Monday, June 26, 2017

Reviewing the Mail: Week of 6/24

Back again!

As usual, this is the place where I list books that have arrived in my mail the past week, sent by the hard-working publicists of the book industry. I haven't read them, and I can't promise I will read them -- there are a lot of books in the world, and too many of them are on my shelves -- but here's what I can tell you about them.

Twelve Days is the new novel by Steve Barnes, who's had a long and varied career, mostly in speculative fiction of one kind of another. He's written bestsellers with Larry Niven and a mystery series with his wife, Tananarive Due, plus screenplays and other stuff. This time out, he's got a book that sounds like it starts as a thriller, with an ex-Special Forces soldier coming home to commit a big crime with his former squaddies -- at the same time a local martial-arts teacher might have uncanny abilities and a global terrorist organization is claiming responsibility for a sudden series of unexplained deaths of well-known leaders and criminals. I don't know what the Maguffin is here, but it's clearly not mundane -- something big and weird is happening, and, I expect, the thriller plot means our ex-soldiers-turned-crooks are going to have to be the ones to save the world. This is a Tor hardcover, available June 27.

Also from Tor in hardcover on the same day is R.S. Belcher's The Queen of Swords, latest in the steampunk/Wild West series that includes The Six-Gun Tarot and The Shotgun Arcana. This time, the focus is on Maude Stapleton, a woman with a hidden past -- membership in a secret global society of assassins, to start out -- who has to get back into her old world when her daughter is kidnapped.

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