Book picks similar to
The Breath of Night by Michael Arditti


mystery
historical-fiction
suspense
religion

What Lies Between Us


Nayomi Munaweera - 2016
    When tragedy strikes, she and her mother must seek safety by immigrating to America. There the girl reinvents herself as an American teenager to survive, with the help of her cousin; but even as she assimilates and thrives, the secrets and scars of her past follow her into adulthood. In this new country of freedom, everything she has built begins to crumble around her, and her hold on reality becomes more and more tenuous. When the past and the present collide, she sees only one terrible choice.

Little Wolves


Thomas Maltman - 2012
    A penetrating look at small-town America from the award-winning author of The Night Birds, Little Wolves weaves together elements of folklore and Norse mythology while being driven by a powerful murder mystery; a page-turning literary triumph.

The Invisible Ones


Stef Penney - 2011
    It has been seven years since she disappeared, and nobody said a word. Now, following the death of his wife, her father Leon feels compelled to find her. Rumour had it she ran off when her baby boy was born with the family's genetic disorder. Leon is not so sure. He wants to know the truth and he hires a private investigator to discover it - Ray Lovell. Ray starts to delve deeper, but his investigation is hampered by the very people who ought to be helping him - the Jankos. He cannot understand their reluctance to help. Why don't they want to find Rose Janko?

Disappearing Earth


Julia Phillips - 2019
    In the ensuing weeks, then months, the police investigation turns up nothing. Echoes of the disappearance reverberate across a tightly woven community, with the fear and loss felt most deeply among its women.Set on the remote Siberian peninsula of Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth draws us into the world of an astonishing cast of characters, all connected by an unfathomable crime. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty – densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes and the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska – and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused.In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, and through a young writer's virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this powerful novel provides a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before.Beautifully written, thought-provoking, intense and cleverly wrought, this is the most extraordinary first novel from a mesmerising new talent.

The Majesties


Tiffany Tsao - 2018
    Gwendolyn and Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, eminent, and sometimes deceitful family, they’ve relied on each other for support and confidence. But now Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor of Estella’s poisoning of their whole clan. As Gwendolyn struggles to regain consciousness, she desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to this shocking and brutal act. Was it their aunt’s mysterious death at sea? Estella’s unhappy marriage to a dangerously brutish man? Or were the shifting loyalties and unspoken resentments at the heart of their opulent world too much to bear? Can Gwendolyn, at last, confront the carefully buried mysteries in their family’s past and the truth about who she and her sister really are? Traveling from the luxurious world of the rich and powerful in Indonesia to the most spectacular shows at Paris Fashion Week, from the sunny coasts of California to the melting pot of Melbourne’s university scene, The Majesties is a haunting and deeply evocative novel about the dark secrets that can build a family empire—and also bring it crashing down.

Silence Once Begun


Jesse Ball - 2014
    Known as the “Narito Disappearances,” the crime has authorities baffled—until a confession appears on the police’s doorstep, signed by Oda Sotatsu, a thread salesman. Sotatsu is arrested, jailed, and interrogated—but he refuses to speak. Even as his parents, brother, and sister come to visit him, even as his execution looms, and even as a young woman named Jito Joo enters his cell, he maintains his vow of silence. Our narrator, a journalist named Jesse Ball, is grappling with mysteries of his own when he becomes fascinated by the case. Why did Sotatsu confess? Why won’t he speak? Who is Jito Joo? As Ball interviews Sotatsu’s family, friends, and jailers, he uncovers a complex story of heartbreak, deceit, honor, and chance. Wildly inventive and emotionally powerful, Silence Once Begun is a devastating portrayal of a justice system compromised, and evidence that Jesse Ball is a voraciously gifted novelist working at the height of his powers.

Hunters in the Dark


Lawrence Osborne - 2015
    As he crosses the border from Thailand, he tests the threshold of a new future.And on that first night, a small windfall precipitates a chain of events-- involving a bag of “jinxed” money, a suave American, a trunk full of heroin, a hustler taxi driver, and a rich doctor’s daughter-- that changes Robert’s life forever.Hunters in the Dark is a sophisticated game of cat and mouse redolent of the nightmares of Patricia Highsmith, where identities are blurred, greed trumps kindness, and karma is ruthless. Filled with Hitchcockian twists and turns, suffused with the steamy heat and pervasive superstition of the Cambodian jungle, and unafraid to confront difficult questions about the machinations of fate, this is a masterful novel that confirms Lawrence Osborne’s reputation as one of our finest contemporary writers.

The Earthquake Bird


Susanna Jones - 2001
    Like Lucy, Lily has also fled an unhappy life in Yorkshire, but as Lily insinuates herself into Lucy's life, Lucy finds that she has gained a friend but lost her sometime lover, Teiji. "I had been in possession of a lover and a friend. Now I had neither. They had stolen themselves from each other and me." When Lily disappears and her body is found dismembered in Tokyo Bay, Lucy becomes the chief suspect and the focus of an intense police interrogation, through which she narrates her life story. From her unwelcome birth through her painful Yorkshire childhood, Lucy illuminates her growing fascination with music and language, both of which helped provide her means of escape.But Lucy now must struggle to prove her innocence in the murder of Lily. Alas, the first person she must convince is herself. "The defendant must decide how to plead. And here is my plea. Not guilty, but not not guilty.... I, of all people, should not be too hasty to judge." As she probes ever deeper into the enigmatic mind of Lucy Fly, Susanna Jones creates a brilliantly rendered drama of psychological suspense in which the ghostly vestiges of guilt, the thin line between love and obsession, and the seeming clarity of language combine to cloud the judgment of both character and reader alike.

The Paris Enigma


Pablo De Santis - 2007
    The Twelve Detectives—a society of the twelve most famous, compelling, and dazzling detectives from around the world—have been asked to discuss the secrets of their trade as part of the fair's lineup of events. The Twelve travel to Paris to convene as a single body for the first time, but also, if some whispers are to be believed, to debate the very philosophy that underlies their pursuit of the world's most wanted criminals.But one detective is conspicuously absent: the legendary founding member of The Twelve, Renato Craig, will not attend. In his place he sends his novice assistant, Sigmundo Salvatrio—son of a shoemaker, a lifelong detective-arts devotee, and the only remaining student of Craig's famed Academy for Detectives in Buenos Aires. Salvatrio arrives in Paris, carrying a secret message meant only for Craig's best friend and cofounder of The Twelve, the brilliant, brooding, and fiercely competitive Viktor Arzaky.When a member of The Twelve is discovered dead at the foot of the gleaming Eiffel Tower, the first in what turns into a series of grisly murders, Arzaky and Salvatrio find themselves in a race against time around glorious fin de siècle Paris, encountering all manner of secret societies, solving philosophical puzzles, while also trying to save a dangerously beautiful woman.The pair soon realizes that the stakes involved are unimaginably high; they must not only catch the stalking murderer but also alter the fate of their precious brotherhood.Written in a strikingly original voice, and poignantly evoking a world about to lose its innocence forever, The Paris Enigma opens a window onto crime solving's early days, when wit, common sense, and intelligence were the only tools a detective could rely on.

Red Dress in Black & White


Elliot Ackerman - 2020
    But when she decides to leave her marriage and return home to the United States with William and her photographer lover, Murat determines to take a stand. He enlists the help of an American diplomat to prevent his wife and child from leaving the country--but, by inviting this scrutiny into their private lives, Murat becomes only further enmeshed in a web of deception and corruption. As the hidden architecture of these relationships is gradually exposed, we learn the true nature of a cast of struggling artists, wealthy businessmen, expats, spies, a child pulled in different directions by his parents, and, ultimately, a society in crisis. Riveting and unforgettably perceptive, Red Dress in Black and White is a novel of personal and political intrigue that casts light into the shadowy corners of a nation on the brink.

Ilustrado


Miguel Syjuco - 2008
    On a clear day in winter, the battered corpse of Crispin Salvador is pulled from the Hudson River—taken from the world is the controversial lion of Philippine literature. Gone, too, is the only manuscript of his final book, a work meant to rescue him from obscurity by exposing the crimes of the Filipino ruling families. Miguel, his student and only remaining friend, sets out for Manila to investigate.To understand the death, Miguel scours the life, piecing together Salvador’s story through his poetry, interviews, novels, polemics, and memoirs. The result is a rich and dramatic family saga of four generations, tracing 150 years of Philippine history forged under the Spanish, the Americans, and the Filipinos themselves. Finally, we are surprised to learn that this story belongs to young Miguel as much as to his lost mentor, and we are treated to an unhindered view of a society caught between reckless decay and hopeful progress.Exuberant and wise, wildly funny and deeply moving, Ilustrado explores the hidden truths that haunt every family. It is a daring and inventive debut by a new writer of astonishing talent.

Michelangelo's Notebook


Paul Christopher - 2005
    But that very night, someone breaks into her apartment-murdering her boyfriend and stealing the sketches she made of the drawing. Fleeing for her life, Finn heads to the address her mother had given her for emergencies, where she finds the enigmatic antiquarian book dealer, Michael Valentine. Together, they embark on a desperate race through the city-and through the pages of history itself-to expose an electrifying secret from the final days of World War II-a secret that lies in the dark labyrinthine heart of the Vatican.

Case Histories


Kate Atkinson - 2004
    Case one: A little girl goes missing in the night. Case two: A beautiful young office worker falls victim to a maniac's apparently random attack. Case three: A new mother finds herself trapped in a hell of her own making - with a very needy baby and a very demanding husband - until a fit of rage creates a grisly, bloody escape.Thirty years after the first incident, as private investigator Jackson Brodie begins investigating all three cases, startling connections and discoveries emerge . . .

The Cold Song


Linn Ullmann - 2011
    Siri and Jon have two daughters, and together they spend their summers on the coast of Norway, in a mansion belonging to Jenny Brodal, Siri’s stylish and unforgiving mother.   Siri and Jon’s marriage is loving but difficult, and troubled by painful secrets. They have a strained relationship with their elder daughter, Alma, who struggles to find her place in the family constellation. When Milla is hired as a nanny to allow Siri to work her long hours at the restaurant and Jon to supposedly meet the deadline on his book, life in the idyllic summer community takes a dire turn. One rainy July night, Milla disappears without a trace. After her remains are discovered and a suspect is identified, everyone who had any connection with her feels implicated in her tragedy and haunted by what they could have done to prevent it.  The Cold Song is a story about telling stories and about how life is continually invented and reinvented.

The Possible World


Liese O'Halloran Schwarz - 2018
    He’s traumatized and wordless; everything he knows has been taken from him in an afternoon. It’s not clear what he saw, or what he remembers.Lucy, who’s grappling with a personal upheaval of her own, feels a profound, unexpected connection to the little boy. She wants to help him…but will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further? Across town, Clare will soon be turning one hundred years old. She has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, but a surprising encounter makes her realize that the time has come to tell her story. As Ben, Lucy, and Clare struggle to confront the events that shattered their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together. An expertly stitched story that spans nearly a century—from the Great Depression through the Vietnam War era and into the present—The Possible World is a captivating novel about the complicated ways our pasts shape our identities, the power of maternal love, the loneliness born out of loss, and how timeless bonds can help us triumph over grief.