THE BARBARIAN NURSERIES by Hector Tobar

From the looks of it you could never tell that the beautiful Torres-Thompson home in fancy Laguna Rancho Estates, is on the cusp of unraveling. But look closely and you can see the edges of the tropical garden coming undone, the lawn not done just right; and these are merely the symptoms of greater troubles. For the couple Scott Torres and Maureen Thompson the country’s financial crisis has come knocking, even in their ritzy Los Angeles neighborhood.

October 17, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: California, Class - Race - Gender, Contemporary, Latin American/Caribbean, y Award Winning Author

THE TWO DEATHS OF DANIEL HAYES by Marcus Sakey

A man wakes up, shivering and alone on a desolate beach. He has no idea who he is or why he’s there. He and the reader gradually get clues: he’s Daniel Hayes; he lives in Los Angeles; he’s in northern Maine; and the cops want him, but he doesn’t know why. So beings a new mystery from Marcus Sakey, known for the BLADE ITSELF and THE AMATEURS. Determined to confirm his identity and find out why he traveled cross-country in a drunk, drug-induced haze, Hayes re-traces he cross-country journey to Los Angeles.

August 6, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Mystery/Suspense

THE MADONNAS OF ECHO PARK by Brando Skyhorse

The silent, overlooked residents of Los Angeles’ Echo Park neighborhood play the starring role in author Brando Skyhorse’s debut, THE MADONNAS OF ECHO PARK. The novel, really more of a collection of short stories, each narrated by a different character, presents to the reader different facets of both the Mexican and Mexican-American experience in multicultural Los Angeles. Skyhorse, winner of the 2011 PEN/Hemingway Award for this novel, was born and raised in Echo Park.

June 23, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: 2011 Favorites, California, Class - Race - Gender, Debut Novel, Latin American/Caribbean, PEN/Hemingway Winner, Reading Guide, Short Stories

FUN AND GAMES by Duane Swierczynski

Imagine a kick-ass action flick–say one starring that perennial crowd-pleaser, Bruce Willis, and then imagine the source material, and you’d just about have an image of Duane Swierczynski’s latest book, FUN AND GAMES. This is the first entry in the Charlie Hardie trilogy. HELL AND GONE follows in October 2011, and the third novel, POINT AND SHOOT is scheduled for publication in March 2012. FUN AND GAMES delves into the old Hollywood story that studio fixers leap in to stabilize publicity nightmares. This legend has bounced around Hollywood for decades and still lingers over the deaths of notables such as Jean Harlow’s husband, Paul Bern.

June 20, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Sleuths Series, Thriller/Spy/Caper

THE FIFTH WITNESS by Michael Connelly

Michael (Mickey) Haller is still working out of the back seat of his armor-plated Lincoln Town Car, but he now specializes in helping people prevent or delay foreclosure on their homes. In the shattered economy and with housing prices in freefall, business has been brisk. Although criminal defense is his first love, Mickey has changed course, knowing that “the only growth industry in the law business was foreclosure defense.”

April 10, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Sleuths Series, y Award Winning Author

THE SENTRY by Robert Crais

The latest and 14th installment of Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole/Joe Pike crime fiction series is THE SENTRY, denominated “A Joe Pike Novel.” THE SENTRY is the third Pike book of the series, the other eleven being Elvis Cole novels. Pike, the ex-marine, ex-LAPD officer, ex-mercenary for hire (for the right cause), is forever stoic and withdrawn, except the issues that affect him are more in the forefront…

March 19, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: California, Character Driven, Sleuths Series, Thriller/Spy/Caper, y Award Winning Author