“I love non-fiction, and I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for the authors of these books.”
Famed Holocaust memoirist Heda Margolius Kovály (Under a Cruel Star) knits her own terrifying experiences in Soviet Prague into a powerful work of literary suspense.
1950s Prague is a city of numerous small terrors, of political tyranny, corruption and surveillance. There is no way of knowing whether one’s neighbor is spying for the government or what one’s supposed friend will say under pressure to a State Security agent. A loyal Party member might be imprisoned or executed as quickly as a traitor; innocence means nothing for a person caught in a government trap.
But there are larger terrors, too. When a little boy is murdered at the cinema where his aunt works, the ensuing investigation sheds a little too much light on the personal lives of the cinema’s female ushers, each of whom is hiding a dark secret of her own.
Nearly lost to censorship, this rediscovered gem of Czech literature depicts a chilling moment in history, redolent with the stifling atmosphere of political and personal oppression of the early days of Communist Czechoslovakia.
The summer before she was set to head out-of-state to pursue her MFA, twenty-six-year-old Cole Cohen submitted herself to a battery of tests. For as long as she could remember, she’d struggled with a series of learning disabilities that made it nearly impossible to judge time and space—standing at a cross walk, she couldn’t tell you if an oncoming car would arrive in ten seconds or thirty; if you asked her to let you know when ten minutes had passed, she might notify you in a minute or an hour. These symptoms had always kept her from getting a driver’s license, which she wanted to have for grad school. Instead of leaving the doctor’s office with permission to drive, she left with a shocking diagnosis—doctors had found a large hole in her brain responsible for her life-long struggles. Because there aren’t established tools to rely on in the wake of this unprecedented and mysterious diagnosis, Cole and her doctors and family create them, and discover firsthand how best to navigate the unique world that Cole lives in. Told without an ounce of self-pity and plenty of charm and wit, Head Case is ultimately a story of triumph, as we watch this passionate, lovable, and unsinkable young woman chart a path for herself.
The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.
Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.
Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them.
“I enjoy thrillers and mysteries, and yet I’ve never read anything by Harlen Coben. Every time I see one of his books I tell myself you need to read one of those!”
Late on a frozen February evening, a young woman is running through the streets of London. Having fled from her abusive boyfriend and with nowhere to go, Jess stumbles onto a forgotten lane where a small, clearly unlived in old house offers her best chance of shelter for the night. The next morning, a mysterious letter arrives and when she can’t help but open it, she finds herself drawn inexorably into the story of two lovers from another time.
“A story told through letters from the past sounds too good to pass up.”
The narrative poems in Dorianne Laux’s fifth collection charge through the summer of love, where Vietnam casts a long shadow, and into the present day, where she compassionately paints the smoky bars, graffiti, and addiction of urban life.
On the surface, Greg Simmons seems an utterly improbable informant. He’s an idealistic, Cascadia independence proponent from the city of Portland. When the FBI calls on Greg to go undercover to investigate a dangerous militia movement out in rural Oregon, he knows exactly why: his long-estranged friend from the country, Donny Wilkie, could have deep ties to the militia.
Greg doesn’t want the FBI’s help. He needs to pursue the threat all on his own, because his true motives run far deeper—making sure that his former friend will never reveal a damning secret from their past. Greg strikes out for the remote small town of Pineburg, a fish out of water. As he grapples with his and Donny’s relationship and why it soured, as the threats to his worldview and to hiding the grim truth darken and mount, he discovers that no one is really who they seem, least of all himself. The dark misdeeds that both he and Donny covered up for so long threaten to reap their toll in the most deadly way.
“I always need a good thriller!”