Chris Whitaker’s All the Colors of the Dark is the new pick for Jenna Bush Hager’s Today show book club. Whitaker’s thriller, scheduled for publication next week by Crown, is the followup to his bestselling 2021 novel, We Begin at the End, another thriller centering teenage protagonists. Bush Hager is also partnering with UCP and others to bring the novel to television as a limited series.

The novel opens in small-town Missouri in August 1975, where a one-eyed 13-year-old boy nicknamed Patch thwarts the kidnapping of the town’s golden girl but disappears himself. His best friend, a beekeeper called Saint, is determined to find him. In a starred review, a Kirkus critic writes of the book, “This is much more than a whodunit, though it fills that bill well. It is a richly layered tale of love, loss, and hope.”

Bush Hager said she “may never have loved a book as much” as she does this nearly-600-page genre-bending mystery, which sprawls over three decades and most of the United States, incorporating everything from a serial killer plot to a love triangle to bank heists to a prison break.

On, the author shared that he has personal experience with some of the trauma that shapes the book, having had his arm broken by his mother’s partner as a child and having been stabbed as a teenager. He will join Bush Hager for a virtual event on July 23 to discuss the book.

Marion Winik hosts NPR’s The Weekly Reader podcast.