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11 New Books Coming in August

Mildred Harnack, born in Milwaukee, lived an extraordinary life: She was studying at a German university when the Nazi party, exploiting the country’s economic and political instability, rose to power. Alarmed, Harnack organized a large underground resistance group in Berlin, and was eventually arrested and killed on Hitler’s orders. Donner — Harnack’s great-great niece — draws on notes, diaries, letters and declassified intelligence materials to offer this window into 1930s Germany and Harnack’s remarkable actions.

Billy Summers isn’t a typical hit man — he’s thinking about Émile Zola when the book opens, for starters, and has a strict rule of only killing “bad guys.” Though he’s close to retirement, he’s persuaded to carry out a last hit, but is wary: “If noir is a genre, then ‘one last job’ is a sub-genre,” he thinks. “In those movies, the last job always goes bad.” His prediction comes true, of course, but King offers plenty of unexpected swerves.

Wilson, a noted literary biographer, uses Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” to structure this book, which focuses on the middle period of Lawrence’s life, from 1915 through 1925. Each section finds the author in a new location — England, Italy and the American Southwest — and follows how he essentially became a different man in each place. As Wilson writes: “For all his

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