“End of Watch” by Stephen King. Scribner, 448 pages.
Ex-police detective Bill Hodges faces off for a third time against his Moby Dick, a mass killer named Brady Hartsfield who by all rights should be down for the count after (spoiler alert) having his head caved in at the end of book two in the trilogy, “Finders Keepers.”
But in a Stephen King book (see “The Dead Zone”) a coma is just one route to new mental powers.
Bill knows the killer is shamming, and that he’s somehow inducing people to commit suicide, as he has been trying to do to Bill since book one, “Mr. Mercedes.” Start with that one if you’re new to the series.
What one mundane object will you never see the same way again? (Like the Plymouth Fury after “Christine”?) Goofy handheld video games.
“Ink and Bone” by Lisa Unger. Touchstone, 352 pages.
Lisa Unger is building a sense of place for The Hollows that rivals Stephen King’s Castle Rock for continuity and creepiness.
In “Ink and Bone,” more than ever before, she shows us how the town draws its own back. Finley Montgomery treks cross-country from Seattle to join her grandmother, who shares her gift of clairvoyance.
They are asked to help find a child who went missing on a family hike months ago, and Unger shows us the serial kidnappers in alternating chapters that build in urgency.
“Willnot” by James Sallis. Bloomsbury, 192 pages.
Willnot is a strange little counterculture town with more than its share of eccentric characters. Bring your own spoon – this writer never spoon-feeds you his story, telling it instead in a meandering mix of philosophy and parable. In this style the town doctor, Lamar Hale, tells us about bodies discovered in a communal grave and the mysterious return of a young man Hale treated as a child and who is now of interest to the FBI. After two reads I’m still not sure I know “whodunit” or even what was done, but enjoyed the ride, as always.
“Missing, Presumed” by Susie Steiner. Random House, 368 pages.
I loved Susie Steiner’s detective Manon Bradshaw from her opening scene, on an agonizing internet date. The story of Bradshaw and her team investigating the disappearance of a daughter of the English upper class is framed as a police procedural but drenched in character and setting, with pinpoint detail that breathes life and color into every sentence. This may be my favorite of the June releases.
“The Mechanic” by Alan Gold. Yucca, 292 pages.
A young woman whose grandfather defended a concentration camp mechanic in a war crimes tribunal dives back into the case to try and find the truth. Was Wilhelm Deutch just a technician, making sure the gas chambers functioned – just following orders? This one will appeal to anyone who enjoys a resoundingly authentic period piece.