Library Column: New Adult Fiction

Published 10:58 am Friday, May 21, 2021

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County – Vicksburg Public Library.

This week’s column features novels from our New Adult Fiction section. 

Before She Disappeared is the latest from bestselling author Lisa Gardner. Recovering alcoholic Frankie Elkin has more regrets than she does personal possessions, but she has devoted her life to doing what no one else will — searching for the lost and forgotten. Frankie starts her search after the police have stopped looking and the public no longer remembers. Her latest case has brought her to the rough Mattapan neighborhood of Boston where she is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teen who vanished from her high school months prior. When Frankie meets with resistance from the Boston PD and Angelique’s family, she knows that she is on her own. She soon learns that someone doesn’t like the questions that she is asking. Though she knows her life is in danger, Frankie will risk it all to discover the truth. 

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J.T. Ellison delivers a fast-paced and unpredictable novel with Her Dark Lies. Isle Isola juts out of sparkling turquoise waters off the Italian coast. It’s the perfect setting for a wedding. The wealthy Compton family owns the beautiful cliff-top villa where artist Claire Hunter will marry the handsome and charming Jack Compton. The couple will be surrounded by family, a handful of friends, and the dark secrets long hidden. The minute that Claire sets foot on the island, she feels something is not right. There have been skeletal remains found along with menacing texts, and a ruined wedding dress. The most sinister darkness hovering over the otherwise blissful relationship, though, is the mystery surrounding Jack’s first wife. If all of this wasn’t enough to drive someone mad, a large storm is bearing down on the island and the lights just went out. 

The Plot is a novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz. Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, however, he’s droning through his days teaching at a third-rate Master of Fine Arts Program. He’s desperately trying to hold onto his self-respect because he hasn’t written or published anything decent in years. Evan Parker is Jake’s most arrogant student. One day, Evan announces he doesn’t need Jake’s help, because the plot of his new work-in-progress is a sure thing. Jake is ready to dismiss the boastings of a vain jackanape… until he hears the plot. Jake returns to his mundane life waiting for Evan’s star to soar, but it doesn’t happen. When Jake learns that Evan has died — presumably without finishing the book — he does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that. In just a few short years, all of Evan’s predictions come true, but it’s Jake who is enjoying the wealth, fame and praise from all over the world. At the height of this glorious new life, an email arrives:  

“You are a thief,” it says. Struggling to make sense of his antagonist, and to hide the truth from his readers and his publishers, he begins to dig into the life of the late Evan Parker. What he discovers both amazes and terrifies him. What is the real story behind the plot, and who stole it from whom? 

Allison Brennan’s latest featuring detective Kara Quinn and FBI agent Matt Costa is called Tell No Lies. A college intern turned activist sets out to solve the mystery of what is killing the wildlife in the mountains just south of Tucson, but she, too, ends up dead. Local law enforcement is dragging their feet, so the mobile FBI unit goes undercover to infiltrate the town and its copper refinery. Quinn and Costa scour the desolate landscape only to find darker and more revealing clues involving greed, child trafficking and more death. As the body count rises, it becomes clear that they have stumbled upon more than they bargained for, and they now must figure out who is at the heart of all this mayhem. Will they be able to stop it before another innocent life is lost? 

Finally, we have the latest from bestselling author Dean Koontz—The Other Emily. A decade ago, Emily Carlino vanished from the side of a California highway after her car broke down. It was assumed that she was one of serial killer Ronny Lee Jessup’s victims, though no remains were ever found. Writer David Thorne has never recovered from the loss of Emily, or from the guilt of not being there for her. He has taken to visiting Jessup in prison on a regular basis; desperately seeking answers about Emily’s final hours, so that he can finally lay her to rest. Then David meets Maddison Sutton, alluring, playful, and all-too aware of what David has lost. She takes his breath away, but, beyond that, everything about Maddison, down to her kisses, is just like Emily. David’s obsession grows as Maddison’s mysterious past deepens and terror intensifies. Is Maddison really Emily? Or simply an irresistible doppelganger? Either way, what game is she playing? David is willing to take the risk for a second chance with his true love, but will this path lead him to bliss or ruin?