I had so much fun doing Top 5 Tuesday last week that I decided to try it again. This weekly book blogging “meme” is hosted by Shanah at Bionic Book Worm.
This week’s theme is all about sequels I want to read. I’m not a huge series reader, but I enjoy a good sequel from time to time.
1. “The Angel of Darkness (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler #2)” by Caleb Carr
In The Angel of Darkness, Caleb Carr brings back the vivid world of his bestselling The Alienist but with a twist: this story is told by the former street urchin Stevie Taggert, whose rough life has given him wisdom beyond his years. Thus New York City, and the groundbreaking alienist Dr. Kreizler himself, are seen anew.
It is June 1897. A year has passed since Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a pioneer in forensic psychiatry, tracked down the brutal serial killer John Beecham with the help of a team of trusted companions and a revolutionary application of the principles of his discipline. Kreizler and his friends–high-living crime reporter John Schuyler Moore; indomitable, derringer-toting Sara Howard; the brilliant (and bickering) detective brothers Marcus and Lucius Isaacson; powerful and compassionate Cyrus Montrose; and Stevie Taggert, the boy Kreizler saved from a life of street crime–have returned to their former pursuits and tried to forget the horror of the Beecham case. But when the distraught wife of a Spanish diplomat begs Sara’s aid, the team reunites to help find her kidnapped infant daughter. It is a case fraught with danger, since Spain and the United States are on the verge of war.
Once again, Caleb Carr proves his brilliant ability to re-create the past, both high life and low. As the horror unfolds, Delmonico’s still serves up wondrous meals, and a summer trip to the elegant gambling parlors of Saratoga provides precious keys to the murderer’s past. At the same time, we go on revealing journeys into Stevie’s New York, a place where poor and neglected children–then as now–turn to crime and drugs at shockingly early ages. Peppered throughout are characters taken from real life and rendered with historical vigor, including suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton; painter Albert Pinkham Ryder; and Clarence Darrow, who thunders for the defense in a tense courtroom drama during which the sanctity of American motherhood itself is put on trial. Fast-paced and chilling, The Angel of Darkness is a tour de force, a novel of modern evil in old New York.
The sequel to “The Alienist,” which was adapted for TV last year, is a whopping 752 pages long. “The Alienist” weighed in at a mere (by comparison) 498 pages! Wow. That’s OK, though. If “The Angel of Darkness” is anywhere near as good as its predecessor, I’m in for a treat. I bought a copy last fall but haven’t read it yet. I was very impressed with the TV version of “The Alienist,” so I’m excited that a miniseries for “The Angel of Darkness” is in the works now.
2. “Lost Roses” by Martha Hall Kelly
The runaway bestseller Lilac Girls introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. This sweeping new novel, set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I.
It is 1914 and the world has been on the brink of war so many times, many New Yorker’s treat the subject with only passing interest. Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanov’s. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. Now Eliza embarks on the trip of a lifetime, home with Sofya to see the splendors of Russia. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia’s Imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller’s daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya’s letters suddenly stop coming she fears the worst for her best friend.
From the turbulent streets of St. Petersburg to the avenues of Paris and the society of fallen Russian emigre’s who live there, the lives of Eliza, Sofya, and Varinka will intersect in profound ways, taking readers on a breathtaking ride through a momentous time in history.
I know, I know. This is technically a prequel. I’m bending the rules a bit, but like I said, most of the books I read are stand-alones. Plus, I’m currently reading “Lilac Girls” so I couldn’t resist giving this one a nod.
“Lilac Girls” is SO GOOD, by the way. I’m sure I’ll write a review once I can finally finish the book. I’m “enjoying” it (as much as you can enjoy a book about the horrors of World War II), but it’s a heavy read.
3. “A Daring Escape (London Chronicles #2)” by Tricia Goyer
At the height of World War II, American Amity Mitchell is living a comfortable life abroad as a tutor in England. But that changes when an urgent telegram arrives from her brother, Andrew, summoning her to Prague. Andrew’s efforts to help Jewish children escape Czechoslovakia have grown desperate as Nazi forces tighten their grip on the country. Amity knows she can’t ignore God’s call to join Andrew in coming to the children’s aid.
Amity’s boss, Clark, follows her to Prague to urge her to return but soon finds himself helping the Mitchell siblings prepare Kindertransports bound for the safety of England while threats of German occupation escalate. As Amity and Clark race to save innocent lives, God is drawing them closer to each other.
A Daring Escape is a gripping tale of hope, self-sacrifice, and the power of unrelenting love to overcome unspeakable hate.
The sequel to “A Secret Courage” introduces us to a new set of characters. I’m fascinated by stories of heroism in the face of the Nazi Party’s destruction, so I guess I should add “A Daring Escape” to my ever-growing TBR list!
4. “The Stolen Girls (D.I. Lottie Parker #2)” by Patricia Gibney
The young woman standing on Lottie’s step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. ‘Help me,’ she said to Lottie. ‘Please help me.’
One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend.
Could this be the same girl?
When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.
Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim?
It’s only been two years since the first book in the Lottie Parker series, “The Missing Ones,” was released. So imagine my surprise when I found that there are now six books in the series! I read “The Missing Ones” around the time I experienced major blogging burnout, so I didn’t bother write a review. But I do remember being haunted by the story long after I finished it. I wouldn’t mind reading the rest of Gibney’s work.
5. “The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2)” by Graeme Simsion
The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Rosie Project, starring the same extraordinary couple now living in New York and unexpectedly expecting their first child. Get ready to fall in love all over again.
Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they’re about to face a new challenge because – surprise – Rosie is pregnant.
Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.
As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia to reconcile, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business, and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him the most.
Graeme Simsion first introduced these unforgettable characters in The Rosie Project, which NPR called “sparkling entertainment along the lines of Where’d You Go Bernadette and When Harry Met Sally.” The San Francisco Chronicle said, “sometimes you just need a smart love story that will make anyone, man or woman, laugh out loud.” If you were swept away by the book that’s captivated a million readers worldwide, you will love The Rosie Effect.
The follow-up to Graeme Simsion’s runaway hit “The Rosie Project” surely will have the same kind of smack-myself-in-the-forehead and belly-laugh moments. It sounds like some of the same supporting characters have returned, with Dave the Baseball Fan playing a more prominent role now that he and Don are now living in the same city. And of course Gene had to tag along. *eyeroll*
I didn’t have strong feelings one way or another toward “The Rosie Project” — honestly, I doubt I would have ever read it had it not been a book club pick — but I liked the characters enough that I’d like to catch up with them for “The Rosie Effect” and “The Rosie Result.”
Have you read any of these sequels? If so, what did you think? What sequels are on your list?