“The Last Cruise,” By Kate Christensen. Doubleday. 304 pages, July 10, 2018. $26.95

The Last Cruise is Kate Christensen’s first work of fiction in years…and it does not disappoint. In her tale of a harrowing voyage at sea, she weaves together a perfect microcosm of the world today – overwhelming greed paired with selflessness and community; tribalism at its worst, and humanity at its best. At times hysterical, at times heartbreaking, her writing is second to none. And her characters (including a journalist-turned-Maine-farmer) are fantastically conflicted on all levels — both as people and in how they handle the events that unfold on the ill-fated cruise ship, which is making its final voyage, en route to Hawaii from Long Beach, California. I finished the book wanting more, but as time went on, I realized Christensen, who splits her time between Portland and New Hampshire’s White Mountains, toed the perfect line throughout. This is a book that lingers with you long after you’ve finished reading. – ARI GERSEN, owner of Longfellow Books in Portland

“Stay Hidden,” by Paul Doiron. Minotaur Books. 336 pages, July 7, 2018. $26.99

Maine author Paul Doiron provides readers yet another sharp twist in his Mike Bowditch mystery series with the release of “Stay Hidden.” Bowditch is now a newly minted Maine Game Warden Investigator after duty in eight previous books as a Maine Game Warden, maturing from raw rookie, son of a notorious poacher, to a widely respected warden. Bowditch’s first investigation carries him to the fictional Maquoit Island, where a woman has been shot by a deer hunter. Though the case seems straightforward, the deer hunter says he didn’t shoot her. Mysteries multiply when Ariel Evans, the “dead” woman, arrives very much alive on the next day’s ferry to continue work on her book about the island’s notorious hermit. So who is the dead woman? Islanders aren’t forthcoming about much of anything, including an elusive killer who targets both Bowditch and Evans. – FRANK O SMITH is a Maine writer whose novel, “Dream Singer,” was named a Notable Book of the Year in Literary Fiction in 2014 by “Shelf Unbound.” He reviews books for the Maine Sunday Telegram.

“Long Players: A Love Story in Eighteen Songs,” by Peter Coviello. Penguin Books. 260 pages, June 5, 2018. $16

There are books about divorce and books about stepparenting; Peter Coviello has written a stingingly funny book about being, “of all mystifying things, an ex-stepparent.” After his wife throws him over for another man, Coviello, who has been teaching English at an unnamed Maine college, dedicates himself to “long seasons of postdivorce drifting,” during which he keeps in touch with his two stepdaughters and contemplates his now unquantifiable relationship with them. Throughout the book, Coviello self-medicates with sex and drugs, but it’s rock and roll that proves salvific, and he atomizes his favorite songs with a nuclear physicist’s precision. – NELL BERAM, coauthor of “Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies,” has recently written for the New York Times Book Review and L’Officiel. She reviews books for the Maine Sunday Telegram.