Thrillers and Suspense
The Winters by Lisa GabrieleWhat it is: an homage to Daphne du Maurier's iconic gothic thriller Rebecca, set in the Hamptons and updated for the digital age.
Featuring: Senator Max Winter, a widower whose teenage daughter Dani is determined to make her new stepmother miserable; the unnamed narrator, whose dream come true is about to turn into a nightmare.
Read it for: the author's careful balance between tribute and update; the atmospheric, Hitchcockian tension; the heroine's welcome sense of female empowerment.
Pulse by Michael HarveyWhat it's about: This compelling, intricately plotted story begins like many other police procedurals (with a dead body and a couple of cops), but quickly goes off the rails when the victim's brother reveals he had a premonition about the crime.
Is it for you? Though very much a thriller, Pulse does borrow heavily from murder mysteries and has strong supernatural elements.
Author alert: Michael Harvey is best known for his Michael Kelly series of mysteries, though with Pulse and 2016's Brighton, he is starting to veer more towards suspense.
Leave No Trace by Mindy MejiaStarring: speech therapist Maya Stark, who works at an isolated mental health facility near Minnesota's Boundary Waters; and Lucas Blackthorn, who went missing at age 9 and has resurfaced ten years later, refusing to speak to anyone about his past.
What happens: Maya and Lucas form a bond that gets him to finally open up a bit, but soon it becomes clear that Lucas' (presumed dead) father is still out there somewhere and that Lucas will do anything to get back to him.
Read it for: the compassionate handling of mental illness and the author's impressive use of the wilderness setting to create a strong sense of foreboding.
The Spite Game by Anna SnoekstraThe premise: Ava was mercilessly bullied in school, and as an adult she has dedicated her life to revenge. Changing her looks, attitude, and social connections, Ava has infiltrated the exclusive circles of her tormentors and begins to ruin each woman's life, one by one.
The problem: Ava has taken down every member of the clique who made her life hell, except for the group's queen bee Mel, who just might escape Ava's particular brand of justice.
For fans of: unreliable narrators, vengeance stories, and mean girls getting their comeuppance.
Paper Gods by Goldie TaylorWhat it's about: A series of assassinations brings together the mayor of Atlanta and a reporter who has seen better days, leading them to discover a vast conspiracy built on discrimination, greed, and political backbiting.
Why you might like it: This compelling, atmospheric thriller features well-developed characters and doesn't shy away from difficult topics like racism.
Author buzz: Goldie Taylor is a former marine and political strategist, best known for her work as an NBC News contributor.
The Fixer by Joseph FinderWhat it is: a fast-paced, intricately plotted financial thriller about how a simple home renovation ends up undermining the foundation of one man's already crumbling life and memories.
Starring: Rick Hoffman, who returns to his childhood home after losing his job as a journalist, the apartment he can no longer afford, and the girlfriend who prized them both more than she did Rick.
What goes wrong: Rick's efforts to spruce up the place lead him to a large stash of money hidden in the walls, and when he decides to move the money, he ends up uncovering a tale of political corruption that many people would rather stayed buried.
The Bullet by Mary Louise KellyThe premise: Caroline Cashion is getting an MRI when the machine makes an astonishing discovery -- a bullet buried deep in the base of her skull, despite the fact that there's no scar on her neck and she has no memory of being shot.
The problem: Besides the mystery bullet? After Caroline learns that her biological parents were killed in the attack that put the mystery bullet in her neck, she also learns that the perpetrator is still at large and the bullet is the last piece of evidence that could catch him.
Author alert: Mary Louise Kelly is an NPR correspondent best known for hosting All Things Considered, and for her previous novel Unnamed Sources.
It Takes One by Kate KesslerStarring: sassy and likeable criminal psychologist Audrey Harte, who is definitely, definitely not a murderer.
What happens: Audrey returns to the hometown she left behind seven years ago, where rumors persist about her involvement in a man's death. It doesn't take long before another person connected to that death also turns up dead, and Audrey knows she'll have to find the real killer before everyone decides it's her.
Series alert: This is the 1st novel in the Audrey Harte series, followed by Two Can Play, Three Strikes, and Four of a Kind.
Worthy Brown's Daughter by Phillip MargolinWhat it's about: Matthew Penny is a recently widowed lawyer in 1850s Oregon who has agreed to take the case of Worthy Brown, a freed slave who's suing for the release of his 15 year old daughter Roxanne from bondage.
What goes wrong: Worthy is arrested for a murder, and soon enough both cases intersect with the conflicting interests of the wealthy and powerful of the bustling frontier town of Portland.
Author alert: Phillip Margolin is also known for his contemporary thrillers, such as the Amanda Jaffe novels and the standalone Woman With a Gun.
Girl in the Dark by Marion PauwWhat it is: a compelling Dutch legal thriller, published in the U.S. for the first time; the story of a man in prison for a murder he didn't commit, and his sister's efforts to clear his name.
Featuring: Attorney and single mother Iris, who discovers the half-brother her mother has spent years hiding from her because of his disabilities; and Ray, Iris's brother, whose heartbreaking flashbacks tell the real story of the murder.
What happens: Iris begins to dig into the murder only to find that there are many other possible suspects, and decides to put her skills as a lawyer to use to exonerate her brother.
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