"The Forgotten" (Grand Central Publishing), by David Baldacci

David Baldacci brings back Army Special Agent John Puller in The Forgotten, a follow-up to 2011's Zero Day. In this new thriller, Puller receives a letter from his aunt that propels him into a conspiracy.

Puller arrives to visit his aunt in Paradise, Fla., but discovers she has died. He believes she was murdered, but the local police aren't interested in his opinion. Puller must endure the wrath of both local law enforcement and the people who knew his aunt.

Baldacci is a master when it comes to writing about small-town conspiracies and a lone hero who fights against all odds to clean up corruption. The narrative moves slowly, so the reader has a chance to solve the case along with Puller. The final reveal will surprise even hardcore thriller junkies.

Francis' book is a 'Diary' worth a read

"Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter: a Memoir" (Weinstein Books), by Melissa Francis

Fox Business Network anchor Melissa Francis grew up a child actress, landing a full-time role on Little House on the Prairie when she was 8 years old. What people might not know is that her mother was so invested in her daughter's show-biz career that she was often manipulative and selfish.

Francis writes about her own experience in the memoir, Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter. She tells how her mother was like a drill sergeant, while at home, the conditions were often that of squalor. When Francis wasn't working, her mother would fall into a deep depression. Francis' older sister, Tiffany, was often the forgotten child and began to act out as a result.

Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter is not only a fascinating read but also a sad one because it's the story of a family's destruction. Ultimately it's also an inspiring story, as Melissa Francis' strength and determination to become more than just a former child star is nothing short of commendable.

-- THE ASSOCIATED PRESS