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The Arsonist

Stephanie Oakes

Oakes' (Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly, 2015) second novel is a tale of love and loss that follows Molly Mavity who is facing a disastrous summer. Her father is a convicted murderer and his execution is fast approaching, her foot is in a cast, and she refuses to believe that her mother is dead and waits for the day when they'll be reunited. When Molly receives a mysterious message it leads her to Pepper Al-Yusef, a Kuwaiti immigrant who suffers from epilepsy. They're tasked by a stranger to solve a decades-old mystery: who killed Ava Dreyman, the East German resistance fighter whose murder at age 17 led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall. All she left behind was a diary which might also hold clues to the disappearance of Molly’s mother. To unlock its secrets she and Pepper will have to travel all the way to Berlin and back.