Dunedin Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute

Books Archive

Month: July 2020

The Pursuit of Love – Athenaeum Book Club Selection 2020

By Nancy Mitford

July 3, 2020

Nancy Mitford was born in 1904.  Her childhood in a large remote country house with five sisters and one brother is described in the early chapters of The Pursuit of Love, which, said Miss Mitford, are largely autobiographical.  She was, she said, uneducated except for being taught to ride and to speak French.

Olive Kitteridge – Athenaeum Book Club Selection 2020

By Elizabeth Strout

July 3, 2020

Olive Kitteridge: indomitable, compassionate and often unpredictable.  A retired schoolteacher in a small coastal town in Maine, struggling to make sense of the changes in her life as she grows older.  She is a woman who sees into the hearts of others, discerning their triumphs and tragedies.

We meet her stoic husband, bound to her in a marriage both broken and strong, and a young man who aches for the mother he lost – and whom Olive comforts by her mere presence, while her own son feels tyrannized by her overbearing sensitivities.

A penetrating, vibrant exploration of the human soul in need, Olive Kitteridge will make you laugh, nod in recognition, wince in pain and shed a tear or two.

Walk the Wire (July 2020)

By David Baldacci

July 2, 2020

FBI consultant Amos Decker and his colleague, Alex Jamison, are summoned to the remote North Dakota Badlands when a hunter discovers the remains of a woman out on the Great Plains.  She appears to have had a post-mortem performed on her, reminiscent of those seen on TV cop shows – but this time, there was no slab, morgue or camera in sight.  The reason why Irene Cramer’s murder merits an FBI investigation becomes rapidly clear when key questions surface about the woman’s mysterious past.  As a teacher at a school managed by a local male-run sect, the Anabaptists, little is know about who she really was or where she came from.  What was her true identity?  And what did she have to hide?

Seeking information from the local community, Decker and Jamison observe the local town of London, North Dakota, which sits at the very heart of the fracking industry.  Enriched with oil money, jealousy and a deep-set rivalry between its richest investors lie beneath a veneer of glitz and opulence.

But it is nearby ‘eye in the sky’, the London Air Force Station, which may hold the answers.  Acting as an early warning system, it can detect a nuclear threat to the US.  Was Irene Cramer’s death connected in some way to the highly classified facility?  When a mysterious government contact reaches out to assist their investigation, Decker realizes that this town holds secrets so explosive that their implications could destabilize the entire country …

Fair Warning (July 2020)

By Michael Connelly

July 2, 2020

Stalwart journalist Jack McEvoy – the hero of The Poet and The Scarecrow – tracks a serial killer who has been operating completely under the radar – until now – in this thriller from No. 1 bestselling author Michael Connelly.

Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, he realizes he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he’s ever encountered.

Jack investigates against the warnings of the police and his own editor, walking a thin line between investigation and obsession, and makes a shocking discovery, connecting the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country.  But then he himself becomes a suspect, and as he races to clear his name, Jack’s findings point to a serial killer who uses personal data shared by the victims themselves to select and hunt his targets.

The Goodbye Man (July 2020)

By Jeffery Deaver

July 2, 2020

Say Goodbye To Your Problems

In pursuit of two armed fugitives in the wilderness of Washington State, unique investigator Colter Shaw witnesses a shocking suicide.  This leads him to the Foundation – a cult that promises to transform people’s lives.  But is there more to it than meets the eye?

Say Goodbye To Your Freedom

Shaw goes undercover to expose the Foundation’s real purpose.  Before long he meets the charismatic leader Master Eli, a man who commands terrifying loyalty from his followers.

Say Goodbye To Your Life

Something truly dark is going on beneath the surface of the idyllic community.  And as Shaw peels back the layers of truth, he begins to see there is only one way to escape the Foundation … and the price for that freedom might well be your very life.

Camino Winds (July 2020)

By John Grisham

July 2, 2020

When Hurricane Leo threatens Florida’s Comino Island, the Governor is quick to issue an evacuation order.  Most residents flee but a small group of diehards decide to ride it out.  Amongst them is Bruce Cable, proprietor of Bay Books in downtown Santa Rosa.

The hurricane is devastating: homes and condos are levelled, hotels and storefronts ruined, streets flooded, and a dozen people are killed.  One of the victims is Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce’s who wrote timely political thrillers.  But evidence suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of Nelson’s death – he had received several mysterious blows to the head.

Who would want Nelson dead?  The local police are overwhelmed with the aftermath of the storm and in no condition to handle the case.  Bruce begins to wonder if the shady characters in Nelson’s novels were more fact than fiction.  And somewhere on Nelson’s computer is the manuscript of his new novel – could the key to the case be right there, in black and white?  Bruce starts to look into it and what he finds between the lines is more shocking than any of Nelson’s plot twists – and far more dangerous.

Into the Fire (July 2020)

By Gregg Hurwitz

July 2, 2020

Evan Smoak lives by his own code.  As a boy he was taken from a foster home and trained as a lethal weapon codenamed Orphan X.  Finally free, he lives in the shadows as the Nowhere Man, using his unique skills to help those in desperate need.  But all good things must come to an end.  One last mission, then he’ll go out on a high note.  Clean and tidy, just how he likes it.  And then he meets Mex Merriweather.

Max Merriweather hasn’t got much left to lose.  Bad luck has seen off his marriage, his home and his career.  On the face of it he’s the last guy you’d expect to be trusted with a deadly secret.  Which is exactly why his cousin gave him an envelope with the instruction: ‘If anything ever happens to me, call the number inside.’  Now his cousin is dead and Max’s own chances of survival look bleak.  Then he meets the one man who might save him: Evan Smoak.

But with Max now under his protection, Evan faces a threat more daunting than he has ever taken on before.  He’ll be lucky just to get through it alive…

Find Them Dead (July 2020)

By Peter James

July 1, 2020

A Detective Superintendent Roy Grace Novel

Ending his secondment to London’s Met Police, Roy Grace gets a tip-off about a country lines drugs mastermind operating out of Brighton.  On his first day back in his old job in Sussex, he is called to a seemingly senseless murder.

Separately, five years after the car crash that killed her husband and son, Meg Magellan feels she has her life back together.  Her daughter Laura, now eighteen, is on her gap year travelling in South America with a friend, and she is all she has in the world.

When Meg receives a summons for jury service she’s excited and feels this will help distract her from constantly worrying about Laura.  But when she is selected for the trail of a major Brighton drugs overlord, everything changes.

Gradually, Grace’s investigation draws him into the sinister sphere of influence of the drug dealer on trail, a man prepared to order the death of anyone it takes to enable him to walk free.

When Meg arrives home one night, she finds a photograph lying on her kitchen table of Laura, in Ecuador.  Then the phone rings.

The caller tells her that if she ever wants to see Laura alive again, at the end of the trail, all she has to do is make sure the jury says just two words … Not guilty.

Tiny Pieces of Us (July 2020)

By Nicky Pellegrino

July 1, 2020

My heart weighs hardly anything; it is only a tiny piece of me, yet it is the part everyone finds most interesting.

Vivi Palmer has always lived carefully.  Born with a heart defect, she was given a second chance after a transplant, but has never quite dared to live life to the full.  Until she meets her donor’s mother, Grace, who is hoping for something in return: Vivi’s help to find all the people who share tiny pieces of her son.

Reluctantly drawn into Grace’s mission, Vivi’s journalist training takes over.  One by one, she tracks down a small group of strangers.  As their lives intertwine, Vivi gains a new kind of family and a chance to create the life she’s always wanted.

Rules for Perfect Murders (July 2020)

By Peter Swanson

July 1, 2020

If you want to get away with murder, play by the rules.

A series of unsolved murders with one thing in common: each of the deaths bears an eerie resemblance to the crimes depicted in classic mystery novels.

The deaths lead FBI Agent  Gwen Mulvey to Boston’s Old Devils bookshop.  Owner Malcolm Kershaw had once posted an online article titled ‘My Eight Favourite Murders’, and there seems to be a deadly link between the deaths and his list – which includes Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History.

Can the killer be stopped before all eight of these perfect murders have been re-enacted?

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