This month’s new releases are filled with familiar names as publishers compete for readers’ attentions in the final month of the summer season. On to the highlights:
--Some notable and popular mystery series see additions this month. Susan Elia MacNeal’s World War II set Maggie Hope series continues with The Prisoner in the Castle, when Maggie must solve—and survive—a series of murders on the remote Scottish island she’s been confined to as a result of knowing too much about British war plans. Local favorite William Kent Krueger releases his latest Cork O’Connor mystery, Desolation Mountain, this month. This installation centers on the fatal crash of a Minnesota senator’s plane in O’Connor’s territory—a puzzle that becomes even murkier when most of the first responders to the scene disappear before a cause for the original crash can be uncovered. Fans of Lisa Scottoline’s tough lawyers Rosato and DiNunzio can look forward to the thought-provoking Feared, in which the mostly female, South Philadelphia-based firm deals with a reverse discrimination suit that soon leads to murder. It hits shelves mid-month.
--Summer doesn’t see a flood of literary releases, but August has a couple of notable titles on tap. The newest Man Booker International Award winner sees is US release with Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. The Polish author has been highly lauded in both her native land and Europe; Kirkus terms it ‘a series of fragments tenuously linked by the idea of travel--through space and also through time--and a thoughtful, ironic voice.’ Fans of social satire can look forward to Patrick deWitt’s French Exit, involving a profligate Upper East side widow/socialite, her rakish thirty-something son, and a cat that has his own secrets. Publisher’s Weekly calls it full of ‘vibrant characters taking good-natured jabs at cultural tropes’.
--Nonfiction has been the success story in publishing this year, and August has a few notable—and non-political—must reads. Journalist Beth Macy has had a string of acclaimed works in previous years, and this year takes on the growing opioid epidemic in Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America. Library Journal praises Macy’s clear handling of the complexity of the problem, but notes that the book’s particular strength comes from the ordinary day-to-day battle by the individuals caught up in the epidemic. Dopesick is on shelves August 7. Science-minded readers might want to check out Eric Kandel’s The Disordered Mind: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves. The Nobel-winning neuroscientist explores how the dwindling gap between neurological and psychiatric diseases will lead to better diagnosis and treatment of conditions like dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and addiction. Kirkus judged it ‘fascinating stuff ably interpreted by a master.’