On The Shelf: Satisfy your hunger for Spring Break reads

Published 9:09 am Friday, March 8, 2024

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

This week’s column features serial fiction from our New Fiction collection.

The thirteenth entry in Mark Greaney’s Gray Man series is titled, “The Chaos Agent.” One by one, the world’s leading experts on robotics and computers are being killed. A desperate Russian scientist approaches Court Gentry and Zoya Zakharova to ask for protection. Before they can help, the scientist is attacked by a team of professional assassins. While they can escape, it seems that the assassins are one step ahead and it’s clear that they are being tracked. The one man who may be able to help them answer all their questions has hunkered down in a bunker surrounded by a veritable army. His chief of security is Court’s old comrade, Zack Hightower. Court, Zoya and the scientist have no choice but to stand their ground and fight back. But how do you fight an enemy that knows your every move?

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

“Front Sight,” the latest from Stephen Hunter, features three interconnected novellas featuring three generations of the Swagger family. Charles Swagger is looking for the notorious bank robber Baby Face Nelson in the “City of Meat.” He goes to the Chicago stock yards after getting a tip-off only to be brutally attacked by a madman who’s a member of a violent narcotics gang. The gang is hell-bent on circulating a drug that makes users happy, drives others insane and kills many of the rest. Will Charles be able to stop the drug ring, or will he be another casualty of the mean streets of Chicago? In Johnny Tuesday, Earl Swagger investigates a bank robbery that left two people dead and a great deal of money missing in a small Maryland town. As he investigates, he only gets silence and hostility from the townspeople. Who can blame them? Earl uncovers municipal corruption, gang politics, jaded aristocrats, conmen gamblers, a hitman and a whole bunch of men with guns. Good thing Earl’s also packing. The last story is called, “Five Dolls for the Gut Hook.” Thirty-two-year-old Bob Lee Swagger is a broken man just back from the Vietnam War. Like so many veterans, he’s turned to alcohol to numb the pain. One day Bob is awoken from his drunken stupor by two men who need help to catch a monster preying on young women in Hots Springs. The city has been trying to clean up its image—from a gambling hub to a family-friendly resort town. Bob tells the men he’s “a sniper, not a detective.” And they remind him he is the son and grandson of two of the best detectives the state has ever produced. Bob takes up the case in the hopes he can find his salvation.

The ninth entry in Gregg Andrew Hurwitz’s Nowhere Man series is called, “Lone Wolf.” Evan Smoak left the black ops government assassin program where he was known as Orphan X. He went underground and reinvented himself as a hero-for-hire who will go anywhere and risk everything for those who are desperate and have no one to turn to. Amid his crisis, Evan gets back to basics by helping a little girl desperately trying to find her missing dog. This simple job, however, explodes into a major mission as Evan finds himself bounced between egomaniacal AI technocrats, a shady female assassin whose life mirrors his own and his demons. He needs to take down the assassin known only as the Wolf before she murders the two people who can identify her—the teenage daughter of her last target and Evan himself.

“The Ghost Orchid,” is the thirty-ninth entry in Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series. Psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis have their hands full with their latest double homicide. A pool boy for a secluded Bel Air property discovers two bodies floating in the shimmering water. Gio Aggiunta—the playboy heir to an Italian shoe empire—and his even wealthier and married neighbor Meagin March are found floating together seemingly in the throes of an illicit affair. The house is untouched, however and there are no signs of forced entry and no forensic evidence. As the investigation progresses, they find that both victims have troubled pasts. The further back they go, Meagin’s identity comes under suspicion. Who was this beautiful and enigmatic woman? Was it her past that caught up with her or did Gio’s international family connections come into play?

Jayne Ann Krentz releases the second entry in her Lost Night Files series with,” The Night Island.” Talia March, Pallas Llewellyn and Amelia Rivers are bonded by a night that none of them remember, but they are determined to uncover the truth behind the ordeal that left each one of them with amplified psychic abilities. They believe they were test subjects years earlier and there are more like them—all they must do is track them down. Talia must track down an informant named Phoebe who has disappeared after giving the trio a lead to follow. Also on Phoebe’s trail is Luke Rand who has his agenda. All the clues lead Talia and Luke to a remote retreat on Night Island in the Pacific Northwest that offers an unplugged experience designed to rejuvenate guests. The duo find they are cut off from the outside world as none of their devices will work on the island. They also learn that Phoebe is not the first person to go missing in the gardens surrounding the retreat. And then the first suspicious death occurs.