Best New Books of 2012: Heidi B.’s Picks

I read lots of best sellers, suspense/thrillers, biographies, and women’s fiction. My picks for 5 of the best new books this year kept me turning their pages, and I hope they’ll do the same for you.  — Heidi B.

Trust Your Eyes by Linwood Barclay
Ray is a gentle paranoid schizophrenic obsessed with conspiracies and maps, obsessed with the computer program Whirl360 (think: Google Earth) that allows him to traverse the cities of the world. But what is that image in the window of a New York apartment building that he sees? It sure looks like a woman being smothered by a plastic bag over her head… Ray and his caretaker brother Thomas are thrown head-first in to a web of crimes and murders that leave the reader on the edge of the seat.

The Good Father by Diane Chamberlain
Travis Brown is single parent struggling in a bad economy to make end’s meet and care for his daughter baby daughter, Bella. He is offered what sounds like a great job in Raleigh, only to discover that the job actually is the offer to commit a crime, with the offer of a lot of money.  How far will Travis go to keep his daughter? Chamberlain is a master storyteller  who combines the elements of family issues and suspense in this highly readable, tug-at-the-heartstrings novel set in North Carolina.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Five years of marriage is turned upside down when Nick’s wife Amy vanishes from home. This dark, character-driven novel is told from the point of view of Nick and Amy, a young couple who are both untrustworthy and full of their own secrets. Did Nick kill Amy? The police think so, as the damning evidence mounts against him in this roller-coaster ride of a story. This is a dark, rich thriller, with a complicated plot full of twists and turns. Anyone who enjoys a story full of head games will enjoy this one.

Defending Jacob by William Landay
How far will you go to protect your child? Andy Barber is an assistant district attorney with twenty years on the job in a rural Massachusetts county.  Then the unthinkable happens; his teen son Jacob is accused of murdering a classmate and charged with the crime. Landay’s plot line and twists and turns harken back to the early writings of John Grisham. I tell everyone to whom I recommend this book, “I’ll give you $10 if you can guess the ending.” So far, no one has collected.

Elizabeth the Queen: the Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith
One of the best biographies I have read – ever – of anyone. This exhaustively researched biography reads like a novel and is based on hundreds of interviews to tell the story of the woman who has ruled Britannica for 60 years. Bedell Smith has chronicled other royals as well as the Kennedys and has a knack for retelling stories that really give reader insight into the personality of the Queen. A must for any Anglophile! Grab a cup of tea and a scone and dig into this lengthy book.

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