Unhappy Valentines

With Gone Girl about to hit 75 weeks on the NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list, the new issue of Entertainment Weekly takes a dystopian view of love by highlighting novels featuring couples whose happiest times are now behind them (one small ray of hope; none of these are by Americans).

Apple Tree Yard   Before We Met  9780805098723

Apple Tree Yard, Louise Doughty, (Macmillan/FSG/Sarah Crichton; Brilliance Audio), published Jan 14

Along with The Silent Wife, also reviewed in the story, even though it’s already achieved long-lasting best seller status, this one gets the highest rating for the group, an A-.  The reviewer says it’s “fascinating to see a brilliant woman destroy her life with a few impulsive decisions. In Doughty’s hands, [main character] Yvonne’s actions are both shocking and weirdly understandable.” Libraries are showing 1:1 holds.

Before We Met, Lucie Whitehouse, (Bloomsbury USA), published Jan 21

The exploding rose on the cover has become a popular image (see The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and Perfect by Rachel Joyce). Entertainment Weekly gives this a solid B, noting, “Thanks to the novel’s overt Britishness, the twists that ensue are more taut and fraught than manic and frantic.”

The Innocent Sleep, Karen Perry, (Macmillan/Holt), coming next week

Here’s another cover with echoes of an earlier domestic thriller, which also happened to have “Sleep” in the title (bet you’ve already guessed which one). This debut is set in Dublin and Tangier. Giving it another solid B, the reviewer warns that you won’t see the big twist coming.

Watching YouWatching You, Michael Robotham, (Hachette/Mulholland; Brilliance Audio) coming March 11

Australian author Robotham already has a strong track record (Stephen King picked his previous title, Say You’re Sorry, as one of his favorites of 2012).

“It’ll keep you guessing and gasping” says Entertainment Weekly, giving it a B+

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