We have 10 fully nominated books.
As always, please let me know of any errors or omissions.
[updated through post #76]
*  The Spies of Warsaw
by Alan Furst [issybird, patrickt, AnemicOak, Hamlet53]
*  The Scavenger's Daughter
from Random House: War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, in Warsaw, the new military attaché, Colonel Jean-François Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of the city. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations. Risking his life, Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amid an extraordinary cast of venal characters, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed.
by Mike McIntyre [siraks,caleb72, orlok]
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke [JS Wolf]
blurb from smashwords: A Southern California self-storage unit filled with medieval instruments of torture…
A modern-day Torquemada hell-bent on updating the Spanish Inquisition…
An investigative reporter racing to connect the lurid dots…
Deadline has a whole new meaning.
Tyler West, suspended Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from the San Diego Sun, is desperate for a scoop that will save his career. Defying a spiteful publisher and a vindictive homicide detective, he investigates the baffling deaths of several of San Diego's powerful, rich and famous. Police call the murders unrelated, but Ty uncovers a common link: torture devices last used during the Dark Ages, including the Iron Maiden, the Pear of Anguish, and the most sinister of all—the Scavenger's Daughter.
Ty is plunged into a mysterious world of medieval torture scholars, antiquities collectors, museum curators, and sadomasochists. Aided by photojournalist Melina "Mel" Koric, a former Bosnian War refugee, Ty must break the brilliantly conceived series of slayings that has cast a dark shadow over a city better known for its sun, sand and surf. The elusive killer goes by the name Friar Tom, in tribute to his hero, Tomás de Torquemada, the first Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition. As Ty scrambles to unmask the monstrous zealot, he must juggle his investigation with his personal life: He pursues his lost love, Jordan Sinclair, an assistant district attorney, and continues to mentor inner-city kids at his youth golf clinics. With the city caught in an escalating nightmare of medieval mayhem, Ty is drawn into a lethal game of cat and mouse that could cost him everything. Lightning-paced, intricately plotted and wildly suspenseful, The Scavenger's Daughter grabs the reader early and doesn't let go until its heart-pounding climax.
Withdrawn as not this month's genre
*  The Eiger Sanction
by Trevanian [GA Russell, voodooblues, JSWolf]
*  The Day Of The Jackal
Description: “Superior suspense on almost every page…the hero is a masterpiece of conflicting qualities—something for everyone.” —Anatole Broyard, New York Times “Trevanian can write hoops around Ian Fleming.” — Boston Globe From the Trade Paperback edition. Jonathan Hemlock lives in a renovated Gothic church on Long Island. He is an art professor, a mountain climber, and a mercenary, performing … more »assassinations (i.e., sanctions) for money to augment his black-market art collection. Now Hemlock is being tricked into a hazardous assignment that involves an attempt to scale one of the most treacherous mountain peaks in the Swiss Alps, the Eiger. In a breathtakingly suspenseful story that is part thriller and part satire, the author traces Hemlock’s spine-tingling adventures, introducing a cast of intriguing characters—villains, traitors, beautiful women—into the highly charged atmosphere of danger. The accumulating threads of suspicion, accusation, and evidence gradually knit themselves into a bizarre and death-defying climax in this exciting, entertaining novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the last absorbing page. From the Trade Paperback edition. (from Amazon.com)
by Frederick Forsyth [AnemicOak, Hamlet53, arkietech]
*  Bangkok 8
by John Burdett [AnemicOak, sun surfer, issybird]
Bad Boy Brawly Brown
When a U.S. Marine is killed in Bangkok, the task of finding the murderer falls to Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, seemingly the only member of the Royal Thai Police Force whose idea of justice precludes his fellow officers' customary system of bribery. This assignment's especially important to the devout detective for during the investigation of the murder scene, the methamphetamine-stoked snakes that bit the marine also kill Sonchai's police partner, best friend, and Buddhist soul-mate Pichai. Sonchai's pursuit of revenge will team him with a sexually frustrated FBI agent and leave them at the mercy of yaa-baa-fueled motorcycle-taxi drivers as they hurtle through neon-lit Bangkok and into the labyrinthine and deadly machinations of the international jade and drug trades in search of the killer.
As Sonchai himself notes at one point, "This isn't a whodunit, is it?" And, no, it isn't, but author John Burdett (A Personal History of Thirst, The Last Six Million Seconds) infuses the plot with enough suspense, detail, and dry Asian insight to keep readers rapt as the story careens about the bars and brothels of Thailand's flesh trade, through its cut-rate plastic surgery parlors, and ends in a climax with a fittingly Buddhist twist.
by Walter Mosley [patrickt]
The Blue Nowhere
Review from Amazon: Racial tensions and America's civil rights movement have previously figured into Walter Mosley's series about sometimes-sleuth Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins. But Bad Boy Brawly Brown turns what had been a background element into compelling surface tension. The year is 1964, and though Easy seems settled into honest work as a Los Angeles custodian, he's having other problems--notably, his adopted son's wish to quit school and lingering remorse over the death (in A Little Yellow Dog) of his homicidal crony, Raymond "Mouse" Alexander. Yet he remains willing to do "favors" for folks in need. So, when Alva Torres comes to him, worried that her son, Brawly Brown, will get into trouble running with black revolutionaries, Easy agrees to find the young man and "somehow ... get him back home." His first day on the job, however, Rawlins stumbles across Alva's ex-husband--murdered--and he's soon dodging police, trying to connect a black activist's demise to a weapons cache, and exposing years of betrayal that have made Brawly an ideal pawn in disastrous plans.
Mosley's portrayal of L.A.'s mid-20th-century racial divide is far from simplistic, with winners and sinners on both sides. He also does a better-than-usual job here of plot pacing, with less need to rush a solution at the end. But it is Easy Rawlins's evolution that's most intriguing in Brawly Brown. A man determined to curb his violent and distrustful tendencies, Easy finds himself, at 44, having finally come to peace with his life, just when the peace around him is at such tremendous risk. --J. Kingston Pierce
by Jeffrey Deaver [Hoyt Clagwell, caleb72]
*  The Maltese Falcon
In this 21st century version of the "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral," two computer wizards engage in the kind of high-tech combat that only a hacker could love. Wyatt Gillette, a cybergenius who's never used his phenomenal talent for evil, is sitting in a California jail doing time for a few harmless computer capers when he gets a temporary reprieve--a chance to help the Computer Crimes Unit of the state police nail a cracker (a criminally inclined hacker) called Phate who's using his ingenious program, Trapdoor, to lure innocent victims to their death by infiltrating their computers. Gillette and Phate were once the kings of cyberspace--the Blue Nowhere of the title--but Phate has gone way past the mischievous electronic pranks they once pulled and crossed over to the dark side. While Trapdoor can hack its way into any computer, it's Phate's skill at "social engineering" as well as his remarkable coding ability that makes him such a menace to society. As Wyatt explains to the policeman who springs him from prison so that he can find and stop Phate before he kills again, "It means conning somebody, pretending you're someone you're not. Hackers do it to get access to data bases and phone lines and pass codes. The more facts about somebody you can feed back to them, the more they believe you and the more they'll do what you want them to." Bestselling author Jeffery Deaver ( The Empty Chair , The Devil's Teardrop ) ratchets up the suspense one line of code at a time; his terrific pacing drives the narrative to a thrilling and explosive conclusion. This thriller is bound to induce paranoia in anyone who still believes he can hide his deepest secrets from anyone with the means, motive, and modem to ferret them out. --Jane Adams How do you write a truly gripping thriller about people staring into computer screens? Many have tried, none have succeeded until now. Leave it to Deaver, the most clever plotter on the planet, to do it by simply applying the same rules of suspense to onscreen action as to offscreen. Much of the action in this novel about the hunt for an outlaw hacker turned homicidal maniac does takes place in the real world, but much else plays out in cyberspace as a team of California homicide and computer crime cops chase the infamous "wizard" hacker known as Phate. The odds run against the cops. With his skills, Phate can not only change identities at will (a knack known as "social engineering" in hacking parlance) but can manipulate all computerized records about himself. The cops have a wizard of their own, however: a former online companion of Phate's, a hacker doing time for having allegedly cracked the Department of Defense's encryption program. He's Wyatt Gillette, coveting Pop-Tarts (the hacker's meal of choice) and computers, but also the wife he lost when he went to prison and it's his tortured personality that gives this novel its heart as Wyatt is sprung from prison, but only for as long as it takes to track down Phate. The mad hacker, meanwhile, no longer able to discern between the virtual and the real, has adapted a notorious online role-playing game to the world of flesh and blood, with innocent humans as his prey. As he twists suspense and tension to gigahertz levels, Deaver springs an astonishing number of surprises on the reader: Who is Phate's accomplice? What are Wyatt's real motives? Who is the traitor among the cops? His real triumph, though, is to make the hacker world come alive in all its midnight, reality-cracking intensity. This novel is, in hacker lingo, "totally moby" the most exciting, and most vivid, fiction yet about the neverland hackers call "the blue nowhere." Agent, Sterling Lord Literistic.
by Dashiell Hammett [zespectre, siraks, GA Russell]
*  The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
by John le Carré [Hamlet53, Hoyt Clagwell, sun surfer]
WHSmith eBooks UK
Killing Floor by Lee Child [TotallyEpic]
Withdrawn as it was a previous Book Club winner.
*  The Firm
by John Grisham [JSWolf, GA Russell,caleb72]
*  Vanishing Act
by Thomas Perry [orlok, sun surfer, voodooblues]
*  Heat Wave
a taut thriller that at times reads like an extended, though flawed, character study of its heroine. Jane Whitefield, half-white, half-Indian member of the Seneca Wolf clan, helps people disappear-people like Rhonda Eckerly, fleeing her abusive husband, or Harry Kemple, hoping to stay alive after witnessing a gangland shooting. Like a one-woman witness protection program, Jane has helped both vanish by giving them new identities and new starts at life. Now an alleged new victim has invaded Jane's upstate New York house: John Felker claims that he's a cop-turned-accountant, is being framed as an embezzler and has a contract out on his life. Almost immediately, the men chasing Felker appear, and Jane leads him farther upstate, to a Canadian Indian reservation where he can build a new life. Jane is an original and fascinating creation. Like Andrew Vachss's series hero, Burke, she operates outside the law, but with a particular slant born of her distinct character and Seneca heritage. Perry tells her story in a trim and brisk manner, moreover, with plenty of action and suspense. It takes Jane far longer than it will most readers to figure out that Felker is other than what he says, however, and while her trusting nature, which borders on gullibility, generates tension, it doesn't mesh with her hard-boiled profession and hunter-like wiles. It's only when the truth behind Felker is revealed, and Jane acts decisively on it, that most readers will regain the respect they've lost for this otherwise likable and unusually intriguing heroine.
by Richard Castle [VioletVal, Nyssa, siraks]
Naked in Death
by J.D. Robb [VioletVal]
There is a question about this being a fit for this month's category. Opinions please.
by Richard K. Morgan [John F]
(published simultaneously in Britain as Black Man
There is a question about this being a fit for this month's category. Opinions please.
See post #65 for additional information.
by Robin Cook [Mussgorsky]
The Book of Fate
by Brad Meltzer [JSWolf]
In six minutes, one of us would be dead. None of us knew it was coming...
So says Wes Holloway, a once-cocky and ambitious presidential aide, about the day that changed his life forever. On that Fourth of July, Wes put Ron Boyle, the chief executive's oldest friend, into the presidential limousine. By the time the trip came to an end, Wes was permanently disfigured, and Boyle was dead, the victim of a crazed assassin.
Eight years later, Boyle is spotted, alive and well, in Malaysia. In that moment, Wes has the chance to undo the worst day of his life. Trying to figure out what really happened takes Wes back to a decade old presidential crossword puzzle, mysterious facts buried in Masonic history, and a two-hundred-year-old code invented by Thomas Jefferson.
But what Wes doesn't realize is that The Book of Fate holds everyone's secrets. Especially the ones worth dying for. The Book of Fate. What does it say about you?
by John Grisham [The Terminator]
Description: "The decision to bomb the office of the radical Jew lawyer was reached with relative ease." So begins Grisham's legal leviathan The Chamber , a 676-page tome that scrutinizes the death penalty and all of its nuances--from racially motivated murder to the cruel and unusual effects of a malfunctioning gas chamber. Adam Hall is a 26-year-old attorney, fresh out of law school and working at the … more »best firm in Chicago. He might have been humming Timbuk 3 's big hit, "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades," if it wasn't for his psychotic Southern grandfather, Sam Cayhall. Cayhall, a card-carrying member of the KKK, is on death row for killing two men. Knowing his uncle will surely die without his legal expertise, Hall comes to the rescue and puts his dazzling career at stake, while digging up a barnyard of skeletons from his family's past. Grisham fans expecting the typical action-packed plot should ready themselves for a slower pace, well-fleshed-out characters, and heavy doses of sentimentalism. The chamber in question is the gas chamber at the Mississippi State Penitentiary--and for 69-year-old Sam Crayhall, the road thence has been many years long. Sam was twice tried and twice acquitted for murder after a 1967 Ku Klux Klan scare bombing accidentally killed the twin sons of the intended target; 14 years later he was tried a third time, convicted and sentenced to death. Now, in 1990, a young Chicago lawyer, employed by the firm that represented Sam but which he has just unceremoniously dumped, wants Sam as a client. Adam Hall, the 26-year-old rookie, is Sam Crayhall's grandson. Adam's efforts to save this splendid curmudgeon from death form the center of Grisham's quietly compelling novel, a hub from which the far-reaching spokes of personal dramas extend. The despair of prison life has rarely been so grippingly evoked--no riots or dazzling escapes here, just a drab, pervasive dailiness. And the gradually revealed dysfunctions of the Crayhalls prove both surprising and affecting. This ranks as top-notch Grisham and reveals new dimensions to his talent: the focus on character, the credible emotion and the simple moments of human connection bear comparison to Grisham's work in A Time to Kill . The prose, too, has more subtlety and texture than Grisham has previously exhibited. Though the countdown to an execution is a well-worn plot device, it has seldom been as effective, especially in the novel's last 100 pages. Readers can almost hear the cogs of justice turning ever faster--or is that the sound of Grisham's fans stampeding the bookstores for this riveting read? 2.5 million first printing; Literary Guild main selection; audio rights to BBD audio; major ad/promo. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. (from Amazon.com)
by Blake Crouch [ficbot]
The Distant Echo
by Val McDermid [SensualPoet]