Best New Books: Week of 12/17/2019

“The good and the bad of living in front of the sea is exactly the same: that the world ends on the horizon, that is, the world never ends. And you always expect too much.” – Margarita García Robayo



FICTION



Fish Soup by  Margarita García Robayo

fish soupFrom internationally acclaimed author Margarita García Robayo comes Fish Soup, a unique collection comprising two novellas plus the book of short stories Worse Things (winner of the prestigious Casa de las Américas Prize).

Set on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, “Waiting for a Hurricane” follows a girl obsessed with escaping both her life and her country. Emotionally detached from her family, and disillusioned with what the future holds if she remains, she takes ever more drastic steps in order to achieve her goal, seemingly oblivious to the damage she is causing both to herself and to those around her.

The tales of Worse Things provide snapshots of lives in turmoil, frayed relationships, dreams of escape, family taboos, and rejection both of and by society. Skillfully painting just enough detail, García Robayo explores these themes and invites the reader to unravel the true significance of the events depicted.

The previously unpublished “Sexual Education” examines the attempts of a student to tally the strict doctrine of abstinence taught at her school with the very different moral norms that prevail in her social circles. Semi-autobiographical, the frank depiction of these opposing pressures makes it impossible to remain a dispassionate observer.

Throughout the collection, García Robayo’s signature style blends cynicism and beauty with an undercurrent of dark humour. The prose is at once blunt and poetic as she delves into the lives of her characters, who simultaneously evoke sympathy and revulsion, challenging the reader’s loyalties as they immerse themselves in the unparalleled universe that is Fish Soup.

Description from Goodreads.

“…a gorgeous, blackly humorous look into the lives of Colombians struggling to find their place in society, both at home and abroad.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“This is a text written from within the belly of the beast… One of the most essential books of the year.” – Asymptote

“García Robayo’s prose is concise and startling, her voice versatile and capable of packing a serious punch” – LA Review of Books

Available Formats:

Hoopla eBook



SUSPENSE



A Small Town by  Thomas Perry

a small townIn A Small Town, twelve conspirators meticulously plan to throw open all the gates to the prison that contains them, so that more than a thousand convicts may escape and pour into the nearby small town. The newly freed prisoners rape, murder, and destroy the town—burning down homes and businesses. An immense search ensues, but the twelve who plotted it all get away.

After two years, all efforts by the local and federal police agencies have been in vain. The mayor and city attorney meet, and Leah Hawkins, a six-foot, two-inch former star basketball player and resident good cop, is placed on sabbatical so that she can tour the country learning advanced police procedures. The sabbatical is merely a ruse, however, as her real job is to track the infamous twelve. And kill them.

Leah’s mission takes her across the country, from Florida to New York, from California to an anti-government settlement deep in the Ozarks. Soon, the surviving fugitives realize what she is up to, and a race to kill or be killed ensues. Full of exhilarating twists and surprisingly resonant, A Small Town will sweep readers along on Leah’s quest for vengeance.

Description from Goodreads.

“A superior live-action version of the Road Runner cartoons with 12 coyotes and noncartoon violence.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Readers expecting Perry’s latest to be another of the author’s superb comic caper novels are in for a big surprise. This is Perry in no-holds-barred action-thriller mode… The ever-versatile Perry shines yet again.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

Hoopla eBook



MYSTERY



The Kill Club by  Wendy Heard

kill clubJazz will stop at nothing to save her brother.

Their foster mother, Carol, has always been fanatical, but with Jazz grown up and out of the house, Carol takes a dangerous turn that threatens thirteen-year-old Joaquin’s life. Over and over, child services fails to intervene, and Joaquin is running out of time.

Then Jazz gets a blocked call from someone offering a solution. There are others like her—people the law has failed. They’ve formed an underground network of “helpers,” each agreeing to eliminate the abuser of another. They’re taking back their power and leaving a trail of bodies throughout Los Angeles—dubbed the Blackbird Killings. If Jazz joins them, they’ll take care of Carol for good.

All she has to do is kill a stranger.

Description from Goodreads.

“Heard expertly blends nearly nonstop thrills and some genuinely surprising twists with spot-on social commentary… Just try to put this one down.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The loving relationship between Jazz and book-smart Joaquin adds realism, as does the background of their connection… [a] clever finale… Fans of Stranger on the Train scenarios will find much to like.” – Publishers Weekly

“Heard offers an exhilarating plot of quid pro quo.” – Library Journal

Available Formats:

Hoopla eAudiobook



ROMANCE



Fatal Accusation by  Marie Force

fatal accusationA deadly serious affair…

The story breaks as Metro PD lieutenant Sam Holland attends a dinner party with her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano: President Nelson is accused of having an affair. More shocking still, campaign staffer Tara Weber claims the president fathered her newborn son—while the First Lady was undergoing secret cancer treatment.

When a high-profile murder case hits Sam’s desk, she’s shocked to uncover a connection to the presidential scandal. With the department caught up in its own internal scandals, and the chief’s job hanging by a thread, Sam questions who she can trust as her team uncovers information that clouds an already-murky case. And with calls for the president to resign getting louder by the minute, Sam needs to close this case before she finds herself living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue…

Description from Goodreads.

“Marie Force always seems to keep this series on the pulse of the current political and social climate. Her writing and these characters make it impossible to put the book down until the very end.” – Cocktails and Books

“Marie Force is an awesome storyteller and her Fatal series is one that will just suck you right in.  It doesn’t matter if you start at the first book or the latest, each has a unique story that you can enjoy.” – Night Owl Reviews

“I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves crime thrillers, mysteries, and certainly romance.” – Bewitched Bookworms

Available Formats:

Hoopla eAudiobook

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