Thrillers and Suspense
Red, White, Blue by Lea CarpenterWhat it is: The author of Eleven Days presents another haunting and surprisingly subtle take on the traditional thriller, as much about family and memory as it is about subterfuge.
What happens: When Anna's banker father dies in a skiing accident just before her wedding, she decides to go through with the ceremony. While in France on her honeymoon, she meets a stranger who reveals her father's true employer -- the CIA -- calling into question everything she knows about her father, including the "accident" that killed him.
The Other Woman by Sandie JonesThe premise: After meeting him one night at a London bar, Emily Havistock falls head over heels for Adam Banks, who is everything she has ever wanted in a man.
The problem: Emily is not what Adam's mother Pammie wants in a daughter-in law. In fact, Pammie would rather have no daughter-in-law at all, and will stop at absolutely nothing to get her way.
For fans of: Christobel Kent, Clare Mackintosh, and Karen Perry.
Presidio by Randy KennedyWhat it's about: In this 1970s-set, darkly humorous western, car thief Troy Falconer steals a station wagon so he and his brother Harlan can track down Harlan's wife and the money she stole.
What goes wrong: They didn't check the back of the car, and now they've accidentally kidnapped a runaway Mennonite girl.
Read it for: Martha Zacarias, the station wagon stowaway who is reminiscent of Mattie Ross, the plucky teenage heroine of Charles Portis's True Grit.
Lies by T.M. LoganThe premise: Joe Lynch leads an unremarkable life as a happily married London teacher. One afternoon he spots his wife Mel in traffic, and thinking it might be nice to surprise her, he decides to follow her car.
The problem: It turns out that Mel was meeting their neighbor Ben at a hotel, and when a later confrontation ends with violence, Ben's subsequent disappearance casts suspicion on Joe. Meanwhile, an affair isn't the only secret Mel has been keeping from her husband.
Man of War by Sean ParnellWhat it's about: When a nuclear weapon disappears deep into hostile territory, elite intelligence agent Eric Steele is sent to track it down and deal with those responsible. But what happens when the thief (and potential terrorist) is someone from Steele's Special Forces past?
Reviewers say: "will certainly please fans of Brad Thor, Brad Taylor, and Vince Flynn" (Booklist).
Try this next: Although Man of War is his first novel, Sean Parnell also wrote Outlaw Platoon, a bestselling memoir of his time in the military.
Trigger Mortis by Anthony HorowitzStarring: Bond. James Bond. At his glamorous 1950s best.
What it's about: Besides fast cars and beautiful women? There's also a Soviet plot to sabotage the Grand Prix, which 007 learns is only the beginning of an international conspiracy to undermine Western progress in the Space Race.
Why it's unique: This fast-paced, engaging early Bond story contains never-before-seen material from Ian Fleming himself, lovingly incorporated by Anthony Horowitz.
Leaving Berlin by Joseph KanonFeaturing: Celebrated Jewish writer Alex Meier, who returns to his native Berlin in 1948 when the rise of McCarthyism makes him a pariah in the U.S.
What happens: The CIA offers him a chance to come back to America if he agrees to spy on the Soviets, but the stakes skyrocket when his assignment leads him right to the woman he loved and left behind during the war.
Try this next: For more atmospheric historical spy fiction, look for Alan Furst’s Night Soldiers series.
The Unfortunate Englishman by John LawtonWhat it's about: After being pressed back into service for MI6, black marketeer Joe Wilderness must negotiate a tense prisoner exchange in Berlin, right as construction on the Wall begins. Can Joe balance his contacts on both sides of the divided city while also navigating the many temptations of his seedy past?
Series alert: This is the second Joe Wilderness novel, following up 2014's Then We Take Berlin.
Reviewers say: "Intricate plotting, colorful characters, and a brilliant prose style put Lawton in the front rank of historical thriller writers" (Publishers Weekly).
A Legacy of Spies by John Le CarréWhat happens: Former intelligence agent Peter Guillam is called out of retirement when the current government in London begins probing the activities of British operatives during the Cold War. This prompts Guillam to do some personal reflection on his past actions and missions, making for a bleak but also moving take on the typical spy thriller.
Series alert: Le Carré fans may recognize the name Peter Guillam -- yes, this really is the long-awaited next entry in the George Smiley series of novels, the first since 1991.
An Honorable Man by Paul VidichWhat it's about: CIA agent George Mueller is tasked with finding a mole in the highest levels of the agency, but in the paranoid McCarthy era, the closer he gets to his target the more suspicious his colleagues grow of him. Can Mueller find the double agent in time to clear his own name?
Inspired by: The complicated life and mysterious death of real-life spy James Speyer Kronthal, a protégé of long-serving CIA director Allen Dulles.
For fans of: John Le Carré and Charles Cumming.
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