This club is for the mystery fan who doesn’t like to be pigeon-holed into one particular sub-genre. We’ll be drawing from a variety of different styles – thrillers, psychological crime novels, hardboiled/noir fiction, police procedurals and more – to provide you with a well-rounded reading experience throughout the year.
February: Will Staples. Animals (Blackstone, $27.99 Signed late March).
When rhino poachers kill two of his fellow rangers in Kruger Park, South African Defense Force veteran Cobus Venter reaches his breaking point. Quitting his job, he embarks on a vigilante mission to take down the animal-trafficking syndicate from the inside. Meanwhile, in Florida, insurance investigator Randall Knight is called to a private roadside zoo, where a new tiger cub of suspect lineage brought a virus that wiped out all the zoo’s tigers. The disease is just one species jump away from erupting into a deadly global human pandemic. What starts as a simple insurance claim leads Knight to discover a shocking new evolution in the business of illicit animal trafficking. Both men’s journeys take them from the darkest corners of Southeast Asia to the VIP gambling rooms of Macau, where they must stay alive long enough to stop a vicious international triad from ending wildlife as we know it.
Animals is set in the world of global animal trafficking and follows converging story lines into a dark maze of corruption and organized crime, and through the journeys of the main characters, the novel explores the factors driving the exploitation and ruin of the natural world.
Though the story is fiction, the characters, locations, and plot points are almost entirely rooted in fact. They are the product of hundreds of conversations with everyone from Jane Goodall to the CIA, to Damien Mander (an ex-mercenary turned animal activist). To experience the issue firsthand, Will Staples took a month-long research trip spanning three continents and seven countries. The journey was a profoundly transformative, life-altering experience.
The author’s goal with this novel is to expose this issue to as many people as possible. To that end, all his income from this book will be donated to nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife.
January: Tracy, P.J. Deep Into the Dark
New York Times bestseller P. J. Tracy returns with Deep into the Dark, a brand new series set in LA and featuring up-and-coming LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan and murder suspect Sam Easton.
Sam Easton—a true survivor—is home from Afghanistan, trying to rebuild a life in his hometown of LA. Separated from his wife, bartending and therapy sessions are what occupy his days and nights. When friend and colleague Melody Traeger is beaten by her boyfriend, she turns to Sam for help. When the boyfriend turns up dead the next day, a hard case like Sam is the perfect suspect.
But LAPD Detective Margaret Nolan, whose brother recently died serving overseas, is sympathetic to Sam’s troubles, and can’t quite see him as a killer. She’s more interested in the secrets Melody might be keeping and the developments in another murder case on the other side of town.
Set in an LA where real people live and work–not the superficial LA of Beverly Hills or the gritty underbelly of the city–Deep into the Dark features two really engaging, dynamic main characters and explores the nature of obsession, revenge, and grief.
P. J. Tracy is known for her “fast, fresh, and funny” characters (Harlan Coben) and her “sizzling” plots (People); the Monkeewrench series was her first, set in Minneapolis and co-written with her mother. Now with Deep into the Dark she’s on her own—and it’s a home run.
January: Dundas, Chad. The Blaze
February: Gardiner, Meg. Dark Corners of the Night
March: Swanson, Peter. Eight Perfect Murders
April: Black, Cara. Three Hours in Paris
May: Turow, Scott. The Last Trial
June: Young, Heather. The Distant Dead
July: Cosby, S.A. The Blacktop Wasteland
August: David Heska Wanbli Weiden. Winter Counts
September: Parish, Stan. Love and Theft.
October: Unger, Lisa. Confessions on the 7:45
November: Fleishman, Jeffrey. The Last Dance
December: Preston & Child. The Scorpion’s Tail.