Already an international sensation Dutch author Herman Koch’s The Dinner hits the shelves in the United States this week. From the publisher:
It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse — the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.
Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.
Tautly written, incredibly gripping, and told by an unforgettable narrator, The Dinner promises to be the topic of countless dinner party debates. Skewering everything from parenting values to pretentious menus to political convictions, this novel reveals the dark side of genteel society and asks what each of us would do in the face of unimaginable tragedy.
Perhpas the world’s most famous fictional detective Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has not only been the star of his own books but the star of many film and television as well (seen most recently in CBS’s Elementary, the BBC’s Sherlock, and in the movies with Robert Downey Jr.). Introduced in 1887, Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson have been capturing the imaginations of readers for over 125 years. Holmes has long since passed into the public domain and Sir Arthur Conan Doyles’ works are available for free through DigitalLibraryNJ (thanks to Project Gutenberg).
Only one of four novel-length Holmes’ tales The Hound of the Baskervilles is perhaps the gentlemen of Baker Street’s most well-regarded tale:
When Dr. James Mortimer comes to 221B Baker Street to consult Sherlock Holmes, he tells him a fantastical tale of a demonic hound that has been handed down in the Baskerville family. What has upset Dr. Mortimer is that he believes his good friend Sir Charles Baskerville died of fright after seeing this hound, but the police say he died of a heart attack. With Sir Henry, the heir to the Baskerville fortune, just arrived in England, Mortimer wants Holmes’s advice on whether he should bring Sir Henry to Baskerville Hall on the Grimpen moor. Holmes decides to meet with Sir Henry after Mortimer also shows him an anonymous letter warning Sir Henry not to come to the moor. Then one of Sir Henry’s boots goes missing, and Holmes is sure that Sir Henry is in danger. He sends Dr. Watson to watch over Sir Henry at Baskerville Hall while Holmes supposedly stays in London. When Watson and Sir Henry get to Baskerville Hall, they meet an odd group of neighbors and find equally strange things happening on the moor. Holmes goes undercover to discover who is behind the threats and the sightings on the moor.
If you’ve finished with Holmes’ try Laurie R. Kings Mary Russell Mysteries starting with The Bee-Keeper’s Apprentice (1994) and continuing through 12 more novels (continuing most recently in 2012’s Garment of Shadows). Or, if you’re interested in a more modern interpretation of the Great Detective checkout the BBC’s slendid series Sherlock.
This is a solid week of genre releases featuring a new Safehold title from David Weber, a new Malazan tie-in from Steven Erikson, a horror/mystery/thriller from debut author Douglas Nicholas, and a debut japanese-themed steampunk from debut author Jay Kristoff.