The characters in Pollock’s stories orbit around the Chillicothe area where Pollock grew up and where he still resides. The fictional city of “Mead” is named after the paper mill where he labored for years. This new novel is a fast-paced yarn set during World War I. It is rambunctious, darkly humorous and thoroughly entertaining.
“The Summer That Melted Everything” by Tiffany McDaniel (St. Martin’s Press, 310 pages, $25.99)
Tiffany McDaniel is another writer from southern Ohio. Her first published book, “The Summer That Melted Everything,” is set in 1984 in the fictional town of Breathed, Ohio. This is the story of a family that welcomes the devil into their home. With the devil around, things start to heat up. McDaniel writes like an angel. Donald Ray Pollock has praised this book. He calls it “the first truly great gothic coming-of-age novel of the 21st century.”
“The Passenger” by Lisa Lutz (Simon and Schuster, 302 pages, $15.99)
A woman flees from her home after her husband takes a bad fall and dies. Why is she running? Did she kill him? She spends most of the book as a fugitive employing a string of false identities. Who is she? What is she trying to hide? Who is trying to find her? In “The Passenger,” Lisa Lutz has penned an exquisitely perfect mystery.
“Under the Harrow” by Flynn Berry (Penguin, 219 pages, $16).
For her debut novel, Flynn Berry has created a startling whodunnit. A woman named Nora travels by train from London to visit her sister at her country home. When Nora arrives she finds that her sister has been brutally murdered. Nora is determined to identify her sister’s killer. Before she can do that she has some personal issues to resolve. This story is haunting, atmospheric, and so very clever.
Next week, I’ll have my non-fiction faves.