Weekly Words About New Books in

Independent Bookstores

May 26, 2024

Paperback Thrillers - The Lincoln Lawyer Takes the Case of a Falsely Accused Woman, and Passengers of a Sunken Plane Fight to Survive

Resurrection Walk by Michael Connelly. The always reliable Connelly is at the top of his game as he once again pairs his two most notable characters in the latest Lincoln Lawyer legal thriller. The flamboyant Mickey Haller takes the case of Lucinda Sanz, a woman in prison for murdering her husband, a sheriff's deputy. She says she’s innocent, and Haller needs a good investigator to track down some solid evidence. Who you gonna call? How about your half-brother, who's conveniently the one and only Harry Bosch - a now-retired police detective (and Connelly's long time protagonist) with time on his hands and sleuthing chops still intact. Once Bosch starts sniffing around the client's bad-cop hubby and the sleazy defense lawyer who convinced Lucinda to cop a plea, he produces plenty of ammunition for a new trial.

Naturally, there are those who have a vested interest in the case remaining closed, and they are not fans of the Haller/Bosch dream team. The Lincoln Lawyer is not one to be scared off, however, and he succeeds in getting Sanz a new trial. Once in the courtroom, where Connelly’s writing skills really shine, Haller faces off with a resourceful prosecutor as he mounts an against-all-odds defense laden with twists and surprises. This combination police procedural and legal thriller should be a delight for fans of either genre.

Kirkus Review gave Resurrection Walk a starred review, noting in part, “What really stands out here, however, is that Connelly never lets you forget, from his title onward, the life-or-death issues behind every move in the game. The most richly accomplished of the brothers’ pairings to date—and given Connelly’s high standards, that’s saying a lot.”

Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421 by TJ Newman. Two years ago, then-unknown author Newman drew on her years as a flight attendant to produce a bestselling and slam-bang summer thriller called Falling. The story of a plane hijacked in flight and the response of the flight crew to the crisis made for a real page-turner - one that was greatly enhanced by the author's knowledge and experience. To be honest, I felt Newman was probably a one-hit wonder, given the specificity of the plot. As it turns out, she's got at least two hits in her, as her latest novel proves - no fancy turns of phrase here, just page-turning escapism.

Newman once again takes readers on a chilling plane ride, although this one doesn't last long. Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean. During the evacuation, an engine explodes and the plane sinks 200 feet and comes to a precarious rest on an underwater cliff with nine passengers and three crew members trapped inside. So the question becomes whether or not that unlucky but resourceful group can surmount the challenges presented by the plane's increasing fragility and instability long enough for a land-based crew to devise a seemingly impossible rescue plan. Suffice to say, all does not go as planned...

In its review, the Los Angeles Times wrote, "The reader cannot look away. . . . The pace is blinding, the suspense electrifying, the human drama impassioned. Drowning may not be a book you want to read on a long flight--nor right before bed, unless you're prepared to stay up all night finishing it. Read it on the beach this summer with your feet in the sand, safe on dry ground where you belong."

New Bestseller Offers an

Eye-Opening Exploration of the Wisdom of Plants

The Light Eaters: How the Unseen World of Plant Intelligence Offers a New Understanding of Life on Earth by Zoë Schlanger. Award winning Atlantic staff writer Schlanger delivers what Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass. calls a "masterpiece of science writing." The book explores the hidden world of the plant kingdom, revealing the astonishing capabilities of the green life all around us.

In recent years, scientists have learned about the ability of plants to communicate, recognize their kin and behave socially, hear sounds, morph their bodies to blend into their surroundings, store useful memories that inform their life cycle, and trick animals into behaving to their benefit, to name just a few remarkable talents. The Light Eaters takes a deep dive into the complexity of such intelligence, with Schlanger positing that plants may have formed their own unique acumen. How else to explain a vine that grows leaves to blend into the shrub on which it climbs, a flower that shapes its bloom to fit exactly the beak of its pollinator, a pea seedling that can hear water flowing and make its way toward it?

In its starred review, Publishers Weekly described the book as "an astounding exploration of the remarkable abilities of plants and fungi....There are mind-bending revelations on every page, and Schlanger combines robust intellectual curiosity with delicate lyricism....Science writing doesn't get better than this." 

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Hi, I'm Hut Landon, and I'm a bookseller in an independent bookstore in BerkeIey, CA.

My goal here is to keep readers up to date about new books hitting the shelves, share what indie booksellers are recommending in their stores, and pass on occasional news about the book world. 

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