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Three New Books Expose the Darker Side of NorCal

Local writers have menace on their minds.


The Goddesses, Swan Huntley
The skinny: Huntley (We Could Be Beautiful) returns with a psychological thriller about upper-middle-class yoga enthusiasts in Hawaii.
Local inspiration: “I’ve been going to meditation at Spirit Rock [in Woodacre]…. We sit there for two hours being peaceful beings and talking about kindness in the world, and then I go into the parking lot and people just cut me off.”
Doubleday, July 25

My Absolute Darling, Gabriel Tallent
The skinny: The anticipated debut novel from 29-year-old Mendocino native Tallent follows an almost-feral teenage girl trying to extricate herself from the watch of her survivalist dad.
Local inspiration: “I wrote this from a place of missing Mendocino—all these creeks and forests and gulches that were so important to me as a child. That made visible the vast meaningfulness of the place.”
Riverhead Books, Aug. 29

The Education of a Coroner, John Bateson
The skinny: A foot washes ashore on Stinson Beach. A chewed-up body is discovered in Tiburon. They’re among the gruesome and mysterious cases handled by real-life Marin County coroner Ken Holmes.
Local inspiration: “Marin is a very affluent county, a very small county, but it has a national reputation. You have the Golden Gate Bridge and San Quentin and all the celebrity deaths. So in terms of setting, Marin has a lot of appealing elements.”
Scribner, Aug. 15


Originally published in the August issue of San Francisco 

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