Nick and Phoebe Maguire move cross-country to Southern California in search of a fresh start for themselves and their infant son following a trauma. But instead of landing in a beachside property, Nick and Phoebe find themselves cemented into the dark heart of foreclosure alley, surrounded by neighbors being drowned by their underwater homes who set fire to their belongings, flee in the dead of night, and eye one another with suspicion while keeping shotguns by their beds. Trapped, broke and increasingly desperate, Nick and Phoebe each devise their own plan to claw their way back into the middle class and beyond. Hatched under one roof, their two separate, secret agendas will inevitably collide.
In 1953, a 27-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison --- who suffered from severe epilepsy --- received a radical new version of the then-common lobotomy, targeting the most mysterious structures in the brain. The operation failed to eliminate Henry’s seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long-term memories. Over the next 60 years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a human guinea pig who would teach us much of what we know about memory today. Luke Dittrich’s investigation into the dark roots of modern memory science ultimately forces him to confront unsettling secrets in his own family history.
Is it still possible to fake your own death in the 21st century? With six figures of student loan debt, Elizabeth Greenwood was tempted to find out. So she sets off on a foray into the world of death fraud, where for $30,000 a consultant can make you disappear. But your suspicious insurance company might hire a private detective to dig up your coffin…only to find it filled with rocks. Along the way, Greenwood learns that love is a much less common motive than money, and that making your death look like a drowning virtually guarantees you’ll be caught. (Disappearing while hiking, however, is a great way to go.)
Arrowood, the most ornate and grand of the historical houses that line the Mississippi River, has a mystery it has never revealed: It’s where Arden Arrowood’s younger twin sisters vanished on her watch 20 years ago, never to be seen again. After the twins’ disappearance, Arden’s parents divorced and the Arrowoods left the big house that had been in their family for generations. Arden has held on to the hope that her sisters are still alive, and it seems she can’t move forward until she finds them. When her father dies and she inherits Arrowood, Arden returns to her childhood home determined to discover what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer.
Parker House, a fresh-faced North Carolina attorney, shares his German grandfather’s uncanny ability to see future events in his mind’s eye --- a gift that has haunted 82-year-old Frank House through decades of trying to erase a murderous wartime past. While Parker navigates the intrigue and politics of small-town courtroom law, Frank is forced to face his darkest regrets. Then a big career break for Parker collides with a new love he longs to nurture and the nightmares his grandfather can no longer escape. Sudden peril threatens to shatter not only Parker’s legal prospects but also his life and the lives of those dearest to him.
Two police officers are about to head home when they receive one last call. En route to investigate, the patrol car spins off the road, killing one of the exhausted cops and leaving the other in critical condition. Detective Peter Diamond, who is assigned to look into the case, discovers that a civilian on a motorized tricycle was involved in the crash and has been lying on the side of the road for hours. Diamond administers CPR, but the man’s fate is unclear. As he lingers on life support, Diamond must wrestle with the fact that he may have saved the life of a serial killer.
Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom…or death. Alone and despondent, she is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers. As she waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, she refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer.
Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. Now, at 33, she is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. When she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there’s no one to turn to. But someone has been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once again what a perfect friend she can be. It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie’s doorstep, just when Edie needs her the most. Edie is about to learn a new lesson: Those who have hurt us deeply --- or who we have hurt --- never let us go, not entirely.
When long-serving Kentucky sheriff Lew Mattock is murdered by a confused, drug-addicted teenager, chief deputy Harlan Dupee is tasked with solving the crime. But as Harlan soon discovers, his former boss wasn't exactly innocent. The investigation throws Harlan headlong into the burgeoning OxyContin trade --- from the slanted steps of trailer parks to the manicured porches of prominent citizens, from ATV trails and tobacco farms to riverboat casinos and country clubs. As the evidence draws him closer to an unlikely suspect, Harlan comes to question whether the law can even right a wrong during the corrupt and violent years that followed the release of OxyContin.
The story of the world's greatest civilization spans 4,000 years of history that has shaped the world. It is full of spectacular cities and epic stories --- an evolving society rich in inventors, heroes, heroines, villains, artisans and pioneers. Professor Joann Fletcher pulls together the complete story of Egypt --- charting the rise and fall of the ancient Egyptians while putting their whole world into a context to which we can all relate.