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.
The fun of reading Dutch author Herman Koch is his constant questioning of normal human behavior. His commentary on etiquette and the trappings of wealth is hilariously biting; it’s like standing next to the cynical party guest who keeps you laughing all night by mocking the pretentious host. And just like that funny guy at the party, Koch can go from companionable to creepy before you realize what changed.
The best new mysteries feature two German imports, a chilling debut novel from Neely Tucker and the newest installment in Malla Nunn's Emmanuel Cooper series.
Rafe Solmes is a Bath, England, literature professor who has just finished a book on fairy tales, but his interest in gruesome stories like “Bluebeard” and “The True Bride” is far from academic. When Clarissa, a university assistant, lets him walk her home one night, she discovers a sinister side to this seemingly harmless scholar. An obsessive master manipulator who won’t take no for an answer, Rafe is soon everywhere she is—lurking outside her apartment at all hours, sending increasingly threatening gifts and even turning her friends against her.
Three excellent novels from 2013 are now available in paperback, perfect for sparking discussion in your reading group.
Are beginnings all that discernible from endings? Or do events and memories just pile up and bleed together, leaving one to question how things ended up that way?
In Jan Elizabeth Watson’s second novel, What Has Become of You, Vera Lundy faces just these questions.
On March 8, 2011, shortly before his life took an unexpected turn, Mississippi novelist Greg Iles was stopped at an intersection, lost in creative thought as he debated what to do with his new thriller about unsolved civil rights murders—a subject that was too big for one book, or maybe even two. Most writers would consider that a great problem to have. But for Iles, being forced to choose between art and commerce always sends him into a desultory funk. In such moments, he readily admits, he should not be driving.
This month's Whodunit column highlights a nightmarish thriller from Mo Hayder, Peter Robinson's finest police procedural and more.
There’s a stranger in Claudia Morgan-Brown’s house. The Birmingham, England, social worker has what should be an enviable life: Newly married to a wealthy naval officer, she lives in a palatial house and is step-parenting his adorable twin boys. And after a string of heartbreaking miscarriages with her ex, she’s finally expecting a baby girl of her own. But there’s a problem: the new live-in nanny, Zoe Harcomb.