Thrillers and Suspense
Just Watch Me by Jeff LindsayWhat it is: an engaging caper novel starring Riley White, a flawed but compelling master thief with a reputation for audacious and daring heists.
The thrill is gone...Riley is starting to feel like his job is getting too easy so he sets his sights on an impossible target: a museum exhibit of the Iranian Crown Jewels, and the layers of security protecting them.
Read it for: Riley's parkour skills, complex moral code, and occasional acts of vigilante justice a la Robin Hood.
The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire NorthWhat it's about: As World War I rages in the background, English doctor William Abbey recounts his experiences in colonial South Africa decades earlier and the (figurative and literal) shadow that has followed him since the day he failed to save the life of a local child.
Who it's for: fans of thought-provoking and emotionally moving horror fiction; anyone interested in the legacy of colonialism and the nature of concepts like guilt and culpability.
The Sacrament by Olaf OlafssonWhat it is: a haunting, character-driven, literary thriller that grapples with the legacy of child abuse in the Catholic Church and the decades-old secrets surrounding a priest's mysterious suicide.
Starring: Sister Johanna, a nun who seems to be an unlikely thriller protagonist -- at least until the truths she's been hiding from for the last 40 years begin to catch up with her.
Reviewers say: a "gripping, masterfully constructed story" that bends "toward redemption and justice" (Booklist).
Reputation by Sara ShepardWhat it's about: When the hacked emails of the students, faculty, and staff of the elite Aldrich University are leaked online, tensions on campus escalate until someone is driven to kill a prominent medical professor.
Why you might like it: the story's multiple perspectives make each narrator a complex blend of sympathetic and suspicious.
About the author: Although Sara Shephard is best known for her young adult series Pretty Little Liars, she has written other works of adult fiction such as Everything We Wanted and The Elizas.
If You Like: Classic Spy Novels
Lenin's Roller Coaster by David DowningSeries alert: This 3rd entry in David Downing's richly detailed series of Jack McColl spy novels takes Jack to Russia shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 on a mission critical to the still-raging World War I.
Fancy meeting you here: Jack's mission and personal life get a lot more complex when he crosses paths with his old flame, American journalist Caitlin Hanley, who is firmly on the side of the revolutionaries.
For fans of: atmospheric espionage tales such as Robert Harris' An Officer and a Spy.
Tightrope by Simon MawerWhat it is: the compelling sequel to Trapeze, which finds British SOE agent Marian Sutro free from Ravensbruck but struggling with the trauma of the war and reluctantly getting pulled back into spywork.
Her mission: turn Russian journalist David Absolon, who is secretly an intelligence agent charged with turning her into a double agent.
For fans of: Graham Greene's The Human Factor, which also muddies the waters between a character's personal loyalties and their mission.
The Girl from Venice by Martin Cruz SmithThe premise: Italian fisherman Cenzo Vianello has been trying to keep his head down and stay off the radar of the Nazis who are occupying his city, until the day he pulls a young Jewish woman from the lagoon and impulsively decides to help her hide from the Germans.
The problem: Although the German surrender is just around the corner, tension is still high and the occupiers may decide to take as many Venetians as they can down with them.
For fans of: The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure, which takes place in occupied France and also features a character pulled deeper into the resistance by unexpected events.
The Good Assassin by Paul VidichStarring: retired CIA agent George Mueller, who since his last appearance in An Honorable Man has settled into a quiet life as a literature teacher.
What happens: When Allen Dulles himself asks George to take one last mission, he travels to Cuba, where the Batista regime is on the verge of collapse and a former CIA colleague is suspected of aiding the revolutionaries.
For fans of: Defectors by Joseph Kanon, another character-driven story about spies with uncertain loyalties.
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