Diane Cook’s ‘New Wilderness,’ ‘Little Scratch’

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In search of something good to read? USA TODAY’s Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases.

1. “The New Wilderness,”by Diane Cook (Harper, fiction, on sale Aug. 11)

What it’s about: Cook imagines a future in which wilderness has become invite-only. Bea and her 5-year-old daughter Agnes, who’s sick from the smog and pollution in their overdeveloped city, go to live in the Wilderness State. Their bond is tested as they get further from civilization.

The buzz: “A gripping adventure that denies its readers easy answers, ‘The New Wilderness’ is an important debut,” says a ★★★★ (out of four) review for USA TODAY.

"The New Wilderness," by Diane Cook.

2. “Then She Vanished,”by T. Jefferson Parker (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, nonfiction, Aug. 11)

What it’s about: Private eye Roland Ford takes a job for a fellow Marine and a rising politician. He’s a man with a lot of enemies, and when his wife goes missing, it seems like revenge, but their troubled marriage complicates the case.

The buzz: “Parker’s incisive character portraits and smooth, confident prose make his latest thriller taut and engaging,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

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