Reviews of the latest books from Dustin Thomason, Rachel Cusk, and more

By EW Staff
Updated August 03, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

12.21, Dustin Thomason
Thomason’s solo debut is a smart twist on the genre of Mayan-calendar-inspired disaster epics.

Aftermath, Rachel Cusk
The author of 2003’s A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother dives into domesticity once more in a poetic if often thuddingly self-absorbed account of her divorce.

The Dead Do Not Improve, Jay Caspian Kang
M.F.A. grad Philip Kim unwittingly becomes embroiled in a violent scheme that leads him to a bizarre San Francisco subculture.

Domestic Affairs, Bridget Siegel
Siegel, a political consultant who raised millions for the 2004 Kerry/Edwards campaign, brings insider knowledge to her debut about a juicy election-year scandal.

In the Shadow of the Banyan, Vaddey Ratner
Set during the Cambodian holocaust in the 1970s, when an estimated 2 million people died, Ratner’s first novel follows a 7-year-old girl’s incredible story of survival amid unspeakable tragedy.

The Prophet, Michael Koryta
A beloved small-town football coach is linked to a horrific murder in the ninth novel from the author of The Cypress House.