Like January, February is shaping up to be another great month for thriller fans.
New releases from Mark Greaney, Lisa Gardner, Jonathan Kellerman, J.D. Robb, Marc Cameron, Charles Todd, and others make for a rock-solid month of books, but Don Winslow’s The Border makes February really special.
As always, we’ve selected a few titles as our Featured Selections this month, and Winslow’s latest leads the charge. It’s hard to put into words, exactly, how great this book is. For starters, for those of you who haven’t been following along, The Border is the final novel in Winlosw’s iconic trilogy that began back in 2005 with The Power of the Dog. The Cartel (2015), the second book, came out a decade later, continuing the story of DEA Agent Art Keller and his mission to bring down Adán Barrera, the head of the world’s most powerful cartel. Both books received rave reviews from a number of critics and readers alike on their way to becoming international bestsellers. Now, Winslow’s saga comes to a close . . . and it’s no understatement to say this is the most epic novel I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing. I can’t wait for everyone to read it.
Also set to come out (and mentioned above) is Mark Greaney’s latest Gray Man thriller, Mission Critical. Since Back Blast (2016), Greaney has been on a crazy hot streak on par with stretches we’ve seen from the likes of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and Robert Ludlum. You won’t find a better action series than Greaney’s, and Mission Critical is his best thriller yet. Trust me, buy two copies of this one. One for you, and one for a friend . . . because when you’re done with this one, you’ll want to have someone to talk about it with. Greaney really delivers here.
Tuesday, February 5th
One Fatal Mistake by Tom Hunt
The author of Killer Choice, a thriller “full of shocks and twists you won’t see coming” (Lee Child), delivers a nail-biting novel about a hit and run, and a lie that goes horribly wrong…
Her son accidentally kills a man.
They cover it up.
Then everything goes wrong.
When eighteen-year-old Joshua Mayo takes a man’s life in a horrible accident, he leaves the scene without reporting the crime to the police. He hopes to put the awful night behind him and move on with his life. But, of course, he ends up telling his mother, Karen, what happened.
Karen has raised Joshua on her own in Cedar Rapids, Iowa–and she’d thought they’d finally made it. He was doing well in school and was only months from starting college. After hearing his dark confession, she is forced to make a choice no parent should have to make, one that draws them both into a web of deceit that will change their lives forever–if they make it out alive . . .
A Spy in Exile by Jonathan de Shalit
From the author of the internationally bestselling “supremely effective, cunningly crafted” (The Providence Journal) thriller Traitor, a cerebral and suspenseful novel of high-stakes intrigue in Israel’s top intelligence agency.
After Ya’ara Stein is forced out of her job at the Mossad—the secret intelligence service of Israel—she is called upon by the Prime Minister for a classified job. Known for her aptitude, beauty, and deadliness, Stein is asked to set up a secret unit that will act independently, answerable only to the Prime Minister.
This streamlined and deadly unit, filled with bright young men and women recruited and trained by Stein, quickly faces threats both old and new. Descendants of the lethal militant Red Army Faction have returned to terrorize Europe and fears of a radical Islam splinter group force the unit to distinguish between facts and smoke screens. As Stein’s cadets struggle to crush these threats, they soon discover how easily the hunter can become the hunted.
A dazzling, tension-filled novel that sheds light on the world hidden just below the surface of our everyday lives, this thriller offers a peek into the dark behind the curtain where today’s deadliest conflicts are fought. With breathless pacing and shocking twists and turns, it proves that Jonathan de Shalit “has learned well from the likes of Mr. le Carré” (The Wall Street Journal).
Connections in Death by J.D. Robb
In this gritty and gripping new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, Eve Dallas fights to save the innocent―and serve justice to the guilty―on the streets of New York.
Homicide cop Eve Dallas and her billionaire husband, Roarke, are building a brand-new school and youth shelter. They know that the hard life can lead kids toward dangerous crossroads―and with this new project, they hope to nudge a few more of them onto the right path. For expert help, they hire child psychologist Dr. Rochelle Pickering―whose own brother pulled himself out of a spiral of addiction and crime with Rochelle’s support.
Lyle is living with Rochelle while he gets his life together, and he’s thrilled to hear about his sister’s new job offer. But within hours, triumph is followed by tragedy. Returning from a celebratory dinner with her boyfriend, she finds Lyle dead with a syringe in his lap, and Eve’s investigation confirms that this wasn’t just another OD. After all his work to get clean, Lyle’s been pumped full of poison―and a neighbor with a peephole reports seeing a scruffy, pink-haired girl fleeing the scene.
Now Eve and Roarke must venture into the gang territory where Lyle used to run, and the ugly underground world of tattoo parlors and strip joints where everyone has taken a wrong turn somewhere. They both believe in giving people a second chance. Maybe even a third or fourth. But as far as they’re concerned, whoever gave the order on Lyle Pickering’s murder has run out of chances . . .
House Arrest by Mike Lawson
In the thirteenth book in Mike Lawson’s celebrated series, Joe DeMarco finds himself on the wrong side of an investigation―in the wake of a political assassination, he’s been framed as the killer.
As the fixer for Congressman John Mahoney in Washington, D.C., Joe DeMarco has had to bend and break the law more than a few times. But when Representative Lyle Canton, House Majority Whip, is found shot dead in his office in the U.S. Capitol and DeMarco is arrested for the murder, DeMarco knows he’s been framed. Locked up in the Alexandria Jail awaiting trial, he calls on his enigmatic friend Emma, an ex-DIA agent, to search for the true killer.
Emma’s investigation leads her to Sebastian Spear, the ruthless and competitive CEO of the multi-billion-dollar Spear Industries. Spear had a motive for killing Lyle Canton: Canton’s wife, Jean, had once been Spear’s high school sweetheart and the one true love of his life―until Canton won her over. Now Jean was dead, killed in a car crash while driving drunk, and Spear blamed Canton for the accident. But the case the F.B.I. has built against DeMarco is airtight, and not a single piece of evidence points to the grieving CEO. Using her cunning and her D.C. connections, Emma sets out to prove that Spear has been using some fixers of his own.
Featuring crimes of passion, corporate corruption, and partisan feuds, House Arrest is a gripping, timely political thriller, and one of Lawson’s best books yet.
The Wedding Guest by Jonathan Kellerman
Psychologist Alex Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis unravel a shocking crime at a raucous wedding reception in this gripping psychological thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.
LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis is a fine homicide detective, but when he needs to get into the mind of a killer, he leans on the expertise of his best friend, the brilliant psychologist Dr. Alex Delaware. While Sturgis has a knack for piecing together the details of a crime, Delaware can decipher the darkest intents driving the most vicious of perpetrators. And there’s no better place for the doctor’s analytical skills to shine than a rowdy hall full of young men and women intoxicated on life and lust . . . and suddenly faced with the specter of death.
Summoned to a run-down former strip joint, Delaware and Sturgis find themselves crashing a wild Saints and Sinners–themed wedding reception. But they’re not the only uninvited guests. A horrified bridesmaid has discovered the body of a young woman, dressed to impress in pricey haute couture and accessorized with a grisly red slash around her neck. What’s missing is any means of identification, or a single partygoer who recognizes the victim. The baffled bride is convinced the stranger snuck in to sabotage her big day—and the groom is sure it’s all a dreadful mistake. But Delaware and Sturgis have a hundred guests to question, and a sneaking suspicion that the motive for murder is personal. Now they must separate the sinners from the saints, the true from the false, and the secrets from those keeping them. The party’s over—and the hunt for whoever killed it is on.
The Black Ascot by Charles Todd
Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge seeks a killer who has eluded Scotland Yard for years in this next installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.
An astonishing tip from a grateful ex-convict seems implausible—but Inspector Ian Rutledge is intrigued and brings it to his superior at Scotland Yard. Alan Barrington, who has evaded capture for ten years, is the suspect in an appalling murder during Black Ascot, the famous 1910 royal horserace honoring the late King Edward VII. His disappearance began a manhunt that consumed Britain for a decade. Now it appears that Barrington has returned to England, giving the Yard a last chance to retrieve its reputation and see justice done. Rutledge is put in charge of a quiet search under cover of a routine review of a cold case.
Meticulously retracing the original inquiry, Rutledge begins to know Alan Barrington well, delving into relationships and secrets that hadn’t surfaced in 1910. But is he too close to finding his man? His sanity is suddenly brought into question by a shocking turn of events. His sister Frances, Melinda Crawford, and Dr. Fleming stand by him, but there is no greater shame than shell shock. Questioning himself, he realizes that he cannot look back. The only way to save his career—much less his sanity—is to find Alan Barrington and bring him to justice. But is this elusive murderer still in England.
The Girl in the Glass Box by James Grippando
Miami attorney Jack Swyteck lands in the heart of the contentious immigration debate when he takes on the heart-wrenching case of an undocumented immigrant who fled to America to protect her daughter and save herself, in this timely and pulse-pounding thriller that explores the stories behind the headlines from New York Times bestselling author James Grippando, winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.
Julia Rodriguez and her teenage daughter Beatriz escaped bloodthirsty gangs, random violence and, Julia’s abusive husband back in El Salvador. Arriving in Miami, mother and daughter struggled to carve their own piece of the American dream. While life in the States is hard, it is safer, until Julia’s rejects her boss’s unwanted sexual advances. Suddenly—thanks to an “anonymous” tip to U. S. immigration authorities—she is arrested, locked in detention with criminals, and slated for deportation. Jack’s only viable legal move to save her is asylum—a long shot that’s become nearly impossible in today’s charged political climate.
When Julia and Beatriz made the perilous trek north to freedom, they thought they’d left the danger behind them. But now, even Miami isn’t safe. A ruthless enemy may have tracked them to south Florida and is biding time, patiently waiting to strike.
In a case where the stakes have never been higher, Jack Sywteck may not be able to save his client—even if he wins.
The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor
The thrilling second novel from the author of The Chalk Man, about a teacher with a hidden agenda who returns to settle scores at a school he once attended, only to uncover a darker secret than he could have imagined.
Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang–the betrayal, the suicide, the murder–and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.
Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town–while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since–is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever, and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.
It was the day she came back.
With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, C. J. Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned reader.
The Lost Man by Jane Harper
Two brothers meet in the remote Australian outback when the third brother is found dead, in this stunning new standalone novel from New York Times bestseller Jane Harper
Two brothers meet at the remote fence line separating their cattle ranches in the lonely outback. In an isolated belt of Queensland, they are each other’s nearest neighbor, their homes four hours’ drive apart.
The third brother lies dead at their feet.
Something caused Cam, the middle child who had been in charge of the family homestead, to die alone in the middle of nowhere.
So the eldest brother returns with his younger sibling to the family property and those left behind. But the fragile balance of the ranch is threatened. Amidst the grief, suspicion starts to take hold, and the eldest brother begins to wonder if more than one among them is at risk of crumbling as the weight of isolation bears down on them all.
Dark, suspenseful, and deeply atmospheric, The Lost Man is the highly anticipated next book from the bestselling and award-winning Jane Harper, author of The Dry and Force of Nature.
Tuesday, February 12th
Careless Love by Peter Robinson
His fans include Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, Ian Rankin, and Louise Penney. He has won acclaim and numerous international prizes and awards, including the Edgar. Now, Peter Robinson, one of the world’s greatest suspense writers, returns with a powerful mystery in which his legendary Detective Superintendent Alan Banks must solve two perplexing crimes.
Two suspicious deaths challenge DS Alan Banks and his crack investigative team.
A young local student’s body is found in an abandoned car on a lonely country road. The death looks like suicide, but there are too many open questions for Banks and his team to rule out foul play. The victim didn’t own a car. She didn’t even drive. How did she get there? Where—and when—did she die? Did someone move her, and if so, why?
A man in his sixties is found dead in a gully up on the wild moorland. He is wearing an expensive suit and carrying no identification. Postmortem findings indicate that he died from injuries sustained during a fall. Was it an accident—did he slip and fall? Or was he pushed? Why was he up there? And why are there no signs of a vehicle near where he fell?
As the inconsistencies multiply and the mysteries surrounding these two cases proliferate, a source close to Annie reveals a piece of information that shocks the team and impacts the investigations. An old enemy has returned in a new guise—a nefarious foe who will stop at nothing, not even murder, to get what he wants.
With the stakes raised, the hunt is on. But will Banks be able to find the evidence to stop him in time?
Killer Thriller by Lee Goldberg
In #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Goldberg’s action-packed sequel to the Washington Post bestseller True Fiction, a hapless writer is pitted against an enemy nation mounting a treacherous plot lifted from one of his thrillers.
Everybody loves Ian Ludlow’s action novels—especially the CIA—because the spies know something the public doesn’t: his fictional plots have a frightening tendency to come true. Ian is in Hong Kong with his resourceful assistant Margo French to research his wildest story yet—a deadly global conspiracy by Chinese intelligence to topple the United States.
What Ian doesn’t know is that his horrifying scenario is happening and that the Chinese mistakenly believe he’s an undercover superspy assigned to foil their scheme. Now Ian is trapped in his own terrifying thriller, on the run from assassins, and racing against time to prevent an epic disaster. He’s written himself into a corner that could cost his life…and his country.
The Moroccan Girl by Charles Cumming
“Charles Cumming has breathed new life into the spy novel.” ―Ben Macintyre, bestselling author of A Spy Among Friends
In this gripping contemporary thriller, reminiscent of the classic Casablanca, a successful spy novelist is drawn into a real-life espionage plot when he’s ordered to find a mysterious fugitive on the alluring but deadly streets of Morocco.
Renowned author Kit Carradine is approached by an MI6 officer with a seemingly straightforward assignment: to track down a mysterious woman hiding somewhere in the exotic, perilous city of Marrakesh. But when Carradine learns the woman is a dangerous fugitive with ties to international terrorism, the glamour of being a spy is soon tainted by fear and betrayal.
Lara Bartok is a leading figure in Resurrection, a violent revolutionary movement whose brutal attacks on prominent right-wing public figures have spread hatred and violence across the world. Her disappearance ignites a race between warring intelligence services desperate to find her―at any cost. But as Carradine edges closer to the truth, he finds himself drawn to this brilliant, beautiful, and profoundly complex woman.
Caught between increasingly dangerous forces who want Bartok dead, Carradine soon faces an awful choice: to abandon Lara to her fate or to risk everything trying to save her.
The Reckoning by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
The Reckoning is the stunning follow-up to The Legacy, which was the start of a thrilling new series that Booklist (starred) recommends for fans of Tana French.
Vaka sits, regretting her choice of coat, on the cold steps of her new school. Her father appears to have forgotten to pick her up, her mother has forgotten to give her this week’s pocket money, and the school is already locked for the day. Grownups, she decides, are useless.
With no way to call home, she resigns herself to waiting on the steps until her father remembers her. When a girl approaches, Vaka recognizes her immediately from class, and from her unusual appearance: two of her fingers are missing. The girl lives at the back of the school, on the other side of a high fence, and Vaka asks to call her father from the girl’s house. That afternoon is the last time anyone sees Vaka.
Detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja are called in. Soon, they find themselves at the heart of another shocking case.
From the international number-one-bestselling author of The Silence of the Sea, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel Yrsa Sigurdardottir returns with the follow-up to The Legacy.
Tuesday, February 19th
Mission Critical by Mark Greaney (Featured Selection)
From Mark Greaney, the New York Times bestselling author of Gunmetal Gray and a co-author of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels, comes a high-stakes thriller featuring the world’s most dangerous assassin: the Gray Man.
Court Gentry’s flight on a CIA transport plane is interrupted when a security team brings a hooded man aboard. They want to kick Gentry off the flight but are overruled by CIA headquarters. The mystery man is being transported to England where a joint CIA/MI6 team will interrogate him about a mole in Langley.
When they land in an isolated airbase in the U.K., they are attacked by a hostile force who kidnaps the prisoner. Only Gentry escapes. His handlers send him after the attackers, but what can one operative do against a trained team of assassins? A lot, when that operative is the Gray Man.
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner
#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner returns with an unpredictable thriller that puts fan favorites D. D. Warren and Flora Dane on a shocking new case that begins with a vicious murder and gets darker from there.
A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.
D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman–Evie Carter–from a case many years back. Evie’s father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.
Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim–a hostage–and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad’s murder.
But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?
The Border by Don Winslow (Featured Selection)
The explosive, highly anticipated conclusion to the epic Cartel trilogy from the New York Times bestselling author of The Force
What do you do when there are no borders? When the lines you thought existed simply vanish? How do you plant your feet to make a stand when you no longer know what side you’re on?
The war has come home.
For over forty years, Art Keller has been on the front lines of America’s longest conflict: The War on Drugs. His obsession to defeat the world’s most powerful, wealthy, and lethal kingpin―the godfather of the Sinaloa Cartel, Adán Barrera―has left him bloody and scarred, cost him the people he loves, even taken a piece of his soul.
Now Keller is elevated to the highest ranks of the DEA, only to find that in destroying one monster he has created thirty more that are wreaking even more chaos and suffering in his beloved Mexico. But not just there.
Barrera’s final legacy is the heroin epidemic scourging America. Throwing himself into the gap to stem the deadly flow, Keller finds himself surrounded by enemies―men who want to kill him, politicians who want to destroy him, and worse, the unimaginable―an incoming administration that’s in bed with the very drug traffickers that Keller is trying to bring down.
Art Keller is at war with not only the cartels, but with his own government. And the long fight has taught him more than he ever imagined. Now, he learns the final lesson―there are no borders.
In a story that moves from deserts south of the border to Wall Street, from the slums of Guatemala to the marbled corridors of Washington, D.C., Winslow follows a new generation of narcos, the cops who fight them, the street traffickers, the addicts, the politicians, money-launderers, real-estate moguls, and mere children fleeing the violence for the chance of a life in a new country.
A shattering tale of vengeance, violence, corruption and justice, this last novel in Don Winslow’s magnificent, award-winning, internationally bestselling trilogy is packed with unforgettable, drawn-from-the-headlines scenes. Shocking in its brutality, raw in its humanity, The Border is an unflinching portrait of modern America, a story of—and for—our time.
The Next to Die by Sophie Hannah
The New York Times bestselling author of The Monogram Murders and Woman with a Secret returns with a disturbing tale of psychological suspense and obsession that hits at the heart of some of our most precious relationships.
What if having a best friend could put you in the crosshairs of a killer?
A psychopath the police have dubbed “Billy Dead Mates” is targeting pairs of best friends, and killing them one by one. Before they die, each victim is given a small white book.
For months, detectives have failed to catch Billy, or figure out what the white books symbolize and why the killer leaves them behind. The police are on edge; the public in a panic. Then a woman, scared by what she’s seen on the news, comes forward. What she reveals shocks the investigators and adds another troubling layer to an already complex case.
Stand-up comedian Kim Tribbeck has one of Billy’s peculiar little books. A stranger gave it to her at a gig she did last year. Was the stranger Billy, and is he targeting her—or is it something more nefarious? Kim has no friends and trusts no one, so how—and why—could Billy Dead Mates want to target her? If it’s not her, then who will be the next to die?
Sophie Hannah raises the stakes with each successive page in this haunting and twisting thriller that reaffirms her place as one of today’s most talented suspense writers.
Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce
A young lawyer’s outwardly perfect life spirals out of control as she takes on her first murder case in this dark and twisty debut thriller for readers of Paula Hawkins, A.J. Finn, or Shari Lapena.
Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise–she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…
Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.
But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything . . .
Open Carry by Marc Cameron
New York Times Bestselling Author of Field of Fire and Tom Clancy Power and Empire and Tom Clancy Oath of Office
“Cameron’s books are riveting page-turners.”
—Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Law enforcement veteran Marc Cameron brings an explosive authenticity to this powerful new U.S. Marshal series. Arliss Cutter is a hero for our times. And his hunt for justice cuts straight to the bone. . . .
U.S. Marshal Arliss Cutter is a born tracker. Raised in the Florida swamplands, he honed his skills in the military, fought in the Middle East, and worked three field positions for Marshal Services. When it comes to tracking someone down—or taking someone out—Cutter’s the best. But his newest assignment is taking him out of his comfort zone to southeast Alaska. Cold, dark, uninhabited forests often shrouded in fog. And it’s the kind of case that makes his blood run cold . . . the shocking murder of a Tlingit Indian girl.
But the murder is just the beginning. Now, three people have disappeared on Prince of Wales Island. Two are crew members of the reality TV show, Fishwives. Cutter’s job is to find the bodies, examine the crew’s footage for clues, and track down the men who killed them. But it won’t be easy, because the whole town is hiding secrets, every trail is a dead end—and the hunter becomes the hunted . . .
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.