Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Meg's Picks: March 2016, part 1

So, what if you're looking for something a little bit off the beaten path? If you've read everything on the best-sellers list and need something good to sink your teeth into, here are a few titles I'd suggest taking a look at.

Overwatch, by Matthew Betley. Former Marine turned author Betley debuts here with the first in a proposed thriller series featuring former Marine officer Logan West who, after impulsively answering a dead man's ringing phone, triggers a global race against the clock to track down an unknown organization searching for an Iraqi artifact that is central to a planned attack in the Middle East—one that will draw the United States into a major conflict with Iran. Logan is quickly contracted as a “consultant” to assist the FBI as part of a special task force bent on stopping the shadowy operatives, whatever the cost. I'm recommending this especially for fans of authors like Brad Taylor and Terry Hayes

Prefer family dramas over military ops? Try The Nest, by Cynthia D’aprix Sweeney. Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs' joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives. I'm thinking this is going to be one that lots of people are going to be talking about this spring--book clubs, take note.

Historical fiction more to your taste? The Summer Before the War, by Helen Simonson may be just what you're after. Simonson also wrote Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, an extraordinary tale of finding love in the unlikeliest of places when you least expect it. So it's not unexpected to find her writing a tale of love and war in this new novel, which beings in 1914 at the end of the brief but beautiful East Sussex summer. Hugh Grange is down to visit his aunt and uncle during a break in his medical studies. And Beatrice Nash has been hired for the position of Latin master, where she hopes to support herself after falling upon hard financial times. As the situation in the Balkans becomes steadily more dire and the possibility of war looms large on the horizon, this is the last place either would have expected to find happiness...or love.

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