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October 7, 2010 Edition

Waking the Witch, by Kelley Armstrong, read by Johanna Parker


Whether you’re an established fan of Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series or a new reader, this cross between fantasy and mystery might be just the thing. When Savannah Levine’s family leaves town for vacation, the 21-year old stretches her wings. She takes a half-demon private investigator up on his job offer and heads to Portland, where three murders have been committed. There are signs that the dead women have been murdered in an occult ritual, and Savannah, whose birth parents were a witch and a sorcerer, thinks she has the right skills to find the murderer. But when he… or she… kills again, Savannah wonders if she’s in over her head.

The Gates, by John Connolly, read by Jonathan Cake


In this Halloween story for grownups, 11-year old Samuel is a little early for trick-or-treating, but he’s out trying for candy with his dachshund, Boswell, anyway, when he sees something he’s not supposed to see. The new neighbors at 666 Crowley Street have, with a little help from the fortuitously-timed start-up of the CERN hadron collider, created a tiny gateway into hell, and suddenly, there’s a demon lord named Nurd running around the neighborhood. Connolly plays this for laughs, but there’s a nice undercurrent of shivers to be had in this laugh-out-loud story of a boy, his dog, and the demon who wants to rule earth.

The Lost Prophecies, by the Medieval Murderers, read by Paul Matthews


This collection of six “acts”, each written by a different member of the Medieval Murderers’ writing group (all well-known British mystery writers in their own right), revolves around The Black Book of Bran. Bran is an infant when he is found washed ashore in Ireland in 574. Raised by the church, he becomes a monk and a scholar but spends hours writing doom-filled prophecies which his superiors deem evil and demonic. But as the book makes its way down through the ages, it becomes associated with dire happenings and violent ends to all who encounter it: in one story, priests rediscover the book, catch “gold fever” and go on a killing spree, and in a story set in 2135, an apocalyptic end to the world becomes inevitable when the book resurfaces.

The Wolf at the Door, by Jack Higgins, read by Michael Page


Someone is picking off members of Sean Dillon’s elite intelligence unit and while Dillon thinks he knows who it is, proving it is going to be tough. Readers of Higgins past adventures won’t find as much of Dillon and friends as they may hope, but the tradeoff is the introduction of a new character to the group. New readers may find themselves wanting a little more background, but that will just whet their appetites for other titles. The majority of this novel focuses on the assassin himself, taken from a Russian prison and primed for a deadly mission in this fast-paced thriller.

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