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Adult Services Staff Picks
The Girl on the Train
Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the TrainSynopsis: Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel as if she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

Christy Says: It’s true, if you enjoyed Gone Girl, you won’t be able to put this book down until you’ve finished it. The characters are all charmingly dislikeable, making the story that much more twisted and engaging. Psychological, suspenseful, and the perfect weekend read (especially when it’s dark and rainy out).

Call Number: F HAW

Dissolution (Matthew Shardlake #1)
C.J. Sansom

DissolutionSynopsis: The year is 1537, and the country is divided between those faithful to the Catholic Church and those loyal to the king and the newly established Church of England. When a royal commissioner is brutally murdered in a monastery on the south coast of England, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s feared vicar general summons fellow reformer Matthew Shardlake to lead the inquiry. Shardlake and his young protégé uncover evidence of sexual misconduct, embezzlement, and treason, and when the two other murders are revealed, they must move quickly to prevent the killer from striking again.

Donna Says: Recommended for readers who enjoy the intrigue of King Henry VIII’s court. Dissolution is Sansom’s first entry into the dangerous and conniving world that Matthew Shardlake inhabits. The book may start out slow for some but is a wonderful introduction into the series.

Call Number: MYS F SAN

The Boleyn King
Laura Anderson

The Boleyn KingSynopsis: Just seventeen years old, Henry IX, known as William, is a king bound by the restraints of the regency yet anxious to prove himself. With the French threatening battle and the Catholics sowing the seeds of rebellion at home, William only trusts three people: his older sister Elizabeth; his best friend and loyal counselor, Dominic; and Minuette, a young orphan raised as a royal ward by William’s mother, Anne Boleyn. Against a tide of secrets, betrayal, and murder, William finds himself fighting for the very soul of his kingdom. Then, when he and Dominic both fall in love with Minuette, romantic obsession looms over a new generation of Tudors. One among them will pay the price for a king’s desire, as a shocking twist of fate changes England’s fortunes forever.

Elizabeth Says: Asks an interesting question: What if Anne Boleyn had given Henry VIII the son he so desperately wanted? Now if you are looking for a well thought-out speculative historical fiction, this isn’t the book for you. But if you are looking for royalty, conspiracies, and murder, this is the book for you. A perfect beach read and so easily digestible I read this and it’s two sequels in a week.

Call Number: F AND

Prince of Fools
Mark Lawrence

The Prince of FoolsSynopsis: The Red Queen is old but the kings of the Broken Empire dread her like no other. For all her reign, she has fought the long war, contested in secret, against the powers that stand behind nations, for higher stakes than land or gold. Her greatest weapon is The Silent Sister – unseen by most and unspoken of by all. The Red Queen’s grandson, Prince Jalan Kendeth – drinker, gambler, seducer of women – is one who can see The Silent Sister. Tenth in line for the throne and content with his role as a minor royal, he pretends that the hideous crone is not there. But war is coming. Witnesses claim an undead army is on the march, and the Red Queen has called on her family to defend the realm. Jal thinks it’s all a rumor – nothing will affect him – but he is wrong. After escaping a death trap set by The Silent Sister, Jal finds his fate magically intertwined with a fierce Norse warrior. As the two undertake a journey across the Empire to undo the spell, encountering grave dangers, willing women, and an upstart prince named Jorg Ancrath along the way, Jalan gradually catches a glimmer of the truth: he and the Norseman are but pieces in a game, part of a series of moves in the long war – and the Red Queen controls the board.

Megan Says: Prince of Fools is book one in The Red Queen’s War trilogy. It is a perfect read for lovers of Game of Thrones. This book is high adventure with a wonderful imagination. Even though the main character, Prince Jalan, is a drinker, gambler, seducer of women and a total rake, I found him quite endearing. Book two, The Liar’s Key, is due to be released June 2nd. I can’t wait!

Call Number: SFF F LAW

The Book of Negroes 

The Book of NegroesSynopsis: A universal story of loss, courage and triumph, this recounts the extraordinary journey of Aminata Diallo, an indomitable African woman who survives in a world in which everything seems to be against her. Kidnapped by slave traders in West Africa then sold into slavery in South Carolina, Aminata navigates her way through the American Revolution in New York, the isolated refuge of Nova Scotia, and the treacherous jungles of Sierra Leone, before finally securing her freedom in England.

Nina Says: In the wake of recent slave narratives like 12 Years a Slave, The Book of Negroes is much less visceral, but no less poignant and eye opening. Like 12 Years, though, it gives insight into lesser known parts of the Black experience. Colonial American slavery, race relations in New York, Nova Scotia, and finally dovetailing into the fight to end slave trade in Great Britain. Aunjanue Ellis gives a riveting performance as Aminata. You’re rooting for her every step of the way. Based on the novel originally titled Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill.

Call Number: ADVD BOO

The Mechanical
Ian Tregillis

The MechanicalSynopsis: That is the name granted to me by my human masters. I am a clakker: a mechanical man, powered by alchemy. Armies of my kind have conquered the world – and made the Brasswork Throne the sole superpower. I am a faithful servant. I am the ultimate fighting machine. I am endowed with great strength and boundless stamina. But I am beholden to the wishes of my human masters. I am a slave. But I shall be free.

Randall Says: This is the first installment in Tregillis’ new Alchemy Wars trilogy. It takes a while to get going, but the worldbuilding is worth it; Tregillis delivers an imaginative alternate history populated by a memorable cast of characters. There’s a good mix of action, philosophical probing, and political intrigue. My only complaint is that I would have liked a more in-depth explanation of Clakker alchemy – hopefully more will be revealed in book two. A grim, science-fiction adventure with big ideas and a rich setting.

Call Number: SFF F TRE

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