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  • Jeff Somers 5:00 pm on 2019/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, , ,   

    The Best Thrillers of November 2019 

    As we crash headlong into the holiday season, it’s time to start proactively planning a little You Time. The end of the year can be stressful and crowded, so making sure you take a few hours to read some good books is essential, and this month’s best thrillers offer the ideal counter-programming. With new books from James Patterson, David Baldacci, Mary Higgins Clark, and many more, you’ll have plenty of books to get you through.

    Criss Cross, by James Patterson
    James Patterson’s 27th Alex Cross thriller sets the bar high, as Cross and partner John Sampson bear witness to the execution of a killer they helped put behind bars. But then they’re called to a crime scene that’s a clearly the work of as copy-cat killer—except there’s a note telling Alex Cross that he ‛messed up big time.’ A spree of killings seeded with subtle references to Cross’ career and family ensues, the work of someone who knows everything there is to know about him As Cross desperately tries to piece the clues together, he realizes that the perpetrator has a horrifying goal in his sights—one that might cost Cross his own life.

    A Minute to Midnight, by David Baldacci
    David Baldacci’s second Atlee Pine novel follows the FBI agent back to her rural Georgia hometown, where she’s retreated from a professional setback to finally investigate the decades-old disappearance of her twin sister, Mercy. But just as she begins to dig into the deeply-buried past, a woman is found dead—murdered ritualistically and dressed in a wedding veil. A second victim follows, and Atlee finds her search for her own truth complicated by the urgent need to stop a serial killer before they strike again. But as she spreads herself thin seeking answers to two mysteries, she finds that digging up the past is dangerous, and possibly deadly.

    The Andromeda Evolution, by Daniel H. Wilson
    Robopocalypse author Daniel H. Wilson capably mimics the Crichton’s style and brings plenty of personal tech cred to this sequel, published fifty years after the classic The Andromeda Strain. Ever since that alien virus threatened humanity, Project Eternal Vigilance has monitored the world for any hint of a similar incident. When an anomaly is found in the Amazon, a team is quickly dispatched, including paraplegic astronaut Sophie Kline and roboticist James Stone, who has an intimate connection to the original encounter. They’re charged with containing the infection, but what they discover is terrifying: the Andromeda Strain has mutated and evolved, and is now something entirely different—and much deadlier.

    The Family Upstairs, by Lisa Jewell
    Twenty-five years ago, a ghastly scene greeted police at a tony London address: Three dead adults, four missing children, and one crying baby. A quarter-century later, Libby Jones has spent her life wondering about her birth parents and the truth of her life. When she finally discovers the truth of her birth parents, she learns that she’s inherited the house, worth millions. As she contemplates how her life is about to change, she has no idea that she’s not the only person who’s been waiting for this day—and that she’s about to meet the other interested parties. This exclusive Barnes and Noble edition includes a discussion guide and an essay by the author.

    Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry, by Mary Higgins Clark
    Journalist Gina Kane receives an email from a woman named Ryan who wants to talk about the ‛terrible experience’ she had working at television news network REL, she smells a story. But her source goes dark, and she learns that Ryan has died in a freak jet ski accident. At REL, corporate counsel Michael Carter has received numerous complaints from women working at the network, alleging sexual harassment and worse. He begins a campaign to buy the women off, trading settlements for their silence. As more bodies turn up, Kane and Carter engage in a chess game as one tries to cover up the story and one tries to expose it—and someone else is willing to kill to stop it cold.

    Tom Clancy: Code of Honor, by Marc Cameron
    Marc Cameron returns to the world and characters created by Tom Clancy in a story where Jack Ryan resumes center stage as President of the United States. When a brilliant computer scientist creates a game-changing artificial intelligence, he’s murdered by agents of the Chinese government who want the technology for themselves. The killing is witnessed by an old friend of Ryan’s, Father Pat West, who manages to get in touch with the president with what he knows. Ryan is concerned, but when West is abducted, Ryan’s rage knows no limits—and he sets out to demonstrate to his enemies that the most powerful man in the world is the wrong person to make into a personal enemy.

    The Siberian Dilemma, by Martin Cruz Smith
    The ninth Arkady Renko book finds the investigator, who works for the Moscow Prosecutor’s office, worried about his girlfriend Tatiana Petrovna. The journalist left for an assignment in Siberia and failed to return. When Renko is ordered there himself—to supervise the prosecution of a terrorist named Aba Makhmud and ensure a long prison sentence, with a threat against his stepson if he fails—he sees an opportunity to look for Tatiana as well. When he arrives in Siberia he stumbles into a murder investigation, the victim a wealthy oligarch and a friend of the reclusive billionaire Tatiana was interviewing. Getting Tatiana—and himself—out alive while following his boss’s orders will take every ounce of Renko’s brains, but as always he’s up for the challenge.

    What thrillers are giving you chills this month?

    The post The Best Thrillers of November 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 2:30 pm on 2019/07/31 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, , ,   

    The Best New Thrillers of August 2019 

    August is here, and with it a fresh batch of world-class thrillers to keep your heart pounding through the dog days. This month sees the arrival of the sixth book featuring Lisbeth Salander, the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; the launch of a new series from Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child; the 50th Stone Barrington romp from Stuart Woods; and a creepy dystopian thriller from Rob Hart that might be one of the breakout books of the year.

    The Girl Who Lived Twice, by David Lagercrantz
    The sixth book in the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series (and third from David Lagercrantz), opens with Lisbeth Salander nowhere to be found. Mikael Blomkvist goes looking for her even as he investigates the death of a man who doesn’t exist in any records, but whose final words hinted at explosive knowledge involving the most powerful people. Salander has sold her apartment and vanished from the internet entirely, and as the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo secretly stalks her worst enemy—her twin sister Camilla—her fate and Blomkvist’s will once again intertwine.

    The Inn, by James Patterson and Candice Fox
    The remote Inn at Gloucester is former cop Bill Robinson’s dream for retirement: a dozen rooms whose occupants pay rent in exchange for the privacy Bill is more than happy to give them. The tenants include local sheriff Clayton Spears, army vet Nick Jones, and loyal groundskeeper Effie Johnson, and everything is going fine until a gang of criminals move into the Inn, bringing with them drugs, murder, and yet more violence. Bill soon realizes that he can’t escape the darkness of the world, and these fiercely independent people will have to band together to defend their home turf—whatever the cost.

    The Turn of the Key, by Ruth Ware
    Over the course of four explosive novels—In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, and The Death of Mrs. WestawayWare has established herself as one of the best mystery writers working today, and her streak remains unbroken with this, her fifth novel. Rowan Caine comes across a dream job, working as a nanny in a posh estate in the Scottish highlands outfitted as a “smart” home. The family is wealthy and the children are adorable; Rowan can’t believe her luck. Yet we can’t ignore the fact that she’s narrating this story from prison, where’s she’s awaiting trial for a child’s murder. Even as she recounts the bizarre and disturbing story, Rowan is trying to solve her own mystery, piecing together the chaotic events—the frequent long absences of the parents, the increasingly disturbing malfunctioning of the home’s technology, and the bizarre turn of behavior in the two small girls she was hired to care for. All Rowan knows for sure is that she isn’t guilty—but can readers trust her?

    Old Bones, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
    Preston and Child promote archaeologist Nora Kelly from key supporting character in their Special Agent Pendergast books to the main character of her own series. Kelly learns of the existence of a diary kept by the wife of George Donner (of Donner Party fame), and of the possibility suggested by the diary of a heretofore unknown third camp set up by members of the ill-fated expedition. As Kelly searches for evidence of this huge historical find, fellow Pendergast alum FBI agent Corrie Swanson works a murder case with a link to the Donner Party as well. It isn’t long before the two women combine forces to solve a typically twisty Preston/Child mystery.

    Outfox, by Sandra Brown
    FBI special agent Drex Easton is obsessed with a serial killer who has been stalking wealthy young women for decades, never leaving a clue behind. When he finally gets a break and thinks he’s identified the killer, he moves in next door to his suspect. The man calling himself Jasper Ford may or may not be a murderer, but Drex finds himself smitten with the man’s much younger wife, Talia. As he works the case, Drex falls in love, a circumstance that begins to adversely affect the investigation and threaten the lives of Drex and his co-workers. Meanwhile, a  rival at the bureau works to shut Drex’s case down, setting the clock ticking and setting the stage for another of the intense finales Brown excels at orchestrating.

    Contraband, by Stuart Woods
    Woods’ 50th Stone Barrington novel finds the detective-turned-attorney in fine form, vacationing on a yacht off the coast of Florida. When a small plane crashes into the water nearby, Barrington does what he always does: he dives in to help, literally. Barrington rescues the pilot, Al Dix, and notices a large amount of luggage in the drink. As Dix recovers in Key West, Barrington meets the beautiful police officer investigating the crash, Max Crowley, but the case takes a turn when the mysterious luggage vanishes without a trace, and Dix refuses to say what might have been in it, then disappears himself—as does the plane itself. With nothing to go on to solve the mystery, Barrington heads to New York, where he is asked by new friend Robbie Calder for some help obtaining a divorce from her violent husband. When Calder’s husband turns up dead alongside one of Robbie’s friends, things look grim for Barrington on two fronts—until he discovers a connection between the missing luggage and this new problem.

    The Perfect Wife, by J.P. Delaney
    Abbie Cullen-Scott was a loving mother, an adventurous spirit and surfer, and a celebrated artist; in the words of her husband, tech genius Tim Scott, she was “the perfect wife.” When she disappears, Tim is a prime suspect, but no charges are brought. Five years later, Abbie wakes up in a hospital room—but she’s changed. Tim has spent the intervening years pouring the immense resources of his company into creating a “companion robot” programmed with Abbie’s memories and personality. As this Abbie investigates her own disappearance, she questions whether she can trust her husband and is troubled by the nature of her existence; she isn’t human, even if she has a human’s memories. Unlocking the truths hidden inside each of these mysteries is hard, but Abbie persists, slowly making her way toward a twisty and emotionally powerful climax.

    The Russia Account, by Stephen Coonts
    When CIA Director Jake Grafton discovers a small Estonian bank is laundering huge amounts of money, he dispatches Tommy Carmellini to investigate. When Tommy brings in a Russian oligarch with ties to Vladimir Putin, Grafton authorizes an interrogation at a CIA safe house. There, they learn the operation is much bigger than suspected, involving politicians and investors in a grand scheme to destabilize all of the Western world by destroying people’s confidence in concept of money itself. When Grafton finds himself the target of an assassin as a result, former thief Carmellini has to get to the bottom of a massive conspiracy before it’s too late—for him and for the world.

    The Whisper Man, by Alex North
    In the town of Featherbank, a little boy disappears after reporting that a man came to his window and whispered to him. That’s the precise M.O. of Frank Carter, known as The Whisper Man—but Carter’s been in jail for twenty years. Detective Inspector Amanda Beck calls in the policeman who put Carter away, Pete Willis, to consult on the case. Meanwhile, a grieving widower moves to town with his young son, a boy with an invisible friend. The child complains about being afraid of the boy under the floor—and when he starts to hear whispers and an attempt is made to lure the boy away from his home, it all seems to connect to Beck’s puzzling investigation. Part procedural, part ghost story, part haunted house tale, this gripping thriller will keep you riveted.

    The Warehouse, by Rob Hart
    Rob Hart, best known for the Ash McKenna series, offers up a chilling and plausible vision of our corporate-run future, lurking the logical end of our current drive towards deregulation and privatization. After taking over the Federal Aviation Administration from the government, a familiar mega-corporation known as Cloud dominates commerce and labor to a frightening extent. In essence, the world has been turned into a huge open-air mall… run by Cloud. It is in this future where three stories converge: that of Gibson Wells, the dying founder of the company, who defends his legacy; Paxton, a former competitor turned Cloud employee living and working at one of the company’s self-sustaining facilities; and Zinnia, a corporate spy who sees Paxton as an asset and uses his attraction to her in pursuit of her own ends. Detailed worldbuilding makes this one feel nightmarish and all too real, but the thrilling plot keeps you turning pages anyway.

    Which thriller are you looking forward to this August?

    The post The Best New Thrillers of August 2019 appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 5:00 pm on 2019/06/28 Permalink
    Tags: bnstorefront-fiction, , , , ,   

    July’s Best New Thrillers 

    July’s most thrilling books include a new hero from the masterful David Baldacci, the next Gabriel Allon adventure from Daniel Silva, James Patterson’s first foray into epic fantasy, and more.

    One Good Deed, by David Baldacci
    Baldacci spins a tightly-plotted period piece to introduce a new hero: Aloysius Archer, a veteran of World War II in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. When released in 1949, he finds himself in Poca City with strict instructions to get a job and stay out of trouble. Archer visits a local bar seeking a little bit of both when he gets a job offer: businessman Hank Pittleman wants a debt collected. Archer takes on the job, and soon finds himself in a mess of small-town plotting, as Pittleman’s mistress tries to use Archer for her own ends and the debt proves harder to collect than Archer expected. When someone shows up dead, the local police seem to think Archer, recently-arrived ex-con, did the deed. Archer brains, brawn, and desperation are all that’s keeping him from returning to prison—or worse.

    The New Girl, by Daniel Silva
    The 19th Allon novel centers on a tony private school in Switzerland—the sort of exclusive place only the children of the rich and powerful attend. The students buzz about the new arrival, a beautiful young girl who appears every morning and leaves every afternoon in a motorcade, surrounded by bodyguards. Her classmates all have theories as to who she might be—but they’re all wrong. When the girl is kidnapped while across the border in France, Gabriel Allon, chief of Israeli intelligence, is called into action. As Allon goes up against a familiar old enemy, the fate of girl and the world lies with him.

    Sophia, Princess Among Beasts, by James Patterson with Emily Raymond
    The prolific James Patterson (with Emily Raymond) stretches to infuse a new genre his trademark tension and thriller grit. At the core of this epic fantasy is a mystery that only Sophia, princess of a kingdom under dire threat, can solve. Sophia is smart and capable, beautiful and beloved by the people, and an avid reader who spent long hours as a child reading about a terrible realm filled with monsters. When she discovers that the place—and the resident monsters—are very real, and that an army is marching on her kingdom, Sophia knows it is her duty to protect the people who have put their trust in her. Her only hope is to solve an ancient a mystery—if she has time.

    Red Metal, by Mark Greaney and H. Ripley Rawlings IV, USMC
    Greaney knows just how to spin a modern thriller, and his co-writer H. Ripley Rawlings is a lieutenant colonel in the marines. Together they’ve created a razor-sharp near-future story of brutal combat and global maneuvering centered on a rare-earth mine in Africa. The mine was in Russian hands until Kenya reclaimed it out from under Russian special forces Colonel Yuri Borbikov. Borbikov draws up an ambitious, dangerous plan to get it back—Operation Red Metal. With simultaneous attacks on the U.S. Central Africa Command in Germany and the mine itself, Russia sets in motion a series of battles that Greaney and Rawlings depict through the eyes of the dedicated warriors tasked with carrying out their orders—no matter what. The result is a gripping and finely detailed story of modern warfare no fan of the genre should miss.

    Smokescreen, by Iris Johansen
    Johansen’s 25th Eve Duncan novel introduces Jill Cassidy, a journalist who returns from the war-torn country of Maldara haunted by what she’s witnessed. She seeks out forensic sculptor Duncan and asks her to help reconstruct the skulls of 27 children massacred by rebel soldiers. Duncan is moved but troubled by the opportunity, but she accepts the job and jumps on a flight to the site of the killings, the village of Robaku. Jill also wants Eve to reconstruct the skull of a mercenary named Nils Varak, the man responsible for the uprising that led to the murders—because Jill doesn’t believe Nils is actually dead and hopes to prove a government cover-up is underway. In an unfamiliar country, Duncan finds herself isolated and uncertain who she can trust. She must rely on her gut to get to the bottom of the mystery without becoming the next victim.

    The Russian, by Ben Coes
    Coes launches a new series and a new protagonist, former Navy SEAL Rob Tacoma. As the book begins, the Russian mafia has asserted itself as the most powerful organized criminal force in the United States, meeting any effort to curtail its activities with brutal violence. When its actions cross the line into the outright assassination of politicians, the president authorizes the CIA to recruit an elite team tasked with identifying, locating, and killing the powerful criminals ordering the murders. Tacoma and another former SEAL, Billy Cosgrove, are brought in—but Cosgrove is almost immediately identified and murdered in his own home by the Russians. Cosgrove must take on the mob single-handedly, both to get revenge for his comrade-in-arms, and to keep himself alive the only way he can—by killing all of his well-funded, well-protected enemies.

    What books are thrilling you this July?

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  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2019/05/31 Permalink
    Tags: , bnstorefront-fiction, , ,   

    June’s Best Thrillers 

    This month’s best thrillers include a new story featuring genius FBI agent Emily Dockery from James Patterson and David Ellis, the latest globe-trotting Scot Harvath twister from Brad Thor, and the newest brain-bending work from Blake Crouch.

    Unsolved, by James Patterson and David Ellis
    James Patterson and David Ellis delivery the sequel to Invisible, which introduced the obsessive, genius FBI researcher Emily Dockery. Emily notices things others miss, and it has made her reputation in the bureau. Now, she’s seeing a string of murders across the country—deaths that appear to be accidental, and which seem to have no connection to one another. Whoever’s orchestrating them seems to know what Emily is thinking, and keeps one step ahead of her as she works the case hard. Meanwhile, Emily’s ex-fiancee and reluctant partner, Special Agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, suspects treason within the Bureau—and hasn’t ruled out Emily herself as the culprit.

    Backlash, by Brad Thor
    The 18th Scot Harvath novel finds the legendary operative in the most desperate position of his life. Harvath is a dangerous man; a former Navy SEAL who graduated from a stint in the Secret Service to leading the top secret Apex Project. He’s charged with defending his country by any means necessary, and over the course of 17 books he’s proved he’s a patriot—and he’s a bad person to cross. The lone survivor of an attack that downs his plane behind enemy lines, with no support or equipment, Harvath must find a way to survive using just his brains and his experience as he claws his way to getting revenge on those who would dare attack everything he loves. This white-knuckle adventure will please longtime Harvath fans and introduce new readers to one of the best thriller characters around.

    Tom Clancy: Enemy Contact, by Mike Maden
    Jack Ryan Jr. continues to honor his father’s legacy in his latest tense political adventure. Someone’s selling out the CIA, auctioning its deepest secrets to the highest bidder and destabilizing the entire intelligence system of the Western world. After barely surviving a disastrous mission in Poland, Jack Jr. is called to the bedside of a friend dying of cancer and asked for one final favor: to scatter the man’s ashes on a specific hillside in Chile. Jack agrees, thinking it simply as a way to honor a friend—but he’s almost immediately contacted by a former army ranger and warned not to go through with it. Ever his father’s son, Jack does anyway, setting off a chain of events that leaves him isolated, in grave danger, and within spitting distance of discovering the identity of the mole in the CIA.

    Skin Game, by Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall
    Stuart Woods and co-writer Parnell Hall’s Teddy Faye returns. The ex-CIA agent is ordered by the agency’s chief to drop everything and head to Paris in order to ferret out a mole. Faye obeys, attracting the attention of Fahd Kassin, a Syrian tough with a penchant for assassination. Teddy reaches Paris, but before he can begin his investigation he finds himself going undercover to track Kassin, who has arrived in the city to attend a rare animal convention. As Teddy gets the better of his enemies in increasingly entertaining ways, he stumbles onto a plot that threatens more than just one ex-CIA operative.

    Recursion, by Blake Crouch
    At the start of Blake Crouch’s latest mind-bending high-concept sci-fi thriller, New York City detective Barry Sutton begins to encounter people suffering from False Memory Syndrome—a condition where they “remember” lives they never lived, and suffer emotionally due to tragedies they never actually experienced. A year earlier, a brilliant neuroscientist named Helena Smith accepts funding from a mega-wealthy sponsor in order to create a device that can preserve memories to be re-experienced whenever desired—but it also allows people to literally enter those memories, changing everything. As the disorder spreads throughout the city, reality itself is threatened; who can say what is real when you can’t trust your own memories? As Harry connects with Helena and they realize her research is destabilizing the world, the two join forces to find a way to save the human race from this threat from within.

    The Last House Guest, by Megan Miranda
    Littleport, Maine is the sort of town where life is split down the middle between the summer tourists and the year-round residents who serve their wealthier part-time neighbors. The divide is so strong that the friendship that springs up between visiting Sadie Loman and townie Avery Greer is remarkable, both for its authenticity and its longevity—every year Sadie visits with her family, and for the summer, she and Avery are a team. Until the summer Sadie turns up dead. Her death is officially ruled a suicide, but Avery can’t accept that—and the more she digs into her friend’s death, the more convinced she is that she shouldn’t, as forces in the community seem to be arrayed against her lonely quest for the truth.

    What books look thrilling to you in June?

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  • Sarah Skilton 4:00 pm on 2019/05/01 Permalink
    Tags: armando lucase correa, , blessing in disguise, , bnstorefront-fiction, , , , , , , , light from other stars, liv constantine, mary beth keane, , queen bee, resistance women, , , the daughter's tale, , the last time i saw you, ,   

    May’s Best New Fiction 

    This month kicks off summer beach read season and we couldn’t be more delighted by the historical fiction and sweeping family sagas in our TBR pile. Whether you’re in the mood for a lowcountry tale of two sisters intrigued by the same widow, a murder mystery in high society Baltimore, or tales of resistance in Nazi Germany, there’s plenty to keep you company while the waves crash against the shore.

    The Guest Book, by Sarah Blake
    Following the success of The Postmistress, Sarah Blake is back with a gripping new historical novel that depicts three generations of a privileged American family. The Miltons embody the American dream in a manner not seen since the Gettys or Vanderbilts. In the 1930s, they purchased Crockett Island off the coast of Maine as a summertime getaway. Each generation since has enjoyed the secluded, gorgeous setting, but eventually the family wealth dries up and the fate of the homestead rests in the hands of three cousins, each with separate agendas. The island’s origin is steeped in misery—but what, if anything, will the newest generation do to mitigate the sins of the past?

    Queen Bee, by Dorothea Benton Frank
    Fans of Frank will be delighted to re-visit Sullivan’s Island for the author’s twentieth tale, set as always in lowcountry South Carolina. Sibling rivalry rears its head when beekeeper / librarian Holly’s newly separated sister, Leslie, sweeps back into town to wreak havoc. Leslie has set her sights on Holly’s widowed neighbor, Archie, father of two. Problem is, he’s the same man whose young kids Holly has come to view as a key component of her happiness and purpose. Add the sisters’ hypochondriac mother to the mix and you’ve got a warm family saga and pitch-perfect beach read.

    Blessing in Disguise, by Danielle Steel
    If you loved the Mamma Mia films, you’ll devour Steel’s latest in a single weekend. Isabelle McAvoy has loved, lost, and lived to fight another day as the single mother of three daughters. Each daughter has a different father, and the relationships that produced them are as disparate as the circumstances that brought them into Isabelle’s life. From true love matches to ill-advised unions, Isabelle has learned a lot along the way—but it turns out her journey, and that of her daughters, is far from over.

    The Last Time I Saw You, by Liv Constantine
    With her thrilling debut, The Last Mrs. Parrish (picked for Reese Witherspoon’s book club), Constantine proved her skill at creating memorably devious characters. Her new novel, a twisty murder mystery set among Baltimore high society, ratchets up the tension even more. On the surface, Doctor Kate English is living an enviable life. She appears to balance a perfect family, inherited wealth, and a fulfilling career. All that changes when her mother is viciously killed and the only woman Kate trusts to solve the crime is her prickly, estranged former friend, Blaire, a woman not known for treading lightly.

    Ask Again, Yes, by Mary Beth Keane
    Keane’s new book is tender and wise, literary fiction of the highest caliber, and readers will immediately feel pulled in to the story of two families whose lives are forever entwined. As next-door neighbors in a New York suburb, and colleagues at the police department, Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope first met in the 1970s. The two men were never exactly friends, but in the ensuing years, their children Peter and Kate grow up together as close as can be. When a shocking act tears the neighbors apart, can either family find a way back from the depths of trauma? Will Peter and Kate’s now-forbidden relationship overcome their parents’ misgivings? Demand this one for your book club: they’ll thank you for it!

    Resistance Women, by Jennifer Chiaverini
    This compelling World War II historical is firmly in Chiaverini’s wheelhouse, based on real people and filled with excitement. It’s the early 1930s and Mildred Fish Harnack from Wisconsin is enjoying her new life in Berlin. Recently reunited with her German husband, Arvid, and pursuing a doctorate in American Lit, she finds the cosmopolitan city invigorating and stimulating. When the political tide takes a horrifying turn, she and three other women—Martha Dodd (the US ambassador’s daughter); Greta Lorke (an aspiring playwright); and Sara Weitz (a student)—vow to resist Hitler’s regime, putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones on the line.

    The Daughter’s Tale, by Armando Lucas Correa
    A dual-timeline story presented with realistic and harrowing detail, Tale depicts the escape by Amanda Sternberg from Germany when her husband is killed in a prison camp in 1939. Though Amanda sends her eldest daughter to Cuba to live with an uncle, she keeps her youngest daughter, Lina, by her side to face an uncertain future in France. Present-day Lina, now called Elise Duval and living in the U.S., is stunned to discover a series of letters written by her mother that shed light on the past, and the choices Amanda was once forced to make.

    The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna, by Juliet Grames
    This moving debut set in Connecticut and Calabria, Italy, finds the immigrant Fortuna sisters, Stella and Tina, struggling to grow up under the thumb of a domineering father. Did I mention Stella has a penchant for near-death experiences and an independent streak a mile wide? She’ll also do anything to keep her younger sister Tina safe from pain or hardship, which makes their eventual estrangement all the more mysterious. This has the potential to be an excellent read-alike for Kate Atkinson’s Life After Lifewhile also being wholly original.

    Light From Other Stars, by Erika Swyler
    A perfect book for fans of Interstellar, this sci-fi drama, grounded in realism and the bonds of family, follows 12-year-old Nedda and her quest to become an astronaut. Nedda’s father, a former physicist for NASA, is driven to prolong Nedda’s childhood by slowing it down via entropy. As a result, he subsumes the entire town of Easter, Florida, into a sinkhole in time. Yet years later, Nedda finds herself aboard a vessel in space, and it may be Nedda’s mother and grandmother who are responsible for Nedda’s success. This looks to be a mesmerizing and beautiful coming of age story about dreams fulfilled and paths not taken.

    How Not to Die Alone, by Richard Roper
    Years ago, Andrew made a split-second decision to pretend he was a family man in order to secure a job. His seemingly benign lie has come back to haunt him when a new employee and mentee, Peggy, enters his life and his heart. Like the rest of Andrew’s colleagues, Peggy assumes Andrew is married with two daughters, so how can he come clean after all this time? Each moment of his career feels like a glimpse into his own future; as an administrator in the U.K.’s Death Council, Andrew is responsible for going through the belongings of people who have died alone. If Andrew doesn’t make some changes, he may very well share their fate. Alone promises to be a charming and poignant read.

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