Editor’s picks: Novels

AYAYAY

Young Jane Young: A Novel by Gabrielle Zevin, Algonquin Books, US $26.95, Pp 320, August 2017, ISBN 978-1616205041

Dark Water (The Makana Mysteries) by Parker Bilal, Bloomsbury, US $28.00, Pp 304, July 2017, ISBN 978-1632866523

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions (A Kopp Sisters Novel) by Amy Stewart, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, US $26.00, Pp 374, September 2017, ISBN 978-0544409996

Aviva Grossman is an ambitious congressional intern in Florida who is having an affair with her Congressman boss. When Aviva starts blogging about it, both of them take the hit. If the congressman loses the chances of running for president, Aviva is slut-shamed and becomes a late-night talk show punch line. She changes her name and moves to a remote town in Maine. When Aviva runs for public office herself, talk about her affair with the congressman comes to life again on the Internet. In the digital age, the past will always haunt you. Gabrielle Zevin explores some fundamental questions about what it really means to be a woman. Zevin exposes the double standards of our society. Inspired by Monica Lewinsky affair and 2016 presidential elections, Young Jane Young is a quirky feminist novel that will make you smile. It will leave an everlasting impact on you. You may find it light read while you read, once you finish it you will realize it is full of hard ideas.

Gabrielle Zevin is the New York Times Best Selling author of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and author of eight novels. Young Jane Young is her ninth novel.

*****

One April morning, British Secret Intelligence Services agent Marcus Winslow comes unannounced to the house of Private Investigator Makana in Egypt. Winslow has an offer Makana would not be able to say no to. But Makana does not realize that accepting the offer may cost him everything he has built for himself in Cairo. Winslow wants to hire Makana’s services to catch Ayman Nizari, a dangerous specialist in biochemical nerve agents. Ayman Nizari is on the run and seeking asylum. The only person who can lure him back is Makana. Nizari has gone underground in Istanbul, Turkey, and Makana has to travel to a city he doesn’t know. But Makana is not sure if he should trust Marcus Winslow. He instinctively smells something more sinister happening. Makana, however, accepts the offer and travels to Turkey. In Istanbul, all of a sudden, his past is staring him in the eyes. Although Makana came to Turkey to hunt Ayman Nizari, he is being hunted. Dark Water is no ordinary crime mystery novel; it is equally a political novel. Parker Bilal has beautifully weaved this crime-mystery story with politics and foreign affairs and global terrorism. Dark Water will keep your eyes glued to the book as you breathlessly read it and you will never be able to guess what is coming next. Dark Water is the sixth book in his acclaimed Makana Mystery series. If you liked earlier ones, you will like Dark Water more.

Parker Bilal is the pseudonym of Jamal Mahjoub. He was born in London and brought up in Khartoum, Sudan. Mahjoub has lived in Britain and Denmark and currently lives in Amsterdam, Holland. He is an award-winning literary novelist under his own name.

*****

Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions is set in 1916 against WWI.  When Constance Kopp becomes the deputy sheriff, the first case she is to handle is that of a young woman who has been brought into the Hackensack jail over dubious charges of waywardness, incorrigibility, and moral depravity. Patriotic Edna Heustis is a strong-willed young woman who left home to work in a munitions factory. Constance Kopp believes she shouldn’t be behind bars. Constance Kopp likes to use her authority as a deputy sheriff to investigate such cases and help such people. Constance Kopp does not practice the prevailing morality regime. However, when the case of her sister Fleurette comes up before her, she faces a dilemma. Her sister’s case puts Constance and her beliefs to the test. It is time for Constance Kopp to decide how a young woman should and shouldn’t behave. Drawn from a true story of three remarkable sisters who lived in New Jersey a hundred years ago, Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions is an excitement-filled story that explores human morality. If you like historical fiction and/or lighthearted detective fiction, you will tremendously enjoy Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions. Amy Stewart is a crystalline novelist and Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions is a gripping and evocative novel.

Amy Stewart is the author of nine books, including the new Kopp Sisters series, which began with Girl Waits With Gun and continues with Lady Cop Makes Trouble and Miss Kopp’s Midnight Confessions. Amy has also written six nonfiction books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world. She lives in Portland with her husband Scott Brown.