Sourland by Joyce Carol Oates
This is sixteen previously uncollected stories that explore how the power of violence, loss, and grief shape both the psyche and the soul. From a desperate man who dons a jack-o'-lantern head as a prelude to a most curious sort of courtship, to a "story of stabbing" many times recounted in the life of a lonely girl; from a beguiling young woman librarian whose amputee state attracts a married man an father, to the concluding title story of an unexpectedly redemptive love rooted in radical aloneness and isolation.
Live to Tell by Wendy Corsi Staub
In a lovely suburban town just north of New York City, the gossip mill runs more efficiently than the commuter-train line. And in every impeccably decorated house, they're talking about Lauren Walsh. They say that nothing could be worse than being abandoned by your husband for another woman. They're wrong... All Lauren wants is to protect her children from the pain of her messy divorce. But when their father goes missing, a case of mistaken identity puts all their lives in danger, and a stealthy predator lurks in the shadows, watching and waiting.
Man in the Woods by Scott Spencer
Paul has been on his own since he was a teenager, leading a life of freedom and independence, beholden to no one and nothing. Fearless, resolute, and guided by his own private moral code, he has hunted for food in Alaska, fought forest fires, and been deputized in a manhunt for a kidnapper in South Dakota. Once he thought his life would have no particular rhyme or reason, touched only by transient strangers. Then he meets the beautiful, intelligent, loving Kate Ellis and her daughter, Ruby, who offer order and constancy. But Paul is a man of deep convictions, and the compromises we all make to get along in the world elude him.
Indian Summer by Elizabeth Darrell
Basking in the warmth of an Indian summer, the British Military in Germany hold an Open Day to ease the stress of constant movements in personnel to and from war zones. Entertainments include medieval knights, jousting, and, for children, a diver in a water tank fighting synthetic oceanic monsters. At midnight, guards discover a body in the tank, with the tentacles of a lifelike jellyfish wound tightly around his throat. The dead man is Corporal Philip Kean, recently returned from Afghanistan, but when officials call to tell his wife the sad news it seems that she and the children have vanished.