It can be disconcerting when life imitates art. So it was with Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games (Harper Perennial, $16.95), published a year before the horrible attacks in Mumbai last fall. No mere police procedural this, but a deeply political and social commentary on the state of Indian society, with Mumbai as the central character. The book is narrated in chapters which alternate between Ganesh Gatoinde, the Godfather, who tells his fearsome stories of gang warfare, and the honest policeman, Sartaj Singh, who represents the effort to hold back the tide of corruption and religious fanaticism that threatens to engulf India. An important theme is the humiliation that many suffered during Partition.  When you embark on a long plane ride or on vacation, Sacred Games will be a perfect companion.

Sacred Games: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061130366
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harper Perennial - December 18th, 2007

Stieg Larsson, the Swedish crime novelist whose The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo hit the bestseller lists last year, follows up that edgy and terrifying whodunit with The Girl Who Played With Fire (Knopf, $25.95), a new saw-tooth-edged story involving sex trafficking.  The two investigators from the initial book, Lisbeth Salander and Mikail Blomkvist, return, and they’re even more complex than before. Lisbeth, especially, is a bundle of contradictions; a punk rocker with a phenomenal photographic memory and advanced world-class hacker skills; a bikini-clad Popular Science reader who has benefited from breast enhancement surgery; a former welfare child obsessed with avenging the horror of “when all the evil happened.”  She smokes, she drinks, and she travels, but she can’t sleep, an affliction that will be shared by the reader of this mesmerizing tale.

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium Series #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307269980
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf - July 28th, 2009

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium Series #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307949509
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - November 22nd, 2011

In The Monster In The Box (Scribner, $26), the 22nd installment of Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series, an aging Inspector unravels a tangled web, and along the way, readers are introduced to a young, single Police Constable Wexford, investigating his first murder case—and meeting a suspect who, with no hard evidence against him, reappears on the edge of various cases throughout Wexford’s career.  As the book moves back and forth between past and present, we see Wexford’s suspicions grow but go unsatisfied, as the sleuth is continually frustrated in his effort to substantiate his instinct. A great fan of Ms. Rendell’s work, I consider this page-turner one of her best.

The Monster in the Box (Inspector Wexford Novels) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439150375
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner Book Company - July 6th, 2010