Welcome to July, thriller fans!
With summer in full swing, temperatures aren’t the only thing heating up. So too is the thriller scene, with some of the genre’s biggest names set to release new books this month. As always, to help you narrow it down, we’ve highlighted a few titles, and this month’s Featured Selections are Dead Fall by Brad Thor and The Collector by Daniel Silva.
While this month is full of must-read new thrillers, don’t go blowing your whole book-buying budget just yet. August has a number of notable titles too, including Lethal Range by yours truly. As many of you know, last year, when I wasn’t busy book spying, I took time away to release my first novel, Fields of Fire, a thriller in the vein of Jack Carr meets C.J. Box, starring a former Marine Raider who returns to his hometown in Montan for the first time in a decade to investigate the death of his adopted father, only to inadvertently uncover a global conspiracy . . . one that only he can stop. I’ve been so blown away by the support and love from people who gave my book a shot and am happy to say that if you liked Fields of Fire, I really think you’re going to love Lethal Range. Redd and Emily are both back, but this time, the enemy has brought the fight right to their front door, and as new threats constantly emerge, Redd finds himself in a battle he can’t afford to lose, but one can’t possibly win on his own. We’ll have more coverage of Lethal Range and everything else hitting stores in August up soon. In the meantime, you can pre-order it anywhere books are sold.
For everything hitting stores this month, though, and for more information on the latest books from Brad Thor and Daniel Silva, keep scrolling. These next few weeks are certainly going to be action-packed, so strap in tight.
Tuesday, July 11th
Blind Fear by Brandon Webb and John David Mann
Haunted by the death of his best friend and hunted by the FBI for war crimes he didn’t commit, Finn lands on an island paradise that turns into his own personal hell in this gripping follow-up to Steel Fear and Cold Fear—from the New York Times bestselling writing team Webb & Mann . . .
By day, AWOL Navy SEAL Finn is hiding out on Vieques, a tiny island paradise off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, living in a spare room behind a seafood restaurant owned by a blind local. By night he scours the dark web, hunting for the rogue officer responsible for the crimes he is accused of committing.
But Finn’s world is about to be turned upside down by a new nightmare, when his employer’s two grandchildren go missing. To find them, he’ll have to infiltrate the island’s dangerous criminal underbelly and expose a shadowy crime network known as La Empresa—even if it means exposing himself in the process.
As the children go on their own harrowing odyssey to stay one step ahead of a cop-turned-killer, a hurricane batters the coastline, cutting Puerto Rico off from the rest of the world. Taking his pursuit to the sea, Finn’s skills and endurance will be tested to their limits to rescue the lost children and escape his own pursuers before the clock runs out. No one is to be trusted. And those who are seemingly his friends might be the most dangerous foes he’s faced yet.
An Evil Heart by Linda Castillo
Chief of Police Kate Burkholder investigates the brutal death of a young Amish man in An Evil Heart, the latest installment of the bestselling series by Linda Castillo.
On a crisp autumn day in Painters Mill, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder responds to a call only to discover an Amish man who has been violently killed with a crossbow, his body abandoned on a dirt road. Aden Karn was just twenty years old, well liked, and from an upstanding Amish family. Who would commit such a heinous crime against a young man whose life was just beginning?
The more Kate gets to know his devastated family and the people―both English and Amish―who loved him, the more determined she becomes to solve the case. Aden Karn was funny and hardworking and looking forward to marrying his sweet fiancé, Emily. All the while, Kate’s own wedding day to Tomasetti draws near…
But as she delves into Karn’s past, Kate begins to hear whispers about a dark side. What if Aden Karn wasn’t the wholesome young man everyone admired? Is it possible the rumors are a cruel campaign to blame the victim? Kate pursues every lead with a vengeance, sensing an unspeakable secret no one will broach.
The case spirals out of control when a young Amish woman comes forward with a horrific story that pits Kate against a dangerous and unexpected opponent. When the awful truth is finally uncovered, Kate comes face to face with the terrible consequences of a life lived in all the dark places.
Flags on the Bayou by James Lee Burke
From New York Times-bestselling author James Lee Burke comes a novel set in Civil War-era Louisiana as the South transforms and a brilliant cast of characters – enslaved and free women, plantation gentry, and battle-weary Confederate and Union soldiers – are caught in the maelstrom
In the fall of 1863, the Union army is in control of the Mississippi river. Much of Louisiana, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, is occupied. The Confederate army is retreating toward Texas, and being replaced by Red Legs, irregulars commanded by a maniacal figure, and enslaved men and women are beginning to glimpse freedom.
When Hannah Laveau, an enslaved woman working on the Lufkin plantation, is accused of murder, she goes on the run with Florence Milton, an abolitionist schoolteacher, dodging the local constable and the slavecatchers that prowl the bayous. Wade Lufkin, haunted by what he observed—and did—as a surgeon on the battlefield, has returned to his uncle’s plantation to convalesce, where he becomes enraptured by Hannah. Flags on the Bayou is an engaging, action-packed narrative that includes a duel that ends in disaster, a brutal encounter with the local Union commander, repeated skirmishes with Confederate irregulars led by a diseased and probably deranged colonel, and a powerful story of love blossoming between an unlikely pair. As the story unfolds, it illuminates a past that reflects our present in sharp relief.
James Lee Burke, whose “evocative prose remains a thing of reliably fierce wonder” (Entertainment Weekly), expertly renders the rich Louisiana landscape, from the sunsets on the Mississippi River to the dingy saloons of New Orleans to the tree-lined shores of the bayou and the cottonmouth snakes that dwell in its depths. Powerful and deeply moving, Flags on the Bayou is a story of tragic acts of war, class divisions upended, and love enduring through it all.
The Ocean Above Me by Kevin Sites
Trapped undersea in a capsized shrimping trawler, a damaged former war correspondent is forced to confront a deadly secret from his past as he struggles to survive in this gripping novel of trauma, loss, love, and redemption from award-winning journalist and author of The Things They Cannot Say Kevin Sites.
Former war correspondent Lukas Landon is alone, trapped under 150-feet of water in an overturned shrimp trawler at the bottom of the ocean. The only thing keeping him alive is an air bubble in the ship’s bow. But the water level is rising, and time is running out. Landon doesn’t know if he will survive . . . or if he even deserves to.
After years of covering bloody battles in Afghanistan and Iraq, Landon’s once promising life took a steep nosedive. But he may have found a path to redemption: a series of in-depth stories on the Philomena, the rarest of South Carolina shrimp boats skippered by decorated former army sergeant Clarita Esteban.
A Black woman struggling to survive in a white man’s world, Clarita has assembled a crew of misfits as deeply wounded as herself; a Cuban first mate who came to America during the Mariel boatlift and his troubled younger cousin; a quiet Haitian cook with a secret black book; a deckhand, the only member of the ship’s former crew willing to work for a Black female skipper; and Clarita’s daughter, who lost a college basketball scholarship to an injury.
As Landon slowly earns the disparate crew’s trust, uncovering their pasts—and how each landed aboard this rusty bucket of bolts with its own shaded history—he keeps his own story and the events that unmoored the foundation of his life a secret. But when catastrophe strikes—leaving him twenty-fathoms deep in exquisite isolation—Landon has no one to question but himself. Will he finally come clean? And if he does, will he make it out alive from this 110-ton steel tomb under the sea to finally tell the truth to those who need to hear it?
A thrilling fight for survival and a poignant story of loss and redemption, The Ocean Above Me is a literary masterpiece that explores the effects of trauma, the pain of forgiveness, and the light of love that burns in the darkest depths.
All the Demons are Here by Jake Tapper
From the bestselling author of The Devil May Dance and The Hellfire Club—a new thriller set in 1977 following the Marder children: Ike, an AWOL U.S. Marine who joins Evel Knievel’s pit crew after a horrifying experience in combat, and Lucy, an aspiring journalist who gets caught up with a powerful British family starting a brand new tabloid in the US.
It’s 1977. Ike and Lucy, Senator Charlie and Margaret Marder’s kids, are grown up—and in trouble. US Marine Ike has gone somewhat off the grid, working on Evel Knievel’s pit crew in Montana, when—after a bar fight—he has to flee a neo-Nazi gang and seek refuge in the woods with a group of Vietnam veterans. Lucy, a reporter, has become the star of the brand new Washington DC tabloid, the Sentinel, and is breaking all sorts of stories about a serial killer and falling in with the Lyons, the wealthy family that owns the newspaper, British immigrants with quite a different view of journalism than Lucy’s heroes Woodward and Bernstein. As their lives spiral out of control, Ike goes on the road with Evel Knievel, the Vietnam veterans, and other societal outcasts, first heading to Graceland to mourn Elvis Presley, then going to confront politicians—for grievances real and perceived—on an island in Georgia. Lucy, too, is at that retreat with both her parents and the Lyon family, attendees at this retreat where the future of the post-Nixon Republican party will be decided. The confrontation turns violent and both Ike and Lucy have to make decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives.
Tuesday, July 18th
The Collector by Danil Silva (Featured Selection)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva is back with an electrifying new thriller.
Legendary art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon joins forces with a brilliant and beautiful master-thief to track down the world’s most valuable missing painting but soon finds himself in a desperate race to prevent an unthinkable conflict between Russia and the West.
From TRBS: In recent years, Silva has gone from being one of the greatest spy novelists of all time to being squarely in the conversation as perhaps the greatest to ever do it. Sure, Gabriel is getting a little older and no longer chief of the Office, but that hasn’t slowed him down at all, and in many ways, it opened the door for different kinds of adventures. Silva, a true master of his craft, continues to churn out must-read books each year . . . and The Collector is everything his readers have come to know and love.
Star Wars Inquisitor: Rise of the Red Blade by Delilah S. Dawson
When the Jedi Order falls, the Inquisitors rise.
From the aftermath of Order 66 comes a new group of former Jedi, each with their own reason to serve the Empire under Darth Vader. Among them is Iskat, who survived the destruction of her old Order to claim a new destiny in the Force. Iskat joins the Inquisitors in the hope of uncovering her hidden past that the Jedi refused to share with her.
(Not every Star Wars book will make it onto this list, but this one really is a bonafide thriller, with elements of suspense and espionage, and plenty of action too.)
Tuesday, July 25th
Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Defiance by Brian Freeman
Someone’s killing Treadstone agents and Jason Bourne may be next on the list in this latest electrifying entry in Robert Ludlum’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.
Around the world, Treadstone agents are being hunted down and murdered. Someone high up in the U.S. government is erasing all evidence of a shocking mission from Jason Bourne’s past known as Defiance—including Bourne himself. Staying one step ahead of a team of killers, Bourne follows a global trail that leads him to one of the government’s darkest secrets. But exposing the truth about the Defiance mission will also bring Bourne face-to-face with his archenemy, the assassin known as Lennon, for a final deadly confrontation.
Dead Fall by Brad Thor (Featured Selection)
New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Brad Thor’s new pulse-pounding thriller.
In the war-ravaged borderlands of Ukraine, a Russian military unit has gone rogue. Its members, conscripted from the worst prisons and mental asylums across Russia, are the most criminally violent, psychologically dangerous combatants to ever set foot upon the modern battlefield.
With all attention focused on the frontlines, they have pushed deeper into the interior to wage a campaign of unspeakable barbarity. As they move from village to village, committing horrific war crimes, they meet little resistance as all able-bodied men are off fighting the war.
Simultaneously, a team of Russian mercenaries has been dispatched by the Kremlin to loot truckloads of art and priceless cultural treasures hidden away in a host of churches, museums, and private homes.
When multiple American aid workers are killed, America’s top spy is sent in to settle the score. But in a country almost the size of Texas, will Harvath be able to find the men in question and, more importantly, will he be able to stop them before they can kill again?
From TRBS: Brad Thor is perhaps the best political thriller novelist of his time, surpassing even the late, great Tom Clancy, so all eyes are on him as we await Dead Fall, another heart-pumping, headline-beating, action-packed adventure staring Scot Harvath—one of the genre’s most badass characters.
The Sandbox by Andrews & Wilson
An activist entrepreneur, a maligned AI, and a newly minted homicide detective with a haunted past catastrophically intersect in The Sandbox. Silence of the Lambs meets Ex Machina in this ground-breaking techno-thriller from international bestselling authors Andrews & Wilson that redefines the meaning of murder in the 21st century.
When the CEO of the world’s leading artificial intelligence company is found murdered in his home, former Army CID officer Valerie Marks is thrust into her first case as a homicide detective. Valerie has a gift for reading people, a gift that has never failed her before. But that gift is put to the test when her instincts point her to an impossible suspect―an AI born from a secret venture with the Pentagon known as Project Nomad.
To learn the truth, Valerie must team up with two men she doesn’t trust―a Green Beret turned government spook from the Pentagon, and the victim’s former partner and leading suspect in the case. But nothing can prepare the trio for the dangers that await them and the existential threat to humanity if the Project Nomad AI has somehow escaped its sandbox.
Chameleon by Remi Adeleke
“Delivering authentic action from someone who has lived it, Chameleon is on target and scores a direct hit!”-Jack Carr, former Navy SEAL and #1 New York Times bestselling author
From filmmaker, memoirist, and former Navy SEAL Remi Adeleke, on the heels of his featured roles in the box office film Plane and in Fox’s Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, comes the first installment in the pulse-pounding Black Box Thriller series, featuring Nigerian-born and New York-raised Kali Kent and the top-secret Black Box program—perfect for readers of Jack Carr, Mark Greaney, and Brad Taylor.
When a mysterious former South African commando, Lucas Van Groot, begins taking wealthy hostages all over the world, it appears at first to be a typical ransom gambit. However, it soon becomes clear that his “Hostage Inc.” venture is manipulating worldwide stock markets and threatening global economic collapse
Enter Black Box, the CIA’s elite, secret special operations branch—so surreptitious that not even the Director of CIA is fully privy to the unit’s activities. Black Box is composed of highly skilled agents.
Kali Kent, a Nigerian-born and Bronxite Chameleon in the Black Box program, leads the hunt for Van Groot. Tracking this ringleader and his cadre of international criminals, the team discovers the South African mastermind is after a much larger prize, and the race is on to prevent a worldwide tragedy.
Along the way, Kali will have to face the demons from his childhood and reflect on his emotional path that made him the Chameleon that he is today.
Prom Mom by Laura Lippman
New York Times bestseller Laura Lippman tells the story of Amber Glass, desperately trying to get away from her tabloid past but compulsively drawn back to the city of her youth and the prom date who destroyed everything she was reaching for.
Amber Glass has spent her entire adult life putting as much distance as possible between her and her hometown of Baltimore, where she fears she will forever be known as “Prom Mom”—the girl who allegedly killed her baby on the night of the prom after her date, Joe Simpson, abandoned her to pursue the girl he really liked. But when circumstances bring Amber back to the city, she realizes she can have a second chance—as long as she stays away from Joe, now a successful commercial real estate developer, married to a plastic surgeon, Meredith, to whom he is devoted.
The problem is, Amber can’t stay away from Joe. And Joe finds that it’s increasingly hard for him to ignore Amber, if only because she remembers the boy he was and the man he said he was going to be. Against the surreal backdrop of 2020 and early 2021, the two are slowly drawn to each other and eventually cross the line they’ve been trying not to cross.
And then Joe asks Amber to help him do the unthinkable . . .
An Honest Man by Michael Koryta
The murder of several politicians at sea has shattering implications for a local lobsterman and a young boy in Michael Koryta’s latest thriller
Israel Pike was a killer, and he was an honest man. They were not mutually exclusive.
After discovering seven men murdered aboard their yacht – including two Senate rivals – Israel Pike is regarded as a prime suspect. A troubled man infamous on Salvation Point Island for killing his own father a decade before, Israel has few options, no friends, and a life-threatening secret.
Elsewhere on the island, 12-year-old Lyman Rankin seeks shelter from his alcoholic father in an abandoned house only to discover that he is not alone. A mysterious woman greets him with a hatchet and a promise: “Make a sound and I’ll kill you.”
As the investigation barrels forward, Lyman, Israel, and the fate of the case collide in immutable ways. Written with mounting suspense, stirring emotion, and deep understanding of character, Koryta continues to prove why Stephen King has called him “a master” and Michael Connelly has deemed him “one of the best of the best, plain and simple.”
Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena
Another thrilling domestic suspense novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door
“Lapena is a master of manipulation.” —USA Today
Welcome to Stanhope! A safe neighborhood. A place for families.
William Wooler is a family man, on the surface. But he’s been having an affair, an affair that ended horribly this afternoon at a motel up the road. So when he returns to his house, devastated and angry, to find his difficult nine-year-old daughter, Avery, unexpectedly home from school, William loses his temper.
Hours later, Avery’s family declares her missing.
Suddenly Stanhope doesn’t feel so safe. And William isn’t the only one on his street who’s hiding a lie. As witnesses come forward with information that may or may not be true, Avery’s neighbors become increasingly unhinged.
Who took Avery Wooler?
Nothing will prepare you for the truth.
What Harms You by Lisa Black
For fans of Patricia Cornwell, Jefferson Bass, and Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Black draws from her real-life scientific expertise as a crime scene analyst and her skill in crafting complex and dynamic female characters, as Washington DC forensic scientists Dr. Ellie Carr and Dr. Rachael Davies team up to solve the deadliest and most devious crimes.
This suspense-driven installment in the Locard Institute Thriller series poses a chilling question: What happens when a serial killer goes to CSI school?
The Locard Institute is a state-of-the-art forensic research center where experts from around the world come together to confront and solve the world’s most challenging and perplexing crimes. When Dr. Ellie Carr arrives for her first day as an instructor at the prestigious facility, the buildings glimmer amid the brilliant fall foliage on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. But within hours a colleague, Dr. Barbara Wright, is found dead on the floor of a supply closet. Her death appears to be an accident—but Ellie and her new supervisor, Dr. Rachael Davies, suspect a more sinister explanation.
A young woman attending a professional training program then disappears, only to be found in a gruesome tableau. Other than their link to the Institute, there seems to be no connection between the student and Dr. Wright. Although forensic traces are elusive, Ellie and Rachael are determined to find the bizarre link between the violent and diverse deaths.
As reporters shatter the privacy of Ellie’s new workplace, she searches old files and finds evidence of a crime that feels much too personal. But who, among those dedicated to justice, could be the threat? No matter how skilled she and Rachael may be in uncovering the truth, they may not be able to prevent a well-schooled killer from striking again.
“Black, who writes elegantly from personal experience as a criminologist herself, has fashioned a wondrously structured tale with the pace and energy of a great crime film.” —BookTrib on Red Flag
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. His second novel, LETHAL RANGE, comes out on August 8th. 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.