Former president Bill Clinton’s political thriller, coauthored with bestseller James Patterson, is the season’s big book, but other goodies include Laura Lippman’s homage to James M. Cain and Jo Nesbø’s redo of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Steve Berry. Minotaur, Mar. 20
Bestseller Berry’s “rookie foray into full length, novel-sized first-person narrative,” as he calls this Cotton Malone thriller in an afterword, ingeniously mixes mystery and history to cast a surprising light on the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.
Force of Nature
Jane Harper. Flatiron, Feb. 6
Australian author Harper follows her well-received debut, The Dry, with another powerful thriller featuring Melbourne federal agent Aaron Falk.
Give Me Your Hand
Megan Abbott. Little, Brown, July 17
Thriller Award–winner Abbott, a staff writer for HBO’s The Deuce, is at the top of her game in this psychological thriller about how a secret can seal a friendship and also destroy it.
Kent Anderson. LB/Mulholland, Feb. 27
Anderson fans have waited more than 20 years for his third novel, a timely thriller about policing and race relations set in Oakland, Calif., in 1983. James Ellroy calls it “a literary miracle.”
Jo Nesbø. Crown/Hogarth, Apr. 10
Edward St. Aubyn recently did a modern take on King Lear. Now bestselling Norwegian author Nesbø, the creator of Oslo policeman Harry Hole, tries his hand at a Nordic update of Macbeth in the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
Stephen King. Scribner, June 5
Thriller Award–winner King cements his position as a leading crime author with this searing standalone centered on the murder of an 11-year-old boy, in which only the supernatural can account for the conflicting evidence.
The President Is Missing
Bill Clinton and James Patterson. Little, Brown & Knopf, June 4
Aided by bestseller Patterson, former president Clinton brings his White House expertise to this thriller about a president who vanishes.
Laura Lippman. Morrow, Feb. 20
Inspired by James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, this scorching tale of lust, betrayal, and murder from Edgar-winner Lippman keeps the reader guessing all the way to the surprise ending.
David Ricciardi. Berkley, Apr. 17
Ricciardi’s top-notch first novel stars a CIA intelligence analyst with no training as a field operative who gets into trouble in Iran. Lee Child calls it “one of the best thrillers you’ll read this year.”
The Word Is Murder
Anthony Horowitz. Harper, June 5
Bestseller Horowitz has yet again brilliantly reinvented the classic crime novel, this time depicting a fictional version of himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes.
Mysteries & Thrillers
Prague Noir, edited by Pavel Mandys (Feb. 6, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61775-529-3). Prague’s top writers explore the hidden corners of the “City of a Hundred Spires,” pulling back the curtain to reveal gloom and despair, in this entry in Akashic’s noir series.
The Knowledge: A Richard Jury Mystery by Martha Grimes (Apr. 3, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2801-0). Scotland Yard detective Jury meets his match in a Baker Street Irregulars–like gang of kids and a homicide case that reaches into east Africa.
A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson (Mar. 13, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-4509-4). Mystery author Agatha Christie travels to the Canary Islands to investigate the strange and gruesome death of Douglas Greene, an agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service.
Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin (May 15, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8041-7802-0). An obsessive 24-year-old woman has been waiting for years to get her revenge on the man who murdered her sister. She lures him into taking a road trip. But the man may or may not have dementia—and may or may not be a serial killer.
Island of the Mad: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King (June 12, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8041-7796-2). Russell, the wife of Sherlock Holmes, goes in search of a friend’s beloved aunt who has escaped from Bedlam mental hospital. The pursuit takes her from rural England across Europe to Venice.
Warning Light by David Ricciardi (Apr. 17, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-399-58573-9). Undercover CIA intelligence analyst Zac Miller, who has no training as a field operative, is taken prisoner by the Iranians after what was supposed to be a simple surveillance mission goes awry. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Holy Ceremony by Harri Nykanen, trans. by Kristian London (Mar. 13, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-908524-89-8). When a woman’s body scrawled with religious texts is found in a Helsinki apartment, Ariel Kafka, a lieutenant in the city’s Violent Crime Unit, discovers that the woman wasn’t murdered: her body was stolen from the morgue.
The Big Get-Even by Paul Di Filippo (Mar. 6, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-5047-8391-0). A disbarred lawyer and an ex-arsonist cross paths and find themselves organizing an elaborate real estate scam to bilk a shady rich speculator out of $20 million.
Six Dogs ’til Sunday by Lia Farrell (Mar. 1, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-60381-250-4). Sheriff Ben Bradley, of Rosedale, Tenn., is soon to marry Mae December, who boards dogs for a living. The shooting murder of a local man, who was part of the film crew working on a movie, disrupts their wedding plans.
White River Burning: A Dave Gurney Novel by John Verdon (July 10, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-64009-063-7). Local authorities in White River, N.Y., ask retired NYPD detective Gurney to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting of a White River police officer by an unknown sniper.
Macbeth by Jo Nesbø, trans. by Don Bartlett (Apr. 10, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-553-41905-4). Macbeth, an ambitious police inspector in a rundown 1970s industrial town in Norway, will go to any lengths to advance his career, egged on by his love interest, a beautiful casino owner named Lady.
The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian (Mar. 13, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-385-54241-8). Flight attendant Cassandra Bowdenn spends the night in Dubai, where she wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man—and no idea what happened.
Down & Out
The Night of the Flood, edited by E.A. Aymar and Sarah M. Chen (Mar. 5, trade paper, $17.95, ISBN 978-1-946502-51-3). Fourteen contemporary crime writers take readers to the fictional town of Everton, Pa. Their stories from criminals, cops, and civilians explore the thin line between the rich and the poor, the insider and the outsider, the innocent and the guilty.
Bleeding Darkness: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery by Brenda Chapman (June 12, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-4597-4004-4). As David McKenna lies dying, his grown children gather from across Canada to say a final goodbye. But David’s only daughter, Lauren, never recovered from the unsolved murder of her high school best friend 14 years earlier—or the suspicion that her brother Tristan was behind it.
Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks (Mar. 6, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-101-98562-5). Melanie Barrick grew up in foster care, but now she has a loving husband, a steady job, and a beautiful baby boy, Alex. Then one Tuesday evening she goes to pick up Alex from childcare only to discover he’s been removed by Social Services. And no one will say why.
Clean Sweep by Michael J. Clark (Mar. 13, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-77041-397-9). Bosco, a former smuggler, can make anyone disappear, faking deaths and extracting people across the Canada-U.S. border. But then his ex shows up, fresh from the murder of a biker-gang boss, and he soon finds himself a fugitive at the center of a deadly conspiracy.
Force of Nature by Jane Harper (Feb. 6, hardcover, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-250-10563-9). When five colleagues are forced to go on a corporate retreat in the Australian wilderness, they reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking down the muddy path. When one of the women doesn’t come out of the woods, her companions each tell a slightly different story about what happened.
Arctic Gambit: A Jerry Mitchell Novel by Larry Bond (May 29, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-3492-3). Mitchell, now the commodore of submarine Development Squadron Five, discovers that the Russians have turned a nuclear-armed torpedo into a stealthy first strike weapon: Drakon. Mitchell must find a way to destroy the Drakon launcher before it’s too late.
The Fallen by David Baldacci (Apr. 17, hardcover, $29, ISBN 978-1-5387-6139-7). On a visit to Barronville, Pa., Amos Decker, the Memory Man, finds two dead bodies inside a house, and there’s no explanation for how either man died. Eventually, it becomes clear that something’s going on in Barronville that might be the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country. 500,000-copy announced first printing.
The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz (June 5, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-267678-8). Author and TV writer Horowitz is developing a new crime series when he’s approached by disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne wants Horowitz to write a fictional book based on an actual murder case. Complications ensue. 100,000-copy announced first printing.
Girl Unknown by Karen Perry (Feb. 6, hardcover, $28, ISBN 978-0-8050-9874-7). David Connelly, who teaches at a university, and his wife, Caroline Connolly, who recently returned to the ad agency where she once worked, are swimming successfully through their marriage’s middle years. One day, a student of sublime, waiflike beauty appears in David’s university office and says, “I think you might be my father.”
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths (May 15, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-544-75032-6). Forensic anthropologist Ruth Galloway travels to a tiny medieval Italian town where she’s been asked to help identify some ancient bones. Ruth’s findings at the dig lead her to a modern-day murder.
Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke (Feb. 27, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-1-61773-224-9). Newlywed Hannah Swensen Barton, the proprietor of the Cookie Jar in Lake Eden, Minn., has been having a hard time since her husband disappeared. Still, she throws herself into a baking frenzy for the sake of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving-themed treats. A murder provides further distraction.
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott (July 17, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-316-54718-5). Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane’s academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship—until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them.
Little, Brown & Knopf
The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (June 4, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-0-316-41269-8). Former president Clinton and bestseller Patterson collaborate on a political thriller in which the president of the United States vanishes from the White House. His family and aides are left wondering why he would do such a thing.
Green Sun by Kent Anderson (Feb. 27, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-316-46680-6). Hanson, a Vietnam veteran–turned–police officer, strives to be both a good cop and a good man in Oakland, Calif., in 1983. He takes seriously his duty to serve and protect the black community—his neighbors—in East Oakland, but the forces of hate and violence threaten him from all sides.
Fiction Can Be Murder by Becky Clark (Apr. 8, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-7387-5332-4). Mystery author Charlemagne “Charlee” Russo thought the twisty plots and peculiar murders in her books were only the products of her imagination—until her agent is found dead exactly as described in her new, unpublished manuscript.
The Bishop’s Pawn by Steve Berry (Mar. 20, hardcover, $28.99, ISBN 978-1-250-14022-7). Fifty years after Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, by James Earl Ray, former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone must reckon with the truth of what really happened that fateful day in Memphis. 400,000-copy announced first printing.
Sunburn by Laura Lippman (Feb. 20, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-06-238992-3). Polly and Adam meet in a diner in Belleville, Del., and abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair over the course of a summer. But each holds something back from the other—dangerous, even lethal, secrets.
Night-Gaunts and Other Tales of Suspense by Joyce Carol Oates (June 5, hardcover, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-2810-2). This collection’s title story, in which Horace Phineas Love Jr. is haunted by apparitions at the very edge of the visibility spectrum after his tortured father’s death, is an ode to H.P. Lovecraft. The five other selections likewise explore aspects of the grotesque and the fantastic.
New York Review Books
Ivory Pearl by Jean-Patrick Manchette, trans. by Donald Nicholson-Smith (May 15, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-68137-210-5). Set in Cuba’s Sierra Masestra in the 1950s, in the days leading up to the revolution, Manchette’s unfinished last novel features a fearless female protagonist.
A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow (Mar. 20, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-399-57452-8). It’s said there is no justice in this world. But what if the souls of murdered children were able to briefly return, inhabit adult bodies, and wreak revenge on the killers who stole their lives? Such is the mystery confronting ex-NYPD detective Willow Wylde in this paranormal psychological thriller.
Annie’s Bones by Howard Owen (Apr. 30, hardcover, $29.95, ISBN 978-1-57962-522-1). In 1967, 18-year-old Grayson Melvin met the girl of his dreams, Annie Lineberger. Then she disappeared the day they broke up. In 2016, Annie’s bones are dug up by a backhoe operator in a small Virginia town. Grayson, now teaching at a Richmond community college, has one last chance to prove he’s innocent of Annie’s murder.
Fall on a Dying Note by Ann Parker (Apr. 3, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-4642-0979-6). Inez Stannert, co-owner in absentia of Leadville, Colo.’s Silver Queen saloon, has settled in 1880s San Francisco. When the badly beaten body of a young musician with ties to Leadville’s rich and powerful washes up on the banks of Mission Creek, she must race against time to unravel the mystery of his death.
See Also Proof: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery by Larry D. Sweazy (May 1, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-63388-279-9). It’s a harsh winter in Dickinson, N.Dak., in 1965, and freelance indexer Marjorie Trumaine is mourning the recent death of her husband, Hank. Then she learns that a neighbor’s 14-year-old disabled daughter has disappeared, and she joins the local sheriff in the search for the missing girl.
Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Mar. 13, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-945551-08-6). Los Angeles gardener Mas Arai returns to Hiroshima, Japan, to bring his best friend’s ashes to a relative on the tiny offshore island of Ino, only to become embroiled in the mysterious death of a teenage boy about the same age Mas was when he survived the atomic bomb in 1945.
The Disappeared by C.J. Box (Mar. 27, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-399-17662-3). Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett contends with two cases: the British embassy wants to know what happened to a prominent U.K. executive who never came home from a high-end guest ranch; and Joe’s friend Nate Romanowski has asked him to intervene with the feds on behalf of falconers who can no longer hunt with eagles.
The Waters & the Wild by DeSales Harrison (Apr. 3, hardcover, $27, ISBN 978-0-8129-8954-0). Daniel Abend, a successful psychoanalyst and single parent in New York City, has it all, until one of his patients commits suicide and an ominous note makes him question the circumstances surrounding his patient’s death. A few days later, his daughter abruptly disappears. Is there a connection?
False Flag by F.W. Rustmann (Mar. 5, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-62157-738-6). When a young, female CIA officer under nonofficial cover is snatched off the streets of Beirut by Hezbollah, the CIA’s deputy director of operations, Edwin Rothmann, can’t involve the agency. Instead, he enlists the renegade Ft. Lauderdale outfit he refers to as CIA Inc.
The Outsider by Stephen King (June 5, hardcover, $30, ISBN 978-1-5011-8098-9). When an 11-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, the fingerprints (and later DNA) are unmistakably those of the town’s most popular baseball coach, Terry Maitland, a man of impeccable reputation. Maitland has a foolproof alibi, film footage showing he was out of town, but that doesn’t save him from arrest.
Simon & Schuster/Gallery
The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison (Apr. 3, hardcover, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-3817-1). When several major political figures die mysteriously, officials declare the deaths are from natural causes. Then the German vice-chancellor dies on the steps of 10 Downing Street, and a drone is spotted hovering nearby. FBI special agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine investigate.
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent (June 12, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-6777-5). On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—she’s the wife of a respected judge, the mother of a beloved son, and the mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a dark secret.
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobs (Mar. 6, hardcover, $25, ISBN 978-1-5011-7512-1). Just days after mathematician Isaac Severy apparently commits suicide, his adopted granddaughter, Hazel, receives a letter from him by mail. In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that’s after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague.
The Maw by Taylor Zajonc (June 5, hardcover, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5107-3240-7). Historian Milo Luttrell seizes the chance to join an expedition exploring one of Earth’s last secrets: a dangerous, pitch-black cave system in rural Tanzania that extends nearly 2,000 feet underground. Trouble arises when a storm hits the surface base camp, stranding the cavers and washing away their supplies.
Cult X by Fuminori Nakamura, trans. by Kalau Almony (May 22, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-61695-786-5). When Toru Narazaki’s girlfriend, Ryoko, disappears, and he tries to track her down, he learns that she used to live in a compound in the heart of Tokyo with a cultlike group led by a charismatic guru. Toru plunges into the secretive world of the cult, but it isn’t what he expected.
Wicked River by Jenny Milchman (May 1, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-4926-5899-3). When newlyweds Natalie and Doug embark on a backpacking honeymoon in the Adirondacks, they stumble across the body of a man, dead from a gunshot wound, and Natalie slowly realizes that the greatest threat the harsh terrain has to offer might be more than the lone murderer: it might be Doug.
Last Instructions by Nir Hezroni (May 22, hardcover, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-09761-3). Agent 10483, a psychopathic former Israeli spy, is busy trying to shut down the spy organization he once worked for and plotting revenge. He’s traveling the world in a quest to find a hidden nuclear warhead to use against those he deems responsible for the organization’s betrayal of him.
Thomas & Mercer
Bone Music by Christopher Rice (Mar. 1, hardcover, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-5420-4830-9). Charlotte Rowe spent the first seven years of her life in the hands of a pair of serial killers who murdered her mother. After she’s rescued, her father exploits her tabloid-ready story for fame and profit. Charlotte finally breaks free from her ghoulish past and flees—but a new ordeal is about to begin.
Titan/Hard Case Crime
The Last Stand by Mickey Spillane (Mar. 20, hardcover, $22.99, ISBN 978-1-78565-686-6). In Spillane’s last novel, completed just before his death in 2006, a pilot makes an emergency landing in the desert, where he gets involved in a struggle among FBI agents, unsavory fortune hunters, and members of a Native American tribe to control a mysterious find that could mean wealth and power—or death.
Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard, trans. by Isobel Dixon and Maya Fowler (Apr. 3, trade paper, $18, ISBN 978-1-60945-446-3). Insp. Albertus Beeslaar, a traumatized cop, leaves Johannesburg for a post on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, where his dream of rural peace is soon shattered by a brutally efficient crime syndicate.