Thursday, December 15, 2016

Meg's Picks: January 2017, part 2

Whether your tastes run to suspense, historical fiction, or something a little different guaranteed to hit you right in the feels, I have something for everyone in today's list of picks.

The Dry, by Jane Harper. This debut suspense novel is being billed as big news, with favorable advance reviews from authors like David Baldacci and Robert Crais.After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead. Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

The Wicked City, by Beatriz Williams. Williams (A Hundred Summers, The Secret Life of Violet Grant) is developing quite a following among historical fiction fans, and I have a feeling this latest will win her even more devoted readers. When Ella discovers her husband has been hiding a secret life, she flees their SoHo apartment for a studio in a quaint Greenwich Village building, only to find that her new building had a secret past of its own--it used to house one of the city's most notorious speakeasies back in the Roaring Twenties. As she digs deeper into the building's history, Ella uncovers the story of Geneva "Gin" Kelly, a flapper who used to frequent the old speakeasy, only to find evidence that her family tree is tangled with Kelly's own. I'm inclined to recommend this to fans of Kate Morton's novels.

Perfect Little World, by Kevin Wilson. When Isabelle Poole meets Dr. Preston Grind, she’s fresh out of high school, pregnant with her art teacher's baby, and totally on her own. Izzy knows she can be a good mother but without any money or relatives to help, she’s left searching. Dr. Grind, an awkwardly charming child psychologist, has spent his life studying family, even after tragedy struck his own.  Now, with the help of an eccentric billionaire, he has the chance to create a “perfect little world”—to study what would happen when ten children are raised collectively, without knowing who their biological parents are.  He calls it The Infinite Family Project and he wants Izzy and her son to join. But what starts off full of promise eventually begins to disintegrate, for a variety of reasons. Billed as moving and thought-provoking, I think this would make a fine choice for book clubs.

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