New and Upcoming Fiction (August 2022)

Click on the title of the book to place a hold!

The Life She Had – K.L. Armstrong

A pulse-pounding new thriller from the bestselling author of Wherever She Goes and Every Step She Takes.

If someone was threatening your home, how far would you go to protect it?

Celeste Turner has a woman living in her shed. A woman who is definitely not supposed to be there. The local police, however, are ill-inclined to help. Celeste is a newcomer to a region of rural Florida. It doesn’t matter that her family is originally from the area or that she returned to nurse her dying grandmother. All the locals see is a city girl who swooped in to secure her inheritance . . . a rundown house in need of extensive repairs. Celeste needs her new life to work, and this woman is a threat to that.

Then she meets her. To her surprise, she finds out that Daisy is polite and friendly; a backpacker who is just making her way through the area. Quickly, Celeste begins an unlikely and beneficial friendship with Daisy–she can’t help herself and, besides, Daisy will be moving on to her next stop soon. Why not take advantage of the extra help?

Both women have secrets they want to keep buried, and when a body is discovered in the glades near Celeste’s house, they must move quickly to prove their innocence and protect the lives they’ve built for themselves.

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Elizabeth Finch: A Novel – Julian Barnes

From the award-winning novelist, a compact narrative that centers on the presence of a vivid and particular woman, whose loss becomes the occasion for a man’s deeper examination of love, friendship, and biography

This beautiful, spare novel of platonic unrequited love springs into being around the singular character of the stoic, exacting Professor Elizabeth Finch. Neil, the narrator, takes her class on Culture and Civilization, taught not for undergraduates but for adults of all ages; we are drawn into his intellectual crush on this private, withholding yet commanding woman. While other personal relationships and even his family drift from Neil’s grasp, Elizabeth’s application of her material to the matter of daily living remains important to him, even after her death, in a way that nothing else does. In Elizabeth Finch, we are treated to everything we cherish in Barnes: his eye for the unorthodox forms love can take between two people, a compelling swerve into nonfictional material (this time, through Neil’s obsessive study of Julian the Apostate, following on notes Elizabeth left for him to discover after her death), and the forcefully moving undercurrent of history, and biography in particular, as nourishment and guide in our current lives.

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The Murder Book – Mark Billingham

Tom Thorne finally has it all.

In Nicola Tanner and Phil Hendricks, Thorne has good friends by his side. His love life is newly reformed by a promising relationship and he is happy in the job he has devoted his life to.

As he sets off hunting the woman responsible for a series of grisly murders, Thorne has no way of knowing that he will be plunged into a nightmare from which he may never wake. A nightmare that has a name. Thorne’s past threatens to catch up with him and a ruinous secret is about to be revealed. If he wants to save himself and his friends, he will have to do the unthinkable.

Tom Thorne finally has a lot to lose.

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Dirty Lying Faeries – Sabrina Blackburry

When Thea Kanelos’s best friend drags her to an art gala, she doesn’t expect a chance encounter with Devin Grayson to change her life forever. The handsome stranger isn’t just anyone—he’s a powerful fae, charged with bringing Thea into his world.

Believing that she’s always been human, Thea must accept that everything she’s known about herself up until now has been a lie. She’s not human at all. She is a fae—funny, because she doesn’t even believe in faeries.

But with strange creatures now visible on the street and fangs and colors flashing in the shadows, it can’t be denied: faeries are real. And with the Winter Solstice approaching, a magnificent ball will bring her fully into the fae world and draw her closer to Devin with whom she has a deepening and dangerous attraction.

As her new powers awaken, Thea learns she plays a more pivotal role to the fae than she ever imagined. And when the barrier between the human and the fae worlds begins to crack, it will be up to her to save not just herself, but everyone she loves from a terrible fate.

Deeply sensual and darkly magical, Dirty Lying Faeries is the first book in an exciting new series that takes readers inside a universe filled with faeries, dragons and werewolves–and those that love them.

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Where the Sky Begins – Rhys Bowen

London, 1940. Bombs fall and Josie Banks’s world crumbles around her. Her overbearing husband, Stan, is unreachable, called to service. Her home, a ruin of rubble and ash. Josie’s beloved tearoom boss has been killed, and Josie herself is injured, with nothing left and nowhere to go.

Evacuated to the English countryside, Josie ends up at the estate of the aristocratic Miss Harcourt, a reluctant host to the survivors of the Blitz. Awed as she is by the magnificent landscape, Josie sees opportunity. Josie convinces Miss Harcourt to let her open a humble tea shop, seeing it as a chance for everyone to begin again. When Josie meets Mike Johnson, a handsome Canadian pilot stationed at a neighboring bomber base, a growing intimacy brings her an inner peace she’s never felt before. Then Stan returns from the war.

Now a threat looms larger than anyone imagined. And a dangerous secret is about to upend Josie’s life again. Her newfound courage will be put to the test if she is to emerge, like a survivor, triumphant. 

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Overkill – Sandra Brown

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown delivers a riveting thriller in which a conflict of conscience for a former football star and an ambitious state prosecutor swiftly intensifies into a fight for their lives.
 
Former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Zach Bridger hasn’t seen his ex-wife, Rebecca Pratt, for some time—not since their volatile marriage imploded—so he’s shocked to receive a life-altering call about her. Rebecca has been placed on life support after a violent assault, and he—despite their divorce—has medical power-of-attorney. Zach is asked to make an impossible choice: keep her on life support or take her off of it. Buckling under the weight of the responsibility and the glare of public scrutiny, Zach ultimately walks away, letting Rebecca’s parents have the final say.
 
Four years later, Rebecca’s attacker, Eban—the scion of a wealthy family in Atlanta—gets an early release from prison. The ludicrous miscarriage of justice reeks of favoritism, and Kate Lennon, a brilliant state prosecutor, is determined to put him back behind bars. Rebecca’s parents have kept her alive all these years, but if her condition were to change—if she were to die—Eban could be retried on a new charge: murder.
 
It isn’t lost on Zach that in order for Eban to be charged with Rebecca’s murder, Zach must actually be the one to kill her. He rejects Kate’s legal standpoint but can’t resist their ill-timed attraction to each other. Eban, having realized the jeopardy he’s in, plots to make certain that neither Zach nor Kate lives to see the death of Rebecca—and the end of his freedom. 

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Upgrade – Blake Crouch

“You are the next step in human evolution.”

At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.

But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.

The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy. Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.

Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human. And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?

Intimate in scale yet epic in scope, Upgrade is an intricately plotted, lightning-fast tale that charts one man’s thrilling transformation, even as it asks us to ponder the limits of our humanity—and our boundless potential.

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Haven: A Novel – Emma Donoghue

In seventh-century Ireland, a scholar and priest called Artt has a dream telling him to leave the sinful world behind. Taking two monks—young Trian and old Cormac—he rows down the river Shannon in search of an isolated spot on which to found a monastery. Drifting out into the Atlantic, the three men find an impossibly steep, bare island inhabited by tens of thousands of birds, and claim it for God. In such a place, what will survival mean?

Three men vow to leave the world behind them. They set out in a small boat for an island their leader has seen in a dream, with only faith to guide them. What they find is the extraordinary island now known as Skellig Michael. Haven has Emma Donoghue’s trademark world-building and psychological intensity—but this story is like nothing she has ever written before

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A Most Intriguing Lady – Sarah Ferguson

From Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, a sweeping, romantic compulsively readable historical saga about a Duke’s daughter–the perfect Victorian lady–who secretly moonlights as an amateur sleuth for high society’s inner circle.

Victorian London was notorious for its pickpockets. But in the country houses of the elite, gentleman burglars, art thieves and con men preyed on the rich and titled. Wealthy victims–with their pride and reputation at stake–would never go to the police. What they needed was a society insider, one of their own, a person of discretion and finely tuned powers of observation, adept at navigating intrigue.

That person was Lady Mary Montagu Douglas Scott, the youngest child of Queen Victoria’s close friends the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. Bookish, fiercely intelligent, and a keen observer, Mary has deliberately cultivated a mousey persona that allows her to remain overlooked and significantly underestimated by all. It’s the perfect cover for a sleuth, a role she stumbles into when trying to assist a close friend during a house party hosted by her parents at their stately Scottish home, Drumlanrig Castle.

It is at this party where Lady Mary also meets Colonel Walter Trefusis, a distinguished and extremely handsome war veteran. Tortured by memories of combat, Walter, like Mary, lives a double life, with a desk job in Whitehall providing a front for his role in the British Intelligence Service. The two form an unlikely alliance to solve a series of audacious crimes–and indulge in a highly charged on-off romance.

Pacy, romantic, and fun, A Most Intriguing Lady documents one remarkable woman’s ability to be both the perfect lady, and a perfectly talented detective…and, of course, to find love too.

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The Housekeeper – Joy Fielding

In the end, I have only myself to blame. I’m the one who let her in.

Jodi Bishop knows success. She’s the breadwinner, a top-notch real estate agent. Her husband, Harrison . . . not so much. Once, he had big dreams. But now, he’s a middling writer who resents his wife’s success.

Jodi’s father, Vic, now in his late seventies and retired, is a very controlling man. His wife, Audrey, was herself no shrinking violet. But things changed when Audrey developed Parkinson’s ten years ago, and Vic retired to devote himself to her care. But while still reasonably spry and rakishly handsome, Vic is worn down by his wife’s deteriorating condition.

Exhausted from trying to balance her career, her family, and her parents’ needs, Jodi starts interviewing housekeepers to help care for Audrey and Vic. She settles on Elyse Woodley, an energetic and attractive widow in her early sixties, who seems perfect for the job. While Vic is initially resistant, he soon warms to Elyse’s sunny personality and engaging ways.

And Jodi is pleased to have an ally, someone she can talk to and occasionally even confide in. Until . . .

She shuts Jodi out. And Audrey’s condition worsens—rapidly. Who is this woman suddenly wearing her mother’s jewelry? What is she after? And how far will she go to get it?

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Stay Awake – Megan Goldin

Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers―a stranger who now lives in her apartment and forces her out in the cold. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing, and in its place is a bloodstained knife. That’s when she sees that her hands are covered in black pen, scribbled messages like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.

Two years ago, Liv was living with her best friend, dating a new man, and thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, the same message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing as she tries to piece together the fragments of her life. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget―permanently.

In the vein of SJ Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep and Christopher Nolan’s cult classic Memento, Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that plays with memory and murder.

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The Last White Man – Mohsin Hamid

From the New York Times bestselling author of Exit West, a story of love, loss, and rediscovery in a time of unsettling change

One morning, Anders wakes to find that his skin has turned dark, his reflection a stranger to him. At first he tells only Oona, an old friend, newly a lover. Soon, reports of similar occurrences surface across the land. Some see in the transformations the long-dreaded overturning of an established order, to be resisted to a bitter end. In many, like Anders’s father and Oona’s mother, a sense of profound loss wars with profound love. As the bond between Anders and Oona deepens, change takes on a different shading: a chance to see one another, face to face, anew.

Hamid’s The Last White Man invites us to envision a future – our future – that dares to reimagine who we think we are, and how we might yet be together.

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The Serpent in Heaven – Charlaine Harris

Felicia, Lizbeth’s younger half-sister is attacked by her estranged aristocratic Mexican family of wizards who want to use her as a pawn, what no one expected, even Felicia, is that she may be the most powerful witch in a generation in this startling sequel to the USA TODAY bestseller, The Russian Cage.

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How to Sell a Haunted House – Grady Hendrix

Your past and your family can haunt you like nothing else… A hilarious and terrifying new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Final Girl Support Group.

Every childhood home is haunted, and each of us are possessed by our parents.

When their parents die at the tail end of the coronavirus pandemic, Louise and Mark Joyner are devastated but nothing can prepare them for how bad things are about to get. The two siblings are almost totally estranged, and couldn’t be more different. Now, however, they don’t have a choice but to get along. The virus has passed, and both of them are facing bank accounts ravaged by the economic meltdown. Their one asset? Their childhood home. They need to get it on the market as soon as possible because they need the money. Yet before her parents died they taped newspaper over the mirrors and nailed shut the attic door.

Sometimes we feel like puppets, controlled by our upbringing and our genes. Sometimes we feel like our parents treat us like toys, or playthings, or even dolls. The past can ground us, teach us, and keep us safe. It can also trap us, and bind us, and suffocate the life out of us. As disturbing events stack up in the house, Louise and Mark have to learn that sometimes the only way to break away from the past, sometimes the only way to sell a haunted house, is to burn it all down.

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Southern Man: A Novel – Greg Iles

Fifteen years after the events of the Natchez Burning trilogy, Penn Cage is alone. Nearly all his loved ones are dead, his old allies gone. But Penn’s self-imposed exile comes to an abrupt end when a brawl at a Bienville music festival triggers a shooting–one that nearly takes the life of his daughter Annie.

Before the stunned populace can process the tragedy, an arsonist begins torching antebellum plantation homes in Bienville. When an unknown Black group claims the fires as acts of justice, panic ensues, driving the Mississippi River town to the brink of war.

When Penn’s closest friend in Bienville is shot to death on the street by a county deputy, mass protests ignite, and the community descends into open hostilities. State and county politicos use the mayhem as an excuse to dissolve the city government and seize control, and enraged activists begin converging on the town from far-away states to see their own brand of justice done.

In Southern Man, Greg Iles returns to the riveting style and historic depth that made the Natchez Burning trilogy a searing masterpiece and hurls the narrative fifteen years forward into our current moment–where America teeters on the fence between anarchy and salvation.

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Picture You Dead – Peter James

Harry and Freya, an ordinary couple, dreamed for years of finding something priceless buried amongst the tat in a car boot sale.

It was a dream they knew in their hearts would never come true – until the day it did…

They buy the drab portrait for a few pounds, for its beautiful frame, planning to cut the painting out. Then studying it back at home there seems to be another picture beneath, of a stunning landscape. Could it be a long-lost masterpiece from 1770? If genuine, it could be worth millions.

One collector is certain it is genuine. Someone who uses any method he can to get want he wants and will stop at nothing.

Detective Superintendent Roy Grace finds himself plunged into an unfamiliar and rarefied world of fine art. Outwardly it appears respectable, gentlemanly, above reproach. But beneath the veneer, he rapidly finds that greed, deception and violence walk hand-in-hand. And Harry and Freya Kipling are about to discover that their dream is turning into their worst nightmare. . .

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Mika in Real Life – Emiko Jean

One phone call changes everything.

At thirty-five, Mika Suzuki’s life is a mess. Her last relationship ended in flames. Her roommate-slash-best friend might be a hoarder. She’s a perpetual disappointment to her traditional Japanese parents. And, most recently, she’s been fired from her latest dead-end job.

Mika is at her lowest point when she receives a phone call from Penny—the daughter she placed for adoption sixteen years ago. Penny is determined to forge a relationship with her birth mother, and in turn, Mika longs to be someone Penny is proud of. Faced with her own inadequacies, Mika embellishes a fact about her life. What starts as a tiny white lie slowly snowballs into a fully-fledged fake life, one where Mika is mature, put-together, successful in love and her career.

The details of Mika’s life might be an illusion, but everything she shares with curious, headstrong Penny is real: her hopes, dreams, flaws, and Japanese heritage. The harder-won heart belongs to Thomas Calvin, Penny’s adoptive widower father. What starts as a rocky, contentious relationship slowly blossoms into a friendship and, over time, something more. But can Mika really have it all—love, her daughter, the life she’s always wanted? Or will Mika’s deceptions ultimately catch up to her? In the end, Mika must face the truth—about herself, her family, and her past—and answer the question, just who is Mika in real life?

Perfect for fans of Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age, Gayle Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, and Rebecca Serle’s In Five Years, Mika in Real Life is at once a heart-wrenching and uplifting novel that explores the weight of silence, the secrets we keep, and what it means to be a mother.

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The Family Remains – Lisa Jewell

Early one morning on the shore of the Thames, DCI Samuel Owusu is called to the scene of a gruesome discovery. When Owusu sends the evidence for examination, he learns the bones are connected to a cold case that left three people dead on the kitchen floor in a Chelsea mansion thirty years ago.

Rachel Rimmer has also received a shock—news that her husband, Michael, has been found dead in the cellar of his house in France. All signs point to an intruder, and the French police need her to come urgently to answer questions about Michael and his past that she very much doesn’t want to answer.

After fleeing London thirty years ago in the wake of a horrific tragedy, Lucy Lamb is finally coming home. While she settles in with her children and is just about to purchase their first-ever house, her brother takes off to find the boy from their shared past whose memory haunts their present.

As they all race to discover answers to these convoluted mysteries, they will come to find that they’re connected in ways they could have never imagined.

In this masterful standalone sequel to her haunting New York Times bestseller, The Family Upstairs, Lisa Jewell proves she is writing at the height of her powers with another jaw-dropping, intricate, and affecting novel about the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love and uncover the truth.

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The Blame Game – Sandie Jones

In the vein of the Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick The Other Woman, Sandie Jones’s heart-pounding new novel The Blame Game will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Games can be dangerous. But blame can be deadly.


As a psychologist specializing in domestic abuse, Naomi has found it hard to avoid becoming overly invested in her clients’ lives. But after helping Jacob make the decision to leave his wife, Naomi worries that she’s taken things too far. Then Jacob goes missing, and her files on him vanish. . . .

But as the police start asking questions about Jacob, Naomi’s own dark past emerges. And as the truth comes to light, it seems that it’s not just her clients who are in danger. 

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Don’t Fear the Reaper – Stephen Graham Jones

December 12th, 2019, Jade returns to the rural lake town of Proofrock the same day as convicted Indigenous serial killer Dark Mill South escapes into town to complete his revenge killings, in this riveting sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw from New York Times bestselling author, Stephen Graham Jones.

Four years after her tumultuous senior year, Jade Daniels is released from prison right before Christmas when her conviction is overturned. But life beyond bars takes a dangerous turn as soon as she returns to Proofrock. Convicted Serial Killer, Dark Mill South, seeking revenge for thirty-eight Dakota men hanged in 1862, escapes from his prison transfer due to a blizzard, just outside of Proofrock, Idaho.

Dark Mill South’s Reunion Tour began on December 12th, 2019, a Thursday.

Thirty-six hours and twenty bodies later, on Friday the 13th, it would be over.

Don’t Fear the Reaper is the page-turning sequel to My Heart Is a Chainsaw from New York Times bestselling author Stephen Graham Jones.

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The Hunt – Faye Kellerman

Detective Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus return to Los Angeles when a kidnapping hits close to home—in this breathtaking new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Faye Kellerman.

Peter and his partner, Detective Tyler McAdams, are thrown into an unsolved case and propelled into action when a body is found in the very woods where a man previously went missing in upstate New York.

But that’s not the only crisis that Peter has to deal with.

Teresa McLaughlin, the biological mother of Peter and his wife Rina’s foster son, Gabe, has fled to Los Angeles with her two children in tow, hoping to avoid a court injunction amid a messy divorce. But LA is no escape from her problems—she is found by ruthless men and beaten mercilessly. When she wakes, barely conscious, Teresa discovers that both of her children are gone and frantically calls Gabe for help.

With his mother on the verge of death, Gabe contacts Peter and Rina, as well as his biological father, the notorious Christopher Donatti, a former hit man from a known criminal family who’s now a millionaire in Nevada. By bringing Donatti into the fray, Gabe, Peter, and Rina know they have made a deal with the devil—but they may not be able to recover the kids without him.

As these unlikely allies rally to find the kidnappers before things end tragically, they race headlong toward an explosive confrontation from which no one will emerge unscathed…

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Fox Creek – William Kent Krueger

The ancient Ojibwe healer Henry Meloux has had a vision of his death. As he walks the Northwoods in solitude, he tries to prepare himself peacefully for the end of his long life. But peace is destined to elude him as hunters fill the woods seeking a woman named Dolores Morriseau, a stranger who had come to the healer for shelter and the gift of his wisdom.

Meloux guides this stranger and his great niece, Cork O’Connor’s wife, to safety deep into the Boundary Waters, his home for more than a century. On the last journey he may ever take into this beloved land, Meloux must do his best to outwit the deadly mercenaries who follow.

Meanwhile, in Aurora, Cork works feverishly to identify the hunters and the reason for their relentless pursuit, but he has little to go on. Desperate, Cork begins tracking the killers but his own skills as a hunter are severely tested by nightfall and a late season snowstorm. He knows only too well that with each passing hour time is running out. But his fiercest enemy in this deadly game of cat and mouse may well be his own deep self-doubt about his ability to save those he loves.

From “an author who never disappoints” (Bookreporter), this is another gripping and richly told addition to a masterful series.

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Double Blind – Vincent Lam

Set in Toronto, ‘Double Blind’ is an exquisitely crafted novel, piercing in its urgency and breathtaking in its intimacy, about the devastating experience of addiction. Vincent Lam lives in Toronto, ON. From the author of ‘Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures’, which won the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was adapted for television and broadcast on HBO Canada.

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Heat 2 – Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner

Michael Mann, four-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker and writer-director of HeatCollateralThiefManhunter, and Miami Vice, teams up with Edgar Award-winning author Meg Gardiner to deliver Mann’s first crime novel—an explosive return to the world and characters of his classic film Heat—an all-new story that illuminates what happened before and after the iconic film.

Described by Michael Mann as both a prequel and sequel to the renowned, critically acclaimed film of the same name, Heat 2 covers the formative years of homicide detective Vincent Hanna (Oscar winner Al Pacino) and elite criminals Neil McCauley (Oscar winner Robert De Niro), Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), and Nate (Oscar winner Jon Voight), and features the same extraordinary ambition, scope, rich characterizations, and attention to detail as the epic film.

This new story leads up to the events of the film and then moves beyond it, featuring new characters on both sides of the law, new high-line heists, and breathtakingly cinematic action sequences. Ranging from the streets of L.A. to the inner sancta of rival Taiwanese crime syndicates in Paraguay to a massive drug cartel money-laundering operation just over the border in Mexico, Heat 2 illuminates the dangerous workings of international crime organizations and the agents who pursue them as it provides a full-blooded portrait of the men and women who inhabit both worlds. Operatic in scope, Heat 2 is engrossing, moving, and tragic—a masterpiece of crime fiction from one of the most innovative and influential filmmakers in American cinema. 

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This is How We Love – Lisa Moore

From the celebrated author of February and Caught comes an exhilarating new novel that asks: What makes a family? How does it shape us? And can we ever really choose who we love?

As the snowstorm of the century rages toward Newfoundland, twenty-one-year-old Xavier is beaten and stabbed in a vicious attack. His mother, Jules, must fight her way through the shuttered streets of St. John’s to reach the hospital where Xavier lies unconscious. When a video of the attack surfaces, Jules struggles to make sense of what she sees in the footage — and of what she can’t quite make out.

While Xavier’s story unfolds, so, too, do the stories that brought him there. Here, across families and generations, are stories of mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers; of children cared for, neglected, lost, and re-found; of selfless generosity and reluctant debt. Above all, Moore, in the inimitable largesse of her art, paints a shimmering portrait of the sacrifice, pain, and wild joy of loving. A tour de force of storytelling and craft, This is How We Love brings us a cast of characters so rich and true they could only have been written by Lisa Moore.

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My Government Means to Kill Me – Rasheed Newson

A fierce and riveting queer coming-of-age story, following the personal and political awakening of a young gay Black man in 1980s NYC, from the television drama writer and producer of The ChiNarcos, and Bel-Air.

Born into a wealthy Black Indianapolis family, Earl “Trey” Singleton III leaves his overbearing parents and their expectations behind by running away to New York City with only a few dollars in his pocket. In the City, Trey meets up with a cast of characters that change his life forever—from civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, who he meets in a Harlem bathhouse, to his landlord, Fred Trump, who he clashes with and outfoxes. He volunteers at a renegade home hospice for AIDS patients, and after being put to the test by gay rights activist Larry Kramer and civil rights leader Dorothy Cotton, becomes a founding member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP). Along the way Trey attempts to navigate past traumas and searches for ways to maintain familial relationships—all while seeking the meaning of life in the midst of so much death.

Vibrant, humorous, and fraught with entanglements, Rasheed Newson’s My Government Means to Kill Me is an exhilarating, fast-paced, coming-of-age story that lends itself to a larger discussion about what it means for a young, gay, Black man in the mid-1980s to come to terms with his role in the midst of a political and social reckoning. 

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Babysitter: A Novel – Joyce Carol Oates

From one of America’s most renowned storytellers comes a novel about love and deceit, and lust and redemption, against a background of child abductions in the affluent suburbs of Detroit.

In the waning days of the turbulent 1970s, in the wake of unsolved killings that have shocked Detroit, the lives of several residents are drawn together, with tragic consequences. There is Hannah, wife of a prominent local businessman, who has begun an affair with a darkly charismatic stranger whose identity remains elusive; Mikey, a canny street hustler who finds himself on an unexpected mission to rectify injustice; and the serial killer known as Babysitter, an enigmatic and terrifying figure at the periphery of elite Detroit. As Babysitter continues his rampage of killings, these individuals intersect with one another in startling and unexpected ways.

Suspenseful, brilliantly orchestrated and engrossing, Babysitter is a starkly narrated exploration of the riskiness of pursuing alternate lives, calling into question how far we are willing to go to protect those whom we cherish most. In its scathing indictment of corrupt politics, unexamined racism, and the enabling of sexual predation in America, Babysitter is a thrilling work of contemporary fiction.

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Ninth Month – James Patterson and Richard DiLallo

A mother-to-be is being stalked but no one believes her in this intense thriller from the #1 bestselling author of The Midwife Murders.

Emily Atkinson leads a complicated life in New York City. She’s a successful marketing executive who lives in a luxury apartment and enjoys a glamorous existence until she lands in the hospital with a double diagnosis: she parties too much—and she’s pregnant. Her nurse and new best friend, Betsey, helps Emily rediscover how much she loves morning runs in the park and quiet nights at home. But as a series of women in her wealthy social circles go missing, Emily’s pregnancy becomes decidedly high-risk.

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Dirt Creek – Hayley Scrivenor

When twelve-year-old Esther disappears on the way home from school in a small town in rural Australia, the community is thrown into a maelstrom of suspicion and grief. As Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels arrives in town during the hottest spring in decades and begins her investigation, Esther’s tenacious best friend, Ronnie, is determined to find Esther and bring her home.

When schoolfriend Lewis tells Ronnie that he saw Esther with a strange man at the creek the afternoon she went missing, Ronnie feels she is one step closer to finding her. But why is Lewis refusing to speak to the police? And who else is lying about how much they know about what has happened to Esther?

Punctuated by a Greek chorus, which gives voice to the remaining children of the small, dying town, this novel explores the ties that bind, what we try and leave behind us, and what we can never outrun, while never losing sight of the question of what happened to Esther, and what her loss does to a whole town.

In Hayley Scrivenor’s Dirt Creek, a small-town debut mystery described as The Dry meets Everything I Never Told You, a girl goes missing and a community falls apart and comes together.

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Girl, Forgotten – Karin Slaughter

A small town hides a big secret…

Who killed Emily Vaughn?

Prom Night. Longbill Beach, 1982. Emily Vaughn dresses carefully for what’s supposed to be the highlight of any high school career. But Emily has a secret. And by the end of the night, because of that secret, she will be dead.

Nearly forty years later, Andrea Oliver, newly qualified as a US Marshal, receives her first assignment: to go to Longbill Beach to protect a judge receiving death threats. But Andrea’s real focus isn’t the judge – it’s Emily Vaughn. Ever since she first heard Emily’s name a year ago, she’s been haunted by her brutal death. Nobody was ever convicted – her friends closed ranks, her family shut themselves off in their grief, the town moved on – so the killer is still out there. But now Andrea has a chance to find out what really happened…

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The Challenge – Danielle Steel

Fishtail, Montana, is home to Anne and Pitt Pollock, local royalty, high school sweethearts, and owners of the successful Pollock ranch. The sprawling foothills of the Beartooth Mountains surround the town, overlooking the Pollocks’ property and the nearby ranch belonging to Bill and Pattie Brown. The two couples have known each other since childhood.

Their sons Peter Pollock and Matt Brown are also the best of friends. When they and two other local kids meet Juliet Marshall, new to town after her parents’ bitter divorce, the five of them are soon inseparable, spending their summer days swimming, horseback riding, hiking, and fishing.

But one August afternoon, their latest adventure takes a dangerous turn—and quickly escalates into a battle for survival—when they find themselves trapped on Granite Peak. Fear reverberates through the town as their parents grow ever more desperate to hear word that their children have been found. They must place their own trials aside amid a massive search-and-rescue operation. As they come to lean on one another for support, a media frenzy ensues, heightening tensions and testing some already fragile relationships.

In the aftermath of this one fateful event, devastating secrets are revealed, new love appears on the horizon, and families are forced to reconsider what they once held dear. In The Challenge, Danielle Steel deftly weaves a story that is a portrait of courage and a striking tale of the bonds of love and family.

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The Bartender’s Cure – Wesley Straton

Samantha Fisher definitely does not want to be a bartender. But after a breakup and breakdown in San Francisco, she decides to defer law school for a year to move to New York, crashing on her best friend’s couch. When she is offered a job at Joe’s Apothecary, a beloved neighborhood bar in Brooklyn, she tells herself it’s only temporary.

As Sam learns more about bartending and gets to know the service industry lifers and loyal regulars at Joe’s, she is increasingly seduced by her new job. She finds acceptance in her tight-knit community and even begins a new relationship. But as the year draws to a close, Sam is increasingly pulled between the life she thought she wanted and the possibility of a different kind of future. When destructive cycles from her past threaten to consume her again, Sam must decide how much she’s willing to let go of to finally belong.

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Properties of Thirst – Marianne Wiggins

Rockwell “Rocky” Rhodes has spent years fiercely protecting his California ranch from the LA Water Corporation. It is here where he and his beloved wife Lou raised their twins, Sunny and Stryker, and it is here where Rocky has mourned Lou in the years since her death.

As Sunny and Stryker reach the cusp of adulthood, the country teeters on the brink of war. Stryker decides to join the fight, deploying to Pearl Harbor not long before the bombs strike. Soon, Rocky and his family find themselves facing yet another incomprehensible tragedy.

Rocky is determined to protect his remaining family and the land where they’ve loved and lost so much. But when the government decides to build a Japanese-American internment camp next to the ranch, Rocky realizes that the land faces even bigger threats than the LA watermen he’s battled for years. Complicating matters is the fact that the idealistic Department of the Interior man assigned to build the camp, who only begins to understand the horror of his task after it may be too late, becomes infatuated with Sunny and entangled with the Rhodes family.

Properties of Thirst is a novel that is both universal and intimate. It is the story of a changing American landscape and an examination of one of the darkest periods in this country’s past, told through the stories of the individual loves and losses that weave together to form the fabric of our shared history. Ultimately, it is an unflinching distillation of our nation’s essence—and a celebration of the bonds of love and family that persist against all odds.

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