Category Archives: Orange

Orange

Suzanne Adair. Regulated for Murder.[United States: CreateSpace], 2011.

It’s 1781 in Wilmington, North Carolina, and Lieutenant Michael Stoddard has just kicked down the door of a traitorous land agent named Horatio Bowater, when his commanding officer abruptly pulls him away. Michael is furious, especially since his role as chief investigating officer will now go to his young assistant, but Major Craig is adamant that he needs Stoddard for something else. Unfortunately, Michael’s new mission is that of a lowly courier: Craig wants him to deliver a message to a man working for Lord Cornwallis in Hillsborough, far away from the bustling seaport of Wilmington. So Stoddard reluctantly disguises himself for the dangerous journey across a colony in the throes of a revolution. But this mission will be far less simple, and far more perilous, than he thought.

When Michael arrives in Orange County, he finds the man he’s supposed to meet, a Mr. Griggs, has been murdered. More than that, the county sheriff is a corrupt and devious man, and he’s bent on finding out who Michael is and why he has come to Hillsborough. Michael takes refuge with a local woman and her daughter, posing as a nephew, but he doesn’t have much time to find out what happened to Griggs before the sheriff discovers his true identity. Unfortunately, an old nemesis picks this as the perfect time to come to town: the sadistic Duncan Fairfax of His Majesty’s Seventeenth Light Dragoons. The last time they met, Stoddard barely escaped with his life…and Fairfax remembers him all too well. Will Michael solve Griggs’s murder and avoid his own?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill library catalog.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Adair, Suzanne, Coast, Historical, New Hanover, Orange, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

Scott Nicholson. Chronic Fear. Las Vegas, NV: Thomas & Mercer, 2011.

After the death of Dr. Sebastian Briggs, the cohort of strangers and old friends who survived the murderous events at the Monkey House try to go back to their old lives, but with little success. Roland and Wendy flee to the Blue Ridge Mountains, looking for some peace. Psychologically ruined Anita and David undergo extreme medical treatment, though with little hope for recovery. Senator Burchfield heads back to Washington, DC, intent on making a run for the presidency. Mark and Alexis Morgan return to their marriage, and while Mark is understandably fired from CRO for destroying their pet project, Alexis continues to conduct research at UNC.

But some people aren’t content to let Halcyon, a calming drug meant to cure PTSD, live on in memory alone–or its rage-inducing counterpart, Seethe. Although Alexis would prefer to forget everything, she can’t. Mark, who had never been exposed to Seethe before, has reacted badly to the dose from the Monkey House. He’s become unpredictable, prone to violent outbursts, and has developed a paranoid obsession with firearms. Quietly, Alexis has begun attempting to revive Halcyon, the only thing that can tame the Seethe left in Mark’s system. And someone has noticed. Alexis receives a chilling phone call at her campus office: Surely you didn’t think we could let you live, after what happened?

Soon, the survivors from the Monkey House are embroiled in a second fight to keep Seethe and Halcyon out of government hands, a race that takes them all across the Old North State. As before, their worst enemy isn’t the CIA, NCS, or even the greedy Senator Burchfield, but the darkness that Seethe brings to the surface in every human being it touches. How will they survive the Monkey House when the Monkey House is all around them?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library’s catalog.

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Mountains, Nicholson, Scott, Orange, Piedmont

Scott Nicholson. Liquid Fear. Las Vegas, NV: Thomas & Mercer, 2011.

Halcyon is rumored to be a miracle drug–a cure-all for post-traumatic stress disorder. Inducing a state of calm amnesia, the drug helps people completely forget their fears. Those afflicted with PTSD, most notably veterans from the recent wars, will finally be able to lead normal lives. But the research process behind the medication is shadowy and filled with terrible secrets.

Dr. Sebastian Briggs, Halcyon’s inventor, was a respected professional conducting his research at UNC. During trials, the accidental death of Susan Sharpe, an undergraduate test subject, forced the university to let him go, but Briggs refused to stop testing. The scientist’s obsessive, sadistic nature pushed him to continue for his own evil enjoyment, and besides, powerful people were willing to fund his work. Briggs sets up a new lab in nearby Research Triangle Park, and gives it a sinister nickname: the Monkey House. What he does there is anyone’s guess. His funders, sensing major returns, make sure they don’t look too closely at his methods.

But what these powerful, wealthy benefactors don’t realize is that Briggs developed another drug alongside the calming Halcyon– a pill that strips away everything that makes a person human, bringing about a state of complete and total animal fear and anger. Briggs called it Seethe, and unbeknownst to UNC, he was testing this drug when Susan’s death occurred.

Ten years later, Briggs’s other test subjects, also students at the time, find themselves struggling to control their behavior. Each person finds a mysterious bottle of pills among his or her belongings, cryptically labeled take every 4 hours, or else. Somehow, all paths lead back to Dr. Briggs and his fateful experiments, and soon each is drawn to the Monkey House. They come to get answers about troubling memories that seem to stem from nowhere–Was Susan’s death really an accident? Is one of them responsible? What are the pills for? Most importantly, why are they still being affected? But Sebastian Briggs isn’t interested in providing explanations. In fact, he has one final test in mind: put his old subjects in the Monkey House, inject them with the deadly Seethe, and watch. After the lights go out, who will emerge alive?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library’s catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Horror, Nicholson, Scott, Orange, Piedmont, Suspense/Thriller

Alan Thompson. A Hollow Cup. Livermore, CA: Wingspan Press, 2011.

Lilah Freedman, a young woman involved in the civil rights movements in the small North Carolina town of New Hope in 1966, was brutally murdered one night after a protest at the local university. The white man originally accused of her murder was never convicted and a great deal of mystery and racial tension has surrounded this cold case ever since. Now, in 1991, a State attorney thinks he has enough evidence for a surprising new indictment, throwing the small town into an uproar once again. Pete Johnson and Luke Stanley, two attorneys sharing a past with each other, Lilah Freedman, and New Hope, return seeking closure and redemption in their own lives. Pete, having watched an unfairly convicted client of his go to his death, is disillusioned with the justice system. Luke Stanley, having spent his life fighting for racial integration in Chicago, seeks to bring that battle to his home town.

A complex novel that often switches perspective to give the reader a chance at glimpsing the world through a variety of eyes and opinions, A Hollow Cup travels back and forth in time between the youth of these main characters in the 1960s and their actions in the present day of 1991, illustrating the racial division and tension of each time. Alan Thompson’s readers will enjoy the geographical treasure hunt as the author describes his characters’ forays throughout the fictional town of New Hope, which bears a great many similarities to Chapel Hill.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

1 Comment

Filed under 2010-2019, 2011, Historical, Mystery, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Orange, Piedmont, Thompson, Alan

Warren Rochelle. The Called. Urbana, IL: Golden Gryphon Press, 2010.

At the end of Harvest of Changelings, the tetrad of Hazel, Malachi, Jeff, and Russell crossed over into Faerie after defeating the Fomorii.  As this new novel opens, Malachi and Hazel go back to earth, along with two other magicals, Ben and Larissa.  Malachi and Hazel settle in the Triangle, a center of the magical rights movement. Malachi becomes a champion of the magicals, defending them in the media and in his community against the prejudice that is developing against them.  That prejudice is stoked on by undercover members of the Fomorii who are using unsuspecting human allies.

The Fomorii have plans to capture the magicals, and when they kidnap Malachi, Jeff and Russell return to earth to help Hazel find her husband.  But the Fomoriis’ diabolical scheme extends to humans as well, as they foment the overthrow of state governments and the federal government (headed by President Gore).  The action in the novel moves across the state, from Cherokee to Manteo, but some of the most gripping scenes take place on or near the UNC campus, where Malachi is held prisoner beneath Gimghoul Castle.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Coast, Orange, Piedmont, Rochelle, Warren, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Michele Young-Stone.The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors. New York: Shaye Areheart Books, 2010.

New York City is a place where young people go to leave their pasts and make their futures. Two of those young people–Becca Burke and Buckley Pitank–have something unusual in common–both are lightning strike survivors. Buckley survived a strike that killed his mother; Becca herself was directly hit.  This novel tells how these two young people moved forward, making sense of both these capricious acts of nature and the man-made cruelties in their lives.

It is Becca’s story that will most interest the readers of this blog. Becca grows up in Chapel Hill, the daughter of a philandering chemist (from the best of families) and a woman who drowns her sorrow in drink. As her parents’ marriage disintegrates, Becca also has to cope with the standard work of childhood and adolescence–making friends, learning how to fit in, navigating the alluring temptations of the high school years. Even after she moves to New York, Becca still has things to learn, but she does, and her relationship with Buckley and the people in his life help with that.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Orange, Piedmont, Young-Stone, Michele

Nic Brown. Doubles. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2010.

“Slow” Smith put his doubles tennis career on hold when his beloved wife, Anne, fell into a coma a few months ago. Her condition is the result of a terrible car accident for which Slow feels great guilt. The brake pedal that he had installed earlier in the day failed, and he blames himself for the wreck and the death of their unborn child. When Manny, his old tennis coach, comes to Chapel Hill to coerce him into playing at Forest Hills, Slow is forced back into the game. He is also pushed to face some harsh realities about his most significant relationships.

In New York, Slow reunites with Kaz, his longtime doubles partner. Although they are masters at their sport, beating such greats as Federer and Agassi, they are little known because in the hierarchies of their sport. Slow and Kaz are doubles, not singles, players, and therefore enjoy little renown. Still, they want to keep a high ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) rank, so they must continue to win matches. During this tournament, Slow learns that Kaz and Anne had an affair months before the accident. With the knowledge of the indiscretion by his two most trusted friends, Slow is confused and bitter. When Anne wakes up eighteen months after the accident, he cannot ignore his feelings and requests a divorce. Although he and Anne eventually reconcile, Slow is forever haunted by the painful actions of the people he loves most. Nic Brown shows that relationships, like life, are fragile.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Brown, Nic, Chatham, Orange, Piedmont

Leah Stewart. Husband and Wife. New York: Harper, 2010.

Sarah Price has just learned that the novel her husband (whom she has been with for ten years) is about to publish is truth rather than fiction. Unfortunately for Sarah, the title of his new book is Infidelity, and his own cheating behavior was the inspiration for the story. Sarah’s life is turned upside-down. At 35, she is the mother of two – a three year old girl and an infant son – and the breadwinner of the family. Before Sarah and Nathan moved from Austin to Chapel Hill, the couple had been free-spirited artists who avoided conventionality. However, with two children, a mortgage, a car payment, and extensive credit card debt, Sarah had to give up her dream of being a poet to get a “real job.” As Nathan admits, part of what attracted him to the other woman was her unconventionality. She reminded him of the old Sarah, who was pre-children and preferred The Last Picture Show to Spider Man 2.

None of Nathan explanations do anything to make Sarah feel better about the situation. At first, she thinks that they can make it work as long as the book, sure to be a bestseller, does not get published. Publication would make them the subject of others’ speculation, which would be humiliating. However, knowing that her husband has been with another woman zaps Sarah’s confidence, and she begins to fall apart. She stops eating, snaps at her daughter, and leaves the house in the middle of the night to speed on the interstate. Sarah’s personality alternates rapidly: at various times she is a petulant toddler, a self-conscious teenager, or a distraught woman going through a mid-life crisis. Feeling like a failure, she longs for the acceptance and love of another. She misses the irresponsibility of her youth and the version of herself in graduate school. On an impulse, she drives herself and her children to Austin with the intention of meeting up with an old flame who is still enamored of her. Although Sarah succumbs to his advances, when Nathan flies to Austin in an attempt to bring his family home she must make a choice. Is getting back at Nathan as satisfying as she imagined? Will they ever be able to mend their relationship?

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Orange, Piedmont, Romance/Relationship, Stewart, Leah

Marilyn Denny Thomas. The Gentile and the Jew. Enumclaw, WA: Pleasant Word, 2005.

The rules of dating dictate that talk of money, politics, and religion is off limits. However, these complex topics must be addressed if a long-term relationship is the goal. For UNC graduate students Mike and Carrie, the significance of these issues, particularly that of religion, becomes apparent when the couple joins each other’s families for Thanksgiving. Mike, who is Jewish, feels uncomfortable during the blessing before the feast. Carrie receives a cold reception from Mike’s family, particularly his mother who believes that her son should not waste his time with a Gentile. This tension results in the two breaking up with each other; however, they are still very much in love and soon reconcile.

Mike’s mother, Rachel, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, has always wanted to go to her parents’ hometown in Romania to find information about her family. Because she knows so little about her relatives, believing most of her kin perished in the Holocaust, Rachel firmly believes that her children should marry Jews to keep the tradition alive. When she goes to Romania, however, she discovers that not only does she have living relatives, but that some of her ancestors were Messianic Jews. As Rachel explores her family’s past, her expectations of a suitable match for Mike change. Although the two families come from very diverse backgrounds, they are able to embrace their differences and acknowledge the deep love that Make and Carrie have for each other.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 2000-2009, 2005, Duplin, New Hanover, Orange, Romance/Relationship, Thomas, Marilyn Denny

James McConnaughey. Village Chronicle. New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1936.

For many of us, Chapel Hill is indeed “the southern part of heaven” but in this novel our little college town has its share of sinners.  Professors preen and jockey for position; their wives gossip while maids do the housework, and students just wanna have fun.  Except for one student, Lyman Caine, who writes a short story about an inter-racial tryst.  Liberal young graduate instructor Joel Adams comes in for a lot of criticism for encouraging Caine, but the consequences for the student are worse. Lyman Caine’s fatigue leads to a diagnosis of sickle-cell anemia.  In an era before student medical records were truly private, this news travels fast. Caine acknowledges his multi-racial heritage; the racial policies of the university at the time call for Caine’s expulsion.

Adams feels some discomfort about his student’s situation, but he is preoccupied by his own concerns–finishing his degree, his father’s death, his relationship with his wife, how much to buck the system in town and at the university.  Joel Adams is the central character of the novel, but his wife, Eleanor, and his father, a local newspaperman, are far more likable characters.  Eleanor’s good influence helps Joel ride out the storm of controversy even as she forgives his personal failings.

Chapel Hill is called “Churchill” in this novel, but most of the campus buildings retain their true names.  Longtime local readers may recognize variations on some early 20th century faculty names, but most reviewers professed not to be able to identify particular characters with real people.

Check for this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under 1930-1939, 1936, McConnaughey, James, Orange, Piedmont