Kathleen Kent returns to the territory of her standout 2008 debut, The Heretic’s Daughter, with a prequel set in 17th century Massachusetts, in The Wolves of Andover.  Based on the life of a woman from whom Kent is descended, the novel takes place before she became a victim of the Salem Witch trials, during her relationship with an Englishman involved in the beheading of Charles I, who is pursued by assassins.

Early reviews are good:

PW: “Kent doesn’t disappoint….[she] brings colonial America to life by poking into its dark corners and finding its emotional and personal underpinnings.”

Booklist: “Part historical fiction, part romance, and part suspense…. Skillfully meshing these various elements, the authors latest effort is bound to please fans of each.”

Kirkus: “Kent has more fun with the Londoners—Johnny Depp could play almost any of the baddies—than her somewhat morose ancestors, but she lovingly captures their daily grind and brings looming dangers, whether man or beast, to harrowing life.

Modest holds on modest orders in libraries we checked.

The Wolves of Andover: A Novel
Kathleen Kent
Retail Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books – (2010-11-08)
ISBN / EAN: 0316068624 / 9780316068628

Usual Suspects On Sale Next Week

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books) continues the popular children’s book series.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King (Scribner) is a collection of four new horror tales. In a starred review, Booklist says, “King begins his afterword by stating, ‘The stories in this book are harsh.’ The man ain’t whistlin Dixie…. King provides four raw looks at the limits of greed, revenge, and self-deception.” It’s also an Amazon Editor’s pick this month.

Hell’s Corner by David Baldacci (Grand Central) is the fifth Camel Club political thriller. PW is not impressed: “Those who prefer intelligence in their political thrillers will have to look elsewhere.”

Cross Fire (Alex Cross Series #17) by James Patterson (Grand Central) finds detective Alex Cross’s wedding plans on hold while he investigates the assasination of Washington D.C.’s most corrupt congressman and lobbyist.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley (Riverhead) follows an old man who undergoes a procedure to cure his dementia at the cost of longevity. PW says, “Though the details of the experimental procedure are less than convincing, Mosley’s depiction of the indignities of old age is heartbreaking, and Ptolemy’s grace and decency make for a wonderful character and a moving novel.”

I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg (Random House) is about a former beauty queen and realtor in Birmingham, Alabama planning a graceful exit from her burdensome life as the housing bubble implodes. Kirkus was disappointed: “What could have been an edgy excursion into the individual toll of the Recession on real women devolves into fluff.”

Sunset Park by Paul Auster (Holt) is the veteran author’s 16th novel, set in a house full of 20-something squatters in a rough Brooklyn neighborhood. It gets a starred review from Booklist: “In a time of daunting crises and change, Auster reminds us of lasting things, of love, art, and the miraculous strangeness of being alive.”

Life Times by Nadine Gordimer (FSG) is a collection of stories set in the Nobelist’s native South Africa. Kirkus calls it “a welcome collection by a master of English prose—lucid and precisely written, if often bringing news only of disappointment, fear and loss.”

The Box: Tales from the Darkroom by Gunter Grass and Krishna Winston (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is a fictionalized exploration of the childhood memories of his eight children, from whose lives he was mostly absent.

The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, the Australian author of The House of Riverton and The Forgotten Garden, hinges on a 1941 letter that finally reaches its destination in 1992 with powerful repercussions for a London book editor. PW calls it “an enthralling romantic thriller.”

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