Thrillers and Suspense
Lost You by Haylen BeckWhat it is: a moving psychological thriller in which the tension is ratcheted up by the shared anguish of two sympathetic characters who claim to be the mother of a three-year-old boy named Ethan.
For fans of: Allison Brennan, Megan Abbott, and Karen Ellis.
About the author: Haylen Beck is a pseudonym of Stuart Neville, best known for Belfast-set crime fiction.
Thirteen by Steve CavanaghWhat it's about: A Hollywood star is charged with a double murder that looks open and shut, but things get complicated when the actor's defense attorney realizes that the killer may actually be on the jury.
Featuring: conman-turned-lawyer Eddie Flynn; movie star and defendant Bobby Solomon; an audacious and frighteningly clever serial killer that the FBI can't seem to catch.
Read it for: the intricate plotting, compelling writing, and well-developed characters.
The Escape Room by Megan GoldinWhat it is: a twist on the traditional locked-room thriller; a story about the team-building exercise from hell.
Starring: Wall Street colleagues Sylvie, Sam, Jules, and Vincent, who share a tangled web of connections, rivalries, and dark secrets.
What goes down: The four investment bankers share an elevator on their way to a training exercise, only to find that the elevator is the exercise and that they'll have to work together if they want to survive.
Black Sun by Owen MatthewsThe premise: It's 1961, and deep in the Russian countryside in a city that technically doesn't exist, scientists have developed a weapon so powerful that it could turn the Cold War hot.
The problem: Days before a final weapon test, a physicist dies suspiciously. Major Alexander Vasin is sent to investigate, only to stumble upon a conspiracy that seems large even by Soviet standards.
Author alert: Historian and journalist Owen Matthews has also published nonfiction about the Cold War, such as the critically acclaimed Stalin's Children.
Beijing Payback by Daniel NiehStarring: Victor Li, a college basketball player and son of Vincent Li, an L.A.-based restauranteur who left China in the 1970s.
What happens: Vincent is killed in an apparent burglary, only for Victor to discover his father's decades-old ties to organized crime and government corruption back in China.
About the author: Before publishing Beijing Payback (his debut novel), Daniel Nieh worked as a model and translator based in Beijing.
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlinWhat it's about: Poachers are killing bears on an Appalachian nature preserve where Rice Moore is working as a caretaker, but his attempts to stop them bring up secrets from his past and reveal his location to the members of the drug cartel that he came to Virginia to hide from.
Why you might like it: Lush writing and an atmospheric tone almost turn the natural world into a character itself.
For fans of: Paul Doiron, Nevada Barr, and C.J. Box.
The Perfect Stranger by Megan MirandaWhat it is: the menacing and fast-paced story of Leah Stevens, who leaves the big city (and career failure) behind to move in with her friend Emmy in rural Pennsylvania. But when Emmy suddenly goes missing, Leah is unable to convince the police that her friend ever existed.
Try this next: Tangerine by Christine Mangan; A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell; The Lying Game by Ruth Ware.
About the author: After primarily writing young adult fiction, Megan Miranda published adult suspense novels such as All the Missing Girls and The Last House Guest.
Barbed Wire Heart by Tess SharpeWhat it's about: In Northern California, 22-year-old Harley McKenna wants to get out of the family business, and if that means igniting a blood feud between her drug kingpin father and his rivals, so be it.
Why you might like it: With flawed but likeable Harley at the helm, this hard-bitten crime novel is both intense and affecting; there's plenty of violence as well as an intriguing father-daughter dynamic.
For fans of: the atmosphere and star character in Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone.
The Blinds by Adam SternberghThe premise: Caesura looks like any other middle-of-nowhere Texas town, but it's actually an experimental new kind of witness protection program, designed to encourage criminals to turn state's evidence.
The problem: In a town where not even the sheriff is supposed to be armed, why were two residents just found shot to death? And how is the sheriff supposed to investigate when everyone's memories have been altered?
Why you might like it: The characters in this modern western are complex and human, with as many redeeming qualities as flaws.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Villa Park Public Library
305 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, Illinois 60181