Bethanne Patrick

If you thought Texas was a whole 'nother country, welcome to Lake Caddo, a sprawling, irregular inland sea divided between Texas and Louisiana. Surrounded by jungle-like foliage (that's right; East Texas is a different ecosphere from the rest of the state) and rife with wildlife, Lake Caddo has long been home to people looking to "hide in plain sight," as one character in Attica Locke's new Highway 59 novel, Heaven, My Home remarks.

Minette Walters continues the medieval saga she began in 2017's The Last Hours with The Turn of Midnight, which finds the population of Develish in Dorseteshire (sic; medieval spellings and dialects pop up regularly in both books) dealing with the aftermath of the Black Death. How have they survived the plague when so many perished? The ministrations of their benevolent Lady Anne, a combination of Glinda the Good Witch and Jonas Salk.

Howard Norman writes elegant prose — but really, that's because everything about Howard Norman is elegant. The Vermont-based novelist and scholar of Native American lore sprinkles his fiction with all the things that interest him, from literary to culinary to planetary. Like many of Norman's previous books, The Ghost Clause pays attention to Japanese poetry, binge-reading Trollope, what makes an intimate supper (mushroom omelets, salad, cherry pie with ice cream), and varieties of Northeast Kingdom moths.

Anthony Horowitz, well-known for, among other things, his Sherlock Holmes follow-on novels The House of Silk and Moriarty, returns with his second Inspector Hawthorne mystery, The Sentence Is Death (the first was The Word Is Murder; can I be faulted for hoping the next one will be titled A Novel Way to Die?).

While the peninsular Russian province of Kamchatka is not exactly in Sarah Palin's sightline, its far, far Eastern and Northern coordinates make it more like Nome than Moscow. Rife with wildlife, volcanoes, and treacherous topography, it's also almost inaccessible, with no major roads connecting it to the rest of Russia — because it was a closed military zone until 1989.

Josh Malerman's 2014 debut, Bird Box, remains one of the most surprising, electrifying books I've ever read, a chilling fable-cum-thriller about a young mother who must navigate herself and her two children to safety down a river while blindfolded.

Carve out some reading time before you pick up Laila Lalami's new novel The Other Americans. You won't want to get up from your chair for some time, maybe even until you've reached the last page. You're in the hands of a maestra of literary fiction, someone who has combined a riveting police procedural with a sensitive examination of contemporary life in California's Mojave Desert region.