Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Jonathan Kellerman - Victims


New Release
Unraveling the madness behind L.A.’s most baffling and brutal homicides is what sleuthing psychologist Alex Delaware does best. And putting the good doctor through his thrilling paces is what mystery fiction’s #1 bestselling master of psychological suspense Jonathan Kellerman does with incomparable brilliance. Kellerman’s universally acclaimed novels blend the addictive rhythms of the classic police procedural with chilling glimpses into the darkest depths of the human condition. For the compelling proof, look no further than Victims—Kellerman at his razor-sharp, harrowing finest.

Not since Jack the Ripper terrorized the London slums has there been such a gruesome crime scene. By all accounts, acid-tongued Vita Berlin hadn’t a friend in the world, but whom did she cross so badly as to end up arranged in such a grotesque tableau? One look at her apartment–turned–charnel house prompts hard-bitten LAPD detective Milo Sturgis to summon his go-to expert in hunting homicidal maniacs, Alex Delaware. But despite his finely honed skills, even Alex is stymied when more slayings occur in the same ghastly fashion . . . yet with no apparent connection among the victims. And the only clue left behind—a blank page bearing a question mark—seems to be both a menacing taunt and a cry for help from a killer baffled by his own lethal urges.

Biography
Jonathan Kellerman is one of the world's most popular authors. He has brought his expertise as a clinical psychologist to more than thirty bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher's Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted,and True Detectives. With his wife, the novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored the bestsellers Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. He is the author of numerous essays, short stories, scientific articles, two children's books, and three volumes of psychology, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children, as well as the lavishly illustrated With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award.



Monday, 27 February 2012

Louise Penny - Dead Cold




Dead Cold
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his officers have been called back to the town of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers, an extremely unpleasant woman, has been murdered in public at the height of a curling match. Figuring out how she was killed is as much a mystery as uncovering who killed her.

Penny's books are deceptive. On one hand, they seem a simple traditional mystery, set in a small town with lots of interesting, quirky characters, lots of suspects from which to choose and good twists and turns along the way. Penny does do dialogue well and her sense of place is evocative. But then there a second layer, hard to describe, but one I find makes me occasionally stop and think while reading and stays with me long after I've closed the book. Penny is one of those I can be being on my very short list of authors to re-read. Highly recommended. Dead Cold : Review - Winter Can Be Murder (Hardcover)

LOUISE PENNY is an award-winning journalist who worked for many years for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She lives in a small village south of Montréal where she writes, skis, and volunteers. Her bestselling first mystery, Still Life, was the winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards; and her second, A Fatal Grace, won the Agatha Award for Best Novel in 2008. Visit her website at www.louisepenny.com.
Readers of these books need to be aware that Dead Cold and A Fatal Grace are the same book

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Iain Edward Henn - The Delta Chain




The body of a young woman is washed ashore on a secluded beach. She does not fit the description of anyone on Missing Persons lists.

Fingerprints, dental records and DNA provide no leads. Detective Adam Bennett discovers a pattern of similar cases - unidentified bodies found along the coasts of Australia and the United States.

These are six young men and women who seem to have never existed.

When her brother meets a terrifying death in the wilderness, Kate Kovacs employs her IT skills to help track the killers. A baffling link is found between these two cases, leading Adam and Kate on a labyrinth trail to a scientific research center, to a Washington power elite, and to a secret reaching back over thirty years to a war-ravaged Vietnam.

Ruthless forces are gathering, determined to keep the secret hidden. Adam and Kate just became their targets...

THE DELTA CHAIN is a suspense thriller and an enigma with a scientific edge, combining murder and conspiracy that leads to an explosive climax.







The Delta Chain, was a Quarterfinalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award



Saturday, 25 February 2012

Gyles Brandreth - Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders



'A flight of imagination that partners Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle in a deadly pursuit to the heart of the Eternal City merits a round of applause for sheer chutzpah . . . Gyles Brandreth succeeds magnificently . . . The relationship between the two writers is drawn so convincingly, but there is also dialogue of the period without any Victorian heaviness and a plot that is intriguing throughout. Brandreth's research is impeccable. Literary and theological references merge easily into a skilfully crafted story that goes all the way to meet the standards set by his two eminent protagonists'
(Daily Mail )
'Brandreth has always delighted in puzzles, in the quirks of both the past and present, and in the gloriously camp wit of Oscar Wilde. Here all of these things come together in a story that reminds us how enjoyable a well-told traditional murder mystery can be'
(Scotsman )
Praise for the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries:

'Brandreth's portrait of Oscar Wilde is entirely plausible; plots are ingenious and the historical backgroud is fascinating'
(Scotsman )
'Hugely enjoyable'
(Daily Mail )

Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders




Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death  (Aka A Game Called murder)






Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders





Lionel Shriver - We need to talk about Kevin




Lionel Shriver - We need to talk about Kevin



The gripping international bestseller about motherhood gone awry



Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin's horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.





'an outstanding reading by Lorelei King who captures all the anger, shock, dismay - but never denial - that Eva Khatchadourian experiences when her 15-year-old son slays nine people at his high school. 'Gripping' is an over-used adjective - but not here, as Eva explores her feelings in a series of letters to the husband who hasn't lived with her since the day of the killings.' (Kati Nicholl DAILY EXPRESS )

'This icily forensic, deeply disturbing story takes the form of letters from the mother of a brilliant, evil, teenage murderer to her husband, recounting her prison visits and remembering the circumstances of his upbringing. Lorelei King is the queen of readers: she brings to this performance sharp intelligence and a perfect, weary restraint, building up to the fearsome denouement that freezes the blood.' (Sue Gaisford INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY )

'may work better as an abridged audiobook than as a novel. Some critics have said that Shriver overwrites but there doesn't seem to be a wasted word as Lorelei King narrates the harrowing tale of a 15-year-old archer who kills seven of his classmates.' (Christina Hardyment THE TIMES )

'Lorelei King is once again the consummate reader. There is no faulting her performance, as she brings every character to life, making you feel the horror that is central to this story.' (Emma Fisher OTTAKARS (staff review) )

'brilliant, especially Lorelei King's reading.' (Sue Arnold GUARDIAN )


 







The Movie – 80% by Rotten Tomatoes

A suspenseful and gripping psychological thriller, Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the factious relationship between a mother and her son. Tilda Swinton, in a bracing, tour-de-force performance, plays the mother, Eva, as she contends for 15 years with the increasing malevolence of her first-born child, Kevin (Ezra Miller). Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, We Need to Talk About Kevin explores nature vs. nurture on a whole new level as Eva's own culpability is measured against Kevin's innate evilness. -- (C) Oscilloscope


Friday, 24 February 2012

Carol O' Connell- Bone By Bone





Carol O' Connell- Bone By Bone



Carol O’Connell’s most recent Mallory novel, Find Me, was one of the most highly praised suspense novels of the year. “A terrific find: a tightly wrapped, expert combination of suspense, mystery and show-stopping character” (Janet Maslin of The New York Times); “yet another example of the spot-on talents of one of America’s finest writers of mysteries” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). In Bone by Bone, however, she may have written her most unforgettable novel yet.

In the northern California town of Coventry, two teenage brothers go into the woods one day, but only one comes back. No one knows what happened to the younger brother, Josh, until twenty years later, when the older brother, Oren, now an ex-investigator for the Army CID, returns to Coventry for the first time in many years. His first morning back, he hears a thump on the front porch. Lying in front of the door is a human jawbone, the teeth still intact. And it is not the first such object, his father tells him. Other remains have been left there as well. Josh is coming home . . . bone by bone.

Using all his investigative skills, Oren sets out to solve the mystery of his brother’s murder, but Coventry is a town full of secrets and secret-keepers: the housekeeper with the fugitive past, the deputy with the old grudge, the reclusive ex-cop from L.A., the woman with the title of town monster, and, not least of all, Oren himself. But the greatest secret of all belonged to his brother, and it is only by unraveling it that Oren can begin to discover the truth that has haunted them all for twenty years.

Written with the rich prose, resonant characters, and knife-edge suspense that have won the author so many fans, Bone by Bone is further proof that “O’Connell is one of the most poetic yet tough-minded writers of the genre” (San Francisco Chronicle).









The Help




Is there going to be an Oscar for The Help?

The Help stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen and Octavia Spencer as Minny-three very different, extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s, who build an unlikely friendship around a secret writing project that breaks societal rules and puts them all at risk. From their improbable alliance a remarkable sisterhood emerges, instilling all of them with the courage to transcend the lines that define them, and the realization that sometimes those lines are made to be crossed-even if it means bringing everyone in town face-to-face with the changing times. -- (C) DreamWorks

Rotten Tomatoes awards it 76% 

Watch the trailer here

In case you have not read the book



Ruth Rendell - The Rottweiler


Ruth Rendell  - The Rottweiler

(Not Camilla)

Product Description: The first victim had bite marks on her neck so the London papers nicknamed her killer, “the Rottweiler.” He has been stalking the small and diverse London community of Lisson Grove, where Inez Ferry runs an antique shop frequented by a motley collection of eccentric individuals.

When the Rottweiler’s trinkets start showing up in the shop, suddenly, everyone Inez knows is a suspect, and the killer feels all too close. Enthralling and deeply unsettling, The Rottweiler alternates expertly between the mind of a psychopath and the daily affairs of those living in his shadow. It is a transfixing mystery that only Ruth Rendell could write.





Thursday, 23 February 2012

Donna Morrissey - Kit's Law


Donna Morrissey -  Kit's Law

In this powerful debut novel from one of the most gifted storytellers to emerge from Canada since Carol Shields, we find “all the old-fashioned virtues: a vivid sense of place, an intricate and suspenseful plot, and a feisty heroine whom we can’t help rooting for on every page” (Margot Livesey).

Kit Pitman is fourteen and lives in a ramshackle cottage on the outer banks of Newfoundland, where isolation is all she knows. The only visitors are fogbound fishermen and an occasional young man brought ashore to keep the bloodlines clean. But Kit’s isolation is compounded by the mystery that surrounds her family and her illegitimate birth.

 Her mother, Josie, is mentally retarded and often runs wild among the clapboard houses that dot the shore. Meanwhile, her grandmother Lizzie staunchly guards them both from the disapproving glances pious townsfolk cast their way. But when Lizzie dies suddenly, Kit and her childlike mother are left vulnerable to life’s harsh realities and to unexpected dangers that repeatedly threaten to break them apart.

A wrenching story ensues, as Morrissey depicts with exceptional grace the way the lines between mother and daughter in this unlikely relationship, although blurred, are deeply felt. KIT'S LAW is a novel of extraordinary, almost mythical power and marks the debut of an enormous new talent.

Simon Kernick - Siege



Siege

London is under attack.

People are dead. Many more lives hang in the balance as a group of highly trained gunmen storm the historic Lanchester Hotel on Park Lane. The gunmen have given the government just five hours to meet their demands before they blow up the building. Shots ring out. Some guests panic. Others text their loved ones. Still more try to escape. All are united by one thing: fear for their lives. All   except one man who has information so dangerous that it must be kept safe   at any price. Darkness falls. The gunmen become increasingly violent. One question is in everybody's minds.
Will they survive the night?
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Wednesday, 22 February 2012

David Ellis - In the Company of Liars





In the Company of Liars is a truly original thriller, strikingly fresh and unpredictable. Told in chronological reverse, from its enigmatic end to its brilliant beginning, the novel is centered on a woman who is on trial for murder-Allison Pagone, a mother caught between competing forces, each represented by someone who may not care if the pressure kills her in the end. A prosecutor wants Allison convicted and put on death row. An FBI agent believes she can squeeze her into ratting on her family. A daughter and an ex-husband need to save their own skins. And circling them all: a group who would prefer to eliminate her quietly and anonymously, but who also are not what they seem.

Our first picture of Allison is in the moments following her death. The story then moves backward in time like the cult film Memento: an hour earlier, then the day before, back and back to the beginning, until we can see what's really happened-and, most shocking, what hasn't. At every turn, Allison Pagone knows that what she sees may not be what's real. The only sure thing is her place in a vortex of half-truths, threats, and suspicion. When her nightmare is over, will she awake in the company of friends -or in the company of liars?

If you are like me, you enjoy mysteries that challenge the little grey cells (as Hercule Poirot was so fond of saying). Having heard that David Ellis had written his latest novel in reverse chronological order, I felt like a worthy challenge had arrived.

While many books use flashbacks, this one goes in reverse chronology (and uses flashbacks). So you have to be nimble-minded.

If you are like me, you will continually make assumptions about what's going on that are wrong. One of the pleasures of this book is that the reverse chronology makes for many more plot complications . . . which, for me, kept the story fresher and more unexpected.

So how do you review a book written in reverse chronology . . . very carefully!

I suspect that the most I can do is to describe some of the key characters . . . rather than give you a sense of the plot. You'll just have to unravel the plot on your own. Beware of any reviews that give you plot details . . . they are, by definition, spoilers!

Allison Pagone is a best-selling novelist of detective stories who is also a lawyer who formerly worked as a public defender. She is recently divorced from her ex-husband, Mat, who is a political lobbyist in their state's capitol. They have a daughter, Jessica, who a college student working part-time for another lobbyist, Sam Dillon, who is a friend of Allison's and Mat's.

Since this is a mystery, you have representatives of law and order (deputy investigator Jodie Griggs, detective Joe Czerwonka, special agents Jane McCoy, Owen Harrick and Irv Sheils from the bureau, county attorney Elliot Raycroft and the prosecutor, Roger Ogren) and those who defend the innocent (attorneys Paul Riley and Ron McGaffrey).

Naturally, there are journalists (such as Larry Evans) and various mysterious people outside of the Pagones' lives (such as
Doctor Neil Lomas, a brilliant drug researcher, and Ram Haroon, a suspicious exchange student). These characters spice up the story much more than you would expect.

One of the pleasures of reading the book is that Mr. Ellis does a nice job of both misdirection . . . and giving you clues to overcome the misdirection. So if two things don't make sense together, assume that there are other shoes to drop in the past.

Some will grade this book down because it takes 100 pages or so before you begin to see the beauty of the story. Be patient if you are not thrilled while you first read the book . . . it will get a lot better before you get to the beginning (or the end, if you prefer).

This book will most appeal to those who have enjoyed plays like Sleuth.

I envy you for having this wonderful reading experience ahead of you.

I hope that Mr. Ellis will provide us with another of these gems soon.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bill Wasik - And Then There's This




Then There’s This



Breaking news, fresh gossip, tiny scandals, trumped-up crises-every day we are distracted by a culture that rings our doorbell and runs away. Stories spread wildly and die out in mere days, to be replaced by still more stories with ever shorter life spans.



Through the Internet the news cycle has been set spinning even faster now that all of us can join the fray: anyone on a computer can spread a story almost as easily as The New York Times, CNN, or People. As media amateurs grow their audience, they learn to think like the pros, using the abundant data that the Internet offers-hit counters, most e-mailed lists, YouTube views, download tallies-to hone their own experiments in viral blowup.



Monday, 20 February 2012

Ken McClure - Wildcard


Ken McClure  - Wildcard
Product Description: Steven Dunbar's latest and most deadly case...When a killer virus appears, there are no obvious connections between the victims. The solution is unbelievable, yet all-too-possible When a traveller dies on a flight back to London from Africa, bleeding profusely, the Ebola virus is blamed. Steven Dunbar of the Sci-Med Directorate investigates and discovers that this outbreak cannot be blamed on Ebola, and that others, completely unrelated to the first victim, are falling ill and dying. Somewhere there is a link. Somehow the wild cards are related.
As more and more people fall ill and die throughout the British Isles in the run-up to Christmas, politicians equivocate and scientists attempt to find a seemingly impossible answer. Steven questions his own belief in medicine and in his role as a doctor. Gradually, the truth becomes clearer...it is terrifying and unbelievable.

Ken McClure - Hypocrites' Isle




The most frightening thing is that research scientist McClure makes it utterly believable' - The Scotsman.

Dr Frank Simmons works in the University of Edinburgh's medical school. One of his PhD students, brilliant loner Gavin, announces his intention to find a cure for cancer and actually makes a major breakthrough. Oddly, no one seems to be interested and a picture emerges of a cancer research industry caught in a desperate paradox: it can only justify its existence by not curing cancer.Disinterest soon turns to open warfare as pressure is put on Simmons and Gavin's work is sabotaged.

A truly compelling story with superb dialogue and thought-provoking ideas.

Ken McClure is the internationally bestselling author of over twenty medical thrillers such as Eye of the Raven, The Gulf Conspiracy, White Death and Dust to Dust. His books have been translated into twenty-five languages and he has earned a reputation for the accuracy of his predicitions. McClure's work is informed by his background as an award-winning research scientist with the UK's Medical Research Council.

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J D Robb – Celebrity in Death


J D Robb – Celebrity in Death
Lieutenant Eve Dallas is no party girl, but she's managing to have a reasonably good time at the celebrity-packed bash celebrating The Icove Agenda, a film based on one of her famous cases. It's a little spooky seeing the actress playing her, who looks almost like her long-lost twin. Not as unsettling, though, as seeing the actress who plays Peabody drowned in the lap pool on the roof of the director's luxury building. Now she's at the center of a crime scene-and Eve is more than ready to get out of her high heels and strap on her holster and step into the role she was born to play: cop.
J.D. Robb is the pseudonym for a number one New York Times bestselling author (Nora Roberts)  of more than 190 novels, including the futuristic suspense In Death series. There are more than 400 million copies of her books in print.


Helen Dunmore -The Greatcoat


A terrifyingly atmospheric ghost story by the Orange-prize-winning Helen Dunmore.

In the summer of 1954, newly wed Isabel Carey arrives in a Yorkshire town with her husband Philip. As a GP he spends much of his time working, while Isabel tries hard to adjust to the realities of married life. Life is not easy: she feels out-of-place and constantly judged by the people around her, so she spends much of her time alone.

One cold winter night, Isabel finds an old RAF greatcoat in the back of a cupboard that she uses to help keep warm. Once wrapped in the coat she is beset by dreams. And not long afterwards, while her husband is out, she is startled to hear a knock at her window, and to meet for the first time the intense gaze of a young Air Force pilot, handsome, blond and blue-eyed, staring in at her from outside.

His name is Alec, and his powerfully haunting presence both disturbs and excites Isabel. Her initial alarm soon fades, and they begin a delicious affair. But nothing could have prepared her for the truth about Alec's life, nor the impact it will have on her own marriage.


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Charlie Newton - Start Shooting




The best way I can describe the Four Corners neighbor­hood of Chicago is find a length of rebar, scratch a big cross into the concrete, set your feet solid in the quadrant you like best, lean back, and start shooting.”

Officer Bobby Vargas is hard-edged but idealistic, a Chicago cop who stands at the epicenter of a subterranean plot that will have horrific ramifications for both himself and the entire city. Twenty-five years earlier, a gruesome murder rocked the unforgiving streets of Four Corners. Now, sud­denly, a dying Chicago paper is running a serial exposé on new evidence in that old case, threatening to implicate Bobby and his older brother, Ruben—a decorated, high-ranking detective and cop- prince of the streets. The smear campaign stirs up decades-old bad blood, leading the Vargas brothers down an increasingly twisted and terrifying path, where the sins of the past threaten to destroy what remains of the truth.

As readers and critics discovered in his first novel, Calumet City, Charlie Newton’s Chicago is a landscape as brutal and poignant as any in modern crime fiction—a multi-faceted, shockingly violent labyrinth of gangland politics, political backstabbing, corporate malfeasance, and, possi­bly, hope. Start Shooting is a riveting read.
Can’t get enough of Chicago? The most dynamic character in Charlie Newton’s…terrific [START SHOOTING] is the Windy City--the down and dirty side of it, anyway…the voices reverberate in your ears, and the smell of gunfire lingers long after the last man is down.” New York Times Book Review

“The vision of Chicago in this firecracker crime novel is one teeming with violence and venality, where
Al Capone has been replaced by gangbangers and authorities are far from untouchable…his lit-fuse urgency hits you right in the gut.” Entertainment Weekly

"Charlie Newton is the real goods, delivering bare-knuckles crime fiction with life-or-death action, visceral language, and characters whose flaws and humanity pull us into his cops-and-crime landscape. I was completely won over. Start Shooting is a superb balance between adrenaline and pathos." -- Robert Crais, New York Times bestselling author of The Sentry

"[Charlie] Newton’s books, all set in Chicago, are full of startling things — shocking plot turns, indelible characters, brutal violence alternating with moments of strange beauty and desperate tenderness." -- Chicago Sun-Times

Doing for the Windy City what The Wire did for Baltimore and James Ellroy's novels did for Los Angeles, [Start Shooting] uncovers with sardonic intensity the deep and seemingly irreversible connections between crime, politics, business and tabloid journalism….[Charlie] Newton delivers [a] thrilling, densely packed novel that makes most Chicago crime thrillers seem tame.” Kirkus (starred review)

"A vast cast of characters, many deeply evil; numerous subplots...; copious violence and car chases; a granular look at the city; and a writing style that might be called fever dream....Arleen and Bobby are wonderfully realized characters, and the beyond-frenzied action is certainly hypnotic. Newton has created the writerly equivalent of every great Chicago bluesman who ever lived playing together; all soloing simultaneously. It might be messy, but you wouldn't want to miss a single note."--Booklist (starred review)

"Charlie Newton bar none is the most talented new voice of noir. Start Shooting had me on the edge of my seat for hours: dark, chilling, gripping, clever...Raymond Chandler would be proud."--Andrew F. Gulli, The Strand Magazine
CHARLIE NEWTON’S first novel, Calumet City, was a finalist for the Edgar, International Thriller Writers, and Macavity awards, among others. This is his second novel.

RD Zimmerman – Hostage


RD Zimmerman – Hostage
Product Description:
It's the coup of his career--until the unthinkable happens.
Todd Mills, Minneapolis's only openly gay journalist, is getting ready for what promises to be an explosive television event: an exclusive interview with Congressman Johnny Clariton, a conservative whose vehement opposition to gay rights and AIDS research has fueled his rapid political ascent.
But coup turns to chaos when Todd's interview is abruptly ended by three gun-wielding kidnappers--an unlikely trio of domestic terrorists in the final stages of AIDS. With Todd as their conduit to a global audience, the abductors are willing to risk what's left of their lives to give violent expression to their AIDS rage.Their goal: to make the world know what it's like to live--and die--with AIDS.
Their weapons: a video camera, a hostage, and a syringe full of blood.While the increasingly desperate events play out on television for the world to see, Todd's relationship with homicide investigator Steve Rawlins is dragged into the fray, throwing the unsuspecting Rawlins--still grieving over the recent end of his closest friend's long struggle with AIDS--on a collision course with the kidnappers.
 And as television reporter, cop, and the FBI all continue their hunt for the terrorists, the tension builds to a heart-wrenching, tragic climax.
Unsettling, unpredictable and unapologetic, Hostage is Zimmerman's darkest and most suspenseful tale yet, a bold step forward for this acclaimed and widely popular series.
Under the pen name of Robert Alexander, Zimmerman's novels include The New York Times bestseller, The Kitchen Boy, and his latest, When Dad Came Back As My Dog. For more info on the author, visit: www.robertalexanderbooks.com