Dave White's debut kicks ass and takes names as he introduces the Jackson Donne series about a widower PI who drinks too much and often is on the receiving end of a punch. This first installment begins when Donne's friend is a victim of a hit and run, setting off a chain of events that turn Donne's world upside down. The characters are flawed yet likable, none are all good or all bad, which I find interesting. He's not afraid to take risks, giving the characters less-than-honorable traits and breaking the mold of a typical PI novel. White is a great writer and a master plotter and something tells me, he can only get better.
Sakey's second novel blew me away and although it won't be out until January 22, it should be the first book you pick up in 2008, and I'm not just saying that. Discharged soldier, Jason Palmer, returns from Iraq to find a similar war raging in his south side Chicago neighborhood. When his brother is murdered, it is up to Jason to deliver justice, protect his nephew, and to grow up and be a man. It's gritty, suspenseful, and contains great social commentary on Chicago and the world at large.
Laura Caldwell got her start in Chick-Lit, inched toward Romantic Suspense, and although The Good Liar does revolve around a relationship, she has definitely crossed into the realm of espionage and international thriller. After a recent divorce, Kate Livingston didn't think she'd fall in love again so quickly. But when her friend Liza sets her up with a colleague, just to take her mind off her ex, they hit it off immediately and end up getting married. At first, the rush and spontaneity is romantic, but soon Kate realizes her husband isn't exactly who he seems, and neither is her friend. Another solid read, Caldwell kept me glued to my seat and flying through the pages, not letting up until the very end.