Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mystery/Thriller Update: Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville), Cara Black, Scott Turow, Benjamin Percy, Augustus Rose, Stephen Mack Jones, Danny Gardner, Murder + Mayhem

Here's what's going on in the world of mysteries and thrillers in Milwaukee.

Thursday, June 21, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Haylen Beck, author of Here and Gone, and Cara Black, author of Murder in Saint Germain, in conversation with Jon Jordan of Crimespree Magazine.

Who doesn't love Cara Black? Her Aimee Leduc mysteries are Francophile's dream, starting with Murder in the Marais. The series is moving through the arrondisements, so I guess we're getting close to the end of the series. Why not ask Black at the event?  Her newest has Private investigator Leduc is accosted by Suzanne Lesage, A Brigade Criminelle agent on an elite counterterrorism squad. Just back from hunting down dangerous wwar criminals in the former Yugoslavia, she's convinced that she's being stalked by a ghost, a Servian warlord her team took down.She's suffering from PTSD and her boss things she's imagining things?

You'll notice that the Bosnian War is a popular theme for fiction this year.

Cara Black has previously appeared at Boswell and she's a popular author at Murder + Mayhem Milwaukee, which this year is taking place at the Irish Cultural Center on Saturday, November 4. More on that below.

So I mentioned that Black is in conversation with Haylen Beck. So who is Haylen Beck? It turns out that he is Stuart Neville, the popular mystery writer of The Ghosts of Belfast series, who has also appeared at Boswell. When we realized that Beck and Black were in town the same week, we begged for them to be in conversation together, and since they already know each other (Mr. Neville has been published by Black, publisher, Soho Press), we knew that they would have a great time, and so would you.

Here and Gone begins with a mother fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she’s pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they’re gone than she must have done something to them. Meanwhile, halfway across the country, a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

Beck/Neville is getting raves from your favorite mystery/thriller writers, including Lee Child, Harlan Coben, and Ruth Ware who offered: "An almost unbearably tense nail-biter of a novel. Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride."

Sunday, June 25, 2 pm, at the Harry and Rose Samson Jewish Community Center, 6255 N Santa Monica Blvd: A ticketed afternoon with Scott Turow, author of Testimony, in conversation with Mitch Teich, executive producer of Milwaukee Public Radio's Lake Effect.

At the age of fifty, former prosecutor Bill ten Boom has walked out on everything he thought was important to him: his law career, his wife, Kindle County, even his country. Still, when he is tapped by the International Criminal Court--an organization charged with prosecuting crimes against humanity--he feels drawn to what will become the most elusive case of his career. Over ten years ago, in the apocalyptic chaos following the Bosnian war, an entire Roma refugee camp vanished. Now for the first time, a witness has stepped forward: Ferko Rincic claims that armed men marched the camp's Gypsy residents to a cave in the middle of the night--and then with a hand grenade set off an avalanche, burying 400 people alive. Only Ferko survived.

Boom's task is to examine Ferko's claims and determinine who might have massacred the Roma. His investigation takes him from the International Criminal Court's base in Holland to the cities and villages of Bosnia and secret meetings in Washington, DC, as Boom sorts through a host of suspects, ranging from Serb paramilitaries, to organized crime gangs, to the US government itself, while also maneuvering among the alliances and treacheries of those connected to the case: Layton Merriwell, a disgraced US major general desperate to salvage his reputation; Sergeant Major Atilla Doby,a vital cog in American military operations near the camp at the time of the Roma's disappearance; Laza Kajevic, the brutal former leader of the Bosnian Serbs; Esma Czarni, Ferko's alluring barrister; and of course, Ferko himself, on whose testimony the entire case rests-and who may know more than he's telling.

Here's a great review from Boswellian Todd Wellman: "A refreshingly international narrative reminds the reader that we are all connected in so many similarities: We all hope, desire, obfuscate, and more. But it also reminds us that some people take these connections beyond regular human interaction and twist the links of humanity to achieve nefarious ends. In this courtroom and investigation drama, the chase doesn't rule; it's seeking out the truth about mistreatment of people in wartime that rolls the plot on. Namely, the questions "Did a whole village of Roma get wiped out? And if so, by whom?" lead Bill ten Boom and company into waters hardly anyone wants them wading in. While some people just want our heroes to give up, others don't want our heroes to survive their unwelcome dip at all."

Tickets are $30, and include a copy of Testimony. A Boswell gift card option is available. The JCC is located just north and east of Bayshore Town Center.

Thursday, August 10, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Benjamin Percy, author of The Dark Net

The Dark Net is real. An anonymous and often criminal arena that exists in the secret far reaches of the Web, some use it to manage Bitcoins, pirate movies and music, or traffic in drugs and stolen goods. And now an ancient darkness is gathering there as well. This force is threatening to spread virally into the real world unless it can be stopped by members of a ragtag crew: a 12-year-old girl, a technophobic journalist, a child evangelist suffering from inner demons, and a hacker with a cause. But they have no idea what the Dark Net really contains.

From Boswell's Sharon Nagel: "In Percy’s latest, dark forces are gathering to take over the world unless an unlikely group of folks can stop them. The Dark Net is the criminal underbelly of the Internet. Most people know nothing about it, but it is used by a select few for nefarious purposes such as human and drug trafficking. Hannah, a twelve-year old blind girl, her Luddite aunt Lena, a reporter, and Mike, a former child evangelist who runs a homeless shelter, are the unlikely heroes who must stand against the demons of the Dark Net. Fast-paced and exciting, you won’t be able to stop reading this cyber thriller until you find out what happens."

Yes, I usually call Percy's work horror, but dark thriller is probably more palatable to a lot of retailers. Plus based on a few of the books we were featuring last year, Percy's The Dark Net would be at home at Murder + Mayhem.

Just added!
Tuesday, August 22, 7 pm, at Boswell:
Augustus Rose, author of The Readymade Thief.

Betrayed by her family after taking the fall for a friend, Lee finds refuge in a cooperative of runaways holed up in an abandoned building they call the Crystal Castle. But the facade of the Castle conceals a far more sinister agenda, one hatched by a society of fanatical men set on decoding a series of powerful secrets hidden in plain sight. And they believe Lee holds the key to it all. Aided by Tomi, a young hacker and artist with whom she has struck a wary alliance, Lee escapes into the unmapped corners of the city--empty aquariums, deserted motels, patrolled museums, and even the homes of vacationing families. But the deeper she goes underground, the more tightly she finds herself bound in the strange web she's trying to elude. Desperate and out of options, Lee steps from the shadows to face who is after her--and why.

From Boswell's Jason Kennedy: "Augustus Rose melds together a lot of information and story methods. He does it with amazing skill pulling on secret societies, hacking, art theft, conspiracies, drugs, and so much more. This plot moves, it does not slow down, it will drag you along with it to the conclusion, which will have you gasping for breath. Such a brilliant journey."

The book is an Indies Introduce Title for Summer-Fall 2017

Just added! A preview Murder + Mayhem event.
Friday, November 3, 7 pm, at Boswell, in conversation:
Stephen Mack Jones, author of August Snow
and Danny Gardner, author of A Negro and an Ofay.

On Jones's debut: Tough, smart, and struggling to stay alive, August Snow is the embodiment of Detroit. The son of an African-American father and a Mexican-American mother, August grew up in the city's Mexicantown and joined the police force only to be drummed out by a conspiracy of corrupt cops and politicians. But August fought back; he took on the city and got himself a $12 million wrongful dismissal settlement that left him low on friends. He has just returned to the house he grew up in after a year away, and quickly learns he has many scores to settle. It's not long before he's summoned to the palatial Grosse Pointe Estates home of business magnate Eleanore Paget. Powerful and manipulative, Paget wants August to investigate the increasingly unusual happenings at her private wealth management bank. But detective work is no longer August's beat, and he declines. A day later, Paget is dead of an apparent suicide, which August isn't buying for a minute.

On Gardner's debut: In 1952, after a year on the run, disgraced Chicago Police Officer Elliot Caprice wakes up in a jailhouse in St. Louis. His friends from his hometown secure his release and he returns to find the family farm in foreclosure and the man who raised him dying in a flophouse. Desperate for money, he accepts a straight job as a process server and eventually crosses paths with a powerful family from Chicago's North Shore. A captain of industry is dead, the key to his estate disappeared with the chauffeur, and soon Elliot is in up to his neck. The mixed-race son of Illinois farm country must return to the Windy City with the Chicago Police on his heels and the Syndicate at his throat. Good thing he's had a lifetime of playing both sides to the middle.

Yes, we're talking five months away, but hey, it's never too early to plan. Plus maybe this is the year you'll come to Milwaukee for Murder + Mayhem. A good amount of attendees come in from out of town, and if you're a mystery fan, why wouldn't you? Ace Atkins! Megan Abbott! Lou Berney (who had to bow out last year)! And dozens more. Panels, intervies and lots of schmoozing.

Admission is $40, plus tax. Register here.

We're on the verge of booking another great mystery writer at Boswell. I don't want to jinx it. Sign up for our email newsletter or bookmark our upcoming events page.

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