PositiveBooklist... will satisfy her fans and delight revenge aficionados everywhere ... Intense is the key word here, and the author does an astonishingly good job in getting inside the heads of Scarlett and Carly as they take turns narrating. A Shakespeare class on Titus Andronicus is cleverly inserted into the story: \'Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand, Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.\'
RaveBooklist\"In her acknowledgements, McDermid notes her experience of writing in the \'strange half-world of lockdown,\' finding sustained concentration difficult, but she has nonetheless managed to keep her detective right on target and the reader enthralled.\
Smith Henderson and Jon Marc Smith
MixedBooklistThe action is relentless, and the language is rough through a somewhat lengthy narrative, but Diane will appeal to fans of Jon Land’s Caitlin Strong and Don Winslow’s Art Keller.
MixedBooklistAlthough the narrative moves along at a steady clip, the reader must endure the 18 days of Molly’s torment along with her. For thriller fans willing to ignore the occasional moments of improbability.
RaveBooklistWith our need to know ramped up through a series of teasers offering more to come, this tale is virtually impossible to put down ... It is difficult to relate more without endangering an immersive, albeit chillingly dark, reading experience or spoiling the shocking conclusion. Suffice to say that the family’s obsession with the game of Risk has conditioned each of them to betray one another as easily as they once conquered continents on the game board.
RaveBooklistThis one is especially timely, given that the terror of isolation is at its heart ... This is And Then There Were None rendered for the twenty-first century, and David Baldacci is spot-on in calling Ware \'The Agatha Christie of our generation\' ... Ware is one of the hottest traditional-mystery writers at the moment, and her sure-to-be-heavily-marketed latest will only turn up the heat.
PositiveBooklistThis one ends with a surprising conclusion that will make fans adore Flavia even more, if that is possible.
RaveBooklistGrffiths not only puts Ruth in harm’s way, forcing her to fight for her life against a terrifying assault, she also takes the reader’s breath away with one final masterstroke in which a character’s true identity is revealed. Once again expertly incorporating myth and folklore into the story—this time, it’s the menacing Lantern Men, said to haunt the local fens and who may be responsible for the killings—Griffiths has delivered a perfect Halloween read.
RaveBooklistThe reader can expect to be electrified by the author’s total mastery of misdirection. This second stunning thriller firmly establishes North as a rapturous teller of tales.
RaveBooklistBarry follows Freefall (2019) with a second propulsive psychological thriller, this time featuring two female characters who find themselves fighting for survival on a terrifying drive ... In describing how they deal with the threat and the violence that ensues, Barry delivers hold-your-breath tension, while also addressing highly controversial and relevant women’s issues.
A. F. Carter
PositiveBooklistSix personalities are locked inside Carolyn Grand. Each gets a chance to reveal itself in turn, in narratives of startling intimacy that make it difficult for the reader to disengage ... This will satisfy immersive-thriller fans, although the graphic depictions of cruelty and pedophilia will be disturbing.
RaveBooklistThis second stunning piece of redemptive fiction...puts a young boy at the center of a murder mystery and surrounds him with adults grappling with stinging regrets, karmic debts, and unresolved guilt over the loved ones they have lost. Finely woven into the narrative is a profound consideration of the transience of life, as the contemporary characters are revealed in subtle contrast to the ancient peoples who shared their same small spot in Nevada’s Great Basin, later a wagon stop for settlers on their way to California that now accommodates the unsettled ... an ideal recommendation for fans of Kate Atkinson and Jodi Picoult.
Nicola Maye Goldberg
PositiveBooklistThis highly original, somewhat unsettling novel, set in New York State’s mid-Hudson region, transports the reader to a very dark place that stands in marked contrast to the celestial glow of those Hudson River School paintings. It more clearly evokes Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow environs. The sad tale of each of its myriad characters is told amid a nearly all-consuming air of the macabre and delivered with sinister wit ... An absorbing read with an astonishing \'Did I miss something?\' ending.
MixedBooklistThe \'by chance\' element throughout the narrative makes the story somewhat implausible. Fans of thrillers about gone girls and vanished ladies will enjoy the tale, although some readers may wonder if Claire and Eva’s situations might better have been resolved in a more straightforward way.
PositiveBooklistAt times the story threatens to overwhelm itself with a bit too much ominous darkness and \'anxious distraction,\' but fans of the genre will enjoy the proceedings, imagining just how good that sumptuous wedding cake might have tasted.
PositiveBooklistReaders who had to look up what an \'influencer\' is will not fancy this book. On the other hand, soul-cycling, Pilates-perfected, media-savvy readers will devour it. Barber’s narrative, like social media itself, is as addictive as it is disturbing.
RaveBooklistAn extraordinary thriller from a debut author that may well become the book everyone is talking about, come February ... In a mesmerizing first-person narrative, her fear is palpable, then vanquished by an astonishing ferocity she finds within herself. Where does that come from? Wait until you find out. This one glows in the dark.
PositiveBooklist... engrossing ... The story unfolds in three deeply sad female voices that sweep readers up in the dramas and secrets, past and present, that seal the fate of each character. The resilience displayed by the survivors in their new lives seems a bit strained, but most readers will be happy to see at least some of the characters getting a fresh start.
RaveBooklistKidd has created a captivating cast of characters and delivers a richly woven tapestry of fantasy, folklore, and history. The atmosphere is thick with myriad unpleasant smells on offer, and readers may find themselves wrinkling their noses, but they will keep turning the pages.
RaveBooklist... another brilliantly woven story about second chances from Montana native Dundas ... Recommend this to readers looking for an inviting narrative with a very \'now\' feel.
RaveBooklistPI Alice Vega is nothing less than an utterly compelling protagonist ... A somewhat Shakespearean ending satisfies with triumphant women standing strong on a stage littered with battered villains.
RaveBooklistAn extraordinary novel of psychological suspense that is more wicked than Marwood’s Edgar-winning Wicked Girls (2013) and darker than her Macavity-winning The Killer Next Door (2014) ... Two of Marwood’s novels have already been optioned for film, and this one would make an eerie docudrama that could rival The Blair Witch Project.
PositiveBooklistThe title makes a perfect fit for this wild chase through 1892 London and then abroad ... High adventure recommended for fans of Victorian-era thrillers, who will find the rich aroma from Barker’s meerschaum pipe thoroughly intoxicating.
PositiveBooklist... [an] authentic Golden Age–style mystery ... Fellowes is the author of the best-selling Downton Abbey books—and the niece of Downton Abbey’s creator, Julian Fellowes—and this series is perfect for devotees who need something to tide them over until the next Downton film. Fans of Downton ladies’ maid Anna, in particular, will relish the story of Louisa and her romantic interest, Detective Sergeant Guy Sullivan
PositiveBooklist... takes the reader on one wild ride ... Rich in period detail and including a stellar performance by a young Errol Flynn, competing against Sinclair in his silver Triumph, this is an ideal recommendation for fans of the flair and humor of Kerry Greenwood and the skillful plotting of Agatha Christie.
RaveBooklistWall scaling and rooftop leaps are Riley’s preferred methods of conveyance. He is a master of parkour, a discipline that allows him to navigate complex environments without any equipment at astonishing speeds. And he is a lot of fun to follow. Fans of Lindsay’s Dexter novels will not be disappointed. Where will Riley strike next?
RaveBooklistFans of Quartey’s Darko Dawson series ready for another armchair visit to Ghana will be pleased to meet Emma Djan, introduced here in the same riveting blend of mystery and literary travel guide ... There is an amazing force to be reckoned with behind her veil of politeness, and readers will want to hear more from Emma. Unlike Mma Ramotswe in McCall Smith’s celebrated series, Emma experiences violence and encounters dangerous criminals, but, like her Botswanan sister, she is driven by a determination to honor her late father and is surrounded by an equally appealing cast of characters.
RaveBooklistGriffiths pulls off an amazing sleight of hand by moving her characters 11 years forward in time and planting them smack in the middle of the early 1960s ... As always, Griffiths creates an authentic sense of time and place—the Cold War still exerting its chill, and Britain besotted by the Beatles. Readers will eagerly await more to come.
PositiveBooklistThis smart and provocative novel evokes the work of political-thriller master Ross Thomas.
PositiveBooklistShepard throws every cliché imaginable at the reader and then artfully massages them into a brilliant narrative told in the voices of the many women involved in the story who, having managed to make victims of one sort or another of themselves, all emerge victorious, each in her own fashion ... Everyone is hiding a closetful of secrets, which, when finally revealed, provide some excellent misdirection and a few OMG moments, until one final and shocking truth emerges. Fans of domestic suspense will devour this one.
PositiveBooklist... well-written dialogue ... An excellent examination of what it must be like to be caught up in a media frenzy. Not as suspenseful as thrillers from Gillian Flynn and Ruth Ware, but this is absorbing reading for those who can’t get enough of flawed-but-likable narrators.
PositiveBooklist...a sequel to last year’s ripped-from-the-headlines Firefly, which centered on the Syrian refugee crisis ... This frighteningly realistic political thriller will draw readers comfortable with the darker side of the genre.
PositiveBooklistA gutsy action hero emerges in what promises to be a new series that may pick up readers from Orange Is the New Black followers and carry along fans from Kessler’s Audrey Harte thrillers ... Sometimes brutal, yet compelling, just like OITNB.
PositiveBooklistJohnson serves up another helping of his signature blend of mystery, history, humor, and mysticism set in the vast emptiness of the high plains. Recommend to fans of Nevada Barr, C. J. Box, and Ace Atkins.
Andrea Camilleri, Trans. by Stephen Sartarelli
PositiveBooklistAlong with his customary posse, and Elena’s orphaned cat, Montalbano relies on his extraordinary, at times mystical, talents—and, despite a few of his customary blunders, identifies the killer. A witty and well-crafted addition to Camilleri’s oeuvre.
PositiveBooklistA sixth winner for Daly...with a timely theme, the incarceration of the wrongly convicted, at its core ... Fans of domestic thrillers will find the revelations about families and the lengths that mothers and daughters will go to protect one another both disturbing and touching.
T. Jefferson Parker
PositiveBooklistIn this powerful thriller, Parker leaves us aching for the damaged souls left behind by false prophets and hate-mongers, and hoping that there still really are some good guys.
PositiveBooklistIt’s up to Flavia to sort out who did what, but it’s the delicious details that are the real appeal here. Only Davis could somehow ace the insertion of the anachronistic expression \'pimping his ride\' into a narrative about the splendors of ancient times. Best of all, to the envy of the men in her life, the intrepid Flavia gets to do a sort of test drive in the lavish chariot. Vivat Flavia!
RaveBooklistAt its heart, this brilliant novel is an affirmation of the power of the father-son relationship, but it also charts a descent into darkness ... With redemption for some and none for others, this thriller will satisfy readers of Thomas Harris and Stephen King. Under development as a major motion picture by the Russo brothers, of Marvel film fame.
PositiveBooklistA dark and absorbing read from Miami native Segura, this fifth novel in an acclaimed series appears to be the finale. But fans will root for Pete’s return, not yet ready to part with the engaging sleuth or the compellingly evoked setting.
PositiveBooklistIt is not difficult to figure out who has set up the escape room, which is actually an elevator, in this debut from journalist Goldin, and there is clearly no happy ending likely for the four colleagues trapped inside; but fans of JP Delany and Ruth Ware will want to be right in there with them ... A nail-biting tale of a corporate team-building exercise gone horribly wrong, with a credible explanation of how the seemingly undoable is done. And to the victor go the spoils.
MixedBooklist... California noir with a twist ... Suggest this somewhat one-note noir to anyone who finds poetry in dark-journey narratives.
RaveBooklistThe absorbing narrative that follows spins a heart-wrenching web of desperation, surrogacy, mistaken identity, and murder ... [a] nail-biting rendering of every parent’s nightmare...stand-alone thriller ... Recommend to fans of Tana French, Allison Brennan, and Hallie Ephron.
PositiveBooklistSome readers might be baffled by the complexity, or grow impatient with the teen angst, but fans of Jane Harper’s mysteries, also set Down Under in creepily threatening small towns, will feel right at home.
S. J. Rozan
RaveBooklistRozan’s remote Coahoma County is as atmospheric as her New York City, and the Chinese-American traditions of \'paper sons\' (Chinese who immigrated to the U.S. with fraudulent papers) and their shopkeeping history in the South are craftily revealed in her trademark elegant prose. This new title in an award-winning and critically acclaimed series will be welcomed by fans. And what will they make of the big surprise in the final chapter?
RaveBooklistWare cleverly puts a high-tech spin on [The Turn of the Screw\'s] gothic foundations of spellbinding menace ... Ware’s James-like embroidery of the strange and sinister produces a Turn of the Screw with cellphones and Teslas that will enthrall today’s readers. Much like its predecessor, the novel is occasionally mystifying, but it will not disappoint.
PositiveBooklistIn a riveting investigation, a true-crime-crazed public creates a new folk hero and helps him avoid capture ... a grimly authentic narrative and deeply defined characters, although the ending may make readers wonder if they really know Ruth at all.
RaveBooklist... excellent ... Lifelong New Yorker Alger describes the atmosphere of the area’s parks and beaches well. She captures the social dynamics of Suffolk’s eastern extremes perfectly. The first-person narrative is appropriately terse—Nell delivers a thorough report—but it occasionally surprises with a gripping depth ... Highly recommended, although perhaps not as a beach read.
RaveBooklistHorowitz succeeds on all levels with book two in the Detective Daniel Hawthorne series ... Hawthorne continues to try the author’s and the reader’s patience with outlandish behavior, but there are hints this time that he has gone to extreme lengths to conceal an unfortunate past, making him a somewhat more sympathetic character than in the earlier tale. Readers will enjoy Horowitz’s insights into the publishing world and rack their brains deciding which stories are true and which are fictional ... Despite...allusions and the Holmesian frame story, the overall voice of the series is fresh and original, Horowitz writing with the effortless élan that distinguishes all of his work.
PositiveBooklistFans of M. C. Beaton will relish the wit, and followers of Susan Elia MacNeal and Jacqueline Winspear will enjoy the depth and the period detail. Readers will want to get on the reserve list for the next Iris and Gwen adventure.
PositiveBooklistAn absorbing tale for readers willing to surrender to some unlikely character behaviors and an occasionally predictable plot, although fans of Gone Girl and its successors will appreciate an ending that puts a pricey shoe on one foot and then changes it again . . . and again.
PositiveBooklist... riveting ... masterfully told in different voices from a well-developed cast of characters. Police officer Pearl Maze is worthy of her own series. Fans of Megan Abbott and Wendi Corsi Staub will relish this one.
PositiveBooklistReaders may find themselves smitten with Daniel and with the dauntless Miriam Fforde Croft, whose relationship with Daniel deepens in this episode ... Primarily identified for her authentic period sets and well-rendered characters, Perry writes in what she has called the \'Put Your Heart on the Page\' method, with the focus placed squarely on what happens to people under the pressure of investigation. This book is an excellent example of her craft.
S. A. Lelchuk
RaveBooklistNikki is a dangerous woman, sort of a Lisbeth Salander, but with a lot more heart ... Lelchuk takes readers on a rock-’em-sock-’em motorcycle ride to a surprising conclusion. Along with the action, this outstanding series debut boasts a well-developed supporting cast whose interactions with Nikki make her bookstore as inviting as Louise Penny’s Three Pines bistro.
Sophie Hénaff, Trans. by Sam Gordon
RaveBooklistAuthor Hénaff...brings her keen wit to this chic, quirky, and quasi-noir visit to the City of Lights. There is strong appeal here to fans of Chris Ewan’s Good Thief and Jussi Adler-Olsen’s Department Q series.
PositiveBooklistThe investigation unfolds, in turn, in the separate narratives.. and the suspense builds as the truth about each of their experiences emerges. The wrap-up here is just a bit too neat, but Gardner’s fans will not be disappointed by this insightful look into the impact of crime on its victims.
PositiveBooklistThe atmosphere is so thick you can taste the red-clay dust, and the folklore surrounding the mysterious stockman adds an additional edge to an already dark and intense narrative. The truth is revealed in a surprising ending that reveals how far someone will go to preserve a life worth living in a place at once loathed and loved.
Melissa Scrivner Love
PositiveBooklistLola Vasquez is back in a stunning sequel to the author’s Edgar-nominated and Debut Dagger–winning Lola (2017) ... Many readers may find themselves developing a definite affection for a woman who is essentially a cold-blooded killer, but others may find this violent novel a difficult read. Either way, it exposes painful truths. Suggest to those who know Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s similar The Queen of the South (2004).
RaveBooklistThe Elmore Leonard–like cinematic prose begs for a film adaptation ... Recommend this triumph of moral ambiguity to fans of black humor, including that of Carl Hiaasen and Dennis Lehane, in addition to Leonard.
RaveBooklistThis stunning debut opens boldly with the word You, as did Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City (1984), and readers are likely to make other comparisons between the two, though Restoration Heights stands apart because of an added element of mystery ... This is an instant New York fiction classic, exuding dark poetry from a lyrical narrative populated by well-defined characters in carefully, or, shall we say, artistically, arranged settings. Best recommended to a younger, hip audience or to aging McInerney fans who remember Bright Lights, Big City with fondness.
MixedBooklistThe idea that two badly damaged people who filled up rooms with their worldliness, their big words, and their general aura of disdain would expect to find contentment in simple domesticity off the beaten path in Kansas strains credulity, even before murder comes to farm country. Still, the brilliantly conceived and presented conclusion would do Patricia Highsmith proud. Expect plenty of promotion, too, as this debut novel is being advertised as 2019’s The Woman in the Window.
RaveBooklistThis arresting English-language debut from South African crime author Brynard validates her reputation as \'The Afrikaans Stieg Larsson\' ... Brynard brings a strong, authentic voice to the country’s conflict-ridden past and its current complex society and entangled land claims. A brilliant ensemble cast, well-measured suspense, straightforward dialogue, and nice pacing add up to an outstanding thriller. Fans of other South African authors, from James McClure to Deon Meyer, will relish Brynard’s new and distinctive voice, although readers should be prepared for the book’s gritty and, at times, gruesome details.
RaveBooklistOnce a party girl, [the protagonist Amy] now lives a solitary existence, keeping her exotic tattoos well hidden while working odd jobs and doing penance by delivering Communion to the housebound. This remarkable discordance is riveting ... Amy elicits the same dark fascination as Sara Gran’s stellar neo-noir detective, Claire DeWitt ... [an] outstanding thriller.
RaveBooklistAnother stellar domestic drama ... [Jewell] has created a cast of well-defined characters whose lives are already intertwined at the start, even though they don’t know it yet ... Expert misdirection keeps the reader guessing, and the rug-pulled-out-from-beneath-your-feet conclusion—coupled with one final, bone-chilling revelation—is stunning. Best not to bet on anyone. A compulsive read guaranteed to please fans of A. J. Finn and Ruth Ware.
Alex Beer, Trans. by, Tim Mohr
RaveBooklist\"In her debut novel, Beer, a rising star in Austrian crime fiction, brings post-WWI Vienna to life in an overwhelmingly grim portrayal of a defeated empire’s daily struggle to survive the constant cold, disease, hunger, and despair ... This is a masterfully constructed novel with a very satisfying ending that points to a series. But it’s very dark stuff, best suited for readers with a deep appreciation of international noir.
Helene Tursten, Trans. by Marlaine Delargy
RaveBooklistTursten has entertained readers for 20 years with her series of crime novels ... Her new character, identified only as Maud, is another brilliant creation ... She is presented here in five episodes, all dark, irreverent, and hilariously funny.
RaveBooklistAward-winning master of suspense Bolton manages to transform a campfire ghost story into a riveting novel ... Witches and zombies abound, and it is left to the reader to decide if these characters are simply delusional or that this stuff is for real ... Here’s hoping for a series with more of Florence, and, please, the witches.
T M Logan
MixedBooklistA fast-paced debut that is as much about decisions (mostly bad) and their consequences as it is about deception ... A fairly standard formula with some good twists at the end, marred by generally unlikable characters and behaviors that are highly improbable, but the writing is strong.
RaveBooklistAbsorbing ... afire with [Daly\'s] trademark brilliantly defined characters ... The element of literary ambition makes for a fascinating story within the story, with details on the dangers of plagiarism and the destructive practice of \'sock puppetry\'—posting fake bad reviews of authors’ work—enhancing the telling. The turn at the end is an absolute triumph. Readers will hope to hear more of the Campbells soon.
PositiveBooklist...a body wearing 1995 Nikes has been unearthed by treasure hunters looking for WWII loot. While fending off (Pirie) superior’s attempts to sabotage her work, she is also investigating a series of vicious rapes that occurred in the late eighties and has been drawn into a peculiar domestic stabbing. McDermid moves the reader deftly back and forth in time as her dab hand allows the indomitable Pirie to \'bring the dead home.\'
T. Jefferson Parker
RaveBooklistA widowed ex-cop and ex-marine combat veteran, Ford carries his own emotional baggage. He is a kick-ass warrior with a heart of gold but a head overflowing with painful memories. Parker’s writing is sharp, and each character in the extended cast is unique and finely nuanced despite the super-fast-paced narrative. The themes of redemption and revenge run on parallel tracks, occasionally intersecting. This is quintessential California noir.
RaveBooklist\"The dialogue is sometimes biting and always witty, and the entire book is at once wicked and sublime. This would be perfect for fans anxiously awaiting the next Carl Hiaasen. They will be delighted to learn the distinctions between Cheeto and Cheez-It residues. But no palm trees; just lots of good corn acreage.\
RaveBooklist Online\"Literature has a dark sorority of bad, creepy, and cruel girls, which now includes seven-year-old Hanna Hansen ... Debut novelist Stage has convincingly created one of the youngest villains ever, and readers who appreciate such creepy tykes as Shriver’s Kevin and Doris Lessing’s Ben (in The Fifth Child, 1988) will be unable to resist the urge to meet Hanna.\
PositiveBooklist\"A Double Life features a somewhat protracted and shocking conclusion that will have nail-biters gnawing down to their nubs ... Bound to please Berry’s fans as well as followers of domestic-noir masters of the be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale, including Hallie Ephron, Gillian Flynn, and Paula Hawkins.\
PositiveBooklistA breathtaking thriller with plenty of action and some very clever twists, this is one of those stories where just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do; but the grimly satisfying conclusion makes it worth it for both characters and readers. Fans of David Baldacci and John Grisham will enjoy the unpredictability and unrelenting suspense.
James A McLaughlin
PositiveBooklist\"The landscape is rendered in remarkable prose that puts the reader right out on the trail with Moore in his ghillie suit, often lost in a Castaneda-like rapture that contrasts sharply with intermittent bursts of stunning brutality. C. J. Box and Paul Doiron fans will enjoy this edgy tale, with human greed and wildlife exploitation at its heart.\
RaveBooklistActually, the word is not murder, it’s ingenious ... A masterful meta-mystery.
RaveBooklist\"...[a] brilliant politcal satire ... He takes the same kind of snarky, tasty bite out of eastern Long Island’s overdevelopment that Carl Hiaasen does from the plunder of Florida ... Promise readers that the only way they will put this book down is when Charlton Heston’s ghost pries it from their cold dead hands.\
PositiveBooklistKoryta excels at action set in remote places, and fans of William Kent Krueger and C. J. Box will enjoy this one.
RaveBooklist...a brilliant narrative about a confused young woman struggling to separate fact from fiction in her life ... Perfect for millennial readers and highly recommended for fans of eventually justified 'paranoid woman' characters who descend in a direct line from Charlotte Brontë to Ruth Ware.
PositiveBooklist\"Hall brings the unreliable narrator to new heights in this disturbing narrative while subtly planting the seed in the reader’s mind that Verity, damaged by her own childhood issues, may be feeding Mike’s mania to suit her own ends. For fans of Nabokov’s Lolita, Highsmith’s Ripley tales, or Christine Mangan’s recently published first novel, Tangerine.\
RaveBooklist[Harper] manages to match her debut’s intensity with another riveting, tension-driven thriller ... Perfect for fans of Tana French and readers who enjoy literary page-turners.
A. J. Finn
RaveBooklistFinn has carefully paced Anna’s internal narrative and intricately woven interactions (real or imagined?) and added a diabolical dimension that makes this story even more intense than Hitchcock’s Rear Window. And when the catalyst for Anna’s condition is ultimately revealed, it is far more traumatic than a broken leg. An astounding debut from a truly talented writer, perfect for fans in search of more like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.