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The books I enjoy most are those with hidden plot twists, books with unexpected endings, or books that surprise readers in any number of ways. The books recommended here are either explorations of new genres for their writers, familiar characters acting in new and different ways, or are books where reality is turned inside out. These books may appeal to you too.

Lisa Scottoline’s latest book, “Accused,” is her 12th featuring Rosato & Associates, a dynamic all-female law firm set in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Recently promoted to partner, Mary DiNunzio is approached by 13-year-old Allegra Gardner whose older sister, Fiona, had been murdered six years earlier. Allegra doesn’t believe the man jailed for Fiona’s death, Lonnie Stall, is guilty of the crime, even though he’s confessed to the murder and was seen fleeing the scene covered in blood. As DiNunzio works to uncover the truth, Allegra’s parents block the investigation at every turn, making this case the firm’s most dangerous one yet.

Although Stephen King has written bestselling novels in many genres, his latest book “Mr. Mercedes” is the first detective thriller he’s ever written. In it Detective Bill Hodges comes out of retirement to respond to a taunting letter from the crazed driver of a Mercedes that ran over job seekers waiting in line outside a job fair, killing eight and wounding 15. The driver, Brady Hartfield, intends more mayhem, so it’s up to Detective Hodges, his 17-year-old neighbor and a victim’s sister to find clues in Brady’s computer records before he can kill more innocent people.

Australian author Liane Moriarty’s fifth novel “The Husband’s Secret,” entangles the lives of Cecilia Fitzpatrick, Tess O’Leary, her son Liam, and Rachel Crowley at St. Angela’s Primary School in Sydney where Liam is enrolled. The school’s secretary, Rachel, is convinced that St. Angela’s PE teacher, Tess’s old boyfriend, Connor Whitby, is the man who got away with murdering Rachel’s daughter 30 years earlier. In the meantime, Cecilia has opened a letter from her husband that should have remained sealed until his death, turning her perfectly ordered life upside down. A page turner of a book, the challenging plot engages its characters and its readers fully.

Another fifth novel, this time by Michael Connelly, called “The Gods of Guilt,” is a book that returns to the courtroom skills of defense attorney Mickey Haller. Known as “the Lincoln lawyer” because he works out of his Lincoln Town car, Haller has accepted the case of Andre Le Cosse, a computer expert charged with the murder of a prostitute. Haller thought he’d rescued the victim, Giselle Dallinger, from her life in prostitution, but soon learns she’d returned to her former profession shortly before her death. As Haller and his associates work to find a plausible alternate motive for the crime, Haller finds he must look inward to confront inner gods of guilt in order to win this case.

Fans everywhere can rejoice now that the newest installment in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series has been published. The book is called “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood” and it continues the bestselling saga of Claire Randall and her time-traveling clan. Claire is an English ex-military nurse who first disappears from the Scottish Highlands in 1946 when she steps into a stone circle and re-emerges in the year 1743. Gabaldon’s current book is set in 1778, a time when France has declared war on Great Britain and George Washington is chasing British troops out of Valley Forge. Claire’s husband, Jamie Fraser, has returned from his presumed death to discover his family is in utter disarray. The only bright spot is the Frasers believe their daughter Brianna and her family are safe in 20th-century Scotland. They are sadly mistaken. Brianna’s son has been kidnapped by a man who wishes to learn her family’s secrets and Brianna’s husband Roger has travelled into the past to find him. In reality the boy is still in the 10th century and it is Brianna herself who is the kidnapper’s intended target.

By Lisa Shirtz

Reference Department