Here are a shelf of Southern books that you can plow through this summer:
"Unseen" by Karin Slaughter: Slaughter sets the latest volume of her popular ong-running Georgia-based series in Macon, whereGBI agent Will Trent goes undercover to infiltrate a vicious crime ring run by a legendary kingpin,Big Whitey. Trent maintains his usual sangfroid as he dodges Whitey's sadistic minions and is throwninto the path of a cop known for getting other cops killed. What gets under hisskin is how the case threatens to ruin his relationship with the first woman who's ever loved him. July 2. Delacorte Press. $27.
"Criminal" by Terra Elan McVoy: Inspired by news events, McVoy's latestyoung adult novel tells the story of a young woman who helps her boyfriend assassinate someone.But this tale of blind obsession for a no-good guy resonates with adults, too. A dysfunctional home and a history of unhealthy relationships lead Dee to make bad choices when it comes to finding a mate. This book explores that idea, but also looks at what it takes to heal from past wounds and move toward a healthier life. Out now. Simon Pulse.$17.
"A Questionable Shape" by Bennett Sims: Instead of a zombie apocalypse, Sims creates a zombie encroachment that's more like a bad outbreak of West Nile virus. With the proper precautions, one can avoid being bitten and turned into the flesh-eating undead. Set in Baton Rouge, this is a thinking fan's zombie novel, a little short on action, but one that asks the question: Do we lose our humanity when the world starts to crumble? Out now. Two Dollar Radio. $16.50.
"Dead Ever After" by Charlaine Harris: All good things must come to an end,and so it must be with the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, which launched thehit HBO series "True Blood." After 13 novels and atleast one short story collection, Harris brings to a close the escapades of our favorite telepathic Louisiana roadhouse waitress, Sookie, and her coterie of supernatural associates, including two vampire boyfriends, a were-panther brother, a were-tiger ex-boyfriend, a shape-shifter boss and a mess of fairy cousins. Out now. ACE Books. $28.
"Long Division" by Kiese Laymon: A little fantasy, a little mystery and a lot hilarious, this novel is set in 1964, 1985 and right now -- all at once. The novel is essentially two parallel stories that tell the tale of a bright young African American teenager in Mississippi who is trying to unlock a secret buried within a mysterious book. But unbeknownst to him, his quest will lead him to discover a lot about the kind of man he wants to become. June 15. Bolden. $15.
"The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls" by Anton DiSclafani: Banished from her home on a citrus farm in Florida for her role in a mysterious family tragedy, 15-year-old Thea is sent to a boarding school for debutantes in the Blue Ridge mountains during the midst of the Great Depression. As she struggles to come to terms with the events that landed her there, she tries to navigate a new world of social politics and sexual awakening. June 4. Penguin. $27.95.
"The Night of the Comet" by George Bishop: Obsessed with the coming ofComet Kohoutek, a frustrated high school science teacher tries to bondwith his 14-year-old son, Alan Jr., by giving him a telescope. But instead of pointing it at the stars, Alan Jr. focuses the instrument on the bedroom window of his neighbor and classmate, Gabriella. The closer the comet draws, the more relationships fracture. Aug. 6. Random House. $29.95.
"The Son" by Philipp Meyer: Meyer's harrowing epic spans nearly 200 years of Texas history to chronicle the savagery and moral costs that marked the conquest of the American West. Meyer ("American Rust") introduces three members of the McCullough clan as eyewitnesses: Patriarch Eli, kidnapped as a child by the Comanches and raised a warrior; son Peter, whose diaries document a long-forgotten massacre; and Jeannie, the granddaughter dubbed "nothing but she-stuff," who safeguards her family's wealth. May 28. Ecco. $27.99.
"The Feud: The Hatfields and McCoys, the True Story" by Dean King: King traces the most notorious blood feud in Southern history back to its roots in the mid-1800s, correcting the records with new research, including newspaper accounts, Civil War records, recently discovered journals, forensic evidence and interviews with living family members. In a history as vivid as a novel, King reveals the humanity of two families whose story is about so much more than moonshine and hillbilly grudge fests. Out now. Little, Brown and Company. $27.99.
"The Broken Places" by Ace Atkins: Since 2011's "The Ranger," Sheriff Quinn Colson, veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, has been waging war on crime in his hometown of Jericho, Miss., where meth dealers and gun-runners and the occasional turnip thief always know right where to find him. In Atkins' third installment, two escapees from the notorious Parchman Farm head for Jericho, where their blood money lies at the bottom of a pond and their partner-in-crime is now born-again and dating Quinn's kid sister. May 30. G.P. Putnam's Sons. $26.95.