Annal: 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller

Results of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the year 2011.

Book:11/22/1963: A Novel

11/22/1963: A Novel

Stephen King

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.

Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment—a real life moment—when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night…[more]

Book:The End of the Wasp Season

The End of the Wasp Season: A Novel

Denise Mina

When a notorious millionaire banker hangs himself, his death attracts no sympathy. But the legacy of a lifetime of selfishness is widespread, and the carnage most acute among those he ought to be protecting: his family.

Meanwhile, in a wealthy suburb of Glasgow, a young woman is found savagely murdered. The community is stunned by what appears to be a vicious, random attack. When Detective Inspector Alex Morrow, heavily pregnant with twins, is called in to investigate, she soon discovers that a tangled web of lies lurks behind the murder. It’s a web that will spiral through Alex’s own home, the local community, and ultimately right back to a swinging rope, hundreds of miles away.

The End of the Wasp Season is an accomplished, compelling and multi-layered novel about family’s power of damage-and redemption.

Book:Plugged (Eoin Colfer)

Plugged: A Novel

Eoin Colfer

The long-awaited crime caper so outlandish, so maniacal, so wickedly funny, it could have only come from the mind that brought you Artemis Fowl.

Daniel McEvoy has a problem. Well, really, he has several, but for this Irish ex-pat bouncer at a seedy, small-time casino the fact that his girlfriend was just murdered in the parking lot is uppermost in his mind.

That is until lots of people around him start dying, and not of natural causes. Suddenly Daniel’s got half the New Jersey mob, dirty cops and his man-crazy upstairs neighbor after him and he still doesn’t know what’s going on. Bullets are flying, everybody’s on the take and it all may be more than Daniel’s new hair plugs can handle.

And Daniel’s got to find the guy who put in those hair plugs—or at least his body—and fast, or else he’ll never get that voice out of his head. Head-spinning plot twists, breakneck pacing and some of the best banter this side of Elmore Leonard’s Detroit, will keep you on the edge of your seat and itching for more.

Book:Snowdrops

Snowdrops: A Novel

A.D. Miller

An intense psychological drama that echoes sophisticated entertainments like Gorky Park and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Nick Platt is a British lawyer working in Moscow in the early 2000s—a place where the cascade of oil money, the tightening grip of the government, the jostling of the oligarchs, and the loosening of Soviet social mores have led to a culture where corruption, decadence, violence, and betrayal define everyday life. Nick doesn’t ask too many questions about the shady deals he works on—he’s too busy enjoying the exotic, surreally sinful nightlife Moscow has to offer.

One day in the subway, he rescues two willowy sisters, Masha and Katya, from a would-be purse snatcher. Soon Nick, the seductive Masha, and long-limbed Katya are cruising the seamy glamour spots of the city. Nick begins to feel something for Masha…[more]

Book:Started Early, Took My Dog

Started Early, Took My Dog

Kate Atkinson

It’s a day like any other for Tracy Waterhouse, running errands at the local shopping center, until she makes a purchase she hadn’t bargained for. One moment of madness is all it takes for Tracy’s humdrum world to be turned upside down, the tedium of everyday life replaced by fear and danger at every turn.

Witnesses to Tracy’s Faustian exchange are Tilly, an elderly actress teetering on the brink of her own disaster, and Jackson Brodie, who has returned to the land of his childhood, in search of someone else’s roots. Variously accompanied, pursued, or haunted by neglected dogs, unwanted children, and keepers of dark secrets, soon all three will learn that the past is never history-and that no good deed goes unpunished.

Brimming with wit, wisdom, and a fierce moral intelligence, Started Early, Took My Dog confirms Kate Atkinson’s status as one of the most original and entertaining writers of our time.

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