Monstrous villains stalk this season’s crop of mysteries and thrillers, including a killer who manages to get on a jury, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who does strange things to his wife, and a sentient fungus that escapes from captivity.
John Sandford. Putnam, Oct. 8, $29, ISBN 978-0-525-53661-1
In this timely thriller, two feuding departments at a state university face off on the battleground of political correctness. Agent Virgil Flowers, of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, steps in when a killer enters the mix. 500,000-copy announced first printing.
City of Windows
Robert Pobi. Minotaur, Aug. 6, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-29394-7
A former FBI agent who lost a leg, an arm, and an eye in a shoot-out has a mathematical ability to read crime scenes. A perfect blend of action and character, this could put Pobi on the map.
Elizabeth Hand. Mulholland, Oct. 15, $27, ISBN 978-0-316-48588-3
The Alienist meets The Devil in the White City in this outstanding thriller set in 1915 Chicago, where a ruthless killer stalks his victims in an amusement park—and a 14-year-old girl disguised as a boy gets on his trail.
A Madness of Sunshine
Nalini Singh. Berkley, Dec. 3, $27, ISBN 978-1-593-09913-1
Best known for her paranormal romance novels, Singh branches out with her exceptional first crime novel, set in her native New Zealand.
The Perfect Wife
JP Delaney. Ballantine, Aug. 6, $27, ISBN 978-1-5247-9674-7
A woman resurfaces several years after disappearing off the California coast, dispelling rumors that her husband murdered her. What actually happened will astonish readers.
The Siberian Dilemma
Martin Cruz Smith. Simon & Schuster, Nov. 27, ISBN 978-1-4391-4025-3
Investigator Arkady Renko travels deep into Siberia to find missing journalist Tatiana Petrovna in this stellar crime novel that provides an authentic view of contemporary Russia.
Steve Cavanagh. Flatiron, Aug. 13, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-29760-0
What do you do when the killer is on the jury in a murder trial? Cavanagh’s third outing for defense attorney Eddie Flynn stands head and shoulders above the legal thriller pack.
The Turn of the Key
Ruth Ware. Scout, Aug. 6, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-5011-8877-0
Ware’s excellent psychological thriller updates Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw with 21st-century technology as menacing as the story’s isolated location, a Scottish estate, where a lone nanny contends with children who are not quite what they seem.
Rob Hart. Crown, Aug. 20, $27, ISBN 978-1-984823-79-3
Big business, not Big Brother, calls the shots in this Orwellian thriller in which an Amazon-like company dominates retail sales and the labor market. The starred PW review concludes, “This promises to be Hart’s breakout book.”
The Whisper Man
Alex North. Celadon, Aug. 20, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-250-31799-5
The pseudonymous North’s deeply disturbing debut combines a police procedural with a sensitive portrayal of a father-son relationship. Movie rights have been sold to the Russo brothers.
Cutting Edge: New Stories of Mystery and Crime by Women Writers, edited by Joyce Carol Oates (Nov. 5, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61775-762-4). This all original anthology features 15 stories, in which a lot of bad men get their comeuppances, by Steph Cha, Edwidge Danticat, S.J. Rozan, and other women authors. Margaret Atwood contributes six poems.
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean: A Tommy Smith High Country Noir by Bart Paul (Sept. 3, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-948924-37-5). Iraqi war veteran Tommy Smith searches for a girl reported lost in the canyon above his home in the High Sierras. Instead of the missing child, he discovers a corpse that may be linked to an unsolved bank theft.
How the Dead Speak by Val McDermid (Dec. 3, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-4761-5). Work halts on the site of a former orphanage after skeletons are found buried there. Forensic psychologist Tony Hill and former DCI Carol Jordan have been on the outs, but they join forces after one of the skeletons turns out to be a that of killer who’s supposedly behind bars.
The Accomplice by Joseph Kanon (Nov. 5, $28, ISBN 978-1-5011-2142-5). At the end of WWII, Otto Schramm, a Nazi doctor, flees to Argentina and assumes a new identity. In 1962, Max Weill, a survivor of Auschwitz, asks his nephew—a CIA desk analyst—to track down Schramm in Argentina, capture him, and bring him back to Germany to stand trial.
Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler (Dec. 3, $28, ISBN 978-0-525-48582-7). When a man is found hanging upside down inside a willow tree on Hampstead Heath, surrounded by a baffling assortment of occult objects, Arthur Bryant and John May of London’s Peculiar Crimes Unit investigate.
The Fragility of Bodies by Sergio Olguin, trans. by Miranda France (Oct. 19, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-912242-19-1). Veronica Rosenthal, a Buenos Aires journalist, investigates the suicide of a train driver who confessed to four related fatal train accidents.
Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard (Sept. 3, $24.99, ISBN 978-1-5385-1970-7). Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room, until the night a shadowy figure appears, kills her, and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer, and how did that person know about the camera?
The Man That Got Away: A Constable Twitten Mystery by Lynne Truss (Oct. 15, trade paper, $17, ISBN 978-1-63557-423-4). In 1957 Brighton, England, a young man is found dead in a deck chair. Constable Twitten suspects the murder may be connected to a notorious nightspot, but his captain and his colleagues are busy with more important pursuits.
Sorry for the Dead: A Josephine Tey Mystery by Nicola Upson (Oct. 8, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-68331-984-9). In the summer of 1915, a young girl suddenly dies at a farmhouse in Sussex. Years later, mystery writer Josephine Tey revisits the farmhouse, where she once lodged as a teacher during WWI. Soon she is looking into another death.
Blue Moon: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Oct. 29, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-399-59354-3). Reacher goes out of his way to help an elderly couple who owe big money to some very bad people. One brazen move leads to another, and suddenly Reacher finds himself caught in a brutal turf war between rival Ukrainian and Albanian gangs.
The Skeleton Stuffs a Stocking: A Family Skeleton Mystery by Leigh Perry (Sept. 10, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-63576-647-9). Georgia Thackery’s dog, Byron, goes missing on a cold December night, but later returns clutching a femur between his jaws—and it doesn’t belong to Sid, the family’s walking, talking skeleton.
In Rhino We Trust: A Jenny Willson Mystery by Dave Butler (Oct. 22, trade paper, $14.99, ISBN 978-1-4597-4087-7). Parks Canada warden Jenny Willson travels to Namibia to save local wildlife, but she soon finds herself in the crosshairs of a conspiracy involving wildlife poachers backed by international buyers who are prepared to eliminate any obstacles in their way.
House on Fire by Joseph Finder (Jan. 21, $28, ISBN 978-1-101-98584-7). A whistle-blowing member of the Rhodes family, whose fortune was built on opiates, hires private spy Nick Heller to uncover evidence that Rhodes Pharmaceutical knew its biggest money-maker drug was dangerously addictive. Nick agrees, but he soon finds himself entangled in the complicated family dynamics of the Rhodes dynasty.
Cold Storage by David Koepp (Sept. 3, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-291643-3). A highly mutative organism capable of extinction-level destruction escapes from a little-used U.S. military repository where it has been contained for decades. Only former Pentagon bioterror operative Roberto Diaz knows how to stop it.
Call Down the Thunder by Dietrich Kalteis (Oct. 15, trade paper, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-77041-479-2). In 1930s Kansas, Sonny and Clara Myers, a troubled couple, struggle to save their failing farm from greedy bankers. After Clara leaves him, Sonny comes up with way to keep the land while giving the banks a taste of their own medicine.
The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Aug. 20, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-19721-4). Harvard Law student Rachel North, who’s married to a successful Boston defense attorney, accepts an internship with DA Martha Gardiner. Unfortunately, Rachel’s husband recently lost a high-profile murder case to the DA—and that’s just the start of her problems.
The Hidden Things by Jamie Mason (Aug. 13, $26, ISBN 978-1-5011-7731-6). A home-security camera captures a 14-year-old girl fighting off an attacker just inside her front door. The video, which goes viral, also shows part of a stolen painting, which causes problems for the girl’s stepfather.
Outfox by Sandra Brown (Aug. 6, $27, ISBN 978-1-4555-7219-9). FBI agent Drex Easton is obsessed with the con man known as Weston Graham, who under various aliases has swindled eight wealthy women out of their fortunes before each disappeared. Now Easton thinks he has identified Graham and the man’s next victim.
The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup, trans. by Caroline Waight (Sept. 3, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-06-289536-3). A psychopath terrorizing Copenhagen leaves at each of his crime scenes a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts. One such doll bears a fingerprint belonging to a young girl who was kidnapped and murdered a year earlier.
Head of Zeus
No Fixed Line by Dana Stabenow (Nov. 14, $32.95, ISBN 978-1-78854-911-0). When a small plane goes down in the mountains, Jim Chopin, a former Alaska state trooper, comes out of retirement to try to identify the aircraft, collect the bodies, and determine why no flight was reported missing.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Kopp Sisters on the March by Amy Stewart (Sept. 17, $26, ISBN 978-1-328-73652-9). In the spring of 1917, the Kopp sisters sign up for one of the military-style training camps for women who want to serve in WWI. When an accident befalls the matron, one of the sisters reluctantly agrees to oversee the camp.
Liars’ Legacy by Taylor Stevens (Dec. 31, $26, ISBN 978-1-4967-1865-5). Elusive spies Jack and Jill, twins who are often estranged, can’t predict how far a high-level Russian operation will go to secure their skills—or how hard the killers sent by the U.S. government to stop the siblings will fight to assassinate them first.
The Second Sleep by Robert Harris (Nov. 19, $26.95, ISBN 978-0-525-65669-2). In 1468, Christopher Fairfax, a young priest, arrives in an Exmoor village to conduct the funeral of his predecessor, an old parson. Fairfax must figure out whether the parson’s obsession with the past led to his death.
The Night Fire by Michael Connelly (Oct. 22, $29, ISBN 978-0-316-48561-6). Harry Bosch’s late mentor, J.J. Thompson, bequeathed Bosch a murder book that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD 20 years earlier; it details the unsolved killing of a troubled young man. Bosch enlists the help of Det. Renée Ballard to discover what about the case attracted Thompson.
The Worst Kind of Want by Liska Jacobs (Nov. 5, $26, ISBN 978-0-374-27266-1). Forty-something Cilla Messing travels to Rome to keep an eye on her wayward teenage niece, Hannah. Cilla ends up throwing herself into Hannah’s youthful, heedless world—drinking, dancing, smoking—at her peril.
Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison (Dec. 31, trade paper, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-3077-6). At an elite Virginia boarding school, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who believe they can get away with anything—until a popular student is found dead.
The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter (Aug. 20, $27.99, ISBN 978-0-06-285808-5). Coroner Sara Linton and her boyfriend, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Will Trent, are visiting Sara’s family in the Atlanta suburbs when explosions rock nearby Emory University. They encounter trouble when they race to the scene.
Galway Girl by Ken Bruen (Nov. 5, $26, ISBN 978-0-8021-4793-6). When a high-profile officer of the Irish national police is murdered and more police deaths follow, members of the force implore ex-cop Jack Taylor to consider the case. Taylor has other matters on his mind, but he begins to sense that the killer is after him, too.
Treacherous Strand by Andrea Carter (Sept. 3, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-60809-304-5). A woman’s body washes up on a beach on Ireland’s Inishowen Peninsula, with a strange tattoo on her thigh. What initially appears to be a suicide or an accidental drowning due to the treacherous currents turns out to be a case of murder.
To the Land of Long Lost Friends by Alexander McCall Smith (Oct. 22, $25.95, ISBN 978-1-5247-4782-4).
In the 20th No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novel, Precious Ramotswe attempts to help an old friend who
has been having problems with her daughter, but Precious soon discovers that getting involved in family affairs can be risky.
The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger (Sept. 17, $26.99, ISBN 978-0-7783-0872-0). Rain Winter, who knew two friends who were abducted when she was a child, lives the perfect suburban life. When a murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends’ abductor force Rain to revisit traumatic memories.
Treachery by S.J. Parris (Dec. 3, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-64313-224-2). In 1585, Sir Francis Drake prepares to launch a naval expedition against the Spanish when a murder aboard his ship changes his plans. Giordano Bruno, an agent for Elizabeth I, seeks to uncover the killer, only to find a number of deadly plots brewing in Plymouth.
The Other End of the Line by Andrea Camilleri, trans. by Stephen Sartarelli (Sept. 3, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-0-14-313377-3). For a friend’s wedding, Inspector Montalbano agrees to get a new tailored suit and consults charming seamstress Elena Biasimi. Soon afterward, while Montalbano and his team are attending to refugees who have arrived on the Sicilian coast, Elena is murdered.
Dread Journey by Dorothy B. Hughes (Dec. 3, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-61316-146-3). In this entry in the American Mystery Classics series, ambitious actress Kitten Agnew travels from L.A. to Chicago by train. Also aboard is Hollywood big-shot Vivien Spender, who no longer wants Agnew to star in a major film he’s producing. The two inevitably clash.
Molten Mud Murder: An Alexa Glock Mystery by Sara E. Johnson (Sept. 3, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-1-4642-1123-2). After a New Zealand man trespasses on an island sacred to the Maoris, his body is found half-submerged in a molten mud pot in one of Roturua’s famed geothermal wonderlands. Forensics expert Alexa Glock investigates.
Famous in Cedarville by Erica Wright (Oct. 22, $26, ISBN 978-1-947993-72-3). When a reclusive, retired movie actress dies in her bed, only the young widower of Cedarville, Samson Delaware, suspects foul play. Samson, who’s always been something of an outsider in the town, turns amateur sleuth, with little support from the locals.
Iced in Paradise: A Leilani Santiago Hawai’i Mystery by Naomi Hirahara (Sept. 3, trade paper, $16, ISBN 978-1-945551-59-8). One morning on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Leilani Santiago stumbles on the body of a pro surfer who was being coached by Leilani’s estranged father. When her father becomes the prime suspect in the surfer’s murder, Leilani must find the real killer.
A Step So Grave by Catriona McPherson (Nov. 5, $26.99, ISBN 978-1-4736-8235-1). In 1935 Scotland, private detective Dandy Gilver and her family arrive at the home of Lady Lavinia, the mother of Mallory, a less-than-suitable bride-to-be for Dandy’s son, Donald. The murder of Lady Lavinia, found dead in her famous knot garden, upsets the wedding plans.
Under Occupation by Alan Furst (Nov. 26, $27, ISBN 978-0-399-59230-0). In Nazi-occupied Paris in 1942, a dying man being chased by the Gestapo hands off to Paul Ricard a drawing that shows what looks like a part for a military weapon. Ricard realizes it must be an important document smuggled out of Germany to aid the French resistance.
Seven Crows by Kate Kessler (Oct. 8, trade paper, $15.99, ISBN 978-0-316-45425-4). Recently released from prison, Killian Delaney discovers that someone has taken her niece. Loyalty is most important in her life, and she immediately begins hunting down the men responsible.
Bottle of Rum by Steve Goble (Nov. 12, trade paper, $15.95, ISBN 978-1-64506-003-1). In 1723, former pirate Spider John Rush witnesses a fatal stabbing in an English tavern where he’s enjoying a drink. Rush can’t ignore the crime since the murder weapon—a knife—was fashioned by his own hands.
The Murals by William Bayer (Dec. 1, $28.99, ISBN 978-0-7278-8973-7). Former war photographer Jason Poe, who has been breaking into abandoned houses for an art project, discovers a haunting set of murals in an attic. In the course of searching for the artwork’s meaning, he uncovers a mystery involving police corruption, scandal, and more.
The Second Biggest Nothing by Colin Cotterill (Aug. 20, $26.95, ISBN 978-1-64129-061-6). In 1980, 76-year-old Siri Paiboun, the former national coroner for Laos, receives a death threat aimed at him and everyone he holds dear. Three incidents from Dr. Siri’s past may hold the answer to who wants him dead.
Pretty Guilty Women by Gina Lamanna (Sept. 3, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-4962-9406-9). When a man is murdered at a wedding, four women each confess to the crime. Only they know why they each are confessing to the same murder.
29 Seconds by T.M. Logan (Sept. 10, $27.99, ISBN 978-1-250-18229-6). Sarah Haywood, a young professor, struggles to prove herself in a workplace controlled by charming and manipulative Alan Hawthorne, who soon targets her for his advances. After an act of bravery puts a ruthless and powerful man in her debt, Sarah gets a chance for payback.
The Girl on the Porch by Richard T. Chizmar (Aug. 31, $35, ISBN 978-1-59606-915-2). A security video catches a young woman with a shackle hanging from her wrist pressing a doorbell again and again. She glances fearfully over her shoulder before running away. Despite the video going viral and national news coverage, no one comes forward to identify the woman.
Thomas & Mercer
Hide Away by Jason Pinter (Jan. 7, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-5420-0591-3). This series launch introduces Rachel Marin, a young single mother with a brilliant criminalist mind. Rachel gets involved in a murder investigation that threatens to expose the truth about a past she has tried to conceal.
Mycroft and Sherlock: The Empty Birdcage by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse (Sept. 24, $25.99, ISBN 978-1-78565-930-0). In 1873, a distant relative of Queen Victoria is slain by a serial killer who leaves no mark on his victims. Mycroft Holmes allows his brother, Sherlock, to take the case, while he looks for a missing person—the fiancé of the woman he loves.
Agent Running in the Field by John le Carré (Oct. 22, $29, ISBN 978-1-984878-87-8). Set in 2018 London, this thriller follows a 26-year old solitary figure who, in a desperate attempt to resist the political turbulence swirling around him, makes connections that will take him down a dangerous path.
The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney (Sept. 17, trade paper, $18, ISBN 978-1-60945-540-8). In 1969 Glasgow, a serial killer known as the Quaker leaves no clues, moves in the shadows, and leads the police down one blind alley after another. Duncan McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands, must identify where the investigation has gone wrong.