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1: The Chalk Girl(ARC) – Carol O’Connell: A Mallory novel.The small girl in Central park found wandering had red hair and blue eyes, was perfect. Except for the blood on her shoulder. It had “fallen from the sky while I was looking for my uncle, who had turned into a tree.” Then the body in the tree was discovered. Mallory, newly returned to the Special Crimes Unit, wants to help her. She has her own damaged soul recovering. That desire leads to murders going back fifteen years, blackmail, and a cruelty that only someone with Mallory’s history will recognize. The tenth book in the series, it’s due out in January.

2: Deep Sky(ARC) – Patrick Lee: a missile has taken out the White House and the President. Travis Chase of the covert agency Tangent and his partners have only twenty-four hours to unearth a decades old mystery. And a shadowy government wants that mystery to remain secret.

3: Rancho Diablo: Dark Horse(ebook) – Colby Jackson: James Reasoner has written a new addition to the series, a fine one, that has Duane Beatty caught up in the new woman in Shooter’s Cross. And the magnificent stallion she brought with her. And the trouble that follows.

4: Gallows Pole(ebook) – J. D. Rhoades: the latest from Mr. Rhoades. He’s a North Carolina boy like myself so it’s almost mandatory that I like him. Fortunately, he writes mean thrillers. I expect to love this one.

5; Beat to a Pulp: A Rip Through Time(ebook) – another offering from David Cranmer and some very fine writers. Five stories as well as an essay by Ron Scheer on time travel in fiction. Three of them I’ve read previously. One new to the collection, the fourth I’d held off waiting for this book. Simon Rip is a Time-cop and is chasing Dr. Robert Berlin through time. Berlin stole his own invention and disappeared down the rabbit hole. So to speak. I’ll probably start on this one in the morning over coffee.

The authors involved here are Chris F. Holm, Charles A. Gramlich, Garnett Elliott, Chad Eagleton, and Ron Scheer.

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