BY NICO VREELAND

[Find previous installments of JABBIC here. You can suggest covers we should use, or volunteer to write a blurb, by emailing us here.]

JABBIC is kind of like Balderdash with book covers. Based only on the cover at right, four of our contributors made up a one-paragraph premise for this week’s contestant, Finch, by Jeff VanderMeer. Can you reverse-engineer their fabrications and pick out the book’s real plot? (The answer will be posted in the comments later today.)

1.) October, 1945: Nathaniel Finch is the last OSS operative, forgotten in urban India. He’s on the hunt for Nazi holdouts who may have the outline for “the bomb.” Through seedy, late night meet-ups, and broken ciphers, what Nat finds is much more troubling. Could the mythical doomsday device be right under his nose? And with the OSS dissolved only a month earlier, where does he go for help?

2.) The role of Mr. Nice Guy has always suited Atticus Finch, but when his daughter Scout is kidnapped by foreign terrorists and her bodyguard and friend Boo Radley shot dead, Atticus must shed his calm demeanor and become a glass-eating, cold-blooded vigilante. Following a trail of drugs and deception that leads to Morocco, Atticus stumbled across a den of mercenaries in Casablanca working to rob refugees of valuable exit visas—but is Scout more than just an innocent victim? The unauthorized sequel to two of our most treasured stories, Jeff Vandermeer’s riveting thriller is a startling new rendering of a stalwart American hero. Forget all you thought you knew about Atticus Finch.

3.) In the fungus-laden city of Ambergris, hard-boiled detective John Finch must solve the double murder of a human and a fungus. Traditional tropes—femmes fatales, double-crossing agents, underworld crime lords—mix seamlessly with a world in which humans struggle to undermine the authority of sentient fungi in this engrossing recasting of the hard-boiled detective novel.

4.) Jeremy Finch, famous archeologist and Jesuit priest, has spent his career searching for the lost city of Shangri-la. Following a new lead, he decides he must search for clues in his church’s most sacred texts—but first he has to find them. Finch’s superiors know his new line of research poses a threat, and they’re willing to go great lengths in order to protect their institution. part Da Vinci Code, part Celestine Prophesy, Finch is a high-octane thrill-ride that will have you reading on the edge of your seat.

5.) Thomas Finch has been in the Secret Service for 25 years. When his new boss turns out to be a kid half his age, Finch does everything he can to get fired, but instead he only gets reassigned to the detail covering ex-President Jimmy Carter. Their first trip is a “peacekeeping” mission to Istanbul, where Finch accidentally discovers the dark secret Carter has been hiding since his days in the Oval Office. What Finch decides to do about it could rewrite history and change the course of American democracy forever.

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