There are plenty of ugly childhoods, traumas and bad starts to go around in Mary Kubica’s Pretty Baby, a new psychological thriller that comes hard on the heels of the author’s debut novel, The Good Girl, which hit a number of “best” lists in 2014.
It takes only a few pages of the suspenseful mystery After the Storm to hurl readers into the heart of a violent tornado touching down near the little town of Painters Mill in rural Ohio, bringing widespread destruction and even the death of an infant. In the twister’s aftermath, a different kind of damage works its way to the surface, as Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the site of an old barn where human bones have been unearthed in the wake of the storm.
Lapland, in the far north of Sweden, is a strange and mysterious place, and this epic novel by Swedish author Stefan Spjut reflects every bit of its otherworldly mystery.
We usually celebrate our college alma maters with a sense of pride, while doing our best to forget high school altogether. But in Lori Rader-Day’s stunning second novel, a murder at a creepy roadside motel forces an unlikely heroine to revisit her painful high school years.
Noir fans will find plenty to like in The Devil’s Share, the fourth book in Wallace Stroby’s series featuring professional thief Crissa Stone. It’s a classic of the genre and a perfect example of just how badly things can go wrong for anyone, even an obsessive planner like Crissa, who picks up on any tiny deviation from her carefully organized heists.
When a murder mystery is set in Washington, D.C., readers expect a good dose of politics, hallowed halls and monuments. That is not the case with Murder, D.C. by Neely Tucker, the second book in a series featuring crime reporter Sully Carter. Carter is a modern hero, emotionally and physically scarred from his Bosnian reporting days. He's a flawed individual who nonetheless retains his integrity when pursuing the truth of a story.
Great psychological thrillers work on two levels: as action-based mysteries and as emotionally resonant personal stories. Jenny Milchman balances both in As Night Falls, as slightly anxious counselor Sandy Tremont faces murderers on her doorstep and secrets from her past with equal intensity.
K.T. Medina’s debut novel, White Crocodile, is a harrowing venture into the deadly fields of Cambodia, a Southeast Asian nation of volatile politics, poverty and danger. The author is a former member of the British armed forces, well qualified to describe the conditions in that small country where, during three decades in the 1970s, hostile political groups planted thousands of land mines that have victimized the native population to the present day.
Most readers probably imagine their favorite author as thoughtful and deep—someone bursting with insight into life and empathy for all creation. From the outside, that’s what Henry Hayden appears to be. Modest despite the five-and-counting bestsellers that bear his name, he seems to be devoted to his wife, loyal to his friends and eager to sign books for the fans who travel to his remote village just to meet him. But he’s a fraud: Every word of his novels was written by his publicity-shy wife, Martha.
English audiologist-turned-author S.J. Watson made a big splash with his debut thriller, Before I Go to Sleep, in 2011. The book chronicled the struggles of a woman who suffers from an acute form of amnesia, and has to reconstruct the details of her life every day when she wakes up. Nicole Kidman starred in the much-anticipated (though tepidly received) big-screen version of Watson’s book, which was translated into over 40 languages.