1. Why Men Lie, Linden MacIntyre, $32
Men don’t change; Effie Gillis knows that. She’s already juggling divorce, disappointment and the disquiets of a disturbed childhood. Now add to that some unexpected distractions following a chance encounter with old friend JC on a Toronto subway platform. Effie wants him to break the cycle of distrust in her life, but twisting the truth is part of his nature. As he pushes Effie to confront the memories and men of her past, she must also concede the truths that shaped her. With frank dialogue and demanding prose, Giller Prize–winning author Linden MacIntyre masterfully reveals the intricacies of Effie’s thoughts. This final instalment of the Cape Breton trilogy follows up on The Long Stretch and The Bishop’s Man. — Alanna Glassman
2. Dr. Brinkley’s Tower, Robert Hough, $25.
The only industry keeping the small Mexican town of Corazón de la Fuente going is a brothel — until the arrival of an American named Dr. Romulus Brinkley. Brinkley’s decision to build a radio tower promoting his much-touted fertility operation boosts the town’s pitiful economy and the morale of its despondent citizens to new-found and boisterous heights. But the benevolent Dr. Brinkley is not all he seems, and the townsfolk soon discover that there may be a high price to pay for their unexpected prosperity. —Mishal Cazmi
3. The Juliet Stories, Carrie Snyder, $23.
Bound for Nicaragua in the 1980s, the Friesen family leave behind all of their friends and possessions in pursuit of peace activism. But what 10-year-old daughter Juliet views as a fun adventure masks a more troublesome tale of political naïveté and marital woes. And as Juliet grows into adulthood, the ramifications of her supposedly carefree childhood in Nicaragua become clear. Fans of The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and Paul Theroux’s The Mosquito Coast will love this one. — Madeline Cravit
4. The Carpenter, Matt Lennox, $30.
After spending 17 years in maximum-security prison for a brutal crime, Lee King has returned to his God-fearing hometown to find much has changed: His mother is dying and his younger sister is married with three children. As Lee sets out to seek redemption and build a new life, a retired cop who was involved in Lee’s arrest finds a body, and he and Lee are caught up in a whole new crime. An engaging debut novel from military man Matt Lennox, The Carpenter brilliantly details small-town life and the lure of revenge and retribution, all with a twist of dark humour. — Lora Grady