We’ve all been staying closer to home these days, and with that in mind, we’ve got a longer list of new releases by New England authors to add to your to-be-read pile. Some are a bit heftier than your average beach-read, but we think you’ll enjoy them.
Included in this list is a good number of thrillers. There is a look at politics today and of artists near their start 70 years ago. There’s a new angle on an old war and a look at a family trying to keep it together. And there’s a romantic comedy that fits the bill of a traditional beach read.
So order up a couple tomes to go, hang your hammock or drag a chaise poolside, and spend a hazy summer day delving into one of these fresh-off-press books.
When You See Me
By Lisa Gardner
A twisting new thriller was released this winter by New York Times bestseller and New Hampshire resident Lisa Gardner.
When You See Me unites three beloved characters from Gardner’s novels: Detective D. D. Warren, Flora Dane, and Kimberly Quincy. The trio investigates a murder from the past that may be connected to a present-day crime. Following the digital scraps of now-dead serial kidnapper Jacob Ness, they discover that his worst crime has yet to be revealed.
Gardner’s crack team of characters will need all their skills to solve the case.
The book was released Jan. 28 by Dutton.
The New Husband
By D.J. Palmer
This spring, New Hampshire-based suspense novelist D. J. Palmer has released another domestic thriller.
Nina Garrity’s first marriage ended painfully and without closure. She discovered her husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman before he went missing. And then he was gone, presumably drowned while fishing.
Now, she’s found love again with Simon, a recent widower, who seems just so perfect. He knows all her favorite foods, music, and preferences. He knows her every need. Her son looks up to him. He checks all the boxes.
Nina’s friends, however, aren’t on board with this new beau. They see a different side and warn Nina of obsession.
She wants so badly to believe her life is finally getting back on track, but she’ll soon discover that the greatest danger to herself and her children is the lies people tell themselves.
The book was released April 14 by St. Martin’s Press.
The Dissent Channel
By Elizabeth Shackelford
Now living in Vermont, Elizabeth Shackelford was a career diplomat in the U.S. State Department until December 2017, when she resigned in protest of the Trump administration. During her tenure with the Foreign Service, Shackelford served in the U.S. embassies in Warsaw, Poland; South Sudan, Somalia; and Washington, D.C.
Her resignation letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was shared across the media. In it, she asks Tillerson to stop the State Department from being gutted and show commitment to the diplomats across the globe. If he couldn’t, she advised, he should resign, too.
In her newly released book, The Dissent Channel, she shares her journey starting from a 2013 assignment in South Sudan, which she uses to showcase what happens when decisions are made based on short-term political whims rather than long-term strategies.
For her work in South Sudan during the outbreak of civil war, Shackelford received the Barbara Watson Award for Consular Excellence, the State Department’s highest honor for consular work.
While making policy and politics come alive, she conveys an urgent message about the devolving state of United States foreign policy.
The book was released by PublicAffairs on May 12.
The Vanishing Sky
By L. Annette Binder
The Vanishing Sky is a fresh look at the lives of German citizens toward the end of the second World War and the toll it left behind.
Its focus is on the Huber family: mother Etta, father Josef, and sons Max and Georg.
Max is fighting on the eastern front and returns to his mother a hollow shell. Thin, ghostly, and acting strange. Etta strives to protect him as any sign of mental weakness is cause for concern under the Nazi regime.
Georg is sent off to a school for Hitler Youth. He struggles to come to terms with his sexuality and deserts his class to set off on a perilous journey home.
Meanwhile, Josef is drawn deeper into the nationalistic fray.
Binder was born in Germany and came to the United States as a child. She now lives in New Hampshire.
The books borrows details from her father’s experience in the Hitler Youth organization and her grandfather’s journals from between the world wars.
Binder’s first novel (after collection Rise) provides another look at the madness of war.
The book will be available July 21 from Bloomsbury Publishing.
The Wife Who Knew Too Much
By Michele Campbell
Bestselling author of It’s Always the Husband and A Stranger on the Beach, Michele Campbell’s fourth thriller is set in New Hampshire and the Hamptons.
Taking a bit of inspiration from Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, The Wife Who Knew Too Much tells of a waitress, Tabitha, in a small town whose first love waltzes into the bar she works at years later. He’s is now married, more than a decade after their teenage romance. But Tabitha has never gotten over him.
Connor’s controlling and very rich wife, Nina, then dies in an apparent suicide, and Tabitha moves in with her love in his seaside mansion.
Both women had fallen madly in love with the handsome Connor.
There are several twists along the way, which will have you squirming to figure out who is the victim and who is the villain.
The thriller will be released July 28 from St. Martin’s Press.
The Best Laid Plans
By Cameron Lund
New Hampshire native Cameron Lund’s debut novel is a rom-com that again considers if friends can stay friends when the discussion turns to sex.
Protagonist Keely Collins is a high school senior and the last virgin in her group of friends (after the only other loses it at Keely’s 18th birthday party.) She wants to take matters into her own hands, but all the boys in her small high school she’s known forever and she’s not interested.
So she’s surprised by her luck when she meets Dean, a hot new guy, who looks like he’s driven out of a magazine on his motorcycle. And even more luck, he just might be interested in her, too.
Since he’s in college, Keely assumes he’ll drop her if he realizes how inexperienced she is. So she enlists the help of her lifelong best friend, Andrew, to show her the ropes.
And then things get complicated.
Lund’s debut is a humorous story of first loves, first friends, and first times and making them your own.
The book was released in April by Penguin Random House.
One of Us is Next
By Karen McManus
The sequel to Karen McManus’s bestselling young adult novel One of Us is Lying was released this year bringing readers back to Bayview High about a year after the last book ended. Instead of a gossip app causing problems this time, it’s a game many will be familiar with: truth or dare.
Phoebe gets truth. Maeve chooses dare. But this time it’s Knox’s turn; the dares have become dangerous.
And if the students learned anything from last year, it’s that the police can’t help to protect them.
Simon may be gone, but someone is picking up his legacy.
One of Us is Next was released Jan. 7 by Delacorte Press. McManus’s next book The Cousins, a standalone novel, is expected to be released Dec. 1.
By Maggie Doherty
Massachusetts-based literary scholar, historian, and critic Maggie Doherty presents the story of five Radcliffe women, including the late Maxine Kumin of Warner (shown left in 1973), in her biographical look at creative, brilliant woman who went on to shape the course of feminism.
In addition to Kumin, the “equivalents” include poet Anne Sexton, painter Barbara Swan, sculptor Mariana Pineda and writer Tillie Olsen.
In the early 1960s, these women met at the newly founded Radcliffe Institute and became friends and artistic collaborators. They were part of an “experiment” in women’s education and had received fellowships for having a Ph.D or “equivalent” in artistic achievement.
Doherty combed through notebooks, journals, letters, recordings, and their creative works to weave together a narrative of their friendship and examine the condition of women during the second wave of feminism.
The book was released May 19 by Knopf.Death in Her Hands
By Ottessa Moshfegh
Now living on the West Coast, New England native Ottessa Moshfegh’s Death in Her Hands has been named a most anticipated book of 2020 by the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and others.
The haunting tale is set in motion when an aged widow finds a note while walking her dog in the woods on the land to which she’s recently moved.
“Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body.”
But there is no body.
The woman becomes obsessed. Who was Magda? How did she die? She imagines her life. She invents a list of suspects.
But then, oddly, she begins to find connections to her imaginings in the real world.
There is either an innocent explanation to the correlation or a darker connection.
The book is released by Penguin Press on June 23.
By Anthony Caplan
Henniker author Anthony Caplan’s introspective novel focuses on a high school Spanish teacher, Gillum Kaosky, who spends his summer working for the Drug Enforcement Agency listening in on calls between Dominican drug smugglers. Gillum lives with his wife, Sibyl, and daughters, Hope and Gabriella, and his son, Jonah, attends Brown University.
As he listens in on the calls of the Milares family, he begins to see that he’s more an observer than participant in his own life as well.
He doesn’t relate to his daughters. He has few acquaintances. His students’ parents don’t recognize him at school events.
It seems like everyone is happier when he’s not around.
But then he sees an opportunity to reconnect and join back into his world.
The book was released Feb. 11 by Hope Mountain Press.