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Ken Liu is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among other places.
Ken’s debut novel, The Grace of Kings (2015), is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty. It won the Locus Best First Novel Award and was a Nebula finalist. He subsequently published the second volume in the series, The Wall of Storms (2016) as well as a collection of short stories, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016).
In addition to his original fiction, Ken is also the translator of numerous literary and genre works from Chinese to English. His translation of The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015, the first translated novel ever to receive that honor. He also translated the third volume in Liu Cixin’s series, Death’s End (2016) and edited the first English-language anthology of contemporary Chinese science fiction, Invisible Planets (2016).
He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW
Hugo-winner Liu delivers truly epic fantasy adventure in the magnificent second chapter (after The Grace of Kings) of the groundbreaking Dandelion Dynasty series, inspired by the legends surrounding China’s Han Dynasty. Onetime con man Kuni Garu, now Emperor Ragin of Dara, has successfully ruled the island archipelago—and kept the peace—for nearly a decade. But now that Kuni’s sons are old enough to be given official responsibilities, there’s increased scheming at court; Kuni’s not the only one playing the long game. Add in growing civil unrest caused by the heavy hand of tradition behind government appointments, fresh political intrigue brewing offshore, and the sudden appearance of invaders from the north, and Liu has enough plots for five novels. He keeps them all moving like a juggler tossing up bowling balls, boomerangs, and crystal goblets: disaster seems imminent more than once, but somehow everything stays up in the air and gloriously unbroken. Liu’s characters are a delight, the worldbuilding is unusual and impeccable, and the writing is smooth and luminous. This tale of divided loyalties, deadly ambition, and “silkpunk” technology delivers enough excitement and sense of wonder to enchant any fan of epic fantasy.
The audio book is convincingly read by Michael Kramer, it is 29 hrs and 4 mins long.
Watch Interview with Ken Liu on YouTube.
Tana French was born in 1973 in the United States and grew up in Ireland, Italy, United States, and Malawi.
Her parents are David French and Elena Hvostoff. When she was a child, she dreamed of going into archaeology.
Instead, she attended Trinity College in Dublin where she trained as a professional actress.
She has worked in theatre, film and voiceover.
Her father was an economist who worked on resource management for the developing world,
so the family lived in many different cultures.
She has written six books:
Dublin Murder Squad, In the Woods (2007), The Likeness (2008), Faithful Place (2010), Broken Harbor (2012),The Secret Place (2014), The Trespasser (2016)
She ultimately settled in Ireland and since 1990 has lived in Dublin, which she considers home.
French is married and has two daughters with her husband. She has retained dual citizenship of the US and Italy.
A hint of the supernatural spices the latest from a mystery master as two detectives try to probe the secrets teenage girls keep—and the lies they tell—after murder at a posh boarding school.
The Dublin novelist (Broken Harbor, 2012, etc.) has few peers in her combination of literary stylishness and intricate, clockwork plotting. Here, French challenges herself and her readers with a narrative strategy that finds chapters alternating between two different time frames and points of view. One strand concerns four girls at exclusive St. Kilda’s who are so close they vow they won’t even have boyfriends. Four other girls from the school are their archrivals, more conventional and socially active. The novel pits the girls against each other almost as two gangs, with the plot pivoting on the death of a rich boy from a nearby school who had been sneaking out to see at least two of the girls. The second strand features the two detectives who spend a long day and night at the school, many months after the unsolved murder. Narrating these chapters is Stephen, a detective assigned to cold cases, who receives an unexpected visit from one of the girls, Holly, a daughter of one of Stephen’s colleagues on the force, who brings a postcard she’d found on a bulletin board known as “The Secret Place” that says “I know who killed him.” The ambitious Stephen, who has a history with both the girl and her father, brings the postcard to Conway, a hard-bitten female detective whose case this had been. The chapters narrated by Stephen concern their day of interrogation and investigation at the school, while the alternating ones from the girls’ perspectives cover the school year leading up to the murder and its aftermath. Beyond the murder mystery, which leaves the reader in suspense throughout, the novel explores the mysteries of friendship, loyalty and betrayal, not only among adolescents, but within the police force as well.
Everyone is this meticulously crafted novel might be playing—or being played by—everyone else.
The audio book is authentically read by Stephen Hogan and Lara Hutchinson, it is 20 hrs and 34 mins long.
Watch Tana French on her novel The Secret Place on YouTube.
Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of fourteen novels, including Darkness, My Old Friend, Fragile, Die For You, Black Out, Sliver of Truth, Beautiful Lies, also her latest thriller Ink and Bone.
Her books are published in twenty-six languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been named “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Walmart Book Club, Target, Harper’s Bazaar, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Publishers Weekly, Washington Life, New York Daily News, Entertainment Weekly, Sun Sentinel, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Suspense Magazine, Amazon and Independent Booksellers.
She has been a finalist in or winner of numerous literary awards including the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Book, International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel, Silver Falchion Award for Best Book, Florida Book Award, France’s Prix Polar International Best Book and Bookspan’s International Book of the Month. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel+Leisure Magazine.
Lisa Unger currently lives in Tampa Bay, Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.
A girl with the gift of seeing the spirit world tries to harness her ability while working with a private detective who isn’t a believer.
The Hollows is a world unto itself, as different from the rest of New York as the name implies. Everyone in The Hollows appears to be there for a definite reason. For Finley Montgomery, that reason is her grandmother Eloise. Finley relies on Eloise to help her cope with the world around her—more specifically, the spirits each of them sees. Eloise has taught Finley how to stay in the present and cope with her double-edged gift. Manhattanite mother Merri Gleason drives to The Hollows wishing she had some kind of connection to the spirit world. Ever since her young daughter was kidnapped on a family vacation to The Hollows, Merri’s been obsessed with figuring out whether she’s still alive. Merri’s made an appointment with private detective Jones Cooper, but he’s not optimistic. His only hope is that Eloise, his sometime collaborator, will have some inkling about what’s going on. But it turns out that Finley’s the one tuned in to the case. The story of the haphazard collaboration is interspersed with chapters of a young girl’s struggle with people who seem like kidnappers. Is this the child everyone’s looking for?
Unger’s beloved characters (Crazy Love You, 2015, etc.) continue a deftly balanced story that’s supernatural without a creepy aftertaste.
The audio book is well read by Molly Pope, it is 11 hrs and 49 mins long.
Watch an ABC YouTube interview About Writing Ink and Bone YouTube.
Laurie was born in Oakland, California, earned a degree in comparative religion from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1977 and a masters in theology from the Graduate Theological Union in 1984, where her thesis was on “Feminine Aspects of Yahweh”. She later received an honorary doctorate from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific.
Among King’s books are the Mary Russell series of historical mysteries, featuring Sherlock Holmes as her mentor and later partner, and a series featuring Kate Martinelli, a fictional lesbian police officer in San Francisco, California. Using the pseudonym “Leigh Richards”, she has published a futuristic novel, Califia’s Daughters (2004).
King’s first book, A Grave Talent (1993), received the 1994 Edgar Award for Best First Novel and a 1995 John Creasey Memorial Award. This was followed by the 1996 Nero Award, for A Monstrous Regiment of Women, the 2002 Macavity Award for Best Novel, for Folly, and the 2007 Lambda Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, for The Art of Detection. She has also been nominated for an Agatha, two Anthonys, a Barry, two additional Edgars, another Macavity, an Orange Prize, and four RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards.
She lives in Watsonville, California, in the hills above Monterey Bay, southeast of Santa Cruz, California. From 1977 until his death in early 2009, she was married to the historian Noel Quinton King. They are the parents of two children, Zoe and Nathan.
King forswears the foreign intrigue that’s increasingly dominated her Sherlock-ian pastiches (Dreaming Spies, 2015, etc.) to return to the great man’s roots, which are surprisingly intertwined with those of his longtime landlady.
An apparently innocent knock at the door of the retired Holmes’ farmhouse brings his wife, Mary Russell, face to face with a rough-hewn Australian who announces himself as Samuel Hudson, the long-unacknowledged son of Holmes’ housekeeper, and then pulls a gun. While Russell awaits her chance for the counterattack she knows will be necessary to save her life, King flashes back a generation, using a few suggestions from the Conan Doyle story “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott” to spin out the adventures of Sam’s mother, Clarissa Hudson. Beginning even before her birth, the story follows the romance of Clarissa’s parents, an Edinburgh governess and a London thief; the girl’s early years in Australia as her father’s trained accomplice in a series of increasingly lucrative “Cheats”; her repeated attempts to make something of herself, usually by trading on her improbable gifts for assuming different personalities; and the fateful moment when her path crosses that of the young Sherlock Holmes, who transforms her into Clara Hudson and sets her life along a profoundly different path. When the story finally returns to the present, both Holmes and Russell will have a chance to shine; in fact, the case achieves a rare balance between Holmes, Russell, and the mystery they’ve been set. The real star, however, is Clarissa Hudson, whose touching, remarkable, and wholly absorbing life story offers not only a high point in King’s long-running series, but a compelling demonstration of the ways inventive writers can continue to breathe new life into the Holmes-ian mythology.
Canny readers will know not to take the come-on of King’s teasing title at face value; the unwary deserve all the additional shocks they’ll get.
The audio book is read by Jenny Sterlin and Susan Lyons, it is 13 hrs and 25 mins long.
Watch a YouTube video discussion The Murder of Mary RussellYouTube.
Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, and then spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working towards a PhD in Scottish Literature.
After university and before his success with his Rebus novels, Ian had a number of jobs including working as a grape-picker, a swineherd, a journalist for a hi-fi magazine, and a taxman. Following his marriage in 1986, he lived briefly in London where he worked at the National Folktale Centre, followed by a short time living in France, before returning to Edinburgh.
Ian’s first novel Summer Rites remains in his bottom drawer, but his second novel, The Flood, was published in 1986, while his first Rebus novel, Knots & Crosses, was published in 1987. The Rebus series is now translated into twenty-two languages and the books are bestsellers on several continents. In addition to his Rebus and Malcolm Fox novels, he has also written standalone novels including Doors Open, which was televised in 2012, short stories, a graphic novel – Dark Entries, and a play (with Mark Thomson, the Royal Lyceum Theatre’s Artistic Director) Dark Road, which premiered at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in September 2013. There are also a number of novels under the pseudonym ‘Jack Harvey’ and in 2005 he collaborated with singer Jackie Leven on a CD. His non-fiction book Rebus’s Scotland was published in 2005.
Ian Rankin has been elected a Hawthornden Fellow, and is also a past winner of the Chandler-Fulbright Award. He is the recipient of four Crime Writers’ Association Dagger Awards including the prestigious Diamond Dagger in 2005. In 2004, Ian won America’s celebrated Edgar Award for Resurrection Men. He has also been shortlisted for the Edgar and Anthony Awards in the USA, and won Denmark’s Palle Rosenkrantz prize, the French Grand Prix du Roman Noir and Germany’s Deutscher Krimipreis.
Ian Rankin is also the recipient of honorary degrees from the universities of Hull, Abertay, St Andrews and Edinburgh as well as The Open University.
A regular contributor to BBC2’s Newsnight Review, he also presented his own TV series, Ian Rankin’s Evil Thoughts on Channel 4 in 2002 and Rankin on the Staircase for BBC Four in 2005. In 2007, Rankin appeared in Ian Rankin’s Hidden Edinburgh and Ian Rankin Investigates Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde also for BBC Four. Ian has been the subject of ITV’s South Bank Show and BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs where his choice of music included Joy Division, The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison.
Ian has received an OBE for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his wife and two sons.
Veteran cop John Rebus emerges from retirement to look into a pair of parallel cases of revenge.
When David Menzies Minton, former Lord Advocate of Scotland, is bludgeoned to death in his Edinburgh home, DI Siobhan Clarke shares one crime-scene detail she shouldn’t with her friend DI Malcolm Fox: a note saying, “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID.” After someone shoots at crime lord Big Ger Cafferty, she also rousts John Rebus, a month into his retirement, from his usual station at the Oxford Bar. As a detective, Rebus had developed an odd working relationship with Cafferty. So now he agrees to be a consultant, especially after Cafferty gets the same death-threat note as Minton. There’s no obvious link between Minton’s murder and the attempted hit on Cafferty, however, and even less connection with a past break-in and the murder of a lottery winner. Meanwhile, Fox reluctantly becomes his boss’ spy for a surveillance team that hopes to take down a Glaswegian gangster and his heir apparent, who’ve come to Edinburgh on the trail of a man who betrayed them. It’s not easy for a man widely regarded as an internal snitch to win the team’s confidence. Fox even has to take a beating from the man he suspects is the team’s undercover member. But he takes a cue from Rebus, who was notorious for going his own way when he was a cop and is even more inclined to do so as a civilian. It pays off when Rebus uses his connections and know-how to help Clarke and Fox find the key they’ve been looking for, a terrible secret that spills into the turf war among criminal factions and exposes the past lives of those supposedly on the right side of the law.
Rankin (The Beat Goes On, 2015, etc.) takes his time setting up all these plots. But it’s well worth the wait to see how the latest entry in this celebrated series fits all the pieces together.
The audio book is read by James Macpherson with an authentic Scottish accent and is 11 hrs and 10 mins long.
Watch a YouTube video of Ian Rankin discussing Even Dogs in the WildYouTube.