An engrossing mystery wrapped in a coming-of-age story and the heart-rending legacy of the Holocaust.


From the New Jewish Fiction series , Vol. 8

A young Jewish woman searches for her lost uncle in Israel during the harrowing trial of Adolf Eichmann in Bernstein’s novel.

In 1961, Susan Reich, a first-generation Jewish teenager raised in an Irish Catholic neighborhood in New York City, is not the dutiful Zionist of her father Yehudah’s wishes. She wants to travel before going off to college, a plan her domineering father will only support if she goes to Israel to investigate the fate of his brother, Yakov, who disappeared after the Germans invaded Poland during World War II 20 years earlier. With little information to go on, Susan arrives in Jerusalem at a time of tumult and mourning as Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi war criminal and one of the principal architects of the Holocaust, is put on trial. As she listens to heartbreaking accounts of survivors in the course of the search for her uncle, she struggles with what it means to be a Jew. When she falls for Ezra, a Moroccan man in her Hebrew language class, she sees firsthand the impoverished conditions and prejudice his people face as non-European Jews. The experiences of Ruth, a waitress and Holocaust survivor whom Susan befriends on her quest, raise complex and contradictory ideas about love, rape, power, fear, and survival during the most horrific of times. The author brings the troubled young nation of Israel alive on the page, with trash-filled alleyways, smoke-filled cafes, and the pall of the Eichmann trial hanging over everything. The novel has a noirlike quality (“Around them, they heard the sounds of neighborhood cats yowling in the darkness. When she first heard them, Susan thought they were babies crying”), which, along with recurring themes of identity, history, culture, ethnicity, and sexuality, makes for an immersive detective novel. Bernstein’s story is no mere exercise in pulp—the narrative leans into the disturbing physical imagery and emotional fallout of the Holocaust while vividly capturing the tenor of Israel in 1961. This compelling, character-driven story will captivate even those with limited knowledge of Jewish history, the Nazis, or Eichmann and teach valuable lessons along the way.

An engrossing mystery wrapped in a coming-of-age story and the heart-rending legacy of the Holocaust.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2022

ISBN: 9789493276376

Page Count: 284

Publisher: Amsterdam Publishers

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2023

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A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.


Three woman who join together to rent a large space along the beach in Los Angeles for their stores—a gift shop, a bakery, and a bookstore—become fast friends as they each experience the highs, and lows, of love.

Bree is a friendly but standoffish bookstore owner who keeps everyone she knows at arm’s length, from guys she meets in bars to her friends. Mikki is a settled-in-her-routines divorced mother of two, happily a mom, gift-shop owner, and co-parent with her ex-husband, Perry. And Ashley is a young, very-much-in-love bakery owner specializing in muffins who devotes herself to giving back to the community through a nonprofit that helps community members develop skills and find jobs. When the women meet drooling over a boardwalk storefront that none of them can afford on her own, a plan is hatched to divide the space in three, and a friendship—and business partnership—is born. An impromptu celebration on the beach at sunset with champagne becomes a weekly touchpoint to their lives as they learn more about each other and themselves. Their friendship blossoms as they help each other, offering support, hard truths, and loving backup. Author Mallery has created a delightful story of friendship between three women that also offers a variety of love stories as they fall in love, make mistakes, and figure out how to be the best—albeit still flawed—versions of themselves. The men are similarly flawed and human. While the story comes down clearly on the side of all-encompassing love, Mallery has struck a careful balance: There is just enough sex to be spicy, just enough swearing to be naughty, and just enough heartbreak to avoid being cloying.

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-778-38608-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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