new novels

Paul Theroux Goes East of Suez in ‘Burma Sahib’

Lee Polevoi

At the outset of Burma Sahib, the new novel by esteemed travel writer Paul Theroux, a woman and her husband aboard the ship Herefordshire take an interest in another passenger—a young man standing at the bow looking out to the sea. Who is he? Where is he going?

The Story of a Country’s Descent Into Dictatorship in Paul Lynch’s ‘Prophet Song’

Lee Polevoi

For many readers, the story of a democratic country's descent into dictatorship requires no great leap of imagination. Lynch makes no reference to how this situation came to pass, but the novel’s premise seems altogether plausible.

New Book Offers Humorous Take on Younger Generation’s Views on Wealth

Glenn R. Miller

On the tree-lined stretch of stately condos and apartment buildings, the structure that had technically been in my possession since 7:37 p.m. two weeks ago Tuesday—the determined hour and minute my father suffered his heart attack—announced itself like Dad invariably did when entering into any setting: loudly, with exuberance, and flashing money.

Traveling Through Space at Lightning Speed in Samantha Harvey’s ‘Orbital’

Lee Polevoi

At times crew members engage in philosophical discussions, where fundamental questions are asked. What does it mean for our planet to be—presumably—the only one to sustain life in this galaxy and galaxies beyond? What does it mean if we’re not the only such life-form? Harvey also brilliantly captures the air of camaraderie these men and women depend upon to survive.

In ‘Searching for Patty Hearst,’ Roger D. Rapoport Draws on His Extensive Reporting on the Case

Roger D. Rapoport

Award-winning film producer, publisher, author, and investigative journalist Roger Rapoport has covered the Patty Hearst story for half a century. He has written for the Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, San Jose Mercury News, The Independent (UK) and the San Francisco Chronicle. His magazine articles have been published in Harper’s, The Atlantic, Esquire and Mother Jones.

A Diamond Heist Goes Awry in ‘The Stolen Coast’

Lee Polevoi

As with any novel steeped in noir, the narrator’s voice is everything. Does Jack’s voice, as shown here sounding somewhat detached from his surroundings, persuade us of the authenticity of his story? Yes, some of the time, while at other moments he comes across as much too naïve for this crooked line of work.

Murder Mystery Meets Sci-Fi in Nick Harkaway’s ‘Titanium Noir’

Lee Polevoi

Nick Harkaway’s new novel, Titanium Noir, continues in this vein. A mash-up of science fiction and hard-boiled detective story, it starts out promisingly enough. Cal Sounder, a “police consultant,” investigates the murder of a Titan, aged 90 but due to advances in technology inhabiting a 30-year-old’s body (and, when alive, standing more than seven feet tall). Cal’s investigation into this “dead nerd” spirals into unforeseen nooks and crannies, with dangerous repercussions.

Medieval Band of Brothers Fights to the Death in ‘Essex Dogs’

Lee Polevoi

There are other quiet moments, too, when the Essex Dogs ride on horseback to their next military engagement, bivouac around the campfire at night, and so on. But make no mistake: Essex Dogs is a novel composed of “action prose”— blunt, feverish, staccato language, and, for long stretches, unremitting. If your taste runs to vividly-depicted violence, Dan Jones is your man.

Scott Lord Pens New International Thriller ‘Come November’

Scott Lord

Michael Hanson, phone in hand, stood looking out the window of his second-story office on Montana and Twelfth Street in Santa Monica. It was an inexpensive suite on an expensive street—just one small room and a secretarial station—but it was a prestigious address and that was important to him. Diane, his secretary, went home early because of a childcare emergency. Ordinarily, Michael would have been annoyed, but somehow aiding Diane in her childcare efforts worked to assuage his considerable guilt regarding his daughter.

New Novel Weaves a Tale of International Intrigue

Lee Polevoi

Klieg lights installed on the roof of the Foreign Ministry building—itself, a bleak ten-story monolith—beamed down on arriving guests. I fell in with a crowd of cigar-puffing apparatchiks and their brawny wives, all of us moving down a herringbone-parquet hallway into a stately ballroom. The mincing waiter led me to a table in the rear, far from the podium and head table, around which the evening’s festivities would revolve.

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