Here for your consideration are a variety of recent novels with a prison theme.
“An Ohio death row inmate, convicted of killing his 16-year-old girlfriend when he was 17 years old, dies of heart disease. Six years later, the police arrest a Canadian expatriate living in Sweden for repeatedly kicking a drunken man in the head. A cantankerous Det. Supt. Ewert Grens of the Stockholm police discovers that the foreigner in their jail cell is a convicted murderer, the same death row inmate who supposedly died in America six years earlier.” – publisher
“*Starred Review* Bruen and Starr’s third tag-team free-for-all seems engineered to be a pleasure of the guiltiest kind, like No Country for Old Men as directed by Mel Brooks. Max Fisher, legend in his own mind, is finally where he truly belongs: prison. Will his backside withstand the unwelcome attention of the Crips, the Aryan Brotherhood, and his hulking cell mate Rufus? Does bullshit float? For a time, yes, and Max swaggers like Don Rickles cast as Travis Bickle. Far away, Max’s ex, Angela Petrakos, is engaged in bloody deeds with the slimy roué Sebastian (a dead ringer for Lee Child), which will land her in the caged heat of a lesbian prison; well, it is prison on the Isle of Lesbos. Meanwhile, aspiring true-crime writer Paula Segal agonizes over her lust for Laura Lippman, but would go to the altar and even the conjugal trailer with the repulsive Max in her ruthless hunt for fame. …” – Booklist
The Village : a novel (M) by Nikita Lalwani
“Ray Bhullar arrives early on a winter morning at the gates of a remote Indian village called Ashwer which will be her home for the next three months. Beyond the lockless doors, village life goes on as usual. And yet, the village is anything but normal. Despite the domestic chores being carried out, cooking, fetching water and sewing and laundering linens, Ashwer is a village of murderers, an experimental open prison. And when Ray and her crew take up residence, to observe and to make a documentary, it seems that they are innocent visitors into a violent world.” – publisher
Hell & Gone (M) by Duane Swierczynski
“Picking up where Fun and Games (2011), Swierczynski’s first Charlie Hardie novel, left off, the second starts with the former PI in still hotter water. After the gun battle that ended the debut, a groggy Charlie finds himself in an ambulance, but it isn’t going to the hospital. When he comes to, he’s deep underground, in the prison of all prisons, run by the Accident People. But is he the warden or another prisoner? Hardly matters, since there’s no escape either way. And who are the Accident People? Do they really run a secret America ? Whatever; Charlie is only interested in getting out. The compelling premise pulls all our paranoid strings, and Swierczynski, like a mad scientist twirling dials, ratchets the tension ever tighter. The claustrophobic setting drives the reader a little crazy, too, but that’s the whole point. And don’t expect any release quite yet. The novel ends virtually in midsentence, like a 1950s movie serial, with Charlie in his worst fix yet. Stay tuned for part three of what may be the most unusual thriller series in a long, long time.” – Library Journal