Deborah E. Lipstadt was surprised at how hard it was to write her latest book. A leading authority on the Holocaust, she was used to “skulking in the sewers of antisemitism and genocide.” But that was history.

A fear-driven, racially charged world is the land in which the narrator of “We Cast a Shadow” lives. Half the black community — and eight out of 10 black men — are arrested in their lifetime. A ghetto has been fortified, walling in the black population for the “health, safety and general wel…

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Prisons come in various forms, as Joanna Schaffhausen shows in her second outstanding novel, “No Mercy.” There are the mortar-and-brick prisons in which criminals are housed, such as the serial killer who kidnapped and tortured Ellery Hathaway. And there are mental prisons where survivors of…

Evan Smoak was trained to be Orphan X, and his first assignment over 20 years ago seemed to be successful. Now the other elite team members of that mission have been eliminated one by one. Evan investigates and realizes that the man who started the Program that turned him into an assassin is…

Each author brings a different hue to the city or region he or she is writing about. Nicolas Obregon’s stunning second novel shows Los Angeles from the perspective of Kosuke Iwata, a former Japanese police detective who is now a private investigator in California.

“Freefall” begins as an action-packed/heart-stopping thriller as it logically and smoothly leads into the self-examination of two women estranged from each other but still united by love.

The atmosphere of an old-fashioned Western permeates this intriguing debut that mixes workers’ rights, corruption, Prohibition and women’s rights set in the harshly stark Appalachian Ohio coal-mining country during 1925.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child working together are masters at crafting a story that goes beyond a simple mystery or thriller. Their stories are multifaceted and complex, making the reading experience a true joy.

The past is always in the present for Edinburgh Detective Chief Inspector Karen Pirie, making her fifth appearance in Val McDermid’s expertly plotted “Broken Ground.” As head of the Historic Cases Unit — that would be cold cases in the United States — Karen is used to investigations that are…

Nicky Matthews, a Pueblo, N.M., police sergeant assigned as liaison to the Tsiba’ashi D’yini reservation’s police department, has a few things going for her. She’s smart and tenacious. She respects, and has gained the respect of, the native people. And she has so internalized their culture t…

There are some women who dream of extravagant proposals full of heartfelt romance. Nikole Paterson isn’t one of them. In her sophomore novel, Jasmine Guillory uses a botched grand gesture to pair a Los Angeles doctor and a freelance writer in the most random of circumstances in “The Proposal.”

Had Rock Hudson not died of AIDS in 1985, he might be best remembered as the most successful of the postwar male stars who got into the movies solely on their looks. He remained on the screen for decades because of a likability that can’t be learned or manufactured.

The common image of the late journalist Hunter S. Thompson is one of a drug-induced writer who rode with the Hells Angels, often shot up his red IBM Selectric typewriter and helped Chicano attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta burn the lawn of a California judge.

While Jack Reacher is exploring the United States, he stumbles on a rural area in New Hampshire and spots a sign with a name that’s familiar to him — the town where his father was born.

Hollywood history for the #MeToo movement, Karina Longworth’s “Seduction” is an astute and entertaining takedown of the movie industry, the press and the multimillionaire turned wannabe filmmaker Howard Hughes. Hardly anyone emerges from the pages of “Seduction” unblemished by selfishness an…

Karen Katchur launches the first in her new Northampton County series with a darkly rich family drama about a young woman reconciling her childhood with the adult she has become. “River Bodies” centers on veterinarian Becca Kingsley, who is forced to return to her hometown because her estran…

Los Angeles Police Department detective Renee Ballard was introduced in Michael Connelly’s popular “The Late Show.” She was given the graveyard shift after reporting her former partner for harassment, and she doesn’t let the poor assignment distract her from her duty.