They Come at Knight by Yasmin AngoeSeries alert: They Come at Knight is the sequel to Her Name is Knight, the atmospheric and action-packed thriller that first introduced readers to elite assassin Nena Knight, a human trafficking survivor who last used her particular set of skills to take down a massive trafficking ring.
This time: Nena's employer (the powerful business syndicate called The Tribe) is under siege, with attacks against their affiliates escalating across the globe. Soon it starts to look like an inside job, and Nena will need to rely on both her training and her instincts to root out a mole.
Read it for: Nena's tenacity and determination to survive in the face of both immediate threats to her life and the grief and trauma from her past.
All Dressed Up by Jilly GagnonThe setup: At a beautiful manor converted into a boutique hotel, eight guests arrive for a 1920s murder-mystery themed weekend, where they'll each take on a fictional persona for the duration and be served by a full cast of actors portraying the stately home's staff.
What goes wrong: An actress playing a key role in the mystery fails to show up for work, leaving the guests -- some of whom had reason to distrust each other before the disappearance -- to investigate what might be a very real crime.
About the author: All Dressed Up is the adult fiction debut of writer Jilly Gagnon, who is best known for her young adult novel #famous.
The Other Side of Night by Adam HamdyWhat it's about: Harriet Healty is a disgraced British police detective who begins a personal investigation after finding a note scribbled in a secondhand book that suggests a connection between her former boyfriend and the apparent murder-suicide of a brilliant physicist and her well-known novelist husband.
How it's told: from alternating perspectives, interspersed with emails, court documents, and police reports related to the case.
You might also like: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh; The Last Hunt by Deon Meyer; The Postscript Murders by Ely Griffiths.
1989 by Val McDermidSeries alert: 1989 is the intricately plotted and well-researched sequel to 1979, which first introduced readers to Glasglow journalist Allie Burns.
This time: The U.K. is under a dark cloud thanks to Thatcherism, the recent Lockerbie plane bombing, and the ongoing AIDS crisis. Rumors of potentially successful new HIV treatments on the other side of the Iron Curtain pull Allie to East Berlin, where a deal she makes to get information lands her on the Stasi's radar.
Reviewers say: 1989 is a "riveting look backward from Scotland's Queen of Crime" (Booklist) and author Val McDermid is "writing at the top of her game" (Publishers Weekly).
Luda by Grant MorrisonStarring: aging drag queen Luci LaBang, whose act is known for its allusions to the occult and emphasis on creating illusion; magnetic up-and-coming performer Luda, whose traumatic past and ingenue vibe convince Luci to take on a new protégé.
When we meet them: after an accident takes Luci's usual costar out of commission and Luda arrives as a replacement, bringing along as much mystery and trouble as she does star power.
For fans of: witty banter and wordplay; classic Bette Davis film All About Eve.
We Spread by Iain ReidHow it starts: Surrealist painter Penny has just moved into the long-term care home Six Cedars, which boasts pleasant surroundings and a progressive methodology to enrich the final years of its elderly residents.
What goes wrong: After settling in Penny begins to suspect that something is very wrong with the facility's managers and their treatment of the other residents, but her increasingly fragile relationship with memory leaves her spiraling as she struggles to distinguish between her imagination and reality.
Read it for: the menacing tone, which the author manages to create through spare yet compelling writing; a harrowing portrait of the vulnerabilities of dementia.
The Vicious Circle by Katherine St. JohnWhere it's set: a massive villa called Xanadu deep in the Mexican jungle, home of a lucrative wellness center run by self-help guru Paul Bentzen before his recent death.
Starring: Sveta Bentzen, who is shocked to learn that her uncle Paul left the to her and deeply discomfited by the circle of Paul's devoted followers whom she meets after arriving in Mexico to sort out the paperwork.
Try these next: This Might Hurt by Stephanie Wrobel; The Sanctuary by Charlotte Duckworth; The Hive by Gregg Olsen.
The Family Game by Catherine SteadmanThe premise: Suspense writer Harriet Reed has just gotten engaged to Edward Holbeck, a tech entrepreneur who comes from a family as wealthy as they are notoriously eccentric.
The problem: Members of the Holbeck family have many, many secrets, and without telling Edward, have decided to turn their Christmas holiday celebrations into a high-stakes test of Harriet's loyalty and discretion.
Reviewers say: "This pitch-dark fairy tale will leave most readers spellbound" (Publishers Weekly).
Sometimes People Die by Simon StephensonThe setting: an extremely understaffed London hospital where the narrator, an unnamed young doctor, takes the only job he can get after he was suspended for stealing opioids.
What goes wrong: an unexpected death leads to a police investigation, which prompts the narrator to start looking over patient records himself. It's quickly apparent that there are an unusually high number of patients dying, but is it murder or just institutional decay?
Read it for: the sardonic tone and credibility of the narrator's voice, which reflects author Simon Stephenson's former career as a physician.
A Familiar Stranger by A.R. TorreWhat it's about: Lillian Smith has a lot going on -- she just lost her job, her teenage son Jacob is growing increasingly withdrawn, and she just found proof that her emotionally distant husband Mike is having an affair. When the chance for a revenge fling arises Lillian decides to treat herself, sure that it will be a casual thing.
The problem: Somehow someone has a video of Lillian and the man she hooked up with, and it quickly spreads in their community after the footage is uploaded to social media. Then someone turns up dead, with Lillian as the prime suspect.
Reviewers say: A Familiar Stranger is "a wild ride whose perfectly timed shocks won't end till the last page" (Kirkus Reviews).
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