From Boylan to Karen White | Pop Fiction, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

Boylan, Jennifer Finney. Long Black Veil. Crown. Apr. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780451496324. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780451496348. Downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER/COMING OF AGE/LGBT
LGBT rights advocate, Op-Ed page contributor to the New York Times since boylan2007, and the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College, Boylan still finds time to write both fiction and nonfiction, including the 100,000-copy best-selling She’s Not There. This thriller features Judith Carrigan, who suffers an identity crisis  when the body of a college friend is discovered 20 years after she disappeared. At the time, Judith was such a different person that corroborating the innocence of another friend accused of the murder will be difficult. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Caletti, Deb. What’s Become of Her. Bantam. Apr. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9781101884263. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781101884270. WOMEN’S
A National Book Award finalist for her YA fiction, Caletti leaped into adult fiction with He’s Gone and The Secrets She Keeps, piercing narratives about women’s personal struggles. Here, Isabelle Austen has reluctantly returned to her island home to run the family tourist business after her mother dies, convinced her life is pretty much over. The arrival of handsome Henry North might prove her wrong, but then she learns that Henry’s fiancée died tragically and his wife had disappeared. Nice push as a Random House Reader’s Circle Selection.

Carr, Robyn. Any Day Now. Mira: Harlequin. Apr. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780778319917. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781460396612. WOMEN’S
The mega-best-selling author and 2016 recipient of the Nora Roberts Lifetimecarrr Achievement Award from Romance Writers of America, Carr offers the second book in the “Sullivan’s Crossing” series, set way up in the Rocky Mountains. Despite memories of a rough childhood, free-spirited and newly sober Sierra Jones is determined to return home and build a new life for herself in Sullivan’s Crossing. There she gets help from brother Cal; his new wife, Maggie; and Maggie’s eccentric father—folks you’ll remember from the series starter, What We Find.

Dickey, Eric Jerome. Finding Gideon. Dutton. Apr. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9781101985496. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101985502. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE/AFRICAN AMERICAN
To bring down his nemesis, Midnight, hit man Gideon calls in tough backup that includes the beautiful Hawks, with whom he once shared a passionate moment. But his plans could be foiled by two other women, secretive Caprica Ortiz and power-hungry Señorita Raven, Midnight’s second in command. The first Gideon novel from the perennial New York Times best-selling Dickey since 2009’s Resurrecting Midnight; with a five-city tour.

Eberlen, Kate. Miss You. Harper. Apr. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9780062460226. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062460240. WOMEN’S
Tess and Gus meet in Florence, where she is enjoying some time off before starting university in London while he distracts his parents after a family tragedy before heading to medical school. Over the next 16 years, their paths will cross and cross again, and there’s a possibility that they might finally get together. British author Eberlen’s debut is slated for publication in 24 countries; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Golden, Christopher. Ararat. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9781250117052. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250117069. SUPERNATURAL THRILLER
While trapped in a blizzard on Mount Ararat, a newly engaged couple discoverararats what looks to be Noah’s Ark. Cue the scholars, archaeologists, and filmmakers, who rush in for purposes of their own and discover a sumptuous coffin they assume must hold the remains of someone holy. But the wretched-looking cadaver inside has horns, and that’s where the trouble starts. The prolific Golden is a leader of the horror-writer pack.

Goodman Joanna. The Finishing School. Harper Paperbacks. Apr. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780062465580. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062465597. WOMEN’S
Invited to speak at the centennial celebration of the fancy Swiss boarding school where she was a scholarship student two decades earlier, best-selling author Kersti Kuusk intends to investigate the suspicious death there of her best friend, the glamorous, envied, and sometimes self-serving Cressida. Did her death have anything to do with the banned Helvetian Society, and what else is the school covering up? So loved by staff that it was bought in a preempt, this trade paperback original is getting a 100,000-copy first printing.

Herrick, Ellen. The Forbidden Garden. Morrow Paperbacks. Apr. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780062499950. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062499967. WOMEN’S
Herrick brings back Sorrell Sparrow of her well-received debut, The Sparrow Sisters, taking her across the ocean to an English estate called Kirkwood Hall, where she’s tasked with reviving its long-dormant Shakespearean garden. Her nursery skills will be much tested, as previous generations have failed to make the garden bloom again, and Sorrell senses deep sadness, perhaps even some dark magic, in the wilted plants. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Holleman, Emily. The Drowning King: The Book of Ptolemy. Little, Brown. Apr. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9780316383035. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316383028. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316500883. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORICALholleman
Second in a series begun auspiciously with Cleopatra’s Shadows, this book opens with Cleopatra and younger brother Ptolemy safely ensconced on the throne. Cleopatra soon gets the upper hand, and it’s not until she angers the remaining Roman legions that Ptolemy can assert his authority. But Cleopatra and their little sister, Arsinoe, are arraigned against him, and then there’s always Julius Caesar…. With a 35,000-copy first printing and sold in the UK for a TV series.

Jewell, Lisa. I Found You. Atria. Apr. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781501154591. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501154614. WOMEN’S
In a British coastal village, a man sits on the chilly beach with no jacket and no memory of how he got there, so single mother Alice Lake trustingly invites him into her house. In London, a young woman new to the country sits waiting for the man she just married, who hasn’t returned home and who, the police soon tell her, doesn’t exist. Two decades previously, teenagers Gray and Kirsty are enjoying a seaside holiday until a strange young man begins paying attention to Kirsty. What’s the link among these three story lines? You’ll have to read the New York Times best-selling Jewell’s latest novel to find out.

McCall Smith, Alexander. My Italian Bulldozer. Pantheon. Apr. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9781101871393. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871409. lrg. prnt. HUMOROUS
Paul Stewart is happily anticipating his stay at the charming Italian town of hollemanMontalcino, where he intends to complete his overdue cookbook. But at the airport, complications arise immediately: there’s no rental car awaiting him, no record of his reservation, and in fact no cars to be had. Then someone offers him a bulldozer, and the rest is a typically madcap McCall Smith tale. Big book club push.

Meyers, Randy Susan. The Widow of Wall Street. Atria. Apr. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9781501131349. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501131370. WOMEN’S
Phoebe isn’t widowed, but she’s certainly got a problem with husband Jake, whose gilt-edged financial organization has just crashed to the ground, having been built on the shifting sands of a Ponzi scheme. Love and loyalty had blinded her to his deceit, but in the world at large folks derisively wonder whether she was an active partner in the scheme. Topicality personalized; from the author of best sellers like Accidents of Marriage.

Moon, Elizabeth. Cold Welcome. Del Rey: Ballantine. Apr. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9781101887318. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101887325. SF
The Nebula and Robert A. Heinlein Award–winning Moon returns to her “Vatta’s War” series for the first time since Victory Conditions in 2008, though this book is described as a stand-alone. After a family summons, Kylara Vatta reluctantly heads to the home planet of the Vatta empire, only to have her shuttle crash into chilly arctic waters. Why was her shuttle sabotaged, and who’s trying to cover up the terrible things she discovers on the island where she has washed up? Billed as military sf, and note that the author has served in the Marines.

Moyes, Jojo. The Horse Dancer. Penguin. Apr. 2017. 496p. ISBN 9780143130628. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781524704445. lrg. prnt. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. WOMEN’S
As with Ship of Brides and Silver Bay, the publisher is breaking into the moyesbacklist of No. 1 New York Times best-selling British author Moyes, turning out this paperback original about a girl named Sarah, the horse she loves, and the conflicted woman who tries to help them both even as her marriage splinters. The Daily Mail called it “an inspiring love story…Billy Elliot in jodhpurs.”

Neill, Chloe. Blade Bound: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel. Berkley. Apr. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9780451472342. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780698180734. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Throughout Neill’s New York Times best-selling “Chicagoland Vampires” series, tough young vampire Merit and Ethan Sullivan, her master (and friend and lover), seek to protect the Cadogan House vampires and all of Chicago, where they dwell. But in this series wrap-up, Ethan has been savagely attacked, and Merit is on her own. Billed as just right for Charlaine Harris fans.

Neuvel, Sylvain. Waking Gods. Del Rey: Ballantine. (Themis Files, Bk. 2). Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781101886724. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101886731. Downloadable: Random Audio. SF
In the much-hailed Sleeping Giants (e.g., “a remarkable debut,” LJ), a South Dakota girl falls through the earth into a huge metal hand and as an adult becomes the physicist leading the team puzzling over that hand’s provenance and meaning. In this sequel, bits and pieces of that sleeping giant have been discovered and assembled, but now a second giant has appeared, and the scientists are worried. Film rights have been optioned by Sony.

North, Claire. The End of the Day. Redhook: Hachette. Apr. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9780316316743. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316316767. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316316774. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. PARANORMAL THRILLER
Following up The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, a word-of-mouth best seller that was short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, North returns with a thriller starring the mysterious Charlie. He’s not your average guy but instead someone who turns up right before Death comes calling, and he’s never sure if he’s sent as a kindness or a warning. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Priest, Cherie. Brimstone. Ace: Penguin. Apr. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781101990735. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781101990742. DARK FANTASY
The author of Boneshaker, a Locus Award winner and runner-up for Nebula brimstoneand Hugo honors, Priest shakes our bones again with the story of Tomas Cordero, devastated by the flame-throwing atrocities he committed during the Great War and the loss of his wife to a raging flu. Clairvoyant Alice Dartle is linked to Tomas through her fire-steeped nightmares, but the blaze threatening to engulf them both was set decades ago.

Riley, Lucinda. The Shadow Sister. Atria. Apr. 2017. 512p. ISBN 9781476759944. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781476759951. WOMEN’S
In the “Seven Sisters” series, the adoptive D’Aplièse sisters have returned to a chateau on the shores of Lake Geneva after the sudden death of their beloved father to find that each has been left a clue to her special origins. Here, Star D’Aplièse follows her clue to an antiquarian bookshop and learns the story of Flora MacNichol, a young woman from the Lake District who ends up at the London home of a flamboyant Edwardian hostess, where she finds herself caught between her ideals and passionate love. Third in a New York Times best-selling series.

Ross, Ann B. Miss Julia Weathers the Storm. Viking. Apr. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780735220478. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780735220492. WOMEN’S
Miss Julia and her charming small-town Southern crew return for another rossouting, with an off-shore hurricane bringing more than wind and rain. All’s fun when Sam organizes a beach trip for friends and family until little Latisha discovers that the impending storm has washed up something intriguing. Unfortunately, surly strangers follow them home, demanding its return. With a four-city tour.

Smith, Wilbur. War Cry: A Courtney Family Novel. Morrow. Apr. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9780062276490. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062276551. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. HISTORICAL
Fourteenth in the “Courtney Family” series, the New York Times best-selling Smith’s most popular series in America, this work finds big-game hunter Leon Courtney raising daughter Saffron alone in 1920s Kenya after his wife’s death. Spies and adventurers swirl through in the buildup to World War II, and soon father and daughter are fighting for their very survival. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Underdown, Beth. The Witchfinder’s Sister. Ballantine. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780399179143. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780399179150. HISTORICAL
Set in 1640s England, this debut novel makes unsettling fiction of historical witchfinderfact—at the time, Matthew Hopkins, the Witchfinder General, convicted more than 100 women of witchcraft. Unwed and pregnant, Alice Hopkins has returned to her brother Matthew’s home, and through her eyes we see how Matthew vengefully pursues any woman whose behavior falls outside the narrow constraints of society. Only she knows the childhood secrets that make him do it. Sure to resonate with American readers.

Ward, J.R. The Chosen: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Ballantine. Apr. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9780451475190. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698192980. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
In this latest in the No. 1 New York Times best-selling series featuring the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Xcor, who belongs to a rival group, has been imprisoned by the brotherhood and awaits what will likely be a bloody interrogation. He’s also fallen in love with Layla, and this Romeo and Juliet situation drives the plot.

White, Karen. The Night the Lights Went Out. Berkley. Apr. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9780451488381. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780451488398. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. WOMEN’S/THRILLER
A house author who’s built her way up through ten New York Times best whiteksellers, White offers her second 2017 hardcover, following January’s The Guests on South Battery. This new title is positioned as both women’s fiction and Southern fiction but retains a thrillerish edge: the protagonist is a newly divorced young mother who has moved to an affluent Atlanta suburb and finds that her neighbors are hiding dangerous secrets. With a national tour that will include Atlanta, Charleston, other Southeast cities, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Connecticut.

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.