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The Write Stuff: Our picks for Best Beach Books, Part Three

Another mystery: Who is this?
Author's collection

More books, more beach time. Hey, summer 's only started!
This week may we suggest some mighty fine mysteries. You'll have to read them . . . we ain't tellling who done it.

The No. 1 international bestselling author Camilla Läckberg is one of Sweden’s greatest successes. With more than 5 million copies of her books in print and published in thirty-five countries, she has established herself as a crime-writing sensation across the globe. Now, Läckberg returns with The Hidden Child (Pegasus Books, $25.95) chilling and thought-provoking psychological thriller about love, family, secrets, and the consequences of decisions that can’t be undone. Set in Fjallbacka (fyeel-bach-ah), a small resort town on Sweden’s southwestern coast (where Läckberg was born and raised), The Hidden Child alternates between present day and the 1940s to portray the struggle of a young woman facing the darkest chapter of Europe’s—and her mother’s—past.Crime writer Erica Falck should be hard at work on her new novel, but there is something consuming her thoughts—a Nazi medal she discovered in her late mother’s trunk that was wrapped in a blood-stained baby’s dress. Also in the trunk is a set of her mother’s WWII diaries she hasn’t had the nerve to read. Haunted by a childhood of family neglect, Erica resolves—with a little encouragement from her husband, Detective Patrick Hedstrom—to dig deeper into the past to uncover the significance of these items and answer the nagging questions she’s had about her emotionally distant mother. As she delves deeper into her own personal investigation, Erica comes to learn more about her mother’s circle of friends during the Second World War and is determined to track them down to find out more.
At the same time the local police department is trying to solve a murder that is connected to Erica. Local historian, Erik Frankel, was brutally killed in his home shortly after receiving a visit from Erica asking about her mother’s medal. As the investigations develop, the links between the present day murder and the dark secrets of Erica’s mother’s past are too strong to ignore. But who would kill so ruthlessly keep an old secret buried?
Part thriller, part family drama with a devastating love story at its core, The Hidden Child is an engrossing and multi-layered novel that reinforces why Camilla Läckberg is one of the best writers of crime fiction today.

Don’t try to find me.
Though the message on the kitchen white board is in 14-year-old Marley’s handwriting, her mother Rachel knows there has to be some other explanation. Marley would never run away.
I’ll be okay.
Marley is quiet. Innocent. Sheltered. Growing up in Northern California with all the privilege Rachel never had, what does Marley know about taking care of herself? About being okay? Rachel may not know her daughter as well as she thought, but she does know all too well that she desperately needs to find Marley before someone else—someone dangerous—does.
I’ll be better.
Welcome to Holly Brown's Don't Try and Find Me (William Morrow, $25.99)
The police have limited resources to devote to runaways. If Rachel and her husband, Paul, want their daughter back, they will have to find her themselves. But Marley isn’t the only one with something to hide. Paul’s social media campaign generates national media attention, and the public scrutiny could expose Rachel’s darkest secrets. And when she blows a live television interview, the dirty speculation begins…
I love you.
The blogosphere is convinced Rachel is hiding something. It’s not what they think; she would never hurt her daughter. At least not intentionally. But once Rachel’s lies are in the open, the devoted mother becomes a prime suspect in Marley’s disappearance.
Is Marley out there, watching the dramatic search unfold? Is she safe or in danger?Can she be found—and more importantly, does she want to be found?

Tania Malik was partially inspired to write Three Bargains (W. W. Nortom, $25.95) to explore the theme of paternal love. Malik was intrigued that a father's connection to the family structure (unlike a mother's) seem more prone to the vagaries of circumstances-whether poverty, job security, addiction or any of the many other pressures of life. These thoughts led Malik to the question: given a choice, what kind of father would a child choose?
Although there are many stories of adopted children searching for their birth mothers, or mothers wondering what happened to the child they had given up for adoption, there are fewer stories of a father attempting the same journey for his lost child.
By the bands of the river Yamuna in northern India, where rice paddies of basmati merge into fields of sugarcane, twelve-year-old Madan arrives with his family in the factory town of Gorapur. Madan's father, drunk and abusive, threatens the family's already tenuous, lowly position in Gorapur, finally committing an unforgivable crime.
But when Madan's sharp mind and hardened determination catch the attention of Avtaar Singh, his father's employer and the most powerful man in town, everything seems to change for Madan and his family. Avtaar Singh becomes a father to Madan in every way except blood. A novel about fathers and sons, the ties that bind, and the barriers of class that even love cannot break, Three Bargains is a stunning debut.

Internationally bestselling author Cecelia Ahern delivers her biggest, most mature, and most compelling book yet. It's a novel of secrets, second chances, and the hidden connections that unite our lives in one universal story, One Hundred Names (William Morrow, $15.99) will grip you with its emotional power and mesmerize you with its magic.
The novel follows journalist Kitty Logan’s quest to uncover the mystery behind a list of one hundred names inherited from her mentor, Constance, and to tell the story of those one hundred names—the story that Constance never had the chance to write. But, without explanation, context or direction, Kitty has nothing to go on—and before she can tap Constance, the only one who knows the meaning of the mysterious list—it’s too late.
Although her career, her reputation and her personal life are all in ruins, Kitty decides to take on the biggest challenge of her career—to not only track down and meet the people on Constance’s list, but also to find out how they are all connected. In the process of hearing these ordinary stories, Kitty uncovers Constance’s story… and starts to understand her own.

Fatal Conceit (Gallery Books, $26) will capture readers from the start with a CIA chief who dies under suspicious circumstances before he is about to testify about a controversial government cover-up involving a terrorist attack on the US mission in Chechnya.
When the CIA director is murdered, Butch Karp finds himself battling a heavyweight opponent: the US government. The national presidential election campaign’s foreign policy mantra has been that the terrorists are on the run and Bin Laden is dead. There are rumors that the CIA chief was going to deviate from the administration version of events, and that the government may have had something to do with his death. Can Karp expose the cover-up and find the Chechnyan separatists who aided the Americans at the mission and who have firsthand knowledge of the terrorist attack? Karp must also find his missing daughter, who has been taken hostage by the terrorists.
After the New York grand jury indicts the national presidential campaign chairman and the NSA spymaster for the murder of the CIA chief, Karp engages in an unforgettable courtroom confrontation with the defendants who have the full weight of the US administration, a hostile judge, and a compliant media supporting them. These sinister forces will stop at nothing to prevent Karp from bringing out the truth, even if they have to resort to murder.

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