This Just In: Ten Big Novels from McEwan, Mitchell, Kinsella, & More | Fiction Previews, Aug.-Oct. 2014

Carter, Stephen L. Back Channel. Knopf. Aug. 2014. 464p. ISBN 9780385349604. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385349611. MYSTERY
Yale law professor and best-selling novelist Carter (e.g., The Emperor of Ocean Park) carterstephenblends fact and fiction in this story of 19-year-old Margo Jensen, a black Cornell sophomore, who holds the fate of the world in her hands when she finds herself the “back channel” liaison between Soviet Premier Khrushchev and President Kennedy. Billed as mystery but clearly of broad interest; with a reading group guide.

Coelho, Paulo. Adultery. Knopf. Aug. 2014. 272p. tr. from Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa & Zoë Perry. ISBN 9781101874080. $24.95. LITERARY
A No. 1 best-selling author worldwide whose The Alchemist has remained on the New York Times best sellers list longer than any other paperback (290 weeks), Coelho offers a new novel featuring a woman in her thirties who resists the ongoing predictability of what seems to be a picture-perfect life and engages passionately with a man who was a friend in her youth. Plenty of online marketing; with a reading group guide.

Fesperman, Dan. Unmanned. Knopf. Aug. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780385351256. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385351263. THRILLER
Winner of the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain’s John Creasey Memorial Dagger and Ian Fleming Steel Dagger awards and the International Association of Crime Writers’ Dashiell Hammett Award, Fesperman once again proves that he’s great for sophisticated readers with this work about a drone pilot devastated by what  the drone’s display revealed (particularly an Afghan child running for her life) after one catastrophic mission. So he teams up with some journalists to discover the anonymous operative who managed that mission—which puts him in no little danger.

Harrison, Kim. The Witch with No Name. Harper Voyager. Sept. 2014. 480p. ISBN 9780061957956. $26.99. FANTASY
It’s never been easy for Rachel Morgan, who’s finally accepted her role as day-walking demon as she battles banshees, vampires, and soul-eating demons, but now she must go one step farther to save both the human world and the demonic ever after from kinselladestruction. With a 250,000-copy first printing.

Kinsella, Sophie. Shopaholic to the Stars. Dial. Oct. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780812993868. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780812993875. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. POP FICTION
In this first Shopaholic novel in four years, Becky heads to Los Angeles to join husband Luke, who is managing the career of famed actress Sage Seymour. Becky sees herself as Sage’s perfect personal stylist, then complicates matters considerably by joining the team of Sage’s greatest rival. Of course there will be demand.

Liss, David. The Day of Atonement. Random. Sept. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781400068975. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781588369635. HISTORICAL
Born Sebastião Raposa, separated from his family by Portugal’s Inquisition, and trained by bounty hunter Benjamin Weaver (a Liss regular), Sebastian Foxx travels to Lisbon in 1755 to track down the man who killed his father. He finds the requisite accomplices but must then contend with that fearsome earthquake. From a best-selling novelist who won the Barry, Macavity, and Edgar awards.

McEwan, Ian. The Children Act. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Sept. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9780385539708. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780385539715. LITERARY
Ever sensitive to the nuances of contemporary life, McEwan gives us a heroine named Fiona Maye who serves as a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. When she refuses husband Jack’s request for an open marriage, he leaves. Even as she ponders whether she was resisting the loss of love or of respectability she dedicates herself to the difficult case of a 17-year-old whose parents won’t allow him a lifesaving blood transfusion because of religious beliefs. McEwan’s recent Sweet Tooth boneclockssold especially well, and the push is on to keep him a best seller.

Mitchell, David. The Bone Clocks. Random. Nov. 2014. 640p. ISBN 9781400065677. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780812994735. LITERARY
Not surprisingly from the author of Cloud Atlas, Mitchell presents six different narratives, with characters from a psychic teen to a floundering middle-aged novelist and settings from medieval Switzerland to 19th-century Australia to a futurist Manhattan, to present the conflict between a group of soul-decanters and the vigilantes who are after them. With a ten-city tour to Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City (MO), Portland (OR), Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Phillips, Susan Elizabeth. Heroes Are My Weakness. Morrow. Aug. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780062106070. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062106117. CD: Harper Audio. ROMANCE
A down-on-her-luck actress finds herself trapped on a snow-swept island off the coast of Maine with a reclusive author famous for his bone-chilling horror novels. What’s more, umrigarshe’s been afraid of him since childhood. But maybe he’s changed? From a New York Times best-selling author; with a 200,000 copy first printing.

Umrigar, Thrity. The Story Hour. Harper. Aug. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780062259301. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062259325. LITERARY
As a psychologist, Maggie generally stays objective, but she offers free treatment in her own home to a young Indian woman named Lakshmi who has tried to kill herself, recognizing that what Lakshmi really needs is a friend. With friendship, though, come revelations of deeply held secrets that shake both of them, creating some tough and looming choices. From the author of acclaimed fiction like The World We Found and The Weight of Heaven.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.