PositiveBooklistInstantly gripping, with realistic action, a breath-snatching twist, and a few untied ends that hopefully signal a sequel.
PositiveBooklistFollowers of the popular podcast Lore and the horror film Slender Man will enjoy this suspenseful tale. Also recommend C. J. Tudor’s The Chalk Man (2018) and Luca Veste’s The Bone Keeper (2018).
PositiveBooklistPowerful courtroom scenes invite comparisons to Scott Turow, but Kim’s nuanced exploration of guilt, resentment, maternal love, and multifaceted justice may have stronger appeal for readers drawn to the Shakespearean tragedies in Chris Bohjalian’s Midwives (1997) and William Landay’s Defending Jacob (2012).
RaveBooklistSwanson has crafted another bar-raising psychological thriller with this tense, unexpected spin on serial killers and those obsessed with them.
PositiveBooklistImbued with all the grit, blood, and pervasive damp of the best Celtic crime, this series is destined to become a favorite among Adrian McKinty’s and Denise Mina’s followers.
PositiveBooklistA tense exploration of manipulation and betrayal ... A solid psychological thriller with carefully developed characters and disturbing, cleverly masked revelations that will appeal to fans of Tana French and Sophie Hannah’s procedurals.
C J Tudor
PositiveBooklistJoe’s wisecracking is well-timed comic relief from Arnhill’s pervasive darkness; Tudor has crafted another fantastic horror-tinged thriller (after The Chalk Man, 2018) in the vein of John Connolly and Brendan Duffy.
RaveBooklistKepler delivers a page-turning hunt for an expertly camouflaged killer that draws shocking connections between the hallowed halls of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm’s prostitution and drug scene, and Sweden’s rural churches. The author’s dark, complex procedurals are must-reads for readers drawn to Stieg Larsson, Mons Kallentoft, and Michael Connelly.
PositiveBooklistReaders will root for the unwitting killer in this tense, well-crafted vigilante thriller.
Stephen Mack Jones
PositiveBooklistHard-driving noir, with a strong dose of neighborhood camaraderie; for read-alike comparisons, think Easy Rawlins and his close-knit L.A. neighborhood meet Jack Reacher.
PositiveBooklistHill’s writing prowess is on full view here; both newcomers and the series’ many established fans will find it difficult to leave the Serraillers’ world at the close of this long-awaited entry. A good choice for Louise Penny fans
Sara Blaedel, Trans. by Mark Kleine
RaveBooklistAfter a stint hunting missing persons, Blaedel’s no-nonsense heroine, Detective Louise Rick, is now the only female detective in Copenhagen’s homicide department and is forced to navigate the department’s chauvinism while tackling two high-profile murders ...The Louise Rick novels are must-reads for fans of Scandinavia’s female police detectives.
Keigo Higashino, Trans. by Giles Murray
RaveBooklistUnorthodox Tokyo detective Kyoichiro Kaga has been reassigned to the Nihonbashi precinct and is still acquainting himself with the quaint premodern neighborhood when another newcomer, Mineko Mitsui, is found strangled in her apartment. The savvy killer has left no trace of himself, leaving Kaga and the lead detective, Uesugi, to mine clues from the inconsistencies of Mineko’s last day ... Kaga’s second investigation is a cerebral puzzler’s delight that,...offers a thought-provoking take on the tension between modernity and traditional culture and leaves a trail of mended relationships in its wake.
RaveBooklistRenegade attorney Emelie Jansson and former gangster Teddy Maksumic haven’t spoken since they tangled with a pedophilic cabal in Stockholm Delete, leaving their mutual attraction unexplored after Emelie was unwilling to accept Teddy’s underworld ties. But when Emelie agrees to represent a woman who claims that she was victimized by the same cabal, she reaches out for Teddy’s help ... Lapidus smoothly draws Emelie’s, Teddy’s, Nikolas’, and Roksana’s stories together into a riveting plot while drawing sharp parallels between the dangerous loyalties and callousness of Stockholm’s elite and gangland worlds.
PositiveBooklistA complex, fascinating mix of Icelandic community and alienation, atmospheric tension, and timely issues ... Jónasson’s latest series is another must-read for crime fans who follow the work of Arnaldur Indridason and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir.
PositiveBooklist[An] angst-soaked alienation tale ... punk rock in literary form, this activism allegory will draw fans of Chuck Palahniuk’s raw social commentary and Charlie’s Huston’s haunting, macabre symbolism.
PositiveBooklist...lures readers in with a disturbing hook: the dangers of innocence ... This is a beautifully written, unnerving tragedy woven from equal measures of hope and menace.
RaveBooklistGran’s unique mysteries are an irresistible blend of quirky philosophical quests, gritty fight scenes, and painful truths. This very special series will have Alan Bradley fans imagining what might have happened if Flavia de Luce had grown up and landed in noir-tinted California.
RaveBooklist OnlineIn the eleventh Alex McKnight thriller, the Detroit ex-cop’s past continues to follow him to remote Paradise, Michigan, this time confronting him with a mysterious connection to a serial killer prowling the Southwest. Abruptly picked up by the FBI, Alex is hustled to the Phoenix interrogation of Martin Livermore, who is accused of murdering six women and abducting a seventh. Livermore refuses to speak to the FBI until Alex arrives, but Alex is certain that he’s never met him or his victims ... Hamilton’s long-awaited reboot of the McKnight series is a streamlined, gut-wrenching thriller driven by Alex’s desperation to end Livermore’s killing spree and reconcile past mistakes
PositiveBooklistAfter six years of exile, Li Du...has returned to a much different Beijing than the one he left in 1705 ... Rich in period detail, a sharply rendered exotic setting, and a web of well-crafted plots, Li Du’s third novel will appeal to fans of historical mysteries by Lisa See, Laura Joh Rowland, and Abir Mukherjee.
RaveBooklistThis redemption story is a departure from the chilling Gone Girl–like tale of manipulation Mejia wove in Everything You Want Me to Be (2017), instead exploring familial love and offering an honest, compassionate take on mental-health issues. Here the author uses Lake Superior’s violent storms and the Boundary Waters’ forbidding wilderness to intensify the story’s emotional impact and heighten its exploration into the unpredictability of half-buried secrets.
PositiveBooklistSeries fans and newcomers alike will revel in the partners’ fierce loyalty, served up with an endearingly humorous slice of South Philly family life. A sure bet for legal-thriller fans.
RaveBooklist\"Sager’s second thriller is as tense and twisty as his best-selling Final Girls (2017), but this one is even more polished, with gut-wrenching plot surprises skillfully camouflaged by Emma’s paranoia and confusion, the increasingly creepy setting, and a cast of intriguingly secretive characters.\
PositiveBooklistZhou’s story is thoughtfully constructed (and skillfully translated)... This procedural, the first novel in China’s most popular suspense trilogy, boasts the rich cultural immersion, the bird’s-eye view of procedural technique in an international police force, and the complex mysteries that have long driven the popularity of Scandinavian crime fiction.
RaveBooklist OnlineNatalie is a sharp-witted survivor with a relatable self-sabotaging streak whose move into the dark world of card cheats climaxes with a spin worthy of the most adept con artists.
RaveBooklistScottoline, a master at crafting intense family dramas, expertly twists Maggie’s reality with a page-turning mix of guilt, self-delusion, and manipulation.
RaveBooklistGardner alternates gripping narratives of D. D. and Flora’s investigation with Roxanna’s essays about family, illuminating the vulnerability of children in America’s strained, deeply flawed foster-care system. Suspenseful and wholly believable, this ninth entry will win new fans for the series, especially among those who favor Karin Slaughter’s gritty procedurals.
PositiveBooklistMackintosh’s three bar-raising psychological thrillers (starting with I Let You Go, 2016) have proven her adept at crafting compellingly flawed, authority-bucking characters and creating twists from the ripple effects of their relationships and personal issues, including abuse, mental illness, and alcoholism. This one’s perfect for Kate Atkinson and Tana French readers.
Lars Kepler, Trans. by Neil Smith
RaveBooklistIf any Scandinavian crime series is poised to top the characterization and gripping action of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, it’s this one. Kepler has crafted a phenomenal hero in Linna, who wields intuition, strategic genius, and refreshing vulnerability against a foe as compelling and calculating as Hannibal Lecter.
RaveBooklistThe narcissistic, controlled killer is engaging quarry and McDermid’s procedural details are as on point as ever. But, as usual, this story’s true center is the evolution of Tony and Carol’s relationship as the pair questions each other’s strong interdependence, and Tony fights to pull Carol back from a path of self-destruction. The final twist is both shocking and fitting, a must-read for series fans.
RaveBooklistWare masterfully harnesses the millhouse’s decrepit menace to create a slow-rising sense of foreboding, darkening Isa’s recollections of the weeks leading to Ambrose’s disappearance. Previous blockbusters guarantee popularity for Ware’s latest thriller, and, with arguably her most complex, fully realized characters yet, this one may become her biggest hit yet.
PositiveBooklistSager cleverly plays on horror-movie themes from Scream to Single White Female, creating an homage without camp. Despite comparisons to Gone Girl, this debut’s strong character development and themes of rebirth and redemption align more closely with Flynn’s Dark Places.
PositiveBooklistTurow applies the same storytelling magic to the ICC that has drawn scores of readers into his Kindle County courtrooms, weaving fascinating details about the challenges of prosecuting war crimes into a suspenseful story of redemption and the complexities of justice.
PositiveBooklistZoe’s practicality lends gut-clenching credence to her distress, creating sharp contrast to Kelly’s wavering stability, and the steadily thickening paranoia will leave readers questioning their comfortable routines. This follow-up to Mackintosh’s debut, I Let You Go (2016), is a well-crafted blend of calculated malevolence, cunning plot twists, and redemption that will appeal to fans of Sophie Hannah, Ruth Rendell, and Ruth Ware.