What we’re reading: Gardiner’s killer thriller for summer
The Prophet, as the killer is called, likes to kill pairs. He leaves cryptic messages at crime scenes and signs the bodies with his signature slashes.
Texas writer Meg Gardiner, winner of mystery writing’s highest honor, the Edgar Award, has a twisted imagination and an ability to get inside the head of a murderer. The best-selling author returns with “Unsub” (Dutton, $26), about a Zodiac-style killer haunting the Bay Area. It’s creepy and gory — a perfect chill for hot summer days. Read the full review.
Here are some of the other books we’re reading this week.
Is gold a magical substance? The bedrock of fiscal prudence? A political football? Gold has been all of these and more. In “One Nation Under Gold” (Liveright, $28.95), Inc. magazine editor James Ledbetter takes what could have been dry, boring economic history and weaves a highly readable tale. Each of the 12 chapters puts you on the spot at a critical moment on the American journey with gold, from Alexander Hamilton’s time to now, with anecdotes nicely blended to create the broader historical context. Read the full review.
On Nov. 12, 2012, the firefighters of Accomack County in Virginia responded to the first of 67 fires in a five-month arson spree. It spoils nothing to say that a local auto mechanic named Charlie Smith ultimately claimed legal responsibility for the crimes. What’s suspenseful is how Smith got caught, and what’s mysterious is why he did it — and how his fiancée, Tonya Bundick, figured into this unsavory bacchanal. Monica Hesse’s “American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land” (Liveright, $26.95) is an excellent summer vacation companion. Read the full review.
On a white hot day, boys play football inside the fences of a World War II-era internment camp in South Texas. Fellow prisoner Emi Kato notices how “un-Japanese” the boys seem: “It shocked Emi to think that the American government considered these fenced-in children dangerous.” Karin Tanabe’s moving new novel, “The Diplomat’s Daughter” (Washington Square, $16), is set during the global turmoil of the late 1930s and ’40s, but its political resonance is timeless and its story is captivating. Read the full review.
Writers respond to the recent U.S. presidential election in two new poetically political books: “The Morning After” (Wings Press, $16) and “Truth to Power” (Cutthroat Journal, $20). Margaret Randall, who has written more than 100 books in her 80-plus years, offers leftist poetry and essays in “The Morning After,” while “Truth to Power” features the work of top poets — including Wendell Berry, Rita Dove, Natalie Diaz, Martín Espada and Randall herself — writing in a simlar vein. Read the full review.