Summer is just about over, but there’s still a number of red-hot thrillers set to hit bookstores in the coming weeks, and we’ve got you covered on all of them.
As always, we’ve highlighted a few thrillers that we think stand above the rest, and this month’s Featured Selections are Craig Johnson’s The Longmire Defense, William Kent Krueger’s The River We Remember, and Kyle Mills’ final Mitch Rapp novel (before handing the series off to Don Bentley), Code Red. Find out everything about these titles, plus everything else hitting bookstores in September, below.
Tuesday, September, 5th
Walt Longmire faces one of his most challenging crime scenes as he tries to reckon with the revelations of his last case where he confronted the ghosts of his past and questioned the very nature of justice and mercy in the hard country of the West.
Deep in the heart of the Wyoming countryside, Sheriff of Absaroka County, Walt Longmire, is called to a crime scene like few others that he has seen. This crime brings up issues that go back to Walt’s grandfather’s time in Wyoming, as the revelations he learns about his grandfather come back to offer clues and motives for Walt’s investigation. Filled with back-country action, and with the great cast of characters that readers have come to love with the Longmire series, this new book will be sure to satisfy both long-time readers and those new to the series.
In 1958, a small Minnesota town is rocked by the murder of its most powerful citizen, pouring fresh fuel on old grievances in this dazzling standalone novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the “expansive, atmospheric American saga” (Entertainment Weekly) This Tender Land.
On Memorial Day, as the people of Jewel, Minnesota gather to remember and honor the sacrifice of so many sons in the wars of the past, the half-clothed body of wealthy landowner Jimmy Quinn is found floating in the Alabaster River, dead from a shotgun blast. Investigation of the murder falls to Sheriff Brody Dern, a highly decorated war hero who still carries the physical and emotional scars from his military service. Even before Dern has the results of the autopsy, vicious rumors begin to circulate that the killer must be Noah Bluestone, a Native American WWII veteran who has recently returned to Jewel with a Japanese wife. As suspicions and accusations mount and the town teeters on the edge of more violence, Dern struggles not only to find the truth of Quinn’s murder but also put to rest the demons from his own past.
Caught up in the torrent of anger that sweeps through Jewel are a war widow and her adolescent son, the intrepid publisher of the local newspaper, an aging deputy, and a crusading female lawyer, all of whom struggle with their own tragic histories and harbor secrets that Quinn’s death threatens to expose.
Both a complex, spellbinding mystery and a masterful portrait of midcentury American life from an author of novels “as big-hearted as they come” (Parade), The River We Remember is an unflinching look at the wounds left by the wars we fight abroad and at home, a moving exploration of the ways in which we seek to heal, and a testament to the enduring power of the stories we tell about the places we call home.
The aftermath of a shocking crime sends Jack Ryan, Jr., down a path that leads to international destruction in the latest entry in this #1 New York Times bestselling series.
The quiet of a Texas night is shattered by the sounds of screeching brakes, crumpling metal and, most shockingly, rapid gunfire. The auto accident Jack Ryan Jr thought he witnessed turned out to be a professional hit. Jack may be too late to save the victim, but he’ll be damned if he’s going to let the hitters escape justice.
He’s got just one lead—a meeting the victim was going to. When Jack shows up instead, he’s drawn into the seedy underbelly of a small, Texas town and the cold case of a college student who vanished from its streets.
Jack is left with nothing but questions. Who wants it to look like the victim was drunk? Why does someone want an innocent witness killed? And most of all, what’s a team of South African hitmen doing in the Lone Star State?
His quest for answers will take Jack from a quiet Texas road to the middle of an international conspiracy and may just cost him his life.
Holly Gibney, one of Stephen King’s most compelling and ingeniously resourceful characters, returns in this thrilling novel to solve the gruesome truth behind multiple disappearances in a midwestern town.
“Sometimes the universe throws you a rope.” —BILL HODGES
Stephen King’s Holly marks the triumphant return of beloved King character Holly Gibney. Readers have witnessed Holly’s gradual transformation from a shy (but also brave and ethical) recluse in Mr. Mercedes to Bill Hodges’s partner in Finders Keepers to a full-fledged, smart, and occasionally tough private detective in The Outsider. In King’s new novel, Holly is on her own, and up against a pair of unimaginably depraved and brilliantly disguised adversaries.
When Penny Dahl calls the Finders Keepers detective agency hoping for help locating her missing daughter, Holly is reluctant to accept the case. Her partner, Pete, has Covid. Her (very complicated) mother has just died. And Holly is meant to be on leave. But something in Penny Dahl’s desperate voice makes it impossible for Holly to turn her down.
Mere blocks from where Bonnie Dahl disappeared live Professors Rodney and Emily Harris. They are the picture of bourgeois respectability: married octogenarians, devoted to each other, and semi-retired lifelong academics. But they are harboring an unholy secret in the basement of their well-kept, book-lined home, one that may be related to Bonnie’s disappearance. And it will prove nearly impossible to discover what they are up to: they are savvy, they are patient, and they are ruthless.
Holly must summon all her formidable talents to outthink and outmaneuver the shockingly twisted professors in this chilling new masterwork from Stephen King.
“I could never let Holly Gibney go. She was supposed to be a walk-on character in Mr. Mercedes and she just kind of stole the book and stole my heart. Holly is all her.” —STEPHEN KING
Kurt Austin faces mind-control technology and cutting-edge weaponry in the latest novel in the #1 New York Times-bestselling series created by the “grand master of adventure” Clive Cussler.
On a NUMA training mission in the Caribbean, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala catch a distress call from a nearby freighter. Leaping into action, they locate a damaged vessel and a dead captain clutching a shotgun.
While searching the freighter for clues, Kurt and Joe are ambushed by crew members who seem terrified and disoriented, almost brainwashed. The trawler they were hauling has vanished, taken—the men say—by baffling lights that circled the ship.
Kurt and Joe deduce that the men are suffering from Havana Syndrome, which deepens the mystery and raises the stakes. Soon, they’re confronting Cuban mercenaries who plan to use magnificent modern airships to hijack a nuclear submarine—culminating in a life-or-death showdown in the skies.
For the past five years, FBI Special Agent Risa Jacobs has worked in the violent crimes against children division of the Houston FBI. She’s never had reason to believe there’s a target on her back . . . until now.
When the long-awaited reunion between Risa and her brother, Trenton, ends in tragedy, Risa is riddled with guilt, unable to cope with the responsibility she feels over his death. On leave from the FBI, Risa returns to her former career as an English teacher at a local college, only to see her past and present collide when one of her students, Carson Mercury, turns in an assignment that reads like an eyewitness account of her brother’s murder, with details never revealed publicly.
Alarmed by Carson’s inside knowledge of Trenton’s death, Risa reaches out to her former partner at the FBI. Special Agent Gage Patterson has been working a string of baby kidnappings, but he agrees to help look into Carson’s background. Risa and Gage soon discover their cases might be connected as a string of high-value thefts have occurred at properties where security systems were installed by Carson’s stepfather and children have gone missing. There’s a far more sinister plot at play than they ever imagined, and innocent lives are in danger.
For fans of romantic suspense comes a heart-pounding thriller about loss, betrayal, and finding the strength to trust again.
Nothing brings a family together like a murder next door.
A lighthearted whodunnit about a grandmother-mother-daughter trio of amateur sleuths. Think: Gilmore Girls, but with murder.
“Mother-Daughter Murder Night is the perfect mix of family drama and murder mystery.” — Kellye Garrett, award-winning author of Like a Sister
High-powered businesswoman Lana Rubicon has a lot to be proud of:her keen intelligence, impeccable taste, and the L.A. real estate empire she’s built. But when she finds herself trapped 300 miles north of the city, convalescing in a sleepy coastal town with her adult daughter Beth and teenage granddaughter Jack, Lana is stuck counting otters instead of square footage—and hoping that boredom won’t kill her before the cancer does.
Then Jack—tiny in stature but fiercely independent—happens upon a dead body while kayaking. She quickly becomes a suspect in the homicide investigation, and the Rubicon women are thrown into chaos. Beth thinks Lana should focus on recovery, but Lana has a better idea. She’ll pull on her wig, find the true murderer, protect her family, and prove she still has power.
With Jack and Beth’s help, Lana uncovers a web of lies, family vendettas, and land disputes lurking beneath the surface of a community populated by folksy conservationists and wealthy ranchers. But as their amateur snooping advances into ever-more dangerous territory, the headstrong Rubicon women must learn to do the one thing they’ve always resisted: depend on each other.
In this thrilling conclusion of the Nena Knight series, the trained assassin will have to confront the ghosts of her past…before she becomes one herself.
Until his untimely death, Nena’s mentor was the backbone of the Tribe. With his leadership position unfilled and despite the Tribe’s newfound misgivings about her, Nena has stepped into a new role she never wanted.
Politics is an entirely new venture for her, and now one of the Tribe’s own has been kidnapped, forcing her back to her origins as an assassin. But the only person qualified for such a rescue mission is Nena Knight―and a new team whose trust in her continues to waver.
Determined to harness the power of her former role to succeed in her new one, Nena must also face what she left behind. Old fears, resentments, and anger threaten the precarious hold Nena has on her new life as she realizes that the past―and the people from it―are never far behind.
Ann Cleeves―New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of the Vera and Shetland series, both of which are hit TV shows―returns with The Raging Storm, the extraordinary third installment in the Matthew Venn series.
Fierce winds, dark secrets, deadly intentions.
When Jem Rosco―sailor, adventurer, and legend―blows into town in the middle of an autumn gale, the residents of Greystone, Devon, are delighted to have a celebrity in their midst. But just as abruptly as he arrived, Rosco disappears again, and soon his lifeless body is discovered in a dinghy, anchored off Scully Cove, a place with legends of its own.
This is an uncomfortable case for Detective Inspector Matthew Venn. Greystone is a place he visited as a child, a community he parted ways with. Superstition and rumor mix with fact as another body is found, and Venn finds his judgment clouded.
As the winds howl, and Venn and his team investigate, he realizes that no one, including himself, is safe from Scully Cove’s storm of dark secrets.
“A friend of mine once joked that the work of Ann Cleeves is the closest the crime fiction genre comes to evoking ASMR―the euphoric, pleasant, spine-tingling sensation that’s all the rage on YouTube. The books never get too dark, never venture too far into dangerous territory, but aren’t outright cozy, either.”―The New York Time
Tuesday, September, 12th
Mitch Rapp returns to make a mortal enemy of Russia in this high-octane and up-to-the-minute installment in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from “one of the best thriller writers on the planet” (The Real Book Spy).
Mitch Rapp hates owing anyone a favor—especially when it’s the world’s most powerful crime lord. But when Damian Losa calls, Mitch is honor-bound to answer.
The Syrian government appears to have created a highly addictive new narcotic that it plans to distribute throughout Europe. It’s a major threat to Losa’s business and he’s determined to send someone to keep him on top by any means necessary.
Rapp is the perfect choice for the mission. Not only does he have extensive experience operating in the Middle East, but he’s also entirely expendable.
As he crosses into war-torn Syria, Rapp quickly discovers a shocking truth. The new drug isn’t being produced by Damascus to prop up the government’s collapsing finances. Instead, it was created by Russia’s asymmetrical warfare unit, not for profit but as a weapon against the West.
With far more than Damian Losa’s interests at stake, Rapp devises a desperate plan that forces him and his team onto a battlefield where the United States is virtually powerless and allegiances shift almost hourly. Further, if Russia uncovers their plot, it will set off a confrontation between the two countries that could change the course of human history.
A gripping standalone spy thriller from the #1 Sunday Times bestselling author of Slow Horses, with a riveting reveal about a disastrous MI5 mission in Cold War Berlin—an absolute must-read for Slough House fans.
New from the author of Slow Horses, now an Apple Original series from Apple TV+, starring Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Two years ago, a hostile Prime Minister launched the Monochrome inquiry, investigating “historical over-reaching” by the British Secret Service. Monochrome’s mission was to ferret out any hint of misconduct by any MI5 officer—and allowed Griselda Fleet and Malcolm Kyle, the two civil servants seconded to the project, unfettered access to any and all confidential information in the Service archives in order to do so.
But MI5’s formidable First Desk did not become Britain’s top spy by accident, and she has successfully thwarted the inquiry at every turn. Now the administration that created Monochrome has been ousted, the investigation is a total bust—and Griselda and Malcolm are stuck watching as their career prospects are washed away by the pounding London rain.
Until the eve of Monochrome’s shuttering, when an MI5 case file appears without explanation. It is the buried history of a classified operation in 1994 Berlin—an operation that ended in tragedy and scandal, whose cover-up has rewritten thirty years of Service history.
The Secret Hours is a dazzling entry point into Mick Herron’s body of work, a standalone spy thriller that is at once unnerving, poignant, and laugh-out-loud funny. It is also the breathtaking secret history that Slough House fans have been waiting for.
James Ellroy—Demon Dog of American Letters—goes straight to the tragic heart of 1962 Hollywood with a wild riff on the Marilyn Monroe death myth in an astonishing, behind-the-headlines crime epic.
Los Angeles, August 4, 1962. The city broils through a midsummer heat wave. Marilyn Monroe ODs. A B-movie starlet is kidnapped. The overhyped LAPD overreacts. Chief Bill Parker’s looking for some getback. The Monroe deal looks like a moneymaker. He calls in Freddy Otash.
The freewheeling Freddy O: tainted ex-cop, defrocked private eye, dope fiend, and freelance extortionist. A man who lives by the maxim “Opportunity is love.” Freddy gets to work. He dimly perceives Marilyn Monroe’s death and the kidnapped starlet to be a poisonous riddle that only he has the guts and the brains to untangle. We are with him as he tears through all those who block his path to the truth. We are with him as he penetrates the faux-sunshine of Jack and Bobby Kennedy and the shuck of Camelot. We are with him as he falters, and grasps for love beyond opportunity. We are with him as he tracks Marilyn Monroe’s horrific last charade through a nightmare L.A. that he served to create — and as he confronts his complicity and his own raging madness.
It’s the Summer of ’62, baby. Freddy O’s got a hot date with history. The savage Sixties are ready to pop. It’s just a shot away.
The Enchanters is a transcendent work of American popular fiction. It is James Ellroy at his most crazed, brilliant, provocative, profanely hilarious, and stop-your-heart tender. It is a luminous psychological drama and an unparalleled thrill ride. It is, resoundingly, the great American crime novel.
The “gloriously original” (The New York Times) and critically acclaimed crime series starring a Chicago hitman hiding out as a rabbi in the desert suburbs of Las Vegas comes to its thrilling conclusion
Mafia hit-man-turned-rabbi Sal Cupertine is ready to get out of the life. But it’s not going to be easy. His once-brilliant plan to pass himself off as Rabbi David Cohen is unraveling. Enemies on both sides of the law are hot on his trail. His wife and son are unreachable in witness protection and are probably in danger. In order to find his family, get out of the desert alive, and salvage his long-sought-after happy ending, Sal is going to have to confront some very bad people from his past.
Native American kingpin Peaches Pocotillo has wrested control of Chicago’s mob family while expanding his criminal empire in the west, and now seeks to settle an old score with Sal. These two antiheroes have a history that stretches back decades, and the blood feud between Peaches and Sal will lead them to a violent showdown deep in the heart of the low desert.
As complications cast old revelations in a new light, including one that stretches back to the long-ago death of Sal’s infamous gangster father Dark Billy Cupertine, Sal must team up with some unlikely allies—and confront the reality of who he has become—in this stunning conclusion to the popular and critically acclaimed Gangsterland trilogy.
Tuesday, September, 19th
From J. A. Jance’s New York Times bestselling Brady and Walker novels, federal investigator Dan Pardee, Brandon Walker’s son-in-law, crosses paths with Sheriff Joanna Brady as he traces the bloody path of a merciless serial killer across the Southwest in this intense thriller.
Driven by a compulsion that challenges his self-control, the man calling himself Charles Milton prowls the rodeo circuit, hunting young women. He chooses those he believes are the most vulnerable, wandering alone and distracted, before he strikes. For years, he has been meticulous in his methods, abducting, murdering, and disposing his victims while leaving no evidence of his crimes—or their identities—behind. Indigenous women have become his target of choice, knowing law enforcement’s history of ignoring their disappearances.
A cold case has just been assigned to Dan Pardee, a field officer with the newly formed Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s Task Force. Rosa Rios, a young woman of Apache descent and one-time rodeo star, vanished three years ago. Human remains, a homicide victim burned beyond recognition, were discovered in Cochise County around the time she went missing. They have finally been confirmed to be Rosa. With Sheriff Joanna Brady’s help, Dan is determined to reopen the case and bring long-awaited justice to Rosa’s family. As the orphaned son of a murdered indigenous woman, he feels an even greater, personal obligation to capture this killer.
Joanna’s daughter Jennifer is also taking a personal interest in this case, having known Rosa from her own amateur rodeo days. Now a criminal justice major, she’s unofficially joining the investigation. And as it becomes clear that Rosa was just one victim of a serial killer, both Jennifer and Dan know they’re running out of time to catch an elusive predator who’s proven capable of getting away with murder.
From Lou Berney, the acclaimed, multi award-winning author of November Road and The Long and Faraway Gone, comes a Dark Ride
Sometimes the person you least expect is just the hero you need
Twenty-one-year-old Hardy “Hardly” Reed—good-natured, easygoing, usually stoned—is drifting through life. A minimum-wage scare actor at an amusement park, he avoids unnecessary effort and unrealistic ambitions.
Then one day he notices two children, around six or seven, sitting all alone on a bench. Hardly checks if they’re okay and sees injuries on both children. Someone is hurting these kids.
He reports the incident to Child Protective Service.
That should be the end of it. After all, Hardly’s not even good at looking out for himself so the last thing he wants to do is look out for anyone else. But he’s haunted by the two kids, his heart breaking for them. And the more research he does the less he trusts that Child Protective Services —understaffed and overworked—will do anything about it.
That leaves…Hardly. He is probably the last person you’d ever want to count on. But those two kids have nobody else but him. Hardly has to do what’s right and help them.
For the first time in his life, Hardly decides to fight for something. This might be the one point in his entire life, he realizes, that is the entire point of his life. He will help those kids.
At first, trying to gather evidence that will force the proper authorities to intervene, Hardly is a total disaster. Gradually, with assistance from unexpected allies, he develops investigative skills and discovers he’s smarter and more capable than he ever imagined.
But Hardly also discovers that the situation is more dangerous than he ever expected. The abusive father who has been hurting these children isn’t just a lawyer—he also runs a violent drug-dealing operation. The mother claims she wants to escape with the kids—but Hardly isn’t sure he can trust her.
Faced with a different version of himself than he has ever known, Hardly refuses to give up. But his commitment to saving these kids from further harm might end up getting the kids, and Hardly himself, killed.
From author J. Todd Scott comes a haunting thriller about a young plane crash survivor and a mysterious hiker who venture into the wilderness to escape a dark and vengeful force.
A small white plane hurtles from the sky, vanishing into the wilderness. Hiker Maggie Roby watches its final descent, certain that no one could have survived.
But to her shock, a fifteen-year-old girl emerges from the wreckage, wounded but miraculously, impossibly alive. Maggie approaches with trepidation; she has secrets of her own, a past she can’t escape. Saving the girl means risking her future, but she can’t just abandon her, can she?
With the young survivor, Maggie embarks on a dangerous trek through the remote Appalachian backcountry, joining up with two veterans from the local sheriff’s department who know the land better than anyone.
But even as Maggie charts their course through the mountains, she can sense someone―or something―else watching and waiting.
Their journey is about more than enduring the elements. It’s about escaping a sinister presence that makes a vast wilderness feel like it’s closing in.
British spy Emma Makepeace goes undercover on a Russian oligarch’s superyacht, where she’s one wrong move away from a watery grave, in this electrifying thriller from the author of Alias Emma.
“Emma Makepeace is a worthy heir to the James Bond mantle.”—James Patterson
An MI6 operative is found dead, locked in a suitcase inside his own apartment. Despite an exhaustive search, no fingerprints are found at the scene. Emma Makepeace and her handler, Ripley, know an assassination when they see one, and such an obvious murder can mean only one thing: Someone is sending a message.
As she digs into his past, Emma discovers that the unfortunate spy had been investigating two Russian oligarchs based in London. He’d become obsessed with the idea that the two were spies, aided by a third man—whose identity he had yet to uncover. When he shared his findings within MI6 in the weeks before he died, the response came back fast and clear: Drop the investigation and move on. Had he uncovered a secret that cost him his life?
To pick up where he left off without ending up in a suitcase of her own, Emma goes undercover on one of the oligarch’s million-dollar yachts, scheduled to set sail from the Côte d’Azur to Monaco. Under other circumstances, this would be a dream vacation. But if Emma’s real identity gets discovered, it’s a death sentence.
As Emma’s work reveals secrets she’d be safer not knowing, the danger ratchets up. The killer may be closer to home than any of them imagined, and Emma won’t be safe until he—or she—is caught.
Tuesday, September, 26th
Patterson and Lupica make a great team” (Carl Hiaasen) who get “deep into the lives of strong women” (Louise Penny) and Jane Smith is their greatest creation—a badass lawyer with a year to live.
“Jane Smith is the best character we’ve ever created. Bar none.”
—James Patterson and Mike Lupica
Tough-as-nails criminal defense attorney Jane Smith is hip-deep in the murder trial of the century.
Actually, her charmless client might’ve committed several murders.
She’s also fallen in love with a wonderful guy. And an equally wonderful dog, a mutt.
But Jane doesn’t have much time. She’s just received a terminal diagnosis giving her twelve months.
Unless she’s murdered before her expiration date.
24 hours to stop the crime of the century
The race against time is about to begin…
THE TOWER OF LONDON…
Impenetrable. Well protected. Secure. Home to the most valuable jewels on earth. But once a year, when the Queen attends the State Opening of Parliament, the Metropolitan Police must execute the most secret operation in their armory as they transport the Crown Jewels across London.
For decades, the elite squad at Scotland Yard have been in charge of the operation. And for decades, it’s run like clockwork.
But this year, everything is about to change. Because a master criminal has set his sights on pulling off the most outrageous theft in history―and with a man on the inside, the odds are in his favor.
Unless the team can stop him before it’s too late…
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.