Thrillers and Suspense
Freefall by Jessica BarryThe setup: Maggie Carpenter receives news that a plane crashed in the Colorado Rockies, killing everyone onboard -- including her estranged daughter Allison.
The truth: The crash wasn't an accident, and Allison Carpenter isn't dead. Unfortunately she is stranded in the mountains, and the wilderness isn't the only force she'll have to battle to stay alive.
For fans of: Lisa Jackson, Clare Mackintosh, and Liane Moriarty.
The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay FayeStarring: Alice James, whose sordid activities in 1920s Harlem end with a flight for her life on the first train she can find. Her destination? Portland, Oregon.
What happens: Alice, who is white, finds an unexpected welcome at the black-owned and operated Paragon Hotel. But the KKK is on the rise in Portland, and when a young mixed-race boy goes missing, everything threatens to boil over.
Read it for: the distinctive and lively inhabitants of the hotel, such as glamorous and mysterious cabaret singer Blossom Fontaine; the frank depiction of Oregon's often-forgotten history with racist violence.
Bleak Harbor by Bryan GruleyWhat it's about: When Carey Peters' teenage son Danny is kidnapped for ransom, she swallows her pride to ask her wealthy, estranged mother for the funds. But for her own reasons, the old lady refuses to pay.
What makes it unique: the intricate web of competing interests, dark secrets, family infighting, small-town gossip, shady business practices, and blackmail plots that might stand in the way of Danny's rescue.
Author alert: Bryan Gruley is best known for his Starvation Lake series, which, like Bleak Harbor, is set in a Michigan waterfront town.
Hunting Annabelle by Wendy HeardFeaturing: Sean Suh, a 23-year-old Korean American man recently released from a psychiatric facility after serving time for a violent crime he committed in his youth; Sean's controlling but brilliant neurosurgeon mother, who he moves in with.
What happens: Sean struggles to deal with his loneliness, and with the schizophrenia diagnosis he doesn't relate to, but then he meets and falls for Annabelle who, to his shock, likes him back. Pity that on their first date, someone decides to kidnap her.
Why you might like it: the unreliable narrator, complex characters, and neon-hued 1980s setting.
For Better and Worse by Margot HuntWhat it's about: Lawyers Natalie and Will Clarke are consumed by the collapse of their marriage, at least until learning that the principal of their son Charlie's school is being investigated for child molestation.
A mother's wrath: When they find out Charlie might be one of the principal's victims, Natalie decides it's time for the man to die. Inevitably, her husband Will is soon dragged into the desperate effort to cover up the murder.
Read it for: the menacing tone, the intricate plotting, and the truly twisted ways that trauma sometimes can bring people together.
The Other Widow by Susan CrawfordThe premise: Dorrie and Joe's affair comes to an abrupt end on a late night drive, when Joe tells Dorrie it's time to break things off. Seconds later, Joe's car skids on some ice, killing him instantly and leaving a stunned Dorrie in the passenger seat.
The problem: Not wanting the affair to be exposed, Dorrie flees the scene of the accident to return to her husband and child. But strange things about the accident begin to torment Dorrie, like the failure of Joe's airbag, or that the door on his side of the car was open as she fled.
Author alert: The Other Widow is the second novel by Susan Crawford, whose debut was 2015's The Pocket Wife.
The House Swap by Rebecca FleetWhat it's about: a struggling married couple, Caroline and Francis, who hope to work on their relationship during a week-long getaway to London, facilitated by a housing-swap website.
Good neighbors: Soon after their arrival, the next-door neighbor begins showing an unusual interest in the couple. And worse, the house is full of objects -- like pink roses and a bottle of a familiar aftershave -- that remind Caroline of a secret she's been hiding from Francis for years.
You might also like: My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry; Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald.
The Answers by Catherine LaceyStarring: Mary Parsons, a young woman who, at last, has found an effective treatment for her chronic pain -- one that she can't possibly afford.
Desperate times...Mary now knows what relief feels like, and she'll do anything continue her treatment -- including an odd but high-paying job as part of an eccentric and self-centered actor's creepy "Girlfriend Experiment," where things soon spiral out of control for everyone.
Killer first line: "I'd run out of options. That's how these things usually happen."
Almost Missed You by Jessica StrawserWhat it is: a fast-paced, intricately plotted tale of Violet, a mother desperate to reunite with her child; and of Caitlin, who is in a position to help Violet if she's willing to let a life-changing secret be revealed.
What goes wrong: Violet Welsh is enjoying her family's beach vacation, at least until her husband Finn suddenly takes off with their toddler. Finn hopes his longtime friend Caitlin will help hide them, but when she balks, he threatens to expose a devastating secret from her past.
For fans of: Fiona Barton, Christobel Kent, and Mary Kubica.
Gone Without a Trace by Mary TorjussenFeaturing: accountant Hannah Monroe, who can't wait to get home to her boyfriend Matt Stone and tell him that she's finally up for a long overdue promotion at her job.
Home Sweet Home: When Hannah arrives at home, Matt is nowhere to be found and any evidence he ever existed has disappeared with him. Then she starts receiving mysterious text messages, and she begins to wonder if Matt is really as gone as he seems.
You might also like: No One Knows by J.T. Ellison; The Marriage Lie by Kimberley Belle.
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