While Justice Sleeps by Stacey AbramsThe situation: law clerk Avery Keene has just been appointed the legal guardian of Supreme Court justice Howard Wynn, who has fallen into a coma.
What's at stake: Justice Wynn was the swing vote for a major upcoming case, and it's not long before Avery learns how far some people will go to ensure the court rules in their favor.
About the author: Politician and voting rights activist Stacey Abrams has previously published the nonfiction works Our Time is Now and Lead From the Outside, and eight romance novels under the pseudonym Selena Montgomery including Secrets and Lies and Hidden Sins.
The Photographer by Mary Dixie CarterWhat it's about: Party photographer Delta Dawn is used to being around elite New Yorkers, but there's something about the Staub family that sticks with her after photographing 11-year-old Natalie's birthday party. Soon Delta befriends Natalie's parents Fritz and Amelia, neither of whom realize the destructive force they've just let into their lives.
For fans of: twisted, unreliable narrators and character-driven stories.
Want a taste? "People want me to photograph their children because in one photograph I'm able to give them the life they want to believe they already have."
In the Company of Killers by Bryan ChristyWhat it is: a thought-provoking spy thriller, starring a flawed but introspective wildlife journalist who teams up with a CIA agent to bring down a notorious ivory smuggler.
Reviewers say: "Fans of both espionage and global crime thrillers will find a gem here" (Booklist).
About the author: Bryan Christy is an award-winning journalist best known for his work with National Geographic and his nonfiction book The Lizard King, which is being adapted into a film.
Maxwell's Demon by Steven HallThe premise: Thomas Quinn's writing career isn't going great, something that would be true even if he weren't the son of Stanley Quinn, a war correspondent and poet many laud as the best writer of his generation.
The problem: Thomas has just received a voicemail message from his dad, which is troubling because Stanley has been dead for seven years.
Is it for you? Although the witty writing and intricate plotting are sure to engage all readers, the experimental structure may not be for everyone.
The Garden of Angels by David HewsonWhat it is: part thriller and part coming-of-age story, this is a character-driven and compelling story about the wartime survival and long-held secrets of a Venetian family.
Starring: fifteen-year-old Nico Uccello, who has been summoned to his dying grandfather's bedside to receive an unexpected gift; Paolo Uccello, who has been carrying the secret of his activities during the Nazi occupation of Italy for decades.
Reviewers say: Author David Hewson "expertly balances tense action and thoughtful emotion" (Publishers Weekly).
Books You Might Have Missed
The Safe Place by Anna DownesThe premise: Aspiring London actress Emily Proudman has just bombed an audition and lost her office temp job in the same day, but the CEO of the company makes her another offer -- to work as a housekeeper and babysitter at his family's beautiful French vacation home.
The problem: The family's quirks spark Emily's curiosity, but once she starts snooping she makes a discovery that, if revealed, might put her life in danger.
For fans of: Ruth Ware's The Turn of the Key, which also follows a domestic worker who uncovers dark truths under the surface of her employers' deceptively glamorous facade.
The Effort by Claire HolroydeWhat it's about: the collision of both interpersonal and international forces as a team of scientists from around the world gather in a remote fortified compound to prevent a massive asteroid from ending all life on Earth.
For fans of: the quieter but equally thought-provoking Last Policeman trilogy by Ben Winters; Marc Elsberg's Blackout, which also follows a large cast of characters dealing with international catastrophe.
Reviewers say: The Effort is filled with "intensely high-stakes drama with intriguing and diverse characters whose struggles illustrate the terror and regrets of a disintegrating society" (Booklist).
The Three Mrs. Wrights by Linda KeirWhat it is: a compelling and intricately plotted story of three successful career women and their united effort to get even with the manipulative man who lied to and cheated on them all.
Starring: Pediatrician Holly, who lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband Jack and their three children; researcher Jessica, who works on cancer technology for her husband Jon's medical start-up; game designer Lark, whose wedding day with charming investor Trip is rapidly approaching; and Jack/Jon/Trip Wright, who's in for a big surprise.
Read it for: the complementary similarities and differences between Holly, Jessica, and Lark, who make a strong and capable team that's fun to root for.
Bloodline by Jess LoureyWhat it's about: This creepy and suspenseful story follows pregnant journalist Joan Harken as she relocates to her fiancé's idyllic Minnesota home town, only to discover the residents are hiding a decades-old web of secrets more dangerous than she could ever have imagined.
Inspired by: the true (and still unsolved) story of the 1944 disappearance of kindergartner Victor "Jackie" Theel in Paynesville, Minnesota.
For fans of: the evocative and unsettling vibe of Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives.
Eddie's Boy by Thomas PerryWhat it's about: Retired mob hit man Michael Shaeffer has just survived a murder attempt, and to find out who wants him dead after years out of the business, he'll have to return to his old stomping ground and reacquaint himself with the past that he can't seem to escape.
Read it for: the balance between intricate plotting and brisk pacing; the humanity that author Thomas Perry is able to find in characters despite their morally questionable thoughts and actions.
Series alert: This is the 4th entry in the Butcher's Boy suspense series.
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