The new book releases for this week include a bunch of thrillers, some romance, historical fiction and true crime. If you watched the documentary about Murdaugh murders on Netflix, then Tangled Vines by John Glatt will be of interest to you. There’s a romance about women in STEM that’s a friends to lovers story. This week also brings us Canary Girls, a work of historical fiction that’s teased as Rosie the Riveter meets A League of Their Own. Bestselling author Lisa Jewell has a new thriller called None of This Is True about a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast. There are so many great new books coming out this week. Your TBR pile is going to grow! Here are the new book releases for August 8, 2023.
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The Blonde Identity
by Ally Carter
“A unique, delightful, hilarious, unputdownable romance… I’m wonderstruck by The Blonde Identity!” — Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis
The New York Times bestselling YA author of the beloved Gallagher Girls series bursts onto the adult scene with a fast-paced, hilarious road trip rom-com about a woman with amnesia who discovers she’s the identical twin sister of a rogue spy… and must team up with a rugged, grumpy operative to stay alive.
It’s the middle of the night in the middle of Paris and a woman just woke up with no memory.
She only knows three things for certain:
1. She has a splitting headache.
2. The hottest guy she has (probably) ever seen is standing over her, telling her to run.
And oh yeah…
3. People keep trying to kill her.
She doesn’t know who. Or why. But when she sees footage of herself fighting off a dozen men there’s only one explanation: obviously. . . she’s a spy!
Except, according to Mr. Hot Guy, she’s not. She’s a spy’s identical twin sister.
Too bad the only person who knows she’s not the woman they’re looking for is this very grouchy, very sexy, very secret agent who (reluctantly) agrees to help her disappear. Which is easier said than done when a criminal organization wants you dead and every intelligence service in the world wants you caught.
Luckily, no one is looking for a pair of lovesick newlyweds on their honeymoon. And soon they’re lying their way across Europe—dodging bullets and faking kisses as they race to unravel a deadly conspiracy and clear her sister’s name.
But with every secret they uncover, the truth shifts, until she no longer knows who to trust: the twin she can’t remember or the mysterious man she can’t let herself forget…
“Spies! Amnesia! And banter that’ll make you chant “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!” No one writes an action rom-com quite like Ally Carter.” – Rachel Hawkins, New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs
by Melanie Benjamin
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Two sisters navigate the thrilling, euphoric early days of California surf culture in this dazzling saga of ambition, sacrifice, and the tangled ties between mothers and daughters from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife.
“A shimmering rendering . . . pairs the surf culture of the Beach Boys with the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll of Daisy Jones & The Six.”—Entertainment Weekly (“Best Books of the Summer”)
Southern California, 1960s: endless sunny days surfing in Malibu, followed by glittering neon nights at Whisky a Go Go. In an era when women are expected to be housewives, Carol Donnelly breaks the mold as a legendary female surfer struggling to compete in a male-dominated sport—and her daughters, Mindy and Ginger, bear the weight of Carol’s unconventional lifestyle.
The Donnelly sisters grow up enduring their mother’s absence—physically, when she’s at the beach, and emotionally, the rare times she’s at home. To escape questions about Carol’s whereabouts—and to chase her elusive affection—they cut school to spend their days in the surf. From her first time on a board, Mindy is a natural, but Ginger, two years younger, feels out of place in the water.
As they grow up and their lives diverge, Mindy and Ginger’s relationship ebbs and flows. Mindy finds herself swept up in celebrity, complete with beachside love affairs, parties at the Playboy Club, and a USO tour in Vietnam. Meanwhile, Ginger, desperate for a community of her own, is tugged into the dangerous counterculture of drugs and cults. But through it all, their sense of duty to each other survives, as the girls are forever connected by the emotional damage they carry from their unorthodox childhood.
A gripping, emotional story set at a time when mothers were expected to be Donna Reed, not Gidget, California Golden is an unforgettable novel about three women living in a society that was shifting as tempestuously as the breaking waves.
by Jennifer Chiaverini
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Rosie the Riveter meets A League of Their Own in New York Times bestselling novelist Jennifer Chiaverini’s lively and illuminating novel about the “munitionettes” who built bombs in Britain’s arsenals during World War I, risking their lives for the war effort and discovering camaraderie and courage on the soccer pitch.
Early in the Great War, men left Britain’s factories in droves to enlist. Struggling to keep up production, arsenals hired women to build the weapons the military urgently needed. “Be the Girl Behind the Man Behind the Gun,” the recruitment posters beckoned.
Thousands of women—cooks, maids, shopgirls, and housewives—answered their nation’s call. These “munitionettes” worked grueling shifts often seven days a week, handling TNT and other explosives with little protective gear.
Among them is nineteen-year-old former housemaid April Tipton. Impressed by her friend Marjorie’s descriptions of higher wages, plentiful meals, and comfortable lodgings, she takes a job at Thornshire Arsenal near London, filling shells in the Danger Building—difficult, dangerous, and absolutely essential work.
Joining them is Lucy Dempsey, wife of Daniel Dempsey, Olympic gold medalist and star forward of Tottenham Hotspur. With Daniel away serving in the Footballers’ Battalion, Lucy resolves to do her bit to hasten the end of the war. When her coworkers learn she is a footballer’s wife, they invite her to join the arsenal ladies’ football club, the Thornshire Canaries.
The Canaries soon acquire an unexpected fan in the boss’s wife, Helen Purcell, who is deeply troubled by reports that Danger Building workers suffer from serious, unexplained illnesses. One common symptom, the lurid yellow hue of their skin, earns them the nickname “canary girls.” Suspecting a connection between the canary girls’ maladies and the chemicals they handle, Helen joins the arsenal administration as their staunchest, though often unappreciated, advocate.
The football pitch is the one place where class distinctions and fears for their men fall away. As the war grinds on and tragedy takes its toll, the Canary Girls persist despite the dangers, proud to serve, determined to outlive the war and rejoice in victory and peace.
by Megan Goldin
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
“A gripping story that is equal parts shocking, unnerving, and thrilling. Goldin takes the ‘true crime’ trope to new and unexpected territory.” ―Karin Slaughter, New York Times and #1 international bestselling author of Girl, Forgotten
Rachel Krall, the true crime podcaster star of Megan Goldin’s acclaimed The Night Swim, returns to search for a popular influencer who disappears after visiting a suspected serial killer.
Terence Bailey is about to be released from prison for breaking and entering, though investigators have long suspected him in the murders of six women. As his release date approaches, Bailey gets a surprise visit from Maddison Logan, a hot, young influencer with a huge social media following. Hours later, Maddison disappears, and police suspect she’s been kidnapped―or worse. Is Maddison’s disappearance connected to her visit to Bailey? And why was she visiting him in the first place?
When they hit a wall in the investigation, the FBI reluctantly asks for Rachel Krall’s help in finding the missing influencer. Maddison seems to only exist on social media; she has no family, no friends, and other than in her posts, most people have never seen her. Who is she, really? Using a fake Instagram account, Rachel goes undercover to BuzzCon, a popular influencer conference, where she discovers a world of fierce rivalry that may have turned lethal.
When police find the body of a woman with a tattoo of a snake eating its tail―identical to a tattoo Rachel had seen on Bailey’s hand―the FBI must consider a chilling possibility: Bailey has an accomplice on the outside and a dangerous obsession with influencers, including Rachel Krall herself. Suddenly the target of a monster hiding in plain sight, Rachel is forced to confront the very real dangers that lurk in the dark corners of the internet.
The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store
by James McBride
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Named a Must Read for the Summer
The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • Time • AARP • Town & Country • St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“We all need—we all deserve—this vibrant, love-affirming novel that bounds over any difference that claims to separate us.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post
From James McBride, author of the bestselling Oprah’s Book Club pick Deacon King Kong and the National Book Award–winning The Good Lord Bird, a novel about small-town secrets and the people who keep them
In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows. Chicken Hill was where Moshe and Chona Ludlow lived when Moshe integrated his theater and where Chona ran the Heaven & Earth Grocery Store. When the state came looking for a deaf boy to institutionalize him, it was Chona and Nate Timblin, the Black janitor at Moshe’s theater and the unofficial leader of the Black community on Chicken Hill, who worked together to keep the boy safe.
As these characters’ stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town’s white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community—heaven and earth—that sustain us.
Bringing his masterly storytelling skills and his deep faith in humanity to The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, James McBride has written a novel as compassionate as Deacon King Kong and as inventive as The Good Lord Bird.
In a Quiet Town
by Amber Garza
“Turn[ing] a familiar suburban setting into a deliciously chilling landscape… Garza once again proves she’s a master of twisted relationships.” —Ashley Winstead, author of In My Dreams I Hold a Knife
In this chilling new novel, a woman discovers that her estranged daughter is missing, but no one believes her, until she meets a man claiming to be her daughter’s fiancé.
Tatum hasn’t seen her daughter, Adrienne, in years, not since Tatum’s husband—the pastor in their small California town—all but disowned her. When she finally gathers the courage to secretly reconnect with Adrienne, Tatum’s thrilled she’s even willing to talk to her. But then—Adrienne disappears.
Tatum tries desperately to get the police or her husband to take her daughter’s disappearance seriously, but no one will listen, until a mysterious man shows up claiming to be Adrienne’s fiancé. It’s a relief to finally have someone who believes her, someone who’s trying as hard as she is to find out where Adrienne is. But can she trust that this stranger is who he says he is? And can she find her daughter before it’s too late?
Masters of Death
by Olivie Blake
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six comes Masters of Death, a story about vampires, ghosts, and death itself.
*Now newly revised and edited with additional content, this hardcover edition will include new interior illustrations from Little Chmura and special illustrated endpapers from artist Polarts.*
There is a game that the immortals play.
There is only one rule: Don’t lose.
Viola Marek is a struggling real estate agent, and a vampire. But her biggest problem currently is that the house she needs to sell is haunted. The ghost haunting the mansion has been murdered, and until he can solve the mystery of how he died, he refuses to move on.
Fox D’Mora is a medium, and though he is also most-definitely a shameless fraud, he isn’t entirely without his uses―seeing as he’s actually the godson of Death.
When Viola seeks out Fox to help her with the ghost infestation, he becomes inextricably involved in a quest that neither he nor Vi expects (or wants). But with the help of an unruly poltergeist, a demonic personal trainer, a sharp-voiced angel, a love-stricken reaper, and a few mindfulness-practicing creatures, Vi and Fox soon discover the difference between a mysterious lost love and an annoying dead body isn’t nearly as distinct as they thought.
by Lauren J. A. Bear
Genre: Historical Fantasy
A vivid and moving reimagining of the myth of Medusa and the sisters who loved her.
The end of the story is only the beginning…
Even before they were transformed into Gorgons, Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale were unique among their immortal family. Curious about mortals and their lives, Medusa and her sisters entered the human world in search of a place to belong, yet quickly found themselves at the perilous center of a dangerous Olympian rivalry and learned—too late—that a god’s love is a violent one.
Forgotten by history and diminished by poets, the other two Gorgons have never been more than horrifying hags, damned and doomed. But they were sisters first, and their journey from lowly sea-born origins to the outskirts of the pantheon is a journey that rests, hidden, underneath their scales.
Monsters, but not monstrous, Stheno and Euryale will step into the light for the first time to tell the story of how all three sisters lived and were changed by each other, as they struggle against the inherent conflict between sisterhood and individuality, myth and truth, vengeance and peace.
None of This Is True
by Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author known for her “superb pacing, twisted characters, and captivating prose” (BuzzFeed), Lisa Jewell returns with a scintillating new psychological thriller about a woman who finds herself the subject of her own popular true crime podcast.
Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summer crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.
A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.
Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realize that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home.
But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family’s lives under mortal threat.
by Catherine Chidgey
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Europa Editions
A suspenseful new psychological thriller from the Women’s Prize for Fiction longlisted and Dublin Literary Award shortlisted author of Remote Sympathy, Catherine Chidgey.
Like every other girl in her class, twelve-year-old Justine is drawn to her glamorous, charismatic new teacher and longs to be her pet. However, when a thief begins to target the school, Justine’s sense that something isn’t quite right grows ever stronger. With each twist of the plot, this gripping story of deception and the corrosive power of guilt takes a yet darker turn. Justine must decide where her loyalties lie.
Set in New Zealand in the 1980s and probing themes of racism, misogyny and the oppressive reaches of Catholicism, Pet will take a rightful place next to other classic portraits of childhood betrayal and psychological suspense: Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock, and Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping among them.
“Refreshing, compelling and surprising.”―Ann Morgan, author of Beside Myself and Reading the World
Tangled Vines: Power, Privilege, and the Murdaugh Family Murders
by John Glatt
Genre: True Crime
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
In Tangled Vines, bestselling true crime author John Glatt reconstructs the rise of the prestigious Murdaugh family and the shocking double murder that led to the downfall of its patriarch, Alex Murdaugh.
Among the lush, tree-lined waterways of South Carolina low country, the Murdaugh name means power. A century-old, multimillion-dollar law practice has catapulted the family into incredible wealth and local celebrity―but it was an unimaginable tragedy that would thrust them into the national spotlight. On June 7th, 2021, prominent attorney Alex Murdaugh discovered the bodies of his wife, Maggie, and son, Paul, on the grounds of their thousand-acre hunting lodge. The mystery deepened only months later when Alex himself was discovered shot in the head on a local roadside.
But as authorities scrambled for clues and the community reeled from the loss and media attention, dark secrets about this Southern legal dynasty came to light. The Murdaughs, it turned out, were feared as much as they were loved. And they wouldn’t hesitate to wield their influence to protect one of their own; two years before he was killed, a highly intoxicated Paul Murdaugh was at the helm of a boat when it crashed and killed a teenage girl, and his light treatment by police led to speculation that privilege had come into play. As bombshells of financial fraud were revealed and more suspicious deaths were linked to the Murdaughs, a new portrait of Alex Murdaugh emerged: a desperate man on the brink of ruin who would do anything, even plan his own death, to save his family’s reputation.
by Amber Roberts
Publisher: Alcove Press
STEM gets steamy when a coder takes up sexting to pay the bills in this daring debut novel, perfect for fans of Olivia Dade and Kate Stayman-London.
As the only woman programmer at her firm, Lark is thrilled to land an account for a huge client. But her dream job quickly becomes a nightmare when she accidentally projects a scandalous (and completely unsolicited) picture from her phone onto the screen during a presentation. Before she can recover, her coworkers jump in to steal the account, leaving Lark jobless and broke.
When a friend suggests text message–based sex work as a stopgap between jobs, Lark is dubious. She’s all about sex positivity, but carrying out sexual fantasies—even digitally and anonymously—with complete strangers is daunting. How will she explain how she’s earning a living—especially to Toby, her good friend and longtime hopeless crush?
Still, she needs the money, and after a few (embarrassing and hilarious) false starts, she actually starts to like sexting—especially with one particularly charming and nerdy client who keeps popping up in her DMs. But as Lark and Toby grow closer, she finds herself with a decision to make: tell Toby she’s a sex worker—and try to forget the anonymous client who has her struggling to separate work from real feelings—or keep the secrets that are piling up in her inbox.
Sure to appeal to readers of Helen Hoang and Jen DeLuca, Amber Roberts’s Text Appeal celebrates women in STEM, friends becoming lovers, and finding lasting love in the digital age.
Under the Influence
by Noelle Crooks
Genre: Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Gallery Books
The Devil Wears Prada meets The Assistants in this compulsively readable debut following a young woman who takes a job working for an enigmatic influencer and quickly discovers there’s an ugly side to being a #GirlBoss.
After a series of go-nowhere jobs in the New York publishing world, Harper Cruz is broke, lonely, and desperate for a salary that won’t leave her scrambling to make rent each month. So when she stumbles across a job posting from an influencer offering triple her last paycheck, she automatically submits her résumé.
Harper may not be familiar with self-help guru Charlotte Green, but her relentless optimism and charismatic can-do spirit has created a cult-like following of women across the country. When she selects Harper among thousands of other applicants in less than twenty-four hours, it’s obvious she sees something she likes. Despite the pressure to accept the offer just as quickly as she’s been given it, Harper decides to take a leap of faith and become the newest member of The Greenhouse.
Accepting the job means a move to Nashville, and Harper is quickly dazzled by the glamorous world Charlotte has built in Music City. The Greenhouse is more than a workplace—it’s a family—and Harper soon finds herself swept into its inner circle. At first, she loves working in such an inspirational environment, where mandatory dance parties, daily intentions, and group bonding activities make up for long hours and Charlotte’s persistent demands for loyalty. But the deeper Harper is pulled into Charlotte’s world, the more she realizes that having it all and being it all comes with a price.
by Daniel Kraus
Publisher: MTV Books
The Martian meets 127 Hours in this “powerfully humane” (Owen King, New York Times bestselling author) and scientifically accurate thriller about a scuba diver who’s been swallowed by an eighty-foot, sixty-ton sperm whale and has only one hour to escape before his oxygen runs out.
Jay Gardiner has given himself a fool’s errand—to find the remains of his deceased father in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Monastery Beach. He knows it’s a long shot, but Jay feels it’s the only way for him to lift the weight of guilt he has carried since his dad’s death by suicide the previous year.
The dive begins well enough, but the sudden appearance of a giant squid puts Jay in very real jeopardy, made infinitely worse by the arrival of a sperm whale looking to feed. Suddenly, Jay is caught in the squid’s tentacles and drawn into the whale’s mouth where he is pulled into the first of its four stomachs. He quickly realizes he has only one hour before his oxygen tanks run out—one hour to defeat his demons and escape the belly of a whale.
Suspenseful and cinematic, Whalefall is an “astoundingly great” (Gillian Flynn, New York Times bestselling author) thriller about a young man who has given up on life…only to find a reason to live in the most dangerous and unlikely of places.