Ellen Heltzel: Great Summer Reads

Ellen Heltzel, Book Critic and author of "Between the Covers," joined us with her picks for the best summer reads:

STIEG LARSSON LOOKALIKES: The success of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and its sequels has sent the Swedish crime novel craze into overdrive. These two lead the pack.

"The Snowman," by Jo Nesbo -- A serial killer is on the loose, leaving a snowman (it's Sweden, after all) as his calling card. Police investigator Harry Hole not only has the instincts to crack the case, but the brooding detective persona that is a standard feature of the crime genre in Scandinavia.

"The Hypnotist," by Lars Kepler -- Here we have a fast-paced thriller in which a doctor and a detective are brought together after a man and his family are brutally slaughtered. The doc reluctantly hypnotizes the surviving son to find out what happened, and that's just the start of his road down a dark tunnel toward solving the crime.

CIVIL WAR REMEMBERED: It's the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the most critical event in U.S. history since the country's founding. Read up!
"1861: The Civil War Awakening," by Adam Goodheart -- Historian and journalist Goodheart uses his book to argue that ending slavery, not just saving the Union, was a major catalyst for the conflict from the get-go. His focus, more cultural than military, should please history buffs of all kinds.

LOCAL FLAVOR: Things really do look different here.
"The Oregon Experiment," by Keith Scribner -- Oregon State University prof Scribner brings an outsider's take on rural Oregon with this story of a couple who relocates to a small town and gets involved with an anarchist. If you liked "Twin Peaks," this one's for you.

"Turn of Mind," by Alice LaPlante --
 Some murders are so forgettable... especially if you have Alzheimer's. A retired woman surgeon grapples with the possibility that she killed her best friend.

For more information about Ellen Heltzel, check out this website.


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