By David Baldacci
Grand Central Publishing, $27.99
Hit man Will Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn’t seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable. He refuses to kill. Now, he becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people. Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a 14-year-old runaway from a foster home. He discovers her parents were murdered and her own life is in danger, and he decides to help her. The more Robie learns about the girl, the more he’s convinced she is at the center of a vast cover-up, one that may explain her parents’ deaths and stretch to unimaginable levels of power. Robie may have to step out of the shadows in order to save this girl’s life—and perhaps his own.
CITY OF SCOUNDRELS: THE 12 DAYS OF DISASTER THAT GAVE BIRTH TO MODERN CHICAGO
By Gary Krist
This is the masterfully told story of 12 volatile days in the life of Chicago. One Monday afternoon, a blimp in flames crashed through the roof of a busy downtown bank, incinerating those inside. Within days, a racial incident at a hot, crowded South Side beach spiraled into one of the worst urban riots in American history, followed by a transit strike that paralyzed the city. Then, when it seemed as if things could get no worse, police searching for a 6-year-old girl discovered her body in a dark North Side basement. Meticulously researched and expertly paced, City of Scoundrels captures the tumultuous birth of the modern American city. It’s a well-informed piece of Chicago history.
THE RIGHT-HAND SHORE
By Christopher Tilghman
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27
Fifteen years after the publication of his acclaimed novel Mason’s Retreat, Christopher Tilghman returns to the Mason family and the Chesapeake Bay in The Right-Hand Shore, a powerful novel that confronts the dilemmas of race, family, and forbidden love in the wake of America’s Civil War. It’s 1920 and Edward Mason is making a call upon Miss Mary Bayly, the current owner of the legendary Mason family estate, the Retreat. Miss Mary is dying. She plans to give the Retreat to the closest direct descendant of the original immigrant owner that she can find. Edward believes he can charm the old lady, secure the estate, and be back in Baltimore by lunchtime. Instead, over the course of a long day, he hears the stories that will forever bind him and his family to the land. Sure to please those who enjoy a well-written family saga.
MY EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY LIFE
By Sissy Spacek with Maryanne Vollers
In her delightful and moving memoir, Sissy Spacek writes about her idyllic, barefoot childhood in a small East Texas town, with the clarity and wisdom that comes from never losing sight of her roots. Sissy grew up a tomboy, tagging along with two older brothers and absorbing grace and grit from her remarkable parents, who taught her that she could do anything. She also learned fearlessness in the wake of a family tragedy. She describes how she arrived in New York City one starstruck summer as a 17-year-old carrying a suitcase and two guitars and how she built a career that has spanned four decades with films such as Carrie, Coal Miner’s Daughter, 3 Women, and The Help. My Extraordinary Ordinary Life is about what matters most: the exquisite worth of ordinary things, the simple pleasures of home and family, and the honest job of being right with the world.
A PERSONAL STORY OF REMEMBRANCE AND WAR, 1937–1948
By Madeleine Albright
Madeleine Albright’s experiences, and those of her family, provide a lens through which to view the most tumultuous dozen years in modern history. Drawing on her memory, her parents’ written reflections, interviews with contemporaries, and newly available documents, Albright recounts a tale that is by turns harrowing and inspiring. Prague Winter is an exploration of the past with timeless dilemmas in mind and, simultaneously, a journey with universal lessons that is intensely personal.
—Sue Boucher of Lake Forest Book Store, 680 N. Western Ave., Lake Forest.