"City of Dark Magic" is a fun novel to read. It's filled with mystery, time warp, musical references (Beethoven in particular) and a cast of colorful characters, including a 400-year-old dwarf. Pure entertainment.
Michael Kardos published his debut novel this fall, a thriller that starts with an annual golf get-together among three Princeton grads and turns nightmarish. His narrative style is brisk, making "The Three-Day Affair" a fast-paced read with surprises you won't see coming.
Mention the hippies of the 1960s and 1970s and those of that generation will instantly remember their peace signs, tie-dyed clothing, LSD trips and anti-government protests. Reading "Arcadia," a novel set in a hippie commune in upstate New York, those memories came back, only I experienced what felt like a more intimate view of this countercultural group. A moving fictional story written by the talented Lauren Groff.
In Jennifer Miller's debut novel, a biology teacher instructs his students how to think for themselves, using information about extreme-loving microbes called extremophiles. These microorganisms become a sort of metaphor for what happens in this literary mystery that takes place in a fictional preparatory school in NW Massachusetts. "The Year of the Gadfly" keeps you wondering and page-turning to the very end.
Ben Loory's new "Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day" is a paperback collection of magical, fable-like stories that explore our inner-most fears and desires. They're short, enthralling and addictive.
Three years ago, Ohio author Donald Ray Pollock received widespread acclaim for his fictional debut, "Knockemstiff," a collection of short stories some likened to a modern-day Winesburg, Ohio, or what the New York Times quaintly referred to as "Winosburg, Ohio". His new novel is out this month, and it's another fine walk on the dark side of Ohio.
"Presumed Innocent" by Scott Turow published in 1987 was a #1 New York Times bestseller, remaining on the list for 45 weeks. Turow has written the sequel "Innocent," with Rusty Sabich again at the center of a murder trial. It's smart, absorbing courtroom drama.