“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” Joan Didion famously wrote. In Rachel Cusk’s inventive novel, Outline, a parade of characters tell the sketchily drawn narrator their stories, and as these conversations or episodes unfold they weigh in on all manner of life’s issues, large and small—love and marriage, parenthood, aspirations and failures, even the...
Set in the early 20th century, poet Greer Macallister’s hauting first novel is a compelling mystery. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, the Amazing Arden, one of the first American female illusionists, mesmerizes her audience with the classic “saw through man in a box” trick. On this particular night, she decides to use a fire ax rather than a saw. Was she simply altering her illusion, or carrying out a murder?
We’ve all been there, wondering late at night: Is that tap-tap-tap sound we’re hearing coming from the radiator pipes, or are those footsteps on the stairs? For Evie Jones, the cub reporter and amateur sleuth at the center of Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s chilling psychological thriller, anxious moments like these have become a way of life. The Devil You Know takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through Evie’s desperate efforts to rid herself of the childhood horrors that have followed her into adulthood.
The Civil War has been over for five years, but half a decade is not enough time to rid America of the demons the war left behind. Postbellum Philadelphia is populated by families mourning their lost sons, and streets full of men with missing limbs serves as a reminder that time does not heal all wounds. Such is the backdrop for Alan Finn’s Things Half in Shadow, full of spellbinding tales of the supernatural.
Lawyer-turned-author Krassi Zourkova mines the traditions of her Bulgarian childhood in a magical debut, Wildalone. When Thea leaves Bulgaria to study at Princeton, her life becomes entwined with those of two sexy brothers as she works to uncover a long-hidden familiy secret. We asked Zourkova a few questions about love triangles, the literature that inspires her and the appeal of the alpha male.
This exciting historical novel is about mountain man and trapper Hugh Glass, who is working for the newly formed American Fur Company, founded in 1823 and owned by Jacob Astor when beaver pelts were worth serious cash. For men like Glass, there’s serious pressure to produce pelts and a profit for the young business—even it if means entering the land of the hostile Ariakra tribe.
Of the dramatic plot twists that routinely occur in suspense fiction, one character in Harriet Lane’s Her complains that they are “unsatisfying . . . nothing like life, which—it seems to me—turns less on shocks or theatrics than on the small quiet moments, misunderstandings or disappointments, the things that it’s easy to overlook.” Lane’s novel, in which a vengeful woman infiltrates the life of an old acquaintance, features many potential shocks. But Her eschews cheap drama, instead building suspense by shedding light on two women’s inner worlds.
It’s no easy feat to cast a German who admits to cheering Hitler’s election as the lead detective in a murder mystery. But readers quickly discover that little is as it seems in this dark historical thriller based on an actual gruesome crime spree that shook Nazi Germany in the months before the U.S. entered World War II.
The first book in a new crime series, Winter at the Door introduces Lizzie Snow, a Boston cop turned police chief, now ensconced in the remote town of Bearkill in northern Maine’s Aroostook County, which runs right up against the Canadian border. Bearkill barely manages the necessities with a supermarket, Laundromat, luncheonette and corner bar appropriately named Area 51.
Scott Blackwood’s latest addition to the Texas literary canon, See How Small, is a brilliant, heartbreaking meditation on grief, parenthood and time.