The Real Book Spy’s April 2019 Reading Guide

Buckle up, because April is another rock-solid month for top-notch thrillers. 

As always, we’ve highlighted a few titles that stand above the rest, and this month’s Featured Selections are Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline, Metropolis by Philip Kerr, and Alafair Burke’s The Better Sister

Scottoline, one of the absolute rockstars of the thriller genre, returns with one of her best thrillers to date. Someone Knows packs a mean punch, sucking readers in early and delivering one major twist after another. Trust me, once you start this book, there’s no putting it down. 

Last year, the publishing world lost a giant in bestselling author Philip Kerr, who passed away suddenly after battling cancer. His final novel, Metropolis, completed and turned in just before his death, takes readers back to the beginning of Bernie Gunther’s career, providing a true origin story for Kerr’s beloved character. It’s sad to see this series come to an end, but things come full circle here, and longtime readers will enjoy one last go-around with Kerr and Gunther. 

Alafair Burke is riding a scorching hot streak after a killer two-book year in 2018, which included the incredible standalone thriller The Wife and her latest collaboration with Mary Higgins Clark, You Don’t Own Me. For my money, The Better Sister is her best novel to date and everything readers could possibly want from a thriller of psychological suspense. 

Find out more about those titles, and others, below!


 

Tuesday, April 2 

 

THe Killer in meThe Killer in Me by Olivia Kiernan 

A deadly past refuses to stay buried in Olivia Kiernan’s masterful new novel

Death is no stranger to Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan, but she isn’t the only one from her small, coastal suburb to be intimately acquainted with it. Years ago, teenager Seán Hennessey shocked the tight-knit community when he was convicted of the brutal murder of his parents and attempted slaying of his sister, though he always maintained his innocence. Now, Seán is finally being released from prison—but when his newfound freedom coincides with the discovery of two bodies, the alleged connection between the cases only serves to pull Frankie further from answers even as it draws her closer to her town’s hidden darkness. With a television documentary revisiting Seán’s sentence pushing the public’s sympathies into conflict on a weekly basis, a rabid media pressuring the police like never before, and a rising body count, Frankie will need all of her resources if she is not only to catch a killer, but put to rest what really happened all those years ago.

A dark, irresistible cocktail of secrets, murder, and family, Olivia Kiernan’s latest is an impossible-to-put-down triumph.

ORDER NOW

 

 

The A ListThe A-List by J.A. Jance 

In the next “devilish page-turner” (People) from New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance, Ali Reynolds learns that no good deed goes unpunished.

More than ten years after the abrupt end of her high-profile broadcasting career, Ali Reynolds has made a good life for herself in her hometown of Sedona, Arizona. She has a new house, a new husband, and a flourishing cybersecurity company called High Noon Enterprises, where her team of veritable technological wizards hunts down criminals one case at a time.

But the death of an old friend brings Ali back to the last story she ever reported: a feel-good human interest piece about a young man in need of a kidney to save his life, which quickly spiraled into a medical mismanagement scandal that landed a prestigious local doctor in prison for murder.

Years may have passed, but Dr. Edward Gilchrist has not forgotten those responsible for his downfall—certainly not Ali Reynolds, who exposed his dirty deeds to the world. Life without parole won’t stop him from getting his revenge. Tattooed on his arm are the initials of those who put him behind bars, and he won’t stop until every person on that Annihilation List is dead.

In this gripping suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author praised for her “inimitable, take-no-prisoners style” (Kirkus Reviews), Ali Reynolds and her team race against the clock to stop this ruthless killer—before her own name is crossed out for good.

ORDER NOW


 

Tuesday, April 9th

 

Someone Knows 1Someone Knows by Lisa Scottoline (Featured Selection)

Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Scottoline reaches new heights with this riveting novel about how a single decision can undo a family, how our past can derail our present, and how not guilty doesn’t always mean innocent.

Allie Garvey is heading home to the funeral of a childhood friend. Allie is not only grief-stricken, she’s full of dread. Because going home means seeing the other two people with whom she shares an unbearable secret.

Twenty years earlier, a horrific incident shattered the lives of five teenagers, including Allie. Drinking and partying in the woods, they played a dangerous prank that went tragically wrong, turning deadly. The teenagers kept what happened a secret, believing that getting caught would be the worst thing that could happen. But time has taught Allie otherwise. Not getting caught was far worse.

Allie has been haunted for two decades by what she and the others did, and by the fact that she never told a soul. The dark secret has eaten away at her, distancing her from everyone she loves, including her husband. Because she wasn’t punished by the law, Allie has punished herself, and it’s a life sentence.

Now, Allie stands on the precipice of losing everything. She’s ready for a reckoning, determined to learn how the prank went so horribly wrong. She digs to unearth the truth, but reaches a shocking conclusion that she never saw coming–and neither will the reader.

A deeply emotional examination of family, marriage, and the true nature of justice, Someone Knows is Lisa Scottoline’s most powerful novel to date. Startling, page-turning, and with an ending that’s impossible to forget, this is a tour de force by a beloved author at the top of her game.

Why you should read it: Lisa Scottoline shows once again why she’s the queen of suspense, delivering a relentless, gut-punch of a thriller that’s sure to stand among the year’s best. 

ORDER NOW

 

 

MetropolisMetropolis by Philp Kerr (Featured Selection)

New York Times-bestselling author Philip Kerr treats readers to his beloved hero’s origins, exploring Bernie Gunther’s first weeks on Berlin’s Murder Squad.

Summer, 1928. Berlin, a city where nothing is verboten. 

In the night streets, political gangs wander, looking for fights. Daylight reveals a beleaguered populace barely recovering from the postwar inflation, often jobless, reeling from the reparations imposed by the victors. At central police HQ, the Murder Commission has its hands full. A killer is on the loose and though he scatters many clues, each is a dead end. It’s almost as if he is taunting the cops. Meanwhile, the press is having a field day. 

This is what Bernie Gunther finds on his first day with the Murder Commission. He’s been taken on because the people at the top have noticed him–they think he has the makings of a first-rate detective. But not just yet. Right now, he has to listen and learn. 

Metropolis, completed just before Philip Kerr’s untimely death, is the capstone of a fourteen-book journey through the life of Kerr’s signature character, Bernhard Genther, a sardonic and wisecracking homicide detective caught up in an increasingly Nazified Berlin police department. In many ways, it is Bernie’s origin story and, as Kerr’s last novel, it is also, alas, his end. 

Metropolis is also a tour of a city in chaos: of its seedy sideshows and sex clubs, of the underground gangs that run its rackets, and its bewildered citizens–the lost, the homeless, the abandoned. It is Berlin as it edges toward the new world order that Hitler will soon usher in. And Bernie? He’s a quick study and he’s learning a lot. Including, to his chagrin, that when push comes to shove, he isn’t much better than the gangsters in doing whatever he must to get what he wants.

Why you should read it: Metropolis shows once again why Philip Kerr was one of the most talented novelists of his generation, and his final novel is one his fans won’t soon forget. 

ORDER NOW

 

41lvNg1v-5L._SX334_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Last by Hanna Jameson 

For fans of high-concept thrillers such as Annihilation and The Girl with All the Gifts, this breathtaking dystopian psychological thriller follows an American academic stranded at a Swiss hotel as the world descends into nuclear war—along with twenty other survivors—who becomes obsessed with identifying a murderer in their midst after the body of a young girl is discovered in one of the hotel’s water tanks. 

Jon thought he had all the time in the world to respond to his wife’s text message: I miss you so much. I feel bad about how we left it. Love you. But as he’s waiting in the lobby of the L’Hotel Sixieme in Switzerland after an academic conference, still mulling over how to respond to his wife, he receives a string of horrifying push notifications. Washington, DC has been hit with a nuclear bomb, then New York, then London, and finally Berlin. That’s all he knows before news outlets and social media goes black—and before the clouds on the horizon turn orange.

Now, two months later, there are twenty survivors holed up at the hotel, a place already tainted by its strange history of suicides and murders. Those who can’t bear to stay commit suicide or wander off into the woods. Jon and the others try to maintain some semblance of civilization. But when the water pressure disappears, and Jon and a crew of survivors investigate the hotel’s water tanks, they are shocked to discover the body of a young girl.

As supplies dwindle and tensions rise, Jon becomes obsessed with investigating the death of the little girl as a way to cling to his own humanity. Yet the real question remains: can he afford to lose his mind in this hotel, or should he take his chances in the outside world?

ORDER NOW

 

Confessions of an innocent manConfessions of an Innocent Man by David R. Dow

A thrillingly suspenseful debut novel, and a fierce howl of rage that questions the true meaning of justice.

Rafael Zhettah relishes the simplicity and freedom of his life. He is the owner and head chef of a promising Houston restaurant. A pilot with open access to the boundless Texas horizon. A bachelor, content with having few personal or material attachments that ground him. Then, lightning strikes. When he finds Tieresse—billionaire, philanthropist, sophisticated, bombshell—sitting at one of his tables, he also finds his soul mate and his life starts again. And just as fast, when she is brutally murdered in their home, when he is convicted of the crime, when he is sentenced to die, it is all ripped away. But for Rafael Zhettah, death row is not the end. It is only the beginning. Now, with his recaptured freedom, he will stop at nothing to deliver justice to those who stole everything from him. 

This is a heart-stoppingly suspenseful, devastating, page-turning debut novel. A thriller with a relentless grip that wants you to read it in one sitting. David R. Dow has dedicated his life to the fight against capital punishment—to righting the horrific injustices of the death penalty regime in Texas. He delivers the perfect modern parable for exploring our complex, uneasy relationships with punishment and reparation in a terribly unjust world.

ORDER NOW

 

The Tale TellerThe Tale Teller by Anne Hillerman

Legendary Navajo policeman Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn takes center stage in this riveting atmospheric mystery from New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman that combines crime, superstition, and tradition and brings the desert Southwest vividly alive.

Joe Leaphorn may have retired from the Tribal Police, but he finds himself knee-deep in a perplexing case involving a priceless artifact—a reminder of a dark time in Navajo history. Joe’s been hired to find a missing biil, a traditional dress that had been donated to the Navajo Nation. His investigation takes a sinister turn when the leading suspect dies under mysterious circumstances and Leaphorn himself receives anonymous warnings to beware—witchcraft is afoot.

While the veteran detective is busy working to untangle his strange case, his former colleague Jim Chee and Officer Bernie Manuelito are collecting evidence they hope will lead to a cunning criminal behind a rash of burglaries. Their case takes a complicated turn when Bernie finds a body near a popular running trail. The situation grows more complicated when the death is ruled a homicide, and the Tribal cops are thrust into a turf battle because the murder involves the FBI.

As Leaphorn, Chee, and Bernie draw closer to solving these crimes, their parallel investigations begin to merge . . . and offer an unexpected opportunity that opens a new chapter in Bernie’s life.

ORDER NOW

 

The Eighth SisterThe Eighth Sister by Robert Dugoni 

A pulse-pounding thriller of espionage, spy games, and treachery by the New York Times bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series.

Former CIA case officer Charles Jenkins is a man at a crossroads: in his early sixties, he has a family, a new baby on the way, and a security consulting business on the brink of bankruptcy. Then his former bureau chief shows up at his house with a risky new assignment: travel undercover to Moscow and locate a Russian agent believed to be killing members of a clandestine US spy cell known as the seven sisters.

Desperate for money, Jenkins agrees to the mission and heads to the Russian capital. But when he finds the mastermind agent behind the assassinations—the so-called eighth sister—she is not who or what he was led to believe. Then again, neither is anyone else in this deadly game of cat and mouse.

Pursued by a dogged Russian intelligence officer, Jenkins executes a daring escape across the Black Sea, only to find himself abandoned by the agency he serves. With his family and freedom at risk, Jenkins is in the fight of his life—against his own country.

ORDER NOW


 

Tuesday, April 16th

 

The Better SisterThe Better Sister by Alafair Burke (Featured Selection)

Keep your enemies close and your sister closer.

Though Chloe was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be the one in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicky—always restless and more than a little reckless—was the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed that both sisters had found happiness. Chloe earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicky married promising young attorney Adam Macintosh and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different—and Chloe is married to Adam. When he’s murdered by an intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Chloe reluctantly allows her teenage stepson’s biological mother—her estranged sister, Nicky—back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ethan as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

Why you should read it: Burke brings her A-game here, drawing on real-life themes that add a timely and relevant feel to The Better Sister . . . but the real magic lies in the mystery at the heart of this powerful family drama that packs a major twist and an ending that’ll leave readers stunned.

ORDER NOW

 

RedepmtionRedemption by David Baldacci

Detective Amos Decker discovers that a mistake he made as a rookie detective may have led to deadly consequences in the latest Memory Man thriller in David Baldacci’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Amos Decker and his FBI partner Alex Jamison are visiting his hometown of Burlington, Ohio, when he’s approached by an unfamiliar man. But he instantly recognizes the man’s name: Meryl Hawkins. He’s the first person Decker ever arrested for murder back when he was a young detective. Though a dozen years in prison have left Hawkins unrecognizably aged and terminally ill, one thing hasn’t changed: He maintains he never committed the murders. Could it be possible that Decker made a mistake all those years ago? As he starts digging into the old case, Decker finds a startling connection to a new crime that he may be able to prevent, if only he can put the pieces together quickly enough.

ORDER NOW


 

Tuesday, April 23 

 

Neon PreyNeon Prey by John Sandford 

Lucas Davenport tracks a prolific serial killer in the newest nail-biter by #1 New York Times-bestselling author John Sandford.

Clayton Deese looks like a small-time criminal, muscle for hire when his loan shark boss needs to teach someone a lesson. Now, seven months after a job that went south and landed him in jail, Deese has skipped out on bail, and the U.S. Marshals come looking for him. They don’t much care about a low-level guy–it’s his boss they want–but Deese might be their best chance to bring down the whole operation.

Then, they step onto a dirt trail behind Deese’s rural Louisiana cabin and find a jungle full of graves.

Now Lucas Davenport is on the trail of a serial killer who has been operating for years without notice. His quarry is ruthless, and–as Davenport will come to find–full of surprises . . .

ORDER NOW

 

Delta-VDelta-V by Daniel Suarez 

The bestselling author of Daemon returns with a near-future technological thriller, in which a charismatic billionaire recruits a team of adventurers to launch the first deep space mining operation–a mission that could alter the trajectory of human civilization.
 
When itinerant cave diver James Tighe receives an invitation to billionaire Nathan Joyce’s private island, he thinks it must be a mistake. But Tighe’s unique skill set makes him a prime candidate for Joyce’s high-risk venture to mine a near-earth asteroid–with the goal of kick-starting an entire off-world economy. The potential rewards and personal risks are staggering, but the competition is fierce and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
 
Isolated and pushed beyond their breaking points, Tighe and his fellow twenty-first-century adventurers–ex-soldiers, former astronauts, BASE jumpers, and mountain climbers–must rely on each other to survive not only the dangers of a multi-year expedition but the harsh realities of business in space. They’re determined to transform humanity from an Earth-bound species to a space-faring one–or die trying.

ORDER NOW

 

The Pandora Room smallThe Pandora Room by Christopher Golden 

When what appears to be the original Pandora’s Box is discovered in an ancient city, neighboring countries fight for ownership and unleash a terrible plague. 

The Pandora Room is New York Times bestselling author Christopher Golden’s chilling exploration of what happens when the original Pandora’s Box is discovered in an ancient subterranean city, stirring international conflict and exposing the archaeological team to curses, whispers, and the terror of a legendary plague.

In one ancient variation on the myth of Pandora’s Box, there were two jars, one for Pandora and one for her sister, Anesidora. One contained all the blessings of the gods, the other all the world’s curses. Now, in a subterranean city in Northern Iraq, archaeologist Sophie Durand has discovered a secret chamber covered in writing that confirms that version of the tale―a chamber which contains a single jar. “Weird shit” expert Ben Walker joins Sophie’s team just as the mystery deepens and grows ugly. Those who believe the myth want to know which jar has been found in the Pandora Room, the one containing blessings, or the one full of curses. Governments rush to lay claim, but jihadi forces aren’t waiting for the dust to settle. Whatever the jar contains, they want it, no matter who they have to kill…or what will emerge when they open it. For Sophie, Walker, and the others, the Pandora Room may soon become their tomb.

ORDER NOW


 

Tuesday, April 30th 

 

CollusionCollusion by Newt Gingrich & Pete Earley 

What if the Russians really are colluding with Americans…on the left?

#1 New York Times-bestselling author Newt Gingrich returns with this rollicking tale of high-stakes international intrigue—the first book in a contemporary series filled with adventure, betrayal, and politics, that captures the tensions and divides of America and the world today. 

Valerie Mayberry comes from the kind of wealthy family that would be royalty in any other country. Obsessive and compulsive, she’s also the FBI’s counter-intelligence expert on domestic terrorism.

Brett Garrett is a dishonorably discharged ex-Navy SEAL coming off a secret opioid addiction. A brusque, fiercely independent operative who refuses to play by the rules, the seasoned pro is now a gun for hire, working as a security contractor in Eastern Europe.

When a high ranking Kremlin official with knowledge of a plan to attack the US must be smuggled out under the nose of a kleptocratic Putin-like Russian president and a ruthless general, Mayberry and Garret are thrown together to exfiltrate him and preempt a deadly poisonous strike.

As these unlikely partners work to protect their human asset, their mission is threatened by domestic politics: leftist protests, Congressional infighting, and a culture driven by hatred.

Collusion raises many of the most significant issues facing America in real life today. Is Russia our ally, or our enemy? Are American leftist activists susceptible to influence from aboard? How far will our enemies go to disrupt our politics and weaken the nation? Can we trust the media to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys?

Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley have entertained and educated readers with three previous novels of Washington scandal and foreign interference. From its explosive opening through several twists and turns to its heart-stopping end, Collusion is their most timely and powerful novel yet.

ORDER NOW

 

Like LionsaLike Lions by Brian Panowich 

“Excellent . . . It’s the emotional complexity of Burroughs . . . as well as the brass knuckle punch of an ending that will have readers applauding. This is hillbilly noir at its finest.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

A powerful follow up to multiple award-winning debut Bull Mountain

Brian Panowich burst onto the crime fiction scene in 2015, winning awards and accolades from readers and critics alike for his smoldering debut, Bull Mountain. Now with Like Lions, he cements his place as one of the outstanding new voices in crime fiction.

Clayton Burroughs is a small-town Georgia sheriff, a new father, and, improbably, the heir apparent of Bull Mountain’s most notorious criminal family.

As he tries to juggle fatherhood, his job and his recovery from being shot in the confrontation that killed his two criminally-inclined brothers last year, he’s doing all he can just to survive. Yet after years of carefully toeing the line between his life in law enforcement and his family, he finally has to make a choice.

When a rival organization makes a first foray into Burroughs territory, leaving a trail of bodies and a whiff of fear in its wake, Clayton is pulled back into the life he so desperately wants to leave behind. Revenge is a powerful force, and the vacuum left by his brothers’ deaths has left them all vulnerable. With his wife and child in danger and the way of life in Bull Mountain under siege for everyone, Clayton will need to find a way to bury the bloody legacy of his past once and for all.

ORDER NOW

Advertisements

Facebook Comments

comments

2 comments

Leave a Reply to Alan Jaffe Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.