Posted on August 3, 2021 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

It’s a motley crew of new releases and reviews, with one thing in common — major name recognition for all the authors.

Stephen King is the only one primarily famous for his writing, though, so we’ll start there.

His new novel, Billy Summers, turns The Shining on its head, points out reviewer James Lasdun.

Instead of a writer being driven to murder, we have here a murderer (a hitman, to be a little more specific) pretending to write.

The play works well, says Lasdun, though when the story shifts away from this plot and toward a love interest, King stumbles a bit.

You can read the review of Billy Summers in the New York Times.

Also out today and reviewed by the NY Times: Here, Right Matters, the memoir of Alexander Vindman.

Vindman, as you may remember, was an Army lieutenant colonel on Donald Trump’s National Security Council — and thus a witness to Trump’s suggestion that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky investigate Joe and Hunter Biden.

Vindman’s memoir begins years before he was born, with the miraculous survival of his grandmother during World War II and his father’s battles against anti-Semitism in the USSR.

It shares plenty of powerful moments from Vindman’s own life, says reviewer Risa Brooks, but peaks — as readers may expect or hope — when it arrives at Vindman’s participation in Trump’s first impeachment.

Read the review of Here, Right Matters: An American Story in the NY Times.

And finally, on a much lighter note, we have a romance novel from Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.

Her Heart for a Compass is Ferguson’s first adult novel, written with established romance author Marguerite Kaye, and inspired by an ancestress.

Alison Flood says the historical romance novel is clearly well-researched, though its tone is uneven (at times archaic; at other times, quite modern).

And, she adds, those hoping for another version of Bridgerton, but with a royal connection, should be warned that the love scenes are “all very much above the waistline.”

Read the review of Her Heart for a Compass in the Guardian

Categories: Today in Books

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