Articles tagged "haunted-house tale"

New York Times Summer Reading Recommendations

The gray lady recently revealed several Summer 2017 reading lists in mystery, horror, graphic novels, and more, including these 10 Macmillan titles:
True Crime (full list)

In his lively literary biography ARTHUR AND SHERLOCK: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, Michael Sims traces the real-life inspiration for the first “scientific detective” to the renowned Dr. Joseph Bell, a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh celebrated for his uncanny diagnostic observational skills. His methods were “quite easy, gentlemen,” Dr. Bell would assure his students. “If you will only observe and put two and two together,” you, too, could deduce a man’s profession, family history and social status from the way he buttons his waistcoat.

Grace Humiston was an advocate for an earlier generation of lost and forgotten women, and her inspiring story demands a hearing. In MRS. SHERLOCK HOLMES: The True Story of New York City’s Greatest Female Detective and the 1917 Missing Girl Case That Captivated a Nation, Brad Ricca makes a heroic case for Humiston, a lawyer and United States district attorney who forged a career of defending powerless women and immigrants. For her dogged work on the 1917 case of a missing girl that the police had given up on, the newspapers called her “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes.”

Authors of true crime books have made a cottage industry out of analyzing what makes killers tick. Michael Cannell gives credit where credit is due in INCENDIARY: The Psychiatrist, the Mad Bomber, and the Invention of Criminal Profiling by profiling one of the pioneers, Dr. James A. Brussel, a New York psychiatrist who specialized in the criminal mind. After 28 attacks, Dr. Brussel, a Freudian psychiatrist who ministered to patients at Creedmoor state mental hospital, used “reverse psychology,” a precursor of criminal profiling, to identify features of the bomber — his “sexuality, race, appearance, work history and personality type.” Aside from an unseemly fight over the $26,000 reward money, the case was a genuine groundbreaker in criminal forensics.

Horror (full list)

Some horror novels, though, feel timeless whenever you happen to read them, and Kit Reed’s wondrous new ghost story MORMAMA seems to me one of those. It’s a haunted-house tale, set in Jacksonville, Fla., in which three elderly sisters, a young single mother, her 12-year-old son and an amnesiac drifter who might be related to them all, attempt to fend off the uneasy spirits also resident in the crumbling mansion they live in. Reed, who has been writing fiction of all kinds for nearly 60 years, certainly knows how to construct a traditional spooky tale, and she does that expertly in MORMAMA, alternating different voices (some living, some not), laying out complex family relationships over several generations, managing a complicated plot and then drawing everything together in a spectacular, and unexpectedly moving, conclusion.

Graphic Novels (full list)

Most of Guy Delisle’s longer graphic novels to date, like PYONGYANG and BURMA CHRONICLES, have been memoirs of his travels. HOSTAGE is neither about the Canadian cartoonist’s own experiences nor grounded in his canny observations of place: It’s the story of Christophe André, who spent almost four months in 1997 as a hostage. Kidnapped from a Doctors Without Borders office in Nazran, Ingushetia, a Russian republic near Chechnya, where he was an administrator, he was taken to Grozny and handcuffed to a radiator next to a mattress in a darkened room. That was all André knew. He didn’t speak his captors’ language, got almost no information of any kind from them, and had no way of knowing when or how he might be freed.

It’s usually a slight to argue that an artist “hasn’t found their voice yet”; in the case of the restlessly versatile Jillian Tamaki, it’s an endorsement. BOUNDLESS collects short stories that are so far apart from one another in tone and technique that they could almost pass for the work of entirely different artists. If Tamaki (the illustrator of the Book Review’s By the Book feature) has a favorite storytelling strategy, it seems to be dreaming up some kind of odd artifact of mass culture and then examining the way people react to it. readmoreremove

June 2017 Fiction Stars

The stars are aligning for these sizzling summer reads:

EMMA IN THE NIGHT by Wendy Walker
“Both twisted and twisty, this smart psychological thriller sets a new standard for unreliable narrators.” — Booklist, starred review

“Walker’s portrayal of the ways in which a narcissistic, self-involved mother can affect her children deepens the plot as it builds to a shocking finale.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE FORGOTTEN GIRL by Rio Youers
“Canadian author Youers makes his U.S. debut with a paranormal thriller distinguished by subtle characterizations and emotionally evocative prose. Harvey’s compelling, moving search for Sally and the truth offers everything that fans of intelligent suspense could wish for.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“How Youers manages to skillfully weave character development into a book filled with edge-of-your-seat action is a testament to his writing skills. This is a smart thriller that also explores the power of love and memory. Highly recommended.” — Booklist, starred review

THE GRIP OF IT by Jac Jemc
“The latest from Jemc is a haunted house tale that toys with the hallmarks of ghost stories—a young city couple moving to a small town, a curmudgeonly neighbor, a spooky legend—to create an exhilarating and unsettling literary page-turner. The conclusion is the perfect cap to a story full of genuine frights.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A psychological spook story in the best high literary tradition. Shivery and smart. A book that brings the legacy of Henry James into the modern world with great effect.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review readmoreremove

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