Debut mystery author Lori Rader-Day coming to Cook

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Meet Lori Rader-Day at Cook Library at 7 p.m. July 15. Register

I really enjoy reading debut novels. It’s so much fun discovering new authors and anticipating their future books. One such author is Lori Rader-Day, whose psychological thriller, The Black Hour, comes out July 8.

Set in Chicago, The Black Hour tells the story of Dr. Amelia Emmet, a sociology professor who specializes in violence at a prestigious private university that is reminiscent of the University of Chicago. Emmet’s life is shattered when a student shoots her and then kills himself. She doesn’t know the student and is haunted by the question of why a total stranger would attack her.

b2ap3_thumbnail_loriraderday_20140625-144249_1.pngAfter a long recovery with a heavy reliance on pain pills, Emmet tries to return to work for the new school year. She hires a teaching assistant, Nathaniel Barber, who also is preoccupied with the mystery behind the shooting. Emmet and Barber start unraveling clue after clue that will lead them to the startling truth. During their investigations, they also must deal with the heartbreak of their painful, messy personal lives.

The Black Hour is an engrossing, suspenseful story that will keep the reader going right until the end. Rader-Day’s depiction of campus politics is fascinating and her flawed characters are well developed and multi-dimensional.

Rader-Day is making a splash with this first book. She has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist, and was listed by Chicago Magazine as one of six great summer reads by local authors. It also is one the top 10 books picked for the July LibraryReads, where librarians pick their favorite books. She clearly is a new author in the Chicago literary scene who I look forward to following.

Jo Hansen,



Jo Hansen has been a Readers’ Advisor at Cook Library for several years, after a 20-year career as a newspaper journalist. Libraries rock! She especially enjoys literary and historical fiction as well as mysteries and fantasy. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she enjoys playing with her chocolate Labrador Yogi Bear and watching great movies.