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Browsing All Fiction Books - C :

Clicking on a book cover will search for the book in the catalog. If it is not part of our collection, you may request it by clicking on the Can't Find It link. An icon indicates if the book is chosen by a panelist as one of the year's best.

Carrion Birds, The
By Urban Waite. William Morrow. 288 pp. $25.99.
The wages of sin are high and redemption comes hard in this stylish noir thriller set in a decaying southeastern New Mexico oil town. Ray Lamar believes he's doing the right thing when he returns home, where years earlier drug violence cost him his wife and left his young son badly injured. Instead, he sets in motion bloody events that tumble like dominoes to a conclusion that is a dramatic as it is inescapable. Lyrical writing, sober reflections on the nature of good and evil, and a cast of characters worthy of Dashell Hammett or James Cain make for an electrifying read. []

Cold Deck
By H. Lee Barnes. University of Nevada Press. 201 pp. $26.95.
Barnes, once a dealer in Vegas, draws upon that experience to spin a tale that begins with the 1980 fire that destroyed the MGM Grand. The narrator, Jude Helms, luckily survived. Now, decades later, divorced and barely making ends meet, a stunningly beautiful woman comes into his life and Jude is drawn into a scheme that will make him rich, or perhaps make him dead. Barnes’ novel slowly unfolds revealing the underbelly of Las Vegas while telling a tale that will appeal especially to the legion of blackjack players. []

Crossing Purgatory
By Gary Schanbacher. Pegasus Books. 320 pp. $25.00.
Top Pick
The year is 1858. The death of his wife and children while he is away trying to get funding from his father to expand his Indiana farm overwhelms Thompson Grey. Bewildered and haunted he takes to the Santa Fe Trail, not sure what the future might bring, or if he even cares. Schanbacher is an excellent storyteller who creates strong characters and sets them in a visible landscape faced with trials and dangers, both natural and man made. []

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