Waiting for Dilly Hearne

Two old Irish drug smugglers sit on a bench and chat in a derelict ferry terminal in Kevin Barry’s third novel, “Night Boat to Tangier.” It's a funny, dark, intoxicating story where the pages fly past under the quick-witted banter of Maurice and Charlie, who are looking for Maurice’s estranged daughter.

It’s fiction, but true.

Two absorbing novels about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Syrian civil war illustrate how the region's politics and trauma affect the daily lives of citizens. One a story of friends, the other a story of family, these memorable novels make the news headlines human.