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10 New Books We Recommend This Week


SALTWATER, by Jessica Andrews. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) The narrator of Andrews’s first novel is a university graduate from the working class, holed up in an Irish cottage, trying to figure out her place in the wider world. Andrews’s writing, delivered in short fragments, is “transportingly voluptuous, conjuring tastes and smells and sounds like her literary godmother, Edna O’Brien,” Penelope Green writes in her review. “What makes her novel sing is its universal themes: how a young woman tries to make sense of her world, and how she grows up.”

THE BOMB: Presidents, Generals, and the Secret History of Nuclear War, by Fred Kaplan. (Simon & Schuster, $30.) Kaplan provides a rich, and surprisingly entertaining, history of how nuclear weapons and strategy have shaped the United States military and also the country’s foreign policy. “Nuclear strategy is an exercise in absurdity that pushes against every moral boundary but that has likely contributed to the relative safety and stability of the contemporary era, during which nuclear weapons have proliferated but major war has all but vanished,” our reviewer, Justin Vogt, writes. “Kaplan has a gift for elucidating abstract concepts, cutting through national security jargon and showing how leaders confront (or avoid) dilemmas.”

THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia, by Emma Copley Eisenberg. (Hachette, $27.) Decades after two young women were murdered there, a small town continues to grapple with the crime. This evocative and elegantly paced examination of the murders takes a prism-like view. The book “is not just a masterly examination of a brutal unsolved crime, which leads us through many surprising twists and turns and a final revelation about who the real killer might be,” Melissa Del Bosque writes in her review. “It’s also an unflinching interrogation of what it means to be female in a society marred by misogyny, where women hitchhiking alone are harshly judged, even blamed for their own murders.”

HI FIVE, by Joe Ide. (Mulholland, $27.) In South Central Los Angeles, a guy nicknamed IQ — who has a knack for solving the sorts of crimes that would be inconvenient to bring to the attention of the police — takes a case from a particularly loathsome arms dealer who wants to prove that his daughter is innocent of murder. This book, the fourth in a series, crackles with life. In a roundup of recent thrillers, Sarah Lyall calls it a “highly diverting book” with “real truths hidden in the entertainment,” and says that readers should “savor the freshness, vividness and ingenuity of the author’s prose.”

MR. NOBODY, by Catherine Steadman. (Ballantine, $27.) In this tricky psychological thriller, with a story that corkscrews and somersaults, the neuropsychiatrist Emma Lewis finds herself treating a dangerous patient who has lost his memory — or has he? He seems to know exactly who she is. “It’s a joy to encounter a suspenseful book whose turns lurk, rather than lumber, around the corner,” Sarah Lyall writers in her thrillers roundup. “Not everything rings true, but it all makes a kind of warped sense. Past mysteries haunt the present in ways that are both startling and claustrophobic. The patient’s real story, when Emma finally figures it out, is even weirder than you might imagine.”

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