A wrenching tale of broken friendship and shattered dreams.

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HERE WE LIE

After her father dies of cancer, leaving behind a life insurance payout, Megan Mazeros pulls up stakes in Kansas and tries to start over as a student at a posh women’s college in Connecticut. Her new life, however, might just ruin her.

Nursing her grief, and some shame at having helped her father to his final peace, Megan arrives in Scofield late, in the dark, and with no idea how to get to Keale College. Luckily, she stumbles upon charismatic Joe Natolo, a local man who never went to college but finds Megan intriguing, unlike most of the privileged women at the school on the hill. Megan settles into her studies, tolerating her overachieving roommate and seeing Joe around town. After her roommate’s suicide attempt, Megan finds she has a new roommate: Lauren Mabrey, reckless daughter of a revered U.S. senator from Connecticut and an overbearing mother. Reeling after her mother broke up her romance with a drug dealer, Lauren is on her last chance at Keale. Lauren and Megan become fast friends, telling each other their deepest secrets and a few lies, and Megan finds herself spending holidays with the Mabreys. One fateful summer, however, a violent encounter snaps every thread, leaving only one friend finishing her degree. With each chapter shifting perspective between Lauren and Megan, DeBoard (The Mourning Hours, 2016, etc.) lets each woman’s story reflect and distort the other’s, deftly angling the mirror of truth to show each woman’s best side. Fourteen years later, what happened that summer night is still unspoken, and the friends have gone their separate ways, but when Megan sees a woman on television accusing Sen. Mabrey of sexual assault, she knows she must break the silence even if it means giving up all hope of ever reconciling with Lauren.

A wrenching tale of broken friendship and shattered dreams.

Pub Date: Jan. 23, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7783-3026-4

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Park Row Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

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A strongly felt, if not terribly gripping, sendoff for a Turow favorite nearly 35 years after his appearance in Presumed...

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THE LAST TRIAL

Trying his final case at 85, celebrated criminal defense lawyer Sandy Stern defends a Nobel-winning doctor and longtime friend whose cancer wonder drug saved Stern's life but subsequently led to the deaths of others.

Federal prosecutors are charging the eminent doctor, Kiril Pafko, with murder, fraud, and insider trading. An Argentine émigré like Stern, Pafko is no angel. His counselor is certain he sold stock in the company that produced the drug, g-Livia, before users' deaths were reported. The 78-year-old Nobelist is a serial adulterer whose former and current lovers have strong ties to the case. Working for one final time alongside his daughter and proficient legal partner, Marta, who has announced she will close the firm and retire along with her father following the case, Stern must deal not only with "senior moments" before Chief Judge Sonya "Sonny" Klonsky, but also his physical frailty. While taking a deep dive into the ups and downs of a complicated big-time trial, Turow (Testimony, 2017, etc.) crafts a love letter to his profession through his elegiac appreciation of Stern, who has appeared in all his Kindle County novels. The grandly mannered attorney (his favorite response is "Just so") has dedicated himself to the law at great personal cost. But had he not spent so much of his life inside courtrooms, "He never would have known himself." With its bland prosecutors, frequent focus on technical details like "double-blind clinical trials," and lack of real surprises, the novel likely will disappoint some fans of legal thrillers. But this smoothly efficient book gains timely depth through its discussion of thorny moral issues raised by a drug that can extend a cancer sufferer's life expectancy at the risk of suddenly ending it.

A strongly felt, if not terribly gripping, sendoff for a Turow favorite nearly 35 years after his appearance in Presumed Innocent.

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5387-4813-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

THEN SHE WAS GONE

Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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