Welcome to April, thriller fans!
After a strong month for must-read new books in March, it’s time to re-load and start planning out your book-buying budget for the next four weeks. Thankfully, there’s once again a great lineup of new books set to hit stores shelves, and as always, we’ve highlighted one title that we think stands above the rest. This month’s Featured Selection is City of Dreams by New York Times bestselling author Don Winslow. If you only have time to read one book this month, make sure it’s Winslow’s. One of the most iconic authors still working today, Winslow is set to retire after his 2024 release. That’s a big blow to the industry, frankly, but more on that later. For now, we know we have two new books left from Don Winslow—making each of them can’t-miss titles. And trust me, City of Dreams is incredible.
Find out more about Winslow’s latest, along with everything else coming out this month, below.
Tuesday, May 4th
Blind Spots by Thomas Mullen
A riveting crime novel with a speculative edge about the ways our perceptions of reality can be manipulated.
Seven years ago, everyone in the world went blind in a matter of months. Technology helped people adjust to the new normal, creating a device that approximates vision, downloading visual data directly to people’s brains. But what happens when someone finds a way to hack it and change what people see?
Homicide detective Mark Owens has been on the force since before The Blinding. When a scientist is murdered, and the only witness insists the killer was blacked out of her vision, Owens doesn’t believe her—until a similar murder happens in front of him. With suspects ranging from tech billionaires to anti-modernity cultists—and with the bodies piling up—Owens must conduct an investigation in which he can’t even trust his own eyes.
Thomas Mullen, the acclaimed author of Darktown and The Last Town on Earth, delivers an unputdownable crime novel about one man’s search for truth in a world of surveillance and disinformation that’s all too recognizable.
Robert Ludlum’s The Treadstone Rendition by Joshua Hood
The final days of the American presence in Afghanistan bring Adam Hayes a summons he can’t ignore in the latest electrifying thriller from the world of Robert Ludlum.
Adam Hayes has stepped away from the field for the last time. He’s promised his wife that he won’t put his life on the line any more, and there’s nothing that will make him break a promise to his wife.
Well…almost nothing. With America withdrawing from Afghanistan and the Taliban closing in, Abdul Nassir reached out to his old friend. Ten years ago, he saved the American’s life, and the time has come for repayment. The Afghan is desperate to flee his homeland. Like most of his countrymen, he is petrified by the Taliban takeover, but he also can’t trust the Americans. He’s the only eyewitness to a massacre committed by a rogue team of CIA contractors. Not only can he identify the butcher who directed the bloodbath, he also has photographic proof. He’ll only be safe when those pictures are made public
Now, there’s just one man he can trust to get him to safety–Adam Hayes.
Tuesday, April 11th
Letty Davenport, the tough-as-nails adopted daughter of Lucas Davenport, takes on an undercover assignment that brings her across the country and into the crosshairs of a dangerous group of hackers.
Letty Davenport’s days working a desk job at are behind her. Her previous actions at a gunfight in Texas—and her incredible skills with firearms—draw the attention of several branches of the US government, and make her a perfect fit for even more dangerous work. The Department of Homeland Security and the NSA have tasked her with infiltrating a hacker group, known only as Ordinary People, that is intent on wreaking havoc. Letty and her reluctant partner from the NSA pose as free-spirited programmers for hire and embark on a cross country road trip to the group’s California headquarters.
While the two work to make inroads with Ordinary People and uncover their plans, they begin to suspect that the hackers are not their only enemy. Someone within their own circle may have betrayed them, and has ulterior motives that place their mission—and their lives—in grave danger.
Standing in the Shadows by Peter Robinson
The 28th twisting installment in the DCI Alan Banks mystery series that Stephen King calls “the best now on the market.”
In November 1980, Nick Hartley returns home from a university lecture to find his house crawling with police. His ex-girlfriend, Alice Poole, has been found murdered, and her new boyfriend Mark Woodcroft is missing. Nick is the prime suspect. The case quickly goes cold, but Nick cannot let it go. He embarks on a career in investigative journalism, determined to find Alice’s murderer—but his obsession leads him down a dangerous path.
Decades later, in November 2019, an archaeologist unearths a skeleton that turns out to be far more contemporary than the Roman remains she is seeking. Detective Superintendent Alan Banks and his team are called in to investigate, but there is little to be gleaned from the remains themselves. Left with few clues, Banks and his team must rely on their wits to hunt down a killer.
As the two cases unfurl, the investigations twist and turn to an explosive conclusion.
The Only Survivors by Megan Miranda
From the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and “master of suspense, Megan Miranda” (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl), a thrilling mystery about a group of former classmates who reunite to mark the tenth anniversary of a tragic accident—only to have one of the survivors disappear, casting fear and suspicion on the original tragedy.
Seven hours in the past. Seven days in the present. Seven survivors remaining. Who would you save?
A decade ago, two vans filled with high school seniors on a school service trip crashed into a Tennessee ravine—a tragedy that claimed the lives of multiple classmates and teachers. The nine students who managed to escape the river that night were irrevocably changed. A year later, after one of the survivors dies by suicide on the anniversary of the crash, the rest of them make a pact: to come together each year to commemorate that terrible night.
To keep one another safe.
To hold one another accountable.
Their annual meeting place, a house on the Outer Banks, has long been a refuge. But by the tenth anniversary, Cassidy Bent has worked to distance herself from the tragedy, and from the other survivors. She’s changed her mobile number. She’s blocked the others’ email addresses. This year, she is determined to finally break ties once and for all. But on the day of the reunion, she receives a text with an obituary attached: another survivor is gone. Now they are seven—and Cassidy finds herself hurling back toward the group, wild with grief—and suspicion.
Almost immediately, something feels off this year. Cassidy is the first to notice when Amaya, annual organizer, slips away, overwhelmed. This wouldn’t raise alarm except for the impending storm. Suddenly, they’re facing the threat of closed roads and surging waters…again. Then Amaya stops responding to her phone. After all they’ve been through, she wouldn’t willfully make them worry. Would she?
And—as they promised long ago—each survivor will do whatever he or she can do to save one another. Won’t they?
A propulsive and chilling locked-box mystery filled with the dazzling hairpin twists that are the author’s signature, The Only Survivors is New York Times-bestselling author Megan Miranda’s best novel yet.
Going Zero by Anthony McCarten
From four-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten comes a breakneck, wickedly entertaining thriller for our times, a twisty, action-packed novel reminiscent of the best Michael Crichton technothrillers, in which a woman must find a way to elude the most powerful forces of government and high tech.
TWO HOURS TO VANISH
Ten Americans have been carefully selected to Beta test a ground-breaking piece of spyware. Pioneered by tech-wunderkind Cy Baxter in collaboration with the CIA, FUSION can track anyone on earth. But does it work?
ONE CHANCE TO ESCAPE
Each participant is given two hours to ‘Go Zero’ – to go off-grid and disappear – and then thirty days to elude the highly sophisticated Capture Teams sent to find them. Any Zero that beats FUSION will receive $3 million. If Cy’s system prevails, he wins a $90 billion-dollar government contract to revolutionize surveillance forever.
For one contestant, an unassuming Boston librarian named Kaitlyn Day, the stakes are far higher than money, and her reasons for entering the test more personal than anyone imagines. Kaitlyn needs to win as badly as Cy needs to realize his own ambitions. They have no choice but to finish the game and when the timer hits zero, there will only be one winner . . .
Tuesday, March 18th
City of Dreams by Don Winslow (Featured Selection) ∗
Hot on the heels of the “superb” (Stephen King) New York Times bestseller City on Fire comes the explosive second novel in an epic crime trilogy from #1 internationally bestselling author Don Winslow.
Danny Ryan, a young widower and mob underboss, has left the East Coast and settled in California with his young son in tow. The move has been good for Danny; in his new base of operations, his power, influence, and wealth have grown. Now he’s heading up to Hollywood to rein in two of his crew, who are shaking down a film being made about their involvement in the New England crime war.
At the film set, Danny finds himself in a replica of his old neighborhood, standing face-to-face with an actor who’s portraying him, and Diane Carson, the actress playing his late wife. Danny is immediately drawn to Diane, but soon learns of a crime in her past that Diane is desperate to cover up. As Danny tries to help Diane, he goes to war against new enemies who don’t want him moving in on their West Coast action, and their two worlds pull them in different, dangerous directions.
Simply Lies is an intense thriller featuring Mickey Gibson, a former New Jersey detective, from the number one bestselling author David Baldacci.
Former Jersey City detective and single mother of two, Mickey Gibson, now works for global investigation company, ProEye, to track down assets of the wealthy who have tried to avoid their creditors. One day she gets a call from a colleague, Arlene Robinson, asking her to visit the home of a notorious arms dealer who has cheated some of ProEye’s clients in the past. Mickey arrives at the mansion to discover the body of a man hidden in a secret room.
It turns out that nothing is at it seems. The arms dealer did not exist, and nobody at ProEye knew of Arlene Robinson. Mickey had been tricked and now the cops were involved. The body was that of Thomas Lancaster who’d been in Witness Protection having had links with the mob.
Now begins a cat-and-mouse showdown between hardened ex-cop, Mickey, and a woman with sociopathic tendencies who has no name and a mysterious past. She intends to get what she wants and people who get in her way will die. For Mickey to stop her, she must first discover her true identity and what damaged her all those years ago. And the truth behind why she selected Micky to become her nemesis.
Shadow of Death by Heather Graham
You can cut off the head of the snake, but another will emerge.
When two hikers go missing within a series of daunting caves outside of Denver, Colorado, FDLE special agent Amy Larson and her partner, FBI special agent Hunter Forrest, have good reason to suspect foul play. The pair of hikers are only the latest to vanish after a rash of disappearances that’s left local law enforcement stumped. But in searching the dank caverns near the Arkansas River, the agents aren’t prepared for the horror they uncover: a muddy pit littered with corpses. Covered in bite marks. Made by human teeth.
When a tiny toy horse is found on the scene, Amy and Hunter recognize the calling card. They’ll have to move quickly before the already sizable body count grows. Their investigation soon draws them down the rabbit hole of a dangerous cult with a sinister mandate—one that involves human sacrifices. Anything to further their twisted cause. But when more people go missing, it becomes clear the cult’s reach extends beyond state lines, leading Amy and Hunter deep into the Florida Everglades to set a perilous trap, one that stands to risk everything they hold dear, including their lives.
Tuesday, April 25th
Forgotten War by Don Bentley
A fascinating, action-packed thriller from one of the genre’s most talented authors. Don Bentley delivers a blistering adventure loaded with excitement and fabulous characters. You will not want it to end!”—Brad Thor, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Dead Fall
A brotherhood born in battle is endangered by a deadly secret in the latest astonishing thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Tom Clancy Zero Hour and Hostile Intent.
As a team, Matt Drake and his partner, Frodo, have watched each other’s backs through some very dark days. But one thing they’ve never doubted was their commitment to each other…until now.
Frodo has been accused of a war crime ten years after leaving Afghanistan. Matt is determined to prove his friend innocent, but what will he do when he finds that his closest friend has secrets he won’t share?
Small Mercies by Dennis Lehane
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling writer returns with a masterpiece to rival Mystic River—an all-consuming tale of revenge, family love, festering hate, and insidious power, set against one of the most tumultuous episodes in Boston’s history.
In the summer of 1974 a heatwave blankets Boston and Mary Pat Fennessey is trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors. Mary Pat has lived her entire life in the housing projects of “Southie,” the Irish American enclave that stubbornly adheres to old tradition and stands proudly apart.
One night Mary Pat’s teenage daughter Jules stays out late and doesn’t come home. That same evening, a young Black man is found dead, struck by a subway train under mysterious circumstances.
The two events seem unconnected. But Mary Pat, propelled by a desperate search for her missing daughter, begins turning over stones best left untouched—asking questions that bother Marty Butler, chieftain of the Irish mob, and the men who work for him, men who don’t take kindly to any threat to their business.
Set against the hot, tumultuous months when the city’s desegregation of its public schools exploded in violence, Small Mercies is a superb thriller, a brutal depiction of criminality and power, and an unflinching portrait of the dark heart of American racism. It is a mesmerizing and wrenching work that only Dennis Lehane could write.
Seven Girls Gone by Allison Brennan
For three years, women have been disappearing—and eventually turning up dead in the small bayou town of St. Augustine, Louisiana. Police detective Beau Hebert is the only one who seems to care, but with every witness quickly silenced and a corrupt police department set on keeping the cases unsolved, Beau’s investigation stalls at every turn.
With nobody else to trust, Beau calls in a favor from his friend on the FBI’s Mobile Response Team. While LAPD detective Kara Quinn works undercover to dig into the women’s murders and team leader Matt Costa officially investigates the in-custody death of a witness, Beau might finally have a chance at solving the case.
But in a town where everyone knows everyone, talking gets you killed and secrets stay buried, it’s going to take the entire team working around the clock to unravel the truth. Especially when they discover that the deep-seated corruption and the deadly drug-trafficking ring at the center of it all extends far beyond the small-town borders.
The Rescue by T. Jefferson Parker
A new and beguiling thriller from three-time Edgar Award-winner and New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker.
While reporting on a Tijuana animal shelter, journalist Bettina Blazak falls in love with one of her story’s subjects—an adorable Mexican street dog who is being treated for a mysterious gunshot wound. Bettina impulsively adopts the dog, who she names Felix after the veterinarian who saved him.
In investigating Felix’s past, Bettina discovers that his life is nothing like what she assumed. For one thing, he’s not a Mexican street dog at all. A former DEA drug-sniffing dog, Felix has led a very colorful, dangerous, and profitable life. With Bettina’s story going viral, some interesting people are looking for Felix, making him a target—again.
Bettina soon finds herself drawn into a deadly criminal underworld from which she and her beloved dog may not return.
The Rescue is a gripping thriller that explores the strength of the human-animal bond and how far we will go to protect what we love by three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker.
Off the northeast coast of Russia, the captain and crew of a small crabbing vessel are brutally murdered by members of the Russian Mafia. After the Bratva thugs stuff the dead bodies into crab pots and throw them overboard, they scuttle the vessel off the coast of Alaska and slip ashore.
In Washington DC, Supreme Court Justice Charlotte Morehouse prepares for a trip to Alaska, unaware that a killer is waiting to take his revenge—by livestreaming her death to the world.
In Anchorage, Alaska, Deputy US Marshals Arliss Cutter and Lola Teariki are assigned to security detail at a judicial conference in Fairbanks. Lola is tasked with guarding Justice Townsend’s teenaged daughter while Cutter provides counter-surveillance. It’s a simple, routine assignment—until the mother and daughter decide to explore the Alaskan wilderness on the famous Glacier Discovery train. Hiding among the tourists, eccentric locals, and other passengers are the Russian terrorists, who launch a surprise attack when the train reaches a remote area. While they seize control of the engine, Cutter manages to escape with Justice Townsend by jumping off the moving train—and into the unforgiving wilderness.
The chase is on. With no supplies and no connection to the outside world, Cutter and the judge must cross a treacherous terrain and commandeer a raft through an icy river canyon to stay alive. Two of the terrorists are close behind. The others are on the train with the judge’s daughter—and they plan to execute her on camera. With so many lives at stake, Cutter knows there are only two options left: catch the train and kill them all . . . or all will be killed.
The Way of the Bear by Anne Hillerman
Fossil harvesting, ancient lore, greed, rejected love and murder combine in this gripping new installment of New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman’s Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito series.
An unexpected death on a lonely road outside of Utah’s Bears Ears National Park raises questions for Navajo Tribal Police officers Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito. Why would a seasoned outdoorsman and well-known paleontologist freeze to death within walking distance of his car? A second death brings more turmoil. Who is the unidentified man killed during a home invasion where nothing seems to have been taken? Why was he murdered?
The Bears Ears area, at the edge of the Navajo Nation, is celebrated for its abundance of early human habitation sites and the discovery of unique fossils which revolutionized the scientific view of how early animals dealt with their changing world. For Chee and Bernie, the area glows with geological interest and spiritual insight. But their visit to this achingly beautiful place is disrupted by a current of unprecedented violence that sweeps them both into danger.
An illicit business, a fossilized jaw bone, hints of witchcraft, and a mysterious disappearance during a blizzard and to the peril. It will take all of Manuelito’s and Chee’s experience, skill, and intuition to navigate the threats that arise beneath the twin buttes that give Bears Ears its name and to see justice served.
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 is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And to take part in free, exclusive BOOK CLUBS each month, join The Real Book Spy on Discord.