24 May 2019

10 Thrillers to Look Forward to (or Find at BookExpo 2019)

Last week I talked about the general fiction I'd look for if I were attending BookExpo this year (starting in just a few days!). Today is all about some of the crime fiction I added to my wish list when I was reading BookExpo buzz and looking through publishers' catalogs.

As you know, I'm a series addict, and I found one or twenty new mysteries to look forward to in the coming months. Today, however, I decided to feature thrillers that can be read as standalones. Like last week, I'll tell you why I want to read each book and then quote from the publisher's summary.

Great Location

all about To the Lions by Holly WattTo the Lions by Holly Watt (Dutton, Sept.). Why: Features a journalist, includes a conspiracy theory, and takes us to Saint-Tropez and Africa

Casey Benedict, star reporter at the Post, has infiltrated the lives and exposed the lies of countless politicians and power players. Using her network of contacts, and her ability to slip into whatever identity suits the situation, Casey is always on the search for the next big story, no matter how much danger this might place her in, or what the cost might be, emotionally.

Tipped off by an overheard conversation at an exclusive London nightclub, she begins to investigate the apparent suicide of a wealthy young British man whose death has left his fiancée and family devastated. The young man’s death, however, is only the tipping point of a much more sinister and dangerous scandal involving the world’s most powerful leaders and magnates—men who are gathering in Northern African for an extreme and secret hunt. With fellow reporter Miranda and former soldier Ed by her side, Casey’s determined hunt for the truth will take her from the glitz of St Tropez to the deserts of Libya and on to the very darkest corners of the human mind.

all about The Accomplice by Joseph KanonThe Accomplice by Joseph Kanon (Atria, Nov.). Why: I'm curious about a World War II-based story that's set in South America
Seventeen years after the fall of the Third Reich, Max Weill has never forgotten the atrocities he saw as a prisoner at Auschwitz—nor the face of Dr. Otto Schramm, a camp doctor who worked with Mengele on appalling experiments and who sent Max’s family to the gas chambers. As the war came to a close, Schramm was one of the many Nazi officers who escaped  Germany for new lives in South America, where leaders like Argentina’s Juan Perón gave them safe harbor and new identities. With his life nearing its end, Max asks his nephew Aaron Wiley—an American CIA desk analyst—to complete the task Max never could: to track down Otto in Argentina, capture him, and bring him back to Germany to stand trial.

Unable to deny Max, Aaron travels to Buenos Aires and discovers a city where Nazis thrive in plain sight, mingling with Argentine high society. He ingratiates himself with Otto’s alluring but wounded daughter, whom he’s convinced is hiding her father. Enlisting the help of a German newspaper reporter, an Israeli agent, and the obliging CIA station chief in Buenos Aires, he hunts for Otto—a complicated monster, unexpectedly human but still capable of murder if cornered. Unable to distinguish allies from enemies, Aaron will ultimately have to discover not only Otto, but the boundaries of his own personal morality, how far he is prepared to go to render justice.

all about The Sacrament by Olaf OlafssonThe Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson (Ecco, Dec.) Why: I like the setting; addresses child abuse in the Church, and super cover
A young nun is sent by the Vatican to investigate allegations of misconduct at a Catholic school in Iceland. During her time there, on a gray winter’s day, a young student at the school watches the school’s headmaster, Father August Franz, fall to his death from the church tower.

Two decades later, the child—now a grown man, haunted by the past—calls the nun back to the scene of the crime. Seeking peace and calm in her twilight years at a convent in France, she has no choice to make a trip to Iceland again, a trip that brings her former visit, as well as her years as a young woman in Paris, powerfully and sometimes painfully to life. In Paris, she met an Icelandic girl who she has not seen since, but whose acquaintance changed her life, a relationship she relives all while reckoning with the mystery of August Franz’s death and the abuses of power that may have brought it on.

Authors I Like

all about The Butterfly Girl by Rene DenfeldThe Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld (Harper, Oct.). Why: I loved her first two novels; addresses important issue of homeless children
A year ago, Naomi, the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children, made a promise that she would not take another case until she finds the younger sister who has been missing for years. Naomi has no picture, not even a name. All she has is a vague memory of a strawberry field at night, black dirt under her bare feet as she ran for her life.

The search takes her to Portland, Oregon, where scores of homeless children wander the streets like ghosts, searching for money, food, and companionship. The sharp-eyed investigator soon discovers that young girls have been going missing for months, many later found in the dirty waters of the river.

Though she does not want to get involved, Naomi is unable to resist the pull of children in need—and the fear she sees in the eyes of a twelve-year old girl named Celia. Running from an abusive stepfather and an addict mother, Celia has nothing but hope in the butterflies—her guides and guardians on the dangerous streets. She sees them all around her, tiny iridescent wisps of hope that soften the edges of this hard world and illuminate a cherished memory from her childhood—the Butterfly Museum, a place where everything is safe and nothing can hurt her.

all about The Family Upstairs by Lisa JewellThe Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell (Atria, Oct.). Why: I'm always attracted to books with family secrets; Jewell is great at suspense
Gifted musician Clemency Thompson is playing for tourists on the streets of southern France when she receives an urgent text message. Her childhood friend, Lucy, is demanding her immediate return to London.

It’s happening, says the message. The baby is back.

Libby Jones was only six months old when she became an orphan. Now twenty-five, she’s astounded to learn of an inheritance that will change her life. A gorgeous, dilapidated townhouse in one of London’s poshest neighborhoods has been held in a trust for her all these years. Now it’s hers.

As Libby investigates the story of her birth parents and the dark legacy of her new home, Clemency and Lucy are headed her way to uncover, and possibly protect, secrets of their own. What really happened in that rambling Chelsea mansion when they were children?

all about Long Bright River by Liz MooreLong Bright River by Liz Moore (Riverhead, Jan. 2020). Why: I've enjoyed her other novels; address the opioid crisis
Two sisters travel the same streets, though their lives couldn’t be more different. Then one of them goes missing.

In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.

Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit—and her sister—before it’s too late.

Debuts

all about Saint X by Alexis SchaitkinSaint X by Alexis Schaitkin (Celadon, Feb. 2020). Why: Uncovering past secrets, understanding the truth of family stories
Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men—employees at the resort—are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. It turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the sad return home to broken lives.

Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth—not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? . . . Claire doggedly shadows Clive, hoping to gain his trust, waiting for the slip that will uncover the truth.

all about All That's Bright and Gone by Eliza NellumsAll That's Bright and Gone by Eliza Nellums (Crooked Lane Books, Dec.). Why: child protagonist, the Detroit setting
I know my brother is dead. But sometimes Mama gets confused.

There’s plenty about the grownup world that six-year-old Aoife doesn’t understand. Like what happened to her big brother Theo and why her mama is in the hospital instead of home where she belongs. Uncle Donny says she just needs to be patient, but Aoife’s sure her mama won’t be able to come home until Aoife learns what really happened to her brother. The trouble is no one wants to talk about Theo because he was murdered. But by whom?

With her imaginary friend Teddy by her side and the detecting skills of her nosy next door neighbor, Aoife sets out to uncover the truth. But as her search takes her from the banks of Theo’s secret hideout by the river to the rooftops overlooking Detroit, Aoife will learn that some secrets can’t stay hidden forever and sometimes the pain we bury is the biggest secret of them all.

TV Connection

all about Just Watch Me by Jeff LindsayJust Watch Me by Jeff Lindsay (Dutton, Dec.). Why: Lindsay is the author of the Dexter novels, unique setting
A masterful thief plots an impossible crime—stealing the Iranian Crown Jewels.

Riley Wolfe is an expert at disguise and violent when he needs to be. It’s no accident, though, that Riley targets only the .1% and is willing to kill when necessary: He despises the degenerate and immoral possessors of the objects that he steals.

In this series launch, Riley targets an extraordinary set of crown jewels, a heist that will hopefully land him with a sensational collection of heirlooms and leave their owners bereft and embarrassed—or worse. Yes, these jewels are worth millions, but the true attraction for grabbing the jewels comes down to one simple fact: These jewels are absolutely unstealable. There is just no way anyone could get past the airtight security and dream of getting away with even a single diamond from the Imperial Collection. Riley Wolfe has always liked a challenge.

all about The Chestnut May by Soren SveistrupThe Chestnut May by Soren Sveistrup; trans. Caroline Waight (Harper, Sept.). Why: Sveistrup is the author of the show The Killing; set in Denmark
If you find one, he’s already found you.

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen. His calling card is a “chestnut man”—a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts—which he leaves at each bloody crime scene.

Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery—a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, a government minister’s daughter who had been kidnapped and murdered a year ago. A tragic coincidence—or something more twisted?

To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues. Because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over. And no one is safe.

5 comments:

rhapsodyinbooks 5/24/19, 6:07 AM  

I like Rene Denfeld as well - I'll have to look for that one!

ckftaylor@gmail.com 5/24/19, 7:19 AM  

Thanks, most of these were not on my radar. I have been wanting to try Jewell.

bermudaonion 5/24/19, 8:27 AM  

I've got a couple of those but most of them are new to me. I've jotted down some titles because I've been a thriller mood lately.

Tina 5/24/19, 11:07 AM  

I just added To the Lions and The Family Upstairs to my Goodreads to-read and Netgalley request!

The Sacrament sounds like a hard read, but I may want that one too.

Thanks for your comment about the latest Jennifer Ryan book. Love the Chilbury ladies Choir but this one didn't float my boat. I think I am in the minority there.

Vicki 5/24/19, 3:34 PM  

They all sound good. I may add a few to my list.

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