New Release Books June 29, 2017

//New Release Books June 29, 2017

New Release Books June 29, 2017

Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam
by Mark Bowden

A stirring history of the 1968 battle that definitively turned the Vietnam War into an American defeat.On the first day of the Tet Lunar New Year holiday in 1968, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese forces attacked the ancient city of Hue, the one-time capital of Vietnam and the country’s third-largest city. American forces scrambled to relieve the U.S. garrison there, amazed, as Bowden (The Three Battles of Wanat, 2016, etc.) writes, to be in an actual city after experiencing only “air bases, rice paddies, and jungle.” The battle occasioned not just surprise on the part of the grunts, but also a change in behavior on the part of the attackers, who had orders not just to liberate Hue, but “to look and behave like winners.” The tactic, to say nothing of the heavy losses inflicted on American and South Vietnamese forces, did indeed shift perceptions. The author observes that after Hue, it was only a matter of time before America would leave Vietnam, and in the bargain, ordinary American citizens would never again trust their government. Bowden delivers a series of brilliantly constructed set pieces, beginning with a moment of proto-social engineering in which a young, pretty Viet Cong learned about American troop movements in the city by flirting with GIs outside their compound. Devotees of Vietnam movies such as Full Metal Jacket will see several scenes come into real-life focus, with a football hero as commander and companies of troops bearing names like Hotel and Echo rooting out snipers and enemy columns, occasionally violating orders to save themselves by letting loose ground-fired napalm (“They caught hell for that—the commanders were worried about setting the city on fire”) against a smart, entrenched foe. Building on portraits of combatants on all sides, Bowden delivers an anecdotally rich, careful account of the complex campaign to take the city. One of the best books on a single action in Vietnam, written by a tough, seasoned journalist who brings the events of a half-century past into sharp relief. -Kirkus Reviews


Camino Island
by John Grisham

The veteran suspense novelist is off on a happy lark with Camino Island, a resort-town tale that reads as if Grisham is taking a vacation from writing John Grisham novels. Instead of hurtling readers down the dark corridors of the courthouses that dot his 20-plus legal thrillers, here he gently ushers us onto an island off the coast of Florida, a sleepy place whose town’s social life is enlivened by a busy independent bookstore run by a garrulous peacock who has a different-colored seersucker suit for every day of the week…Grisham has said that he and his wife dreamed up Camino Island during a long car ride to Florida, and the book provides the pleasure of a leisurely jaunt periodically jolted into high gear, just for the fun and speed of it. -The New York Times Book Review – Ken Tucker




The Force
by Don Winslow

Edgar-finalist Winslow (The Cartel) peers into the soul of modern America through the eyes of a supremely skilled and corrupt police officer, in this epic novel of devastating moral complexity. Dennis Malone, a veteran NYPD detective sergeant, leads the Manhattan North Special Task Force, an elite unit established to combat drugs, gangs, and guns. Keeping the citizens safe is often messy work and sometimes requires unorthodox methods to get results. Gradually, however, Malone and his crew have slipped over the edge, stealing millions in drugs and cash over the years, including a massive amount of heroin seized in the city’s biggest-ever drug bust. Now the feds have built a case against Malone, and they threaten to take him down if he doesn’t help bring in bigger players in the criminal food chain, even if it means betraying his partners. As the reader discovers, Malone’s corruption is but a tiny part of a much larger system that extends into the highest reaches of New York’s power structure, where the real business is done, and everyone on the chain takes a cut. Fans of modern masters such as Don DeLillo, Richard Price, and George Pelecanos will be richly rewarded. –Publishers Weekly



The Identicals
by Elin Hilderbrand

When blue-blooded Boston designer Eleanor Roxie-Frost divorces electrical contractor Billy Frost, the rift consigns their 17-year-old identical twin daughters to separate islands. When they’re home from college, Tabitha spends the summers with Eleanor on Nantucket and Harper lives on the Vineyard with Billy, and they visit the opposite parents for holidays. Now the twins are 39 and haven’t gotten along in years. For reasons that will remain obscure until the end, Tabitha blames Harper for the death of her premature son, Julian. Neither Tabitha nor Harper has ever married. Tabitha had daughter Ainsley and, later, son Julian out of wedlock with her long-term boyfriend, Wyatt (now married to someone else and effectively out of Ainsley’s life). Tabitha, who has lived her entire adult life in Eleanor’s thrall, occupies her mother’s carriage house and manages the ERF boutique on Nantucket, a stodgy purveyor of preppy resort wear on the verge of going bust. Harper, whose past includes menial jobs and a brush with the law, is now a total pariah on the Vineyard: she’d been having an affair with Billy’s doctor, Reed, which is discovered by his wife, Sadie, on the night Billy dies. The fun accelerates when Eleanor, Ainsley (now 16), and Tabitha attend Billy’s memorial service only to have Sadie toss a flute of champagne in Tabitha’s face. Then Eleanor, who could never handle champagne, breaks a hip. For complicated reasons, the twins end up trading islands, with Tabitha heading to the Vineyard to renovate Billy’s house and then sell it while Harper goes to Nantucket to look after her niece. Hilderbrand makes the most of the complications caused by twinship and small island worlds: Tabitha’s most recent ex, Ramsay, approaches Harper and decides to pursue this less uptight look-alike, and Tabitha, after some initial difficulties occasioned by Harper’s reputation, falls for master builder Franklin—who is Sadie’s brother. The most poignant scenes feature Ainsley, whose teen angst is quelled by Harper’s nurturing. The romantic relationships seem tacked on to satisfy the demands of the genre, but this beach read doesn’t shy from the grittier side of all that sand. –Kirkus Reviews


By | 2017-06-29T12:59:06+00:00 June 29th, 2017|New Releases|