Spring is finally here, and rest assured, mother nature isn’t the only thing heating up.
This month, there are a ton of really great thrillers. Whatever you’re looking for—action, suspense, mystery—May has it all and then some, headlined by some of the biggest names in the genre today.
This month, we’re spotlighting three books: Storm Rising by Chris Hauty, In the Blood by Jack Carr, and Every Cloak Rolled in Blood by James Lee Burke. See more details about those books—including why we chose to make them our Featured Selections for May—and every other title hitting stores this month below.
Oh, and spoiler alert for June and July . . . this summer might just be the strongest lineup of thrillers I’ve ever covered. Stay tuned, and make sure to check back for more info on must-read books soon.
Tuesday, May 3
Hostile Intent by Don Bentley
In the espionage community, Vienna is known as the City of Spies, and Matt Drake is about to learn why in the latest electrifying thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Tom Clancy Target Acquired and The Outside Man.
When a mysterious walk-in to the US embassy in Vienna claims to have critical information about a Russian intelligence operation, he raises eyebrows. But when he asks for Matt Drake by name and calls himself the Irishman, he gets the DIA’s premier case officer on a one-way flight.
Matt arrives to find Austria’s charming capital lousy with intelligence officers, all swirling around Nolan Burke—a onetime member of the real IRA. But before Matt can debrief Nolan, the Irishman is kidnapped by a Russian direct action team. Now, Matt must find a way to repay the debt of honor he owes Nolan while stopping World War III in the process.
Storm Rising by Chris Hauty (Featured Selection)
INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER
Nationally bestselling author Chris Hauty leads fans into the depths of a dangerous white supremacy conspiracy that threatens to tear the country apart in his propulsive new thriller.
Former White House intern turned intelligence operative Hayley Chill is filling her time by training as an MMA fighter. When she’s convinced to pursue the truth about her father’s mysterious fate, she stumbles upon a ciphered document under the floorboards of her father’s house.
With permission from her handler to probe deeper, she is led into a terrifying subculture of white supremacy within the United States military. As her investigation intensifies, she uncovers an expansive conspiracy to bring about the secession of several states from the country. It’s up to Hayley to stop a second Civil War before it starts, while also confronting the ultimate truth about her own father’s role in this harrowing chapter of American history.
From TRBS: Hauty is one of my favorite writers on the planet, and I’m thoroughly addicted to his Hayley Chill series. He had me hooked after his jaw-dropping debut, Deep State, a few years back—but what’s impressed me the most is that he’s found ways to keep topping himself, and more importantly, he continues to subvert readers expectations with twists and turns galore. This book, more than anything else, shows just what a talent he is. If you aren’t reading him, start.
Tuesday, May 10
Decimate by Christopher Rice
A desperate family confronts the mysteries that lie between life and death in this soul-gripping novel of supernatural suspense by Amazon Charts and New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice.
Claire Huntley and her brother, Poe, were on a midnight hike in Montana when the woods went wild. A blinding, devouring light and a rumbling pulse that blasted them off their feet left both kids with little memory of what happened. Their father insisted it was a violent extraterrestrial abduction; his wild obsession would tear their family apart in the wake of the trauma.
Fourteen years later, Claire, who’s battled anxiety attacks since that fateful hike, wants to heal her relationship with her brother, which has been damaged by his years of addiction. But only hours before their reunion, Poe’s crowded passenger plane plunges into the Colorado mountains. No one survives the fiery crash. In the midst of her grief, Claire accepts her estranged father’s request to join him in Montana, where he continues to investigate the paranormal force he believes altered his children down to their bones.
As they reunite, Claire’s anxiety attacks take on a new dimension. Is she experiencing hallucinations or visions? Is her brother’s presence in them a symptom of grief, or is she receiving messages from beyond life? The answers Claire and her father seek will take them on a breakneck journey deep into the Montana wilderness and the shadows of history, where they will unearth a secret force with terrifying implications for their family―and the world.
Bad Actors by Mick Herron
Mick Herron, “the le Carré of the future” (BBC), expands his world of bad spies with an even shadier cast of characters: the politicians, lobbyists, and misinformation agents pulling the levers of government policy.
In London’s MI5 headquarters a scandal is brewing that could disgrace the entire intelligence community. The Downing Street superforecaster—a specialist who advises the Prime Minister’s office on how policy is likely to be received by the electorate—has disappeared without a trace. Claude Whelan, who was once head of MI5, has been tasked with tracking her down.
But the trail leads him straight back to Regent’s Park itself, with First Desk Diana Taverner as chief suspect. Has Taverner overplayed her hand at last? Meanwhile, her Russian counterpart, Moscow intelligence’s First Desk, has cheekily showed up in London and shaken off his escort. Are the two unfortunate events connected?
Over at Slough House, where Jackson Lamb presides over some of MI5’s most embittered demoted agents, the slow horses are doing what they do best, and adding a little bit of chaos to an already unstable situation . . .
There are bad actors everywhere, and they usually get their comeuppance before the credits roll. But politics is a dirty business, and in a world where lying, cheating and backstabbing are the norm, sometimes the good guys can find themselves outgunned.
Tuesday, May 17
In the Blood by Jack Carr (Featured Selection)
“Take my word for it, James Reece is one rowdy motherf***er. Get ready!” —Chris Pratt, star of The Terminal List, coming to Amazon Prime
The #1 New York Times bestselling Terminal List series continues as James Reece embarks on a global journey of vengeance.
A woman boards a plane in the African country of Burkina Faso having just completed a targeted assassination for the state of Israel. Two minutes later, her plane is blown out of the sky.
Over 6,000 miles away, former Navy SEAL James Reece watches the names and pictures of the victims on cable news. One face triggers a distant memory of a Mossad operative attached to the CIA years earlier in Iraq—a woman with ties to the intelligence services of two nations…a woman Reece thought he would never see again.
Reece enlists friends new and old across the globe to track down her killer, unaware that he may be walking into a deadly trap.
From TRBS: Hands down, In the Blood is the best book I’ve read this year. I’ve said from the beginning that covering Carr is what I’d imagine it would have been like to discover Vince Flynn at the beginning of his career. Now, though, Carr deserves to be mentioned alongside all-time greats like Flynn, Thor, Clancy, and Silva . . . rather than just be compared to them. I know it’s only May, but it’s hard to imagine anyone topping this book in 2022.
The Island by Adrian McKinty
A “brilliant and relentless” new thriller from the author of the instant New York Times bestseller The Chain (Don Winslow).
“Extraordinary.” —T. J. Newman, New York Times bestselling author of Falling
“You’ll never go on vacation the same way again.” —Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of City On Fire
IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.
A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.
After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.
When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.
But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.
When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.
Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.
Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.
Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay
A missing woman. A husband suspected. The truth will . . .
TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY
From the New York Times bestselling author of Find You First and Elevator Pitch comes a gripping psychological thriller about a formerly missing woman who has suddenly returned under mysterious circumstances.
One weekend, while Andrew Mason was on a fishing trip, his wife, Brie, vanished without a trace. Most everyone assumed Andy had got away with murder—it’s always the husband, isn’t it?—but the police could never build a strong case against him. For a while, Andy hit rock bottom—he drank too much to numb the pain, was abandoned by all his friends save one, nearly lost his business, and became a pariah in the place he once called home.
Now, six years later, Andy has finally put his life back together. He sold the house he once shared with Brie and moved away. To tell the truth, he wasn’t sad to hear that the old place was razed and a new house built on the site. He’s settled down with a new partner, Jayne, and life is good.
But Andy’s peaceful world is about to shatter. One day, a woman shows up at his old address, screaming, “Where’s my house? What’s happened to my house?” And then, just as suddenly as she appeared, the woman—who bears a striking resemblance to Brie—is gone. The police are notified and old questions—and dark suspicions—resurface.
Could Brie really be alive after all these years? If so, where has she been? It soon becomes clear that Andy’s future and the lives of those closest to him depend on discovering what the hell is going on. The trick will be whether he can stay alive long enough to unearth the answers.
Countdown to Midnight by Dale Brown
In this sequel to Dale Brown’s New York Times bestselling Arctic Storm Rising, former U.S. Air Force officer Nick Flynn is caught up in a shadow war against allied Russia and Iran—a duo wielding a terrifying new weapon.
Nick Flynn is back in action, and he has a new employer—a shadowy intelligence outfit whose roots go back to the very beginning of the Cold War. But his first mission for them almost becomes his last. While meeting with a high-ranking Iranian dissident in the Austrian Alps, Flynn is ambushed and nearly killed… just after learning that Iran and Russia are working together on a mysterious project—one they have codenamed MIDNIGHT.
Flynn is determined to uncover MIDNIGHT’s lethal secrets. Why are Moscow and Tehran covertly retrofitting a massive oil tanker in an Iranian port? What purpose lies behind their closely guarded effort, the brainchild of Pavel Voronin—a ruthless billionaire allied with Russia’s autocratic president?
Flynn and his new team plan to put an end to the nefarious project, but they’re dogged at every step by Voronin’s hired Raven Syndicate killers—elite veterans of Russia’s special forces and intelligence services. As they track the enemy from the streets of Vienna to deep inside hostile Iran, Flynn and his crew must repeatedly risk their lives to pierce the layers of deception around this shadow war.
It’s a race against time to stop Voronin from launching his terrifying new weapon against the United States—potentially killing hundreds of millions and overturning the world’s balance of power forever. The odds are stacked high against Flynn and his team… but that’s never stopped Nick before.
Tuesday, May 24
Every Cloak Rolled in Blood by James Lee Burke (Featured Selection)
In his most autobiographical novel to date, James Lee Burke continues the epic Holland family saga with a writer grieving the death of his daughter while battling earthly and supernatural outlaws.
Novelist Aaron Holland Broussard is shattered when his daughter Fannie Mae dies suddenly. As he tries to honor her memory by saving two young men from a life of crime amid their opioid-ravaged community, he is drawn into a network of villainy that includes a violent former Klansman, a far-from-holy minister, a biker club posing as evangelicals, and a murderer who has been hiding in plain sight.
Aaron’s only ally is state police officer Ruby Spotted Horse, a no-nonsense woman who harbors some powerful secrets in her cellar. Despite the air of mystery surrounding her, Ruby is the only one Aaron can trust. That is, until the ghost of Fannie Mae shows up, guiding her father through a tangled web of the present and past and helping him vanquish his foes from both this world and the next.
Drawn from James Lee Burke’s own life experiences, Every Cloak Rolled in Blood is a devastating exploration of the nature of good and evil and a deeply moving story about the power of love and family.
From TRBS: A true American treasure, James Lee Burke remains one of the most talented writers the genre has ever known, and his latest book further cements his brilliant legacy by treating readers to an unforgettable, unputdownable adventure that explores good and evil unlike anyone else penning thrillers today.
Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone
Tautly wound and expertly crafted, Two Nights in Lisbon is a riveting thriller about a woman under pressure, and how far she will go when everything is on the line.
“I defy anyone to read the first twenty pages of this breakneck novel, then try to put it down for five minutes. This is smart suspense at its very best.”―#1 New York Times bestselling author John Grisham
You think you know a person . . .
Ariel Pryce wakes up in Lisbon, alone. Her husband is gone―no warning, no note, not answering his phone. Something is wrong.
She starts with hotel security, then the police, then the American embassy, at each confronting questions she can’t fully answer: What exactly is John doing in Lisbon? Why would he drag her along on his business trip? Who would want to harm him? And why does Ariel know so little about her new―much younger―husband?
The clock is ticking. Ariel is increasingly frustrated and desperate, running out of time, and the one person in the world who can help is the one person she least wants to ask.
With sparkling prose and razor-sharp insights, bestselling author Chris Pavone delivers a stunning and sophisticated international thriller that will linger long after the surprising final page.
With a Mind to Kill by Anthony Horowitz
Internationally bestselling author Anthony Horowitz’s third James Bond novel, after Forever and a Day.
It is M’s funeral. One man is missing from the graveside: the traitor who pulled the trigger and who is now in custody, accused of M’s murder – James Bond.
Behind the Iron Curtain, a group of former Smersh agents want to use the British spy in an operation that will change the balance of world power. Bond is smuggled into the lion’s den – but whose orders is he following, and will he obey them when the moment of truth arrives?
In a mission where treachery is all around and one false move means death, Bond must grapple with the darkest questions about himself. But not even he knows what has happened to the man he used to be.
Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon
An Indie Next pick for June 2022
Named a Best Book of Spring by Esquire
Named a Best Book of May by The Philadelphia Inquirer
Named one of the “27 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Winter” by Thrillist
A high speed and darkly comic road trip through a near-future America with a big-hearted mercenary, from beloved and acclaimed novelist Dan Chaon.
Sleepwalk’s hero, Will Bear, is a man with so many aliases that he simply thinks of himself as the Barely Blur. At fifty years old, he’s been living off the grid for over half his life. He’s never had a real job, never paid taxes, never been in a committed relationship. A good-natured henchman with a complicated and lonely past and a passion for LSD microdosing, he spends his time hopscotching across state lines in his beloved camper van, running sometimes shady often dangerous errands for a powerful and ruthless operation he’s never troubled himself to learn too much about. He has lots of connections, but no true ties. His longest relationships are with an old rescue dog that has post-traumatic stress and a childhood friend as deeply entrenched in the underworld as he is, who, lately, he’s less and less sure he can trust.
Out of the blue, one of Will’s many burner phones heralds a call from a twenty-year-old woman claiming to be his biological daughter. She says she’s the product of one of his long-ago sperm donations; he’s half certain she’s AI. She needs his help. She’s entrenched in a widespread and nefarious plot involving Will’s employers, and for Will to continue to have any contact with her increasingly fuzzes the line between the people he is working for and the people he’s running from.
With his signature blend of haunting emotional realism and fast-paced intrigue, Dan Chaon populates his fractured America with characters who ring all too true. Gazing both back to the past and forward to an inevitable-enough-seeming future, Sleepwalk examines where we’ve been and where we’re going and the connections that bind us, no matter how far we travel to dodge them or how cleverly we hide.
Omega Rules by Eric Van Lustbader
Evan Ryder returns to uncover an international conspiracy against American democracy in a white-knuckle new thriller by New York Times bestselling author, Eric Van Lustbader.
Evan Ryder was once a field agent for a black-ops arm of the Department of Defense. Now she works for Parachute, a cutting-edge quantum-computing firm whose private espionage network exceeds any government spy agency. But her mission remains the same: seek out and destroy Omega, a fanatical global cult intent on destroying democracy. The fight against Omega has already cost Evan dearly but she will not stop until she has torn out the conspiracy by its roots, no matter the risk.
In Omega Rules, the assassination of a Parachute agent in Vienna sets Evan on a dangerous, world-wide hunt for answers and on a collision course with forces so powerful they may be beyond her abilities to annihilate. Once again Lustbader delivers a prescient exploration of the political and ideological forces that are wreaking havoc on the stability of the Western world and its struggling democracies.
Something Wicked by David Housewright
In David Housewright’s next hardboiled mystery, Something Wicked, Rushmore McKenzie, who promised to retire after his last nearly-fatal case, gets talked into doing an old friend a favor involving a castle, a family fighting over an inheritance, and at least one mysterious death.
Rushmore McKenzie was a detective with the St. Paul, Minnesota PD until unlikely events made him first a millionaire and then a retiree. Since then, he’s been an occasional unofficial private investigator – looking into things for friends and friends of friends – until his most recent case put him into a coma and nearly into a coffin. Now, at the insistence of his better half Nina Truhler, he is again retired.
That is, until a friend of Nina finds herself in dire straights and in desperate need of a favor. Jenness Crawford’s grandmother owned the family castle – a nineteenth century castle that has been operating as a hotel and resort for over a hundred years. Since her grandmother’s death, the heirs have been squabbling over what to do with it. Some want to keep it in the family and running as a hotel. Some want to sell it and reap the millions a developer will pay for it. And Jenness is convinced that someone – probably in the latter group – killed her grandmother. A conclusion with which the police do not agree. Now McKenzie finds himself back in action, trapped in a castle filled with feuding relatives with conflicting agendas, long serving retainers, and a possible murderer. And if McKenzie makes one wrong move, it could be lights out.
Clive Cussler’s Dark Vector by Graham Brown
Kurt Austin must find a vanished ship and stave off a global catastrophe in the latest novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series created by the “grandmaster of adventure” Clive Cussler.
A freighter carrying top-secret computers of unparalleled capability disappears in the Western Pacific. While searching for a lost treasure that once belonged to the famous Chinese pirate queen, Ching Shih, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are redirected to look for the missing vessel.
Discovering that the sinking of the ship is just part of an intricate web of deception, they find themselves in the middle of a cyber-war between rival groups of hackers, both of whom want to control the flow of data around the world.
With no allies except a group of pirates who operate under their own crude laws, Kurt and Joe must rescue a colleague held hostage—while keeping the computers out of Russian or Chinese hands and the world’s digital information safe from the hackers.
Tuesday, May 31
The Handler by M.P. Woodward
A disgraced former CIA operative must go back in the field with only his ex-wife as his handler in this electrifying thriller from a former intelligence officer.
Meredith Morris-Dale is a CIA case officer and a damn good one…even if this last mission did go terribly wrong. Now she has been summoned back to Langley where she expects to be fired. Instead, she is met by the Deputy Director with stunning news.
A single well-placed CIA mole in Iran’s uranium enrichment program has kept the terrorist nation from building a bomb by sabotaging the performance of their covert centrifuge arrays. But after losing his daughter in an airliner shootdown, the mole wants out—leaving the world on the brink. His one demand: a reunion with the only handler he ever trusted, John Dale—Meredith’s disgraced, fired, wayward ex-husband. As Meredith and John struggle through their fraught relationship, a craven CIA political hierarchy, Russian interference, and the rogue spy’s manipulation, they must reach deep within their shared connection to maintain, recover, or kill the asset.
Deep Water by Emma Bamford
The dark side of paradise is exposed when a terrified couple reveals their daunting experience on a remote island to their rescuers—only to realize they’re still in the grips of the island’s secrets—in this intense and startling debut in the tradition of Into the Jungle and The Ruins.
When a Navy vessel comes across a yacht in distress in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, Captain Danial Tengku orders his ship to rush to its aid. On board the yacht is a British couple: a horribly injured man, Jake, and his traumatized wife, Virginie, who breathlessly confesses, “It’s all my fault. I killed them.”
Trembling with fear, she reveals their shocking story to Danial. Months earlier, the couple had spent all their savings on a yacht, full of excitement for exploring the high seas and exotic lands together. They start at the busy harbors of Malaysia and, through word of mouth, Jake and Virginie learn about a tiny, isolated island full of unspoiled beaches. When they arrive, they discover they are not the only visitors and quickly become entangled with a motley crew of expat sailors. Soon, Jake and Virginie’s adventurous dream turns into a terrifying nightmare.
Now, it’s up to Danial to determine just how much truth there is in Virginie’s alarming tale. But when his crew make a shocking discovery, he realizes that if he doesn’t act soon, they could all fall under the dark spell of the island.
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck 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 co-hosts the ThrillerTalk podcast. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, comes out on September 6, 2022. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook.