cover image Black Fall: A Jessica Blackwood Novel

Black Fall: A Jessica Blackwood Novel

Andrew Mayne. Harper, $15.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-249198-5

Thriller Award–finalist Mayne’s enthralling third Jessica Blackwood novel (after 2015’s Name of the Devil) finds the FBI agent on a stakeout of a serial killer in a Washington, D.C., apartment building, where she’s attacked by a knife-wielding woman holding a baby. Jessica rescues the baby, but the woman gets away, her identity and motive for the attack a mystery. Later that day, an earthquake rocks the area. Jessica and her team learn of a videotape featuring Nobel Prize–winning physicist Peter Devon, who seems to have predicted the earthquake and warned about the coming of something called Black Fall—but Devon has been dead for eight years. Jessica, “an only child in a dysfunctional family of traveling magicians,” thinks she knows how he did it, but the terror is just beginning: as more frightening predictions roll in and riots rock the city, the knife-wielding woman turns up dead. The author, a professional magician, makes the impossible seem probable in this twisty, clever treat. Agent: Erica Spellman-Silverman, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)