Annal: 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best First Novel

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2012.

Book:Bent Road

Bent Road: A Novel

Lori Roy

For twenty years, Celia Scott has watched her husband, Arthur, hide from the secrets surrounding his sister Eve’s death. As a young man, Arthur fled his small Kansas hometown, moved to Detroit, married Celia, and never looked back. But when the 1967 riots frighten him even more than his past, he convinces Celia to pack up their family and return to the road he grew up on, Bent Road, and that same small town where Eve mysteriously died.

While Arthur and their oldest daughter slip easily into rural life, Celia and the two younger children struggle to fit in. Daniel, the only son, is counting on Kansas to make a man of him since Detroit damn sure didn’t. Eve-ee, the youngest and small for her age, hopes that in Kansas she will finally grow. Celia grapples with loneliness and the brutality of life and death on a farm.

And then a local girl disappears, catapulting the family headlong into a dead man’s curve…

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:Last to Fold

Last to Fold: A Novel

David Duffy

Turbo Vlost learned early that life is like a game of cards…. It’s not always about winning. Sometimes it’s just a matter of making your enemies fold first.

Turbo is a man with a past—his childhood was spent in the Soviet Gulag, while half of his adult life was spent in service to the KGB. His painful memories led to the demolition of his marriage, the separation from his only son, and his effective exile from Russia.

Turbo now lives in New York City, where he runs a one-man business finding things for people. However, his past comes crashing into the present when he finds out that his new client is married to his ex-wife; his surrogate father, the man who saved him from the Gulag and recruited him into the KGB, has been shot; and he finds himself once again on the wrong side of the surrogate…[more]

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:Red on Red

Red on Red

Edward Conlon

A gripping debut work of crime fiction, from the author of the bestselling memoir about life as a New York City cop, Blue Blood.

In Red on Red, Edward Conlon tells the electrifying and suspenseful story of two NYPD detectives, Meehan and Esposito: one damaged and introspective, the other ambitious and unscrupulous. Meehan is compelled by haunting and elusive stories that defy easy resolution, while Esposito is drawn to cases of rough and ordinary combat. A fierce and unlikely friendship develops between them and plays out against a tangle of mysteries: a lonely immigrant who hangs herself in Inwood Hill Park, a serial rapist preying on upper Manhattan, a troubled Catholic schoolgirl who appears in the wrong place with uncanny regularity, and a savage gang war that erupts over a case of mistaken identity. …[more]

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