Ok, these books have varying degrees of suspense, from the straight-out thriller to the relatively cozy mystery. But here they are:
Dead Ringer by Lisa Scottoline I was inspired to read this book (especially for all you fans of legal thrillers) by reading an interview with the author in [I]Publisher’s Weekly[/I]. She’s a defense attorney herself, and found herself frustrated by the lack of humor in most of the legal thrillers out there, as well as how generic the characters felt. Her books star Bennie Rosato, an Italian-American woman running her own little law firm, populated by several other Italian-American women and one Irish-American woman, all fond of making jokes. In this book, Rosato & Associates is suffering from hard times. No clients coming in, and the one they just had has declared bankruptcy. With an eviction notice on the door, Bennie almost doesn’t notice that her wallet has gone missing – until stacks of boxes charged to her card start showing up at her door, and she’s arrested for a theft caught on the store’s security camera. It must mean that her estranged twin, Alice, is back in town. But what does she want, and can Bennie keep calm enough to focus on running her first class-action suit, her last chance to save her business?
Death Gets a Time-Out by Ayelet Waldman Waldman is also a some-time attorney, now turned stay-at-home mom and author of the Mommy Track Mysteries. In this book, Juliet Applebaum, mother of two, is wondering how she can find the time to put in some hours at her job as a private investigator. Then, her old friend Lilly Green, an Oscar-award winning actress, asks for help clearing her stepbrother, the son of a famous cult leader, of murder charges. Things get complicated quickly, and the fact that she’s suddenly throwing up constantly doesn’t help things. She couldn’t be pregnant again – could she?
Someone to Run With by David Grossman This is a bestseller from Israel, translated into English. So many fewer books get translated into English than the other way around that I often feel a book must be extra-good to make it this far. At any rate, this book is like an oddly dreamy thriller. A boy runs through the streets of Jerusalem with a dog, trying to find her owner. The dog keeps running, and visits various friends of the girl – but she is missing, and none of her friends know what has happened to her. Meanwhile, we follow the girl, a month earlier, as she makes preparations for a dangerous mission. But what is it that she is so afraid of, and why is she giving up everything she cares about to do it? The tension only gets higher as the two timelines converge and the stakes and the risks become clearer.