If Elmore Leonard is the literary father of Quentin Tarantino, then George V. Higgins birthed Leonard and The Rat on Fire is his most indulgent masterwork. When a landlord's tenants refuse to pay rent he hires an arsonist to burn them down with astoundingly destructive results. Higgins' greatest strength was acting as Boston's Balzac and the poetry of the street. The language between these pages explodes to Tarantino-esque heights, and I don't use that term lightly.

The Rat on Fire Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307947246
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard - March 6th, 2012

This book is a whirlwind of intrigue, and Rebecca Scherm creates quite the compelling character with her protagonist, Grace. First of all, Grace is a kleptomaniac, but you find yourself rooting for her by the end of the book. She is not exceptionally relatable, but there is just something about the way she develops that evokes empathy for her, and her alone. She is the mastermind behind a heist that sent two of her closest friends to prison, and after she absconds to Paris to live a life on the run, she once again ends up turning to a life a crime to survive. The story is told out of order, through a series of flashbacks, and the literary prose keeps you from putting the book down. Unbecoming is a great coming of age novel that is hard to forget.

Unbecoming: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143128311
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - December 2015

In Simon Sylvester's The Visitors there are peculiar disappearances, a teenage girl who wants nothing more than to leave a tiny Scottish island, and an odd father and daughter pair who move in next door. Yet The Visitors is much more than a whodunit, as Sylvester weaves in myth and gives us an uncanny story of change, loss, and place, and of our desire for a home and an identity we can claim as our own.

The Visitors Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612194639
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Melville House - December 29th, 2015