Honor roll: Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Novel

Each of these books has been nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Novel. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:The Lock Artist

The Lock Artist: A Thriller

Steve Hamilton

“I was the Miracle Boy, once upon a time. Later on, the Milford Mute. The Golden Boy. The Young Ghost. The Kid. The Boxman. The Lock Artist. That was all me. But you can call me Mike.”

Marked by tragedy, traumatized at the age of eight, Michael, now eighteen, is no ordinary young man. Besides not uttering a single word in ten years, he discovers the one thing he can somehow do better than anyone else. Whether it’s a locked door without a key, a padlock with no combination, or even an eight-hundred pound safe…he can open them all. It’s an unforgivable talent. A talent that will make young Michael a hot commodity with the wrong people and, whether he likes it or not, push him ever close to a life of crime. Until he finally sees his chance to escape, and with one desperate gamble risks everything to come back home to the only person he ever loved, and to unlock the secret that has kept him silent for so long. Steve Hamilton steps away from his Edgar Award-winning Alex McKnight series to introduce a unique new character, unlike anyone you’ve ever seen in the world of crime fiction.

Book:The Last Child

The Last Child: A Novel

John Hart

Thirteen year-old Johnny Merrimon had the perfect life: a warm home and loving parents; a twin sister, Alyssa, with whom he shared an irreplaceable bond. He knew nothing of loss, until the day Alyssa vanished from the side of a lonely street. Now, a year later, Johnny finds himself isolated and alone, failed by the people he’d been taught since birth to trust. No one else believes that Alyssa is still alive, but Johnny is certain that she is—confident in a way that he can never fully explain.

Determined to find his sister, Johnny risks everything to explore the dark side of his hometown. It is a desperate, terrifying search, but Johnny is not as alone as he might think. Detective Clyde Hunt has never stopped looking for Alyssa either, and he has a soft spot for Johnny. He watches over the boy and tries to keep him safe, but when Johnny uncovers a dangerous lead and vows to follow it, Hunt has no choice but to intervene. …[more]

Book:L.A. Requiem

L.A. Requiem

Robert Crais

The day starts like any other in L.A. The sun burns hot as the Santa Ana winds blow ash from mountain fires to coat the glittering city. But for private investigator Joe Pike, the city will never be the same again. His ex-lover, Karen Garcia, is dead, brutally murdered with a gun shot to the head.

Now Karen’s father calls on Pike and his partner, Elvis Cole, to keep an eye on the LAPD as they search for his daughter’s killer—because in the City of Angels, everyone has something to hide. But what starts as routine turns into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. For a dark web of conspiracy threatens to destroy Pike and Cole’s twelve-year friendship—if not their lives.

Book:The Bottoms

The Bottoms

Joe R. Lansdale

Today, the Sabine River runs as before, yet the bottoms have been drained. Long gone are the alligators, and the few birds that take to the air cast tiny shadows over concrete surfaces.

But way back then, during the thick of the Great Depression that squeezed Deep East Texas in its impoverishing grip, a boy could hear the crickets and the frogs in the star-studded southern night. And in this primordial time a killer stalked the land.

When young Harry Crane discovers the black woman’s body, mutilated and bound to a tree with barbed wire, he unwittingly unleashes a storm of uncontrolled fear, thinly buried racial animosities, and fearsomely escalating violence. Jacob Crane, Harry’s father and the town constable, struggles valiantly to see that proper justice gets done.

Book:The Virgin of Small Plains

The Virgin of Small Plains: A Novel of Suspense

Nancy Pickard

Small Plains, Kansas, January 23, 1987: In the midst of a deadly blizzard, eighteen-year-old Rex Shellenberger makes a shocking discovery: the naked, frozen body of a teenage girl. Even dead, she is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. In the two decades following her death, strange miracles visit those who faithfully tend to her grave.

Seventeen years later, three families and three friends, their worlds inexorably altered in the course of one night, must confront the ever-unfolding consequences. Wonderfully written and utterly absorbing, The Virgin of Small Plains is about the loss of faith, trust, and innocence…and the possibility of redemption.

Book:Blood Work

Blood Work

Michael Connelly

Blood Work—that’s what Terrell McCaleb used to call his job at the FBI. Until a heart condition forced him to take early retirement, he headed all investigations of serial murders in the Los Angeles area. Now he is recovering from a heart transplant operation and leads a quiet life. But McCaleb’s calm seas turn rough when a story in the L.A. Times brings him face-to-face with Graciela Rivers, a darkly intriguing woman who hooks him with the story of her sister’s unsolved murder. Against doctor’s orders and his own better judgement, McCaleb agrees to take up the case. Soon Terry is on the trail of a killer whose crimes are more baffling and horrifying than anything he has ever encountered. It’s a mind-bending, breakneck case that leads McCaleb into the darkest place he’s ever known, unsure whether he even wants to survive his own investigation.

Book:Soul Patch

Soul Patch: A Moe Prager Mystery

Reed Farrel Coleman

In this darkly intriguing follow-up to the Shamus and Barry winning The James Deans, ex-NYPD cop turned P.I. and entrepreneur, Moe Prager is faced with a gut-wrenching case. The apparent suicide of his old friend and NYPD Chief of Detectives, Larry McDonald, forces Moe back onto the decaying Coney Island streets he patrolled when he was in uniform. But now, beneath the boardwalk and behind the rusted and crumbling rides of the midway, he finds a trail of death, betrayal, and corruption reaching back to 1972. As Faulkner once said, “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.” So it goes for Moe Prager in Soul Patch.

Book:Red Leaves

Red Leaves: A Novel

Thomas H. Cook

Eric Moore has reason to be happy. He has a prosperous business, a comfortable home, a stable family life in a quiet town. Then, on an ordinary night, his teenage son Keith is asked to babysit Amy Giordano, the eight-year-old daughter of a neighboring family. The next morning Amy is missing.

Suddenly Eric is one of the stricken parents he has seen on television, professing faith in his child’s innocence. As the police investigation increasingly focuses on Keith, Eric must counsel his son, find him a lawyer, protect him from the community’s steadily growing suspicion. Except that Eric is not so sure his son is innocent. And if Keith is not…and might do the same thing again…what then should a father do?

Red Leaves is a story of broken trust and one man’s heroic effort to hold fast the ties that bind him to everything he loves.

Book:California Girl

California Girl: A Novel

T. Jefferson Parker

California in the 1960s, and the winds of change are raging. Orange groves uprooted for tract houses, people flooding into Orange County, strange new ideas in the air about war, music, sex, and drugs, and new influences, ranging from Richard Nixon to Timothy Leary.

For the Becker brothers, however, the past is always present—and it comes crashing back full force when the body of the lovely and mysterious Janelle Vonn is discovered in an abandoned orange-packing plant. The Beckers and the Vonns have a history, beginning years ago in high school with a rumble between the brothers of each clan.

But boys grow up. Now one Becker brother is a cop on his first homicide case. One’s a minister yearning to perform just one miracle. One is a reporter drunk with ambition. And all three are about to collide with the changing world of 1968 as each…[more]

Book:The Guards

The Guards

Ken Bruen

Still stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda SÌoch·na—the Guards, Ireland’s police force—and staring at the world through the smoky bottom of his beer mug, Jack Taylor is stuck in Galway with nothing to look forward to. In his sober moments Jack aspires to become Ireland’s best private investigator, not to mention its first—Irish history, full of betrayal and espionage, discourages any profession so closely related to informing. But in truth Jack is teetering on the brink of his life’s sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep into his soul and his prospects for the future nonexistent.

Nonexistent, that is, until a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack’s talent for finding things. Odds are he won’t be able to climb off his barstool long enough to get involved with his radiant new client, but when he surprises himself by getting hired, Jack has little idea of what he’s getting into. …[more]

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