Best New Books: Week of 4/10/2018

Variety is the spice of life, and this week’s selection of exciting new books has it in spades. Whether you like period drama, twisty mysteries, searing nonfiction, quirky science fiction, or edgy horror, you will find something to like. And with authors ranging from local favorite Lisa Scottoline to Man Booker International Prize Finalist Mia Couto it is a very diverse selection. So what are you waiting for? Check out this week’s list of the best new books, and then settle in with an old favorite or maybe try something new!



FICTION



The Magnificent Esme Wells by  Adrienne Sharp

Magnificent Esme WellsEsme Silver has always taken care of her charming ne’er-do-well father, Ike Silver, a small-time crook with dreams of making it big with Bugsy Siegel. Devoted to her daddy, Esme is often his “date” at the racetrack, where she amiably fetches the hot dogs while keeping an eye to the ground for any cast-off tickets that may be winners.

In awe of her mother, Dina Wells, Esme is more than happy to be the foil who gets the beautiful Dina into meetings and screen tests with some of Hollywood’s greats. When Ike gets an opportunity to move to Vegas—and, in what could at last be his big break, to help the man she knows as “Benny” open the Flamingo Hotel—life takes an unexpected turn for Esme. A stunner like her mother, the young girl catches the attention of Nate Stein, one of the Strip’s most powerful men.

Narrated by the twenty-year-old Esme, The Magnificent Esme Wells moves between pre–WWII Hollywood and postwar Las Vegas—a golden age when Jewish gangsters and movie moguls were often indistinguishable in looks and behavior. Esme’s voice—sharp, observant, and with a quiet, mordant wit—chronicles the rise and fall and further fall of her complicated parents, as well as her own painful reckoning with love and life. A coming-of-age story with a tinge of noir, and a tale that illuminates the promise and perils of the American dream and its dreamers, The Magnificent Esme Wells is immersive, moving, and compelling.

Description from Goodreads.

“This glittering noirish tragedy, with its lushly imagined period landscape and subtle feminist trajectory, is both fun to read and sad to think about.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Esme’s dramatic and irresistible story sparkles with psychological nuance, sumptuous detail, and vivid historical perceptions as Sharp tracks the high wattage success and violence of tough Jews building movie and casino empires while Hitler bloodied Europe. With real-life figures, mushroom clouds rising from desert test sites, and arresting insights into the power and vulnerability of a daring woman performer, Sharp’s novel, like Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach, is propulsive and profound. ” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out by  Sally Franson

ladys guide to selling outCasey Pendergast is losing her way. Once a book-loving English major, Casey lands a job at a top ad agency that highly values her ability to tell a good story. Her best friend thinks she’s a sellout, but Casey tells herself that she’s just paying the bills—and she can’t help that she has champagne taste.

When her hard-to-please boss assigns her to a top-secret campaign that pairs literary authors with corporations hungry for upmarket cachet, Casey is both excited and skeptical. But as she crisscrosses America, wooing her former idols, she’s shocked at how quickly they compromise their integrity: A short-story writer leaves academia to craft campaigns for a plus-size clothing chain, a reclusive nature writer signs away her life’s work to a manufacturer of granola bars.

When she falls in love with one of her authors, Casey can no longer ignore her own nagging doubts about the human cost of her success. By the time the year’s biggest book festival rolls around in Las Vegas, it will take every ounce of Casey’s moxie to undo the damage—and, hopefully, save her own soul.

Told in an unforgettable voice, with razor-sharp observations about everything from feminism to pop culture to social media, A Lady’s Guide to Selling Out is the story of a young woman untangling the contradictions of our era and trying to escape the rat race—by any means necessary.

Description from Goodreads.

“Bitingly funny . . . [Sally] Franson’s snappy debut nimbly skewers the high-flying world of advertising and romance in the age of social media. . . . Comparisons will be made to The Devil Wears Prada, but Franson’s irresistibly flawed heroine holds her own as she strives to find honesty, meaning, and even love in a demanding world, resulting in an addictive, escapist novel.” – Publishers Weekly

“A fast-paced and quick-witted trip into the world of advertising today. With smart, funny characters and perfectly crafted dialogue, Franson cleverly explores the battle between giving in and staying true to oneself.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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MYSTERY & SUSPENSE



After Anna by  Lisa Scottoline

after annaDr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Riveting and disquieting, After Annais a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page.

Description from Goodreads.

“Filled with plenty of twists and complex characters, this entertaining story builds to a satisfying conclusion.” – Publishers Weekly

“A nail-biting thriller.” – Kirkus

“Scottoline, a master at crafting intense family dramas, expertly twists Maggie’s reality with a page-turning mix of guilt, self-delusion, and manipulation.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | Playaway | eBook | eAudiobook


The Cutting Edge by  Jeffery Deaver

cutting edgeLincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs return to New York City to confront a killer terrorizing couples at their happiest–and most vulnerable.

In the early hours of a quiet, weekend morning in Manhattan’s Diamond District, a brutal triple murder shocks the city. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs quickly take the case. Curiously, the killer has left behind a half-million dollars’ worth of gems at the murder scene, a jewelry store on 47th street. As more crimes follow, it becomes clear that the killer’s target is not gems, but engaged couples themselves.

The Promisor vows to take the lives of men and women during their most precious moments–midway through the purchase of an engagement ring, after a meeting with a wedding planner, trying on the perfect gown for a day that will never come. The Promisor arrives silently, armed with knife or gun, and a time of bliss is transformed, in an instant, to one of horror.

Soon the Promisor makes a dangerous mistake: leaving behind an innocent witness, Vimal Lahori, a talented young diamond cutter, who can help Rhyme and Sachs blow the lid off the case. They must track down Vimal before the killer can correct his fatal error. Then disaster strikes, threatening to tear apart the very fabric of the city–and providing the perfect cover for the killer to slip through the cracks.

Description from Goodreads.

“Stellar… The tension rises [and] Deaver keeps the twists and surprises coming in this roller-coaster ride of a thriller.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Deaver keeps the level of suspense high as he also examines the gem trade and takes readers on an insider’s tour of New York City.” – southflorida.com

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | Playaway | eBook


Macbeth by  Jo Nesbø

macbethSet in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbø’s Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom—a master of manipulation named Hecate—has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way.

Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind.

Description from Goodreads.

Raw, gritty, and rough around the edges, Nesbø’s MACBETH captures the ageless dark heart of Shakespeare’s original work, and packages it in the razor-sharp crime writing only Nesbø can deliver.” – Crime by the Book

“[A] clever reengineering of one of Shakespeare’s great tragedies.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook


The Sixth Day by  Catherine Coulter & J.T. Ellison

sixth dayWhen several major political figures die mysteriously, officials declare the deaths are from natural causes. Then the German Vice-Chancellor dies on the steps of 10 Downing Street and a drone is spotted hovering over the scene. The truth becomes clear – these high-profile deaths are well-constructed assassinations, and the Covert Eyes team is tasked to investigate.

With the help of Dr. Isabella Marin, a young expert in the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript and cryptophasia (twin language), Nicholas and Michaela home in on Roman Ardelean, a wealthy cybersecurity genius and a descendant of fifteenth century Romanian Vlad the Impaler – often romanticised as Dracula. Ardelean believes the Voynich Manuscript will unlock the secret to curing his severely ill twin brother’s blood disorder and is willing to murder anyone who gets in his way, including Nicholas and Michaela.

Along with MI5, the Covert Eyes team must race against the clock to find Ardelean before he unleashes a devastating attack on London intended to destroy those he believes betrayed him.

Description from Goodreads.

“The character building in this book is absolutely fantastic…Completely gripping from the first page to the last. This book adds another outstanding chapter to this phenomenally thrilling series. Not to be missed!” – RT Book Reviews

“…enough twists and turns and action to keep you reading long into the night.” – Vickie’s Book Nook

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook


The Dark Clouds Shining by  David Downing

dark clouds shiningLondon, 1921: Ex-Secret Service spy Jack McColl is in prison serving a trumped-up sentence. McColl has been embittered by the Great War; he feels betrayed by the country that had sent so many young men to die needlessly. He can’t stomach spying for the British Empire anymore. He’s also heartbroken: the love of his life, radical journalist Caitlin Hanley, parted ways with him three years earlier so she could devote her life to the Communist revolution in Moscow.

Then his former Secret Service boss offers McColl the chance to escape his jail sentence—if he takes a dangerous and unofficial assignment in Russia, where McColl is already a wanted man. He would be spying on other spies, sniffing out the truth about MI5 meddling in a high-profile assassination plot. The target is someone McColl cares about and respects—and the MI5 agent involved is someone he loathes.

With the knowledge that he is probably walking into a death trap, McColl sets out for Moscow, the scene of his last heartbreak. Little does he know that his mission will throw him back into Caitlin Hanley’s life—or that her husband will be one of the men he is trying to hunt down.

Description from Goodreads.

“[A] fitting conclusion to [Downing’s] superior quartet of WWI-era spy thrillers . . . As always, Downing’s intelligently constructed characters complement a plausible and pulse-pounding plotline.” – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review 

“Ending his series on a perfect tonic chord, Downing masterfully combines high adventure, Doctor Zhivago–caliber romance, and just the right amount of Graham Greene ambiguity.” – Booklist, Starred Review 

“Intelligent and exhilarating.” – The Seattle Times 

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook



HISTORICAL FICTION



Woman of the Ashes by  Mia Couto; trans. by  David Brookshaw

woman of the ashesSouthern Mozambique, 1894. Sergeant Germano de Melo is posted to the village of Nkokolani to oversee the Portuguese conquest of territory claimed by Ngungunyane, the last of the leaders of the state of Gaza, the second-largest empire led by an African. Ngungunyane has raised an army to resist colonial rule and with his warriors is slowly approaching the border village. Desperate for help, Germano enlists Imani, a fifteen-year-old girl, to act as his interpreter. She belongs to the VaChopi tribe, one of the few who dared side with the Portuguese. But while one of her brothers fights for the Crown of Portugal, the other has chosen the African emperor. Standing astride two kingdoms, Imani is drawn to Germano, just as he is drawn to her. But she knows that in a country haunted by violence, the only way out for a woman is to go unnoticed, as if made of shadows or ashes.

Alternating between the voices of Imani and Germano, Mia Couto’s Woman of the Ashes combines vivid folkloric prose with extensive historical research to give a spellbinding and unsettling account of war-torn Mozambique at the end of the nineteenth century.

Description from Goodreads.

“Based on historical events (with layers of magical realism, Achebe-style allegory, and folklore ladled on top), Couto’s ninth novel . . . tells the story of Imani, a 15-year-old girl who finds herself playing a pivotal role in a 19th-century culture clash between an African emporer and Portuguese colonialists. Couto treats his characters to a world of blazing specificity, and yet Imani is also a vessel for our more contemporary battles.” – Vanity Fair

“Couto’s mastery lies in his ability to turn his exploration of this slice of history into a commentary on all of human civilization. Richly translated by Brookshaw in words that suggest more than they say, Couto’s tale evokes a sense of timelessness . . . An intriguing combination of folklore, history, and magic realism, and the first in a trilogy, this is a novel to be read and reread, savored and analyzed.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book


Circe by  Madeline Miller

circeIn the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Description from Goodreads.

“Madeline Miller’s enthralling second novel may be about a goddess, but it has a lot to say about what it means to be a woman…. Like its heroine, this is a novel to underestimate at your peril.” – Bookpage

“Ambitious in scope, Circe is above all the chronicle of an outsider woman who uses her power and wits to protect herself and the people she loves, ultimately looking within to define herself. Readers will savor the message of standing against a hostile world and forging a new way.” – Shelf Awareness

Available Formats:

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Gateway to the Moon by  Mary Morris

gateway to the moonEntrada de la Luna is the sort of town that ambitious children try to leave behind them. Poor health, broken marriages, and poverty are the norm, and luck is unusual. So when Miguel Torres notices an advertisement for a position looking after two small boys a few towns over, he jumps at the opportunity.

Rachel Rothstein is not the sort of parent Miguel expected to be working for, though. A frustrated artist, Rachel moved her family away from New York looking for a fresh start, but so far New Mexico has not solved any of the problems they brought with them. But Miguel genuinely loves the work and he finds many of the Rothstein family’s customs similar to ones he sees in his own community.

Studded throughout this present-day narrative are historical vignettes following the ancestors of Entrada’s residents, beginning in fifteenth-century Spain and moving forward to the discovery of America, highlighting the torture, pursuit, and resistance of the Jewish people throughout history, leading to the founding of the enclave that Miguel now calls home. A beautiful novel of shared history, Gateway to the Moon is a moving and memorable portrait of home and community.

Description from Goodreads.

“[An] enthralling saga . . . The story glides effortlessly between viewpoints and vibrant settings ranging from Lisbon to Tangiers, the Caribbean, and Mexico City. With prose as clear as the star-strewn night sky, Morris’ novel explores people’s hidden connections.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“…this historical novel achieves affecting, poetic notes, its vignettes illuminating one thread of the Jewish Diaspora.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

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HORROR



Unbury Carol by  Josh Malerman

unbury carolCarol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times . . . but her many deaths are not final: They are comas, a waking slumber indistinguishable from death, each lasting days.

Only two people know of Carol’s eerie condition. One is her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her fortune, and—when she lapses into another coma—plots to seize it by proclaiming her dead and quickly burying her . . . alive. The other is her lost love, the infamous outlaw James Moxie. When word of Carol’s dreadful fate reaches him, Moxie rides the Trail again to save his beloved from an early, unnatural grave.

And all the while, awake and aware, Carol fights to free herself from the crippling darkness that binds her—summoning her own fierce will to survive. As the players in this drama of life and death fight to decide her fate, Carol must in the end battle to save herself.

Description from Goodreads.

“Breathtaking and menacing . . . an intricately plotted, lyrical page-turner about love, betrayal, revenge, and the primal fear of being buried alive.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“This one haunts you for reasons you can’t quite put your finger on. . . . Malerman is too fierce an original to allow anyone else’s visions to intrude on his. [He] defies categories and comparisons with other writers.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

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SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY



Bash Bash Revolution by  Douglas Lain

bash bash revolutionSeventeen-year-old Matthew Munson is ranked thirteenth in the state in Bash Bash Revolution, an outdated Nintendo game from 2002 that, in 2016, is still getting tournament play. He’s a high school dropout who still lives at home with his mom, doing little but gaming and moping. That is, until Matthew’s dad turns up again.

Jeffrey Munson is a computer geek who’d left home eight years earlier to work on a top secret military project. Jeff has been a sporadic presence in Matthew’s life, and much to his son’s displeasure insists on bonding over video games. The two start entering local tournaments together, where Jeff shows astonishing aptitude for Bash Bash Revolution in particular.

Then, as abruptly as he appeared, Matthew’s father disappears again, just as he was beginning to let Jeff back into his life.

The betrayal is life-shattering, and Matthew decides to give chase, in the process discovering the true nature of the government-sponsored artificial intelligence program his father has been involved in. Told as a series of conversations between Matthew and his father’s artificial intelligence program, Bash Bash Revolution is a wildly original novel of apocalypse and revolution, as well as a poignant story of broken family.

Description from Goodreads.

“A page-turner with a strong philosophical bent, Bash Bash Revolution is up there with some of the best VR-influenced sci-fi of the past thirty years and will sit comfortably with works like Snow Crash and Ready Player One on any reader’s bookshelf, virtual or otherwise, for years to come.” – Small Press Reviews

“A fun read; that is, until you close the book and start thinking about its implications. This is not a cartoonish sketch: it is a realistic and bleak look at the post-singularity world. An easy suggestion for fans of current, accessible science fiction that thoughtfully contemplates AI such as Cline’s Ready Player One or Cargill’s Sea of Rust, but it is also a great choice for those who enjoy John Scalzi’s narrative style.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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NONFICTION



Fascism: A Warning by  Madeleine Albright

fascismA Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, “is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.”

The twentieth century was defined by the clash between democracy and Fascism, a struggle that created uncertainty about the survival of human freedom and left millions dead. Given the horrors of that experience, one might expect the world to reject the spiritual successors to Hitler and Mussolini should they arise in our era. In Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright draws on her experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished career as a diplomat to question that assumption.

Fascism, as she shows, not only endured through the twentieth century but now presents a more virulent threat to peace and justice than at any time since the end of World War II.  The momentum toward democracy that swept the world when the Berlin Wall fell has gone into reverse.  The United States, which historically championed the free world, is led by a president who exacerbates division and heaps scorn on democratic institutions.  In many countries, economic, technological, and cultural factors are weakening the political center and empowering the extremes of right and left.  Contemporary leaders such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are employing many of the tactics used by Fascists in the 1920s and 30s.

Fascism: A Warning is a book for our times that is relevant to all times. Written by someone who has not only studied history but helped to shape it, this call to arms teaches us the lessons we must understand and the questions we must answer if we are to save ourselves from repeating the tragic errors of the past.

Description from Goodreads.

“Albright outlines the warning signs of fascism and offers concrete actions for restoring America’s values and reputation. There is priceless wisdom on every page.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Incisive… [Albright] offers cogent insights on worrisome political trends.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book


The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair That Rocked the Crown by  Penny Junor

duchessIn the first in-depth biography of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall-the infamous other woman who made the marriage of Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana “a bit crowded”-esteemed royal biographer Penny Junor tells the unlikely and extraordinary story of the woman reviled as a pariah who, thanks to numerous twists of fate, became the popular princess consort.

Few know the Windsor family as well as veteran royal biographer and journalist Penny Junor. In The Duchess, she casts her insightful, sensitive eye on the intriguing, once widely despised, and little-known Camilla Parker Bowles, revealing in full, for the first time, the remarkable rise of a woman who was the most notorious mistress in the world.

As Camilla’s marriage to Charles approached in 2005, the British public were upset at the prospect that this woman, universally reviled for wrecking the royal marriage, would one day become queen. Sensitive to public opinion, the palace announced that this would never happen; when Charles eventually acceded to the throne, Camilla would be known as the princess consort. Yet a decade later British public sentiment had changed, with a majority believing that Camilla should become queen.

Junor argues that although Camilla played a central role in the darkest days of the modern monarchy-Charles and Diana’s acrimonious and scandalous split-she also played a central role in restoring the royal family’s reputation, especially that of Prince Charles. A woman with no ambition to be a princess, a duchess, or a queen, Camilla simply wanted to be with, and support, the man who has always been the love of her life. Junor contends that their marriage has reinvigorated Charles, allowing him to finally become comfortable as the heir to the British throne.

Description from Goodreads.

Available Formats:

Print Book | Large Print Book | eBook


Assume the Worst: The Graduation Speech You’ll Never Hear by  Carl Hiaasen

assume the worstThis is Oh, the Places You’ll Never Go–the ultimate hilarious, cynical, but absolutely realistic view of a college graduate’s future. And what he or she can or can’t do about it.

“This commencement address will never be given, because graduation speakers are supposed to offer encouragement and inspiration. That’s not what you need. You need a warning.”

So begins Carl Hiaasen’s attempt to prepare young men and women for their future. And who better to warn them about their precarious paths forward than Carl Hiaasen? The answer, after reading Assume the Worst, is: Nobody.

And who better to illustrate–and with those illustrations, expand upon and cement Hiaasen’s cynical point of view–than Roz Chast, best-selling author/illustrator and National Book Award winner? The answer again is easy: Nobody.

Following the format of Anna Quindlen’s commencement address (Being Perfect) and George Saunders’s commencement address (Congratulations, by the way), the collaboration of Hiaasen and Chast might look typical from the outside, but inside it is anything but.

This book is bound to be a classic, sold year after year come graduation time. Although it’s also a good gift for anyone starting a job, getting married, or recently released from prison. Because it is not just funny. It is, in its own Hiaasen way, extremely wise and even hopeful. Well, it might not be full of hope, but there are certainly enough slivers of the stuff in there to more than keep us all going.

Description from Goodreads.

“Pointed and humorous; a good gift for the neighbor’s kid’s graduation.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Remember the big speech at your high school graduation? Yeah, me neither. But if it had been the speech in Carl Hiaasen’s new book, it would have made an impression.” – Tampa Bay Times

Available Formats:

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The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America by  Mohammed Al Samawi

fox huntBorn in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, to a pair of middle-class doctors, Mohammed Al Samawi was a devout Muslim raised to think of Christians and Jews as his enemy. But when Mohammed was twenty-three, he secretly received a copy of the Bible, and what he read cast doubt on everything he’d previously believed. After connecting with Jews and Christians on social media, and at various international interfaith conferences, Mohammed became an activist, making it his mission to promote dialogue and cooperation in Yemen.

Then came the death threats: first on Facebook, then through terrifying anonymous phone calls. To protect himself and his family, Mohammed fled to the southern port city of Aden. He had no way of knowing that Aden was about to become the heart of a north-south civil war, and the battleground for a well-funded proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. As gunfire and grenades exploded throughout the city, Mohammed hid in the bathroom of his apartment and desperately appealed to his contacts on Facebook.

Miraculously, a handful of people he barely knew responded. Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces— rebel fighters from the north and Al Qaeda operatives from the south.

The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, The Fox Hunt reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.

Description from Goodreads.

“Nail-bitingly suspenseful. … Al Samawi’s ultimate escape is inspiring, as is his determination to continue to work for international peace and understanding. Illuminating and essential reading.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Compelling. … Powerful. … An important story to tell. Gracious and generous, this personal account of a remarkable life is a reminder of how peace comes in small increments as the result of the work of committed individuals.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

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