Spy by Danielle Steel
At eighteen, Alexandra Wickham is presented to King George V and Queen Mary in an exquisite white lace and satin dress her mother has ordered from Paris. With her delicate blond looks, she is a stunning beauty who seems destined for a privileged life. But fate, a world war, and her own quietly rebellious personality lead her down a different path.
By 1939, Europe is on fire and England is at war. From her home in idyllic Hampshire, Alex makes her way to London as a volunteer in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. But she has skills that draw the attention of another branch of the service. Fluent in French and German, she would make the perfect secret agent.
Within a year, Alex is shocking her family in trousers and bright red lipstick. They must never know about the work she does—no one can know, not even the pilot she falls in love with. While her country and those dearest to her pay the terrible price of war, Alex learns the art of espionage, leading to life-and-death missions behind enemy lines and a long career as a spy in exotic places and historic times.
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The Hero by Lee Child
In his first work of nonfiction, the creator of the multimillion-selling Jack Reacher series explores the endurance of heroes from Achilles to Bond, showing us how this age-old myth is a fundamental part of what makes us human. He demonstrates how hero stories continue to shape our world – arguing that we need them now more than ever.
From the Stone Age to the Greek Tragedies, from Shakespeare to Robin Hood, we have always had our heroes. The hero is at the centre of formative myths in every culture and persists to this day in world-conquering books, films and TV shows. But why do these characters continue to inspire us, and why are they so central to storytelling?
Scalpel-sharp on the roots of storytelling and enlightening on the history and science of myth, The Hero is essential reading for anyone trying to write or understand fiction. Child teaches us how these stories still shape our minds and behaviour in an increasingly confusing modern world, and with his trademark concision and wit, demonstrates that however civilised we get, we’ll always need heroes.
America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States by Erika Lee
The United States is known as a nation of immigrants. But it is also a nation of xenophobia. In America for Americans, Erika Lee shows that an irrational fear, hatred, and hostility toward immigrants has been a defining feature of our nation from the colonial era to the Trump era. Benjamin Franklin ridiculed Germans for their “strange and foreign ways.” Americans’ anxiety over Irish Catholics turned xenophobia into a national political movement. Chinese immigrants were excluded, Japanese incarcerated, and Mexicans deported. Today, Americans fear Muslims, Latinos, and the so-called browning of America.
Forcing us to confront this history, America for Americans explains how xenophobia works, why it has endured, and how it threatens America. It is a necessary corrective and spur to action for any concerned citizen.
The Lying House by Rick Mofina
Lisa Taylor had friends, family and a job she loved back in Cleveland. But when her husband, Jeff, lands the promotion of a lifetime, she gives it all up to stand by him. Their whirlwind move to Miami feels like an adventure, their idyllic new neighborhood the perfect place to start a family. But their dreams are shattered when a stranger breaks into their house, holding a knife to Lisa’s throat before Jeff can chase him off.
Suddenly, every sacrifice Lisa made is like a loss she’ll never recover from. But Jeff makes it clear there’s too much at stake to return to Ohio. Isolated and afraid, Lisa becomes a hostage in her own home. She can’t shake the feeling she’s being watched. And with the man she married growing increasingly unrecognizable, she’s starting to wonder whether their hasty move was to pursue a better life—or escape a chilling past that won’t be outrun.
The Girl in the Photograph: The True Story of a Native American Child, Lost and Found in America by Byron L. Dorgan
On a winter morning in 1990, U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota picked up the Bismarck Tribune. On the front page, a small Native American girl gazed into the distance, shedding a tear. The headline: “Foster home children beaten―and nobody’s helping.”
Dorgan, who had been working with American Indian tribes to secure resources, was upset. He flew to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to meet with five-year-old Tamara who had suffered a horrible beating at a foster home. He visited with Tamara and her grandfather and they became friends. Then Tamara disappeared. And he would search for her for decades until they finally found each other again.
This book is her story, from childhood to the present, but it’s also the story of a people and a nation. More than one in three American Indian/Alaskan Native children live in poverty. AI/AN children are disproportionately in foster care and awaiting adoption. Suicide among AI/AN youth ages 15 to 24 is 2.5 times the national rate. How has America allowed this to happen?
Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza
Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly turned into a nightmare. Traumatized, betrayed, and publicly vilified for the shocking circumstances surrounding the cannibal murder case, Kate could only watch as her career ended in scandal.
Fifteen years after those catastrophic events, Kate is still haunted by the unquiet ghosts of her troubled past. Now a lecturer at a small coastal English university, she finally has a chance to face them. A copycat killer has taken up the Nine Elms mantle, continuing the ghastly work of his idol.
Enlisting her brilliant research assistant, Tristan Harper, Kate draws on her prodigious and long-neglected skills as an investigator to catch a new monster. Success promises redemption, but there’s much more on the line: Kate was the original killer’s intended fifth victim…and his successor means to finish the job.