Lawrence Rungren

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On the Savage Side

Narrated by the deceased Arc, McDaniel’s novel is by turns stark and poetic, a bleak and solemn elegy to lives that in another place and time might have been lived on the beautiful side. It’s also a tale of a nation unraveling, drowning in rivers of hopelessness and drug addiction.

Decent People

It’s built around a mystery, but this novel is more a deep literary exploration of the complex dynamics of race, class, and homophobia in the 1970s American South; it proves a worthy successor to Winslow’s acclaimed In West Mills.

The Deluge

This is a stunning achievement that may earn a place among dystopian and apocalyptic classics like 1984 and On the Beach. And perhaps most of all, it’s an unflinching and utterly compelling call to action to prevent an all-too-possible future.

The Bad Angel Brothers

As with any sibling rivalry, there are two sides to the story, and much of the tension hangs on whose perception is correct. Is Frank truly a villain, or is Cal an unreliable narrator whose perceptions are skewed by his experiences with Frank? Or are both statements true at once? A fraught psychological drama rich with mythic overtones.

The Lemon

Taking the death of Anthony Bourdain as a jumping-off point, this bitingly satiric tale examines the mix of greed and reverence that drives people who have something to gain or to protect. Boyd is the pen name of journalists Kevin Alexander and Joe Keohane and editor Alessandra Lusardi, publishing their first novel.

My Government Means To Kill Me

Unfortunately, the raw, powerful immediacy of the novel is too often interrupted by a didactic distraction that mostly functions to distance the reader from the action, but Newson’s reputation as a TV writer/showrunner (Bel-Air) will attract attention.

About Face

An insightful, wild, and wildly appealing romp that zeros in on the all-consuming nature of celebrity in the social media–fueled environment of the 21st century.

The Midcoast

Worlds collide in this personal tragedy fueled by perceptions of class difference as a man is destroyed by his love for a woman he perceives as “above” him socially and his desire to give her everything in order not to lose her.

Dr. B

This complexly plotted, fact-based tale filled with shadowy characters and unlikely coincidences is an altogether engaging piece of literary historical fiction.

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