ON THE SHELF: Audio Fiction titles that’ll cause some buzz

Published 8:00 am Sunday, February 13, 2022

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library.

This week, I’m featuring some of our favorite authors in the New Audio Fiction section. Remember, these titles can be found downstairs in our Audio/Visual Department.

David Baldacci continues his “Atlee Pine” series with his latest, “Mercy.” Atlee is an FBI agent who has been searching for her twin sister, Mercy, for a long time. Mercy was kidnapped at the age of six and the tragedy left a whole in her family. Finally, her parents abandoned her as well and it shattered young Atlee. Her tenacity led her to find out the real reason her parents abandoned her and why Mercy was kidnapped, but it nearly cost Atlee her life. She also found tantalizing clues that Mercy survived the kidnapping and then escaped her captors years ago leaving at least one dead body in her wake. Atlee has no idea if her sister is still alive, and if so, how she has managed to survive all this time. When the truth finally comes out, Atlee Pine will face her greatest danger yet, and it may just cost her everything.

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“Never” is the latest novel by bestselling author Ken Follett. Two elite intelligence agents track a powerful group of drug-smuggling terrorists through the Sahara Desert. Nearby, a young widow fights against human traffickers while traveling illegally to Europe. She has the help of a mysterious man who is probably not who he says he is. In China, a senior government official pushes back against the establishment Communists in his government who are bringing his country — and their ally North Korea — to the brink of war. Meanwhile, in the United States, Pauline Green, the country’s first woman president is navigating terrorist attacks, illegal arms trading, and the smear campaign of a political rival with care and diplomacy. She is doing everything within her power to keep the U.S. out of a war, but a single act of aggression leads to another and another. The most powerful countries in the world find themselves locked into a complex web of alliances from which they cannot escape. Once all these sinister pieces are in place, can anyone — even the most skilled diplomats and intelligence agents — stop the inevitable?

The third installment of Heather Morris’s “Tattooist of Auschwitz” series is called “Three Sisters.” Cibi, Magda and Livia make a promise to their father that they will stay together, no matter what. At the age of 15, Livia is ordered to Auschwitz by the Nazis. Cibi — only 19 herself — remembers her promise and follows her sister, determined to protect her or die with her in the camp. Magda, just 17, desperately hides from the Nazis, but it isn’t long before she, too, is captured and sent to Auschwitz. In the death camp, the three sisters are reunited but are traumatized by their experiences. They decide to make another promise: that they will live. Their fight for survival takes them from the hell of Auschwitz to a death march across Europe, and eventually home to Slovakia, now under the iron rule of the Communist Soviets. Determined to begin again, they embark on a journey of renewal, to the new Jewish homeland, Israel.

Author Carlton Stowers continues the legacy of Ralph Compton with his latest “Reunion in Hell.” A farmer is pulled into the world of outlaws when his estranged brother turns up dead. Clay and Cal Breckenridge are the sons of a hardscrabble East Texas farmer who have never seen eye-to-eye. When Clay, the eldest, returned home from the Civil War, he helped his father run the farm. Cal, on the other hand, deserted his military post and disappeared into a new life with a new name. Clay tried to forget his wayward brother, but one morning a limping horse approaches the farm with Cal slumped over the saddle, shot in the back. Clay sets off on a dangerous journey across the West to find the man responsible and bring him to justice. He may just take down a criminal enterprise in the process.

Dirk Cussler continues his father’s legacy with “The Devil’s Sea.” A Buddhist artifact of great importance is lost to history as the Communists take over Tibet in 1959. The director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency Dirk Pitt discovers a forgotten plane crash in the Philippine Sea 60 years later that holds clues to the whereabouts of the ancient artifact. Pitt and his compatriot Al Giordino have larger worries now, because they have been ordered to recover a failed hypersonic missile from Luzon Strait. They are not the only ones after the technology; however, a rogue Chinese military team is also looking. The Chinese make their own discovery and hijacking a ship capable of stirring the waters of the deep and turning it into a veritable Devil’s Sea. Dirk Pitt and his children, Summer and Dirk Jr., will explore the cold depths of the Pacific Ocean and brave the dizzying heights of the Himalayas to unravel the mysteries that will preserve a religion, save a nation, and save the world from all-out war.

Bestselling author Brad Taylor’s latest “Pike Logan” novel is called “End of Days.” The former head of Israeli intelligence is brutally murdered while paragliding over the idyllic mountains of Switzerland. Mossad brings in terrorist hunters Aaron and Shoshana to investigate, but they are going to need help to find out who was behind the attack and what the villain’s next step is. Taskforce operators Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill are going stir crazy because they have been trapped in Charleston, South Carolina during COVID-19, so they jump at the chance to help their friends. Some suspect an Iranian-funded militia group operating in Iraq, but something isn’t adding up. Pike, Jennifer, and the Mossad agents stumble upon the trail of a serial killer loose on the streets of Rome who seems to be connected to the deaths. They follow the trail to the exalted Knights of Malta and into the combative religious and political divisions of Israel and the greater Middle East. What they find could have fatal consequences not only for them but for the entire world.