Annal: 2012 Anthony Award for Best First Novel

Results of the Anthony Award in the year 2012.

Book:Learning to Swim

Learning to Swim: A Novel

Sara J. Henry

“If I’d blinked, I would have missed it. But I didn’t, and I saw something fall from the rear deck of the opposite ferry: a small, wide-eyed human face, in one tiny frozen moment, as it plummeted toward the water.”

When she witnesses a small child tumbling from a ferry into Lake Champlain, Troy Chance dives in without thinking. Harrowing moments later, she bobs to the surface, pulling a terrified little boy with her. As the ferry disappears into the distance, she begins a bone-chilling swim nearly a mile to shore with a tiny passenger on her back.

Surprisingly, he speaks only French. He’ll acknowledge that his name is Paul; otherwise, he’s resolutely mute.

Troy assumes that Paul’s frantic parents will be in touch with the police or the press. But what follows is a shocking and deafening silence. And Troy, a freelance writer, finds herself as fiercely determined to protect Paul as she is to find out…[more]

Book:All Cry Chaos

All Cry Chaos: An Henri Poincaré Mystery

Leonard Rosen

All Cry Chaos, a debut thriller by the immensely gifted Leonard Rosen, is a masterful and gripping tale that literally reaches for the heavens.

The action begins when mathematician James Fenster is assassinated on the eve of a long-scheduled speech at a World Trade Organization meeting. The hit is as elegant as it is bizarre. Fenster’s Amsterdam hotel room is incinerated, yet the rest of the building remains intact. The murder trail leads veteran Interpol agent Henri Poincaré on a high- stakes, world-crossing quest for answers.

Together with his chain-smoking, bon vivant colleague Serge Laurent, Poincaré pursues a long list of suspects: the Peruvian leader of the Indigenous Liberation Front, Rapture-crazed militants, a hedge fund director, Fenster’s elusive ex-fiancée,…[more]

Book:Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go To Sleep: A Novel

S.J. Watson

“As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me….”

Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love—all forgotten overnight.

And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story.

Welcome to Christine’s life.

Book:The Informationist

The Informationist: A Thriller

Taylor Stevens

Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information—expensive information—working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle’s most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in Dallas, she’s never looked back.

Until now.

A Texas oil billionaire has hired her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. It’s not her usual line of work, but she can’t resist the challenge. Pulled deep into the mystery of the missing girl, Munroe finds herself back in…[more]

Book:Nazareth Child: A Del Shannon Novel

Nazareth Child: A Del Shannon Novel

Darrell James

A smart and determined field operative in Tucson, Del Shannon has earned a reputation for being nearly invincible in tracking down missing persons. Ironically, the only person Del has not been able to locate is the mother she’s never known. Deep in the Appalachian hills of Kentucky, the Feds are investigating Nazareth Church, an isolated religious compound led by faith healer Silas Rule. People desperate for salvation are giving up everything they own—and are never heard from again.

Del is recruited when the FBI discovers that her father owns an abandoned house in the clannish community. Hoping to locate her mother, she goes undercover with ATFE agent Frank Falconet, a New Yorker who is battling his own demons. Caught in a deadly web of lies, scheming, and righteous threats of damnation, Del risks everything to find the truth. What secrets is Nazareth Church hiding? And could Silas Rule hold the key to her mother’s past?

Book:Purgatory Chasm

Purgatory Chasm: A Mystery

Steve Ulfelder

“Tander Phigg was an asshole, but he was also a Barnburner. Barnburners saved my life. I help them when I can. No exceptions.”

The job seems simple. Conway Sax, a no-nonsense auto mechanic with a knack for solving difficult problems, has never liked obnoxious blowhard Tander Phigg. But a promise is a promise. Tander’s a Barnburner, a member of the unique Alcoholics Anonymous group that rescued Conway, and when a Barnburner has a problem, Conway takes care of it.  Besides, all Tander wants is to get back his baby, a vintage Mercedes that’s been in a shady auto shop far too long.

But Conway soon discovers there’s much more to the problem than Tander first let on—especially when Tander turns up dead. Conway was the last person seen with the victim, and on top of that, he has a record, making him the cops’ top suspect.…[more]

Book:Who Do, Voodoo?

Who Do, Voodoo?: A Mind for Murder Mystery

Rochelle Staab

Who Do, Voodoo?, the first novel in Rochelle’s thrilling new Mind for Murder Mystery, series features no-nonsense Liz Cooper, a Los Angeles psychologist forced to embrace the occult to clear her best friend of murder…

When Liz Cooper’s friend Robin Bloom finds an unusual tarot card tacked to her front door, Liz writes it off as a prank. Robin refuses to ignore the omen—her late husband drew the same card, the three of swords, in a reading the night before he was killed in a car accident. As more cards and darker threats appear, Liz realizes someone very dangerous is upping the ante.

Liz turns to her brother’s ex-college roommate, occult expert Nick Garfield. As Nick leads her into the voodoo community to locate the origin of the deck, she can’t ignore their attraction to each other. Then a woman is found murdered and Robin becomes the prime suspect. Determined to clear her friend, Liz joins forces with Nick to unravel otherworldly secrets and seek help from beyond—or risk being outwitted by a cunning killer…

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