Czech writer Heda Margolius Kovály, best known for her memoir chronicling her time in Auschwitz (Under a Cruel Star), drew from her later harrowing experiences in 1950s Soviet Prague for her only work of fiction, Innocence. This espionage thriller follows the chilling and stifling atmosphere of political oppression during the post-WWII days of Communist Czechoslovakia. Neighbor and friends are suddenly not to be trusted, as govenrment informants are hidden everywhere, and innocence begins to lose meaning to those in the government. Innocence is available in an English translation for the first time due to award-winning literary translator and co-chair of the PEN America Translation Committee, Alex Zucker. We asked Zucker a few questions about his translation process for Innnocence, the Czech language and more.
This month's best new mysteries include four top-notch, globe-trotting tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
How well can you really know someone? Can you comprehend the hidden desires harbored by your neighbor, your fiancé, your best friend or your daughter? Or do you only see the fiction they present to the world?
Drawing on years of experience in the British armed forces, debut author K.T. Medina delivers a striking thriller that bores into the dark heart of postwar Cambodia, fraught with poverty and superstition. Her heroine descends into the killing fields in search of her husband’s killer—but as Medina reveals in the essay below, evil goes much deeper than murder.
When a murder mystery is set in Washington, D.C., readers expect a good dose of politics, hallowed halls and monuments. That is not the case with Murder, D.C. by Neely Tucker, the second book in a series featuring crime reporter Sully Carter. Carter is a modern hero, emotionally and physically scarred from his Bosnian reporting days. He's a flawed individual who nonetheless retains his integrity when pursuing the truth of a story.
Great psychological thrillers work on two levels: as action-based mysteries and as emotionally resonant personal stories. Jenny Milchman balances both in As Night Falls, as slightly anxious counselor Sandy Tremont faces murderers on her doorstep and secrets from her past with equal intensity.
K.T. Medina’s debut novel, White Crocodile, is a harrowing venture into the deadly fields of Cambodia, a Southeast Asian nation of volatile politics, poverty and danger. The author is a former member of the British armed forces, well qualified to describe the conditions in that small country where, during three decades in the 1970s, hostile political groups planted thousands of land mines that have victimized the native population to the present day.
Most readers probably imagine their favorite author as thoughtful and deep—someone bursting with insight into life and empathy for all creation. From the outside, that’s what Henry Hayden appears to be. Modest despite the five-and-counting bestsellers that bear his name, he seems to be devoted to his wife, loyal to his friends and eager to sign books for the fans who travel to his remote village just to meet him. But he’s a fraud: Every word of his novels was written by his publicity-shy wife, Martha.
International thriller writer Christopher Reich admits his new standalone nail-biter, Invasion of Privacy, lacks the globetrotting savoir faire of his bestsellers Numbered Account, The Patriot’s Club and The Prince of Risk. But what it so deliciously serves up instead is a visceral fear feast centered on a simple premise: What if your iPhone turned against you?
Lawrence H. Levy's debut mystery takes readers to the late 19th century, where we meet Brooklyn's first woman detective, Mary Handley. She's investigating a murder with ties to Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, whose famous feud is even darker than you'd expect.