Three thrillers for a summer reading list

Posted Sunday, Jun. 16, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Here’s what’s new in bookstores this week:

•  The Heist, by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg (Bantam, $28) — In an intriguing first-time pairing, bestselling author Evanovich (the Stephanie Plum novels) and bestselling author and TV writer Goldberg ( Monk) introduce a new series. It’s built around tough, ambitious FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare and Nick Fox, the international con man who has persuaded the FBI to hire him. Of course, O’Hare and Fox team up on a case and the sparks fly. The hardcover edition features two bumper stickers (“I ♥  Plum” and “The Con Is On”) and a preview of the upcoming Stephanie Plum novel. Meet the authors at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Dallas Barnes & Noble, 7700 W. Northwest Highway; 214-739-1124.

•  Joyland, by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime, $12.95) — This isn’t the usual 1,000-page epic from the Master of Horror. The 280-pager is a pulpy beach read that’s part nostalgia, part ghost story and part murder mystery. And it can be finished in a summer’s day. The setting is Joyland, an amusement park in North Carolina. It’s 1973 and bitter 21-year-old college kid Devin Jones takes a summer job at a carnival that “sells fun.” He learns to speak the carny lingo and works myriad jobs, including “wearing the fur” as park mascot Howie the Happy Hound. And he gets caught up in an old murder on the Horror House dark ride. This one should tide King fans over until Sept. 24, when the Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, is released.

•  Loyalty, by Ingrid Thoft (Putnam, $25.95) — Seeking authenticity and believability for her character, the author earned a certificate in private investigation from the University of Washington (including courses in interviewing techniques and the art of surveillance). In her debut novel, Thoft introduces us to Fina Ludlow, a hard-boiled Boston PI with family issues. Fina’s father and three brothers are attorneys, and she’s considered the black sheep since she dropped out of law school. She still works for the (dysfunctional) family, though, as the law firm’s private investigator. When sister-in-law Melanie goes missing, Fina sets out to find the truth — even if digging into the case unearths some unseemly family secrets.

— Celeste Williams

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