Chris Bohjalian can be relied on to take the reader to a new place and time. Whether it’s Vietnam and the birth of a new plague, or on a comic adventure with a flight attendant, or to early 20th century Turkey, his stories are believable and well-researched. In The Hour of the Witch, he tells the story of Mary Deerfield, a young woman in 1662 Boston, who is married to a much older and violently abusive man. When she seeks a divorce after a particularly horrifying attack, she becomes a target for a witchcraft charge, which carries the death penalty. Mary is a complicated heroine, with a belief system that can be difficult for 21st century readers to understand, but I enjoyed getting to know her on her own terms.