involved with their chauffeur, an enigmatic Englishman haunted by memories of war with the Japanese and his relationship with a beautiful Eurasian socialite. Moving back and forth in time, this complex and richly atmospheric romantic thriller involving a missing Crown Collection of jewels, wartime crimes, deceit and betrayal, is also available on CD. (Susan R., Reader’s Services)