Thrillers and Suspense
Last Woman Standing by Amy GentryStarring: Dana Diaz, a struggling stand-up comedian who is tired of the constant sexual harassment in her male-dominated industry; computer programmer Amanda Dorn, herself no stranger to workplace misogyny and no less fed up than Dana.
Teamwork makes the dream work: After bonding over their shared suffering, the two women join forces to get revenge on each other's aggressors, until a dangerous close call threatens their alliance.
Why you might like it: This story is one part psychological thriller, one part buddy comedy, one part Strangers on a Train, and one part #MeToo.
Invisible by Andrew GrantThe premise: Army intelligence agent Paul McGrath returns to civilian life to discover that his estranged father was murdered.
The problem: The killer's case was dropped on a technicality. Now Paul (who was on assignment during the trial) must go undercover to learn what the "invisible" courthouse support staff witnessed during the trial.
Author alert: Andrew Grant is the younger brother of fellow suspense author Lee Child.
The Perfect Liar by Thomas Christopher GreeneWhat it is: a compelling, intensifying story of the seemingly perfect marriage of single mom Susannah Garcia and charismatic artist Max Westmoreland.
What happens: Just as they begin to settle into married life, the couple receives a series of cryptic, sinister notes at their new home. Although Susannah starts to wonder if she can trust her new husband, she also harbors her own secrets.
Read it for: its menacing tone, tight plotting, and well-balanced alternating perspectives that ratchet up the tension.
Scrublands by Chris HammerWhat happens: On a hot but otherwise unremarkable Sunday morning in a small Australian town, Father Byron Swift opens fire on his congregation, killing five people before being killed himself.
One year later: Sydney journalist Martin Scarsden travels to Riversend for a story on how the town is coping after the shooting, only to stumble into a fraught web of conflict, contradiction, and maybe even a conspiracy tied to Father Swift's crime.
You might also like: Bitter Wash Road by Garry Disher; The Dry by Jane Harper; Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash.
The Plotters by Un-Su KimFeaturing: Reseng, a bookish thirtysomething hitman living in an alternate-universe Seoul. Reseng works for a secretive cabal of men who live above the law, controlling South Korean politics through targeted assassination.
What goes wrong: Reseng barely avoids being killed himself, and this taste of his own medicine makes him begin to question the mysterious corporate and political forces that dominate both his life and the wider society he lives in.
Read it for: the surreal world-building and refreshing moments of dark humor.
Books You May Have Missed
The Washington Decree by Jussi Adler-OlsenWhat it's about: the historic presidential campaign that Dorothy "Doggie" Rogers has dedicated her life to and the fallout of an assassination on the night of the election.
Prime suspect: Doggie's own father, a passionate supporter of the opposition party.
Author alert: Jussi Adler-Olsen is best known for his Department Q series of police procedurals.
She Was the Quiet One by Michele CampbellStarring: recently orphaned twins (and rivals) Rose and Bel Enright.
What goes wrong: Bel and Rose are sent to an elite New England boarding school, where their rivalry only deepens. Soon one twin finds her sister dead, and this is only the beginning of the story.
Read it for: the well-developed characters, tight-as-a-drum plotting, and alternating narrators that give a 360-degree view of the crime.
The Second Coming by John HeubuschWhat it's about: the struggles of forensic anthropologist Dr. Jon Bondurant and Vatican media specialist Domenika Josef to protect a child whose DNA could be the secret to saving the world from a virulent disease outbreak.
Series alert: The Second Coming is the sequel to The Shroud Conspiracy, which followed Dr. Bondurant's first brush with the dangerous forces seeking to control the legendary Shroud of Turin.
For fans of: The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn; Obsessed by Ted Dekker.
An Unwanted Guest by Shari LapenaWhat happens: A snowstorm strands a diverse group of guests at a Catskills ski lodge, and once the power goes out people begin to die one by one at the hands of the killer among them.
Inspired by: Agatha Christie's famous "locked room" mystery And Then There Were None.
Critics say: "[Shari] Lapena [creates] a goosebump-raising atmosphere as the darkness and malevolence stretch on" (Booklist).
Swift Vengeance by T. Jefferson ParkerStarring: private investigator Roland Ford, the hero of T. Jefferson Parker's previous novel The White Room of Fire; FBI agent Joan Taucher, who struggles with the legacy of her agency's failures.
What it's about: the hunt for an elusive killer known only as "Caliphornia," who is targeting (and decapitating) the former members of an Air Force drone assassination team.
You might also like: The Middleman by Olen Steinhauer; Nicholas Petrie's Peter Ash novels.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Somerset County Library System of New Jersey1 Vogt Drive
P.O. Box 6700
Bridgewater, New Jersey 08807