July New Book Releases

A Game of Ghosts / John Connolly

Retired police detective Charlie Parker is asked by the FBI to find Jaycob Eklund, a missing private detective who had been investigating deaths and disappearances associated with reported hauntings. Before long, Charlie finds himself entangled in an enterprise in which humans make deals with angels, and ghosts call the shots.

Hello, Sunshine / Laura Dave

Sunshine Mackenzie is a YouTube sensation who’s about to become the next Food Network star-until a hater hacks into her Twitter account and outs her as a fraud. When she loses everything, she slinks back to her real childhood home, which happens to be where she has an angry sister she hasn’t seen in years. But Sunshine isn’t one to let life knock her down without getting up again, so Dave provides a few paths to redemption: Sunshine bonds with her young niece, makes an actual friend, and tries to win her way back into the food world by doing her own work.

Hum If You Don’t Know the Words / Bianca Marais

Nine-year-old Robin loves detective stories. So when the police arrive the night her parents are killed, she mistakenly believes she is now part of her favorite radio series. It’s a harsh awakening for her to realize that South Africa in the 1970s is a place far more violent than those stories. With her parents gone, Robin’s aunt puts her in the care of a Xhosa nanny, Beauty, a woman with her own tragic secrets: Beauty has vowed to stay in Johannesburg as long as it takes to find her daughter, Nomsa, who has disappeared after a student protest ends in bloodshed. However, as the days stretch into months, Beauty finds herself growing increasingly attached to the motherless white child she is being paid to raise. Likewise Robin grows to love Beauty, despite knowing her dead parents would disapprove of her close relationship with the black woman. Marais handles topics such as grief and racism with a delicate intensity that will make readers fall in love with the characters.

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool / Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

The Edgar Award-winning Scottoline and her writer daughter, Serritella, have been investigating human weakness in a series that now reaches its eighth title (following I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places). Expect more wit and wisdom.

The Late Show / Michael Connelly

Detective Ballard has landed at the LAPD’s Hollywood division in retribution for filing sexual harassment charges against her former boss, Lt. Robert Olivas. Two major crimes soon concern Ballard: the vicious beating of a woman, who says she was assaulted but passes out before she can explain, and a nightclub shooting that kills five people. Though most “late show” cops hand off cases to their day shift counterparts, Ballard personally investigates the assault and the nightclub shooting – the latter without official approval. Olivas, who is officially responsible for that investigation, wants her nowhere near the case.

Look Behind You / Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

Kendra Michaels was blind until she was 20, and her other senses are highly developed, making her an in-demand resource for the FBI and the CIA, and when an FBI Special Agent and his new partner ask for help tracking down a San Diego serial killer, she reluctantly agrees. The killer is leaving items at his crime scenes that don’t seem to fit, and it’s not long before they’re linked to past crimes.

Persons Unknown / Susie Steiner

When we last saw Manon Bradshaw, she had adopted Fly, an orphan closely related to her last case, and they were moving to London. A year or two has passed, and the unlikely family unit has moved back to the familiar world of Cambridgeshire. She’s concerned about Fly, now is one of the only black kids in the village. When a wealthy London banker is found stabbed in a nearby park,  Chief Superintendent shuts down a lead and strongly suggests, instead, that they arrest Fly, who’s been caught on camera walking through the park at the time of the murder. As in her previous novel, Steiner does not shy away from exploring the racist aspects of the justice system, crafted into her complex yet believable story.

Reading With Patrick / Michelle Kuo

After graduating from college, Kuo moved to Helena, AR, as a Teach for America volunteer. There, she encouraged students to find their voice by assigning readings from black authors and having students write self-reflective pieces. One of the students, Patrick Browning, transformed from a withdrawn pupil into a thoughtful young writer. When her contract ended, Kuo went on to Harvard Law School. Two years later, she learned that Patrick was in jail for murder. Kuo returned to Helena and tutored Patrick as he lingered in jail, awaiting a trial that may never happen. This account is her memoir of this time, but it is also a meditation on race in America.

The Reason You’re Alive / Matthew Quick

Die-hard patriot and Vietnam veteran David Granger was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which he is convinced was caused by Agent Orange. Wanting to help fellow veterans, David agrees to tell his life’s story and hold his country accountable for his war injuries. Those very injuries, however, make him the definition of an unreliable narrator, and asides, foreshadowing, and deflection often interrupt his dark, funny, and surprisingly tender account.

The Secrets She Keeps / Michael Robotham

Set in London, this thriller sets up dueling narratives between part-time supermarket employee Agatha and her frequent customer, Meg. Both women are in their third trimester of pregnancy, but that’s where the similarities end. Beautiful, elegant Meg has two perfect children and a handsome and successful husband. Agatha’s life, on the other hand, has been filled with horror and heartbreak, and loss. Both mothers-to-be are hiding dark secrets, and when Meg’s baby is stolen just hours after being born, the media frenzy that ensues threatens to expose Agatha and Meg’s respective transgressions. Despite the disturbing subject matter, Robotham’s narrative is intimate and insightful. Brilliantly rendered characters, relentless tension, and numerous plot twists make this a winner.


South Pole Station / Ashley Shelby

Shelby’s debut novel is a (literally) chilling story of Antarctic survival at South Pole Station, where scientists, artists, and support personnel live, work, argue, and pout inside a geodesic dome in temps of 35 degrees below zero. Cooper Gosling, an unsuccessful artist is accepted for a one-year assignment to South Pole Station as part of the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. She truly is adrift in her career and personal life, but finds comfort and inclusion at South Pole Station, where personality disorders and a fondness for alcohol are seemingly requirements. The station’s isolation, close-quarters living, and bitter cold do not inspire her; more interesting for Cooper are the people and relationships she observes, especially when Dr. Frank Pavano, a climate change denier whose presence riles the other scientists, arrives. When Cooper helps Pavano with an unauthorized experiment and is maimed in an accident, a blame-game investigation, a global warming scandal, and congressional outrage and meddling with funding threaten the station’s future.

The Unwomanly Face of War / Svetlana Alexievich

“I write not about war, but about human beings in war,” explains Nobel-laureate Alexievich. Here, she focuses specifically on the experiences of ordinary Soviet women during World War II, whether in battle or on the home front. Whatever you thought you knew about the war, you should put it aside and listen to the voices here.


Watch Me Disappear / Janelle Brown

Nearly a year after her mother, Billie, disappeared while hiking a wilderness trail in Northern California, Olive, a high school junior, starts having vivid visions. In them, Billie appears in a variety of settings, speaking short, inconclusive sentences that Olive believes mean she wants to be found. But if her mother is alive, why did she disappear?