Category Archives: Drama

A CASUALTY OF WAR

Title: A Casualty of War

Author: Charles Todd

Though the Great War is nearing its end–Armentieres is back in Allied hands, Cambrai has fallen to the Canadians, Turkey is collapsing, and the Germans are on the retreat–the fighting rages on. Like the battered and weary soldiers she tends, Bess Crawford yearns for an end to the bloodshed taking a devastating toll on everyone, including her fellow doctors and nurses.

Waiting for her transport north, Bess meets Captain Alan Travis, and Englishman whose branch of the family made its fortune on the Caribbean island of Barbados. Their brief, pleasant conversation is a respite from the carnage ahead as they return to duty.

Then, at the beginning of November, Bess unexpectedly encounters Captain Travis again. Brought into her forward aid station bloodied and disoriented from a head wound, the Captain insists that the man who shot him was an English officer–a distant cousin named James Travis–and asks for Bess’s help finding him. Bess’s inquires about Lieutenant Travis turn up nothing, forcing her to believe that a concussion must have clouded the wounded man’s mind.

Days later, fate brings her and the Captain together a third time when he is severely wounded. Again Captain Travis accuses James of shooting him, denouncing him as a killer. But Bess learns that James couldn’t possibly have shot his cousin–which brings Alan Travis’s sanity into question. Bess has seen the impact of war on too many exhausted men whose grasp of reality slipped into nightmare. The hospital is dealing with an angry, tormented patient. Yet Bess remembers an able, clearheaded officer.

As the war comes to a bloody end, Bess is given leave, and in an English clinic for brain injuries, she discovers a suicidal Captain Travis strapped to his bed. Horrified by his condition, she and Sergeant Major Simon Brandon travel to James Travis’s home in Suffolk to learn more about the baffling relationship between these two cousins. Her search for the truth about Alan Travis will lead this smart, capable, and compassionate young women into unexpected danger, and bring her face-to-face with the visible and invisible wounds of war that not even the much-longed-for peace can heal.

THE LYING GAME

Title: The lying Game

Author: Ruth Wre

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal millage of Salten, along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister.

The next morning three women in and around London–Fatima, Thea, and Isa–receive the text they had always hoped would never come from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second-rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both follow boarders and faculty. But their little game had consequences, and as the four converge in present-day Salten, they realize their shared past was not as safely buried as they had once hoped.

Armospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill to keep you wrong-footed, The Lying Game is told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, lending itself to becoming another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

ARMISTICE

Title: Armistice – The Hot War

Author: Harry Turtledove

Harry Turtledove is the master of vivid and visionary alternate history. In this, the final book of the blistering trilogy the Hot War, old hatreds and new chances for revenge are unleashed on an already devastated world-as the cold War becomes a roaring inferno.

In 1952 American cities lid in ruins. President Harry Truman, in office since 1945, presides over a makeshift government in Philadelphia, suffering his own personal loss and fearing for the future of democracy in the sake of Hitler’s reign, Germany and America have become allies, and Stalin’s vise hold on power in the USSR persists. Unwilling to trust the Soviet tyrant, Truman launches a long-planned nuclear strike on the city of Omsk–killing Stalin and plunging the Red Army into leaderless, destructive anarchy. Meanwhile, The Baltic states careen toward rebellion, and Poland is seized by rebels bred on war. In a world awash with victims turned victors, refuges, and killers, has Truman struck a blow for peace or fueled more chaos?

As these staggering events unfold, the lives of men and women across battle lines, ethnicities, and religions play out around the globe. In Los Angeles, an extended Jewish family builds a future, while the foul smell of a refugee camp in Santa Monica blows in on the ocean breeze. In Korea, a U.S. fighter struggles to bring his Korean interpreter stateside as a full American. In Siberia, two German women fight for their survival in a guiag–and begin a strange, harrowing journey home.

From the terrifying global chess match between superpowers to the strength of individual human conscience, Armistice captures a world that’s been split to its core by the violence only mankind can create. Through the thunder of battle, the clashes of armies, and the whispers of lovers, how humanity will be rebuilt, and who will do it, are the questions that resound in this marvelous work of imagination and history.

THE REASON YOU’RE ALIVE

Title: The Reason You’re Alive

Author: Matthew Quick

After sixty-eight-year-old David Granger crashes his BMW, medical tests reveal a brain tumor that he readily attributes to his wartime Agent Orange exposure. He wakes up from surgery repeating a name no one in his civilian life has ever heard–that of a Native American soldier whom he was once ordered to discipline. David decides to return something precious he long ago stole from the man he now calls Clayton Fire Bear. It may be the only way to find closure in a world increasingly at odds with the one he served to protect. It may also help him to finally recover from his wife’s untimely demise.

As David confronts his past to salvage his present, a poignant portrait emerges: that of an opinionated and good-hearted American patriot fighting like hell to stay true to his red, white, and blue heart, even as the country he loves rapidly changes in ways he doesn’t always like or understand. Hanging in the balance are Granger’s distant art-dealing son, Hank; his adoring seven-year-old granddaughter, Ella; and his best friend, Sue, a Vietnamese American who respects David’s fearless sincerity.

Through the controversial, wrenching, wildly honest David Granger, Mathew Quick offers a no-nonsense but ultimately hopeful vies of America’s polarized psyche. By turns irascible and hilarious, insightful and inconvenient, Davie is a complex, wounded, Honorable, and loving man. The Reason You’re Alive examines how the secrets and debts we carry from our past define us; it also challenges us to look beyond our own prejudices and search for the good in us all.

DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES

Title: Don’t Close Your Eyes

Author: Holly Seddon

In a bustling suburban neighborhood in Manchester, England, sits an unassuming house. There is no sign of life behind the unwashed windows, but Robin Marshall is inside. Driven by fears and obsessions racked by anxiety, Robin is frantically pushing her body through punishing workouts, eating little, haunted by what happened to her family when she was a girl. Robin’s only connection to the outside world is through her rear windows and the lives she spies upon in the apartment house across the way. Then a stranger starts pounding on her door.

Sarah Marshall is Robin’s twin, estranged from her sister after their parents’ betrayal and a violation at the hands of a man she should have been able to trust. Sarah has recently lost custody of the child she loves more than anything and has set off on her own, hoping that somewhere in England she can find Robin the braver twin, the rock star, the survivor, the savior.

These two young women, polar opposites, cannot go on unless they reckon with the past. While Sarah, slowly unraveling, searches for her sister’s hiding place, Robin sees another life hanging in the balance in the lighted windows across the street. It is a life only Robin can save–as long as she never looks away.

In a novel that is stunning in its twists, shocks, and gripping psychological suspense, two sisters find themselves on the razor’s edge of sanity. Untold secrets, a ghostly lie, and suffocating hold them back. Only one astounding act can set them free. And one last revelation will leave readers gasping in surprise.

G-MAN

Title: G-Man

Author: Stephen Hunter

The depths of the Depression were marked by an epidemic of bank robberies and the swashbuckling, tommy-gun-toting outlaws who became household names: John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde. Pretty Boy Floyd. Hunting them down was the new U.S. Division of Investigation–soon to become the FBI–which was determined to nab the most dangerous gangster this country has ever produced, a man so violent he scared Al Capone and was booted from the Chicago Mob–Lester Gillis, better known as Baby Face Nelson. To stop him, the Bureau recruited the most talented gunman of the time–Charles Swagger, World War I Hero and sheriff of Polk County, Arkansas.

Eighty years later, Charles’s grandson Bob Lee Swagger has finally decided to sell the family homestead, but when the developers begin to tear down the house, they uncover a strongbox hidden in the foundation. Enclosed is an array of memorabilia dating back to 1934–a much-corroded federal lawman’s badge, a .45 automatic preserved in cosmoline, a mysterious gun part, and a cryptic diagram–all belonging to Charles Swagger. Fascinated and puzzled by these newly discovered artifacts, Bob is determined to find out what happened to his grandfather, who died before Bob was born, and why his own father, whom he worshipped, never spoke of Charles. But as he investigates further, Bob learns that someone is following him, that someone is sharing his obsession with finding out what Charles Swagger really left behind.
Alternating between Bob’s present day search to uncover his grandfather’s legacy and Charles’s relentless pursuit for the nation’s most notorious outlaw in the Midwest of the 1930’s, G-Man is a thrilling, action-packed addition to Stephen Hunter’s bestselling Bob Lee Swagger series.

WITHOUT WARNING

Title: Without Warning

Author: Joel C. Rosenberg

After ISIS terrorists attack the U.S. Capitol building during the president’s State of the Union address the entire world waits to se how the most powerful nation on earth will respond. But the Taylor administration is more committed to political correctness than to justice and it falls to other nations to lead the way in hunting down Abu Khalif, the criminal and religious mastermind who heads the Islamic State.

When New York Times journalist J. B. Collins reeling from a tragedy closer to home suddenly finds himself in possession of vital information that could help in the search he is once again thrust into the crosshairs of global politics. But this time it’s personal.

As he joins the hunt for the world’s most wanted and dangerous man, his quest takes him from Bar Harbor, Maine, to Tel Aviv to Cairo to Istanbul and beyond. Through it all he has one goal” find Abu Khalif and hold him accountable for the terrible actions. But the clock is ticking and more attacks are coming. Will Collins locate the ISIS emir before it’s too late? He will stop at nothing to do so. But at what cost?

Victoria

Title: Victoria

Author: Daisy Goodwin

Early one morning, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandria Victoria is roused from bed with the news that her uncle William IV has died and she is now Queen of England. The men who run the country have doubts about whether this sheltered young woman, who stands less than five feet tall, can rule the greatest nation in the world. Surely she must rely on her mother and her venal advisor, Sir John Conroy, or her uncle, the Duke of Cumberland, who are all too eager to relieve her of he burden of power.

The young queen is no puppet, however. She has very definite ideas about the kind of queen she wants to be, and the first thing is to choose her name.

Everyone keeps saying she is destined to marry her first cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, but Victoria found him dull and priggish when they met three years ago. She is quite happy being queen with the help of her prime minister, Lord Melbourne, who may be old enough to be her father but is the first person to take her seriously.

Drawing on Victoria’s own diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University, Daisy Goodwin brings us the brilliantly imagined life of a young woman about to make her mark on her nation–and the world.

Mister Monkey

Title: Mister Monkey

Author: Francine Prose

A screwball children’s musical about a playfully larcenous pet chimpanzee–is the kink of family favorite that survives far past its prime. Margot, who plays the chimp’s lawyer, knows the production is dreadful and bemoans the failure of her acting career. She’s settled into the drudgery of playing a humiliating part–until the day she receives a mysterious letter from an anonymous admirer…and later, in the middle of a performance, has a shocking encounter with Adam, the twelve-year-old who plays the title role.

Francine Prose’s effervescent comedy is told from the viewpoints of wildly unreliable, seemingly disparate characters whose lives become deeply connected as the madcap narrative unfolds. There is Adam, whose looming adolescence informs his interpretations of his role; Edward, a young audience member who is candidly unimpressed with the play; Lakshmi, the musical’s costume designer, who imagines herself the heroine of her own production; Ray, the author of the novel on which the musical is based, who witnesses one of the most awkward first dates in literature; and even the eponymous Mister Monkey, the Monkey God himself.

With her trademark wit and verve, Prose touches on everything from the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin to the absurdity of child-raising in contemporary Brooklyn, and eventually delves into some of humanity’s most profound mysteries: art, ambition, childhood, aging, and love. Startling, captivating, Mister Monkey is a breathtaking novel from a writer at the height of her craft.

Mirror Image

Title: Mirror Image

Author: Michael Scott & Melainie Ruth Rose

When Jonathan Frazer the wealthy owner of an exclusive antiques store in Los Angles, buys a mirror at an auction, he believes he is getting the bargain of a lifetime. He knows the antique piece is easily worth many times what he paid for it.

The mirror has sat dormant for years, but within days of Jonathan’s purchase inexplicable accidents begin to happen. One death is messy, but tow is not a coincidence. Then a tall, menacing, and hideously scarred man approaches Jonathan, claiming that the mirror is his. Frazer refuses to sell. He has glimpsed the world inside the glass and the beautiful woman trapped within.

Frazer’s desire to free the woman in the glass slowly strips him of his humanity. He quickly moves from feeding it his own blood to dousing it in the blood of innocent victims. As the police begin to investigate, they realize that the deaths surrounding the mirror are connected to a series of bizarre murders across the city.

The mirror is awakening, and its powers are resurfacing. Soon it will unleash untold horrors into the world.