Monday, April 02, 2012

Pierce’s Picks: “House of the Hunted”

A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.

House of the Hunted, by Mark Mills (Random House):
Former British special agent Tom Nash is enjoying a rather idyllic life with his privileged friends on France’s Côte d’Azur in 1935, hiding the pains and horrors of his past, when he’s suddenly attacked in the middle of a quiet night. He succeeds in doing away with the hit man, but the incident leaves Nash uneasy. It’s unlikely that this molestation is linked to his present travel-writing career, so it must have to do with his history in the intelligence services. Clearly, Nash hasn’t covered his tracks--or protected himself--as well as he’d hoped. Somebody knows who he was and what he’s done. Now this flawed but fascinating man must fall back on his espionage instincts, distrust everybody around him, and relive the memories of a woman executed 16 years before by Russia’s Bolsheviks if he’s to save himself and the other people he loves.

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Also new in stores this week is Blood on the Mink (Hard Case Crime), a “lost” novel by distinguished science-fiction writer Robert Silverberg that was last published (in a pulp magazine called Trapped) way back in 1962. The tale follows a government agent who poses as a “crime-lord’s right-hand man” in order to infiltrate, and bring down, a particularly prosperous money-forging operation. Included in the book, as well, are two of Silverberg’s other early--and somewhat related--crime stories, plus an Afterword by the author that explains Blood on the Mink’s twisted publishing history.

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