The Light in the Ruins | CHRIS BOHJALIAN: In novels such as Midwives (1997) and Skeletons at the Feast (**** July/Aug 2008), Bohjalian crafts compelling narratives around big, morally ambiguous issues. In his newest novel, which alternates between World War II and postwar Tuscany, an Italian family of noble lineage must make difficult decisions to save their own lives. Then a serial killer starts picking them off, one by one. JULY
Sweet Thunder | IVAN DOIG: In The Whistling Season (**** SELECTION Sept/Oct 2006), Morrie Morgan accompanies his sister to a Montana farm and takes over the schoolteacher's job. In Sweet Thunder, a follow-up set in 1920, Morrie has returned from his honeymoon with his bride, Grace, and finds himself in a fight against the Anaconda Copper Mining Company and as an editorialist for the union newspaper. AUG
The White Princess (The Cousins' War #5) | PHILIPPA GREGORY: The Cousins' War series begins with The White Queen (2009), the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the queen consort of King Edward IV. The fifth volume features Elizabeth of York (later Queen Elizabeth), daughter of Elizabeth Woodville (otherwise known as the White Queen), who falls in love with Richard III despite her mother's intention to marry her to Henry Tudor (Henry VII). True love is not to be, of course. Rival houses and war divide Elizabeth's love--and her loyalties. Don't worry, you'll get it straight. JULY
Holy Orders A Quirke Novel | BENJAMIN BLACK: John Banville, writing under the pseudonym Benjamin Black, introduced readers to the hard-drinking pathologist Garret Quirke in Christine Falls (**** SELECTION May/June 2007). The Silver Swan (**** May/June 2008) and Elegy for April (**** July/Aug 2010) followed. The sixth novel in the series finds Quirke in 1950s Dublin, as usual, where he investigates the misdeeds of the controlling Roman Catholic Church, while probably not following their rules. AUG
The English Girl (Gabriel Allon) | DANIEL SILVA: Silva's series featuring Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and spy for the Israeli intelligence agency, starts with The Kill Artist (2000). Since then, Allon has exacted justice against former Nazi war criminals, thwarted al-Qaeda terrorists from destroying the Vatican, and quelled the rise of an Islamic fundamentalist group throughout Europe, among other heroic deeds. In The English Girl, a female British politician...