Best New Books: Week of 7/2/2019

The last few weeks have seen scads of suspense novels released, all hoping to be the year’s big beach read hit. And there are several more that look to be making a strong push for that title, but this week sees a bit more variety in the best new releases, with some exciting titles in the nonfiction, sci-fi, historical fiction, and even horror genres coming out. So whether you’re looking for another nail-biter for the beach, or something a little more serious, you are likely to come away happy this week.



FICTION



Whisper Network by  Chandler Baker

whisper networkSloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita are four women who have worked at Truviv, Inc., for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Ames is a complicated man, a man they’ve all known for a long time, a man who’s always been surrounded by… whispers. Whispers that have always been ignored by those in charge. But the world has changed, and the women are watching Ames’s latest promotion differently. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough. 

Sloane and her colleagues set in motion a catastrophic shift within every floor and department of the Truviv offices. All four women’s lives—as women, colleagues, mothers, wives, friends, even adversaries—will change dramatically as a result.

“If only you had listened to us,” they tell us on page one, “none of this would have happened.”

Description from Goodreads.

“Part page-turning thriller, part smart examination of the #MeToo movement, part feminist rallying cry, Whisper Network is a wildly entertaining and empowering tale… Baker’s insights are so on the nose that they can elicit a visceral response… Whisper Network is the satisfying ‘beach read’ we’ve earned.” – The Daily Beast

“Viciously funny and compulsively readable, Baker’s first adult novel is a feminist thriller for the #MeToo era… It’s a breezy page-turner of a book, which is the brilliance of it: Under the froth is an unmistakable layer of justified rage.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“A thriller, a murder mystery, and an anthem for any woman who has ever hit a glass ceiling, been the brunt of sexual innuendo, or felt harassed in the workplace. Smart, articulate, and witty, it will resonate with a huge audience.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook


Very Nice by  Marcy Dermansky

very niceRachel Klein never meant to kiss her creative writing professor, but with his long eyelashes, his silky hair, and the sad, beautiful life he laid bare on Twitter, she does, and the kiss is very nice.

Zahid Azzam never planned to become a houseguest in his student’s sprawling Connecticut home, but with the sparkling swimming pool, the endless supply of Whole Foods strawberries, and Rachel’s beautiful mother, he does, and the home is very nice.

Becca Klein never thought she’d have a love affair so soon after her divorce, but when her daughter’s professor walks into her home, bringing with him an apricot standard poodle named Princess, she does, and the affair is…a very bad idea.

In a darkly hilarious novel that zigzags between the rarified circles of Manhattan investment banking, the achingly self-serious MFA programs of the Midwest, and the private bedrooms of Connecticut, Marcy Dermansky has written an audacious, addictive, and wickedly smart take on the way we live now.

Description from Goodreads.

“If you are looking for a smart yet wacky summer diversion, a sendup of PC pretensions, a book that will make you both laugh and gasp out loud, dive between the enticing aqua covers of Very Nice.” – Newsday

“A messy, sexy, super fun drama that unravels over the course of one summer… Impossible to put down.” – Buzzfeed

“Dermansky’s spare prose compels the reader in such an effortless way that the monumental revelations her characters nonchalantly make have an even greater impact. As a study on human nature, this novel can easily hold its own amongst literary works, but will likely also be well-received by general fiction lovers looking for a more substantial, yet still entertaining, book to read.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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We Went to the Woods by  Caite Dolan-Leach

we went to the woodsCertain that society is on the verge of economic and environmental collapse, five disillusioned twenty-somethings make a bold decision: They gather in upstate New York to transform an abandoned farm, once the site of a turn-of-the-century socialist commune, into an idyllic self-sustaining compound called the Homestead.

Louisa spearheads the project, as her wealthy family owns the plot of land. Beau is the second to commit; as mysterious and sexy as he is charismatic, he torments Louisa with his nightly disappearances and his other relationships. Chloe, a dreamy musician, is naturally able to attract anyone to her–which inevitably results in conflict. Jack, the most sensible and cerebral of the group, is the only one with any practical farm experience. Mack, the last to join, believes it’s her calling to write their story–but she is not the most objective narrator, and inevitably complicates their increasingly tangled narrative. Initially exhilarated by restoring the rustic dwellings, planting a garden, and learning the secrets of fermentation, the group is soon divided by slights, intense romantic and sexual relationships, jealousies, and suspicions. And as winter settles in, their experiment begins to feel not only misguided, but deeply isolating and dangerous.

Caite Dolan-Leach spins a poignant and deeply human tale with sharp insights into our modern anxieties, our collective failures, and the timeless desire to withdraw from the world.

Description from Goodreads.

“Tantalizingly mysterious… Mack—observant, curious, and apt to leap to unwarranted conclusions—makes a likable and understandably unreliable narrator… The setting, traced through a year of seasons, is richly realized, with believable details about the difficulties of farming with little resources and less knowledge… Equal parts slow-burning thriller and intelligent analysis of the pros and cons of intentional communities, the novel will appeal to those who would rather read about such endeavors from a safe distance than be immersed in their messy reality.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Dolan-Leach has crafted a compelling tale about the passions and folly of young people trying to carve out meaning and purpose in their lives.” – Booklist
 
“Emotionally satisfying… Mack’s stoic exterior and sharp observations provide ballast as the secrets multiply… Readers who enjoy teeming stories with political bite will be pleased.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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The Gifted School by  Bruce Holsinger

gifted schoolSet in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, The Gifted School is a keenly entertaining novel that observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies.

Seen through the lens of four families who’ve been a part of one another’s lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group’s children, sibling relationships, marriages, and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate. It’s a humorous, keenly observed, timely take on ambitious parents, willful kids, and the pursuit of prestige, no matter the cost.

Description from Goodreads.

“An insular epic that questions the notion of meritocracy, the hypocrisy of white liberalism, and the politics that trickle from the adult world down to their children.” – The Paris Review

“[Holsinger’s] subject of parents charging past every ethical restraint in pursuit of crème de la crème education could not be more timely, and the Big Little Lies treatment creates a deliciously repulsive and eerily current page-turner.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Sharply entertaining… This depiction of the depths to which some parents will stoop to win social advantage for their offspring makes for a smart, piercing novel, and timely given recent headlines.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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Surfside Sisters by  Nancy Thayer

surfside sistersGrowing up, Lara always dreamed of leaving Nantucket to become a writer. Now that she’s a bestselling novelist living in New York City, she realizes that success isn’t what she thought it would be. Confused, and with a harrowing case of writer’s block, Lara misses the island way of life more than ever. But going back to Nantucket out of the blue isn’t so easy, as a deep rift with her childhood best friend, Isabelle, has kept the two from speaking for years.

When her mother is laid off from her job and becomes depressed, Lara reluctantly comes home, leaving a failed relationship and hopefully her other troubles behind. But facing her estranged best friend is harder than she expects. And falling for Isabelle’s brother, Sebastian–who was also Lara’s teenage crush–only complicates things. Lara soon realizes that she must remedy the mistakes of her past in order to find true happiness.

Description from Goodreads.

“Readers who appreciate a busy, uplifting tale of friendship and romance will enjoy spending time on Thayer’s Nantucket.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Thayer’s latest is a tale of friendship lost and found, with light romantic elements and a touch of family drama… Fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Shelley Noble should add Surfside Sisters to their beach bag.” – Booklist

“Told in a plot-focused, accessible prose, the novel appears at first to be a light read, but it deals artfully with heavier issues, including guilt, envy, and forgiveness. An engaging tale about how childhood expectations can be transformed on the journey through adulthood.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | PlayawayeBook



SUSPENSE



Lock Every Door by  Riley Sager

lock every doorNo visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story… until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Description from Goodreads.

“A compulsively readable thriller… Fans of Ira Levin, to whom the book is dedicated, will be delighted by Sager’s clever variation on a typical Levin plot.” – Publisher’s Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Sager (Final Girls) delivers a psychological, creepy, and unputdownable thriller… Likable characters, great writing, just enough twists, and a Rosemary’s Baby vibe will make this a summer hit. Purchase for Stephen King and Gillian Flynn fans.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Sager’s compulsive thrillers have become a highlight of the summer season, and Lock Every Door might well be the best yet.” – CrimeReads

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


Girls Like Us by  Cristina Alger

girls like usFBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn’t been home in ten years. Nell and her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, have never had much of a relationship. And Suffolk County will always be awash in memories of her mother, Marisol, who was brutally murdered when Nell was just seven.

When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns to the house she grew up in so that she can spread her father’s ashes and close his estate. At the behest of her father’s partner, Detective Lee Davis, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect–and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks. Plagued by doubts about her mother’s murder–and her own role in exonerating her father in that case–Nell can’t help but ask questions about who killed Ria Ruiz and Adriana Marques and why. But she may not like the answers she finds–not just about those she loves, but about herself.

Description from Goodreads.

“[An] edge-of-the-seat adventure… This is not a book to put down easily: plan accordingly. Alger’s thriller is emphatically plot-driven, but her characters hold their own… Heart-racing action and a twisty-turny plot.” – Shelf Awareness

“[An] excellent crime novel… [Alger] captures the social dynamics of Suffolk’s eastern extremes perfectly. The first-person narrative is appropriately terse—Nell delivers a thorough report—but it occasionally surprises with a gripping depth… Highly recommended.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“[A] propulsive thriller… Alger expertly ratchets up the suspense all the way to the explosive finale. Readers will hope to see more of tough, smart Nell.” – Publishers Weekly 

Available Formats:

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Temper by  Layne Fargo

temperAfter years of struggling in the Chicago theater scene, ambitious actress Kira Rascher finally lands the role of a lifetime. The catch? Starring in Temper means working with Malcolm Mercer, a mercurial director who’s known for pushing his performers past their limits—onstage and off.

Kira’s convinced she can handle Malcolm, but the theater’s cofounder Joanna Cuyler is another story. Joanna sees Kira as a threat—to her own thwarted artistic aspirations, her twisted relationship with Malcolm, and the shocking secret she’s keeping about the upcoming production. But as opening night draws near, Kira and Joanna both start to realize that Malcolm’s dangerous extremes are nothing compared to what they’re capable of themselves.

An edgy, addictive, and fiendishly clever tale of ambition, deceit, and power, Temper is a timely, heart-in-your-throat psychological thriller that will leave you breathless.

Description from Goodreads.

“[F]or potboilers, nothing comes close to Temper… There’s violence here, but it’s not only physical; it’s emotional and psychological — even intellectual.” –New York Times Book Review

“The theater is a tempestuous, bloody place to be in Fargo’s prickly debut. Fargo’s propulsive writing style and Joanna’s and Kira’s dueling narratives drive the increasingly frenzied chain of events that play out… Fargo is an author to watch.” – Kirkus Reviews

“This intense psychological thriller builds to a devastating… climax.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

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Never Look Back by  Alison Gaylin

never look backWhen website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it’s a business matter. It’s not. Quentin’s podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin’s own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.

Robin thinks Quentin’s claim is absolutely absurd. But is it? The more she researches the Cooper/LeRoy murders herself, the more disturbed she becomes by what she finds. Living just a few blocks from her, Robin’s beloved parents are the one absolute she’s always been able to rely upon, especially now amid rising doubts about her husband and frequent threats from internet trolls. She knows her mother better than anyone—or so she believes. But all that changes when, in an apparent home invasion, Robin’s father is killed and her mother’s life hangs in the balance.

Told through the eyes of Robin, podcaster Quentin, and a series of letters written by fifteen-year-old April Cooper at the time of the killings, Never Look Back asks the question:

How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?

Description from Goodreads.

“…expertly crafted… A mind-bending mystery, an insightful exploration of parent-child relationships, and a cautionary tale about bitterness and blame.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Never Look Back, is not only her best novel yet, but also one of the best novels of the year-to-date, period.” – Bolo Books

“Alison Gaylin’s 11th novel perceptively examines family dynamics, the domino effects of violence and our personal stories — real or invented — that help us maneuver through life. The strong tension that launches Never Look Back only intensifies with each surprising twist.” – Associated Press

Available Formats:

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MYSTERY



The Hard Stuff by  David Gordon

hard stuffEx-black-ops-specialist-turned-strip-club-bouncer Joe Brody has a new qualifica-tion to add to his resume: an alliance of New York City’s mob bosses has deemed him its “sheriff.” In the straight world, when you “see something” you “say something” to the law. In the bent world, they call Joe. Still reeling from a particularly difficult operation, and having plummeted back into the drug and alcohol addiction that got him kicked out of the military as a re-sult, Joe has just managed to detox at the clinic of a Chinese herbalist when the mob bosses phone: they need Joe to help them swindle a group of opioid dealers (of all things). But these are no typical drug-ferrying gangsters. Little Maria, the head of the Dominican mob, has discovered that her new heroin suppliers belong to an al Qaeda splinter group, and that they’re planning to use their drug funds to back their terrorist agenda. With Joe in command, the mob coalition must pull off an intricate heist that will begin in Manhattan’s diamond district. At stake is not only their business, but the state of the world.

For readers who like a liberal dose of humor mixed with gritty crime, The Hard Stuff is a brilliant, action-packed thriller from a fresh virtuoso of the crime caper genre.

Description from Goodreads.

“Highly entertaining… Gordon has a knack for twisty story lines, nonstop action, and over-the-top sequences.” – Publishers Weekly

“Gordon is fashioning himself an impressive crime world niche somewhere between Donald Westlake and Elmore Leonard, with his raucous, rollicking stories of New York City crime… Come for the intricate, surprising crime scenarios; stay for the banter.” – CrimeReads

“With The Bouncer, Gordon established himself as a major player in comic thrillerdom, right up there with Thomas Perry… Much of Gordon’s genius comes from his ability to build character in a few subtle brush strokes, so his entire cast, including the morally and sexually ambiguous New York mobster Gio Caprisi, get under our skins in an instant and stay put. There are some grisly doings this time, but the lightness of touch that distinguishes Gordon’s prose, whether his characters are bantering or dismembering, is still what makes this series soar.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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HISTORICAL FICTION



Deep River by  Karl Marlantes

deep riverIn the early 1900s, as the oppression of Russia’s imperial rule takes its toll on Finland, the three Koski siblings–Ilmari, Matti, and the politicized young Aino–are forced to flee to the United States. Not far from the majestic Columbia River, the siblings settle among other Finns in a logging community in southern Washington, where the first harvesting of the colossal old-growth forests begets rapid development, and radical labor movements begin to catch fire.

The brothers face the excitement and danger of pioneering this frontier wilderness–climbing and felling trees one-hundred meters high–while Aino, foremost of the books many strong, independent women, devotes herself to organizing the industry’s first unions. As the Koski siblings strive to rebuild lives and families in an America in flux, they also try to hold fast to the traditions of a home they left behind. 

Layered with fascinating historical detail, this is a novel that breathes deeply of the sun-dappled forest and bears witness to the stump-ridden fields the loggers, and the first waves of modernity, leave behind. At its heart, Deep River is an ambitious and timely exploration of the place of the individual, and of the immigrant, in an America still in the process of defining its own identity.

Description from Goodreads.

“Marlantes conveys the elements, arcana and dangerous romance of logging superbly. His descriptions of logging itself―the ingenious mechanics of taking down trees and the skill of experienced loggers―are wonderfully detailed, dramatic and exhilarating…Mighty physical, social and economic forces operate the plot of this novel, buffeting its characters, raising them up, flinging them down, twisting their fates together. Deep River is a big American novel.” – Wall Street Journal

“Marlantes poignantly depicts the intimacies of personal dramas that echo the twentieth century’s unprecedented political storms and yet in surprising ways reprise Finland’s oldest mythologies… An unforgettable novel.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Inspired by family history, Marlantes (Matterhorn) offers a sprawling, painstakingly realistic novel about Finnish immigrants in the Pacific Northwest during the first half of the 20th century… Marlantes’s epic is packed with intriguing detail about Finnish culture, Northwest landscapes, and 20th-century American history, making for a vivid immigrant family chronicle.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook



SCI-FI & FANTASY



Wanderers by  Chuck Wendig

wanderersShana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.

Description from Goodreads.

“…an epic equal to Steven King’s The Stand… Wendig has stretched his considerable talents beyond the hyperkinetic horror that is his wheelhouse to deliver a story about survival that’s not just about you and me, but all of us, together. Wendig is clearly wrestling with some of the demons of our time, resulting in a story that is ambitious, bold, and worthy of attention.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Approach Wanderers like it’s a primetime television series, along the lines of The Passage [or] Lost… Make Wanderers a summer reading priority; you won’t regret it.” – Book Riot

“Wendig pulls no punches in this blockbuster apocalyptic novel, which confronts some of the darkest and most divisive aspects of present-day America with urgency, humanity, and hope… Wendig challenges readers with twists and revelations that probe issues of faith and free will while crafting a fast-paced narrative with deeply real characters. …he tackles many moral questions while eschewing easy answers. This career-defining epic deserves its inevitable comparisons to Stephen King’s The Stand, easily rising above the many recent novels of pandemic and societal collapse.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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HORROR



Growing Things and Other Stories by  Paul Tremblay

growing thingsA chilling collection of psychological suspense and literary horror from the multiple award-winning author of the national bestseller The Cabin at the End of the World and A Head Full of Ghosts.

A masterful anthology featuring nineteen pieces of short fiction, Growing Things is an exciting glimpse into Paul Tremblay’s fantastically fertile imagination.

In “The Teacher,” a Bram Stoker Award nominee for best short story, a student is forced to watch a disturbing video that will haunt and torment her and her classmates’ lives.

Four men rob a pawn shop at gunpoint only to vanish, one-by-one, as they speed away from the crime scene in “The Getaway.”

In “Swim Wants to Know If It’s as Bad as Swim Thinks,” a meth addict kidnaps her daughter from her estranged mother as their town is terrorized by a giant monster… or not.

Joining these haunting works are stories linked to Tremblay’s previous novels. The tour de force metafictional novella “Notes from the Dog Walkers” deconstructs horror and publishing, possibly bringing in a character from A Head Full of Ghosts, all while serving as a prequel to Disappearance at Devil’s Rock. “The Thirteenth Temple” follows another character from A Head Full of Ghosts—Merry, who has published a tell-all memoir written years after the events of the novel. And the title story, “Growing Things,” a shivery tale loosely shared between the sisters in A Head Full of Ghosts, is told here in full.

From global catastrophe to the demons inside our heads, Tremblay illuminates our primal fears and darkest dreams in startlingly original fiction that leaves us unmoored. As he lowers the sky and yanks the ground from beneath our feet, we are compelled to contemplate the darkness inside our own hearts and minds.

Description from Goodreads.

“[Growing Things] brilliantly takes ordinary situations—an author reading, an AP history class, a family vacation—and seamlessly sprinkles in a sense of unease that quickly builds to a sense of pure horror… These are stories that live in the increasing popular space between literary fiction and horror, where speculative terrors and very real universal truths collide.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Tremblay’s unsettling prose, filled with poetic metaphors, sets an ominous tone, and readers will be sucked in from page one.” – Library Journal

“These frighteningly imaginative slices of horror are often far more chilling than their relatively mundane inspirations… From high fantasy to monsters to (literally) Hellboy, [Growing Things has] something for everyone who digs things that go bump in the night.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

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NONFICTION



American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by  Maureen Callahan

american predatorMost of us have never heard of Israel Keyes. But he is one of the most ambitious, meticulous serial killers of modern time. The FBI considered his behavior unprecedented. Described by a prosecutor as “a force of pure evil,” he was a predator who struck all over the United States. He buried “kill kits”–cash, weapons, and body-disposal tools–in remote locations across the country and over the course of fourteen years, would fly to a city, rent a car, and drive thousands of miles in order to use his kits. He would break into a stranger’s house, abduct his victims in broad daylight, and kill and dispose of them in mere hours. And then he would return home, resuming life as a quiet, reliable construction worker devoted to his only daughter.

When journalist Maureen Callahan first heard about Israel Keyes in 2012, she was captivated by how a killer of this magnitude could go undetected by law enforcement for over a decade. And so began a project that consumed her for the next several years–uncovering the true story behind how the FBI ultimately caught Israel Keyes, and trying to understand what it means for a killer like Keyes to exist. A killer who left a path of monstrous, randomly committed crimes in his wake–many of which remain unsolved to this day.

American Predator is the ambitious culmination of years of on-the-ground interviews with key figures in law enforcement and in Keyes’s life, and research uncovered from classified FBI files. Callahan takes us on a journey into the chilling, nightmarish mind of a relentless killer, and the limitations of traditional law enforcement, in one of America’s most isolated environments–Alaska–when faced with a killer who defies all expectation and categorization.

Description from Goodreads.

“Even true-crime aficionados might have a hard time stomaching this story of Israel Keyes, one of the most ambitious serial killers in modern history, who [went] undetected by law enforcement for over a terrifying decade.” – USA Today

“Investigative journalist Callahan provides a chilling true-crime narrative in this detailed study of Israel Keyes, whom she describes as ‘a new kind of monster, likely responsible for the greatest string of unsolved disappearances and murders in modern American history.’… Through Callahan’s access to many of the key players in law enforcement, she has produced the definitive account of a terrifying psychopath.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Keyes is terrifying, and his crimes horrific, but Callahan’s focus on the FBI’s attempts to learn about his other crimes makes for a truly edge-of-your-seat page-turner even without the ‘hunt.’ A must for fans of Mindhunter—both the book and its recent Netflix adaptation—and the long-running police drama Criminal Minds.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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Last Witnesses: An Oral History of the Children of World War II by  Svetlana Alexievich

last witnessesFrom the Nobel Prize-winning author comes an oral history of children’s experiences in WWII across Europe and Russia, in the celebrated tradition of her masterpiece, The Unwomanly Face of War.

Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, Last Witnesses is Svetlana Alexievich’s collection of the memories of those who were children during World War II. These men and women were both witnesses and sometimes soldiers as well, and their generation grew up with the trauma of the war deeply embedded in them–a trauma that would forever change the course of the Russian nation. This is a new version of the war we’re so familiar with. Alexievich gives voice to those whose stories are lost in the official narratives, uncovering a powerful, hidden history from the personal and private experiences of individuals. Collectively, these voices provide a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human consequences of the war.

Description from Goodreads.

“…a masterpiece of clear-eyed humility… there is a special sort of clear-eyed humility to her reporting. She apparently gets entirely out of the way of her subjects and lets them do all the telling. She resists any editorial comment.” – The Guardian

“These true stories sneak up on you. They start relatively mildly — absent parents, burned-out towns, displacement — but as the book goes on they grow increasingly horrific until they are almost unbearable… Alexievich’s decision not to include a preface was not an oversight, but a stroke of brilliance. These children had no warning; the context of the war meant nothing to them. All that mattered was what happened.” – Star Tribune

“Like all of Alexievich’s books, this one makes for a difficult but powerful reading experience… As usual, Alexievich shines a bright light on those who were there; an excellent book but not for the faint of heart.” – Kirkus Reviews

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