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Archived Staff Picks - Summer 2018


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Gone Without A Trace
by Mary Torjussen
Recommended by Marilyn

GONE WITHOUT A TRACE is narrated by Hannah Monroe, who we meet just as the oyster of her world is opening and right before it clamps shut, pinching her finger along the way. Hannah has a terrific job with an accounting firm and an all-but-assured promotion on the way. But all of that comes crashing down when she returns home from the office one day to find Matt, her live-in boyfriend, gone, along with all of his possessions and photos. Worse, he has somehow erased all of his email conversations and text messages with Hannah, and all but scrubbed himself off the internet. Hannah learns that Matt’s phone number is no longer working; he quit his job with an architect’s firm a week prior to disappearing; and his mother had moved a year ago without leaving a forwarding address. It is as if Matt never existed.

Hannah’s friends, particularly her lifelong friend, Katie, are quick to tell her to move on with her life since it’s obvious Matt wants nothing more to do with her. She can’t do that, though, and begins, to the exclusion of all else (including her work duties), obsessively analyzing Matt’s behavior in the weeks and months leading up to his disappearance searching for any signs he might’ve displayed that would’ve indicated he was unhappy with their relationship to the extent that he would get out of Dodge --- well, Liverpool, actually --- so abruptly.

As if Matt’s sudden disappearance isn’t bad enough, Hannah begins receiving unsettling and disturbing cryptic messages in various forms, from texts and notes to phone calls and videos. Things become progressively worse for her, even as she doggedly and obsessively follows the all-but-nonexistent trail of where Matt is, hoping to discover where he is and why he left. It is interesting to watch her play amateur sleuth, even as her career, appearance and well-being all go down the loo. Just wait. It takes Hannah a few months and two thirds of the book to finally learn Matt’s fate.

So what happens then? Let me say that the final third of the story is some of the most subtly chilling reading I’ve done lately. You might guess some of it, but not all of it. Just remember that it isn’t over until it is really, truly over. Mary Torjussen may be a previously unpublished author, but GONE WITHOUT A TRACE is too strong and surefooted to be a debut novel in the classic sense of the term. This is a book that people will obsess over, discuss and read, read, read. Oh, and if you’re thinking about ghosting your significant other, you might want to reconsider.

This title is available in Regular Print, Downloadable eBook and AudioBook formats.
(reviewed by Joe Hartlaub for 20Something Reads)

A Wrinkle in Time
By: Madeleine L'Engle
Recommended by Rachel 

I knew once I saw the movie poster I would have to read the book! Full of strong outrageous characters there is a good reason this book is a classic. 
The mysterious Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which send Meg and Charles Wallace through time and space to rescue their father on the planet Camazotz, accompanied by their new friend Calvin. Along the way, the three children learn about the "Black Thing", a cloud of evil that shadows many planets, including Earth. They encounter a Brain named IT, which controls the minds of people. From the first page the writing sucked me in and i couldn't put it down.  

This title is available in Juvenile Fiction and DVD formats.

By Dan Brown
Recommended by Pauline 

Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology and religious iconology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain to attend a major announcement—the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is Edmond Kirsch, a forty-year-old billionaire and futurist whose dazzling high-tech inventions and audacious predictions have made him a renowned global figure. Kirsch, who was one of Langdon’s first students at Harvard two decades earlier, is about to reveal an astonishing breakthrough . . . one that will answer two of the fundamental questions of human existence.
As the event begins, Langdon and several hundred guests find themselves captivated by an utterly original presentation, which Langdon realizes will be far more controversial than he ever imagined. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Reeling and facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced into a desperate bid to escape Bilbao. With him is Ambra Vidal, the elegant museum director who worked with Kirsch to stage the provocative event. Together they flee to Barcelona on a perilous quest to locate a cryptic password that will unlock Kirsch’s secret.
Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme religion, Langdon and Vidal must evade a tormented enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace itself . . . and who will stop at nothing to silence Edmond Kirsch. On a trail marked by modern art and enigmatic symbols, Langdon and Vidal uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery . . . and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us.

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

I've Got My Eyes on You
By Mary Higgins Clark 
Recommended by Kim

A new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark.
After a party when her parents are away, eighteen-year-old Kerry Dowling is found fully dressed at the bottom of the family pool.
The immediate suspect is her boyfriend who had a bitter argument with her at the party. Then there is a twenty-year-old neighbor who was angry bec A new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark.
After a party when her parents are away, eighteen-year-old Kerry Dowling is found fully dressed at the bottom of the family pool.
The immediate suspect is her boyfriend who had a bitter argument with her at the party. Then there is a twenty-year-old neighbor who was angry because she didn’t invite him to the party.
Or is there someone else who has not yet been seen on the radar?
Kerry’s older sister Aline, a twenty-eight-year-old guidance counselor, is determined to assist the Prosecutor's Office in learning the truth. She does not realize that now she is putting her own life in danger...

I enjoyed this book but felt that the ending could have followed through a little better.
This title is available in Regular Print, Sound Recording, Downloadable eBook and AudioBook formats.

The Arrangement
By:  Sarah Dunn
Recommended by Pauline

A hilarious and emotionally charged novel about a couple who embark on an open marriage - what could possibly go wrong? 

Lucy and Owen have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment In New York City for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They've got a two hundred year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Titanic, and 17 chickens, at last count. It's the kind of paradise where stay-at-home moms team up to cook the school's "hot lunch," dads grill grass-fed burgers, and, as Lucy observes, "chopping kale has become a certain kind of American housewife's version of chopping wood."

When friends at a wine-soaked dinner party reveal they've made their marriage open, sensible Lucy balks. There's a part of her, though - the part that worries she's become too comfortable being invisible - that's intrigued. Why not try a short marital experiment? Six months, clear ground rules, zero questions asked. When an affair with a man in the city begins to seem more enticing than the happily-ever-after she's known for the past nine years, Lucy must decide what truly makes her happy-"real life," or the "experiment?" 

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


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