Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Chain by Adrian McKinty

The phone call that Rachel receives is worse than every parent's nightmare. Her teenage daughter, Kylie, has been kidnapped and, in order for Kylie to be released, Rachel must kidnap someone else's child. Kylie then will only be free when those parents kidnap a child also. As Rachel finds out, this is called "The Chain" and you don't want to break the chain.... A fast-paced readalike for Harlan Coben and Maile Meloy's Do Not Become Alarmed. It will be published in July.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Marianne and Connell begin a secret relationship when they are seniors in high school. Connell is popular and outgoing, but at times feels insecure since his mother, Lorraine, cleans houses for a living. Marianne, meanwhile, is wealthy, and a loner in part because of her abusive family background. Normal People recounts their relationship over the next four years as they go to college and decide what to do with their lives. It a story of two people finding their way to adulthood and the strong bond they develop with each other. A great pick for book clubs.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

How Not to Die Alone by Richard Roper

Andrew works for the local council determining if those who have died have a next of kin. He's also perpetuating a big lie with his co-workers. Years ago he told them that he was married and has two children, even though he's single. When Andrew takes a new employee named Peggy under his wing, it becomes harder to keep the truth of his life a secret as they become friends--and possibly something more. What has caused Andrew to shut himself away socially? Will his relationship with Peggy change his life for the better? How Not to Die Alone is a quirky, sometimes humorous novel. Give to readers who enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and The Keeper of Lost Things. It will be published next month.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Run Away by Harlan Coben

Simon feels like he's lost his daughter, Paige, forever. She has a boyfriend that abuses her and she is addicted to drugs. Simon has not lost hope though that his daughter might someday get clean. But when Paige's boyfriend, Aaron, is murdered, Simon finds himself a prime suspect since he and Aaron had fought recently. Paige is also missing. Figuring the police are not going to be much help in locating Paige, Simon and his wife, Ingrid, take it upon themselves to find her. But Paige's lifestyle exposes them to a way of life that they are unprepared for... Run Away is another fast-paced thriller by Coben.

The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan

When Mrs. Braithwaite is ostracized by the community because of her recent divorce and her bossiness running the local Women's Voluntary Service, she decides to travel to London to see her daughter, Betty. When Mrs. Braithwaite arrives where Betty is staying, she discovers that Betty is missing. With help from Betty's landlord, Mr. Norris, Mrs. Braithwaite finds herself involved in quite an adventure to bring Betty home. Mrs. Braithwaite also discovers her life and herself changed forever for the better amid wartime London. The Spies of Shilling Lane is a delightful read, much better executed than Ryan's debut, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. A great read-alike for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. It will be published in June.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis

When Hazel and Maxine meet during an USO tour in Italy, it takes a bit of time for them to warm to each other. But soon they form a bond that continues stateside when Hazel's play Wartime Sonata is produced on Broadway with Maxine in the lead role. They also love the camaraderie of living at the Chelsea Hotel with a lot of creative people in the city. The arts of the 1950's are being battered, however, by those who believe that most artists are communists sympathizers. Hazel finds herself in danger of having to name people who are close to the cause and having to defend herself. It's a frightening time for her, because it could cost Hazel her career. The Chelsea Girls recounts the red scare of the time through the eyes of both Hazel and Maxine. The book will be published in July.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear

Private detective Maisie Dobbs is asked to investigate the murder of American journalist Catherine Saxon in London. Catherine was reporting on life as the Nazis bombarded the capital during the Blitz. In addition, Catherine came from a very wealthy family in the States and both her father and brothers disapproved of her choice of career. She also had suffered personal loss while in Spain before the war. Could any of that be connected to her death? It's up to Maisie and her assistant, Billy, to find out the truth in this case that seems to have lots of suspects. In addition, Maisie is on edge because her adoption of Anna has been postponed and she, like most in England, are finding their everyday lives continually upended because of the war. The American Agent is another well-researched and engaging entry in the long-running Maisie Dobbs series.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Grace After Henry by Eithne Shortall

Grace is devastated when her partner, Henry, dies in a bicycle accident. She keeps thinking she sees him as she goes around Dublin, and her only solace is remembering their times together and visiting the cemetery where he's buried. One day she's stunned to discover that Henry had an identical twin brother, Andy, that he didn't know about (both men were adopted by different people). When Grace is with Andy, it feels as if Henry is still with her--but is having Andy in her life the best way to move forward and heal? Grace After Henry is a warm, emotional, at times humorous tale of moving on after loss. A great read-alike for Jojo Moyes and Catherine Isaac's You Me Everything.