Featured New Fiction for August
The homecoming / Carsten Stroud (MYSTERY FICTION) -- Kate and Nick Kavanaugh (lawyer and cop respectively) take in young Rainey Teague, whose parents have died under mysterious circumstances. Rainey is a handful. Well, actually, Rainey is turning out to be someone--or something--downright scary: a shape-shifting time-bending little boy who will have to resist being taken over by "Nothing." Will Kate and Nick be able to save him? Will the mirror they have kept up in the attic ultimately be their downfall? When more disappearances start to happen, where do they turn? No one can explain what is happening, but everyone knows that their sleepy, peaceful town, Niceville, is turning out to be anything but nice.
The light in the ruins / Chris Bohjalian (FICTION) -- Hoping to safeguard themselves from the ravages of World War II within the walls of their ancient villa in Florence, the noble Rosatis family become prisoners in their home when eighteen-year-old Cristina's courtship by a German lieutenant prompts the Nazis to take over the estate, a situation that leads to a serial murder investigation years later.
First Frost : A DS Jack Frost investigation / James Henry (MYSTERY FICTION) -- A prequel to the series by the late R. D. Wingfield, published by special arrangement with his estate, finds the non-conformist detective searching for a 12-year-old girl who went missing from a department store changing room, a case that is complicated by the recent disappearance of his mentor.
Thieves' quarry / D.B. Jackson (FANTASY FICTION) -- A former sailor with a troubled past, Ethan Kaille's a thieftaker, using conjuring skills to hunt down those who steal from the good citizens of Boston. And while chasing down miscreants in 1768 makes his life a perilous one, the simmering political tensions between loyalists like himself and rabble-rousing revolutionaries like Samuel Adams and others of his ilk are perhaps even more dangerous to his health.
The Long War / Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (SCIENCE FICTION) -- A new America called Valhalla grows restless under the controlling long arm of the Datum government, while all of the Long Earth is infused by the song of the trolls who are starting to react to humanity's thoughtless exploitation, bringing humankind to the brink of war.
Memoirs of an imaginary friend / Matthew Dicks (FICTION) -- Budo is lucky as imaginary friends go. He's been alive for more than five years, which is positively ancient in the world of imaginary friends. But Budo feels his age, and thinks about the day when eight-year-old Max Delaney will stop believing in him. Some say Max has Asperger's Syndrome, but most just say he's "on the spectrum." None of this matters to Budo, who loves Max and is charged with protecting him from the class bully, from awkward situations in the cafeteria, and even in the bathroom stalls. But he can't protect Max from Mrs. Patterson, the woman who works with Max in the Learning Center and who believes that she alone is qualified to care for this young boy. When Mrs. Patterson does the unthinkable and kidnaps Max, it is up to Budo and a team of imaginary friends to save him -- and Budo must ultimately decide which is more important: Max's happiness or Budo's very existence.
The panopticon / Jenni Fagan (FICTION) -- Like everyone else in the Panopticon, 15-year-old Anais Hendricks has been in and out of foster care practically since birth. "Born in a nuthouse to nobody that was ever seen again," she had her only successful foster placement with a prostitute later stabbed to death (Anais found the body). She's been sent to this facility, where the inmates are under constant surveillance, because she had a bad history with a policewoman who has been bludgeoned into a coma, and Anais--almost permanently whacked on whatever drug she can lay her hands on--can't explain why she has blood on her skirt. Amid the institution's crescent-shaped buildings and all-seeing watchtower, Anais befriends a group of ragtag ruffians and delves into her past, endlessly stoned and concerned she's being watched by an entity she calls "the experiment."
Frozen heat / Richard Castle (MYSTERY FICTION) -- NYPD Homicide Detective Nikki Heat arrives at her latest crime scene to find an unidentified woman stabbed to death and stuffed inside a suitcase left on a Manhattan street. Nikki is in for a big shock when this new homicide connects to the unsolved murder of her own mother.
Sea Change / S.M. Wheeler (FANTASY FICTION) -- Lilly forbids Octavius, a kraken who offers friendship and a haven from her conflict-riddled family life, from harming humans and strikes a painful bargain with a witch when Octavius is captured by traders and sold to a circus.
These mortal remains / Milton T. Burton (MYSTERY FICTION) -- Bo Handel knows Texas's Caddo County inside and out, from the town drunks to the teen troublemakers with too much time on their hands. But when Toby, an African-American deputy and one of Bo's best cops, is shot and left wounded on the side of the road, Bo's eyes are opened to a side of his county that he's never before seen. A group of white supremacists are occupying a compound on the edge of town, and a few key members are determined to wreak havoc on those they hate.
The irresistible blueberry bakeshop & café / Mary Simses (FICTION) -- In this novel a high-powered Manhattan attorney finds love, purpose, and the promise of a simpler life in her grandmother's hometown. Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother's dying wish, to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiancé for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough.
The curiosity / Stephen P. Kiernan (FICTION) -- After discovering the body of a man buried deep in the Arctic ice, Dr. Kate Philo and her team bring him back to life in their Boston lab, igniting a media firestorm that forces them to decide how far they are willing to go to protect their experiment.