New Fiction Books: September 2016

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General Fiction Books


 

Commonwealth by Ann PatchettCommonwealth by Ann Patchett

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.

Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.

When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak,Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.

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Dear Mr. M by Herman Koch.jpgDear Mr. M by Herman Koch

The tour-de-force, hair-raising new novel from Herman Koch,New York Times bestselling author of The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool

Once a celebrated writer, M’s greatest success came with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. The book was called The Reckoning, and it told the story of Jan Landzaat, a history teacher who went missing one winter after his brief affair with Laura, his stunning pupil. Jan was last seen at the holiday cottage where Laura was staying with her new boyfriend. Upon publication, M.’s novel was a bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M.’s career is almost over as he fades increasingly into obscurity. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him. Why?

From various perspectives, Herman Koch tells the dark tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to The Reckoning, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the “story” off its rails.

With racing tension, sardonic wit, and a world-renowned sharp eye for human failings, Herman Koch once again spares nothing and no one in his gripping new novel, a barbed tour de force suspending readers in the mysterious literary gray space between fact and fiction, promising to keep them awake at night, and justly paranoid in the merciless morning.

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.jpgA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

With his breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flawless command of style.

A Gentleman in Moscow
immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

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The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain.jpgThe Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

What is the difference between friendship and love? Or between neutrality and commitment? Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in ‘neutral’ Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav’s father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav’s childhood is spent in lonely isolation, his only toy a tin train with painted passengers staring blankly from the carriage windows.

As time goes on, an intense friendship with a boy of his own age, Anton Zwiebel, begins to define Gustav’s life. Jewish and mercurial, a talented pianist tortured by nerves when he has to play in public, Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav’s are entwined.

Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender, Rose Tremain’s beautifully orchestrated novel asks the question, what does it do to a person, or to a country, to pursue an eternal quest for neutrality, and self-mastery, while all life’s hopes and passions continually press upon the borders and beat upon the gate.

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Here I Am by Jonathan Foer.jpgHere I Am by Jonathan Foer

In the book of Genesis, when God calls out, “Abraham!” to order him to sacrifice his son Isaac, Abraham responds, “Here I am.” Later, when Isaac calls out, “My father!” to ask him why there is no animal to slaughter, Abraham responds, “Here I am.”

How do we fulfill our conflicting duties as father, husband, and son; wife and mother; child and adult? Jew and American? How can we claim our own identities when our lives are linked so closely to others’? These are the questions at the heart of Jonathan Safran Foer’s first novel in eleven years–a work of extraordinary scope and heartbreaking intimacy.

Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington D.C., Here I Am is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As Jacob and Julia and their three sons are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a spiraling conflict in the Middle East. At stake is the very meaning of home–and the fundamental question of how much life one can bear.

Showcasing the same high-energy inventiveness, hilarious irreverence, and emotional urgency that readers and critics loved in his earlier work, Here I Am is Foer’s most searching, hard-hitting, and grandly entertaining novel yet. It not only confirms Foer’s stature as a dazzling literary talent but reveals a mature novelist who has fully come into his own as one of the most important writers of his generation.

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Leave Me by Gayle FormanLeave Me by Gayle Forman

For every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, for every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

Afterward, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: She packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once we get to where we’re going, we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves and from herself.

With big-hearted characters who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing our fears. Gayle Forman, a dazzling observer of human nature, has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head-on.

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The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBrideThe Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

Upon her arrival in London, an 18-year-old Irish girl begins anew as a drama student, with all the hopes of any young actress searching for the fame she’s always dreamed of. She struggles to fit in—she’s young and unexotic, a naive new girl—but soon she forges friendships and finds a place for herself in the big city.

Then she meets an attractive older man. He’s an established actor, 20 years older, and the inevitable clamorous relationship that ensues is one that will change her forever.

A redemptive, captivating story of passion and innocence set across the bedsits of mid-1990s London, McBride holds new love under her fierce gaze, giving us all a chance to remember what it’s like to fall hard for another.

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Little Nothing by Marisa Silver.jpgLittle Nothing by Marisa Silver

In an unnamed country at the beginning of the last century, a child called Pavla is born to peasant parents. Her arrival, fervently anticipated and conceived in part by gypsy tonics and archaic prescriptions, stuns her parents and brings outrage and disgust from her community. Pavla has been born a dwarf, beautiful in face, but as the years pass, she grows no further than the edge of her crib. When her parents turn to the treatments of a local doctor and freak sideshow proprietor, his terrifying cure opens the floodgates persecution for Pavla. Little Nothing unfolds across a lifetime of unimaginable, magical transformation in and out of human form, as this outcast woman is hunted down and incarcerated for her desires, her body broken and her identity stripped away until her soul is strong enough to transcend all physical bounds. Woven throughout is the journey of Danilo, the young man entranced by Pavla, obsessed only with protecting her. Part allegory about the shifting nature of being, part subversive fairy tale of love in all its uncanny guises, Little Nothing spans the beginning of a new century, the disintegration of ancient superstitions and the adoption of industry and invention. With a cast of remarkable characters, a wholly shocking and original story, and extraordinary, page-turning prose, Silver delivers a novel of sheer electricity.

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Mercury by Margot Livesey

Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury—a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past—arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes.

Mercury’s owner, Hilary, is a newcomer to town who has enrolled her daughter in riding lessons. When she brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, everyone is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she had harbored, and relinquished, as a young woman. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession.

Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv’s ambitions and his own myopia.

At once a tense psychological drama and a taut emotional thriller exploring love, obsession, and the deceits that pull a family apart, Mercury is a riveting tour de force that showcases this “searingly intelligent writer at the height of her powers” (Jennifer Egan)

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Nutshell by Ian McEwan.jpgNutshell by Ian McEwan

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. Instead, she’s with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb.

Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.

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Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen

When Lane Coolman’s car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but (this is Hiaasen!). Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield–the eponymous Razor Girl–and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control while unleashing some of the wildest characters Hiaasen has ever set loose on the page. There’s Trebeaux, the owner of Sedimental Journeys–a company that steals sand from one beach to restore erosion on another . . . Dominick “Big Noogie” Aeola, a NYC mafia capo with a taste for tropic-wear . . . Buck Nance, a Wisconsin accordionist who has rebranded himself as the star of a redneck reality show called Bayou Brethren . . . a street psycho known as Blister who’s more Buck Nance than Buck could ever be . . . Brock Richardson, a Miami product-liability lawyer who’s getting dangerously–and deformingly–hooked on the very E.D. product he’s litigating against . . . and Andrew Yancy–formerly Detective Yancy, busted down to the Key West roach patrol after accosting his then-lover’s husband with a Dust Buster. Yancy believes that if he can singlehandedly solve a high-profile murder, he’ll get his detective badge back. That the Razor Girl may be the key to Yancy’s future will be as surprising as anything else he encounters along the way–including the giant Gambian rats that are livening up his restaurant inspections.

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The Risen by Ron Rash.jpgThe Risen by Ron Rash

New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash demonstrates his superb narrative skills in this suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer — and one bewitching young woman—and the secrets that could destroy their lives.

While swimming in a secluded creek on a hot Sunday in 1969, sixteen-year-old Eugene and his older brother, Bill, meet the entrancing Ligeia. A sexy, free-spirited redhead from Daytona Beach banished to their small North Carolina town until the fall, Ligeia will not only bewitch the two brothers, but lure them into a struggle that reveals the hidden differences in their natures.

Drawn in by her raw sensuality and rebellious attitude, Eugene falls deeper under her spell. Ligeia introduces him to the thrills and pleasures of the counterculture movement, then in its headiest moment. But just as the movement’s youthful optimism turns dark elsewhere in the country that summer, so does Eugene and Ligeia’s brief romance. Eugene moves farther and farther away from his brother, the cautious and dutiful Bill, and when Ligeia vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, the growing rift between the two brothers becomes immutable.

Decades later, their relationship is still turbulent, and the once close brothers now lead completely different lives. Bill is a gifted and successful surgeon, a paragon of the community, while Eugene, the town reprobate, is a failed writer and determined alcoholic.

When a shocking reminder of the past unexpectedly surfaces, Eugene is plunged back into that fateful summer, and the girl he cannot forget. The deeper he delves into his memories, the closer he comes to finding the truth. But can Eugene’s recollections be trusted? And will the truth set him free and offer salvation . . . or destroy his damaged life and everyone he loves?

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Spinning the Moon by Karen White.jpgSpinning the Moon by Karen White

Time and again, New York Times bestselling author Karen White has proven herself to be the “ultimate voice of women’s fiction.”*

Now, you can revisit the beginning of her signature style in two of her earliest novels—completely revised and together in one volume for the first time.
 
In the Shadow of the Moon
 
When Laura Truitt first sees the dilapidated plantation house, she’s overcome by a sense of familiarity. Inside, the owner claims to have been waiting for years and offers an old photograph of a woman with Laura’s face. Soon afterwards, when a lunar eclipse inexplicably thrusts Laura back in time to Civil War Georgia, she finds herself fighting not just for her heart, but for her very survival…
 
Whispers of Goodbye

Alone and with nothing left to fear, Catherine deClaire Reed answers her sister’s desperate plea and travels to the cold comfort of her home in Reconstruction Louisiana. But Elizabeth is nowhere to be found. No one—including her husband—has seen her for days. Now, Catherine must search for her sister in a place where secrets wait behind every closed door…

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The Wonder by Emma Donoghue.jpgThe Wonder by Emma Donoghue

In Emma Donoghue’s latest masterpiece, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, THE WONDER works beautifully on many levels–a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.

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Mystery / Suspense


The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni.jpgThe 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni

In San Francisco’s seamy Tenderloin district, a teenage street hustler has been murdered in a shelter for boys. And the dedicated priest who runs the struggling home stands accused. But despite damning evidence that he’s a killer—and worse—Father Thomas Martin stands by his innocence. And attorney Peter Donley stands with him.

For three years Donley has cut his legal teeth in his uncle’s tiny, no-frills firm, where people come before profits. Just as Donley is poised to move on to a lucrative dream job, the shocking case lands in his lap, and he must put his future on hold while putting his courtroom skills to the test. But a ruthless DA seeking headlines and a brutal homicide cop bent on vengeance have their own agendas. Now, as he unearths the dirty secrets surrounding the case, Donley must risk his neck to save his client’s life…and expose the face of true evil.

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Apprentice in Death by J. D. Robb.jpgApprentice in Death by J. D. Robb

The shots came quickly, silently, and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice skating rink. The victims: a talented young skater, a doctor, and a teacher. As random as random can be.

Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this. After reviewing security videos, it becomes clear that the victims were killed by a sniper firing a tactical laser rifle, who could have been miles away when the trigger was pulled. And though the locations where the shooter could have set up seem endless, the list of people with that particular skill set is finite: police, military, professional killer.

Eve’s husband, Roarke, has unlimited resources—and genius—at his disposal. And when his computer program leads Eve to the location of the sniper, she learns a shocking fact: There were two—one older, one younger. Someone is being trained by an expert in the science of killing, and they have an agenda. Central Park was just a warm-up. And as another sniper attack shakes the city to its core, Eve realizes that though we’re all shaped by the people around us, there are those who are just born evil…

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Blind Sight by Carol O’Connell.jpgBlind Sight by Carol O’Connell

A blind child and a Catholic nun disappear from a city sidewalk in plain sight of onlookers. There, then gone – vanished in seconds. Those who witnessed the event still cannot believe it happened.

It was all too real. Detective Kathy Mallory and the NYPD’s Special Crimes Unit enter the investigation when the nun’s body is found with three other corpses in varying stages of decomposition left on the lawn of Gracie Mansion, home to the mayor of New York City. Sister Michael was the last to die. The child, Jonah Quill, is still missing.
Like Jonah, the police are blind. Unknown to them, he is with a stone killer, and though he has unexpected resources of his own, his would-be saviors have no suspect, no useful evidence, and no clue – except for Detective Mallory’s suspicions of things not said and her penchant for getting to the truth beneath lies. Behind her back, the squad’s name for her is Mallory the Machine, yet she has a dark understanding of what it is to be human. A child is waiting, time is running out, and atop her list of liars is the mayor himself… and a theory of the crimes in which no sane cop could believe.

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British Manor Murder by Leslie Meier.jpgBritish Manor Murder by Leslie Meier

Although Perry, the earl of the house, and his sister, Poppy, are surprisingly accommodating to their jetlagged guests, Lucy feels uneasy after a fallen portrait sparks talk of a deadly family omen. The bad vibes come in quickly—snobby Aunt Millicent and her handmaiden Harrison unexpectedly drop by for the exhibition, and meals with the family are consistently tense. But real trouble begins when a body, bludgeoned by the chapel’s gold-plated reliquary, is found in a hidden, sealed off room. Stranger still, the corpse is identified as Harrison’s son, Cyril.

Considering the weapon and the clandestine location, Lucy wouldn’t be shocked if the murder was an inside job. Cyril wasn’t exactly a gentleman, and it’s unclear what business he had on the property. Was the victim trying to make off with the family riches before meeting his end? Or was a scorned country squire looking to settle an ancient indiscretion for good? One thing’s for sure—the criminal is privy to Moreton Manor secrets . . .

To end the reign of terror, Lucy must keep her ear to the ground and mind time-honored traditions—no matter how unusual. Because Lucy has a hunch that the killer has been in her company all along, just waiting for a chance to make blueblood run red . . .

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Closed Casket by Sophie Hannah.jpgClosed Casket by Sophie Hannah

With these words, Lady Athelinda Playford — one of the world’s most beloved children’s authors — springs a surprise on the lawyer entrusted with her will. As guests arrive for a party at her Irish mansion, Lady Playford has decided to cut off her two children without a penny . . . and leave her vast fortune to someone else: an invalid who has only weeks to live.

Among Lady Playford’s visitors are two strangers: the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and Inspector Edward Catchpool of Scotland Yard. Neither knows why he has been invited — until Poirot begins to wonder if Lady Playford expects a murder. But why does she seem so determined to provoke a killer? And why — when the crime is committed despite Poirot’s best efforts to stop it — does the identity of the victim make no sense at all?

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Daisy in Chains by S. J. Bolton.jpgDaisy in Chains by S. J. Bolton

Famous killers have fan clubs.

Hamish Wolfe is no different. Locked up for the rest of his life for the abduction and murder of three young women, he gets countless adoring letters every day. He’s handsome, charismatic and very persuasive. His admirers are convinced he’s innocent, and that he’s the man of their dreams.

Who would join such a club?

Maggie Rose is different. Reclusive and enigmatic; a successful lawyer and bestselling true-crime writer, she only takes on cases that she can win.

Hamish wants her as his lawyer, he wants her to change his fate. She thinks she’s immune to the charms of a man like this. But maybe not this time . . .

Would you?

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Darkest Journey by Heather Graham.jpgDarkest Journey by Heather Graham

Charlene “Charlie” Moreau is back in St. Francisville, Louisiana, to work on a movie. One night, she stumbles across the body of a Civil War reenactor, the second murdered in two days. Charlie is shocked to learn that her father—a guide on the Journey, a historic paddle wheeler that’s sponsoring the reenactment—is a suspect.

Meanwhile, Ethan Delaney, new to the FBI’s Krewe of Hunters, is brought in on the case. He and Charlie have a history of their own, dating back to when he rescued her from a graveyard—led there by a Confederate ghost!

Charlie arranges a Mississippi River cruise so she and Ethan can get close to the reenactors, find out who knows what, who has a motive. They discover a lot more as they resume the relationship that ended ten years ago…but might die, along with them, on the Journey.

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Darktown by Thomas Mullen.jpgDarktown by Thomas Mullen

Responding from pressure on high, the Atlanta police department is forced to hire its first black officers in 1948. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers and their authority is limited: They can’t arrest white suspects; they can’t drive a squad car; they can’t even use the police headquarters and must instead operate out of the basement of a gym.

When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up fatally beaten, no one seems to care except for Boggs and Smith, two black cops from vastly different backgrounds. Pressured from all sides, they will risk their jobs, the trust the community has put in them, and even their own safety to investigate her death. Their efforts bring them up against an old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood like his own, and Dunlow’s young partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines.

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A Deadly Thaw by Sarah WardA Deadly Thaw by Sarah Ward

A man whose killer—his wife—was convicted 15 years ago is discovered freshly murdered in this rivetingly suspenseful mystery from critically acclaimed author Sarah Ward.

Lena Grey is found guilty of murdering her husband, who was found smothered in their bed. She offers no defense, and serves fourteen long years in prison. But within months of her release nearly two decades later, his body is found in a disused morgue, recently killed. Who was the man she killed before, and why did she lie about his identity?

Detective Inspector Francis Sadler and his Derbyshire team try to discover how such a well-orchestrated deception could have occurred. DC Connie Childs is convinced that something greater than marital strife caused the murders, but before Lena can be questioned further, she vanishes. Back in Lena’s childhood home, her sister Kat, a therapist, is shocked by her sister’s duplicity. When she begins to receive mysterious packages from a young man claiming to know her sister’s location, Kat is drawn into her own investigation of her family’s well-hidden secrets. As her inquiries begin to collide with the murder investigation, a link to the sisters’ teenage lives emerges, and the line between victim and perpetrator becomes blurred in this tightly-plotted, compelling novel perfect for fans of Deborah Crombie and Sharon Bolton

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Downfall by Judith A. Jance.jpgDownfall by Judith A. Jance

Arizona sheriff Joanna Brady returns in this outstanding new mystery set in the beautiful desert country of the Southwest.

With a baby on the way, her mother and stepfather recently slain, a re-election campaign looming, and a daughter heading off for college, Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady has her hands full when a puzzling new case hits her department, demanding every resource she has at her disposal.

Two women have fallen to their deaths from a small nearby peak, referred to by Bisbee locals as Geronimo. What’s the connection between these two women? Is this a case of murder/suicide or is it a double homicide? And if someone else is responsible, is it possible that the perpetrator may, even now, be on the hunt for another victim?

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End Game by David Hagberg.jpgEnd Game by David Hagberg

Retired CIA assassin Kirk McGarvey faces the most formidable adversary of his long and storied career in End Game by David Hagberg.

Langley is experiencing a series of gruesome murders. The CIA’s own headquarters should be the safest spot on the planet, but a highly professional, violently psychopathic assassin, who hideously disfigures his victims, strikes without mercy.

The murders spread from Langley to a prison outside of Athens, where the first clue to what will become the End Game surfaces. A code carved into four copper panels of the legendary statue in a courtyard at CIA headquarters, known as Kryptos, predicts the means and the terrible necessity for the serial killings.

Before the first Iraq war, something horrifying was buried in the foothills above the oil city of Kirkuk. It will not remain buried forever.

Only Kirk McGarvey, Pete Boylan, and the CIA’s odd-duck genius, Otto Rencke, can find the truth still buried in Iraq. A truth so devastating it could well ignite the entire Middle East into an unstoppable, apocalyptic war.

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Ghosts of Havana by Todd Moss.jpgGhosts of Havana by Todd Moss

When four American sport fishermen stray into Cuban waters and are promptly arrested by Castro’s navy, State Department crisis manager Judd Ryker finds himself called in to negotiate their release. But the more Ryker digs in to the situation, the more things he discovers that just don’t seem to fit, especially now, with relations between the United States and Cuba supposedly thawing. Who are these men really, and what were they doing there? What is Ryker’s actual mission, and what is his own government hiding from him?

Some people want the new initiative to succeed. Others want to stop it at any cost. Still others see it as an opportunity for something much more radical. The common factor for every one of them: the time to act is right this minute.

The ghosts of Havana are walking, and Ryker is caught in the middle of them all.

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Home by Harlan Coben.jpgHome by Harlan Coben

The boy who had been missing for ten years was right in front of him A decade ago, kidnappers grabbed two boys from wealthy families and demanded ransom, then went silent.

No trace of the boys ever surfaced.

For ten years their families have been left with nothing but painful memories and a quiet desperation for the day that has finally, miraculously arrived: Myron Bolitar and his friend Win believe they have located one of the boys, now a teenager.

Where has he been for ten years, and what does he know about the day, more than half a life ago, when he was taken? And most critically: what can he tell Myron and Win about the fate of his missing friend?

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Infamy by Robert Tanenbaum.jpgInfamy by Robert Tanenbaum

The “rock-solid” (Kirkus Reviews) prosecutor Butch Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi, return to solve the suspicious murder of a US Army colonel and battle corruption at the highest levels of the United States government in this novel by New York Timesbestselling author Robert K. Tanenbaum.

Intrigue, murder, corruption, and dramatic courtroom battles combine to make Infamy another must-read in Robert K. Tanenbaum’s “tightly-written” (Booklist) legal thrillers. When a former Army veteran suddenly murders a colonel in New York, he claims that he had to do it because he was being used in mind control experiments. Surprisingly, a top Wall Street criminal defense lawyer, one with ties to the White House, decides to defend the killer, arguing that his client suffered from post-traumatic stress from his tours in Afghanistan and that it’s his patriotic duty to assist him.

As New York District Attorney Roger “Butch” Karp prepares a murder case against the veteran, he meets with investigative reporter Ariadne Stupenagel, who suspects that one of her sources for a story on high-level government corruption was a victim in the shooting. This points not to a random act of violence, but a hired killing that goes to the top levels of our nation.

In this fast-paced thriller, Karp goes up against corruption so powerful that he, his family, and his friends are in danger if he intends to prosecute those responsible for the murder of an FBI whistle-blower. Filled with edge-of-your-seat action, stunning plot twists, and, “solid courtroom scenes” (Kirkus Reviews),Infamy will keep you guessing until the very end.

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The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter.jpgThe Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter

A body is discovered in an empty Atlanta warehouse. It’s the body of an ex-cop, and from the moment Special Agent Will Trent walks in he knows this could be the most devastating case of his career. Bloody footprints leading away from the scene reveal that another victim – a woman – has left the scene and vanished into thin air. And, worst of all, the warehouse belongs to the city’s biggest, most politically-connected, most high-profile athlete – a local hero protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers. A local hero Will has spent the last six months investigating on a brutal rape charge.

But for Will – and also for Dr Sara Linton, the GBI’s newest medical examiner – the case is about to get even worse. Because an unexpected discovery at the scene reveals a personal link to Will’s troubled past. The consequences will wreak havoc on his life and the lives of those he loves, those he works with, and those he pursues.

But Sara’s scene-of-the-crime diagnosis is that they only have a few hours to find the missing woman before she bleeds out . . .

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Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart.jpgLady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart

After besting (and arresting) a ruthless silk factory owner and his gang of thugs in Girl Waits with Gun, Constance Kopp became one of the nation’s first deputy sheriffs. She’s proven that she can’t be deterred, evaded, or outrun. But when the wiles of a German-speaking con man threaten her position and her hopes for this new life, and endanger the honorable Sheriff Heath, Constance may not be able to make things right.

Lady Cop Makes Trouble sets Constance loose on the streets of New York City and New Jersey–tracking down victims, trailing leads, and making friends with girl reporters and lawyers at a hotel for women. Cheering her on, and goading her, are her sisters Norma and Fleurette–that is, when they aren’t training pigeons for the war effort or fanning dreams of a life on the stage.

Based on a true story, Girl Waits with Gun introduced Constance Kopp and her charming and steadfast sisters to an army of enthusiastic readers. Those readers will be thrilled by this second installment–also ripped from the headlines–in the romping, wildly readable life of a woman forging her own path, tackling crime and nefarious criminals along the way.

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Manitou Canyon by William Kent Krueger.jpgManitou Canyon by William Kent Krueger

“One of today’s automatic buy-today-read-tonight series…thoughtful but suspenseful, fast but lasting, contemporary but strangely timeless.” (Lee Child) In the extraordinary new Cork O’Connor thriller from New York Timesbestselling and Edgar Award–winning author William Kent Krueger, the lives of hundreds of innocent people are at stake when Cork vanishes just days before his daughter’s wedding.

Since the violent deaths of his wife, father, and best friend all occurred in previous Novembers, Cork O’Connor has always considered it to be the cruelest of months. Yet, his daughter has chosen this dismal time of year in which to marry, and Cork is understandably uneasy.

His concern comes to a head when a man camping in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness goes missing. As the official search ends with no recovery in sight, Cork is asked by the man’s family to stay on the case. Although the wedding is fast approaching and the weather looks threatening, he accepts and returns to that vast wilderness on his own.

As the sky darkens and the days pass, Cork’s family anxiously awaits his return. Finally certain that something has gone terribly wrong, they fly by floatplane to the lake where the missing man was last seen. Locating Cork’s campsite, they find no sign of their father. They do find blood, however. A lot of it.

With an early winter storm on the horizon, it’s a race against time as Cork’s family struggles to uncover the mystery behind these disappearances. Little do they know, not only is Cork’s life on the line, but so are the lives of hundreds of others.

A taut, suspenseful thriller, Manitou Canyon features everything readers love in a Cork O’Connor novel: a dramatic Northwoods setting, an intriguing view of the Objibwe culture, an enigmatic crime, masterful storytelling, and more than a few surprises.

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The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan.jpgThe Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

To everyone who knows her now, Zoe Maisey – child genius, musical sensation – is perfect. Yet several years ago, Zoe caused the death of three teenagers. She served her time. And now she’s free.

Her story begins with her giving the performance of her life.

By midnight, her mother is dead.

The Perfect Girl is an intricate exploration into the mind of a teenager burdened by brilliance. It’s a story about the wrongs in our past not letting go and how hard we must fight for second chances.

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Pirate by Clive CusslerPirate by Clive Cussler

An 800-year-old treasure . . . an ancient cypher wheel . . . a brutal murder . . . and a man who will stop at nothing to claim what he considers rightfully his. Husband-and-wife treasure-hunting team Sam and Remi Fargo have gone on impossible missions before and faced many perils, but never have they faced an adversary as determined as the one before them now. The battle will take them halfway around the world, and at its end will be either one of the most glorious finds in history—or certain death.

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Presumption of Guilt by Archer Mayor.jpgPresumption of Guilt by Archer Mayor

A skeleton found encased in concrete at a site of a newly decommissioned nuclear power plant solves a 40 year old missing persons case and opens up a murder investigation.

A forty-year-old skeleton is found encased in a concrete slab at a recently decommissioned nuclear energy site. It becomes a case for the Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI) and its leader, Joe Gunther, since they have the resources and the ability to investigate an old, very cold, missing persons case that has now been reclassified as murder. The victim was Hank Mitchell, and Gunther must chase down old rumors and speculations—who benefited from his death and the disappearance of his body? And was his death somehow tied to New York City mafia money being laundered through the construction project?

But what seems the coldest of cold cases roars back to life when one of the central figures in this mystery is shot to death, right after speaking with Gunther. And when a young police officer—the son of VBI investigator Lester Spinney—is kidnapped, is that meant to be a warning to the VBI team to drop the case?

After all these many years, the truth behind the murder still has to the power to kill, and it’s up to Gunther and his team to capture the living and finally put the dead to rest.

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Pushing Up Daisies by M.C. BeatonPushing Up Daisies by M.C. Beaton

When Agatha Raisin left behind her PR business in London, she fulfilled her dream of settling in the cozy British Cotswolds where she began a successful private detective agency. Unfortunately, the village she lives in is about to get a little less cozy. Lord Bellington, a wealthy land developer, wants to turn the community garden into a housing estate. When Agatha and her friend Sir Charles Fraith attempt to convince Lord Bellington to abandon his plans he scoffs: “Do you think I give a damn about those pesky villagers?” So when Agatha finds his obituary in the newspaper two weeks later, it’s no surprise that some in town are feeling celebratory.

The villagers are relieved to learn that Bellington’s son and heir, Damian, has no interest in continuing his father’s development plans. But the police are definitely interested in him―as suspect number one. His father’s death, it seems, was no accident. But when Damian hires Agatha to find the real killer, she finds no shortage of suspects. The good news is that a handsome retired detective named Gerald has recently moved to town. Too bad he was seen kissing another newcomer. But when she is also found murdered, Gerald is eager to help Agatha with the case. Agatha, Gerald, and her team of detectives must untangle a web of contempt in order to uncover a killer’s identity.

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Reckless Creed by Alex KavaReckless Creed by Alex Kava

In the new edge-of-your-seat thriller from New York Times–bestselling author Alex Kava, Ryder Creed, his K-9 search-and-rescue dogs, and FBI agent Maggie O’Dell find themselves at the center of a dire and mysterious case.

In Chicago, a young man jumps from his thirtieth-story hotel room; along the Missouri river, a hunter and his son stumble upon a lake whose surface is littered with snow geese, all of them dead; and in southern Alabama, Ryder Creed and his search-and-rescue dog Grace find the body of a young woman who went missing in the Conecuh National Forest…and it appears she filled her pockets with rocks and walked into the river. Before long Ryder Creed and FBI profiler Maggie O’Dell will discover the ominous connection among these mysterious deaths. What they find may be the most prolific killer the United States has ever known.

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Revenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry.jpgRevenge in a Cold River by Anne Perry

Master of mystery and historical intrigue Anne Perry once again transports readers to the banks of the Thames in Victorian London for her thrilling new William Monk novel. In Revenge in a Cold River, Monk faces his darkest hour ever as he spars with a quarry hell-bent on vengeance.

When Commander Monk of the Thames River Police is called to investigate the drowning of an escaped prisoner, he’s forced to contend with customs officer McNab, who clearly bears a bitter grudge against him. But the reason is a mystery in itself. Monk’s memory loss—a secret he guards closely—leaves him vulnerable to repercussions from his missing past . . . especially his exploits overseas, in the tumultuous Gold Rush days of San Francisco. And now McNab, as icy and unfathomable as the steel-gray Thames itself, appears intent on using whatever damning facts he can find to his advantage to ruin Monk’s future as an officer of the law.

After a second prisoner takes flight, Monk’s pursuit results in the accidental death of McNab’s right-hand man. As Monk explores the possibility of a conspiracy, McNab’s game of cat and mouse escalates, with veiled threats and cryptic references to Monk’s past. Snared in an unforeseen trap, a desperate Monk must turn to his wife, Hester, and friend and attorney Oliver Rathbone for help, as his life literally hangs in the balance.

With razor-edged suspense and shocking twists and turns, Revenge in a Cold River is Anne Perry at her most intense—and most satisfying.

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Robert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay by Reed Farrel Coleman.jpgRobert B. Parker’s Debt to Pay by Reed Farrel Coleman

All is quiet in Paradise, except for a spate of innocuous vandalism. Good thing, too, because Jesse Stone is preoccupied with the women in his life, both past and present. As his ex-wife, Jenn, is about to marry a Dallas real-estate tycoon, Jesse isn’t too sure his relationship with former FBI agent Diana Evans is built to last. But those concerns get put on the back burner when a major Boston crime boss is brutally murdered. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Jesse suspects it’s the work of Mr. Peepers, a psychotic assassin who has caused trouble for Jesse in the past.

Peepers has long promised revenge against the Mob, Jesse, and Suit for their roles in foiling one of his hits—and against Jenn as well. And though Jesse and Jenn have long parted ways, Jesse still feels responsible for her safety. Jesse and Diana head to Dallas for the wedding and, along with the tycoon’s security team, try to stop Peepers before the bill comes due. With Peepers toying with the authorities as to when and where he’ll strike, Jesse is up against the wall. Still, there’s a debt to pay and blood to be spilled to satisfy it. But whose blood, and just how much?

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So Say the Fallen by Stuart Neville.jpgSo Say the Fallen by Stuart Neville

When DCI Serena Flanagan is asked to sign off the suicide of a severely disabled local businessman, she finds herself envying the grieving widow’s comfortable life and devoted marriage, until the widow’s close relationship with the local rector starts to sound an alarm. But with a clean crime scene and no evidence to back her up, have Serena’s instincts led her down the wrong path? With her husband struggling to deal with the aftermath of an attack that nearly cost him his life, and her young children anxious and unhappy, Serena’s determination to unlock the mystery of what happened in that house may cost her her job – and her family.

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Romance


 

Because I’m Watching by Christina DoddBecause I’m Watching by Christina Dodd

Veteran Jacob Denisov lives alone in his small, darkened home, sleepless, starving, blaming himself for the horrors of the past and waiting for the moment when he gathers enough courage to kill himself. When neighbor Madeline Hewitson drives her car through the front wall of his house, she breaks his house—and Jacob’s life—wide open. She isn’t called “Mad Maddie” for nothing. The survivor of a college dorm massacre, a woman accused of her lover’s murder, she is haunted by ghosts and tormented by a killer only she can see. Dealing with construction and forced to see the world outside his home, Jacob watches Maddie, recognizes a kindred spirit and wonders—is this truly madness, or has someone caught her in a twisted labyrinth of revenge and compassion, guilt and redemption, murder and madness?

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Because It’s Christmas by Debbie Macomber.jpgBecause It’s Christmas by Debbie Macomber

Can Christmas bring the gift of a second chance?

The Christmas Basket by Debbie Macomber

Ten years ago, Noelle McDowell and Thomas Sutton fell secretly in love. Secretly because their mothers had been locked in a bitter feud for decades. But despite the animosity between Sarah McDowell and May Sutton, Noelle planned to elope with Thom. Until he jilted her.

This Christmas, two things happen when Noelle comes home to celebrate the holidays. The feuding mothers find themselves working together to fill Christmas baskets for charity. And Noelle and Thom discover they’re still in love. Can family rivalries be set aside? Will Sarah’s daughter have a second chance with Mary’s son? Maybe she will…this Christmas!

Merry Ex-Mas by Sheila Roberts

Cass Wilkes has been looking forward to her daughter Danielle’s Christmas wedding—until Dani announces that she wants her father, Cass’s ex, to walk her down the aisle. Then her friend Charlene arrives at their weekly chick-flick night in shock. She’s just seen the ghost of Christmas past: her ex-husband, Richard, who left a year ago when he ran off with the hostess from her restaurant. Now the hostess is history and he wants to kiss and make up. Hide the mistletoe!

And bring out the hot buttered rum, because the holidays aren’t easy for Ella O’Brien either. Ella, newly divorced, is still sharing the house with her ex while they wait for the place to sell. The love is gone. Or is it?

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The Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore.jpgThe Girl in the Castle by Santa Montefiore

International sensation Santa Montefiore presents the first book in a trilogy that follows three Irish women through the decades of the twentieth century—perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Hazel Gaynor.

Born on the ninth day of the ninth month in the year 1900, Kitty Deverill is special as her grandmother has always told her. Built on the stunning green hills of West Cork, Ireland, Castle Deverill is Kitty’s beloved home, where many generations of Deverills have also resided. Although she’s Anglo-Irish, Kitty’s heart completely belongs to the wild countryside of the Emerald Isle, and her devotion to her Irish-Catholic friends Bridie Doyle, the daughter of the castle’s cook, and Jack O’Leary, the vet’s son, is unmatched—even if Jack is always reminding her that she isn’t fully Irish. Still, Jack and Kitty can’t help falling in love although they both know their union faces the greatest obstacles since they are from different worlds.

Bridie cherishes her friendship with Kitty, who makes her feel more like her equal than a servant. Yet she can’t help dreaming of someday having all the wealth and glamour Kitty’s station in life affords her. But when she discovers a secret that Kitty has been keeping from her, Bridie finds herself growing resentful toward the girl in the castle who seems to have it all.

When the Irish revolt to throw over British rule in Southern Ireland, Jack enlists to fight. Worried for her safety, Jack warns Kitty to keep her distance, but she refuses and throws herself into the cause for Irish liberty, running messages and ammunition between the rebels. But as Kitty soon discovers, her allegiance to her family and her friends will be tested—and when Castle Deverill comes under attack, the only home and life she’s ever known are threatened.

A powerful story of love, loyalty, and friendship, The Girl in the Castle is an exquisitely written novel set against the magical, captivating landscape of Ireland.

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The Girl of His Dreams and Playing by Greek’s Rules by Susan Mallery.jpgThe Girl of His Dreams and Playing by Greek’s Rules by Susan Mallery

The moment she turns twenty-five, Kayla Bedford is going to grab her trust-fund money and take off for Paris. She’ll drink wine, read at quaint cafés and meet a handsome prince who’ll sweep her off her feet. It’s been her dream since she was twelve. And now she’s so close to realizing it, she’s counting down the days.

But first she’s got to do something for her boss-slash-landlord-slash-best-friend. Patrick is a handsome, caring vet. But he needs someone to love, even if he doesn’t think so. Yet, just as she finds the perfect person to set him up with, Kayla gets a last-minute case of blinding jealousy. Does she have feelings for Patrick? Should she abandon her dreams to find out?

And how can he hold her back if he feels the same?

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The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr.jpgThe Life She Wants by Robyn Carr

In the aftermath of her financier husband’s suicide, Emma Shay Compton’s dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients’ life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband’s crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she’s known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn’t easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she’d rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can’t escape her husband’s reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she’d ever ask for help—her former best friend. It’s an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they’ve made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

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The Velvet Hours by Alyson RichmanThe Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman

An elusive courtesan, Marthe de Florian cultivated a life of art and beauty, casting out all recollections of her impoverished childhood in the dark alleys of Montmartre. With Europe on the brink of war, she shares her story with her granddaughter Solange Beaugiron, using her prized possessions to reveal her innermost secrets. Most striking of all are a beautiful string of pearls and a magnificent portrait of Marthe painted by the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. As Marthe’s tale unfolds, like velvet itself, stitched with its own shadow and light, it helps to guide Solange on her own path.

Inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment, Alyson Richman brings to life Solange, the young woman forced to leave her fabled grandmother’s legacy behind to save all that she loved.

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Who’s That Girl By Mhairi McFarlane.jpgWho’s That Girl? By Mhairi McFarlane

An achingly funny story from the author of the bestselling YOU HAD ME AT HELLO

What’s the one thing you DON’T do at a wedding?

When Edie is caught in a compromising position at her colleagues’ wedding, all the blame falls on her – turns out that personal popularity in the office is not that different from your schooldays. Shamed online and ostracised by everyone she knows, her boss suggests an extended sabbatical – ghostwriting an autobiography for hot new acting talent, Elliot Owen. Easy, right?

Wrong. Banished back to her home town of Nottingham, Edie is not only dealing with a man who probably hasn’t heard the word ‘no’ in a decade, but also suffering an excruciating regression to her teenage years as she moves back in with her widowed father and judgey, layabout sister.

When the world is asking who you are, it’s hard not to question yourself. Who’s that girl? Edie is ready to find out.

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Historical Fiction


 

Fates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini.jpgFates and Traitors by Jennifer Chiaverini

The world would not look upon his like again. John Wilkes Booth—driven son of an acclaimed British stage actor and a Covent Garden flower girl, whose misguided quest to avenge the vanquished Confederacy led him to commit one of the most notorious acts in the annals of America—has been the subject of scholarship, speculation, and even obsession.

Though in his plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln Booth did not act alone—“I am determined to be a villain,” he tragically prophesized on the occasion of his acclaimed 1862 New York City debut in the role of Richard III—he is often portrayed as a shadowy figure, devoid of human connection. Yet four women were integral in the life of this unquiet American: Mary Ann, the mother he revered above all but country; his sister and confidante, Asia; Lucy Lambert Hale, the senator’s daughter who loved him; and the Confederate widow Mary Surratt, to whom he entrusted the secrets of his vengeful wrath.

In A Memoir of the Assassin John Wilkes Booth As Told by Four Ladies,New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini renders for the first time as fiction the compelling interplay between these pivotal actors—some willing, others unwitting—who made an indelible mark on the history of our nation.

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Mischling by Affinity Konar.jpgMischling by Affinity Konar

Pearl is in charge of: the sad, the good, the past.

Stasha must care for: the funny, the future, the bad.

It’s 1944 when the twin sisters arrive at Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather. In their benighted new world, Pearl and Stasha Zagorski take refuge in their identical natures, comforting themselves with the private language and shared games of their childhood.

As part of the experimental population of twins known as Mengele’s Zoo, the girls experience privileges and horrors unknown to others, and they find themselves changed, stripped of the personalities they once shared, their identities altered by the burdens of guilt and pain.

That winter, at a concert orchestrated by Mengele, Pearl disappears. Stasha grieves for her twin, but clings to the possibility that Pearl remains alive. When the camp is liberated by the Red Army, she and her companion Feliks–a boy bent on vengeance for his own lost twin–travel through Poland’s devastation. Undeterred by injury, starvation, or the chaos around them, motivated by equal parts danger and hope, they encounter hostile villagers, Jewish resistance fighters, and fellow refugees, their quest enabled by the notion that Mengele may be captured and brought to justice within the ruins of the Warsaw Zoo. As the young survivors discover what has become of the world, they must try to imagine a future within it.

A superbly crafted story, told in a voice as exquisite as it is boundlessly original, Mischling defies every expectation, traversing one of the darkest moments in human history to show us the way toward ethereal beauty, moral reckoning, and soaring hope.

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The Orphan Mother by Robert Hicks.jpgThe Orphan Mother by Robert Hicks

In the years following the Civil War, Mariah Reddick, former slave to Carrie McGavock–the “Widow of the South”–has quietly built a new life for herself as a midwife to the women of Franklin, Tennessee. But when her ambitious, politically-minded grown son, Theopolis, is murdered, Mariah–no stranger to loss–finds her world once more breaking apart. How could this happen? Who wanted him dead?
Mariah’s journey to uncover the truth leads her to unexpected people–including George Tole, a recent arrival to town, fleeing a difficult past of his own–and forces her to confront the truths of her own past. Brimming with the vivid prose and historical research that has won Robert Hicks recognition as a “master storyteller” (San Francisco Chronicle)

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Ravenspur by Conn Iggulden.jpgRavenspur by Conn Iggulden

This novel from bestselling author Conn Iggulden is the fourth book in the critically acclaimed Wars of the Roses series. Following Stormbird, Trinity and Bloodline this novel will continue through the brutal Civil War that we now know as the Wars of the Roses.

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Rembrandt’s Shadow by Janet Lee Berg.jpgRembrandt’s Shadow by Janet Lee Berg

REMBRANDT’S SHADOW is the story of the early life of Sylvie Rosenberg, the aristocratic daughter of a renowned Jewish art dealer in Holland. She spends the first 14 years of her childhood without ever knowing her father’s love. Until the day he trades his beloved Rembrandt to the Nazis in exchange for her life. She wonders, once the Germans get what they want, will the train doors open to their freedom or to the death camp? Sylvie’s then crushed by her first love’s betrayal – when he goes back on his word to hide her family. The Rosenbergs finally escape to a British internment camp on a Caribbean island where Sylvie is forced to grow up too fast.

She remembers her dreams as a young girl of being swept away by a Prince or a Duke, not the door-to-door salesman she ends up with in America who abandons her and their son Michael. Sylvie becomes consumed with passing on her Jewish heritage to her son while Michael meets obstacles in his life. Then one day in a coincidental meeting in a New York museum, Sylvie once again looks into the eyes of a Rembrandt and realizes what she must sacrifice to save her son.

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The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies.jpgThe Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past – a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds – that her husband refuses to discuss. Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can’t stay buried forever . . .

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Sci-Fi/Horror


 

The Family Plot by Cherie Priest.jpgThe Family Plot by Cherie Priest

Chuck Dutton built Music City Salvage with patience and expertise, stripping historic properties and reselling their bones. Inventory is running low, so he’s thrilled when Augusta Withrow appears in his office offering salvage rights to her entire property. This could be a gold mine, so he assigns his daughter Dahlia to personally oversee the project.

The crew finds a handful of surprises right away. Firstly, the place is in unexpectedly good shape. And then there’s the cemetery, about thirty fallen and overgrown graves dating to the early 1900s, Augusta insists that the cemetery is just a fake, a Halloween prank, so the city gives the go-ahead, the bulldozer revs up, and it turns up human remains. Augusta says she doesn’t know whose body it is or how many others might be present and refuses to answer any more questions. Then she stops answering the phone.

But Dahlia’s concerns about the corpse and Augusta’s disappearance are overshadowed when she begins to realize that she and her crew are not alone, and they’re not welcome at the Withrow estate. They have no idea how much danger they’re in, but they’re starting to get an idea. On the crew’s third night in the house, a storm shuts down the only road to the property. The power goes out. Cell signals are iffy. There’s nowhere to go and no one Dahlia can call for help, even if anyone would believe that she and her crew are being stalked by a murderous phantom. Something at the Withrow mansion is angry and lost, and this is its last chance to raise hell before the house is gone forever. And it seems to be seeking permanent company.

The Family Plot is a haunted house story for the ages-atmospheric, scary, and strange, with a modern gothic sensibility to keep it fresh and interesting-from Cherie Priest, a modern master of supernatural fiction.

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Jerusalem by Alan Moore.jpgJerusalem by Alan Moore

In the half a square mile of decay and demolition that was England’s Saxon capital, eternity is loitering between the firetrap tower blocks. Embedded in the grubby amber of the district’s narrative among its saints, kings, prostitutes and derelicts a different kind of human time is happening, a soiled simultaneity that does not differentiate between the petrol-coloured puddles and the fractured dreams of those who navigate them. Fiends last mentioned in the Book of Tobit wait in urine-scented stairwells, the delinquent spectres of unlucky children undermine a century with tunnels, and in upstairs parlours labourers with golden blood reduce fate to a snooker tournament.

Disappeared lanes yield their own voices, built from lost words and forgotten dialect, to speak their broken legends and recount their startling genealogies, family histories of shame and madness and the marvellous. There is a conversation in the thunderstruck dome of St. Paul’s cathedral, childbirth on the cobblestones of Lambeth Walk, an estranged couple sitting all night on the cold steps of a Gothic church-front, and an infant choking on a cough drop for eleven chapters. An art exhibition is in preparation, and above the world a naked old man and a beautiful dead baby race along the Attics of the Breath towards the heat death of the universe.

An opulent mythology for those without a pot to piss in, through the labyrinthine streets and pages of Jerusalem tread ghosts that sing of wealth and poverty; of Africa, and hymns, and our threadbare millennium. They discuss English as a visionary language from John Bunyan to James Joyce, hold forth on the illusion of mortality post-Einstein, and insist upon the meanest slum as Blake’s eternal holy city. Fierce in its imagining and stupefying in its scope, this is the tale of everything, told from a vanished gutter.

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The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman.jpgThe Masked City by Genevieve Cogman

Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he’s been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.

Kai’s dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people – and the forces of order and chaos themselves.

Irene’s mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it’s always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.

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Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick BlackNinth City Burning by J. Patrick Black

We never saw them coming.

Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble. When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it—until we discovered we could wield the power too.

Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelemity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.

But the enemy’s tactics are changing, and Earth’s defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.

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Warp by Lev Grossman.jpgWarp by Lev Grossman

The story of a modern day Ulysses — with the reality of post-graduation haze vollying off of Star Trek rerunsHollis lives in an area not too far from where he graduated from college. His friends do too. They all sleep late, talk about jobs they might get, girls they might see, money their parents might send them. All of these lives are seemingly on hold. Everything is going to happen. But Hollis has more than this: Another reality is running constantly in his head, one that leads him to believe that maybe, just maybe, it’s time to get serious.

Unlike other self-indulgent, whiny narratives of postgraduation angst, Warp is a lucid and immediate novel of what and where a twenty-something’s mind is when it isn’t even made up yet.

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About Avalon Free Public Library

Avalon is a bustling little shore town in southern NJ. Our small population of 1800 expands to about 30,000 at the height of summer. We like to think that we serve them all and then some! Our goal is to make our library available to our patrons wherever they may roam.

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