Welcome to Brian’s Book Blog’s weekly New and Notable Post for the Week of August 10th 2019.
Comment below on any I missed or what you’re excited about!
Authors, narrators, producers, and publishers — any of the books featured here are prime candidates for review.
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The Darwin Strain by Bill Schutt, J. R. Finch
Narrated by David Colacci
The authors of Hell’s Gate and The Himalayan Codex deliver their third high-octane thriller – a riveting blend of science, history, and suspense featuring zoologist and adventurer Captain R. J. MacCready.
“Looks like Schutt and Finch are filling the void left by the passing of Michael Crichton.” (James Cameron, director/writer/explorer)
Though the fighting has stopped and Hitler is vanquished, a dangerous new war between America and the Soviet Union has begun. Invaluable in defeating the Nazis, accidental crypto-zoologist R. J. MacCready and Yanni Thorne, an indigenous Brazilian and expert in animal behavior, are working for the Pentagon once again. Sent to a mysterious Greek island in a remote corner of the Mediterranean, they are investigating rumors about a volcanic spring with “miraculous” healing properties that the locals say is guarded by sea monsters from ancient legends.
The islanders believe that, like Fatima, the spring is a gift from God. To the Greek Orthodox Church, it is a sign of a deadly evil foretold in apocalyptic texts. Alongside French and Chinese researchers – men who share their strange, blood-stained past – Mac and Yanni discover that the volcanic spring’s undersea plumes release an exotic microbe that can transform life with astonishing speed.
To find the source of the Volcanic spring, Mac and Yanni must find a way to neutralize “the Dragons of Revelation” – a fearsome aquatic species also known as “Kraken”, which are preventing the scientists from exploring deep beneath the sea’s surface. Mutating at an astonishing pace, the Kraken have evolved into a chillingly high alien intelligence. As the race to possess the “miracle” microbe heats up, tensions between geopolitics, religion, and ordinary scientists confronted with the unknown escalate into chaos. Mac and Yanni know all too well that one wrong choice can easily set in motion a biological chain reaction that will reach across the decades to enhance – or destroy – everything that lives.
Alpha by Steven Konkoly
Narrated by John David Farrell
For fans of Tom Clancy, Brad Thor, and Vince Flynn – a no-bolds-barred, 24-style thriller of conspiracy, assassination, and deception by USA Today and Washington Post best-selling author Steven Konkoly.
A “Retired” Covert Operative Will Do Anything to Guard His Darkest Secrets….
Daniel Petrovich, formerly part of the Department of Defense’s infamous Black Flag Program, protects a secret buried in the deepest vaults of the Pentagon. Blackmailed into executing one final mission for his previous commanding officer, Daniel’s carefully constructed “life” rapidly disintegrates into a relentless federal manhunt – and a 24-style race against the clock to suppress the shocking truth about his past. To survive, he’ll release the darkest side of his concealed identity. A dark side with few boundaries – and even fewer loyalties.
Black Flagged lays the foundation for a gritty, high-octane series exploring the serpentine link between covert operations and government agency politics.
The Black Flagged Series:
Book 1: Black Flagged: Alpha
Book 2: Black Flagged: Redux
Book 3: Black Flagged: Apex
Book 4: Black Flagged: Vektor
Book 5: Black Flagged: Omega
Steven’s novels are recommended for fans of Brad Thor’s Scot Harvath, Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp, Brad Taylor’s Pike Logan, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne, L.T. Ryan’s Jack Noble, C.G. Cooper’s Daniel Briggs, Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon, and Mark Greaney’s Gray Man.
Sea of a Thousand Words by Christine C. Wallace
Narrated by Gray Eubank
In the not-so-distant future, resources are scarce and land is disappearing. This global crisis has created the largest population migration in history as desperate people look for new homes.
Meanwhile, powerful governments close their gates, hiring a ruthless organization called HighTower to lock down the borders. HighTower secretly develops a weaponized gene drive enzyme with the potential to eliminate entire migrant populations: a callous form of “pest control”.
On a remote island in the Pacific Northwest, a young woman discovers a shipwrecked scientist. With help from her friends, she rescues him…only to learn that he is a fugitive with a deadly secret. Pursued by dangerous agents, they set out to expose the governments’ plot and destroy the enzyme before it can be used against innocent people.
A story for our times, Sea of a Thousand Words begs the question, “Who deserves to inherit our Earth?”
The narration is charged with brilliant imagery and a rich cast of characters – instantly alive and relatable.
All You Can Eat by Johnny B. Truant
Narrated by Joe Hempel
Immortality has met its match.
Ever since the ring of fire, the world’s vampires have seen their mortality. They won’t live forever after all – not if the angels who created them decide to snuff them like candles.
What do the angels want? What did their command to “restore balance” truly mean? For most, the angels’ decrees mean mass murder and mass turnings…but the humans aren’t sheep, and won’t just lie down and take it forever.
As Deacon Maurice tries to maintain order with Reginald by his side, panic consumes the vampire nation. The center begins to fall apart and chaos grows like cancer. But as war between vampires and humans threatens, Reginald begins to discover strange new abilities within him: to navigate through blood history like no other vampire before him. To glamour those who can’t be glamoured. And seemingly, to stop time itself.
Fear has reached its tipping point. War is close. Reginald might hold the key to the angels’ mystery…but whatever could help him intervene just might be too late.
This fresh twist on the tired old undead myth is the third in the Fat Vampire series by Johnny B. Truant – author of many bestselling series including Invasion, The Beam, Unicorn Western, The Dream Engine, Robot Proletariat, and more.
A Dangerous Man by Robert Crais
Narrated by Luke Daniels
A brilliant new crime novel from the beloved, bestselling, and award-winning master of the genre – and Joe Pike’s most perilous case to date.
Joe Pike didn’t expect to rescue a woman that day. He went to the bank same as anyone goes to the bank, and returned to his Jeep. So when Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller who helped him, steps out of the bank on her way to lunch, Joe is on hand when two men abduct her. Joe chases them down, and the two men are arrested. But instead of putting the drama to rest, the arrests are only the beginning of the trouble for Joe and Izzy.
After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what of all that did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?
The Unraveling by Charley Hogwood
Narrated by Andrew B. Wehrlen
“On day 16, the symptoms either begin to subside, or the patient suffers a massive seizure and expires.” (CDC Outbreak Update)
When Cal Bohannon went to work on Friday morning, he felt the world was teetering on a knife’s edge, but what he didn’t expect was a microscopic enemy rapidly spreading south of the border.
New to preparing for disasters, Cal’s family, along with a small band of friends, will have their survival plans tested as the fragile threads of society quickly unravel around them.
Can the fledgling group come together in time as the authorities scramble to gain control over the sudden contagion and hysteria?
What if the virus isn’t their biggest problem, but just the beginning of something much worse?
Survival Aptitude Test: Sound by Mike Sheriff
Narrated by Mike Sheriff
What if humanity’s survival was riding on a single test?
Daoren and Heqet face the unthinkable. Like every 19-year-old in their society, they must take the survival aptitude test.
Only the smartest pass the S.A.T. and earn the right to live.
The rest are harvested for food.
That’s the grim reality on the dying Earth, 700 years after mass extinctions have erased every other life form.
Fortunately, Daoren and Heqet may hold the answers for saving their species. There’s only one problem – and it isn’t the S.A.T.
Human greed and personal treachery might kill them first.
Fans of classic dystopian tales like Soylent Green and Logan’s Run will love this modern twist on humanity’s last gasp.
The Tree That Grew Through Iron by McKenzie Austin
Narrated by Gerard Marquez
The world’s end was his beginning.
Whole chunks of earth are withering away from the mainland and falling into the sea. Natural disasters are claiming thousands of lives. Prayers are no longer answered by gods. Prayers are answered by machines and the Time Fathers of Panagea.
Nicholai Addihein, one of the eight ruling Time Fathers, struggles to save the lives of his people. After a single moment of misunderstood treason, he must also save his own.
While running from the wrath of Panagea’s other Time Fathers, Nicholai lands in peculiar company. Can a fabled immortal, a crew of societal rejects, and a silver-haired woman with a mysterious past breathe life back into a world on the brink of death?
With all of existence at stake, Nicholai and the others prepare to fight until their last breath to change the fate of Panagea. Who would ever guess that success might be just as fatal as failure?
Rising Sea by James Lawrence
Narrated by Jake Hunsbusher
It’s a battle for dominance in the South China Sea – and Pat Walsh takes on his most daring operation yet.
Tensions between China and the United States near the breaking point. The Chinese Navy has flexed its muscle in a series of unprovoked strikes against U.S. military air patrols, and the time has come to end their global advance.
Under the guise of treasure hunters, Pat Walsh and his team of CIA mercenaries conduct a series of deep-water dives to plant explosives along a fault line in the Palawan Trench. The resulting tsunami will take out the airfields along the reef islands and cripple the Chinese menace.
But Pat never accounted for finding millions in sunken pirate treasure – or that someone would discover the true catalyst behind the devastation.
Now he must keep an ancient treasure out of enemy hands and find a way to survive a Chinese government bent on revenge.
Listen to this standalone adventure thriller of non-stop sea action that spans Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and Europe.
Nostalgia Inc by Nolon King
Narrated by Chris Andrew Ciulla
The price of his son’s life…is just a few enhanced memories.
Eddie Dowler’s 12-year-old son is dying. There are treatments available, but none he can afford. His son is going to die simply because he isn’t rich.
And then his doctor offers a ray of hope. There’s a way to pay for his son’s procedure. An unorthodox way.
And so Eddie calls Nostalgia Inc, an advertising agency unlike any he’s ever known.
He soon learns that the price of his son’s impossibly expensive operation…is merely a handful of tweaked memories.
It sounds innocuous.
What could go wrong?
Nostalgia Inc is the first book in Version Control, a new series that investigates what happens when our technology outpaces our ethics. If you’ve ever wondered what Black Mirror would look like in book form, this is it. Grab your copy today!
Hit and Run by Sean Platt, David W. Wright
Narrated by Cindy Kay
Jack should never have been out that morning.
If he hadn’t been out, he never would’ve hit the girl on the bike. He never would’ve made the worst decision of his life – to flee the scene of the crime.
Now, two years later, his crime has destroyed two families. And fate has brought him into the life of the last person he thought he’d ever have to see – the girl’s mother.
Elodie losing her daughter was only the beginning of her pain. Things fell apart with her cop husband, she’s struggling to pay her bills, and she’s at the end of her rope.
Then she meets a man who can help turn her life around – Jack.
He’s sweet, caring, and the host of a well-known show. He seems perfect.
She has no idea that he is also the man who destroyed her everything.
Hit and Run is the second book in the new multi-author sci-fi anthology series Version Control, perfect for fans of Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone.
Outfox by Sandra Brown
Narrated by Victor Slezak
Number one New York Times best-selling author Sandra Brown combines heart-stopping suspense and forbidden passion in this psychological thriller about an FBI agent’s hunt for a ruthless conman turned serial killer.
Sure to keep listeners on the edges of their seats, this new novel will feature Brown’s signature combination of steamy romance and jaw-dropping plot twists.
FBI agent Drex Easton is relentlessly driven by a single goal: to outmaneuver the con man once known as Weston Graham. Over the past 30 years, Weston has assumed many names and countless disguises, enabling him to lure eight wealthy women out of their fortunes before they disappeared without a trace, their families left without answers and the authorities without clues. The only common trait among the victims: a new man in their life who also vanished, leaving behind no evidence of his existence…except for one signature custom.
Drex is convinced that these women have been murdered and that the man he knows as Weston Graham is the sociopath responsible. But each time Drex gets close to catching him, Weston trades one persona for another and disappears again. Now, for the first time in their long game of cat and mouse, Drex has a suspect in sight.
Attractive and charming, Jasper Ford is recently married to a successful businesswoman many years his junior, Talia Shafer. Drex insinuates himself into their lives, posing as a new neighbor and setting up surveillance on their house. The closer he gets to the couple, the more convinced he becomes that Jasper is the clever, merciless predator he’s sought – and that his own attraction to Talia threatens to compromise his purpose and integrity.
This is Drex’s one chance to outfox his cunning nemesis before he murders again and eludes justice forever. But first he must determine if the desirable Talia is a heartless accomplice…or the next victim.
The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney
Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, Graham Halstead, Euan Morton, JP Delaney
The perfect life. The perfect love. The perfect lie. From the best-selling author of The Girl Before comes a gripping new psychological thriller….
“Dynamic, razor-sharp, and thought-provoking…a cutting-edge suspense novel unlike any you’ve read before.” (Mary Kubica, New York Times best-selling author of The Good Girl)
Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.
She is a miracle of science.
But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins to question her husband’s motives – and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to her, half a decade ago?
Beware the man who calls you…