July2017 Booklist 31 www.booklistonline.com
killing? Enlisting the aid of her friend, policewoman Elena Luna, E. J. resolves to find the
murderer. This proves to be a daunting task,
since Bishop—according to almost everyone
who knew him—was an obnoxious, conceited,
nasty young man, albeit a rich and handsome
one. But E. J. is determined, and when she’s
determined, nothing stands in her way. Humorous, fresh, and full of eccentric characters,
Cooper’s latest entry in this popular series is
another winner. —Emily Melton
The Trickster’s Lullaby.
By Barbara Fradkin.
Sept. 2017. 336p. Dundurn, paper, $19.99
(9781459735408); e-book (9781459735422).
Former international aid worker Amanda
Doucette is giving back in her native Canada,
leading groups of inner-city teens on snowy
survival excursions. Her latest trek has been
plagued by problems. One student drops out,
one of the Muslim families objects to a female
guide, and the school sponsor doesn’t approve
of Amanda’s last-minute addition of Luc, a
young man who has only recently addressed his
drug addiction. Shortly after the trip gets un-derway, Luc disappears. Then Iraqi immigrant
Yasmina goes missing. Amanda quizzes the kids
on the trip, and her friend Matthew, a journalist, talks to the missing students’ parents. It
turns out that both teens had been in contact
with members of a militant Islamic group that
promises young people a way to find a higher
purpose in their lives. The race is on to find the
teens before they become a part of something
they can never undo. —Karen Keefe
By Liz Nugent.
Aug. 2017. 272p. Simon & Schuster/Scout, $26
(9781501181474); e-book, $11.99 (9781501167768).
Secrecy and sadness permeate this rich
debut novel by Irish author Nugent, an award-winning radio and TV writer. Named Crime
Fiction Book of the Year at the Irish Book
Awards, the tale centers on the mysterious,
lonely Oliver, an Irish boy and then man who
is scarred by his father’s rejection and visits that
same rejection on all around him. Chapters that
are narrated in turns by Oliver, his wife, friends
who accompanied Oliver on a fateful working
vacation in France when he was a teen, and a
member of the French family that became his
fixation. This is a successful device, as it allows
a puzzle involving the trip to come slowly into
view as readers are skillfully given glimpses of
events and of the resulting devastation that Oliver so nonchalantly metes out. Catholic-clergy
dysfunction and its effects on families feature
strongly here, making the thriller a satisfying
read-alike for John Boyne’s A History of Loneliness (2015). —Henrietta Verma
The Ways of Wolfe.
By James Carlos Blake.
Sept. 2017. 304p. Mysterious, $25 (9780802125774);
In The House of Wolfe (2015), Blake’s previ-
ous book about the Mexican American family
working the “shade trade” on the U.S.-Mexico
border, Juliet Wolfe was taken hostage during a
family wedding in Mexico City. Here we learn
the story of the father she’s never known, Axel
Wolfe, who’s doing hard time in a Texas prison
after an ill-conceived heist while still a college
student. Nearing the end of his sentence, Axel
throws in with a young con plotting escape. In
and around the edges we learn Axel’s history,
his desperation to see his daughter, and more
Wolfe family lore, but the bulk of this book
deals with the prison break, from its tick-tock
execution to the frantic flight that follows.
Blake is a writer fans will follow anywhere. He
brings the border to life with blunt precision
and evokes the lionization of outlaws that can
be found there—call it a novel-length narcocor-
rido. This plot’s shape isn’t quite as perfect as
usual for Blake, but it’s still extremely satisfy-
ing, right up to the noir ending. —Keir Graff
A Column of Fire.
By Ken Follett.
Sept. 2017. 928p. Viking, $36 (9780525954972).
Follett continues the best-selling Kings-
bridge series with a fiery tale set in the latter
half of the sixteenth century. As in Pillars of the
Earth (1989) and World without End (2007),
the cathedral city of Kingsbridge serves as the
unifying focal point for a saga that stretches
across time and place. As a religious and po-
litical war rages across England, two would-be
lovers are caught in the unforgiving crosshairs
of historical circumstances that spin beyond
their control. Fiercely in love with Margery
Fitzgerald, Ned Willard finds himself on the
other side of a religious divide tearing friends,
family, and the entire nation apart. As Catho-
lics and Protestants square off against one
another, a young but determined Elizabeth as-
cends to the throne, establishing the first royal
secret service to protect herself from enemies
both within and outside of England. Drawn
into a web of espionage and intrigue, Ned
is torn between loyalty to the crown and his
unwavering love for a papist. As always, Fol-
lett excels in historical detailing, transporting
readers back in time with another meaty his-
torical blockbuster. —Margaret Flanagan
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: With the
first in the series skyrocketed by the Oprah
Book Club pick and a TV series and followed
by the megasuccess of the second and a long
wait for the third, readers will be avid as ads
run and Follett tours the country.
The Cottingley Secret.
By Hazel Gaynor.
Aug. 2017. 416p. Morrow, paper, $15.99
Nine-year-old Frances Griffith believes she
has seen fairies in the woods behind her family’s home. When the adults don’t believe her,
Frances and her cousin Elsie take a set of fake
photographs, a series of self-portraits including Elsie’s carefully constructed paper fairies.
When famous writer and
avowed theosophist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sees the
photographs, he is convinced
they are authentic. As Frances and Elsie pledge to keep
the true nature of the photos
to themselves, they and their
photographs become a national sensation. In present-day Ireland, Olivia
Kavanaugh discovers a manuscript in her late
grandfather’s bookshop that tells the story of
the girls and their famous pictures. At a crossroads in her own life, Olivia becomes absorbed
in the mystery and sets out on a journey to
discover the truth while learning something
about herself along the way. Gaynor (The Girl
from the Savoy, 2016) once again takes readers
deep into the lives of her characters, making
history come alive. Beautifully written and expertly researched, Gaynor’s latest is a look at
one of history’s most intriguing mysteries and
an important reminder of the power of belief.
The Daughters of Ireland.
By Santa Montefiore.
Aug. 2017. 576p. Morrow, $25.99 (9780062698681);
paper, $15.99 (9780062456885); e-book, $15.99
Readers of Montefiore’s The Girl in the Castle
(2016) will relish this equally juicy sequel. The
second in a projected trilogy features the same
trio of women bound by both family ties and
their obsession with Deverill Castle, the setting of many of their most cherished and tragic
memories. Though no longer the owner of the
Castle Deverill, Kitty longs for both her lost
home and for Jack O’Leary, her first and truest
love. Meanwhile, her cousin, Celia Mayberry,
the new mistress of the manor, throws her heart
and soul into restoring the castle, while across
the ocean, Bridie Doyle, daughter of the former cook, has become the toast of New York.
Though much of the action in this installment
revolves around Celia, the stories of these three
women are inextricably linked by past decisions, present struggles, and future dreams.
As each stands at a crossroads, the stage is
meticulously set for the final denouement.
Guaranteed to satisfy the appetites of fans of
meaty family sagas. —Margaret Flanagan
The Hidden Light of Northern Fires.
By Daren Wang.
Aug. 2017. 288p. St. Martin’s/Thomas Dunne, $26.99
Before the outbreak of the Civil War, Town
Line was just another small town in New York
on the Niagara frontier. But the war brings a
test of loyalty that will turn the members of this
close-knit community against each other. Fresh
from college and eager to support the abolitionist cause, Mary Willis starts to help slaves
make their way to freedom in Canada. When
a fugitive named Joe makes it to the Willis
farm after barely escaping bounty hunters, the
violence that has dogged him all the way from
West Virginia quickly finds him again, putting