Historicals, Romance, Women’s, Suspense: Last of the Pop Fiction Previews, Jan. 2019 | Prepub Alert

Big-name romance authors like Robyn Carr and last-minute thriller writers like Joseph Knox pair up with relative newbies like Soniah Kamal, who sets Pride and Prejudice in present-day Pakistan.

Adams, Taylor. No Exit. Morrow. Jan. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9780062875655. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062875679. lrg. prnt. SUSPENSE

Returning home to visit her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne waits out a Colorado blizzard at a rest stop with four other stranded souls and is horrified to discover a little girl locked in an animal crate in the back of a parked van. With no cell reception allowing her to call for help, what can she do? Film director Adams has published the ebooks Eyeshot and Our Last Night; this thriller gets a 75,000-copy first printing.


Brodsky, Jordanna Max. The Wolf in the Whale. Redhook: Hachette. Jan. 2019. 560p.ISBN 9780316417150. pap. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316417143. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316417136. Downloadable. HISTORICAL

Well regarded among fantasy fans for her “Olympic Bound” trilogy, which has the Greek gods fighting to survive in the contemporary world, Brodsky here goes divine in a different way as an Inuit shaman and a Viking warrior counter the gods in the Arctic in 1000 A.D. The focus here is on the mortals, undertaking an epic trudge through the northern snows, hence the billing as historical; clearly, Brodsky is a genre blender.


Carr, Robyn. The Best of Us. Mira: Harlequin. Jan. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9780778351306. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488088681. ROMANCE

In this latest in the beloved new "Sullivan’s Crossing" series from No. 1 New York Times best-selling romance author Carr, three people across three generations encounter new love. A teenager assays his first big relationship, a widow decides she’s ready to take the plunge, and tough-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside Sully, namesake of the area, finds love again past age 70. With a 300,000-copy first printing.


Fried, John. The Martin Chronicles. Grand Central. Jan. 2019. 272p. ISBN 9781538729830. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781538729854. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781538730560. Downloadable. COMING OF AGE

Set in 1980s Manhattan, this coming-of-age tale stars 11-year-old Martin, discovering girls and muggers at the same time, as only New York allows; he used to think he knew himself, but we know what those tween/teen years are like. Big buzz for this magazine write and creative writing professor; with a 50,000-copy first printing and a six-city tour.


Gamble, Terry. The Eulogist. Morrow. Jan. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9780062839893. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062839916. HISTORICAL

After the Givens family lose their estate in Northern Ireland and land in 1819 Cincinnati, the mother dies in childbirth, the father disappears downriver on a steamboat, and children James, Olivia, and Erasmus make their own lives. When Olivia is widowed early, she visits her husband’s family in Kentucky and first encounters the horrors of slavery, ultimately joining forces with abolitionist preacher brother Erasmus. Lots of action in this latest from the author of Good Family; with a 50,000-copy first printing.


Gillham, David R. Annelies. Viking. Jan. 2019. 416p. ISBN 9780399162589. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101601280. Downloadable. HISTORICAL

The New York Times best-selling author of City of Women here focuses on one young woman, Anne Frank, the heartrending symbol of the Holocaust, imagining that she has survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and reunited with her father after the war. They make a new life for themselves in America, with Gillham imagining the woman Anne Frank might have been.


Kamal, Soniah. Unmarriageable. Ballantine. Jan. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9781524799717. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524799724. Downloadable. WOMEN’S

With the marital prospects of her five daughters not so bright, Mrs. Binat eagerly anticipates a big wedding celebration in town where eligible bachelors might surface. Oldest daughter Jena gets lucky, but independent-minded Alys, who teaches English literature to schoolgirls, does not get on with aloof Valentine Darsee. Yes, it’s Pride and Prejudice set in contemporary Pakistan, with Kamal following up her multi-prize-finalist debut, An Isolated Incident.


Knox, Joseph. The Smiling Man. Crown. Jan. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9781524763190. $26; ebk. ISBN ISBN 9781524763213. Downloadable. THRILLER

Working the scorned night shift, troubled detective Aidan Waits of the Manchester PD responds with his partner to a call about a break-in at a deserted hotel in the heart of town. There they discover a dead man erased of all means of identification—and with a creepy smile on his face. Following the British author’s well-received debut, Sirens.


Lodge, Gytha. She Lies in Wait. Random. Jan. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9781984817358. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781984817365. THRILLER

An award-winning young British playwright short-listed for fiction awards once she began the University of East Anglia’s prestigious creative writing degree, Lodge has a huge Wattpad for her young adult and children’s fiction. Here she heads in a different direction with the story of six women friends who go out for a night of camping and come back as five. When the body of their missing friend is found three decades later, it’s like as if one of the remaining women must be a killer.


Martin, Kat. Until Midnight. HQN: HarperCollins. Jan. 2019. 384p. ISBN 9781335541895. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781488098901. ROMANCE

Never mind that Harper Winston is gorgeous, Chase Garrett, owner of Maximum Security, isn’t happy when she hires him to find her missing brother, Michael. Not only was Michael once his best friend, but the Winston family is famously hand-and-glove with dark-and-dirty business, and this assignment will take him all the way to the jungles of South America. From the New York Times best-selling author of multitudinous historical and romantic suspense novels; with a 100,000-copy first printing.


Robson, Jennifer. The Gown. Morrow Paperbacks. Dec. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780062884275. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9780062674951. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062674968. HISTORICAL

Though Britain faces ongoing postwar shortages and a particularly bitter winter in 1947, Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding brings joy to everyone, including Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the celebrated fashion house tasked with creating Elizabeth’s gown. But it also which tests their friendship. In 2016 Toronto, Heather Mackenzie wonders about the strip of embroidered flowers willed to her by her late grandmother. Pubbing on December 31, with lots of in-house buzz; a 100,000-copy paperback and 25,000-copy hardcover first printing.


Thorne, Sally. 99 Percent Mine. Morrow Paperbacks. Jan. 2019. 352p. ISBN 9780062884282. $266; pap. ISBN 9780062439611. $15.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062439628. WOMEN’S

Darcy Barrett, who has been crushing on brother Jamie’s best friend, Tom, since she was eight years old, resigns herself to countering bad pickup lines at her nighttime bartending job while wasting her photography talents shooting for a novelty website by day. She lives in a cottage she inherited with Jamie, who wants to sell it—which explains why Tom, now a successful house flipper, suddenly shows up on her doorstep with power tools in hand. From the author of The Hating Game, sold to over 20 countries. With a 100,000-copy paperback and 25,000-copy hardcover first printing.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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