There are several ways to know whether you’ve got a really fine novel on your hands, and you can tell pretty quickly that Dry Bones in the Valley is a debut of that caliber.
First, author Tom Bouman knows his rural Pennsylvania setting and is familiar with its smallest details, from inhabitants’ accents and manners to their dilapidated trailer homes, and from animal tracks in the woods to the winds and the night sky.
For crime aficionados, New York Times best-selling author Marcia Muller is always a welcome name, one to rely on when you want a sure thing—a book that captures the imagination and might even make you wish you’d cancelled your evening plans so you could just go on reading. Her latest, The Night Searchers—to be exact, number 31 in her San Francisco-based Sharon McCone series—promises to be that kind of book.
In his first novel, The String Diaries, British author Stephen Lloyd Jones has created both an innovative storyline and a new creature to fear. The secret to overcoming this monster lies within one family’s weathered, string-tied diaries, which contain meticulously compiled stories, research and theories. But what is it that hunts this family, and why?
Chicago is infamous for its violence, from Prohibition-era mobsters to modern-day street gangs. As a result, novels set in Chicago often fall somewhere on the spectrum of crime fiction. Lori Rader-Day’s blood-tingling debut—a mystery so chock-full of suspense it’s best devoured in a single late-night reading session—imagines a different brand of violence in Chicago, a phenomenon that’s become all too familiar in the 21st century: school shootings.
Orchids—missing ones, dead ones, rare ones, at a murder scene or a horticultural talk—they’re all over the place in popular Brit mystery author Catherine Aird’s new series procedural, Dead Heading, featuring the organic detective duo Sloan and Crosby, long-timers from more than 20 of her mysteries.
For most high school bullying victims, life eventually gets better. For Toni Murphy, her torment at the hands of a mean-girl clique turns into a nightmare she can’t escape.
With his new historical spy novel Midnight in Europe, celebrated author Alan Furst brilliantly illuminates an era on edge, during the troubled time preceding World War II, when a dark cloud of civil unrest and war slowly begins to envelop Europe.
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, by Swiss author Joel Dicker, may not tell the truth about anything, so prepare to feel cleverly fooled and marvelously misled while reading this skillful, humorous, multilayered dissection of honesty, fame, misperception, obsession and murder.
Stephen King has been thrilling readers for four decades, ever since the 1974 publication of Carrie. So it’s particularly remarkable that such a long-lived (and prolific) writer can still generate buzz for doing something different. But that’s exactly what’s happening with King’s 51st novel, Mr. Mercedes, which is being billed as his first “hard-boiled detective tale.”
It can be perilous to venture into well-trodden subgenre territory, even if you have the talent that Tom Rob Smith demonstrated with his suspenseful Child 44 trilogy.
With his fourth novel, The Farm, Smith is venturing into the territory of Scandinavian thrillers, which first caught international fire thanks to the fiction of the late Stieg Larsson.