5 books not to miss: John Darnielle’s ‘Devil House,’ new Danya Kukafka thriller

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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. All books are on sale Tuesday.

1. “Devil House,” by John Darnielle (MCD, fiction)

“Devil House,” by John Darnielle.
“Devil House,” by John Darnielle.

What it’s about: From the singer-songwriter of The Mountain Goats and author of “Universal Harvester” comes a dark new novel about true-crime writer Gage Chandler, who moves into a house that was the site of some notorious murders.

The buzz: “An impressively meta work that delivers the pleasures of true-crime while skewering it,” says a starred review for Kirkus Reviews.

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2. “South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation,” by Imani Perry (Ecco, nonfiction)

What it’s about: A Black scholar and native Alabaman returns to the South with fresh eyes. If America’s soul is inextricably linked to the South, understanding the region’s history and culture is essential to understanding the entire country.

The buzz: “A graceful, finely crafted examination of America’s racial, cultural, and political identity. Perry always delivers,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

3. “Notes on an Execution,” by Danya Kukafka (William Morrow, fiction)

What it’s about: The author of “Girl in Snow” returns with an empathetic and gripping story about a serial killer on death row primarily told from the perspectives of the women in his life as the clock ticks to his execution.

The buzz: A starred review from Publishers Weekly calls it a “masterly thriller” and says “Megan Abbott fans will be pleased.”

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4. “Goliath,” by Tochi Onyebuchi (Tordotcom, fiction)

What it's about: In his adult novel debut and sci-fi epic, Onyebuchi sets his story in the 2050s, when those with wealth have departed Earth for space colonies, leaving those behind to salvage what they can from crumbling remains.

The buzz: Publishers Weekly calls it “urgent, gorgeous work.”

5. “Defenestrate,” by Renée Branum (Bloomsbury, fiction)

What it’s about: Twins Marta and Nick are haunted by their ancestral “falling curse” where members of their family tend to die or get grievously injured in serious falls. Can they overcome old superstitions and their own personal demons?

The buzz: “A serious story, luminously told,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: John Darnielle’s ‘Devil House,’ Danya Kukafka thriller: 5 new books