Nairobi Heat

Mukoma Wa Ngugi's sizzling thriller follows detective Ishmael Fofona from his usual beat in Madison, Wisconsin -- where a white woman's body has turned up on the doorstep of an African peace activist -- to Kenya, where he searches for answers and finds that the terror of past genocides casts a long shadow. Fofona's quest for the truth turns into an action-packed cross-cultural ride, crackling with detail garnered from the author's experience reporting on the African communities in which this story is set.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…