If you missed “Black-Eyed Susans” when it appeared last July, you have a second chance with the paperback edition of the suspenseful, big-buzz suspense thriller by Julia Heaberlin (Ballantine, $16, 368 pages). The former journalist used her research and reporting chops for the forensic science thread that runs through the story, and the complicated bureaucracy of death-penalty appeals.
Which only add to the drama of the story of a teen girl who’s the sole survivor of an attack by a serial killer. Her court testimony helps put him on death row, but how accurate is it? Now it’s 20 years later and his execution is weeks away when Tessa Cartwright thinks she may have helped convict an innocent man. Her realization is based on a not-so-subtle “reminder” of the horror she survived – a message only the serial killer himself (or herself?) would have delivered. If so, does he plan to resume where he left off?
Catch as catch can
As baseball season slides into first, what better time for Richard Macaluso of El Dorado Hills to release “From Buck to Pudge: The Evolution of Baseball’s Catcher’s Mitt 1888-2015” (Second Page, $30, 168 pages)? The former CalTrans traffic engineer has “researched and collected catchers mitts and San Francisco Giants artifacts” for more than three decades, he said. Some of the mitts from his collection of 150 are now in the Giants memorabilia display area at Raley Field. Find the book at the Raley Field Store and online at www.createspace.com and www.amazon.com.
A few good reads
Walter Mosley takes a break from his “Leonid McGill” series, set in New York, and returns to his L.A. roots with the 14th Easy Rawlins novel, “Charcoal Joe” (Doubleday, $27, 320 pages). After opening a detective agency and finally proposing to his girlfriend, life in the late 1960s is looking up for Easy. Then his murderous friend Mouse shows up with a case that can only mean trouble. Mosley has appeared for the Bee Book Club.
Another Bee Book Club veteran is Sophie Kinsella, best known for her eight-title “Shopaholic” series. She departs with “Finding Audrey,” a young-adult novel about a teen girl whose “anxiety disorder” makes life a challenge for her and her family (Ember, $10, 286 pages). Then she meets Linus, who becomes her guide on the road to recovery.
“Fastpitch: The Untold History of Softball and the Women Who Made the Game” by Erica Westly traces the history of the team sport, which is steeped in drama (Touchstone, $26, 304 pages).