2019 Summer Reading Guide: Every Must-Read Thriller Hitting Bookstores

Get ready, because summer is right around the corner, which means that some of the best, most anticipated thrillers of the year are about to hit bookstores.

As good as the winter and spring months were for thriller fans (read the Spring Reading Guide here), nothing compares to summer. This is Brad Thor and Daniel Silva time. Robert Crais and Sandra Brown. C.J. Box and Paul Doiron. Christina Alger and Linda Castillo. Mark Greaney and Matthew Betley. Catherine Coulter and Karin Slaughter. Bottom line: you won’t find a more star-studded season for this genre than summer.

Heck, there are more high-quality books coming out just on July 30th—Stephen Hunter, Jack Carr, Ben Coes, Shari Lapena, and Iris Johansen—than the entire month of May. So get your book budget in order and browse all of the must-read thrillers about to flood store shelves. And keep an eye out for a few of my favorite books—10 titles noted below (TRBS Favorite) that everyone should add to their TBR list right away. 

Happy reading!

(Note: this list only includes titles being released between June 21st and September 23, which means Mitch Rapp misses the cut by one day. Keep an eye out for Lethal Agent, the latest thriller from Kyle Mills, to headline our fall reading guide later this year!)

 

 


False Horizon by Joseph Reid

Release Date: June 18th

The Amazon Charts bestselling series continues as ruthless ecoterrorists, heavily armed miners, and cold-blooded drug smugglers clash in the Appalachians, where air marshal Seth Walker is investigating a mysterious plane crash.

A commuter flight has fallen from clear skies over West Virginia, its wing sheared off at twenty thousand feet. Air marshal Seth Walker is called to the mountains of Appalachia to investigate. But what he stumbles into is a ground war as unpredictable and combustible as a mason jar full of nitroglycerin.

Before he can even start searching for what might have downed the plane, Walker finds himself caught in the confounding—and deadly—crossfire between drone-deploying ecoterrorists, unstable frackers, ruthless drug smugglers, and armed miners pushed to the breaking point.

The escalating mystery takes a personal turn as Seth gets closer to the truth about the money, power, and politics motivating everyone involved—including those Seth believed he could trust. Can he dodge the danger lurking in every hill and holler long enough to discover what may be the biggest threat of all?

Why you should be excited about it: Joseph Reid’s debut, Takeoff (2018), was a strong start to a noteworthy new series that fans of action thrillers should keep an eye on. For my money, this one’s a touch better.

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The Perfect PLanThe Perfect Plan by Bryan Reardon

Release Date: June 18th

From New York Times bestselling author Bryan Reardon comes a tense, twisting story about two brothers locked together in a dangerous game—and an unforgettable tale of a family’s dark secrets.

Liam Brennan teeters on the edge. Early one morning, he snaps, kidnapping a young woman who works for Drew Brennan, Liam’s older brother and the upstart candidate in a heated election. This sudden, vicious attack appears to be the beginning of an unthinkable spiral. But when it comes to the Brennan brothers, nothing is what it seems.

To the rest of the world, Liam is the troubled problem child who grew up to be his brother’s enforcer, while Drew has always been the perfect son and a charismatic leader who has his sights set on the governor’s mansion with his charming and beautiful wife, Patsy, by his side.

Now, as Liam tries to stay one step ahead of the authorities and his brother, every passing minute provides a deeper glimpse into the brothers’ past, long hidden behind a picture-perfect suburban veneer. With the threat of the truth surfacing, Liam and Drew are driven toward one final, desperate act.

Why you should be excited about it: The Real Michael Swann was one of the more surprising hit domestic thrillers of 2018. Packed with tons of suspense and nonstop twists and turns, Reardon showed readers what he can do. The better question is, can he top himself? We’ll find out this summer.

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Backlash by Brad Thor (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: June 25th

Scot Harvath returns in the newest thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor.

#1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and #1 Publishers Weekly bestselling author Brad Thor is back with his most gripping thriller yet!

In ancient texts, there are stories about men who struck from the shadows, seemingly beyond the reach of death itself. These men were considered part angel, part demon. Their loyalty was to their families, their friends, and their kings. You crossed these men at your peril. And once crossed, there was no crossing back.

They were fearless; men of honor who have been known throughout history by different names: Spartan, Viking, Samurai.

Today, men like these still strike from the shadows. They are highly prized intelligence agents, military operatives, and assassins.

One man is all three.

Two days ago, that man was crossed—badly.

Now, far from home and surrounded by his enemy, Scot Harvath must battle his way out.

With no support, no cavalry coming, and no one even aware of where he is, it will take everything he has ever learned to survive.

But survival isn’t enough. Harvath wants revenge.

In the most explosive novel Brad Thor has ever written, page after captivating page of action, intrigue, loyalty, and betrayal will keep you hooked until the very last sentence and a revelation that will take your breath away.

Why you should be excited about it: Brad Thor is the best political thriller novelist alive today, and he’s showing absolutely no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, whereas most authors start to flame out eighteen books into their respective series, Thor has been better than ever his last few times out. Scot Harvath is still just as lethal as ever, and Spymaster featured the most jaw-dropping cliffhanger of Thor’s career, giving readers every reason to call in sick and crank through Backlash the second it’s released at 12:01 am. (Read my review here!)

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Total Mayhem HDTotal Mayhem by John Gilstrap

Release Date: June 25th

In bestselling author John Gilstrap’s ticking time bomb of a thriller, freelance operative Jonathan Grave penetrates a terrorist cell to stop the detonation of total mayhem on home ground . . .

America is under fire. One by one, simultaneous terror attacks have left the country reeling. The perpetrators are former Special Forces operatives working for ISIS. Jonathan Grave and his team are called to go undercover and eliminate the traitors. No need to collect intel. No need for arrest. Wipe them out—and get out.

The assaults are rehearsals for extreme disaster. A plot codenamed Retribution. One terrorist is willing to talk—for a price. Grave’s only resort is to slip into a dark web where everything can be exposed. Where the rules of engagement do not hold. The bombs have been set and Grave is the one being hunted. Unless he can save himself first, a terrorist plot of unimaginable scope will become history’s deadliest disaster . . .

Why you should be excited about it:  John Gilstrap has been on a roll the past few years, delivering action-packed thrillers that stand out for a number of reasons. Gilstrap seems to zig when everyone else zags. While other writers are focusing on beating headlines and having their series protagonists face off with Russia and/or North Korea, Gilstrap has kept his storylines fresh and unique. This year, it looks like Grave will mix it up with ISIS in Total Mayhem, setting up for another explosive entry in Gilstrap’s bestselling series.

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Big Sky by Kate Atkinson

Release Date: June 25th

Iconoclastic detective Jackson Brodie returns in a triumphant new novel about secrets, sex, and lies

Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It’s picturesque, but there’s something darker lurking behind the scenes.

Jackson’s current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network-and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.

Why you should be excited about it: Jackson Brodie is an interesting character and fine detective. Likewise, Atkinson knows how to pull readers in and keep them guessing . . . a skill she puts on full display here.

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A Matter of Will by Adam Mitzner

Release Date: June 25th

Success becomes dangerously seductive for this Wall Street broker in a dizzying thriller by the author of the Amazon Charts bestseller Dead Certain.

Will Matthews came to Wall Street with hopes and dreams of hitting it big. But things have not been going as expected. He’s on the verge of being fired when he meets the devilishly mysterious and fabulously wealthy Sam Abaddon.

Winning Sam’s business answers Will’s prayers, catapulting the young stockbroker into the privileged world of money and luxury. Not only that, but Will also has met his dream girl, ambitious attorney Gwen Lipton.

All at once, it seems as if Will’s life couldn’t get any better.

And it doesn’t.

When Will witnesses a shocking act of violence, his charmed new existence is revealed to be a waking nightmare as the truth about his benefactor—and his own complicity in criminal conduct—becomes devastatingly clear. As the noose draws tighter, Will faces an impossible choice: feast upon the poisonous fruit of his bloody business or defy his patron and face dire consequences.

Then again, maybe there’s a third option…

Why you should be excited about it: Think John Grisham’s The Firm meets Wall Street. . . this one has a little something for everyone, and I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it.


Rules of EngagementRules of Engagement by David Bruns and J.R. Olson

Release Date: June 25th

“In Rules of Engagement, David Bruns and J. R. Olson deliver a captivating and utterly authentic portrayal of modern day combat that compares with the best of the timeless classics by Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, and Stephen Coonts. This one must not be missed!” ―Mark Greaney #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mission Critical

A terrorist breach of the computer systems of the three most powerful navies is about to set them on a collision course for World War III.

Rafiq Roshed is one of the most wanted men in the world. A terrorist with a virulent grudge against the West, he’s disappeared into North Korea where he quietly launches cyber sneak attacks in service of Kim Jong-un. But now he’s about to unleash his virtual masterpiece―a computer virus that, once inserted into the command systems of a military, not only takes over, but also learns the art of war. First penetrating the Chinese, he has their war machine launch a series of attacks on the U.S. Pacific forces.

Don Riley, head of U.S. Cyber Command, discovers that not only have the Chinese lost control of their military, but the same virus has infected the American network. It’s only a matter of time before the U.S. loses control of its own military. His secret weapon in this war is a trio of supremely talented midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy, who uncover the infilitration, and are working to track down the elusive terrorist.

But time is running out. China and Japan have lost control of their military and the U.S. is in danger of doing the same. The weapons are hot and the result is an ever-larger real-world conflict where casualties continue to mount. The only remaining hope is to find and stop the attack at its source―before time runs out.

Why you should be excited about it: I had the chance to read this novel last summer and absolutely loved it. It reads a bit like recent thrillers from Larry Bond, Rick Cambell, and David Poyer in that it’s a complex naval thriller with a lot of moving parts. Bruns and Olsen are a talented writing duo who have a natural feel for pacing, and while some readers will compare their novel to early works from Tom Clancy, Rules of Engagement is much tighter and quicker than those first Jack Ryan books.

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Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: July 2nd

From the celebrated and bestselling author of The Banker’s Wife, worlds collide when an FBI agent investigates a string of grisly murders on Long Island that raises the impossible question: What happens when the primary suspect is your father?

FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn’t been home in ten years. Nell and her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, have never had much of a relationship. And Suffolk County will always be awash in memories of her mother, Marisol, who was brutally murdered when Nell was just seven.

When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns to the house she grew up in so that she can spread her father’s ashes and close his estate. At the behest of her father’s partner, Detective Lee Davis, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect–and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks. Plagued by doubts about her mother’s murder–and her own role in exonerating her father in that case–Nell can’t help but ask questions about who killed Ria Ruiz and Adriana Marques and why. But she may not like the answers she finds–not just about those she loves, but about herself.

Why you should be excited about it: Alger, one of the best new writers in the genre, really upped her game for last year’s The Baker’s Wife. While Girls Like Us is a different kind of thriller, her latest is another crowd-pleaser, and she keeps the twists coming . . . most readers will never guess the ending.

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Never Look BackNever Look Back by Alison Gaylin

Release Date: July 2nd

Reminiscent of the bestsellers of Laura Lippman and Harlan Coben—with a Serial-esque podcast twist—an absorbing, addictive tale of psychological suspense from the author of the highly acclaimed and Edgar Award-nominated What Remains of Me and the USA Today bestselling and Shamus Award-winning Brenna Spector series.

When website columnist Robin Diamond is contacted by true crime podcast producer Quentin Garrison, she assumes it’s a business matter. It’s not. Quentin’s podcast, Closure, focuses on a series of murders in the 1970s, committed by teen couple April Cooper and Gabriel LeRoy. It seems that Quentin has reason to believe Robin’s own mother may be intimately connected with the killings.

Robin thinks Quentin’s claim is absolutely absurd. But is it? The more she researches the Cooper/LeRoy murders herself, the more disturbed she becomes by what she finds. Living just a few blocks from her, Robin’s beloved parents are the one absolute she’s always been able to rely upon, especially now amid rising doubts about her husband and frequent threats from internet trolls. She knows her mother better than anyone—or so she believes. But all that changes after a brutal and shocking home invasion.

Told through the eyes of Robin, podcaster Quentin, and a series of letters written by fifteen-year-old April Cooper at the time of the killings, Never Look Back asks the question:

How well do we really know our parents, our partners—and ourselves?

Why you should be excited about it: Not many authors are worthy of comparisons to Harlan Coben, but Gaylin is one of them. Not only does she know how to drum up the kind of suspense that’ll have readers firmly on the edges of their seats, but she’s capable of knocking ’em right out of their reading chairs with devastating twists along the way.

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Almost MidnightAlmost Midnight by Paul Doiron

Release Date: July 2nd

In this thrilling entry in Edgar Award finalist Paul Doiron’s bestselling series, the death of Maine’s last wild wolf leads Game Warden Mike Bowditch to an even bigger criminal conspiracy.

Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch already has a troubling mystery on his hands: finding the archer who mortally wounded Maine’s only wild wolf. Then he learns his best friend, Billy Cronk, has been released from prison after heroically defending a female guard from a stabbing. Mike comes to believe the assault was orchestrated by a wider criminal conspiracy. When the conspirators pursue Billy’s wife and children to a “safe” cabin in the woods, Mike rushes to their defense only to find himself outnumbered, outgunned―and maybe out of options.

Why you should be excited about it: This was the last book I finished while compiling this list . . . and it’s awesome. I’ve always enjoyed Doiron’s work, but he’s taken his series to another level over the last three or so years.

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Lock Every DoorLock Every Door by Riley Sager

Release Date: July 2nd

The next heart-pounding thriller from New York Times bestselling author Riley Sager follows a young woman whose new job apartment sitting in one of New York’s oldest and most glamorous buildings may cost more than it pays.

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Why you should be excited about it: Has anyone caused more excessive nail-biting over the last two years than Riley Sager? After stunning with Final Girls (2017), Sager hit another home run with last year’s The Last Time I Lied, which put a devilish twist on the popular party game Two Truths and a Lie. It’s hard to say that his latest is better than either of those books, but it’s a sure bet to thrill his readers once again.

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41wwhRgLLHL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_Knife by Jo Nesbo

Release Date: July 9th

Brilliant, audaciously rogue police officer, Harry Hole from The Snowman and The Thirst, is back and in the throes of a new, unanticipated rage–once again hunting the murderer who has haunted his entire career.

Harry Hole is not in a good place. Rakel–the only woman he’s ever loved–has ended it with him, permanently. He’s been given a chance for a new start with the Oslo Police but it’s in the cold case office, when what he really wants is to be investigating cases he suspects have ties to Svein Finne, the serial rapist and murderer who Harry helped put behind bars. And now, Finne is free after a decade-plus in prison–free, and Harry is certain, unreformed and ready to take up where he left off. But things will get worse. When Harry wakes up the morning after a blackout, drunken night with blood that’s clearly not his own on his hands, it’s only the very beginning of what will be a waking nightmare the likes of which even he could never have imagined.

Why you should be excited about it: Harry Hole (who just might have the most unfortunate name in the genre) returns to take on another case in Nesbo’s internationally bestselling series. For those who haven’t read the books but did suffer through the film adaptation of The Snowman, rest assured that the novels are far better than the movie, which was pretty awful. In fact, if you love a good crime thriller, Nesbo is one of the best in the business.

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The Chain by Adrian McKinty

Release Date: July 9th

VICTIM.
SURVIVOR.
ABDUCTOR.
CRIMINAL.
YOU WILL BECOME EACH ONE.

“This nightmarish story is incredibly propulsive and original. You won’t shake it for a long time.”
STEPHEN KING

“McKinty is one of the most striking and most memorable crime voices to emerge on the scene in years. His plots tempt you to read at top speed, but don’t give in: this writing – sharply observant, intelligent and shot through with black humor – should be savored.”
TANA FRENCH

“A masterpiece. You have never read anything quite like THE CHAIN and you will never be able to forget it.”
DON WINSLOW

YOUR PHONE RINGS.

A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.

TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD.

YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM’S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.

IF ANY OF THESE DON’T HAPPEN:

YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.

YOU ARE PART OF THE CHAIN. 

Why you should be excited about it: Just read the blurbs from heavyweights like King and Winslow. If you need any more of a reason to run out and get this one, you must not be a fan of the genre.

For what it’s worth, I was absolutely blown away by The Chain. Prepare to have your mind messed with, especially if you’re a parent. As a dad to six kids, I’ve always said that “there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for one of my kids—especially if they were in trouble.” I’m sure other parents have said similar things and felt the same way. Let me warn you . . .  McKinty will test that statement in ways you can’t imagine.

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Bad Axe County by John Galligan

Release Date: July 9th

Dennis Lehane meets Megan Miranda in this tense, atmospheric thriller about the first female sheriff in rural Bad Axe County, Wisconsin, as she searches for a missing girl, battles local drug dealers, and seeks the truth about the death of her parents twenty years ago—all as a winter storm rages in her embattled community.

Fifteen years ago, Heidi White’s parents were shot to death on their Bad Axe County farm. The police declared it a murder-suicide and closed the case. But that night, Heidi found the one clue she knew could lead to the truth—if only the investigators would listen.

Now Heidi White is Heidi Kick, wife of local baseball legend Harley Kick and mother of three small children. She’s also the interim sheriff in Bad Axe. Half the county wants Heidi elected but the other half will do anything to keep her out of law enforcement. And as a deadly ice storm makes it way to Bad Axe, tensions rise and long-buried secrets climb to the surface.

As freezing rain washes out roads and rivers flood their banks, Heidi finds herself on the trail of a missing teenaged girl. Clues lead her down twisted paths to backwoods stag parties, derelict dairy farms, and the local salvage yard—where the body of a different teenage girl has been carefully hidden for a decade.

As the storm rages on, Heidi realizes that someone is planting clues for her to find, leading her to some unpleasant truths that point to the local baseball team and a legendary game her husband pitched years ago. With a murder to solve, a missing girl to save, and a monster to bring to justice, Heidi is on the cusp of shaking her community to its core—and finding out what really happened the night her parents died.

Why you should be excited about it: I don’t bet, but if I did, out of all the books on this list, this one’s my pick to be a sleeper hit . . . It’s gritty, brash, and totally gripping. John Galligan is a hell of a writer.

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The ShamlessThe Shameless by Ace Atkins

Release Date: July 9th

New revelations on a notorious local cold case raise ghosts of the past in the newest thriller from New York Times-bestselling author Ace Atkins.

Twenty years ago, teenager Brandon Taylor walked into the Big Woods north of Tibbehah County, Mississippi, and never returned. For former Army Ranger-turned-sheriff Quinn Colson, the Taylor case has particular meaning. As a ten-year-old, Colson had been lost in those same woods, and came back from them alive and a local legend.

Years later, bones of a child are found in the woods, confirming for many the end to the Taylor story. As the case reopens, some point fingers to Quinn’s uncle, the former sheriff, who took his own life in a cloud of corruption and shame. Still, Quinn’s wife, Maggie, can’t believe it. As a childhood friend of the Taylor boy, she thinks there’s a darker conspiracy at work. Letters she receives from a mysterious inmate at a Tennessee state pen may hold the answers.

With a heated election for governor on the horizon and the strengthening of a criminal syndicate’s death grip on the state, Quinn’s search for answers will upset the corruption that’s plagued his home since before he came back from Afghanistan. Greed, false piety, power, bigotry, and dirty deals make for a dangerous mix he knows all too well.

Why you should be excited about it: In an interview I did with Ace Atkins back in July, right around the time that his last Quinn Colson book (The Sinners, 2018) came out, I asked about his next book, which he teased about in a big way. “The shit is just about to hit the fan,” Atkins promised. “Everything that’s been building in the previous books is about to come to a head in a big way. I can’t wait to see how things will shake out down in Tibbehah County.”

That ought to be enough to have his fans rushing to click the pre-order button below.

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The Sum of all SHadowsThe Sum of All Shadows by Eric Van Lustbader

Release Date: July 9th

The Sum of All Shadows is the dramatic finale of New York Times bestselling author Eric Van Lustbader’s pulse-pounding Testament series.

For millennia, Lucifer―the Sum of All Shadows―has been biding his time, rebuilding his influence. At long last, he is ready to enact his ultimate revenge: to reverse the bitter humiliation of the Fall by leading the annihilation of heaven.

To combat the ultimate destroyer, Bravo and Emma Shaw have recovered the lost Testament, raced around the world, and battled adversaries both human and other. Now, caught between enemies and friends and potential enemies, they must find the lost treasure of King Solomon’s alchemical gold and cross not only the world but even time itself to stop the infernal army.

But even if they are successful, their lives may still be forfeit…

Why you should be excited about it: In an exclusive interview that ran back in December, where Lustbader told me he was stepping away from the Jason Bourne franchise, I asked him about The Sum of all Shadows, to which he said it “ends a family arc in the Shaw family.” This series has been wildly underrated and features some of Eric Van Lustbader’s finest writing.

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Under Currents

Under Currents by Nora Roberts

Release Date: July 9th

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a novel about the power of family to harm―and to heal.

Within the walls of a tasteful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, young Zane Bigelow feels like a prisoner of war. Strangers―and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake―see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Zane and his sister know the truth: There is something terribly wrong.

As his father’s violent, controlling rages―and his mother’s complicity―become more and more oppressive, Zane counts the years, months, days until he can escape. He looks out for little Britt, warning her Be smart. Be careful. In fear for his very life, he plays along with the insidious lie that everything is fine, while scribbling his real thoughts in a secret journal he must carefully hideaway.

When one brutal, shattering night finally reveals cracks in the façade, Zane begins to understand that some people are willing to face the truth, even when it hurts. As he grows into manhood and builds a new kind of family, he will find that while the darkness of his past may always shadow him, it will also show him what is necessary for good to triumph―and give him strength to draw on when he once again must stand up and defend himself and the ones he loves…

Why you should be excited about it: There are very few authors who, when you see their name on the cover of a book, you can confidently buy without knowing a single thing about it and still trust that it’ll be worth every penny. Nora Roberts is one of them. Consider this mind-blowing statistic: Over the last 30 years, an average of 27 Nora Roberts books were sold every minute. That’s incredible, and there’s a reason for her success. For starters, she never takes a book off, and everything she writes is must-read material.

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Red MetalRed Metal by Mark Greaney and Hunter Ripley Rawlings IV (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: July 16th

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gray Man series comes a startlingly realistic novel of World War III.

A desperate Kremlin takes advantage of a military crisis in Asia to simultaneously strike into Western Europe and invade east Africa in a bid to occupy three Rare Earth mineral mines that will give Russia unprecedented control for generations over the world’s hi-tech sector.

Pitted against the Russians are a Marine lieutenant colonel pulled out of a cushy job at the Pentagon and thrown into the fray in Africa, a French Special Forces captain and his intelligence operative father, a young Polish female partisan fighter, an A-10 Warthog pilot, and the commander of an American tank platoon who, along with his German counterpart, fight from behind enemy lines in Germany all the way into Russia.

From a daring MiG attack on American satellites, through land and air battles in all theaters, naval battles in the Arabian sea, and small unit fighting down to the hand-to-hand level in the jungle, Russia’s forces battle to either take the mines or detonate a nuclear device to prevent the West from exploiting them.

Why you should be excited about it: Mark Greaney, the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Gray Man series, has never written a standalone novel before. That changes this summer when Red Metalwhich he co-authored with Lt. Col. Hunter “Rip” Rawlings IVfinally hits bookstores. Think Red Storm Rising, but 10x faster, with more action and Greaney’s familiar, smooth style. I’m really high on this book.

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Shamed small Shamed by Linda Castillo (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: July 16th

In this riveting new thriller in Linda Castillo’s New York Times bestselling series, Kate Burkholder races against the clock to find a missing Amish girl.

An Amish grandmother is murdered on an abandoned farm, her seven-year-old granddaughter abducted. Chief of Police Kate Burkholder plunges headlong into a case that quickly becomes a race against the clock. She knows the longer the girl is missing, the more likely a tragic outcome. The family of the missing girl is well thought of―a pillar of the Amish community. Their pain is palpable and they cooperate in every way, but Kate soon learns they’re keeping secrets…

The investigation takes Kate to an isolated Old Order Amish settlement along the river in southern Ohio. At first, the community seems upstanding and helpful. But when Kate starts asking questions, they stonewall her―and the situation soon becomes dangerous. What are they hiding and why?

After an attempt on her life, Kate unearths a haunting and tragic secret that changes everything she thought she knew about the family for whom she is fighting, the Amish community as a whole―and everything she thought she knew about herself. Will she reach the girl in time to save her life?

Why you should be excited about it: Linda Castillo’s Kate Burkholder series, set in Amish country, is unlike anything else in the genre right now. Not only does Castillo bring the unique setting right to life with stimulating visuals, but Kate is a compelling character who has a real presence on the page. To top it all off, Castillo knows how to spin a mystery as well as anyone. This is the 11th book in her series, but newcomers can pretty much jump in anywhere without missing a beat.

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Rules of WarRules of War by Matthew Betley (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: July 16th

Following the events of the “fast, hard-hitting, and impossible to put down” (The Real Book SpyField of ValorLogan West continues his mission to bring America’s traitorous vice president to justice, even as the clandestine group pulling all the strings makes one last deadly bid to regain their power.

The vice president of the United States is missing, the director of the National Security Agency has been assassinated, and the mysterious organization orchestrating global instability is in tatters. While John Quick recovers from a gunshot wound that nearly killed him, Logan West is on the hunt to bring the vice president back to the US to face justice for his treason. The final stakes have never been higher and Logan and his task force are left with little to no options. Will it be this warrior’s end?

“As a former Marine, Betley really knows his stuff” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Kyle Mills), and rules of Rules of War is filled with the gripping, nonstop action thriller fans crave.

Why you should be excited about it: Few writers have the chops to match Betley’s intense action sequences, which are among the very best in the genre. Likewise, his dialogue is top-notch, adding realism to his stories, and nobody does sarcasm quite like he does. Bottom line: Logan West and John Quick might be the best ass-kicking duo in the business . . . If you’re not already following them around as they mix it up with bad guys, start. You’ll thank me later. (Read my review here!)

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This side of nightThis Side of the Night by J. Todd Scott

Release Date: July 16th

The vicious Mexican cartel war boils over into the Big Bend in the explosive new novel from the author of The Far Empty and High White Sun.

In the Mexican borderlands, a busload of student protesters is gunned down in broad daylight, a violent act blamed on the Nemesio cartel. But its aging leader, Fox Uno, sees the attack for what it is: another salvo in the long-running battle for control of Nemesio itself; perhaps by a rival cartel, or maybe someone closer to home…

Across the Rio Grande, Sheriff Chris Cherry and his deputies America Reynosa and Danny Ford find themselves caught in Fox Uno’s escalating war with the recent discovery of five dead men at the river’s edge. But when El Paso DEA agent Joe Garrison’s own Nemesio investigation leads him into the heart of the Big Bend, he’s not ready to accept the cartel leader’s retreat or defeat. Not only does he suspect a high-profile drug task force in a neighboring county is corrupt, he can’t shake lingering doubts about the loyalty and motives of the young deputy, Ame Reynosa. And he won’t let Sheriff Cherry ignore them either.

In this pitiless land it’s kill or be killed, where everyone will make one final bloody stand to decide the fate of Nemesio, the law in the Big Bend, and most of all, the future of America Reynosa.

Why you should be excited about it: J. Todd Scott’s series reads like equal parts Don Winslow and Ace Atkins.  Having spent twenty years working with the DEA, Scott knows his stuff, adding instant credibility to his stories, which are well-written and hopelessly addictive. There’s a subtle darkness about his writing style that matches the themes of his books—similar to how James Lee Burke’s style lends itself to his Dave Robicheaux franchise—and Chris Cherry is a great new character in the vein of Atkins’ own Quinn Colson.

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The New Girl by Daniel Silva (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: July 16th

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva comes a stunning new thriller of vengeance, deception, and betrayal.

At an exclusive private school in Switzerland, mystery surrounds the identity of the beautiful girl who arrives each morning and leaves each afternoon in a heavily protected motorcade fit for a head of state. She is said to be the daughter of a wealthy international businessman. She is not. And when she is brutally kidnapped across the border in the Haute-Savoie region of France, Gabriel Allon, the legendary chief of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a deadly secret war with an old enemy that will determine the future of the Middle East—and perhaps the world . . .

Why you should be excited about it: Even before it had a title or any official plot details announced, Daniel Silva’s 19th Gabriel Allon novel was easily one of the most anticipated books of 2019. One of the most iconic spy novelists the genre has ever known, Silva’s last book, The Other Woman, wasn’t just his best work yet . . . it’s one of the best spy thrillers since John le Carre’s The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and my highest-rated book of 2018.

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The Other Mrs. Miller by Allison Dickson

Release Date: July 16th

Two women are watching each other.

Phoebe Miller isn’t sure when the rusty car started showing up in the cul-de-sac she calls home, or why its driver would be spying on her. What could be interesting about an unhappy housewife who drowns her sorrows in ice cream and wine and barely leaves her house?

Only one knows why.

When a new family moves in across the street–the exuberant Vicki, who just might become the gossipy best friend Phoebe’s always wanted, and her handsome college-bound son, Jake, who offers companionship of a different variety–Phoebe finds her dull routine infused with the excitement she’s been missing. But with her head turned she’s no longer focused on the woman in the car. And she really should be…

An addictive domestic thriller for fans of The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Couple Next Door, The Other Mrs. Miller serves up a delicious brew of dark secrets and stunning plot twists that will keep you captivated until the very last page.

Why you should be excited about it: I don’t normally love these types of books, but Dickson is a solid writer with natural storytelling ability. Fans of The Woman in the Window will eat this one up.

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Tell Me Everything by Cambria Brockman

Release Date: July 16th

“A compulsive page-turner with shades of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History peopled by a new generation.”—Catherine Steadman, New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water

In her first weeks at Hawthorne College, Malin is swept up into a tight-knit circle that will stick together through all four years. There’s Gemma, an insecure theater major from London; John, a tall, handsome, wealthy New Englander; Max, John’s cousin, a shy pre-med major; Khaled, a wisecracking prince from Abu Dhabi; and Ruby, a beautiful art history major. But Malin isn’t like the rest of her friends. She’s an expert at hiding her troubled past. She acts as if she shares the preoccupations of those around her—dating, partying—all while using her extraordinary insight to detect their deepest vulnerabilities and weaknesses.

By Senior Day, on the cusp of graduation, Malin’s secrets—and those of her friends—are revealed. While she scrambles to maintain her artfully curated image, her missteps set in motion a devastating chain of events that ends in a murder. And as fragile relationships hang in the balance and close alliances shift, Malin must test the limits of what she’s capable of to stop the truth from coming out.

In a mesmerizing novel that peels back the innumerable layers of a seductive protagonist, debut author Cambria Brockman brings to life an entrancing story of friendship, heartbreak, and betrayal.

Why you should be excited about it: When I read this one, I had no idea that it was Cambria Brockman’s debut. The story is tight, well plotted, and moves fast. If you enjoy Lisa Scottoline, this should be on the top of your Summer TBR pile.

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The Dark Above by Jeremy Finley

Release Date: July 23rd

In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed novel that grabbed fans of X-Files and Stranger Things, Jeremy Finley returns with another thriller full of aliens and government cover-ups.

For most of his life, William Chance has been the living proof that his grandmother and her fellow researchers into missing people were right all along about the terror from the stars. Now, he’s avoiding the limelight and hiding out from everyone, including his family. He knows he can avoid everything, except for the nightmares: fires, storms, disease and violence – he dreams of it all.

When he’s suddenly exposed, he finds that the media, government operatives and renegade true believers are desperate to find him, but he has another mission. Joined by a girl with terrifying abilities, he begins a desperate journey across the United States to find the others who share his dreams to stop what could be the final days of the world.

Jeremy Finley’s debut The Darkest Time of Night was called “outstanding” in a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was a June 2018 SIBA Okra Selection. Now, he continues the story of Lynn and William, fifteen years later in a new fast-paced thriller full of suspense and government cover-ups, perfect for thriller and supernatural fans alike.

Why you should be excited about it: Sci-fi fans, this one’s for you. I’m a little new to this series, but very much looking forward to seeing how Finley follows up The Darkest Time of Night (2018).

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Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michel Robotham

Release Date: July 23rd

From the bestselling author of The Secrets She Keeps, the writer Stephen King calls “an absolute master…with heart and soul,” a fiendishly clever suspense novel about a dangerous young woman with a special ability to know when someone is lying—and the criminal psychologist who must outwit her to survive.

A girl is discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Half-starved and filthy, she won’t tell anyone her name, or her age, or where she came from. Maybe she is twelve, maybe fifteen. She doesn’t appear in any missing persons file, and her DNA can’t be matched to an identity. Six years later, still unidentified, she is living in a secure children’s home with a new name, Evie Cormac. When she initiates a court case demanding the right to be released as an adult, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must determine if Evie is ready to go free. But she is unlike anyone he’s ever met—fascinating and dangerous in equal measure. Evie knows when someone is lying, and no one around her is telling the truth.

Meanwhile, Cyrus is called in to investigate the shocking murder of a high school figure-skating champion, Jodie Sheehan, who dies on a lonely footpath close to her home. Pretty and popular, Jodie is portrayed by everyone as the ultimate girl-next-door, but as Cyrus peels back the layers, a secret life emerges—one that Evie Cormac, the girl with no past, knows something about. A man haunted by his own tragic history, Cyrus is caught between the two cases—one girl who needs saving and another who needs justice. What price will he pay for the truth? Fiendishly clever, swiftly paced, and emotionally explosive, Good Girl, Bad Girl is the perfect thrilling summer read from internationally bestselling author Michael Robotham.

Why you should be excited about it: When Stephen King calls someone “an absolute master…with heart and soul,” that’s reason enough to check the book out. I’ve always found Robotham to run a little hot or cold . . . but this one is scorching.

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One Good Deed by David Baldacci

Release Date: July 23rd

The #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces an unforgettable new character: Archer, a straight-talking former World War II soldier fresh out of prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

It’s 1949. When war veteran Aloysius Archer is released from Carderock Prison, he is sent to Poca City on parole with a short list of do‘s and a much longer list of don’ts: do report regularly to his parole officer, don’t go to bars, certainly don’t drink alcohol, do get a job–and don’t ever associate with loose women.

The small town quickly proves more complicated and dangerous than Archer’s years serving in the war or his time in jail. Within a single night, his search for gainful employment–and a stiff drink–leads him to a local bar, where he is hired for what seems like a simple job: to collect a debt owed to a powerful local businessman, Hank Pittleman.

Soon Archer discovers that recovering the debt won’t be so easy. The indebted man has a furious grudge against Hank and refuses to pay; Hank’s clever mistress has her own designs on Archer; and both Hank and Archer’s stern parole officer, Miss Crabtree, are keeping a sharp eye on him.

When a murder takes place right under Archer’s nose, police suspicions rise against the ex-convict, and Archer realizes that the crime could send him right back to prison . . . if he doesn’t use every skill in his arsenal to track down the real killer.

Why you should be excited about it: Baldacci is a fine writer, as he’s always been, and while he’s long shown his versatility while juggling multiple hit series, he’s never done anything quite like this before. I still prefer his present-day thrillers (especially those following Amos Decker or Will Robie), but he can definitely write historical fiction too, and he proves that here.

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True Believer - Jack CarrTrue Believer by Jack Carr (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: July 30th

In acclaimed author Jack Carr’s follow-up to The Terminal List, former Navy SEAL James Reece’s skill, cunning, and heroism put the US government back in his debt and set him on another path of revenge.

When a string of horrific terrorist attacks plagues the Western world during the holiday season, the broader markets fall into a tailspin. The attacks are being coordinated by a shadowy former Iraqi commando who has disappeared into Europe’s underground. The United States government has an asset who can turn the Iraqi against his masters: James Reece, the most-wanted domestic terrorist alive.

After avenging the deaths of his family and team members, Reece emerges deep in the wilds of Mozambique, protected by the family of his estranged best friend and former SEAL Team member. When a series of events uncovers his whereabouts, the CIA recruits him, using a Presidential pardon for Reece and immunity for the friends who helped him in his mission of vengeance.

Now a reluctant tool of the United States government, Reece travels the globe, targeting terrorist leaders and unraveling a geopolitical conspiracy that exposes a traitorous CIA officer and uncovers a sinister assassination plot with worldwide repercussions.

A high-intensity roller-coaster ride, True Believer explodes with action and authenticity that cements Jack Carr as the new leader in political thrillers.

Why you should be excited about it: Few authors over the last few decades have taken the genre by storm the way Jack Carr has. After releasing one of the best debut political thrillers in recent memory, Carr follows that up with another winner . . . True Believer, the highly-anticipated new thriller From Jack Carr, is one of this year’s hottest thrillers, and a perfect fit for fans of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and Daniel Silva. (Read my review here!)

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Labyrinth by Catherine Coulter (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: July 30th

The #1 New York Times bestselling FBI Thriller series returns with another tour de force in which Agent Sherlock risks losing her career—and her sanity—over a case that is more complicated and twisted than any she’s ever encountered. 

On a dark night, Agent Sherlock is driving along circuitous mountain roads in West Virginia when her car is suddenly T-boned at an intersection. As her car spins out of control, a man’s body slams against her windshield and then—blackness. When she finally comes to, Sherlock has no memory of the accident, nor of the moments that led right up to it. But what she does know is that the man she hit is a local CIA analyst…and now he’s missing.

Meanwhile, in the small town of Gaffer’s Ridge, Virginia, Special Agent Griffin Hammersmith has just rescued a kidnapped woman who claims her captor admitted to the murder of three teenage girls. However, the man she accuses is related to the local sheriff and a member of a very powerful family. Special Agent Hammersmith reaches out to Sherlock for help, and they soon realize that the disappearance of the CIA analyst is actually connected to the string of murders. But how?

“If there’s one thing that readers can count on in a Coulter novel it is that she always delivers amazingly eerie and complex thrillers” (RT Book Reviews) and Labyrinth is no different. With white-knuckled pacing and shocking twists and turns, this is another electrifying novel that will sink its teeth in you.

Why you should be excited about it: Catherine Coulter is one of the bonafide rockstars of the thriller genre, and her last book, Paradox, was as good as anything she’s written. Labyrinth promises to be another “white-knuckled” thriller, which means Coulter’s fans better get their pre-ordering on nice and early.

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The Russian Ben Coes HR

The Russian by Ben Coes

Release Date: July 30th

As the brutal Russian mafia becomes the most powerful and deadly criminal enterprise in the country, the U.S. has a new hero, Rob Tacoma, in New York Times bestseller Ben Coes’s new series.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union, some of the most hardened and capable criminals came to the United States. Over the past two decades, they have created a vicious and fearless underworld, breathtaking in its violence, disturbing in its efficiency, and destructive to society at large. With conventional law enforcement methods unable to stem the tide, the President issues top secret Executive Order 12-4b3 creating a small, deadly team to take on this fight behind the scenes―a kill team.

The head of the CIA’s Special Operations Group, Bo Coll, is picked to head this group and he, in turn, asks Rob Tacoma to be his deputy. Rob Tacoma―former Navy SEAL and former CIA agent―has a special reason to agree. Tacoma was raised by his grandparents after his own parents were killed by the Russian mafia. But before Tacoma can even start, Bo Coll is found murdered in his own home, as a warning from the Russian mafia itself. Now Tacoma is in charge of the team and they have their first mission, to achieve the near-impossible: find and neutralize the mob boss behind Bo Coll’s death. To do so means taking on practically an army in a battle where there are no rules and no limits.

Branching off from his bestselling Dewey Andreas novels, this is the first in a brand new series from thriller writer Ben Coes.

Why you should be excited about it: Ben Coes is currently in the middle of an unprecedented hot streak not seen since Vince Flynn was in his prime. Now, though, after writing about Rob Tacoma alongside his main series protagonist Dewey Andreas, Tacoma is getting his own book. A planned first in the series, Coes’ The Russian instantly becomes the most anticipated series launch in 2019.

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Game of SnipersGame of Snipers by Stephen Hunter

Release Date: July 30th

In this blazing new thriller from Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Hunter, master sniper Bob Lee Swagger takes on his biggest job to date…and confronts an assassin with skills that match his own. 

When Bob Lee Swagger is approached by a woman who lost a son to war and has spent the years since risking all that she has to find the sniper who pulled the trigger, he knows right away he’ll do everything in his power to help her. But what begins as a favor becomes an obsession, and soon Swagger is back in the action, teaming up with the Mossad, the FBI, and local American law enforcement, as he tracks a sniper who is his own equal…and attempts to decipher that assassin’s ultimate target before it’s too late.

Why you should be excited about it: Honestly, does anyone really need a reason to be excited about Hunter’s next book? Bob Lee Swagger is a legendary character, and any concerns that he was running out of steam were put to rest with Hunter’s G-Man, which came out in early 2018. Bonus, this might be Hunter’s best title yet, especially if the plot matches. (Read my review here!)

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Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Release Date: July 30th

The new domestic suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, Shari Lapena

Maybe you don’t know your neighbors as well as you thought you did . . .

“This is a very difficult letter to write. I hope you will not hate us too much. . . My son broke into your home recently while you were out.”

In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses–and into the owners’ computers as well–learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too.

Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets?

In this neighborhood, it’s not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide . . .

Why you should be excited about it: Lapena burst on the scene a decade ago and has turned in a number of hits over the course of her career. While The Couple Next Door still remains her best book, this one’s pretty close.

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Smokescreen by Iris Johansen

Release Date: July 30th

In this heart-pounding thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen, forensic sculptor Eve Duncan journeys to Africa to help families torn apart by a violent attack deep in the jungle–but she may be putting herself in more danger than she knows.

A journalist shows up on Eve Duncan’s doorstep with a plea for help. Jill Cassidy has just come from a small African village with a heart-wrenching story: half the villagers–many of them children–have been killed in a horrific attack by guerilla soldiers, the bodies burned beyond recognition. Now, the families desperately need Eve’s help to get closure and begin to heal.

But when Eve arrives in the remote jungle, she begins to suspect that Jill’s plea may have been a cover story for a deeper, more sinister plot. Isolated and unsure who she can trust, Eve finds herself stranded in an unstable country where violence threatens to break out again at any moment and with only her own instincts to rely on if she hopes to get home to her family alive . . .

#1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen is back with one of her most exhilarating and dangerous adventures yet in this powerful high-stakes thriller.

Why you should be excited about it: I haven’t read a ton of Johansen’s stuff, but I’ve kept up with her latest releases over the past three or four years. For my money, Smokescreen is the best thriller she’s released in that time frame.

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Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson

Release Date: July 30th

New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson—”an admired writer who deserves to be a household name” (Kirkus Reviews)—displays her masterful talent in this dark and deliciously addictive tale of domestic suspense.

In this game, even winning can be deadly…

Amy Whey is proud of her ordinary life and the simple pleasures that come with it—teaching diving lessons, baking cookies for new neighbors, helping her best friend, Charlotte, run their local book club. Her greatest joy is her family: her devoted professor husband, her spirited fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, her adorable infant son. And, of course, the steadfast and supportive Charlotte. But Amy’s sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one book club night.

Sultry and magnetic, Roux beguiles the group with her feral charm. She keeps the wine flowing and lures them into a game of spilling secrets. Everyone thinks it’s naughty, harmless fun. Only Amy knows better. Something wicked has come her way—a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did.

When they’re alone, Roux tells her that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for, what she deserves, she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. One way or another.

To protect herself and her family and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins.

A diabolically entertaining tale of betrayal, deception, temptation, and love filled with dark twists leavened by Joshilyn Jackson’s trademark humor, Never Have I Ever explores what happens when the transgressions of our past come back with a vengeance.

Why you should be excited about it: Jackson mixes humor into her plots and dialogue as well as anyone, and she rarely misses when attempting a blinding, hard-hitting twist.

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Dead At First Sight by Peter James

Release Date: August 1st

A man waits at London Airport for Ingrid Ostermann, the love of his life, to arrive. Across the Atlantic, a retired NYPD cop waits in a bar in Florida’s Key West for his first date with the lady who is, without question, his soulmate. The two men are about to discover they’ve been scammed out of almost every penny they have—and that neither woman exists. Meanwhile, a wealthy divorcée plunges, in suspicious circumstances, from an apartment block in Munich.

In the same week, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to investigate the suicide of a woman in Brighton, that is clearly not what it seems. As his investigations continue, a handsome Brighton motivational speaker comes forward. He’d discovered his identity is being used to scam 11 different women, online. Roy Grace realizes he is looking at the tip of an iceberg. A global empire built on clever, cruel internet scams and the murder of anyone who threatens to expose them.

Why you should be excited about it: Those in the states who’ve yet to discover James’ work should take note. Roy Grace is a phenomenal character, and James’ easy-reading, fast-paced writing style makes this one impossible to put down.

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Outfox by Sandra Brown

Release Date: August 6th

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown combines heart-stopping suspense and forbidden passion in this psychological thriller about an FBI agent’s hunt for a ruthless conman turned serial killer.

Sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats, this new novel will feature Brown’s signature combination of steamy romance and jaw-dropping plot twists.

FBI agent Drex Easton is relentlessly driven by a single goal: to outmaneuver the conman once known as Weston Graham. Over the past thirty years, Weston has assumed many names and countless disguises, enabling him to lure eight wealthy women out of their fortunes before they disappeared without a trace, their families left without answers and the authorities without clues. The only common trait among the victims: a new man in their life who also vanished, leaving behind no evidence of his existence . . . except for one signature custom.

Drex is convinced that these women have been murdered, and that the man he knows as Weston Graham is the sociopath responsible. But each time Drex gets close to catching him, Weston trades one persona for another and disappears again. Now, for the first time in their long game of cat and mouse, Drex has a suspect in sight.

Attractive and charming, Jasper Ford is recently married to a successful businesswoman many years his junior, Talia Shafer. Drex insinuates himself into their lives, posing as a new neighbor and setting up surveillance on their house. The closer he gets to the couple, the more convinced he becomes that Jasper is the clever, merciless predator he’s sought–and that his own attraction to Talia threatens to compromise his purpose and integrity.

This is Drex’s one chance to outfox his cunning nemesis before he murders again and eludes justice forever. But first he must determine if the desirable Talia is a heartless accomplice . . . or the next victim.

Why you should be excited about it: Sandra Brown is a lock each and every time out. This is one of the easiest no-brainers on the list . . .  If you’re looking for thrillers, she’s got ’em. 

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513IIyqQuiL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgA Dangerous Man by Robert Crais

Release Date: August 6th

A brilliant new crime novel from the beloved, bestselling, and award-winning master of the genre–and Joe Pike’s most perilous case to date.

Joe Pike didn’t expect to rescue a woman that day. He went to the bank same as anyone goes to the bank, and returned to his Jeep. So when Isabel Roland, the lonely young teller who helped him, steps out of the bank on her way to lunch, Joe is on hand when two men abduct her. Joe chases them down, and the two men are arrested. But instead of putting the drama to rest, the arrests are only the beginning of the trouble for Joe and Izzy.

After posting bail, the two abductors are murdered and Izzy disappears. Pike calls on his friend, Elvis Cole, to help learn the truth. What Elvis uncovers is a twisted family story that involves corporate whistleblowing, huge amounts of cash, the Witness Relocation Program, and a long line of lies. But what of all that did Izzy know? Is she a perpetrator or a victim? And how far will Joe go to find out?

Why you should be excited about it: In early 2018, during a Q&A with Robert Crais, he told me that his next book would follow Joe Pike more than Elvis Cole, which we now know is in fact the case. Pike is the lead here, which gives readers plenty of reasons to be excited when considering that past Joe-driven books (such as The Watchman) have been among Crais’ most popular books.

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51DgrgK634L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_City of Windows by Robert Pobi

Release Date: August 6th

In the tradition of Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme and David Baldacci’s Amos Decker, City of Windows introduces Lucas Page, a brilliant, reluctant investigator, matching wits with a skilled, invisible killer

During the worst blizzard in memory, an FBI agent in a moving SUV in New York City is killed by a nearly impossible sniper shot. Unable to pinpoint where the shot came from, as the storm rapidly wipes out evidence, the agent-in-charge Brett Kehoe turns to the one man who might be able to help them―former FBI agent Lucas Page.

Page, a university professor and bestselling author, left the FBI years ago after a tragic event robbed him of a leg, an arm, an eye, and the willingness to continue. But he has an amazing ability to read a crime scene, figure out angles and trajectories in his head, and he might be the only one to be able to find the sniper’s nest. With a new wife and family, Lucas Page has no interest in helping the FBI―except for the fact that the victim was his former partner.

Agreeing to help for his partner’s sake, Page finds himself hunting a killer with an unknown agenda and amazing sniper skills in the worst of conditions. And his partner’s murder is only the first in a series of meticulously planned murders carried out with all-but-impossible sniper shots. The only thing connecting the deaths is that the victims are all with law enforcement―that is until Page’s own family becomes a target.

To identify and hunt down this ruthless, seemingly unstoppable killer, Page must discover what hidden past connects the victims before he himself loses all that is dear to him.

Why you should be excited about it: I was fortunate enough to get an early copy of Pobi’s new novel and blew right through it. The first in a new series, readers are introduced to Lucas Page, a professor and bestselling author who previously worked for the FBI. Unfortunate circumstances during his time with the bureau left him just one arm, leg, and eye, and a bad taste for investigative work. Still, he’s sucked back in when a former colleague needs his help, and soon Page finds himself locked in a game with a dangerous killer. City of Windows is fast-paced, deftly plotted, and a wickedly fun read.

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The Darwin StrainThe Darwin Strain by Bill Shutt and J.R. Finch

Release Date: August 6th

The authors of Hell’s Gate and The Himalayan Codex deliver their third high-octane thriller—a page-turning blend of science, history, and suspense featuring zoologist and adventurer Captain R. J. MacCready.

“Looks like Schutt and Finch are filling the void left by the passing of Michael Crichton.”—James Cameron, director/writer/explorer

Though the fighting has stopped and Hitler is vanquished, a dangerous new war between America and the Soviet Union has begun. Invaluable in defeating the Nazis, accidental crypto-zoologist R. J. MacCready and Yanni Thorne, an indigenous Brazilian and expert in animal behavior, are working for the Pentagon once again. Sent to a mysterious Greek island in a remote corner of the Mediterranean, they are investigating rumors about a volcanic spring with “miraculous” healing properties that the locals say is guarded by sea monsters from ancient legends.

The islanders believe that, like Fatima, the spring is a gift from God. To the Greek Orthodox Church, it is a sign of a deadly evil foretold in apocalyptic texts. Alongside French and Chinese researchers—men who share their strange, blood-stained past—Mac and Yanni discover that the volcanic spring’s undersea plumes release an exotic microbe that can transform life with astonishing speed.

To find the source of the Volcanic spring, Mac and Yanni must find a way to neutralize “the Dragons of Revelation”—a fearsome aquatic species also known as “Kraken,” which are preventing the scientists from exploring deep beneath the sea’s surface. Mutating at an astonishing pace, the Kraken have evolved into a chillingly high alien intelligence. As the race to possess the “miracle” microbe heats up, tensions between geopolitics, religion, and ordinary scientists confronted with the unknown escalate into chaos. Mac and Yanni know all too well that one wrong choice can easily set in motion a biological chain reaction that will reach across the decades to enhance—or destroy—everything that lives.

Why you should be excited about it: Following their exciting series launch, Hell’s Gate (2017), Schutt and Finch came on strong once again in 2018 with The Himalayan Codex.  Now, their third Captain R. J. “Mac” MacCready novel is set to come out and promises to be their most explosive story yet. This series is tailor-made for fans of Michael Crichton and James Rollins and is not to be missed.

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The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney

Release Date: August 6th

The perfect life. The perfect love. The perfect lie. From the bestselling author of The Girl Before comes a gripping new psychological thriller. . . .

“Dynamic, razor-sharp, and thought-provoking . . . a cutting-edge suspense novel unlike any you’ve read before.”—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl

Abbie awakens in a daze with no memory of who she is or how she landed in this unsettling condition. The man by her side claims to be her husband. He’s a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most innovative start-ups. He tells Abbie that she is a gifted artist, an avid surfer, a loving mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. He says she had a terrible accident five years ago and that, through a huge technological breakthrough, she has been brought back from the abyss.

She is a miracle of science.

But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband’s motives—and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to Abbie half a decade ago?

Beware the man who calls you . . .

THE PERFECT WIFE

Why you should be excited about it: Delaney has been pretty solid the last few years, and fans craving a top-notch psychological thriller that’s perfect for taking along to the beach this summer will want to check this one out right away.

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The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Release Date: August 6th

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, and The Death of Mrs. Westaway comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fifth novel.

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, The Turn of the Key is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

Why you should be excited about it: I haven’t read this one yet, but I’ve enjoyed Ware’s books in the past. If this one’s as good as she’s capable of writing, it’s going to have a lot of buzz around it this summer.

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Below the Line by Howard Michael Gould

Release Date: August 13th

Eccentric private eye Charlie Waldo is back in another wildly fun and fast-paced thriller lampooning Southern California.

Former LAPD detective Charlie Waldo was living in solitude deep in the woods, pathologically committed to owning no more than one hundred possessions, until his PI ex-girlfriend Lorena dragged him back to civilization to solve a high-profile Hollywood murder. Now Waldo and Lorena have their hands full with a new client, a wild and privileged L.A. teenager named Stevie Rose who tells lies as easily as she breathes.

When the teacher Stevie claims seduced her turns up dead, the LAPD pegs her as the prime suspect. Then Stevie disappears, and her self-involved Hollywood parents turn to Waldo to find her—a task that draws him down into Orange County’s dangerous and complex worlds, both opulent and seedy, where nothing is as it seems.

With treachery and deception at every turn, and with Waldo’s eco-obsessed rules for living complicating his already complicated relationship with Lorena, Waldo fends off enemies old and new as he races to find Stevie and solve the murder.

Why you should be excited about it: Gould introduced Charlie Waldo in last year’s surprisingly refreshing debut, Last Looks. After a long career in Hollywood—where he was EP and head writer of Cybill when it won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series, and held the same positions on Instant Mom and The Jeff Foxworthy Show, before writing and directing the feature film The Six Wives of Henrey Lefay, starring Tim Allen and Elisha Cuthbert—he’s now carving out a nice career as a novelist, and his highly-anticipated follow-up is a must for fans of Joe Ide and Michael Connelly. 

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The Last Good GuyThe Last Good Guy by T. Jefferson Parker

Release Date: August 13th

In this electrifying new thriller from three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestseller T. Jefferson Parker, Private Investigator Roland Ford hunts for a missing teenager and uncovers a dark conspiracy in his most personal case yet.

When hired by a beautiful and enigmatic woman to find her missing younger sister, private investigator Roland Ford immediately senses that the case is not what it seems. He is soon swept up in a web of lies and secrets as he searches for the teenager, and even his new client cannot be trusted. His investigation leads him to a secretive charter school, skinhead thugs, a cadre of American Nazis hidden in a desert compound, an arch-conservative celebrity evangelist–and, finally, to the girl herself. The Last Good Guy is Ford’s most challenging case to date, one that will leave him questioning everything he thought he knew about decency, honesty, and the battle between good and evil…if it doesn’t kill him first.

Why you should be excited about it: T. Jefferson Parker’s third Roland Ford novel (following last year’s Swift Vengeance) should interest fans of Michael Connelly and John Sandford. Parker has had a long and successful career, but Ford is perhaps his best character so far, and this series just keeps getting better.

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51hklh0RYbL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_The Bitterroots by C.J. Box (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: August 13th

Former police officer Cassie Dewell is trying to start over with her own private investigation firm. Guilty about not seeing her son and exhausted by the nights on stakeout, Cassie is nontheless managing…until an old friend calls in a favor: she wants Cassie to help exonarate a man accused of assaulting a young girl from an influential family.

Against her own better judgment, Cassie agrees. But out in the Big Sky Country of Montana, twisted family loyalty runs as deep as the ties to the land, and there’s always something more to the story. As Cassie attempts to uncover the truth, she must fight against the ghosts of her own past that threaten to pull her back under.

With The Bitterroots, master storyteller C.J. Box delivers another novel that will keep you turning pages, featuring fan-favorite Cassie Dewell from the Highway Quartet.

Why you should be excited about it:  While best known for his Joe Pickett series, Box’s standalone novels and Cassie Dewell books are every bit as good as those following his beloved Wyoming game warden. You won’t find a more talented writer, regardless of genre, than C.J. Box—who continues to outdo himself with another nail-biting, unputdownable thriller featuring one of the best female protagonists the genre has to offer.

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The Russia Account by Stephen Coonts

Release Date: August 13th

Stephen Coonts’ newest novel The Russia Account pits CIA officer Tommy Carmellini against a murderous, international financial conspiracy that leaves a trail of death and corruption, extending from a small bank in Estonia, to the highest reaches of the Kremlin, to the halls of the Congress, and perhaps even to the CIA itself — putting Admiral Jake Grafton, the head of the CIA, in the crosshairs of an assassin.

Burglar turned CIA warrior Tommy Carmellini has starred in eight previous Coonts’ thrillers, from Liars and Thieves to Coonts’ latest from Regnery, The Armageddon File.  Realistic, passionate, in love with life, Tommy struggles in our turbulent age.  Critics have labeled him a “hip, modern hero.”  With the help of his mentor Jake Grafton, up to now Carmellini has always managed to foil his enemies. Discovering and defeating the powerful forces behind this massive, blood-stained financial conspiracy that threatens the very foundations of the United States government will be his most difficult challenge.  Perhaps, he suspects, an impossible one.

Why you should be excited about it: Since switching publishers a few years back, Coonts has consistently delivered high-powered, conspiracy-laden political thrillers that are perfect for fans of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. This one, while not as right-leaning as his 2016 thriller Liberty’s Last Stand, features another timely plot that touches on a number of hot-button issues.

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Miami Midnight by Alex Segura

Release Date: August 13th

THE NEW NOVEL IN ALEX SEGURA’S ACCLAIMED PETE FERNANDEZ SERIES!

A year has passed since Pete Fernandez’s latest, closest brush with death and he’s managed to rebuild his life, running a small bookstore by day and working cases in Miami by night. Sober and finally embracing life, Pete still finds himself watching as events whizz by ― including the engagement of an old flame. When an aging Cuban mobster asks Pete to find out who killed his drug-addicted, jazz pianist son and to locate his missing daughter-in-law, Pete balks, until another dead body suggests that the death of the mafioso’s son might tie into the people that almost ended Pete’s life, and reveal an unexpected, dangerous truth about the Miami private eye’s own blurred past.

Why you should be excited about it: Segura is a very talented writer, armed with a great character and a compelling, thought-provoking, and entertaining storyline. Trust me, add this one to your TBR pile . . . it’s not to be missed!

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Assassins RevengeAssassin’s Revenge by Ward Larsen

Release Date: August 20th

USA Today bestselling author Ward Larsen’s globe-trotting, hard-hitting assassin, David Slaton, returns for another breathless adventure in Assassin’s Revenge.

On a sunny dock in Gibraltar, Slaton returns to the sailboat he shares with his wife and young son to find them missing. The only clue to their whereabouts is a cryptic message: If he wants to see them again, he must eliminate an obscure scientist working for the International Atomic Energy Agency. Slaton races to Vienna to unravel the scheme.

Half a world away, a small team of ISIS operatives arrives in North Korea. It is comprised of two suicidal jihadists, one technician, and the caliphate’s only officer with naval experience. Their mission: to reestablish the group’s relevance by undertaking a shocking strike against America.

From Europe to North Korea to the Pacific Ocean, Slaton finds himself entangled in a deadly nuclear game. Working against him are a band of suicidal terrorists, supported by a North Korean government that is about to implode. That slate of actors, however, face something even more lethal.

A devoted father and husband―one who happens to be the perfect assassin.

Why you should be excited about it: Larsen’s David Slaton is a like an Israeli version of Mark Greaney’s Gray Man and is one of the most underrated characters in the action thriller genre. This year’s mission sounds deeply personal to Slaton, raising the stakes for both him and readers.

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The Presence of Evil by J.T. Patten

Release Date: August 20th

“J.T. Patten’s Buried in Black takes readers deep into the shadows with an explosive narrative that could only have been written by a man who has been there himself. Buried in Black delivers on action, intrigue, and excitement!”
—Mark Greaney, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Agent in Place

THE MAN FROM ORANGE

 
Intelligence and counterterrorist expert J.T. Patten uncovers the ultra top-secrect war against terror in his explosive black-ops series …
 
NO MISSION IS IMPOSSIBLE
 
Drake Woolf is the perfect throwaway agent—a deadly, invisible force able to handle the blackest of black-ops missions. No one’s better when it comes to search and destroy. But his lethal drive feeds a relentless hunger. It’s all his handlers at Task Force Orange can do to point him at the right targets.  This time he’s up against a massive, global conspiracy. In his deadly crosshairs are a Venezuelan terrorist, hordes of elite Iranian assassins, and a beautiful and wily FBI counterintelligence agent.  Drake’s aim is flawless but his judgments are all over the place. If he doesn’t get it right this time, it will be Hell on Earth.

Why you should be excited about it: Patten remains one of the more underrated spy novelists working today, and after launching a new series in 2018, it’ll be fun to see how he tops himself this year.

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The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

Release Date: August 20th

Investigator Will Trent and medical examiner Sara Linton must stop a mysterious group of domestic terrorists planning to unleash a deadly epidemic in this electrifying and all too plausible thriller.

On a serene summer Sunday, a routine admission for a run-of-the-mill surgery at Atlanta’s Emory Hospital goes tragically wrong, setting off a catastrophic wave of destruction that sends the facility and the surrounding area into lockdown. One of the city’s largest and most prestigious institutions, Emory is situated near the Centers for Disease Control, the FBI counter-terrorism headquarters, and a large children’s hospital. Anything that happens there has repercussions for the entire city, the state of Georgia, and possibly the entire nation.

A few miles away, medical examiner Sara Linton is enduring an awkward lunch with her mother, her aunt, and her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the sudden wail of sirens blaring in the distance cuts the uncomfortable get-together short, drawing her and Will to the scene.

Both Sara and Will are seasoned public servants trained to help in an emergency. Dedicated and courageous, they run towards a crisis while others are running away. But on this warm summer day, that instinct will lead them into lethal danger. Within an hour the situation at Emory has spiraled out of control—Sara has been taken prisoner and Will forced undercover, on a case in which thousands of lives are at stake.

That “routine admission” at Emory was the opening maneuver in a perilous game of hunter and prey that leads him out of Atlanta into the Appalachians, to a remote compound where a radical group has hatched a diabolical plan for murder on a massive scale that will rock the nation if it isn’t stopped.

Why you should be excited about it: Fans have been waiting with bated breath for the next Will Trent novel, which is finally on its way in 2019. After back-to-back standalone novels over the last two years, Slaughter is returning to her New York Times bestselling series and expectations couldn’t be higher.

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Old Bones by Preston & Child

Release Date: August 20th

#1 bestselling authors Preston & Child bring the true story of the ill-fated Donner Party to new life in a thrilling blend of archaeology, history, murder, and suspense.

Nora Kelly, a young curator at the Santa Fe Institute of Archaeology, is approached by historian Clive Benton with a once-in-a-lifetime proposal: to lead a team in search of the so-called “Lost Camp” of the tragic Donner Party. This was a group of pioneers who earned a terrible place in American history when they became snow-bound in the California mountains in 1847, their fate unknown until the first skeletonized survivors stumbled out of the wilderness, raving about starvation, murder-and cannibalism.

Why you should be excited about it: A new series from Preston & Child featuring Nora Kelly? Their readers know what kind of potential this book has, and with Gideon Crew looking like his arc might have dried up—at least for now—Old Bones becomes even more important to the bestselling writing duo who typically shoots for two new releases a year.

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The Warehouse by Rob Hart (TRBS Favorite)

Release Date: August 20th

Cloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.

“On the surface, The Warehouse is a thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a terrifying cautionary tale of the nightmare world we are making for ourselves.”—Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter

Paxton never thought he’d be working for Cloud, the giant tech company that’s eaten much of the American economy. Much less that he’d be moving into one of the company’s sprawling live-work facilities.

But compared to what’s left outside, Cloud’s bland chainstore life of gleaming entertainment halls, open-plan offices, and vast warehouses…well, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s more than anyone else is offering.

Zinnia never thought she’d be infiltrating Cloud. But now she’s undercover, inside the walls, risking it all to ferret out the company’s darkest secrets. And Paxton, with his ordinary little hopes and fears? He just might make the perfect pawn. If she can bear to sacrifice him.

As the truth about Cloud unfolds, Zinnia must gamble everything on a desperate scheme—one that risks both their lives, even as it forces Paxton to question everything about the world he’s so carefully assembled here.

Together, they’ll learn just how far the company will go…to make the world a better place.

Set in the confines of a corporate panopticon that’s at once brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly real, The Warehouse is a near-future thriller about what happens when Big Brother meets Big Business–and who will pay the ultimate price.

Why you should be excited about it: This book will straight-up rock your world. I didn’t know a ton about it when I sat down to read it, and in the end, I’m glad I didn’t. Seriously, trust me, this one’s a must-read for all. Rob Hart has always been criminally underrated . . . that’s about to change in a big way. The Warehouse has legit best-book-of-the-year potential.

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No Good Deed by James Swain

Release Date: August 20th

A human-trafficking case hits dangerously close to home in a heart-racing thriller by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The King Tides.

A disturbing missing-person case reunites ex-Navy SEAL Jon Lancaster and FBI Agent Beth Daniels. Skye is just one of a dozen young women who have disappeared from Florida without a trace. Beth can do more than just imagine their fear. She was a victim herself—a trauma that’s strengthened her fight for justice.

Then Lancaster uncovers a scrap of evidence, and the mystery begins to unravel. But the lead comes with a personal sting: the involvement of his estranged brother, Logan, an ex-con recruited into the shepherding of human trade. The only way for Logan to shed his demons is to come clean. For Lancaster and Daniels, that means being drawn, secret by secret, into a dangerous underground world.

With time running out, three damaged pasts will collide; more secrets will spill; and Lancaster, Daniels, and Logan will have to fight to save themselves first if they ever hope to find the girls alive.

Why you should be excited about it: Swain tackles a touchy subject here, but still manages to deliver an enjoyable reading experience.

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The Passengers by John Marrs

Release Date: August 27th

You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, “You are going to die.”

Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save?… And who should we kill first?”

Why you should be excited about it: What could possibly go wrong with self-driving cars? Marrs’ futuristic take on the matter is both chilling and helplessly addictive.

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The Extinction Agenda by Michael Laurence

Release Date: August 27th

An FBI agent fights to stop a conspiracy to unleash a deadly virus on the world in this propulsive, exhilarating new thriller by Michael Laurence.

We’re fighting a war, whether we choose to admit it or not. A war for survival. A war we may have already lost.

While searching for the man who killed his partner and his wife, FBI Special Agent James Mason uncovers a shadow organization on the brink of enacting its genocidal agenda and a sinister mass murderer who’s been photographed at the epicenter of every historical pandemic since the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in 1918―without appearing to age.

Mason’s quest for answers takes him from the criminal underbelly of America to its untouchable elite, from a dark union at the turn of the last century to a network of Nazi collaborators and a plot for global financial domination. Aided by his longtime friends Gunnar Backstrom―a corporate espionage gun-for-hire―and Ramses Donovan―a sin merchant of questionable morality―Mason uncovers a conspiracy against mankind more than a century in the making. A conspiracy to unleash a deadly virus and make a killing in the process.

Can Mason’s small team bring down a seemingly unbeatable shadow empire that’s rooted in every facet of our society, or does its influence run too deep?

The Extinction Agenda is the first book in a new series. It falls between Brad Thor and Boyd Morrison on the conspiracy spectrum, James Rollins and Steve Berry on the historical spectrum, and the story-telling and world-building skill of John Connolly.

Why you should be excited about it: A perfect fit for fans of Christopher Golden and James Rollins, and a promising start to what could be a fun new franchise.

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A Better Man by Louise Penny

Release Date: August 27th

Catastrophic spring flooding, blistering attacks in the media, and a mysterious disappearance greet Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he returns to the Sûreté du Québec in the latest novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny.

It’s Gamache’s first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter.

As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father.

Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel…, he resumes the search.

As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made.

In the next novel in this “constantly surprising series that deepens and darkens as it evolves” (New York Times Book Review), Gamache must face a horrific possibility, and a burning question.

What would you do if your child’s killer walked free?

Why you should be excited about it: Penny’s 15th Chief Inspector Gamache Novel is one of the summer’s most notable titles, especially considering how strong her last book, Kingdom of the Blind, was—racking up all kinds of accolades such as debuting at #1 on the New York Times list and earning a spot on both Kirkus and BookPage’s best of 2018 lists.

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All Out War by Sean Parnell

Release Date: September 3rd

“Eric Steele and author Sean Parnell are the real deal.”— Lee Child

Special operative Eric Steele, introduced in Man of War, is on the hunt for a formidable Russian terrorist in this high-intensity tale of international intrigue from the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Outlaw Platoon.

Badly injured while stopping a rogue agent from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, elite warrior Eric Steele is drawn back into service before he’s ready when unknown assailants break into his home near Pittsburgh, injuring his mother and stealing his father’s pistol.

An Alpha—an elite soldier under the direct command of the president of the United States—Steele is hell-bent on finding the attackers and bringing them to justice. While tracking his foe, Steele discovers he’s become entangled in a far more sinister plan that’s already been set in motion.

A terrorist named Zakayev, once locked away in a maximum-security prison in Russia, has escaped and joined forces with Hassan Sitta, a man who’s shown his prowess and ingenuity with a spectacular bomb planted somewhere in the Middle East that hasn’t been ignited—and no one can find. But that is only the beginning of a horrifying plan that, if it succeeds, will shatter international alliances and bring the world to the brink of war.

Now, the hunted must turn the tables on the hunter—Steele must find a way to stay alive and stop Zakayev before innocent lives are lost.

Why you should be excited about it: Following his critically acclaimed fiction debut, Man of War, Parnell’s series has quickly become a favorite for fans of Brad Thor and Brad Taylor. I interviewed Parnell back in September, and at the time, he told me that he had just finished book two and said, “the same cast of characters will be back in action: Eric Steele, Meg, Demo, and Rockford. All of them will face a threat unlike anything the United States has seen before. And there will be casualties.” That last line should get fans’ attention in a big way!

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This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Release Date: September 3rd

Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University–before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for over 40 years to a marvelous woman who is a retired attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage–part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers.

Ordinary Grace, his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. “Manitou Canyon,” number fifteen in his Cork O’Connor series, was released in September 2016.

Why you should be excited about it: Krueger’s last standalone, Ordinary Grace (2013), was beautifully written and well received by readers and critics everywhere. While some fans will miss not having a new Cork O’Connor book in 2019, Krueger delivers another wonderful, thought-provoking story here. Don’t be surprised if you see this one on everyone’s Best of ’19 lists at the end of the year.

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Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer

Release Date: September 3rd

Nothing Ventured heralds the start of a brand new series in the style of Jeffrey Archer’s #1 New York Times bestselling Clifton Chronicles: introducing Detective William Warwick. But this is not a detective story, this is a story about the making of a detective . . .

William Warwick has always wanted to be a detective, and decides, much to his father’s dismay, that rather than become a lawyer like his father, Sir Julian Warwick QC, and his sister Grace, he will join London’s Metropolitan Police Force.

After graduating from university, William begins a career that will define his life: from his early months on the beat under the watchful eye of his first mentor, Constable Fred Yates, to his first high-stakes case as a fledgling detective in Scotland Yard’s arts and antiquities squad. Investigating the theft of a priceless Rembrandt painting from the Fitzmolean Museum, he meets Beth Rainsford, a research assistant at the gallery who he falls hopelessly in love with, even as Beth guards a secret of her own that she’s terrified will come to light.

While William follows the trail of the missing masterpiece, he comes up against suave art collector Miles Faulkner and his brilliant lawyer, Booth Watson QC, who are willing to bend the law to breaking point to stay one step ahead of William. Meanwhile, Miles Faulkner’s wife, Christina, befriends William, but whose side is she really on?

This new series introduces William Warwick, a family man and a detective who will battle throughout his career against a powerful criminal nemesis. Through twists, triumph and tragedy, this series will show that William Warwick is destined to become one of Jeffrey Archer’s most enduring legacies.

Why you should be excited about it: This book has a lot of potential to be both fun for longtime fans of Archer’s Clifton Chronicles and a favorite among critics. Archer has always been a fantastic writer, but his short-story collection last year was a bit of a disappointment. That said, now that he’s back to writing a full novel, expectations are high.

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The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Release Date: September 3rd

From Ann Cleeves―bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows―comes the first in a gripping new series.

“Ann Cleeves is one of my favorite mystery writers.”―Louise Penny

In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back into the community he thought he had left behind, as deadly secrets hidden at its heart are revealed, and his past and present collide.

An astonishing new novel told with compassion and searing insight, The Long Call will captivate fans of Vera and Shetland, as well as new readers.

Why you should be excited about it: A new series from the author Louise Penny calls one of her “favorite mystery writers.” That pretty much says it all.

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Robert B. Parker’s The Bitterest Pill by Reed Farrel Coleman

Release Date: September 10th

The opioid epidemic has reached Paradise, and Police Chief Jesse Stone must rush to stop the devastation in the latest thriller in Robert B. Parker’s New York Times-bestselling series.

When a popular high school cheerleader dies of a suspected heroin overdose, it becomes clear that the opioid epidemic has spread even to the idyllic town of Paradise. It will be up to police chief Jesse Stone to unravel the supply chain and unmask the criminals behind it, and the investigation has a clear epicenter: Paradise High School. Home of the town’s best and brightest future leaders and its most vulnerable down-and-out teens, it’s a rich and bottomless market for dealers out of Boston looking to expand into the suburbs.

But when it comes to drugs, the very people Jesse is trying to protect are often those with the most to lose. As he digs deeper into the case, he finds himself battling self-interested administrators, reluctant teachers, distrustful schoolkids, and overprotective parents . . . and at the end of the line are the true bad guys, the ones with a lucrative business they’d kill to protect.

Why you should be excited about it: Coleman is great at churning out hard-boiled, gritty crime thrillers, and while his style is very different from Parker’s, Jesse Stone has continued to thrive under his guidance.

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The Fifth Column by Andrew Gross

Release Date: September 10th

#1 New York Times bestselling author of The One Man Andrew Gross once again delivers a tense, stirring thriller of a family torn apart set against the backdrop of a nation plunged into war.

February, 1939. Europe teeters on the brink of war. In New York City, twenty-two thousand cheering Nazi supporters pack Madison Square Garden for a raucous, hate-filled rally. In a Hell’s Kitchen bar, Charles Mossman is reeling from the loss of his job and the demise of his marriage when a group draped in Nazi flags barges in. Drunk, Charlie takes a swing at one with tragic results and a torrent of unintended consequences follows.

Two years later. America is wrestling with whether to enter the growing war. Charles’s estranged wife and six-year-old daughter, Emma, now live in a quiet brownstone in the German-speaking New York City neighborhood of Yorkville, where support for Hitler is common. Charles, just out of prison, struggles to put his life back together, while across the hall from his family, a kindly Swiss couple, Trudi and Willi Bauer, have taken a liking to Emma. But Charles begins to suspect that they might not be who they say they are.

As the threat of war grows, and fears of a “fifth column”―German spies embedded into everyday life―are everywhere, Charles puts together that the seemingly amiable Bauers may be part of a sinister conspiracy. When Pearl Harbor is attacked and America can no longer sit on the sideline, that conspiracy turns into a deadly threat with Charles the only one who can see it and Emma, an innocent pawn.

Why you should be excited about it: Since switching genres a few years back, Andrew Gross has quickly become one of the best historical fiction writers on the planet. The One Man (2016) was a special book, and one of the best novels I’ve ever had the honor of reviewing. The Saboteur (2017) was solid, and last year’s The Button Man was pretty good—but The Fifth Column is better than them both.

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Robert Ludlum’s The Treadstone Resurrection by Joshua Hood

Release Date: September 17th

The first novel in an explosive new series inspired by Robert Ludlum’s Bourne universe, The Treadstone Resurrection introduces an unforgettable hero and the shadowy world that forged him…

Treadstone made Jason Bourne an unstoppable force, but he’s not the only one.

Operation Treadstone has nearly ruined Adam Hayes. The top-secret CIA Black Ops program trained him to be an all but invincible assassin, but it also cost him his family and any chance at a normal life. Which is why he was determined to get out. Working as a carpenter in rural Washington state, Adam thinks he has left Treadstone in the past, until he receives a mysterious email from a former colleague, and soon after is attacked by an unknown hit team at his job site.

Adam must regain the skills that Treadstone taught him–lightning reflexes and a cold conscience–in order to discover who the would-be killers are and why they have come after him now. Are his pursuers enemies from a long-ago mission? Rival intelligence agents? Or, perhaps, forces inside Treadstone? His search will unearth secrets in the highest levels of government and pull him back into the shadowy world he worked so hard to forget.

Why you should be excited about it: Joshua Hood, author of the action-packed Mason Kane series, hasn’t published a book since 2016’s Warning Order. Once compared to Brad Taylor and Vince Flynn by Booklist, Hood’s return to the genre will no doubt be met with excitement from readers who raved about his earlier work.

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Land Of Wolves by Craig Johnson

Release Date: September 17th

The new novel in Craig Johnson’s beloved New York Times bestselling Longmire series.

Attempting to recover from his harrowing experiences in Mexico, in Land of Wolves Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is neck deep in the investigation of what could or could not be the suicidal hanging of a shepherd. With unsettling connections to a Basque family with a reputation for removing the legs of Absaroka County sheriffs, matters become even more complicated with the appearance of an oversize wolf in the Big Horn Mountains to which Walt finds himself feeling more and more empathetic.

Why you should be excited about it: Longmire is back, and while he’s still recovering from the beatdown he took in last year’s book, Walt doesn’t let injuries or anything else hold him back as he investigates the suspicious death of a shepherd. Craig Johnson is so good at what he does, and he’s in top form here.

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Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

Release Date: September 17th

The New York Times bestselling author of A Noise Downstairs and No Time for Goodbye returns with an edge-of-your-seat thriller that does for elevators what Psycho did for showers and Jaws did for the beach—a heart-pounding tale in which a series of disasters paralyzes New York City with fear.

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men in women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? Why are they doing it? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers before the city’s newest, and tallest, residential tower has its Friday night ribbon-cutting.

With each diabolical twist, Linwood Barclay ratchets up the suspense, building to a shattering finale. Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.

Why you should be excited about it: Lots of twists and a double-dose of suspense here. While the ending is a tad predictable, readers who figure it out ahead of time will most likely still enjoy the journey getting there.

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A Cruel Deception by Charles Todd

Release Date: September 17th

In the aftermath of World War I, nurse Bess Crawford attempts to save a troubled former soldier from a mysterious killer in this eleventh book in the beloved Bess Crawford mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd.

The Armistice of November 1918 ended the fighting, but the Great War will not be over until a Peace Treaty is drawn up and signed by all parties. Representatives from the Allies are gathering in Paris, and already ominous signs of disagreement have appeared.

Sister Bess Crawford, who has been working with the severely wounded in England in the war’s wake, is asked to carry out a personal mission in Paris for a Matron at the London headquarters of The Queen Alexandra’s.

Bess is facing decisions about her own future, even as she searches for the man she is charged with helping.  When she does locate Lawrence Minton, she finds a bitter and disturbed officer who has walked away from his duties at the Peace Conference and is well on his way toward an addiction to opiates. When she confronts him with the dangers of using laudanum, he tells her that he doesn’t care if he lives or dies, as long as he can find oblivion. But what has changed him? What is it that haunts him? He can’t confide in Bess—because the truth is so deeply buried in his mind that he can only relive it in nightmares. The officers who had shared a house with him in Paris profess to know nothing—still, Bess is reluctant to trust them even when they offer her their help. But where to begin on her own?

What is driving this man to a despair so profound it can only end with death? The war? Something that happened in Paris? To prevent a tragedy, she must get at the truth as quickly as possible—which means putting herself between Lieutenant Minton and whatever is destroying him. Or is it whoever?

Why you should be excited about it: Bess Crawford is a strong, well-developed character, and, while we mean no disrespect to Inspector Rutledge, she might just be Todd’s best protagonist going. Interestingly, the authors (the mother-son writing team of Charles and Caroline Todd) have found a way to address a timely topic, even though the book is set just after WWI.

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What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr

Release Date: September 17th

In New York Times bestselling author Nevada Barr’s gripping standalone, a grandmother in her sixties emerges from a mental fog to find she’s trapped in her worst nightmare

Rose Dennis wakes up in a hospital gown, her brain in a fog, only to discover that she’s been committed to an Alzheimer’s Unit in a nursing home. With no memory of how she ended up in this position, Rose is sure that something is very wrong. When she overhears one of the administrators saying about her that she’s “not making it through the week,” Rose is convinced that if she’s to survive, she has to get out of the nursing home. She avoids taking her medication, putting on a show for the aides, then stages her escape.

The only problem is―how does she convince anyone that she’s not actually demented? Her relatives were the ones to commit her, all the legal papers were drawn up, the authorities are on the side of the nursing home, and even she isn’t sure she sounds completely sane. But any lingering doubt Rose herself might have had is erased when a would-be killer shows up in her house in the middle of the night. Now Rose knows that someone is determined to get rid of her.

With the help of her computer hacker/recluse sister Marion, thirteen-year-old granddaughter Mel, and Mel’s friend Royal, Rose begins to gather her strength and fight back―to find out who is after her and take back control of her own life. But someone out there is still determined to kill Rose, and they’re holding all the cards.

Why you should be excited about it: Imagine waking up to find you’ve been committed against your will into the hospital for dementia, with no recollection whatsoever of how you got there. How much worse would that scene be if you were also convinced that you didn’t really have dementia? That’s the premise of Barr’s latest book, and it’s absolutely riveting.

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The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger

Release Date: September 17th

Even good people are drawn to do evil things…

Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend’s house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky. Tess never came home, and Hank was held in captivity before managing to escape. Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice—and killed him in cold blood.

Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, her dark childhood buried deep. She spends her days as a stay-at-home mom, having put aside her career as a hard-hitting journalist to care for her infant daughter. But when another brutal murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends’ abductor force Rain to revisit memories she’s worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can’t Rain just let it go?

Introducing one of the most compelling and original killers in crime fiction today, Lisa Unger takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes people deserve what comes to them.

Why you should be excited about it: Unger is a sure bet for those seeking a nail-biting thriller with enough twists and turns to have you gasping for air by the time you finally reach the ending. The promise to introduce “one of the most compelling and original killers in crime fiction today” should have her fans pre-ordering in bunches.

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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.

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