Former cop Jack Constantine is in prison for killing one of the men who murdered his pregnant wife in “Break Out” by Paul Herron. A superstorm bears down on the prison, the guards flee, and the cell doors are unlocked. Constantine now has the opportunity to get the two other men responsible for his wife’s death, both of whom are in the same prison. But he also has to avoid the many prisoners who would gladly see an ex-cop die. These especially include Malcolm Kincaid, whom Constantine framed out of frustration that Kincaid had twice escaped justice.
Both funny and poignant, “Lorna Mott Comes Home” by Diane Johnson features the title character leaving France and her French husband to return to San Francisco. There she hopes to reconnect with her grown children from an earlier marriage, and develops a close relationship with her pregnant, diabetic teenage granddaughter. But a mudslide in the French village where she lived entangles her once again with French affairs.
In “The Last Exiles” by Ann Shin, the young North Korean woman Suja finds that Jin, the young man she loves, has disappeared after he stole cornmeal for his starving family. She puts her own life at risk to try to find Jin. The book offers a glimpse of the corruption, black market in human trafficking and other horrible conditions in North Korea.