Here’s a look at Publisher’s Weekly fiction bestsellers as we reach the half-year. It’s become increasingly hard of late for authors to hold onto the #1 spot, but this year seems tougher still. Of the 18 authors who have nabbed that perch, only three – John Grisham, The Associate; Janet Evanovich, Plum Spooky; and Jodi Picoult, Handle with Care – have exceeded a week’s stay. Such bestseller veterans as Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Harlan Coben, Mary Higgins Clark and others have managed only one week on top. Of this year’s fiction newcomers, the five longest-running tenures to date are David Baldacci (First Family, nine weeks and counting); James Patterson (Run for Your Life, nine weeks); James Patterson (The 8th Confession, seven weeks); Maeve Binchy (Heart and Soul, seven weeks) and W.E.B. Griffin (Black Ops, seven weeks).
(Publisher’s Weekly, June 29)
“People think of the First Family as being in a bubble, but the President and First Lady have family outside the bubble. I’ve never written about this extended family until now. I also go way outside the power corridors of Washington. All the way to an antebellum plantation inthe Deep South. It’s David versus Goliath only not in the way you think.”
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(Publisher’s Weekly, May 18)
(Publisher’s Weekly, Mar 30)
Plenty of intense action drives bestseller Baldacci‘s stellar fourth novel to feature former Secret Service agents Michelle Maxwell and Sean King (after Simple Genius). Maxwell and King, D.C. PIs, step on the toes of everyone, including the FBI and the Secret Service. They even manage to bruise the ego of First Lady Jane Cox, who hires them after her 12-year-old niece is kidnapped following a birthday party at Camp David. Baldacci excels at making the improbable believable as one obsessed man, 62-year-old Sam Quarry, takes on the best security the U.S. can muster from his Alabama redoubt. Even more impressive than Quarry’s determined campaign is the ingeniousness with which Baldacci manages to disguise both Quarry’s precise motivation and aims. Meanwhile, Maxwell has to deal with her mother’s death and a host of other personal issues. Baldacci’s careful plotting and confidant depictions of national security procedures make this a thinking man’s thriller. (Apr. 21)
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(Publisher’s Weekly, Mar. 9)
The Whole Truth (copies in print: 1,066,000) leads off a roster of 12 new mass market arrivals – the highest number since March 12, 2007, when a lucky 13 newbies landed. There are 65 million copies of Baldacci’s books in print in 40+ languages an din mor ethan 85 countires. A stickler for realism, Baldacci is one of only a handful of authors contacted by top government agencies to help them theorize potential terrorist scenarios. Coming on April21 is his next hardcover, First Family.
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