MixedBooklistAccusations of misogyny aside, this tenth in the Waterhouse-Zailer series has a lighter tone than others and a motive that seems insufficient for taking multiple lives. Still, it’s a wonderfully played-out puzzle, with food for thought about the importance of books.
PositiveBooklistThis sixth Will Rees entry illuminates post-Revolutionary Shaker life, providing backstory that gives Rees nightmares, as it hints at the future for the family in this readable historical-mystery series.
RaveBooklistThis debut novel by a former barrister displays the pacing skills and smooth prose of a seasoned author, as suspense builds to a stunning climax. Keep your eyes on Tyce.
PositiveBooklistBenedict spins a story driven by deceit on the part of most of the principals, with tension increasing with the body count and the twists and turns that continue to the very end.
PositiveBooklistUnexpected twists to the final page. Corry’s skill at building suspense and creating characters with secret pasts, as shown in her earlier novels is on display again here.
RaveBooklistFans of the series, which set the earlier Lenox novels in the 1860s, will know what’s coming in the detective’s personal and professional life, but that in no way decreases the pleasure of this account of his earlier life. Finch’s nimble prose, edged with humor, makes this twelfth in the Charles Lenox series a pure delight.
PositiveBooklistThe narrative toggles between the modern and Elizabethan ages, with vivid accounts of the latter including Emilia’s growing relationship with Will Shakespeare, and snaps back to Ben’s reality on 9/11. In this tender love story, Newman ponders the impact of individual action on the world as she creates alternative universes, realities, even endings. Fiction as provocative as it is ambiguous.
RaveBooklistThis unusually accomplished debut is the first in a projected series; with Marsh still having demons to deal with, the table is set for much more compelling, character-centric stories to come. Crime-fiction fans are advised to get in at the start.
H. M. Naqvi
RaveBooklistThis exuberant account, featuring a protagonist as unlikely as he is appealing, is a true pleasure for its language and discourses on life, death, and what’s in between. The footnotes that stud the narrative and the appended family tree and glossary are both entertaining and erudite, as is this unusual novel itself.
RaveBooklistFaye once again vividly illuminates history with her fiction ... While the violence of Mafia rule is nothing new, Oregon’s deeply racist past is lesser known, and both are brought to life in this remarkably fluid fiction, framed as a love letter and based in fact.
PositiveBooklistChaney expertly toggles the narrative between 1995 and 2018 to gradually reveal the truth. Marriage laid bare, with a riveting account of evasion and pursuit—and a zinger of a coda.
PositiveBooklistWoodstock, introduced in Bailey’s debut, The Dark Lake (2017), is a splendidly complex and fallible character ... Readers will want to see more of Woodstock.
RaveBooklistOutstanding if underappreciated ... In clear, elegant prose, Ingalls vividly evokes both the city life of London and the wilderness of Africa, each beautiful in its way, as she explores myth and the human-animal link. With its memorable characters, who face life in their own ways, this is haunting fiction that will linger in memory.
PositiveBooklist...intricately plotted ... Gruley gradually reveals connections between characters and their secrets as he builds suspense in this impressively constructed plot about attaining justice for those once wronged.
PositiveBooklist[A] narrative veering between laugh-out-loud funny to macabre (a body in a macerator, murder by knitting needle). This fifteenth Bryant and May outing concludes with an updating on the lives of all the characters. Could this signal an end to the long-running, eccentric, and consistently entertaining series? Let’s hope not.
PositiveBooklistThis may lack some of the tension of Eskens’ debut, but murder, arson, betrayal, and reconciliation will keep pages turning and leave readers eager for more of Joe Talbert.
P. J. Vernon
PositiveBooklistLong-buried secrets are revealed as action accelerates to a climax, with a chilling final sentence. This gripping debut marks Vernon as a name to watch in the thriller genre.
PositiveBooklistAn entertaining, tongue-in-cheek tale of people who are the adults, after all.
RaveBooklistDespite being labeled as such, this is less a thriller in the traditional sense than an intricate, sensitive, and nuanced account of fallible human beings doing their best to atone as necessary and get on with life. In Brodrick’s skilled hands, it is compelling fiction that will draw readers across genres.
Andrew Michael Hurley
PositiveBooklistOne story begets another, some of them painful, in this atmospheric account of three landholding families battling the vagaries of the natural and the supernatural on the Endlands, in the rugged Lancashire moors ... Hurley...seamlessly weaves in backstory and fleshes out accounts of the isolated rural life and the horror it seems to engender ... Like Hurley’s celebrated debut, this beautifully told gothic story of love, obligation, and legacy blends genres superbly. Hurley is considered one of the leading figures in what is called the British folk-horror revival.
PositiveBooklistNovey...creates a landscape in which her characters may represent, or sometimes hide, their nation, class, or station in life. Yet her women overcome such barriers and join together, revealing what they know in order to effect change. With its unnamed locales and spare prose, the novel becomes a modern parable that allows readers to unearth deeper meanings.
PositiveBooklist...a bold move ... This explosive adventure is Horowitz’s second Bond book, after Trigger Mortis (2015), and marks him as fully worthy to carry on the Bond tradition. Fleming would be pleased.
PositiveBooklist\"Even when life is threatened, Lin displays a humorous touch in this third entry in the Taipei Night Market series as he comments on Taiwanese society, food, and immigration, an issue everywhere. Top-notch international crime fiction that will have readers dreaming of a visit to the Taipei market.\
PositiveBooklistAs Unger builds suspense, blurring the lines between dreams and reality, she considers how well one person can ever know another, as secrets abound. Another fine psychological thriller from a master of the genre.
PositiveBooklist OnlineIn an intricate dance between three characters, Luloff explores memory and its importance in forming identity. Claire, Charlie, and Rachel have been indispensable to each other for years. But the relationship is knocked askew when Claire, a journalist on assignment in India, contracts Japanese B encephalitis, experiencing high fevers, seizures, central-nervous-system damage, and a \'smudge\' where her memories, from late teens to the present, are supposed to be ... From Luloff, this is a thought-provoking exploration of love, relationships, and the role of the past in defining the present.
PositiveBooklistDrug addiction in Acker’s Gap, West Virginia, which was at the center of Keller’s previous series entry...is again the prime mover here. But there’s much more going on, notably in the life of protagonist Bell Elkins ... Keller can spin a mystery plot with the best of them, but it’s her full-bodied characters and the regard they have for one another that really sets her crime fiction apart: a bride’s back-of-the-hand caress of her new husband’s cheek, and his response, is a moment that will linger in memory long after the crime is solved.
PositiveBooklistAction is nonstop in this latest entry in Coulter’s FBI Thriller series (after Enigma, 2017). Perfect reading for the beach and beyond.
RaveBooklist...an appropriately subtle espionage tale, told in spare prose ... This novel is to literature what pointillism is to art, with dots that combine to make a whole picture, one that merges a moving love story with details of a profession that, by its nature, involves both loyalty and duplicity. A stunner.
RaveBooklist\"Joy has proved adept with southern noir in his first two novels ... and he nails it again here, in the actions of characters who act as they must, for the sake of family and friendship, given their nature. This is fiction as beautiful and compelling as it is searing.
Anne Holt, Trans. by Anne Bruce
PositiveBooklistAs the two detectives pursue their respective assignments, the cases link in a surprising fashion. In this tenth and final book in the Hanne Wilhelmsen series, Wilhelmsen is as intuitive, and prickly, as ever, as Holt explores further the relationship between Wilhelmsen and Holme. For fans of Jo Nesbø, who has noted Holt’s primacy in Norwegian crime fiction, and of the genre in general.
PositiveBooklistDebut-novelist Bell ramps up suspense with authority in this domestic thriller, in which actions seem as inevitable as they are chilling. The audience that made Gone Girl a publishing sensation is likely to take to this one, too.
PositiveBooklist OnlineThe case of the Thorn Killer, who uses thorns to elaborately tattoo his female victims, obsesses Liverpool DCI Greg Carver. He’s keeping his own case files at home and is drinking too much, prompting his wife, Emma, to move out ... the Thorn Killer’s latest victim however resembles Emma and was wearing a pair of Emma’s earrings ... Suspense fiction by a knowledgeable duo.
PositiveBooklistHealey...fashions this novel in titled sections, ranging in length from a few lines to a few pages, a technique that advances the narration, along with flashbacks, while eliminating extraneous details and building suspense naturally. The result is an absorbing view of a family, with the emphasis on the mother-daughter connection, in which—flaws aside—love shines through.
RaveBooklist\"Medical student McCarthy has created humane, fallible characters—notably Kent and Noble, who struggle with addictions—as he spins a taut plot that’s part police procedural, part medical thriller. An unbeatable combination for what’s shaping up as a winning series.\
RaveBooklistHerron’s sharp wit makes the Slough House novels something special, his team of maverick spies bringing a delightful, freewheeling edge to the genre. This is prime spy fiction with more than a touch of wry.
PositiveBooklistAn insightful and skillfully constructed novel, with three alternating narrators, this will keep readers rapt to the final page.
Fuminori Nakamura, Trans. by Kalau Almony
RaveBooklist\"Taking as his inspiration the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, award-winning author Nakamura weaves together politics, religion, and science—including biology, cosmology, and quantum physics—into a fascinating noir brimming with insightful commentary on totalitarianism that is especially apt for our times.\
PositiveBooklistIn his previous novels, Dolnick has examined meaningful episodes in his characters’ lives; here, in this compelling mix of love story, detective story, and ghost story, he takes a haunting look at what might follow life.
RaveBooklistThe sheer size of this book (more than 700 pages) shouldn’t dissuade readers: bolstered by George’s polished prose, the twentieth Lynley mystery moves briskly along, showing the author at the peak of her powers.
PositiveBooklistIn vivid, precisely fashioned language, Ausubel spans the globe, from the tropics to the Arctic, in these 11 stories ... Sometimes Ausubel poses mind-bending questions: What if a Cyclops, looking for love, registered on an online dating site? What if the mayor of a stagnating Minnesota town offered a car to the mother of the first baby born on Lenin’s birthday? Vibrant stories that expand horizons and mind.
RaveBooklistSharpe has fashioned a pulse-pounding thriller with a strong moral underpinning and a wrenching love interest, in which Harley’s contemporary activities are interspersed with her bloody backstory. Strong, graphic violence may limit the appeal of this masterfully written and constructed novel, but Harley McKenna is a striking protagonist and, with her powerful debut, Sharpe is definitely a name to watch.
PositiveBooklistA vivid and unblinking view of the justice and penal systems in modern America.
PositiveBooklistWhile Bollen’s plot sometimes strains credibility, his characters are vividly drawn, his prose sometimes sings, and his Greek island setting is intoxicating.