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Archived Staff Picks - November 2017


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Archived Staff Picks - November 2017

The Child Finder
by Rene Denfeld 
Recommended by Yvonne

Summary:  "Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon's Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now--if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope. Naomi's methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too. As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison's disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life? Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child"

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld is a haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.
The author has a talent for portraying damaged people in a way that inspires empathy—even in people that are guilty of terrible things—and this is a theme that runs through the novel  The Child Finder. Naomi finds missing children, and she’s good at it. After all, she’s a lost child herself.
As Naomi searches for Madison—with the help of a friendly park ranger and local sheriff—she also grapples with her own past and what it means to discover the truth of what happened to her as a child before she knew her foster mother and brother.
This novel reads like poetry paced as a thriller, and if Madison’s story isn’t hard enough to take, Naomi also takes the case of a missing baby belonging to a young autistic woman.
Denfeld is an investigator for death penalty cases and has foster children of her own, giving her a keen and sympathetic eye toward the plight of foster children and the pain and trauma that they sometimes bring with them. This is as much Naomi’s story as it is Madison’s, and for all the awfulness and the pain, it’s ultimately a story of hope that will transform you if you let it. Never graphic, Denfeld’s lyrical writing mines the beauty found in the most harrowing of situations and affirms the human spirit and will to survive.

This title is available in Regular Print, Sound Recording (CD), Downloadable eBook and AudioBook formats.
Summary is from our catalogue and the book review below is by Kristin Centorcelli, of, edited by Yvonne Wolters.

The Forgotten Man
By: Robert Crais
Recommended by Janet


Elvis Cole is slowly rebuilding his life after the harrowing events that led to the capture of his girlfriend's son's kidnappers.

He is emotionally charged again when he gets an urgent message from the LAPD to come and identify a man who claimed to be his father before he died.

Joe Pike, Elvis's long-time partner and confidant, helps launch a feverish search for the dead man's identity. Elvis struggles with the possibility that he's found his father at last but frightened that he might unearth a past involving terrible crimes.

This character-driven novel is a riveting fast-paced thriller that evolves into treacherous situations unleashed by a merciless killer.

If you like high-powered action, and a touch of dark humour, this deeply moving, heartfelt mystery is a winner.


This title is available in Regular Print, Sound Recording and Downloadable eBook formats.

A Column of Fire
by Ken Follett
Recommended by Marilyn

In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, royalty and commoners clash, testing friendship, loyalty, and love. 
Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious conflict dividing the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth.  When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half-century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.
The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else—no matter what the cost.

This title is available in Regular Print, Sound Recording (CD), Downloadable eBook and AudioBook formats.
This review is from

Magpie Murders
By: Anthony Horowitz
Recommended by Pauline

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.
Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.

This title is available in Regular Print, Large Print, Sound Recording (CD), Downloadable eBook and AudioBook formats.

The Whole Thing Together

By:  Ann Brashares
Recommended by Kim

We live in the same place, but never together.

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table.  Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.
Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favourite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered.  Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.
The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love. 

This title is available in Young Adult Fiction and Downloadable eBook formats.


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