Pop Fiction from Robert Jackson Bennett to Koren Zailckas | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2018

Bennett, Robert Jackson. Foundryside. Crown. Aug. 2018. 496p. ISBN 9781524760366. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524760373. Downloadable. FANTASY
A winner of Edgar, Shirley Jackson, and Phillip K. Dick honors, Divine Cities author Bennett launches a new series set in a city run on industrialized magic. Crack thief Sancia Grado has been tasked with lifting an artifact from a closely guarded warehouse on the docks, but she doesn’t know the tremendous power of said artifact—it could radically amplify the magical technology known as scriving and give unlimited power to the top-dog few.

Brown, Sandra. Tailspin. Grand Central. Aug. 2018. 300p. ISBN 9781455572168. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781455572120. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455572144. CD/downloadable. THRILLER
To deliver the goods, daring pilot Rye Mallett will fly anywhere, in any weather, though he does up his price to deliver a shrouded-in-secrecy black box to a Dr. Lambert in a shrouded-in-fog north Georgian town. Bad beginnings, though: sabotage makes him crash-land, and he’s met not by Dr. Lambert but by striking if enigmatic Dr. Brynn O’Neal. Soon, they’re rushing to deliver the box before someone kills for it. With a 300,000-copy first printing.

Davis, Fiona. The Masterpiece. Dutton. Aug. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9781524742959. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781524742966. Downloadable. LITERARY/HISTORICAL
In 1928, ambitious Clara Darden teaches at an art school located in New York’s luminous Grand Central Terminal, dreaming of creating cover art for Vogue and caught romantically between a rich wannabe poet and an on-the-edge painter. In 1974, with the terminal dulled by time and crime, information booth worker Virginia Clay discovers the abandoned school and a watercolor that compels her to seek out Clara. History and mystery blend as the nationally best-selling author of The Dollhouse and The Address revisits New York.

Dixon, John. The Point. Del Rey: Ballantine. Aug. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781101967560. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101967546. Downloadable. SF/MILITARY
Until she’s recruited by a hush-hush West Point unit for cadets with special abilities, Scarlett Winter has had to hide supernatural powers she barely understands—she can control energy, which makes her a ticking human nuclear bomb. Then a secret from the school’s past puts everyone in danger. Dixon won back-to-back Bram Stoker Awards for the recent Phoenix Island and Devil’s Pocket.

Evanovich, Janet & Raymond Benson. The Mark. Putnam. Aug. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780525536642. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780525536659. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. MYSTERY
Straight-shooter FBI agent Kate O’Hare and con man charmer Nicolas Fox are back, facing a mutual enemy and further compromised because Kate’s father, always their backup, is on the most wanted list after being betrayed by a friend. Not back: Lee Goldberg, who has been coauthoring this New York Times best-selling series with blockbuster author Evanovich; Benson, the official author of the James Bond novels from 1997 to 2003, steps into the breach.

Foster, Alan Dean. Relic. Del Rey: Ballantine. Aug. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781101967638. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101967645. Downloadable. SF
Poor Ruslan: he’s the last surviving member in the entire universe of the once-flourishing human species. He was saved by kindly aliens, but he’s tired of feeling like a museum piece and launches on a dangerous journey to find companionship. A stand-alone from a veteran sf author; he’s been publishing with Del Rey since his launch in 1977.

Gordon, David. The Bouncer. Mysterious Pr: Grove/Atlantic. Aug. 2018. 224p. ISBN 9780802128003. $25. THRILLER
Edgar Award finalist Gordon launches a new series starring Joe Brody, expelled from Harvard and working as a bouncer at a strip club owned by head mafioso Gio Caprisi, his best buddy from Catholic school. When the feds crack down on the joint, sniffing out a terrorist lead, Joe meets up with FBI agent Donna Zamora—a crack shot itching to get beyond her stultifying desk job. Unexpected characters here—Caprisi is a cross-dressing sadomasochist—and a second Joe Brody book is under contract.

Hamilton, Laurell K. Serpentine. Berkley. Aug. 2018. 576p. ISBN 9780425255681. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698146655. CD/downloadable. FANTASY
Vampire slayer and raiser of the dead, U.S. marshal Anita Blake has had a long run, studded with New York Times best sellers, though previous-in-series Crimson Death didn’t please all fans. Here she faces more, ever nastier enemies and big changes in her life. With a five-city tour.

Hannah, Sophie. The Mystery of Three Quarters: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery. Morrow. Aug. 2018. 320p. ISBN 978006279234. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062792457. lrg. prnt. CD. MYSTERY
On his third outing with big-name mystery writer Hannah (see The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket), Hercule Poirot is in trouble. People are angrily accusing him of having written letters accusing them of murdering elderly Barnabas Pandy. But of course Poirot didn’t write those letters, and Pandy supposedly fell asleep in his bath and drowned. What’s up? With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Higgins, Kristan. Good Luck with That. Berkley. Aug. 2018. 480p. ISBN 9780451489395. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780451489418. WOMEN’S
In this latest from New York Times best-selling author Higgins, Georgia and Marley get a gift from dying friend Emerson, whom they met at weight-loss camp as teenagers. She wants them to dump what’s holding them back, which for Marley means survivor’s guilt over her twin sister’s death and for Georgia efforts to meet her mother and brother’s absurd expectations. “Pitch perfect,” said the starred review of Higgins’s latest, On Second Thought.

Jenkins, Beverly. Second Time Sweeter: A Blessings Novel. Morrow. Aug. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780062846174. $19.99; pap. 9780062699268. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062699312. WOMEN’S/AFRICAN AMERICAN
Once big trouble, recovering alcoholic Malachi “Mal” July manages a profitable business, mentors needy children, and stays loyal to Bernadine Brown. But he could have blown it all in one moment of desperate pride. Meanwhile, Gary Clark meets up with his former high school sweetheart and wonders if love can bloom again. You can’t go wrong with Jenkins, recipient of the 2017 Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. With a 30,000-copy hardcover and a 30,000-copy paperback first printing.

Neggers, Carla. Impostor’s Lure. Mira: HarperCollins. Aug. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780778359975. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488081965. CD. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
A specialist in art crimes and a former nun (her convent’s main task was art conservation), FBI agent Emma Sharpe has teamed professionally and romantically with fellow agent Colin Donovan over seven cases (most recently, Thief’s Mark). In this eighth, the murder of a federal prosecutor with a forged artwork in his hotel room prompts them to action. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Rose, M.J. Tiffany Blues. Atria. Aug. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781501173592. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501173615. HISTORICAL
In 1924, Jenny Bell is among a dozen talented young artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony, and she’s determined to stay focused and make the best of it. Alas, she’s attracted to Tiffany’s gorgeous grandson, and unsettling events suggest that someone knows about Jenny’s troubling past. Following The Library of Light and Shadow; “exquisite storytelling,” said LJ’s starred review.

Schumacher, Julie. The Shakespeare Requirement. Doubleday. Aug. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780385542340. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385542357. Downloadable. COMIC/ACADEMIC
In this follow-up to Schumacher’s Thurber Prize–winning Dear Committee Members, Jason Fitger is back, and as the new chair of Payne University’s English Department, he’s feeling pretty beleaguered. His ex-wife is sleeping with the dean, the economics department is undermining his funding, and his efforts to persuade an ancient, seen-better-days Shakespeare scholar to retire blow up in his face. More academic satire.

Woods, Stuart & Parnell Hall. The Money Shot. Putnam. Aug. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780735218598. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780735218604. CD/downloadable. ACTION/ADVENTURE
Following Smooth Operator, here’s the second Woods and Hall collaboration starring Teddy Fay, a fan favorite in the Stone Barrington universe who has moved center stage to show off his gifts as an urbane, colorful master of disguise. Smooth Operator glided to No. 8 on the New York Times best sellers list, matching the Stone Barrington novels in sales; let’s see if this new work is in the money.

Zailckas, Koren. The Drama Teacher. Crown. Aug. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780553448092. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780553448108. Downloadable. PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER
Only apparently an ordinary homemaker, Gracie Mueller is actually a genius at hiding her secrets. With the house in foreclosure and her husband job hunting elsewhere, she becomes Tracey Bueller, then Mariana DeFelice, and after some unfortunate mayhem lands in Manhattan. There she talks her kids into an elite private school and herself into a job as drama teacher. From the author of the New York Times best-selling memoir, Smashed, who followed up with the well-received debut novel Mother, Mother.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @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.

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