Choose Your Free Book!
Winners of special promotions such as the Christmas Wordplay will be able to choose the books of their choice from the list of currently available books.
Below is a list of books available at this time, which changes as books are selected and new books are added.
This list is updated in real time - all books shown are currently available.
by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
Hardcover, 384 pages.
The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as six other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a ?man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.
A Simple Favor: A Novel
by Darcey Bell.
Hardcover, 304 pages.
"Riveting and brilliantly structured, A Simple Favor is an edge-of-your seat domestic thriller about a missing wife and mother that relies on a rotating cast of unreliable narrators to ingeniously examine the cost of competitive mom-friends, the toll of ordinary marital discontent and the fallacy of the picture-perfect, suburban family."—Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author
She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother's life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.
But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.
Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.
A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.
by Chan Ho-Kei.
Paperback, 496 pages.
From award-winning Hong Kong writer Chan Ho-Kei, The Borrowed tells the story of Kwan Chun-dok, a Hong Kong detective whose career spans fifty years of the territory’s history. A deductive powerhouse, Kwan becomes a legend in the force, nicknamed ?the Eye of Heaven” by his awe-struck colleagues. Divided into six sections told in reverse chronological order?each of which covers an important case in Kwan’s career and takes place at a pivotal moment in Hong Kong history from the 1960s to the present day?The Borrowed follows Kwan from his experiences during the Leftist Riot in 1967, when a bombing plot threatens many lives; the conflict between the HK Police and ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) in 1977; the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989; to the Handover in 1997; and the present day of 2013, when Kwan is called on to solve his final case, the murder of a local billionaire, while Hong Kong increasingly resembles a police state. Along the way we meet Communist rioters, ultraviolent gangsters, stallholders at the city’s many covered markets, pop singers enmeshed in the high-stakes machinery of star-making, and a people always caught in the shifting balance of political power, whether in London or Beijing?all coalescing into a dynamic portrait of this fascinating city.
Tracing a broad historical arc, The Borrowed reveals just how closely everything is connected, how history always repeats itself, and how we have come full circle to repeat the political upheaval and societal unrest of the past. It is a gripping, brilliantly constructed novel from a talented new voice.
All Joe Knight: A Novel
by Kevin Morris.
Hardcover, 368 pages.
A prominent figure in the entertainment world who has turned to fiction in the last decade, Kevin Morris received wide literary acclaim with his story collection White Man’s Problems, praised by David Carr as ?remarkable” and Tom Perrotta as ?revelatory.” Now Morris cements his place as a bold new voice in American literature with his muscular debut novel, All Joe Knight.
1961. Outside Philadelphia, a soon-to-be father runs into a telephone pole while driving drunk; nine months later, his widow dies in a smashed up T-Bird. From the start, the orphaned Joe Knight is a blank slate. Taken in by a kindly aunt in a tough-skinned suburb, Joe finds his family in high school with the Fallcrest basketball team?the kind of team that comes around once in a lifetime. White guys, black guys, speed, height, raw athleticism, every element is perfectly in synch. All these kids want, all they dream of, is to make it to the Palestra, UPenn’s cathedral of college basketball.
Fast-forward thirty years. Joe is newly divorced with one kid and certain he is unfit for love. Ever since selling the ad firm he built from the ground up for millions, he’s had time on his hands, and now he wiles it away in strip clubs, the only place where he can quiet his mind. But then he hears from Chris Scully, a former Fallcrest teammate who is now District Attorney. It seems the Justice Department is sniffing around the deal that got Joe rich years ago?a deal he cut every member of the basketball team into, except for Scully. As the details about Joe’s possible transgression are unreeled, he is forced to face the emptiness inside himself and a secret that has haunted him for decades.
by L.S. Hilton.
Paperback, 336 pages.
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
THE BEST OF SKIMM READS 2016
“One of this year’s most talked about novels.” —The Washington Post
“A twenty-first-century femme fatale as lethal as Tom Ripley and as seductive as Bacall.” —Vogue
A put-upon assistant at a prestigious London art house, Judith Rashleigh is well-educated, well-groomed, and impeccably behaved—keeping the darker desires she indulges on nights off as her own little secret. But when Judith uncovers a dangerous heist, her life is shattered and she’s forced to run. Armed with just her wits and a talent for self-invention, she makes her way from the French Riviera to Geneva, Rome, and the nightclubs of Paris, determined to take back what is rightfully hers.
The beginning of a darkly irresistible trilogy, Maestra follows the rise of Judith, a woman whose vulnerability and ruthlessness have left readers worldwide begging to know: where do you go when you've gone too far?
One Perfect Lie
by Lisa Scottoline.
Hardcover, 368 pages.
"Scottoline keeps the pace relentless as she drops a looming threat into the heart of an idyllic suburban community, causing readers to hold their breath in anticipation." –Booklist
"Readers can be assured that the author nails the high school milieu, from athletic rivalries to sexting...they're in for one thrilling ride." –Kirkus Reviews
"Entertaining...This fast-paced read culminates in a daring chase that would play well on the big screen." –Publishers Weekly
On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He's applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he's ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.
But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.
Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he's being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.
Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Justin's baseball games. But Justin is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.
Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon's wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.
At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?
Enthralling and suspenseful, One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will have readers riveted up to the shocking end, with killer twists and characters you won’t soon forget.
The Possessions: A Novel
by Sara Flannery Murphy.
Hardcover, 368 pages.
"I was totally immersed in the strange, beautiful world of Sara Flannery Murphy’s The Possessions. A gripping, chilling read that’s part love story, part mystery, and completely original, it’s sensuous, scary, and utterly thrilling. I’ve never read anything quite like it." —Anton DiSclafani, author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
"An enthralling meditation on grief and memory cloaked in suspenseful psychodrama, The Possessions dissolves the boundaries of past and present and artfully, heartbreakingly maps the consequences of transgressive desire. Sara Flannery Murphy has written the best kind of ghost story." —Robin Wasserman, author of Girls on Fire
In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances.
In an unnamed city, Eurydice works for the Elysian Society, a private service that allows grieving clients to reconnect with lost loved ones. She and her fellow workers, known as "bodies", wear the discarded belongings of the dead and swallow pills called lotuses to summon their spirits—numbing their own minds and losing themselves in the process. Edie has been a body at the Elysian Society for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses’ anesthetic effects and distances herself from making personal connections with her clients.
But when Edie channels Sylvia, the dead wife of recent widower Patrick Braddock, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the murky circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s drowning, Edie breaks her own rules and pursues Patrick, moving deeper into his life and summoning Sylvia outside the Elysian Society’s walls.
After years of hiding beneath the lotuses’ dulling effect, Edie discovers that the lines between her own desires and those of Sylvia have begun to blur, and takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly, she finds her quiet life unraveling as she grapples not only with Sylvia’s growing influence and the questions surrounding her death, but with her own long-buried secrets.
A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.
Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine
by Sarah Lohman.
Hardcover, 304 pages.
This unique culinary history of America offers a fascinating look at our past and uses long-forgotten recipes to explain how eight flavors changed how we eat.
The United States boasts a culturally and ethnically diverse population which makes for a continually changing culinary landscape. But a young historical gastronomist named Sarah Lohman discovered that American food is united by eight flavors: black pepper, vanilla, curry powder, chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, MSG, and Sriracha. In Eight Flavors, Lohman sets out to explore how these influential ingredients made their way to the American table.
She begins in the archives, searching through economic, scientific, political, religious, and culinary records. She pores over cookbooks and manuscripts, dating back to the eighteenth century, through modern standards like How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. Lohman discovers when each of these eight flavors first appear in American kitchens—then she asks why.
Eight Flavors introduces the explorers, merchants, botanists, farmers, writers, and chefs whose choices came to define the American palate. Lohman takes you on a journey through the past to tell us something about our present, and our future. We meet John Crowninshield a New England merchant who traveled to Sumatra in the 1790s in search of black pepper. And Edmond Albius, a twelve-year-old slave who lived on an island off the coast of Madagascar, who discovered the technique still used to pollinate vanilla orchids today. Weaving together original research, historical recipes, gorgeous illustrations and Lohman’s own adventures both in the kitchen and in the field, Eight Flavors is a delicious treat—ready to be devoured.
Three Years with the Rat: A Novel
by Jay Hosking.
Hardcover, 288 pages.
“Three Years with the Rat is a mind-warping thriller that will make you question reality as you conceive of it. One of the most assured and haunting debuts I’ve read in recent memory.” ?Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter
After several years of drifting between school and go-nowhere jobs, a young man is drawn back into the big city of his youth. The magnet is his beloved older sister, Grace: always smart and charismatic even when she was rebelling, and always his hero. Now she is a promising graduate student in psychophysics and the center of a group of friends who take “Little Brother” into their fold, where he finds camaraderie, romance, and even a decent job.
But it soon becomes clear that things are not well with Grace. Always acerbic, she now veers into sudden rages that are increasingly directed at her adoring boyfriend, John, who is also her fellow researcher. When Grace disappears, and John shortly thereafter, the narrator makes an astonishing discovery in their apartment: a box big enough to crawl inside, a lab rat, and a note that says This is the only way back for us. Soon he embarks on a mission to discover the truth, a pursuit that forces him to question time and space itself, and ultimately toward a perilous confrontation at the very limits of imagination.
This kinetic novel catapults the classic noir plot of a woman gone missing into the twenty-first-century city, where so-called reality crashes into speculative science. Jay Hosking's Three Years with the Rat is simultaneously a mind-twisting mystery that plays with the very nature of time and the story of a young man who must face the dangerously destructive forces we all carry within ourselves.
The Winter Girl
by Matt Marinovich.
Paperback, 224 pages.
It’s wintertime in the Hamptons, where a young couple, Scott and his wife, Elise, are staying at the home of her terminally ill father, awaiting the inevitable. As weeks turn to months, the fault lines in their marriage start to show and Scott, bored and left to his own devices, decides to sneak into the seemingly vacant house next door. Exhilarated by his transgression, he soon convinces Elise to join him for a return visit, but their decision leads to a shocking discovery. As deep-buried secrets come to the fore and it becomes clear that things are not as they seem, Scott and Elise soon find themselves trapped in a deliriously wicked spiral of infidelity and violence. A scathing and exhilarating psychological thriller, The Winter Girl is a story of bad decisions, shocking revelations, and the secrets between a husband and wife.
The Book of Polly: A Novel
by Kathy Hepinstall.
Hardcover, 336 pages.
“Delightful. . . funny and poignant.” --People
With a kick like the best hot sauce, this is the laugh-out-loud story of a girl determined to keep up with her aging, crazy-as-a-fox mother
"If you ever pined for a mother who would take a hunting falcon as her wingman to a parent-teacher conference, Polly is the gal for you. Delicious." --Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama
Willow Havens is ten years old and obsessed with the fear that her mother will die. Her mother, Polly, is a cantankerous, take-no-prisoners Southern woman who lives to chase varmints, drink margaritas, and antagonize the neighbors—and she sticks out like a sore thumb among the young modern mothers of their small conventional Texas town. She was in her late fifties when Willow was born, so Willow knows she’s here by accident, a late-life afterthought. Willow’s father died before she was born, her much older brother and sister are long grown and gone and failing elsewhere. It’s just her and bigger-than-life Polly.
Willow is desperately hungry for clues to the family life that preceded her, and especially Polly’s life pre-Willow. Why did she leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, fifty years ago and vow never to return? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun the Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her past?
The Book of Polly has a great blend of humor and sadness, pathos and hilarity. This is a bittersweet novel about the grip of love in a truly quirky family and you’ll come to know one of the most unforgettable mother-daughter duos you’ve ever met.
Night Watch: A Novel (Kendra Michaels)
by Iris Johansen.
Hardcover, 352 pages.
"A high-stakes, high-powered thriller." ?Booklist
Sometimes, what you can’t see will kill you…
Kendra is surprised when she is visited by Dr. Charles Waldridge, the researcher who gave her sight through a revolutionary medical procedure developed by England's Night Watch Project. All is not well with the brilliant surgeon; he’s troubled by something he can’t discuss with Kendra. When Waldridge disappears the very night he visits her, Kendra is on the case, recruiting government agent-for-hire Adam Lynch to join her on a trail that leads to the snow-packed California mountains. There they make a gruesome discovery: the corpse of one of Dr. Waldridge’s associates. But it’s only the first casualty in a white-knuckle confrontation with a deadly enemy who will push Kendra to the limits of her abilities. Soon she must fight for her very survival as she tries to stop the killing…and unearth the shocking secret of Night Watch.
The Sleeping Beauty Killer (An Under Suspicion Novel)
by Mary Higgins Clark.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
The third thrilling installment in the bestselling Under Suspicion series from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke—television producer Laurie Moran puts everything on the line to help a woman she thinks was wrongfully convicted of murder.
Casey Carter was convicted of murdering her fiancé—famed philanthropist Hunter Raleigh III—fifteen years ago. And Casey claims—has always claimed—she’s innocent. Although she was charged and served out her sentence in prison, she is still living “under suspicion.” She hears whispers at the grocery store. She can’t get a job. Even her own mother treats her like she’s guilty. Her story attracts the attention of Laurie Moran and the Under Suspicion news team—it’s Casey’s last chance to finally clear her name, and Laurie pledges to exonerate her.
With Alex Buckley taking a break from the show—cooling his potential romance with Laurie—Under Suspicion introduces a new on-air host named Ryan Nichols, a young legal whiz with a Harvard Law degree, Supreme Court clerkship, experience as a federal prosecutor, and regular stints on the cable news circuit. He’s got a big reputation and the attitude to match it. Ryan has no problems with steering—and stealing—the show, and even tries to stop Laurie from taking on Casey’s case because he’s so certain she’s guilty.
An egomaniacal new co-host, a relentless gossip columnist who seems to have all the dirt (and a surprising informant), and Casey’s longstanding bad reputation: Laurie must face this and more to do what she believes is right, to once and for all prove Casey’s innocence—that is, if she’s innocent… The Sleeping Beauty Killer will keep you guessing until the very end.
The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue
by Frederick Forsyth.
Paperback, 352 pages.
From the grand master of international suspense comes his most intriguing story ever—his own.
For more than forty years, Frederick Forsyth has been writing extraordinary real-world novels of intrigue, from The Day of the Jackal on. Whether writing about the murky world of arms dealers or the intricacies of worldwide drug cartels, every plot has been chillingly plausible because every detail has been minutely researched. But what most people don’t know is that some of his greatest stories of intrigue have been in his own life.
He was the RAF’s youngest pilot at the age of nineteen, barely escaped the wrath of an arms dealer in Hamburg, got strafed by a MiG during the Nigerian Civil War, landed during a bloody coup in Guinea-Bissau (and has himself been accused of helping fund a 1973 coup in Equatorial Guinea). The Stasi arrested him, the Israelis feted him, the IRA threatened him, and a certain attractive Czech secret police agent, well, her actions were a bit more . . . intimate. And that’s just for starters.
Nominated for the Edgar Award for best critical/biographical work of 2015.
Nothing Short of Dying: A Clyde Barr Novel
by Erik Storey.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
Hailed by bestselling writer William Kent Krueger as “the year’s best thriller debut,” this furiously paced ride into harm’s way features a drifter with lethal skills, whose mission to rescue his abducted sister pits him against a ruthless meth kingpin and his army of killers.
Sixteen years. That’s how long Clyde Barr has been away from Colorado’s thick forests, alpine deserts, and craggy peaks, running from a past filled with haunting memories. But now he’s back, having roamed across three continents as a hunter, adventurer, soldier of fortune, and most recently, unjustly imprisoned convict. And once again, his past is reaching out to claim him.
By the light of a flickering campfire, Clyde receives a frantic phone call from his sister Jen. No sooner has she pleaded with him to come rescue her than the line goes dead. Clyde doesn’t know how much time he has, or where Jen is located, or even who has her. All he knows is that nothing short of dying will stop him from saving her.
Joining Clyde in his against-all-odds quest is a young woman named Allie whose motivations for running this gauntlet are fascinatingly complex. As the duo races against the clock, it is Allie who gets Clyde to see what he has become and what he can still be.
Vivid with the hues and scents of Colorado’s backcountry, and thought-provoking in its exploration of how past, present, and future collide to test resolve, Nothing Short of Dying is, above all, a propulsive, action-driven race against the clock.
Close Encounters of the Furred Kind: New Adventures with My Sad Cat & Other Feline Friends
by Tom Cox.
Hardcover, 256 pages.
Close Encounters of the Furred Kind is the follow-up to the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller The Good, The Bad, and the Furry. Like The Good, The Bad, and the Furry, it tells the story of Tom Cox's life with his charismatic cats--The Bear, Shipley, Ralph, and recent recruit Roscoe.
Close Encounters of the Furred Kind begins with a long, emotional goodbye to Norfolk, and continues with another amazing new lease on life for The Bear, the Benjamin Button of the cat world, among the bluebells and verdant hedgerows of Devon. Readers who became attached to The Bear's magical, owlish persona during his previous adventures will become more so here as he proves, once again, that he's a cat with endless secrets and significantly more than nine lives.
The Runaway Wife: A Novel
by Elizabeth Birkelund.
Paperback, 256 pages.
“Where’d You Go, Bernadette? meets Eat, Pray, Love.” —The Skimm
Three beautiful French sisters entrust an American hiker with the mission of rescuing their mother high in the Alps.
But what if she doesn’t want to be found?
Recently fired from his high-power finance job and dumped by his fiancée, Jim Olsen has come to the Swiss Alps to clear his head. At the charming Cabane des Audannes, he meets Clio, Thalia and Helene Castellane, who are on a quest of their own: their mother, Calliope, has fled to these mountains to escape her philandering politician husband’s most recent scandal. As snow threatens to descend upon the Alps, the women have come to bring their mother home.
But the sisters are at the point of surrender; it is time for them to return to Paris. Buoyed by wine and inspired by their beauty, Jim impetuously volunteers to assume their search, but soon realizes that he is in over his head. The Alps are filled with beauty and danger, not the least of which is Calliope’s desire to stay hidden. And all the while Jim finds himself haunted by the memory of her daughters and conflicted in his desire for them.
The Runaway Wife is a story of adventure, survival, and romance—and of a man’s discovery of a world outside his conventional life and a new vision of himself within it.
Best. State. Ever.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland
by Dave Barry.
Hardcover, 240 pages.
A brilliantly funny exploration of the Sunshine State from the man who knows it best: Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times–bestselling author Dave Barry.
We never know what will happen next in Florida. We know only that, any minute now, something will.
Every few months, Dave Barry gets a call from some media person wanting to know, “What the hell is wrong with Florida?” Somehow, the state’s acquired an image as a subtropical festival of stupid, and as a loyal Floridian, Dave begs to differ. Sure, there was the 2000 election. And people seem to take their pants off for no good reason. And it has flying insects the size of LeBron James. But it is a great state, and Dave is going to tell you why. Join him as he celebrates Florida from Key West at the bottom to whatever it is that’s at the top, from the Sunshine State’s earliest history to the fun-fair of weirdness that it is today.
It’s the most hilarious book yet from “the funniest damn writer in the whole country” (Carl Hiaasen, and he should know). By the end, you’ll have to admit that whatever else you might think about Florida—you can never say it’s boring.
Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry
by Dave Barry.
Paperback, 240 pages.
Now in paperback from the Pulitzer Prize winner, the hilarious New York Times–bestselling exploration of what generations can teach one another—or not.
During the course of his life, Dave Barry has learned much of wisdom, and he is eager to pass it on. Among other brilliant, brand-new pieces, Dave shares home truths with his new grandson and his daughter Sophie; explores the hometown of his youth, where all the parents seemed to be having un-Mad Men–like fun; and dives into firsthand accounts of the soccer craziness of Brazil and the just plain crazy craziness of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius
by Laurence Bergreen.
Hardcover, 544 pages.
The definitive biography of the impoverished child, abandoned by his parents, who became the famous writer, notorious libertine, and self-invented genius whose name still resonates today: Giacomo Casanova.
Today, “Casanova” is a synonym for “great lover,” yet the real story of this remarkable figure is little known. Giacomo Casanova was raised by his maternal grandmother, an illiterate peasant. His birthplace, Venice, was a republic in decline, reputedly the most debauched city in Europe. Casanova would add to the republic’s reputation. Over the course of his lifetime, he claimed to have seduced more than 100 women, among them married women, young women in convents, girls just barely in their teens, and in one notorious instance, his own illegitimate daughter.
Casanova came of age in a Venice filled with spies and informers. Naturally brilliant, he was intellectually curious and read forbidden books, for which he was jailed. He staged a dramatic escape from Venice’s notorious prison, the only person known to have done so. He then fled to France, where he invented the national lottery that still exists to this day. But, intemperate by nature, he made enemies at the French court. He crisscrossed Europe, landing for a while in St. Petersburg, where he was admitted to the court of Catherine the Great. He corresponded with Voltaire and met Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte—assisting them as they composed the timeless opera Don Giovanni. And he wrote what many consider the greatest memoir of the era, the 12-volume Story of My Life.
A figure straight out of a Henry Fielding novel: erotic, brilliant, impulsive, and desperate for recognition, Casanova was a self-destructive genius. This witty, roisterous biography exposes his astonishing life in rich, intimate detail. At the same time, it is a dazzling portrait of eighteenth-century Europe from serving girls to kings and courtiers. Esteemed biographer Laurence Bergreen brings a sensual world vividly alive in this irresistible book.
Something to Hide: A Novel
by Deborah Moggach.
Paperback, 336 pages.
“Classic Moggach: readable, memorable . . . an unashamedly colorful journey across continents, with clothes, food, landscapes brought joyously to life.” —The Times (London)
“Nobody in the world knows our secret . . . that I’ve ruined Bev’s life, and she’s ruined mine.”
Petra’s romantic life has always been a car crash, and even in her sixties she’s still getting it disastrously wrong. And then she falls in love with Jeremy, an old friend visiting from abroad. There’s just one catch: Jeremy is married to her best friend, Bev.
Meanwhile, on opposite sides of the world, two other women are also struggling with the weight of betrayal: Lorrie, a Texan, is about to embark on the biggest deception of her life, and in China, Li Jing is trying to understand exactly what it is her husband does on his business trips.
It turns out that no matter where you are in the world or how well you think you know the one you love, everyone has secrets.
Sisters of Shiloh
by Kathy Hepinstall.
Paperback, 256 pages.
Pulpwood Queen Bonus Book of the Year
"Kathy and Becky Hepinstall plunge us so deeply into a complete and vividly rendered world. . . We can smell the gun powder and taste the metallic tinge of fear along with their remarkable heroines.” — Janis Cooke Newman, author of Mary
“[The Hepinstalls] present lucky readers with a tale of love and hate, vengeance and devotion, and the darkest secrets imaginable. Highly recommended for all.” —Historical Novels Review
Before joining the Confederate Army, brothers Joseph and Thomas were actually sisters, Josephine and Libby. But that bloodiest battle, Antietam, leaves Libby widowed. She vows vengeance, dons her husband Arden’s clothes, and sneaks off to enlist with the Stonewall Brigade, swearing to kill one Yankee for every year of her husband’s too-short life. Desperate to protect her grief-crazed sister, Josephine insists on joining her. Surrounded by flying bullets, deprivation, and illness, the sisters are found by other dangers: Libby hurtles toward madness, haunted and urged on by her husband’s ghost, while Josephine falls in love with a fellow soldier. She lives in fear both of revealing their disguise and of losing her first love before she can make her heart known to him.
In Sisters of Shiloh, best-selling novelist Kathy Hepinstall joins with her sister Becky to show readers the hopes of love and war, the impossible-to-sever bonds of sisterhood, and how what matters most can both hurt and heal.
“Sisters of Shiloh is a refreshing take on the Civil War, the bonds of sisterhood, and the bondage of love . . . Be prepared to be parked in a chair all day!” —The Christian Manifesto
“A fascinating glimpse into Civil War life from an unconventional perspective.” —Kirkus Reviews
Jack of Spades: A Tale of Suspense
by Joyce Carol Oates.
Paperback, 240 pages.
From Joyce Carol Oates, an exquisite, psychologically complex thriller about opposing forces within the mind of one ambitious writer and the delicate line between genius and madness.
Andrew J. Rush has achieved the kind of critical and commercial success most authors only dream about: He has a top agent and publisher in New York, and his twenty-eight mystery novels have sold millions of copies. Only Stephen King, one of the few mystery writers whose fame exceeds his own, is capable of inspiring a twinge of envy in Rush. But Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym "Jack of Spades," he pens another string of novels—noir thrillers that are violent, lurid, masochistic. These are novels that the upstanding Rush wouldn't be caught reading, let alone writing. When his daughter comes across a Jack of Spades novel he has carelessly left out, she picks it up and begins to ask questions. Meanwhile, Rush receives a court summons in the mail explaining that a local woman has accused him of plagiarizing her own self-published fiction. Before long, Rush's reputation, career, and family life all come under threat—and in his mind he begins to hear the taunting voice of the Jack of Spades.
by Umberto Eco.
Paperback, 208 pages.
#1 Italian bestseller
“Witty and wry . . . It’s hard not to be charmed.” — New York Times Book Review
“One of the most influential thinkers of our time.” — Los Angeles Times
1945, Lake Como. Mussolini and his mistress are captured and shot by local partisans. The precise circumstances of Il Duce’s death remain controversial.
1992, Milan. Colonna, a depressed hack writer, is offered a fee he can’t resist to ghostwrite a book. His subject: a fledgling newspaper, which happens to be financed by a powerful media magnate. As Colonna gets to know the team, he learns of the editor’s paranoid theory that Mussolini’s corpse was a body double and part of a wider Fascist plot. It’s the scoop the newspaper desperately needs. The evidence? He’s working on it.
It’s all there: media hoaxes, Mafiosi, the Cia, the Pentagon, blackmail, love, gossip, and murder. A clash of forces that have shaped Italy since World War Ii — from Mussolini to Berlusconi. “Farcical, serious, satiric, and tragic” (Le Point, France), Numero Zero is the work of a master storyteller.
Umberto Eco (1932–2016) was the author of numerous essay collections and seven novels, including The Name of the Rose,The Prague Cemetery, and Inventing the Enemy. He received Italy’s highest literary award, the Premio Strega, was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government, and was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
House Revenge: A Joe DeMarco Thriller (Joe DeMarco Thrillers (Hardcover))
by Mike Lawson.
Hardcover, 288 pages.
In House Revenge, Congressional fixer Joe DeMarco is dispatched to his boss Congressman John Mahoney’s hometown of Boston. Mahoney wants him to help Elinore Dobbs, an elderly woman fighting against a real estate developer intent on tearing down her apartment building for a massive new development. Mahoney is just in it for the free press until Sean Callahan, the developer, disrespects him and even worse, Elinore suffers a horrible ?accident,” likely at the hands of two thugs on Callahan’s payroll. Now Mahoney and DeMarco are out for revenge. DeMarco tries to dig up dirt through Callahan’s former mentor, and one of his ex-wives. But it’s only when DeMarco gets a tip on the likely illegal source of some of Callahan’s financing that things get deadly.
A fast-paced adventure into the cutthroat world behind the wrecking ball, House Revenge is another gripping tale of collusion and corruption from a beloved political thriller writer.
The Wonder Garden
by Lauren Acampora.
Paperback, 368 pages.
An Indie Next Pick
An Amazon Debut Spotlight
A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection
?Like Wharton, Acampora seems to understand fiction as a kind of elegant design. As characters reappear in one story after another, Acampora reveals herself as a careful architect... lovely prose... often a single sentence twists sinuously, charged with positive and negative electricity.”?New York Times Book Review
Launched by four starred prepubs and a full page New York Times book review, The Wonder Garden marks Lauren Acampora’s rarely seen, sensational entrance into the literary world. With enchanting realism, these linked stories bring to the page the myriad lives of a suburban town, and reveal at each turn the unseen battles we play out behind drawn blinds, the creeping truths from which we distract ourselves, and the massive dreams we haul quietly with us and hold close. Deliciously creepy and masterfully complex The Wonder Garden heralds the arrival of a phenomenal new talent in American fiction.
?Acampora’s stories show that an Anna Karenina principle still applies: All happy families are the same; the unhappy ones are miserable in their own special way. Or to boil it down to modern terms: mo’ money, mo’ problems ? Add well-drawn characters, interesting plots, cultural zingers and dead-on critiques of consumerism and Acampora delivers a page-turner.”?Dallas Morning News
?A smashing debut, with range, subtlety and bite. Reading Acampora, we’re in Cheever country, with hints of Flannery O’Connor.”?Jane Ciabattari, BBC.com
?In 13 sharply drawn linked stories, Acampora reveals the complexities beneath the polish and privilege of a prosperous Connecticut town.”?People
The Double Life of Liliane
by Lily Tuck.
Paperback, 256 pages.
?Mixing family lore, historical events, and photographs, this autobiographical novel creates a portrait of the writer as a young woman...enlivening.”?New Yorker
?A mosaic of storytelling that is both poetic and absorbing.”? NPR.com
With The Double Life of Liliane National Book Award winner Lily Tuck delivers ?the most beguiling work of [her] career” (The Millions)?an astonishing and riveting autobiographical novel in the manner of W.G. Sebald and Karl Ove Knausgaard, replete with photos and documents. Following the child Liliane as she comes of age between two very different worlds?that of her German movie producer father and her beautiful, artistically talented mother?the preternaturally imaginative Liliane uncovers the stories of family members as diverse as Moses Mendelssohn and Mary Queen of Scots, piecing together vivid histories, through both World Wars and across continents. This is an intimate and dynamic coming of age portrait of the writer as a young woman.
Conrad & Eleanor: A Novel
by Jane Rogers.
Paperback, 336 pages.
From the multi-award-winning and critically acclaimed author of The Testament of Jessie Lamb comes this riveting novel about the devastating secrets revealed in the midst of a disintegrating marriage.
The story of a marriage, and of two lives in science.
When Conrad fails to return from a conference, Eleanor wonders if it is because of the affair she is having? Or perhaps it is because his research into transgenic monkey hearts is stalling; perhaps he is sick of having the less successful career of the two of them? She is a leading expert in stem cell research. Their grown-up children suspect Eleanor of murdering their father; El secretly fears that what has driven Con away is his discovery of their daughter Cara’s parentage.
While his family in Manchester, England, scrabble for clues and reasons, Conrad—alone, confused, and on the run from a crazed animal rights activist—loses himself in the cold foggy streets of Bologna. He revisits the stages of his long marriage to El, from the happiness of the year of Cara’s birth to the grief and anger he now feels. Both partners are forced to re-examine their relationship, and, in the process, to move closer to an understanding of what it is that matters most to each of them.
Conrad and Eleanor is a radical, remarkably nuanced look at marriage.
Hour of the Wolf: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery (Inspector Van Veeteren Mysteries)
by Hakan Nesser.
Paperback, 320 pages.
A boy in a dark duffel coat. Lying in the ditch. Contorted at impossible angles, with his back pressed up against a concrete culvert and his face staring straight at him. As if he were trying to make some kind of contact. As if he wanted to tell him something.
In the middle of a damp, dark night, a young man is struck by a car after leaving his girlfriend’s house. The driver, drunk, leaves the body by the side of the road. Wrestling with guilt, the driver tries to put the murder out of his mind—until a blackmail note arrives, setting into motion a chain of events that will draw everyone involved into a fog of crime.
Reinhart, the new chief inspector of the Maardam police force, sets his team to work. But when the victim of a second, possibly related, killing is identified, Reinhart realizes that this is no ordinary investigation. In Hour of the Wolf, former chief inspector Van Veeteren—a legend now in retirement—is called upon to face his greatest trial yet, when someone close to him is found dead.
Van Veeteren’s former colleagues, desperate for answers, struggle to decipher the clues to these appalling crimes. As the killer becomes increasingly unhinged and unpredictable, Van Veeteren is forced to reenter a world he left behind, and to avenge a death. Told with Håkan Nesser’s trademark eye for detail, breakneck plotting, and gut-wrenching moral tension, Hour of the Wolf finds the Nordic noir superstar spinning one of his darkest tales yet.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Girl from Venice
by Martin Cruz Smith.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
The highly anticipated new standalone novel from Martin Cruz Smith, whom The Washington Post has declared “that uncommon phenomenon: a popular and well-regarded crime novelist who is also a writer of real distinction,” The Girl from Venice is a suspenseful World War II love story set against the beauty, mystery, and danger of occupied Venice.
Venice, 1945. The war may be waning, but the city known as La Serenissima is still occupied and the people of Italy fear the power of the Third Reich. One night, under a canopy of stars, a fisherman named Cenzo comes across a young woman’s body floating in the lagoon and soon discovers that she is still alive and in trouble.
Born to a wealthy Jewish family, Giulia is on the run from the Wehrmacht SS. Cenzo chooses to protect Giulia rather than hand her over to the Nazis. This act of kindness leads them into the world of Partisans, random executions, the arts of forgery and high explosives, Mussolini’s broken promises, the black market and gold, and, everywhere, the enigmatic maze of the Venice Lagoon.
The Girl from Venice is a thriller, a mystery, and a retelling of Italian history that will take your breath away. Most of all it is a love story.
The Waters of Eternal Youth (Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery)
by Donna Leon.
Hardcover, 256 pages.
In Donna Leon’s Commissario Guido Brunetti series, the Venetian inspector has been called on to investigate many things, from shocking to petty crimes. But in The Waters of Eternal Youth, the 25th novel in this celebrated series, Brunetti finds himself drawn into a case that may not be a case at all.
Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a canal late at night. Unable to swim, she went under and started to drown, only surviving thanks to a nearby man, an alcoholic, who heard her splashes and pulled her out, though not before she suffered irreparable brain damage that left her in a state of permanent childhood, unable to learn or mature. The drunk man claimed he saw her thrown into the canal by another man, but the following day he couldn’t remember a thing.
Now, at a fundraising dinner for a Venetian charity, a wealthy and aristocratic patroness?the girl’s grandmother?asks Brunetti if he will investigate. Brunetti’s not sure what to do. If a crime was committed, it would surely have passed the statute of limitations. But out of a mixture of curiosity, pity, and a willingness to fulfill the wishes of a guilt-wracked older woman, who happens to be his mother-in-law’s best friend, he agrees.
Brunetti soon finds himself unable to let the case rest, if indeed there is a case. Awash in the rhythms and concerns of contemporary Venetian life, from historical preservation, to housing, to new waves of African migrants, and the haunting story of a woman trapped in a damaged perpetual childhood, The Waters of Eternal Youth is another wonderful addition to this series.
The Other Daughter: A Novel
by Lauren Willig.
Paperback, 320 pages.
Raised in a poor yet genteel household, Rachel Woodley is working in France as a governess when she receives news that her mother has died, suddenly. Grief-stricken, she returns to the small town in England where she was raised to clear out the cottage...and finds a cutting from a London society magazine, with a photograph of her supposedly deceased father dated all of three month before. He's an earl, respected and influential, and he is standing with another daughter -- his legitimate daughter. Which makes Rachel...not legitimate. Everything she thought she knew about herself and her past -- even her very name -- is a lie.
Still reeling from the death of her mother, and furious at this betrayal, Rachel sets herself up in London under a new identity. There she insinuates herself into the party-going crowd of Bright Young Things, with a steely determination to unveil her father's perfidy and bring his -- and her half-sister's -- charmed world crashing down. Very soon, however, Rachel faces two unexpected snags: she finds that she genuinely likes her half-sister, Olivia, whose situation isn't as simple it appears; and that she might just be falling for her sister's fiancé...
From Lauren Willig, author of the New York Times Best Selling novel The Ashford Affair, comes The Other Daughter, a page-turner full of deceit, passion, and revenge.
The Patriarch: A Mystery of the French Countryside (Bruno, Chief of Police Series)
by Martin Walker.
Paperback, 336 pages.
Bruno Courrèges is thrilled when he receives an invitation to the lavish birthday celebration of his childhood hero, World War II flying ace Marco “the Patriarch” Desaix. But when the party ends in the death of one of Marco’s longtime friends, Gilbert, it turns into another day on the job for St. Denis's chief of police.
All signs point to a tragic accident, but Bruno isn’t so sure, for there is more to the Desaix family's lives and loyalties than meets the eye. There’s Victor, the Patriarch’s son and Gilbert's sometimes rival, and Victor’s seductive wife, Madeleine, whose roving eye intrigues Bruno even more than her fierce political ambitions. Not to mention the Patriarch himself—did his postwar Soviet ties intersect too closely with Gilbert’s career in Cold War intelligence? As Bruno’s entanglement with the Desaix family becomes more complicated, his inquiries into Gilbert’s life will become a deadly threat to his own.
The Washingtons: George and Martha: Partners in Friendship and Love
by Flora Fraser.
Paperback, 464 pages.
In these pages, acclaimed historian Flora Fraser unfurls the story of George and Martha, brilliantly narrating the lives of an extraordinarily dedicated, accomplished, and historic couple. When they married in colonial Virginia in 1759, he was an awkward but ambitious young officer, she, a graceful, wealthy young widow. They were devoted to one another, and George was as a father to Martha’s children by her first husband. She endowed Washington with the confidence—and resources—that would aid him when elected commander-in-chief of the Continental army. During the war, Martha resolutely supported her husband, ‘the General,’ joining him every winter in headquarters; she was essential to his well-being and was a redoubtable, vastly admired figure.
After the American victory, George was elected our first president and Martha became an impeccable first First Lady. During his presidency, the two established the tenets and traditions of our highest office. This is the story of a pioneering partnership—and an enthralling narrative of our nation’s emergence onto the world stage.
Fidelity (Kay Malloy)
by Jan Fedarcyk.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
A gripping debut novel from “the FBI’s First Lady” (Vanity Fair) Jan Fedarcyk, featuring a brilliant young Special Agent named Kay Malloy, whose assignment to the Counterintelligence Program in New York City has devastating consequences—both personal and professional.
Kay Malloy always knew hers would be a life of service. Following the tragic death of her humanitarian parents, Kay and her brother, Christopher, were raised in a world of wealth and culture by their godparents. With ambition and selflessness, Kay joins the FBI to honor her parent’s legacy, even while Christopher’s life grows increasingly aimless.
Paramilitary and male-dominated, the FBI could be an intimidating employer to anyone less confident, devoted, and insightful than Kay. But after early success in the Violent Crime Program in Baltimore she struggles working counterintelligence in New York. When Kay is assigned to investigate the loss of Russian government double agents, she sees this as her chance to prove herself. As pressure mounts and conflicting leads cloud the investigation, Kay discovers she must make the impossible choice between those she loves and the country she’s sworn to protect.
Filled with vivid detail from retired FBI Special Agent Jan Fedarcyk, Fidelity is both a thrilling, authentic look into the workings of the FBI and the gripping story of one woman’s fight to honor both love and duty.
The Sympathizer: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
by Viet Thanh Nguyen.
Paperback, 384 pages.
The winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards, The Sympathizer is the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a ?man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.
by Lisa Lutz.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
“Lutz develops riveting suspense by slowly revealing the events that first sent Tanya/Amelia on the run, while pouring threats on her gritty heroine’s increasingly tenuous bids at survival. Binge-worthy fare, especially for those drawn to strong female protagonists” (Booklist, starred review).
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, Lisa Lutz’s latest blistering thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past: you’ll want to buckle up for the ride!
In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...
Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.
She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy?and dangerous?alliance is born.
It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?
With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.
Corrupted: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel
by Lisa Scottoline.
Paperback, 464 pages.
Bennie Rosato the founder of the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm hides her big heart beneath her tough-as-nails exterior and she doesn't like to fail. Now, a case from her past shows her how differently things might have turned out. Thirteen years ago, Bennie Rosato took on Jason Leftavick, a twelve-year-old boy who was sent to a juvenile detention center after fighting a class bully. Bennie couldn't free Jason, and to this day it's the case that haunts her. Jason has grown up in and out of juvenile prison, and his adulthood hasn't been any easier. Bennie no longer represents those accused of murder, but when Jason is indicted for killing the same bully he fought with as a kid, she sees no choice but to represent him. She doesn't know whether or not to believe his claims of innocence, but she knows she owes him for past failures-of the law, of the juvenile justice system, and of herself. Forced to relive the darkest period of her life, Bennie will do everything in her power to get the truth, and justice.
The Emerald Lie: A Jack Taylor Novel (Jack Taylor Novels)
by Ken Bruen.
Hardcover, 256 pages.
Ken Bruen, the ?Godfather of the modern Irish crime novel” (Irish Independent), is beloved for his black humor, verse-like prose, and irascible protagonist Jack Taylor, an ex-cop who is as addicted to trouble as he is to Jameson, pills, and pop culture.
In The Emerald Lie, the latest terror to be visited upon the dark Galway streets arrives in a most unusual form: a Cambridge graduate who becomes murderous over split infinitives, dangling modifiers, and any other sign of bad grammar. Meanwhile, Jack is approached by a grieving father with a pocketful of cash on offer if Jack will help exact revenge on those responsible for his daughter’s brutal rape and murder. Though hesitant to get involved, Jack agrees to get a read on the likely perpetrators. But Jack is soon derailed by the reappearance of Emily (previous alias: Emerald), the chameleon-like young woman who joined forces with Jack to take down her pedophile father in Green Hell and who remains passionate, clever, and utterly homicidal. She will use any sort of coercion to get Jack to conspire with her against the serial killer the Garda have nicknamed ?the Grammarian,” but her most destructive obsession just might be Jack himself.
Legends of the Fall
by Jim Harrison.
Paperback, 288 pages.
New York Times bestselling author Jim Harrison was one of America’s most beloved and critically acclaimed writers. The classic Legends of the Fall is Harrison at his most memorable: a striking collection of novellas written with exceptional brilliance and a ferocious love of life.
The title novella, ?Legends of the Fall”?which was made into the film of the same name?is an epic, moving tale of three brothers fighting for justice in a world gone mad. Moving from the raw landscape of early twentieth-century Montana to the blood-drenched European battlefields of World War I and back again to Montana, Harrison’s powerful story explores the theme of revenge and the actions to which people resort when their lives or goals are threatened, painting an unforgettable portrait of the twentieth-century man.
Also including the novellas ?Revenge” and ?The Man Who Gave Up His Name,” Legends of the Fall confirms Jim Harrison’s reputation as one of the finest American voices of his generation.
The Bangkok Asset: A Royal Thai Detective Novel (6)
by John Burdett.
Paperback, 320 pages.
Royal Thai Police Detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep is called to investigate a crime scene in Bangkok—which quickly reveals itself to be anything but typical. For one thing, the victim has been beheaded in a bizarre manner, and for another, a message was left in blood. Then Sonchai is summoned to a river in the middle of the night to observe a spectacle that violates everything he holds dear as a Thai, as a Buddhist, and as a human being. A trail of breadcrumbs has been carefully laid out for him, but by whom? Sonchai’s search for answers takes him deep into the Cambodian jungle, where he faces a conspiracy that may implicate the American CIA and the Chinese military—and discovers exactly how far a government will go to protect its worst secrets.
by Peter Watson.
Paperback, 384 pages.
When Colonel Matthew Hammond was posted to the European theater during World War II, he sustained a serious injury on the front lines that cost him a lung. Now he is back in England, unable to fight, but continuing to serve his country by training new resistance fighters in SC2, a specialist sabotage outfit. One of the recruits under his tutelage is the spellbinding Madeleine Dirac, an exotic French-Canadian nurse. Despite protocols discouraging romance, they fall deeply in love.
Matthew is torn about putting Madeleine’s life in danger: he has mixed duty and pleasure before, with tragic results—his former lover, Celestine, was killed in an attempt to assassinate a Nazi doctor. But the Allies are mustering all their resources for crucial beach landings in Normandy, and Matthew knows his unit will be needed to parachute its agents in behind Nazi lines. Vivid and unforgettable, Madeleine’s War is a gripping tale of love in wartime—and of men and women caught in the sweep of history.
The Mountain Story: A Novel
by Lori Lansens.
Paperback, 336 pages.
“Lori Lansens has created a heart-pounder of a book that is every bit as much of an emotional roller-coaster as an adventurous one” (New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult).
In New York Times bestselling author Lori Lansens’ “moving portrait of the human spirit—as fierce, lovely, and indomitable as nature itself” (People, “Book of the Week”), Nola has decided to hike up a mountain to commemorate her wedding anniversary, the first since her beloved husband passed. Blonde, rail-thin Bridget is training for a triathalon. Vonn is working out her teenage rebellion at eight thousand feet, driven by family obligation and the urge to escape her mistakes. Still reeling from the tragic accident that robbed him of his best friend, Wolf Truly is the only experienced hiker in this group of four strangers but has come to the cliffs on his eighteenth birthday to end his life.
When a series of missteps strands them together in the wilderness, these four broken souls soon realize that their only defense against the brutality of nature is one another. As one day without rescue spirals dramatically into the next, and misadventure turns to nightmare, they begin to form an inextricable bond, pushing themselves and one another further than they ever could have dreamed possible. The three who make it home alive will be forever changed by their harrowing days on the mountain.
Braving a landscape both unforgivingly harsh and breathtakingly beautiful, Nola, Bridget, Vonn, and Wolf find themselves faced with an impossible question: How much will they sacrifice for a stranger? The Mountain Story is a fast-paced, suspenseful, and a gorgeous tribute to the resilience of the human spirit. “Your heart will be in your throat,” says Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.
Second Life: A Novel
by S. J. Watson.
Paperback, 416 pages.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Before I Go to Sleep, a sensational new psychological thriller about a woman with a secret identity that threatens to destroy her.
How well can you really know another person? How far would you go to find the truth about someone you love?
When Julia learns that her sister has been violently murdered, she must uncover why. But Julia's quest quickly evolves into an alluring exploration of own darkest sensual desires. Becoming involved with a dangerous stranger online, she's losing herself . . . losing control . . . perhaps losing everything. Her search for answers will jeopardize her marriage, her family, and her life.
A tense and unrelenting novel that explores the secret lives people lead—and the dark places in which they can find themselves—Second Life is a masterwork of suspense from the acclaimed S. J. Watson.
Damaged: A Novel (A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel)
by Lisa Scottoline.
Hardcover, 416 pages.
“Scottoline writes riveting thrillers that keep me up all night, with plots that twist and turn.” –Harlan Coben
One boy. One lawyer. One chance for justice.
Ten-year-old Patrick O'Brien is a natural target at school. Shy, dyslexic, and small for his age, he tries to hide his first-grade reading level from everyone: from his classmates, from the grandfather who cares for him, and from the teachers who are supposed to help him. But the real trouble begins when Patrick is accused of attacking a school aide. The aide promptly quits and sues the boy, his family, and the school district. Patrick's grandfather turns to the law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio for help and Mary DiNunzio is on the case. Soon Mary becomes Patrick's true champion and his only hope for security and justice. But there is more to the story than meets the eye and Patrick might be more troubled than he seems. With twists at every turn and secrets about the family coming to light, Mary DiNunzio might have found the case that can make her a true protector, or break her heart...
With Lisa Scottoline’s trademark emotional depth and fast-paced action, Damaged will have readers riveted to the last page as they root for the beloved characters and their fight for justice.
All the Missing Girls: A Novel
by Megan Miranda.
Hardcover, 384 pages.
***A NATIONAL BESTSELLER***
A New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice”
Entertainment Weekly — Thriller Round-Up
The Wall Street Journal — 5 Killer Books for 2016
Hollywood Reporter — Hot Summer Books…16 Must Reads
“Both [Gillian] Flynn’s and Miranda’s main characters also reclaim the right of female characters to be more than victim or femme fatale… All the Missing Girls is set to become one of the best books of 2016.”
— Los Angeles Review of Books
“Extremely interesting…a novel that will probably be called Hitchcockian.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Are you paying attention? You’ll need to be; this thriller will test your brain with its reverse chronological structure, and it’s a page-turner to boot.”
Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women—a decade apart—told in reverse.
It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.
The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.
Told backwards—Day 15 to Day 1—from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.
Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.
Perfume River: A Novel
by Robert Olen Butler.
Hardcover, 272 pages.
From one of America’s most important writers, Perfume River is an exquisite novel that examines family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam War through the portrait of a single North Florida family.
Robert Quinlan is a seventy-year-old historian, teaching at Florida State University, where his wife Darla is also tenured. Their marriage, forged in the fervor of anti-Vietnam-war protests, now bears the fractures of time, both personal and historical, with the couple trapped in an existence of morning coffee and solitary jogging and separate offices. For Robert and Darla, the cracks remain under the surface, whereas the divisions in Robert’s own family are more apparent: he has almost no relationship with his brother Jimmy, who became estranged from the family as the Vietnam War intensified. Robert and Jimmy’s father, a veteran of WWII, is coming to the end of his life, and aftershocks of war ripple across their lives once again, when Jimmy refuses to appear at his father’s bedside. And an unstable homeless man whom Robert at first takes to be a fellow Vietnam veteran turns out to have a deep impact not just on Robert, but on his entire family.
The Veins of the Ocean: A Novel
by Patricia Engel.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
?Engel has an eye for detail. She knows how to drown the reader in a sense of enchantment... She writes exquisite moments.”?Roxane Gay, The Nation
Reina Castillo is the alluring young woman whose beloved brother is serving a death sentence for a crime that shocked the community, throwing a baby off a bridge?a crime for which Reina secretly blames herself. With her brother's death, though devastated and in mourning, Reina is finally released from her prison vigil. Seeking anonymity, she moves to a sleepy town in the Florida Keys where she meets Nesto Cadena, a recently exiled Cuban awaiting with hope the arrival of the children he left behind in Havana. Through Nesto’s love of the sea and capacity for faith, Reina comes to understand her own connections to the life-giving and destructive forces of the ocean that surrounds her as well as its role in her family's troubled history, and in their companionship, begins to find freedom from the burden of guilt she carries for her brother’s crime.
Set in the vibrant coastal and Caribbean communities of Miami, the Florida Keys, Havana, Cuba, and Cartagena, Colombia, with The Veins of the Ocean Patricia Engel delivers a profound and riveting Pan-American story of fractured lives finding solace and redemption in the beauty and power of the natural world, and in one another.
Girls on Fire: A Novel
by Robin Wasserman.
Hardcover, 368 pages.
On Halloween, 1991, a popular high school basketball star ventures into the woods near Battle Creek, Pennsylvania, and disappears. Three days later, he’s found with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand—a discovery that sends tremors through this conservative community, already unnerved by growing rumors of Satanic worship in the region.
In the wake of this incident, bright but lonely Hannah Dexter is befriended by Lacey Champlain, a dark-eyed, Cobain-worshiping bad influence in lip gloss and Doc Martens. The charismatic, seductive Lacey forges a fast, intimate bond with the impressionable Dex, making her over in her own image and unleashing a fierce defiance that neither girl expected. But as Lacey gradually lures Dex away from her safe life into a feverish spiral of obsession, rebellion, and ever greater risk, an unwelcome figure appears on the horizon—and Lacey’s secret history collides with Dex’s worst nightmare.
By turns a shocking story of love and violence and an addictive portrait of the intoxication of female friendship, set against the unsettled backdrop of a town gripped by moral panic, Girls on Fire is an unflinching and unforgettable snapshot of girlhood: girls lost and found, girls strong and weak, girls who burn bright and brighter—and some who flicker away.
The Many Selves of Katherine North
by Emma Geen.
Hardcover, 368 pages.
When we first meet Kit, she's a fox.
Nineteen-year-old Kit works for the research department of Shen Corporation as a phenomenaut. She's been “jumping”--projecting her consciousness, through a neurological interface--into the bodies of lab-grown animals made for the purpose of research for seven years, which is longer than anyone else at ShenCorp, and longer than any of the scientists thought possible. She experiences a multitude of other lives--fighting and fleeing as predator and prey, as mammal, bird, and reptile--in the hope that her work will help humans better understand the other species living alongside them.
Her closest friend is Buckley, her Neuro--the computer engineer who guides a phenomenaut through consciousness projection. His is the voice, therefore, that's always in Kit's head and is the thread of continuity that connects her to the human world when she's an animal. But when ShenCorp's mission takes a more commercial--and ominous--turn, Kit is no longer sure of her safety. Propelling the reader into the bodies of the other creatures that share our world, The Many Selves of Katherine North takes place in the near future but shows us a dazzling world far, far from the realm of our experience.
All Stories Are Love Stories: A Novel
by Elizabeth Percer.
Hardcover, 368 pages.
In this thoughtful, mesmerizing tale with echoes of Station Eleven, the author of An Uncommon Education follows a group of survivors thrown together in the aftermath of two major earthquakes that strike San Francisco within an hour of each other—an achingly beautiful and lyrical novel about the power of nature, the resilience of the human spirit, and the enduring strength of love.
On Valentine’s Day, two major earthquakes strike San Francisco within the same hour, devastating the city and its primary entry points, sparking fires throughout, and leaving its residents without power, gas, or water.
Among the disparate survivors whose fates will become intertwined are Max, a man who began the day with birthday celebrations tinged with regret; Vashti, a young woman who has already buried three of the people she loved most . . . but cannot forgot Max, the one man who got away; and Gene, a Stanford geologist who knows far too much about the terrifying earthquakes that have damaged this beautiful city and irrevocably changed the course of their lives.
As day turns to night and fires burn across the city, Max and Vashti—trapped beneath the rubble of the collapsed Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium—must confront each other and face the truth about their past, while Gene embarks on a frantic search through the realization of his worst nightmares to find his way back to his ailing lover and their home.
I Will Find You: A Reporter Investigates the Life of the Man Who Raped Her
by Joanna Connors.
Hardcover, 272 pages.
?This is it. My rape. I knew it was coming. Every woman knows. And now here it is. My turn.”
When Joanna Connors was thirty years old on assignment for the Cleveland Plain Dealer to review a play at a college theater, she was held at knife point and raped by a stranger who had grown up five miles away from her. Once her assailant was caught and sentenced, Joanna never spoke of the trauma again, until 21 years later when her daughter was about to go to college. She resolved then to tell her children about her own rape so they could learn and protect themselves, and she began to realize that the man who assaulted her was one of the formative people in her life.
Setting out to uncover the story of her attacker, Connors embarked on a journey to find out who he was, where he came from, who his friends were and what his life was like. What she discovers stretches beyond one violent man’s story and back into her own, interweaving a narrative about strength and survival with one about rape culture and violence in America.
I Will Find You is a brave, timely consideration of race, class, education and the families that shape who we become, by a reporter and a survivor.
Panther's Prey: A Leo Maxwell Mystery (Leo Maxwell Mysteries)
by Lachlan Smith.
Hardcover, 256 pages.
In Panther's Prey, the latest novel from Shamus Award winner Lachlan Smith, tragedy once again strikes near the heart for lawyer-detective Leo Maxwell.
After working to free his father from prison in Fox Is Framed, Leo has now left private practice and is working as a public defender in San Francisco. He and his co-counsel Jordan Walker are in the midst of trial, brilliantly defending Randall Rodriguez, a mentally ill homeless man whom they contend falsely confessed to the rape of a young San Francisco socialite. After their client is acquitted, Leo and Jordan fall into an intense relationship--until Jordan is found brutally raped and murdered in her apartment. Leo, the last person known to have seen her alive, is the natural suspect, and the police are eager for payback after the Rodriguez case. The story takes a shocking turn when Leo and Jordan's freshly acquitted client walks into the police station and offers to confess to Jordan's murder. Upset by the rapidity with which the authorities accept this all-too-convenient confession, Jordan's grieving father tasks Leo with investigating his daughter's death. Leo agrees, though he knows exonerating Rodriguez will likely bring suspicion back on himself.
Theorizing that he may be on the trail of a serial rapist and murderer, Leo instead uncovers a massive judicial fraud leading to the steps of the federal courthouse. In an explosive final confrontation, Leo will come face to face with an adversary far more powerful than any foe he has met thus far.
The Harrows of Spring: A World Made by Hand Novel
by James Howard Kunstler.
Hardcover, 384 pages.
From renowned social critic, energy expert, and bestselling author James Howard Kunstler, The Harrows of Spring is a moving and gripping novel that completes the story of the quaint upstate New York town of Union Grove, thrown into a future world that in many ways resembles the nineteenth century.
In Union Grove, early spring is a challenging season, known as the ?six weeks want,” a time when fresh food is scarce and the winter stores are dwindling. The town is struggling in particular this year as the Hudson River trade route to Albany has been halted by the local plantation tycoon Stephen Bullock, who has deemed it too resource-intensive and is now striving for self-sufficiency. Meanwhile, after returning from his travels around what is left of the United States, Daniel Earle is intent on resurrecting a newspaper for the community, and finds an interesting story to cover when representatives of a group of anti-establishment, hyper-liberals known as the Berkshire People’s Republic arrive in the town. The thrilling conclusion to Kunstler’s beloved series, The Harrows of Spring is a powerful, moving tale of insurrection, survival, and what it means to be human.
The Decent Proposal: A Novel
by Kemper Donovan.
Hardcover, 320 pages.
An addictively readable debut romantic comedy, drama, and mystery rolled into one, about two very different strangers whose lives become intertwined when they receive an unusual proposition. This is a funny, tender, and enchanting story about love, attraction, and friendship: Jane Austen in Los Angeles.
A struggling Hollywood producer, Richard Baumbach is twenty-nine, hung-over, and broke. Ridiculously handsome with an innate charm and an air of invincibility, he still believes good things will come his way. For now he contents himself with days at the Coffee Bean and nights with his best friend Mike (that’s a woman, by the way).
At thirty-three, Elizabeth Santiago is on track to make partner at her law firm. Known as “La Máquina” The Machine—to her colleagues, she’s grown used to avoiding anything that might derail her quiet, orderly life. And yet recently she befriended a homeless man in her Venice neighborhood, surprised to find how much she enjoys their early-morning chats.
Richard and Elizabeth’s paths collide when they receive a proposal from a mysterious, anonymous benefactor. They’ll split a million dollars if they agree to spend at least two hours together—just talking—every week for a year. Astonished and more than a little suspicious, they each nevertheless say yes. Richard needs the money and likes the adventure of it. Elizabeth embraces the challenge of shaking up her life a little more. Both agree the idea is ridiculous, but why not?
What ensues is a delightful journey full of twists, revelations, hamburgers, classic literature, poppy music, and above all love, in its multitude of forms. The Decent Proposal is a heartfelt and often hilarious look at the ties that bind not just a guy and a girl but an entire, diverse cast of characters situated within a modern-day Los Angeles brought to full and irrepressible life.
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts
by Joshua Hammer.
Hardcover, 288 pages.
To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven.
In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers.
In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts. As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali.
Over the past twenty years, journalist Joshua Hammer visited Timbuktu numerous times and is uniquely qualified to tell the story of Haidara’s heroic and ultimately successful effort to outwit Al Qaeda and preserve Mali’s—and the world’s—literary patrimony. Hammer explores the city’s manuscript heritage and offers never-before-reported details about the militants’ march into northwest Africa. But above all, The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature over extremism.
Out of the Blues
by Trudy Nan Boyce.
Hardcover, 352 pages.
“A fresh, gritty debut. Boyce unveils one of the best new series characters in ages. . . A book that combines fast-paced suspense with moving insights.”—#1 New York Times-bestselling author Lisa Gardner
From an author with more than thirty years’ experience in the Atlanta Police Department comes a riveting procedural debut introducing an unforgettable heroine.
On her first day as a newly minted homicide detective, Sarah “Salt” Alt is given the cold-case murder of a blues musician whose death was originally ruled an accidental drug overdose. Now new evidence has come to light that he may have been given a hot dose intentionally. And this evidence comes from a convicted felon hoping to trade his knowledge for shortened prison time . . . a man who Salt herself put behind bars.
In a search that will take her into the depths of Atlanta’s buried wounds—among the city’s homeless, its politically powerful churches, commerce and industry, and the police department itself—Salt probes her way toward the truth in a case that has more at stake than she ever could have imagined. At once a vivid procedural and a penetrating examination of what it means to be cop, Out of the Blues is a remarkable crime debut.