Thrillers from major publishers typically occupy about half the slots on any given bestseller list. Meanwhile, niche imprints and smaller presses offer a wide range of mysteries for every taste.
Mysteries & Thrillers Top 10
The Dead Student
John Katzenbach. Grove/Atlantic/Mysterious, Oct. 6
Already an international bestseller, this psychological thriller from Edgar-finalist Katzenbach is, according to Otto Penzler, the author’s darkest portrait yet of a sociopathic killer.
Camilla Läckberg. Pegasus Crime, Sept. 15
All of Läckberg’s novels have been #1 bestsellers in her native Sweden, and this sixth entry in her mystery series set in the coastal town of Fjällbacka is poised to be the author’s breakout book in the U.S.
The Gates of Evangeline
Hester Young. Putnam, Sept. 1
Young’s first novel, a Southern gothic mystery that combines literary suspense and romance with a mystical twist, will appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn, Kate Atkinson, and Alice Sebold.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A Lisbeth Salander Novel, Continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series
David Lagercrantz. Knopf, Sept. 1
Journalist Mikael Blomkvist and computer hacker Lisbeth Salander are back in a fourth novel in the megaselling Scandinavian crime series.
In a Dark, Dark Wood
Ruth Ware. S&S/Gallery/Scout, Aug. 25
British author Ware’s debut, a psychological thriller that was a major buzz book at BEA, will appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train.
Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel
Lee Child. Delacorte, Sept. 8
After a mission in Europe in Personal, Jack Reacher—bestseller Child’s peripatetic series hero—returns to the American heartland, where he feels most at home. This 20th outing stands out because Reacher is happy and in love.
The Nature of the Beast
Louise Penny. Minotaur, Aug. 25
Bestseller Penny has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times). Her 11th Chief Insp. Armand Gamache novel should reinforce her position as one of today’s top traditional mystery authors.
Karin Slaughter. Morrow, Sept. 29
In her first psychological thriller, a standalone, bestseller Slaughter focuses on the other side of a police investigation: how a crime affects the victim’s family and friends. The author pays tribute in the book to all the librarians who have inspired her with a librarian character.
Those We Left Behind
Stuart Neville. Soho Crime, Sept. 22
Best known for his Belfast crime novels featuring Det. Insp. Jack Lennon, Edgar-finalist Neville delivers a standalone set in Northern Ireland that ought to earn him another place on the Edgar Award shortlist.
Anthony Horowitz. Harper, Sept. 8
Horowitz, who successfully channeled Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Holmes novel The House of Silk, draws on unpublished Ian Fleming material for this James Bond novel, which promises to be the best Fleming homage yet.
Mysteries & Thrillers Listings
Chicago Noir: The Classics, edited by Joe Meno (Sept. 1, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61775-294-0). This sequel to Chicago Noir shows that, pound for pound, Chicago is a world-class noir city. Contributors include Sherwood Anderson, Richard Wright, and Sara Paretsky.
Amazon/Thomas & Mercer
Her Final Breath by Robert Dugoni (Sept. 15, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-5039-4502-9). In this follow-up to My Sister’s Grave, homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite has returned to the police force after the retrial of her sister’s killer. Still scarred from that ordeal, Tracy is searching for a serial killer known as the Cowboy, whose victims wind up dead in cheap motels in North Seattle.
Trust No One by Paul Cleave (Aug. 4, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-4767-7917-1). New Zealand crime novelist Jerry Grey, suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer’s, confesses his worst secret: his stories are real. He knows this because he committed the brutal murders described in his books written under a pseudonym.
A Song of Shadows: A Charlie Parker Thriller by John Connolly (Sept. 29, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-1828-9). Parker has retreated to the small Maine town of Boreas to regain his strength. There he meets Ruth Winter, a widow, and Ruth’s young daughter, Amanda. But Ruth has her secrets, and old atrocities are about to be unearthed, and old sinners will kill to hide their sins.
Corridors of the Night: A William Monk Novel by Anne Perry (Sept. 15, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-553-39138-1). When Monk’s wife, Hester, is kidnapped from the hospital where she volunteers, he is desperate to rescue her. Monk’s investigation leads him to wealthy Bryson Radnor’s remote home—where several bodies are buried on the grounds.
Tricky Twenty-Two: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich (Nov. 17, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-345-54296-0). New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum often runs into trouble on the job, but she has family and friends to help, including Lula, a plus-sized former hooker turned bounty hunter, and Grandma Mazur, Stephanie’s outrageous grandmother who packs a gun and often tags along on cases.
Protocol Zero by James Abel (Aug. 4, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-425-27634-1). Marine doctor and bio-terror expert Joe Rush is on a secret mission in Northern Alaska when a small group of researchers is found dead on the tundra. It looks like a brutal murder/suicide, but Rush realizes the victims were all infected with the most deadly disease on earth.
(dist. by Consortium)
Divorce Turkish Style by Esmahan Aykol (Oct. 13, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-908524-57-7). Every day, a beautiful woman lunches alone in the restaurant next to Kati’s mystery bookstore, the only one in Istanbul. When the woman is found dead in her apartment, Kati immediately recognizes the stranger at the restaurant from photos in the newspaper. Although the police believe it was an accident, Kati suspects something more sinister.
The Girl in the Ice by Lotte Hammer (Nov. 10, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-63286-297-6). An ice melt reveals the body of a girl, half-naked and tied up, in a remote area of Greenland, where it has lain for 25 years. When Det. Chief Supt. Konrad Simonsen investigates and sees how she was attacked, it triggers a dark memory, and he realizes this was not the killer’s only victim.
(dist. by Consortium)
The Do-Right by Lisa Sandlin (Oct. 13, paper, $16.95, ISBN 978-1-941026-19-9). Delpha Wade spent 14 years in prison for killing one of the two men who raped her. Now a secretary for a neophyte PI, Delpha gets involved in a serial killer case that brings her face to face with the second rapist, the one who got away.
Dark Turns by Cate Holahan (Nov. 10, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-62953-193-9). Ballerina Nia Washington, who’s suffering from an injury and a broken heart, takes a temporary job at a boarding school. Shortly after she arrives at the beautiful lakeside campus, she discovers a murdered student, and her life takes a dark turn.
Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Sept. 8, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-8041-7877-8). The previous entry, Personal, took Jack Reacher to England, where he had to stop a sniper from taking aim at the members of a G8 conference outside London. Now he’s happily back in the heartland of the U.S., in the middle of a wheatfield, with only his ATM card and his toothbrush.
The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon (Aug. 4, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-0-385-53851-0). Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel’s past, something that ruined their friendship.
The Forgotten Soldier: A Pike Logan Thriller by Brad Taylor (Dec. 29, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-525-95491-0). A Special Forces soldier is killed on an operation in Afghanistan, and a government official of an ally is complicit. The U.S. administration wants to forget it, but one Taskforce member sets out to avenge the death. His actions threaten to destroy a web of alliances against a greater evil.
(dist. by Legato)
The Verdict on Each Man Dead: A Peter Cammon Mystery by David Whellams (Aug. 11, paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-77041-044-2). Now retired from New Scotland Yard, Peter finds himself in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, where he joins a manhunt for a killer with links to the Unabomber and Oklahoma City bombing cases, cases Peter worked on during the 1990s.
The Great Forgetting by James Renner (Nov. 10, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-29879-1). Jack Felter, a history teacher, returns home to bucolic Franklin Mills, Ohio, where his best friend, Tony, has gone missing. The only person who seems to know anything is Tony’s last patient, a paranoid boy named Cole. Jack must team up with Cole to follow Tony’s trail—and maybe save the world.
One Year After by William R. Forstchen (Sept. 15, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-7670-1). A year after nuclear weapons detonate above the United States, the survivors of Black Mountain, N.C., are beginning to piece back the technologies they had once taken for granted. When a “federal administrator” arrives at a nearby city, Black Mountain’s residents hope that a new national government is emerging.
Long upon the Land by Margaret Maron (Aug. 11, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-1-4555-4532-2). Judge Deborah Knott’s father, Kezzie, makes a shocking discovery on a remote corner of his farm: the body of a man bludgeoned to death. Deborah’s husband, Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant, investigates this crime and uncovers a long-simmering hostility between Kezzie and the slain man over a land dispute.
The Dead Student by John Katzenbach (Oct. 6, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2337-4). A doctoral student known as “Moth” wakes up on his 99th day of sobriety with an intense craving for drink. He asks his uncle Ed, a former alcoholic and now successful psychiatrist, to meet him at an AA meeting later that day. When Ed doesn’t show up, Moth bikes to his office and discovers his uncle shot through the temple.
The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra: A Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation by Vaseem Khan (Sept. 15, paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-316-38682-1). On the day he retires, Insp. Ashwin Chopra takes on two cases. The first involves a drowned boy, whose suspicious death no one seems to want solved. The second concerns a baby elephant.
Hard Case Crime
The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes by Lawrence Block (Sept. 22, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-78329-750-4). PI Doak Miller, who does jobs for the local police in smalltown Florida, poses as a hit man and wears a wire to incriminate a woman who wants to get rid of her husband. But when he looks into the wife’s deep blue eyes, Doak falls hard—and winds up working with her.
Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz (Sept. 8, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-239510-8). James Bond’s new adventure begins in 1957, two weeks after the events of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger. Horowitz places Bond in the middle of the Soviet-American space race as the U.S. prepares for a critical rocket launch.
The Madagaskar Plan by Guy Saville (Aug. 4, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-8050-9595-1). Having won WWII, the Nazis set out to establish an empire in Africa. The Jews of Europe have been resettled on Madagascar, and the British have incited a revolt. Will a neutral America come to the aid of the desperate Jews?
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths (Sept. 15, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-0-544-52794-2). When a girl’s body is found cut into three pieces in Brighton, England, in 1950, Det. Insp. Edgar Stephens believes the killer is mimicking a famous magic trick invented by Max Mephisto, an old WWII friend of his. When the victim turns out to be one of Max’s assistants, Max joins Edgar in the hunt for the killer.
Thoreau in Phantom Bog by B.B. Oak (Aug. 25, paper, $15, ISBN 978-0-7582-9027-4). In the spring of 1848, Henry Thoreau returns to Plumford, Mass., in search of a fellow conductor on the Underground Railroad who is missing along with the escaped female slave he was assigned to transport. With the help of his friend, Dr. Adam Walker, Thoreau finds the conductor—shot to death.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web: A Lisbeth Salander Novel, Continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series by David Lagercrantz (Sept. 1, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-0-385-35428-8). Journalist Mikael Blomkvist receives a phone call from a trusted source claiming to have information vital to the United States, about a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. Blomkvist, desperately needing a scoop for Millennium, turns to Lisbeth Salander for help.
Blood Salt Water: An Alex Morrow Novel by Denise Mina (Dec. 1, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-316-38054-6). A wealthy businesswoman disappears from her Glasgow home without a trace, leaving her husband and children panicked, but strangely resistant to questioning. Tracing the woman’s cellphone, police detective Alex Morrow uncovers disturbing clues.
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (Oct. 20, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-316-34993-2). In the third Cormoran Strike mystery written by J.K. Rowling under her Galbraith pseudonym, Robin Ellacott, the private detective’s assistant, receives a package that contains a woman’s severed leg. Any one of four people from Strike’s past could be responsible.
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny (Aug. 25, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-250-02208-0). Chief Insp. Armand Gamache, recently retired from the Quebec Sûreté to the village of Three Pines, investigates the death of a nine-year-old boy, Laurent Lepage, with a reputation for crying wolf. Laurent’s last fantastic claim: he found a gun as big as a building in the woods.
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica (Aug. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-0-7783-1770-8). When Heidi Wood invites Willow Greer, a homeless 14-year-old girl with an infant daughter, Ruby, into her home, Heidi’s husband, Chris, worries about his wife’s mental state. Chris fears that Willow could be violent—and suspects that Ruby isn’t her baby.
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter (Sept. 29, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-242905-6). More than 20 years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenage sister, Julia, vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, but neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss.
(dist. by Midpoint)
Right Wrong Thing by Ellen Kirschman (Oct. 6, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-60809-154-6). Officer Randy Spelling had always wanted to be a police officer, but soon after joining the Kenilworth PD, she mistakenly shoots and kills a pregnant teenager. Randy is desperate to apologize to the girl’s family, but her attempt to do so has disastrous results.
The Accidental Agent: A Jimmy Nessheim Novel by Andrew Rosenheim (Aug. 11, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-4683-0935-5). In the fall of 1942, FBI special agent Jimmy Nessheim is enrolled in law school at the University of Chicago, but he’s also assisting military security guarding a scientific research program called the Manhattan Project. Drawn once again into a web of international intrigue, Nessheim faces his most deadly threat yet.
The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories, edited by Otto Penzler (Oct. 27, hardcover, $40, ISBN 978-1-101-87089-1). Mystery maven Penzler collects 83 Holmes stories not written by Arthur Conan Doyle. Among the contributors are such acclaimed Sherlockians as Leslie S. Klinger, Laurie R. King, and Daniel Stashower. Other notable authors include Anne Perry, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman.
(dist. by Norton)
The Drowning by Camilla Läckberg (Sept. 15, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-60598-856-6). Christian Thydell’s dream has come true. His debut novel has been published to rave reviews. When crime writer Erica Falk, who helped Christian discover and develop his talents, learns he has been receiving anonymous threats, she investigates not just the messages but also the young author’s mysterious past.
A Beam of Light by Andrea Camilleri (Sept. 1, paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-14-312643-0). When Inspector Montalbano falls for the charms of beautiful gallery owner Marian, his longtime relationship with Livia is threatened. Meanwhile, he’s also troubled by a strange dream as three crimes demand his attention: the robbery and assault of a wealthy merchant’s young wife, stolen works of art, and a search for arms traffickers.
Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? by Stephen Dobyns (Sept. 1, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-399-17145-1). In New London, Conn., Connor Raposo has just witnessed a gruesome motorcycle accident on Bank Street. At least he thinks it was an accident. Then he sees a familiar man—who else would wear an Elvis pompadour in this day and age?—lurking around the crime scene.
The Three-Nine Line: A Cordell Logan Mystery by David Freed (Aug. 1, hardcover, $29, ISBN 978-1-57962-399-9). Wisecracking government agent Logan travels to Hanoi to try to rescue two American former P.O.W.s who have been arrested for the murder of a prison guard who brutalized them decades earlier. An important trade pact between Vietnam and the U.S. hangs in the balance.
All Men Fear Me: An Alafair Tucker Mystery by Donis Casey (Nov. 3, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-4642-0468-5). Once the U.S. entered WWI, no one in Boynton, Okla., is unaffected by the clash between rabid pro-war, anti-immigrant “patriots” and anti-conscription socialists. When two shift supervisors are murdered at a brick factory, some blame German spies, others blame the unionists and socialists.
Prometheus Books/Seventh Street
The Guise of Another by Allen Eskens (Oct. 6, paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-63388-076-4). When Minnesota detective Alexander Rupert, a former Medal of Valor winner now under subpoena by a grand jury on suspicion of corruption, is asked to look into the false identity of a car-accident victim named James Putnam, a man who died 15 years earlier, Rupert sees a big case and an opportunity to regain his respectability.
The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young (Sept. 1, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-399-17400-1). When grieving mother and journalist Charlotte “Charlie” Cates has vivid dreams about children after the death of her only son, she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. She soon realizes they are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if she can make sense of them.
Entry Island by Peter May (Sept. 15, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-62365-663-8). Det. Sime Mackenzie travels from Montreal to isolated Entry Island, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, where a wealthy businessman has been murdered. Oddly, Mackenzie thinks he knows the prime suspect, the victim’s wife.
The Killing Lessons by Saul Black (Sept. 22, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-250-05734-1). When two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper’s isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it’s the end of everything. For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it’s just another stop on a long and bloody journey.
Woman of the Dead by Bernhard Aichner (Aug. 25, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-4767-7561-6). Blum, an Austrian mortician, has a good life, which masks the terrible secrets of her childhood. Then, in one devastating moment, her husband, Mark, is killed before her eyes in a hit-and-run. The grieving Blum soon discovers there’s more to Mark’s death.
The Flood: A Mystery Set in Florence, Italy by David Hewson (Oct. 1, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-0-7278-8525-8). In Florence in 1986, an attack on a church fresco of Adam and Eve brings together an unlikely couple: Julia Wellbeloved, an English art student, and Pino Fratelli, a semiretired detective who longs to be back in the field. Their investigation leads them to the secret society that underpins the city.
Simon & Schuster
Kick Back: A Kick Lannigan Novel by Chelsea Cain (Jan. 12, hardcover, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-4767-4989-1). A secretive arms dealer named Bishop seeks Kick’s help to protect a teenage girl under a threat from the past. Bishop believes the young woman is at risk of suffering the same fate as her mother, who disappeared as a teen before miraculously returning home years later.
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (Aug. 25, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-1231-7). Leonora, a reclusive crime writer, reluctantly agrees to join a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years for a weekend in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside. Forty-eight hours later, Leonora wakes up in a hospital, injured—and knowing someone is dead.
Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville (Sept. 22, hardcover, $27.95, ISBN 978-1-61695-636-3). At the age of 12, Ciaran Devine confessed to the murder of his foster father; his testimony mitigated the sentence of his older brother, Thomas, also found at the crime scene. Now, eight years later, Ciaran is about to be released—and reunited with Thomas, who still wields a dangerous influence over him.
Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse (Sept. 22, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-78329-153-3). In 1870, 23-year-old Mycroft Holmes—a secretary in the War Office and Sherlock Holmes’s older, smarter brother—travels from England to Trinidad, where someone—or some thing—has been killing children and draining their blood.
A Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley Novel by Elizabeth George (Oct. 27, hardcover, $28.95, ISBN 978-0-525-95433-0). In their 20th outing, Det. Sgt. Barbara Havers and Det. Insp. Thomas Lynley are drawn from Cambridge to London, and on to the windswept town of Shaftesbury during one of their most complex cases.