A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom, by Brittany K. Barnett. (Crown, 352 pp., $17.) This memoir by Barnett — a young Black lawyer and the cofounder of Buried Alive, an organization that appeals life sentences for nonviolent drug offenders — “unfurls like a coming-of-age story,” our reviewer, Sierra Crane Murdoch, wrote. “In the beginning, Barnett seems innocent, idealistic and mostly content, but as she encounters each case … her eyes open wider.”
LIFE EVENTS, by Karolina Waclawiak. (Picador, 288 pp. $17.) If contemplating your own demise is something you assiduously avoid, then consider this novel about a young woman training as a death doula. According to our critic, Lara Vapnyar, it “offers you a hand, gently helping you pull your head out of the sand to accept the inevitable.”
THE VAPORS: A Southern Family, the New York Mob, and the Rise and Fall of Hot Springs, America’s Forgotten Capital of Vice, by David Hill. (Picador, 416 pp., $19.) During the boozy, sin-soaked heyday of this nightclub-studded Arkansas resort, “the town’s chief municipal expression was a wink,” Jonathan Miles wrote in his review. “The mayors winked. The cops winked. The preachers winked, or at least averted their gaze.”
THE PATIENT, by Jasper DeWitt. (Mariner, 224 pp., $15.99.) As our thrillers columnist, Sarah Lyall, put it last year, “Imagine a mental patient so malevolent, so diabolical, that anyone who comes into contact with him — psychiatrists, nurses, orderlies, other patients — is driven insane. That is the delightfully bonkers premise” of this novel, which is set, naturally, at a remote and forbidding hospital.