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August 7, 2020

In this roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we highlight a sci-fi mystery, a memoir of personal discovery, a Viking saga, and others.


Code of Conduct

April White

Synopsis: A security agent and a private investigator find love in White’s magnetic series opener.

PW’s Takeaway: White adds emotional weight to the story even as the slow-burn romance between the central characters becomes delicious torture.

Comparable Title: Sandra Brown’s Seeing Red

Sample Line: “I use the Black Widow analogy because of my Iron Man leg, but I grew up on a steady diet of Charlie’s Angels reruns.”


Stark Raving Zen: A Memoir of Coming Alive

Kristy Sweetland

Synopsis: This is a riveting true story of a road trip filled with benevolent ghosts and gods, angels, demons, monsters, mythology, and guiding voices.

PW’s Takeaway: Sweetland’s memoir will keep the reader glued to the page.

Comparable Title: Hope Edelman’s The Possibility of Everything

Sample Line: “I never talked about my fierce desire to know more about my possible native blood.”



Marjory Kaptanoglu

Synopsis: Kaptanoglu examines the choices of troubled heroines in a rousing sci-fi thriller.

PW’s Takeaway: Fans of sci-fi mysteries and strong female characters should snap up this psychological page-turner.

Comparable Title: Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars



Richard W. Wise

Synopsis: Wise highlights a predatory housing practice—redlining—in this taut thriller set in 1974 Boston.

PW’s Takeaway: Wise combines an accessible explanation of redlining with a page-turning narrative.

Comparable Title: John Grisham’s The Pelican Brief


Queen of America

Tim Slee

Synopsis: Slee fills his latest with mead-swilling Viking warriors, interpersonal struggles, and a thirst for conquest.

PW’s Takeaway: Fans of historical fiction will want to take a look.

Comparable Titles: Robert Low’s Oathsworn series