Secrets, suspense and survival

The main characters in these selections are looking for answers. Their problems come from within, from outside sources or from both. These stories will challenge your thinking about secrets, relationships and how we behave under pressure.

 1. The Lost Ones by Sheena Kamalrelati

Fearless and flawed Nora Watts drives the story in this dark psychological suspense novel. Nora’s complicated and painful past compels her to help save a child she wishes had never been born. She won’t stop until she finds the truth.

The call comes in just after five in the morning . . . “I’ve never heard the name Everett Walsh before, but according to him I may know something about a missing girl. He does not tell me what, though. I consider not meeting him but he sounds desperate and if there’s one thing that draws me more than persistence, it’s desperation. Even though finding people is part of what I do for a living, what would I possibly know about a missing girl to warrant a call at this hour?”

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2. The Reason You’re Alive by Matthew Quick

Sixty-eight-year-old David Granger attributes his brain tumor to Agent Orange exposure. He wakes from surgery repeating the name of a Native American soldier whom he was once ordered to discipline. Looking for closure, David decides to return something he stole long ago from Clayton Fire Bear.

David is a crabby, wounded, honorable and loving man whose story is complicated and at times hilarious. The Reason You’re Alive delves into the secrets and debts people carry from their past and challenges us to look beyond prejudices to search for the good.

“The author of The Silver Linings Playbook delivers another engaging and screen-ready dramedy about an irascible misfit on a mission for closure.” –Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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3. When the English Fall by David Williams

Can a peaceful and nonviolent community survive when modern civilization falls apart? As the English (the Amish name for all non-Amish people) become desperate, they begin to take whatever they want from the Amish and unleash violence on the peaceable community.

The story is told through the diary of an Amish farmer who describes his attempts to protect his family and his way of life.

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4. Blackout by Marc Elsberg

No one panics when the lights first go out. Then electrical grids across Europe collapse and there isn’t power anywhere. A former hacker and activist, Piero investigates this disaster, however, he soon becomes a prime suspect. Piero goes on the run while trying discover who is behind the attacks.

“Fast, tense, thrilling – and timely: this will happen one day. Highly recommended.” – Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher series

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5. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Heartbroken and struggling with the way her life is going, 30-year-old Ruth quits her job and goes home to take care of her father who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Ruth tirelessly researches supplements and meals to help restore his memory. With humor, absurdity and insight, Goodbye, Vitamin addresses love, loss and the challenge of finding your place in the world.

Goodbye, Vitamin is one of those rare books that is both devastating and light-hearted, heartfelt and joyful, making it a perfect and unique summer read. Don’t miss it.” –Isaac FitzgeraldBuzzFeed

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Jennifer Jones

I’m the library’s fiction selector and I’ve been suggesting new books to library and bookmobile customers for over 17 years. I keep up on all the new book reviews, and my favorite question is “What are you reading?” I love to talk about books and to read books. I like to tell library customers, “Try something new. If you don’t like it, at least the price is right!”