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  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2018/01/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , bnstorefront-thrillers, , ,   

    The Best Thrillers of January 2018 

    A new year brings a new crop of unputdownable thrillers. Here are 10 books to keep you riveted in January.

    The Woman in the Window, by A. Finn
    One of the most anticipated thrillers of the year is a real humdinger—a Hitchcockian meta-twister told from the point-of-view of agoraphobic, extremely unreliable child psychologist Anna Fox. Fox hasn’t left her apartment in 11 months, spending her time playing games, chatting with other agoraphobics on the internet, and spying on her neighborhood in self-conscious, Rear Window-style. It’s quickly apparent the reader can’t trust anything Anna says—so when she first becomes obsessed with a family across the park and then witnesses what she is certain is a murder, it’s no surprise that no one believes her. As the twists and revelations pile up, it becomes clear that Anna’s past and her mental state are just as important as what really happened in the house across the park.

    City of Endless Night, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
    FBI Pendergrast is back, investigating the corpse of a young woman who’s been decapitated and left in Queens. She’s quickly identified as the missing daughter of billionaire Anton Ozmian, but when more headless bodies turn up, things get messy fast, as the victims show no discernible pattern—aside from their missing heads. Pendergrast and old ally Lt. Cmdr. Vincent D’Agosta come under increasing pressure from the mayor’s office, Ozmian, and plenty of less-savory power brokers as their investigation runs into dead end after dead end. Slowly, Pendergrast realizes the killer has come to New York City for a very specific reason. As public panic mounts, his epiphany doesn’t translate into an easy solution, and this might be one time Agent Pendergrast’s unique mind fails him.

    Need to Know, by Karen Cleveland
    Vivian Miller is a devoted mother, a loving wife, and a CIA analyst dedicated to investigating potential sleeper cells working within the U.S. Her relationship with her husband is rock-solid, and her love for her special-needs child is fierce, so when she stumbles on a photo of her husband on the computer of a Russian agent, she panics and deletes it—but when she confronts her husband, he doesn’t even try to deny anything, confessing that he’s been working for the Russians for more than two decades. Vivian is forced to reconsider every aspect of her relationship under the possibility that she was chosen by her husband as cover, all while worrying over the implications her discovery has for her—and her children. Cleveland was a former CIA analyst herself, lending serious verisimilitude to the details.

    Unbound, by Stuart Woods
    The latest Stone Barrington story focuses on former CIA operative Teddy Faye, reinvented as Hollywood mogul Billy Barnett. When Barnett’s wife is killed by a drunk driver, Billy gets in his car and starts driving, finding his way to the film set of Dax Baxter, a rival filmmaker with a shady reputation, whose wife was the driver in the fatal accident. Baxter used his connections to keep his wife out of jail. Billy leverages his CIA experience to infiltrate Baxter’s film set under an alias, and begins to sabotage the production by way of revenge. When Baxter connects the dots, he brings in Russian thugs to solve his problem, but Billy’s got plenty of experience dealing with these types. A game of brutal cat-and-mouse ensues, spinning up all the best aspects of the Barrington universe.

    The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pakkanen
    Take liberal doses of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train and mix them up in wholly unexpected ways, and you have this crackling new thriller from former book editors Hendricks and Pakkanen. Vanessa and Richard got divorced after a series of failed fertility treatments left them childless, but now charismatic, controlling Richard has married a younger version of Vanessa—or so it seems to her. Nellie, the new fiancée, is a bright-eyed schoolteacher uncertain she’s ready to leave her fun lifestyle for the suburbs. And Richard’s secretive destination wedding brings up haunting memories of a traumatic event in her past. Meanwhile, Vanessa unravels, drinking and pushing herself to the brink of unemployment as she becomes increasing unreliable and increasingly obsessed with Nellie. To say this setup doesn’t go where you might think is the understatement of the year.

    Operator Down, by Brad Taylor
    Taylor’s 12th Pike Logan novel opens in Tel Aviv, where Pike and his fellow Taskforce agents Jennifer and Knuckles are shadowing an arms dealer suspected of selling nuclear trigger components. When they stumble on intel that indicates their old friends Aaron Bergman and Shoshanna are being targeted for elimination, and that Aaron has been captured, the decision to go rescue him seems obvious—until more intelligence comes in warning of a coup attempt in the fragile African democracy of Lesotho, and Pike and team are ordered to intervene. Faced with the choice of disobeying orders or saving their friend, Pike and company team up with the delightfully bloodthirsty Shoshanna to break the rules one more time in hopes of saving their colleague.

    The Take, by Christopher Reich

    Simon Riske owns a high-end auto repair chop in London—when he’s not working as a freelance spy, called upon by the CIA and the like to do things even they can’t touch. When Riske is hired to track down gangster Tino Coluzzi, he’s more than happy to do so, because Coluzzi betrayed him back in his own criminal past, letting Riske rot in jail. Coluzzi masterminded the daring robbery of a Saudi prince, but one of the things he stole was a letter the Russian government will kill to get back, and the CIA will kill to get their hands on. Riske uses all of his knowledge of the criminal underworld, the finer things in life, and of spycraft to get to work getting revenge and saving the world—not necessarily in that order.

    Light It Up, by Nick Petrie
    Peter Ash returns as a member of his old friend Henry Nygaard’s Heavy Metal Protection Team, escorting a truckload of medical marijuana to Denver shops and then guarding the money on the way back. On a deserted mountain road, the truck gets hijacked, and the violent encounter leaves Peter as the sole survivor—and a suspect for the police.Meanwhile, he wonders if the thieves were after something more than just money. Gathering his old friends Lewis and June, Peter sets out to find out who was behind the job, get the money back—and get bloody, remorseless revenge for his dead friends. Few fictional characters can deal out death and violence as effectively as Ash and company—but in the end, it’s Ash alone against an array of forces, both man-made and natural.

    The Chalk Man, by C.J. Tudor
    Eddie Adams is a young teen in the beautiful town of Anderbury in the U.K. in the 1980s, hanging out with his best friends, using a code of chalked figures to leave messages for each other. A series of grisly experiences and dark pranks sour the boys’ adolescence and haunt them into adulthood, including a disturbing experience where a stranger leads the boys to see a dismembered young girl in the woods. The man suspected of the killing commits suicide before justice can be done, but decades later, one of the Eddie’s friends, Mickey, returns and tells him he knows the identity of the real killer, and all the friends receive letters containing one of their old chalk figures. Then, Eddie’s friends begin dying, and he realizes it’s time to solve all the mysteries of his past if he’s going to survive into his future.

    Cutting Edge, by Ward Larsen
    Trey DeBolt is a rescue swimmer for the Coast Guard in Alaska. During a difficult rescue, his helicopter goes down—and he wakes up in cabin by the sea in Maine. He’s got a nasty scar on the back of his head and no memory of how he got there; his nurse informs him that he’s been declared dead even as a Coast Guard investigator in Alaska finds evidence he’s still alive. His nurse tells him that he’s undergone surgery that has gifted him with incredible abilities. Just as he’s figuring out he’s part of a secretive government experiment, his nurse is killed by a team of professional assassins—assassins meant for him. A sudden vision showing him information he couldn’t possibly know saves his life—and suddenly, Trey is on the run, trying to figure out just what’s happened to him, and how to control it, before it’s too late.

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  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2017/12/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , bnstorefront-thrillers, ,   

    The Best New Thrillers of December 2017 

    If any month calls for a good thriller, it’s December. Between end-of-year work projects, holiday shopping, and lots of time spent in airports, you’re going to need as many distractions as possible. No matter where you find yourself stuck, one of these thrillers will help you pass the time in style.

    Tom Clancy: Power and Empire, by Marc Cameron
    President Jack Ryan, his intelligence agent son Jack Jr., and John Clark, junior’s boss at the Campus, trade off on the spotlight in the latest Tom Clancy thriller, as seemingly separate harrowing scenarios converge. The president is dealing with an aggressive China, staking claims in the South China Sea. His son is working with the FBI to take down a child sex ring. John Clark is on the trail of a missing girl after a traffic stop in Texas uncovers a Chinese agent. As the three men begin to realize there’s much more going on than meets the eye, world events ratchet up the tension between nations in the days leading to the G20 Summit—meaning all three men are working against the clock to understand how it all comes together.

    The Demon Crown, by James Rollins
    In 1903, none other than Alexander Graham Bell travels to Italy to bring home the bones of James Smithson, the founder of the Smithsonian. Bell finds a hunk of amber amongst Smith’s things, in which is the preserved body of a small dinosaur with a crown-like ring of bones on its head, along with the cryptic message, “what the Demon Crown holds is very much alive, and ready to unleash the very hordes of Hell upon this world.” In the present day, a secretive group known as The Guild has finally done just that—loosing giant, killer wasps that swarm civilization and threaten everyone and everything. Grayson Pierce, the commander of Sigma Force, is on a Hawaiian beach with partner Seichan when the first swarm arrives, and the fight is on to defeat the bugs before they reconquer a world they once ruled. Doing so brings Pierce to the most horrifying choice of his life—joining with his enemy to save the world, even if it means sacrificing his own.

    Death at Nuremberg, by W.E.B. Griffin
    The fourth Clandestine Operations novel is set in 1946, where James D. Cronley Jr., directorate of Central Intelligence, finds himself reassigned to the dual mission of protecting the judge overseeing the Nuremberg war crimes trials and investigating Odessa, the secretive organization helping Nazis escape punishment and flee to South America. Two attempts on his life follow quickly, and he finds himself not only tracking Nazi smugglers, but stumbling onto a cult founded by none other than Heinrich Himmler. As the chess pieces that eventually formed the CIA (and set the groundwork for the Cold War) are placed on the board, Cronley must ensure the trials go on as planned while everyone around him seems to have their own agenda—none of which involves his safety and wellbeing.

    The Last Man in Tehran, by Mark Henshaw
    The fourth book in former CIA analyst Henshaw’s Red Cell series opens with Kyra Stryker newly installed as the chief of the Red Cell. No sooner has she claimed her office than a dirty bomb explodes in Haifa, causing massive bloodshed. Mossad launches a ruthless global firestorm of retaliation—using information obviously leaked from the CIA itself. The FBI springs into action, and paranoid officials turn on each other to avoid being implicated. Stryker, desperate to save the agency and her own people, launches her own investigation, and a taut chess match begins that puts Stryker in conflict with anyone who has something to lose in the process—which is just about everyone.

    Direct Fire, by A.J. Tata
    The fourth Jake Mahegan book finds the former Delta Force operative traveling to a North Carolina golf resort at the request of General Savage after a series of horrific acts of terror. Jake arrives at a remote cabin to meet his colleagues Patch Owens and Sean O’Malley, only to be attacked by two gunmen. After dispatching the pair with typical Mahegan efficiency, he discovers that Patch and Sean have been kidnapped as part of a terrorist scheme being run by Zakir Lecha, a Chechen who got into the U.S. by posing as a Syrian refugee. When Zakir also manages to kidnap the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his wife, Jake joins forces with the general’s army ranger daughter, Cassie, to take down Lecha and save his buddies and her parents. The idea of a terrorist cell bringing ISIS-style tactics to the United States is terrifying, but Mahegan and Cassie are up to the task.

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  • Jeff Somers 5:00 pm on 2017/11/01 Permalink
    Tags: , american drifter, , , bnstorefront-thrillers, bonfire, boyd morrison, chad michael murray, , , , end game, every breath you take, , heather the totality, , krysten ritter, , , matthew weiner, stephen coonts, the armageddon file, , the people vs. alex cross, , , , typhoon fury   

    The Best New Thrillers of November 2017 

    November seems like a cozy month. The leaves turn, tea comes back in a big way, the nights get chilly and the holidays are just around the corner. That just means you need thrillers more than ever, to keep complacency at bay—because a few pretty leaves and some pumpkin spice treats don’t change the fact that the world is an exciting place. These books will serve to remind you just how exciting—while offering hours of entertainment and so much heart-pounding adventure you might not need that hot tea to stay warm after all.

    The People vs. Alex Cross, by James Patterson
    Alex Cross stands accused of murdering followers of Gary Soneji. Suspended from the police force, the evidence looks very bad, and Cross has gone from hero to villain as he’s held up as a prime example of a police force gone turned rogue. Even his own friends and family begin to doubt his version of events as the evidence mounts against him. Despite his troubles, when his old partner John Sampson calls him for help investigating a gruesome video connected to the disappearance of several young girls, Cross can’t refuse, and they begin an illegal investigation that leads them into the darkest shadows of the Internet. As his trial seems to get worse and worse, Cross can’t abandon this case until he’s caught the monster at the other end of it—even if it costs him his career, and possibly his life.

    End Game, by David Baldacci
    Baldacci’s fifth Will Robie novel flips the script a bit on his competent, deadly characters. When Will Robie and Jessica Reel’s legendary handler, Blue Man, goes missing after taking a rare vacation to go fly-fishing in a rural area of Colorado, the two deadly assassins are dispatched to investigate. They find themselves in the town of Grand, a festering place of economic decline, crime, drug wars—and a growing population of militia-style groups. They also find an inadequate police force unable to cope. They quickly realize there’s more going on in Grand than meets the eye, and by the time they realize that even they, two of the most dangerous people in the world, are out-gunned and surrounded it might be too late.

    The Midnight Line, by Lee Child
    Jack Reacher is once again stepping off a bus in a small town in the middle of nowhere, this time in Wisconsin. Stretching his legs, Reacher sees a West Point ring in a pawn shop window and is moved to find out what would make someone sell something so difficult to earn. His quest for the ring owner’s identity leads Reacher to cross several state lines as he assembles a story of service in Afghanistan, opioid addiction, and a huge criminal organization that Reacher, once he’s aware of it, has no choice but to take on. He manages to acquire an ally, however, in the form of the cadet’s brother, a former FBI agent-turned private detective, who’s one of those rare people Reacher feels he can count on, if only for a while. Along the way Reacher traces corporate complicity in the opioid crisis and the desperation that drives people to make bad decisions—all while dishing out violence the way only Jack Reacher can manage.

    Typhoon Fury, by Clive Cussler and Boyd Morrison
    The 12th Oregon Files book once again ties history to the present day. In the waning days of World War II, a U.S. Army Captain stumbles onto a secret Japanese laboratory working on a secret project called Typhoon—a project that seems to produce soldiers who fight on despite gunshot wounds and other injuries. In the present, the Oregon and Juan Cabrillo have been tasked with locating a memory stick containing a list of Chinese secret agents operating in the United States—which leads them to a fight to take possession of the thousands of Typhoon doses in existence, doses that could turn ordinary people into super-soldiers. The stakes get higher the more Cabrillo learns about Typhoon—until a disastrous war is on the verge of breaking out in a world descending into chaos.

    Every Breath You Take, by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
    Clark and Burke’s fourth entry in their Under Suspicion series finds TV producer Laurie Moran at a professional high: her show Under Suspicion is a ratings smash on a winning streak of solving cold cases. Personally though, Laurie’s not so great. After splitting up with former host Alex Buckley, she’s found a new host she loathes in Ryan Nichols. Nichols suggests a new case for the show: the murder of a wealthy donor to the Metropolitan Museum of Art who was thrown off the roof of the museum at the Met Gala. The chief suspect is her personal trainer—and lover—the much younger Ivan Gray. Ryan works out at the gym Ivan founded (with his lover’s money), and Laurie’s suspicions are exacerbated when she gets a tip that widens the circle of suspects in surprising—and dangerous—ways.

    The Whispering Room, by Dean Koontz
    The sequel to The Silent Corner returns us to the thrilling world of FBI agent Jane Hawk, who learned of a horrifying conspiracy to seize control of the entire world via a terrifying technological breakthrough while investigating her husband’s sudden, inexplicable suicide in the first book. As a result, she knows that when a beloved and mild-mannered schoolteacher commits suicide after inflicting unspeakable carnage on innocents, not all is as it seems. Jane has proof of what’s going on—but she remains #1 on the FBI’s most-wanted list, and the NSA can track anything she does online, so getting the proof into the right hands isn’t easy, especially as she tries to stay one step ahead of her secretive enemies. As she picks up an unlikely ally, Jane remains as kick-butt as before—a warrior, a mother, and a patriot dedicated to truth and justice, no matter how deadly things get.

    Heather, The Totality, by Matthew Weiner
    Weiner, creator and showrunner of Mad Men, has crafted a sharp, character-driven debut novel that examines class and parenting with equal power. Heather, smart and beautiful, has been doted on by her mother since birth, causing a rift between her parents. Heather is also increasingly aware of the gulf between her family, the owners of an upscale apartment building in Manhattan, and the people who work for them—including a construction worker, Bobby, whose appearance isolates him. Heather sees Bobby as a way to bridge the gap, but her father sees a threat in how Bobby looks at his daughter, and tensions rise in complicated ways.

    Bonfire, by Krysten Ritter
    Ritter, already a celebrated actress and producer, dives into fiction with this taut, emotionally brutal debut. Abby Williams escaped the small town of Barrens, Indiana, mean girls, an abusive father, and other ghosts a decade ago. She’s built a life, becoming an environmental litigator in Chicago and living a fast-paced existence. But her work drags her back home when she’s put on a team suing Optimal Plastics, the main employer in Barrens, whose products have poisoned the land and the people. Discovering that Barrens has been largely bought off by the company, Abby finds herself investigating the disappearance of a popular high school girl ten years before, a case that might be connected to Optimal. Abby’s emotional wounds are torn back open by her declining father and the memories she thought she’d escaped forever—but when she learns about a disturbing local ritual known only as “The Game”, things begin to take on an even more sinister, and dangerous, feel.

    The Armageddon File, by Stephen Coonts
    Coonts delivers another headline-inspired story of political shenanigans with a distinct slant in one (conservative) direction. When an inexperienced billionaire wins the presidency, his embittered liberal opponent cries foul and asserts that foreign governments interfered and rigged the election. CIA Director Jake Grafton assigns agent Tommy Carmellini to a special task force to investigate the claims, teaming him with special agent Maggie Miller. They quickly catch a break when a voting machine technician gets arrested and offers to tell them what he knows about voter fraud—but he’s killed before they can talk to him, and that’s just the beginning of a flurry of bodies as someone seeks to squash their investigation by any means necessary. Soon Tommy is dodging bullets himself, which does nothing to dampen his determination to get to the bottom of things.

    American Drifter, by Heather Graham and Chad Michael Murray
    Graham teams up with actor Chad Michael Murray for this romance-tinged thriller about River Roulet, a veteran of the war in Iraq who finds life after combat intolerable due to his PTSD. He moves to Brazil, a country he’s always dreamed of living in, and finds a quantum of solace living a simple life with a few good friends. Then he meets Natal, a beautiful, spirited journalist, and their love is instantaneous and powerful—and complicated, both by River’s ongoing issues and Natal’s relationship with a powerful, violent drug lord. The couple flees into the jungle to escape him, and River is forced to kill one of his henchmen in order to protect his new love, which only brings Brazilian law enforcement against them as well. Graham and Murray have some surprises up their sleeves as River and Natal fight for their love—and their lives.

    What new books are you thrilled to read in November?

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  • Jeff Somers 4:00 pm on 2017/09/29 Permalink
    Tags: , , bnstorefront-thrillers, ,   

    The Best New Thrillers of October 2017 

    October is a month that comes with the thrills built in, but once the doorbell stops ringing and the apple-bobbing is over, it’s nice to curl up with a book that will keep you warm on a slow, cold evening. The 10 books on this list will keep you heart pounding and your blood pumping long after the sugar rush fades.

    The Rooster Bar, by John Grisham
    Grisham proves he’s still got his finger on the pulse in his newest, telling the story of idealistic but broke law students Mark, Todd, and Zola, who mortgage their future in the form of student loans to attend a third-tier law school. In their third year, the trio realizes they’ve been victims of the Great Law School Scam: the graduates of their school rarely pass the bar and almost never get jobs—and the school’s owner also owns the bank that wrote the paper on their loans. Naturally, smart nearly-lawyers go for the only option they have available: revenge. It’s going to take planning and risks (like dropping out before earning your degree) but it’s the only option if you want a little justice—and the result is an Ocean’s 11 for the LSAT crowd.

    Origin, by Dan Brown
    Brown returns to his most successful character with an all-new Robert Langdon adventure, this time centered in Spain and focusing on more modern art. Langdon starts off the book as the guest of former student-turned-billionaire Edmond Kirsch, who is staging a provocative presentation at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and hinting at the answers to two of the fundamental questions of human existence. Naturally, things go very, very wrong, and Langdon soon finds himself fleeing to Barcelona with museum director Ambra Vidal and working desperately to discover a password Kirsch left behind that will unlock all of the billionaire’s secrets. Their opponent, however, seems to be all-knowing, and firmly rooted in the Spanish royal palace—but there’s no one on Earth more equipped to deal with codes and symbols than Robert Langdon.

    Two Kinds of Truth, by Michael Connelly
    Connelly returns to the world of Harry Bosch with a pair of mysteries. Three decades ago, Bosch was convinced a man named Preston Borders was guilty of raping and murdering three young women, but the district attorney only pursued one case, convicting Borders of the murder of Danielle Skyler. Borders has been on death row ever since, but suddenly new DNA evidence seems to exonerate him, so he files a habeas corpus petition and seems determined to sue everyone involved. Bosch has nine days before the hearing to figure out what went sideways, but his efforts are complicated by the current murder he’s investigating, that of a pharmacist and his son, which has set off a chain reaction of revelations involving faked prescriptions. As Bosch prepares to go undercover as an addict for the first time in his life, even he might not be able to keep all of the clues straight.

    Deep Freeze, by John Sandford
    Sandford’s tenth Virgil Flowers story finds the Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agent’s life complicated by another small town murder in Trippton, and the arrival of an agent of chaos. The murder victim is Gina Hemmings, who inherited her parents’ bank—and plenty of the potential suspects’ debts. Making things more complicated is the arrival of Margaret Griffin, a Los Angeles investigator who lands in town with the governor’s request that Virgil assist in finding Jesse McGovern, who is supposedly manufacturing sex dolls in Trippton—though no one seems to have ever met her. Virgil’s path to solving each mystery is as enjoyably bumpy as ever, but it’s Sandford’s grasp of small town culture that makes this entry sing.

    Quick & Dirty, by Stuart Woods
    A cool $12 million inspires Stone Barrington to engage in what amounts to old-fashioned detective work in the 43rd installment of Woods’ bestselling series. After some spirited vandalism puts Stone in contact with Morgan Tillman, wealthy widowed wife, Stone is contacted by an insurance firm trying to avoid paying the settlement on a priceless painting stolen from the Tillman residence, and offered a bounty to prove the painting was a skilled replica. Taking on the job doesn’t stop Barrington from having a typically steamy adventure with the widow Tillman, of course.

    Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, by Mark Frost
    For those who watched the original television phenomenon and Showtime’s crazy sequel, Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier is an opportunity to fill in the blanks. Detailing the events that occurred in the 25 years between series, series co-creator Frost offers details that illuminate and explain many of the events of the new series, and offer at least some hope the ultimate mysteries of both series might yet be understood. More importantly, it’s an opportunity to learn more about the characters fans have come to love, and the town of Twin Peaks itself.

    What the Hell Did I Just Read, by David Wong
    Wong’s third entry in the series that began with John Dies at the End starts with what passes for normal in the universe he’s created: John, Amy, and Dave are living in the town of Undisclosed, and when they start investigating a shape-shifting pedophile, it barely registers on their weirdness scale—but they slowly start to realize there really is something strange going on. What follows is a surprisingly complex, paranoia-laden thriller of comedy-horror, with Dave dropping hilarious deadpan commentary as events, including a porn star made of bugs, a T-shirt cannon that shoots the Shroud of Turin, and a literal level boss named Millibutt, spiral out of control. In short, it’s exactly what Wong’s fans have come to expect.

    Mind Game, by Iris Johansen
    The 21st Eve Duncan novel focuses on Eve’s daughter Jane, in Scotland helping Lord Duncan in his search for a treasure linked to an ancient woman. Jane begins to see the woman in her dreams—as well as a second woman, who seems to be held captive. She identifies this woman as Lisa, Seth Caleb’s sister, and soon finds herself working with the arrogant, infuriating man to both locate the treasure and free Lisa from her captors. Eve Duncan finds her way back into the story in a surprising, unexpected way even as Jane fights to save Seth from a nefarious plot.

    Act of Betrayal, by Matthew Dunn
    The latest Will Cochrane adventure sees Cochrane going underground when a botched job from three years ago rears its head—Will was brought in for an assassination by a Delta Force colonel who later vanished. A CIA agent involved in the operation doesn’t like the look of things, and reaches out to Will for assistance in figuring out what happened—and winds up poisoned. Will is framed for several murders, and goes dark, but naturally can’t stop himself from investigating. When a determined FBI agent catches his scent, she launches an all-out manhunt to bring him to justice. Will must use every bit of his training and expertise to remain free while he gets to the bottom of the mystery.

    Righteous, by Joe Ide
    The brilliant Isaiah Quintabe, known as IQ, returns, still haunted by his brother’s hit-and-run death, and still carrying a torch for his late sibling’s former girlfriend Sarita. IQ is also still using his significant brainpower to try to solve the riddle of his brother’s death, and finds disturbing evidence that the hit-and-run wasn’t random. His life is complicated when Sarita asks him to help her sister, a Las Vegas DJ in over her head with gambling debts. The emotionally-grounded deductive brilliance that made IQ such a must-read debut is back, as IQ and his neighbor Dodson—Watson to his Holmes—wade into a Chinese mafia cesspool that eventually circles back to his brother’s death in a confluence of events even a genius couldn’t see coming.

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  • Jeff Somers 9:00 pm on 2017/07/31 Permalink
    Tags: , , bnstorefront-thrillers, ,   

    August’s Best New Thrillers 

    It’s August—you need is a jolt of adrenaline to shake off the heat-induced torpor—and that’s where this month’s crop of nail-bitingly tense thrillers comes into play. Pick up any one of them, and jolt yourself back into motion.

    The Store, by James Patterson and Richard DiLallo
    Patterson and frequent collaborator DiLallo offer up one of those thrillers so perfectly timed it’s spooky. Jacob and Megan Brandeis live in New York in a future nearer than is comfortable, where drones and cameras watch from every possible angle and their careers as writers seem doomed, thanks to an omnipresent online retailer called only The Store, which supplies everything you need, delivered to your door almost before you even realize you needed it. Secrets abound—Jacob is hiding something that could destroy his family, and he and Megan move to Nebraska to work for The Store as a career Hail Mary, investigating the truth behind the all-powerful online giant in order to write an explosive book. But what they find is worse than they could have imagined, and it isn’t long before they’re running for their lives, pursued by the unlimited power of The Store.

    Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown
    Brown’s latest centers on television journalist Kerra Bailey, determined to take her career to a new level by securing an interview with Major Franklin Trapper, a hero made iconic by a photograph in which he’s leading survivors to safety after a terrorist bombing 25 years earlier—but he dropped out of the public eye years ago, refusing all interviews. Kerra’s working with jarring new information, and reaches out to Franklin’s son, John, a bitter former ATF agent. John is reluctant to contact his father or get involved with the bombing investigation—but makes introductions because he wants to know what Kerra has learned. The interview goes horrifically off the rails, and John finds himself drawn back into a mystery that nearly destroyed him—and fighting to keep the same from happening to Kerra.

    Barely Legal, by Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall
    Herbie Fisher has been a supporting player in Woods’ Stone Barrington books for years, moving from comedy relief as the sad-sack incompetent to a sharp lawyer benefiting from Barrington’s occasionally tough-love tutelage. Now Barrington is the minor character, as Woods partners up with Parnell Hall for a thriller featuring Herbie Fisher as the lead. Fisher has to fend for himself after getting entangled in a court case in which the deck is stacked against him—even before he’s framed for murder. Herbie has learned well from Barrington, and when he realizes he’s the only person who can save the day, he heads out—alone—risking everything.

    A Stranger in the House, by Shari Lapena
    Lapena offers up a tense study of murder and suburban malaise. One night, Karen Krupp leaves the home she shares with husband Tom without her purse, without leaving a note, only to crash her car on the way home from an abandoned restaurant where a dead body is found the next day. She wakes up from the accident with no memory of what happened. As Tom begins to doubt his wife’s innocence, and thus their entire relationship, Karen’s delusional friend Brigid schemes to escape her own unsatisfying marriage and begin anew with Tom. The police begin turning up surprise after surprise in Karen’s past, and the twists converge on a final revelation that changes everything.

    The Saboteur, by Andrew Gross
    Based on the true story of Norwegian saboteurs who did in fact destroy a Nazi facility working on “heavy water” for a German atom bomb. Gross crafts a tense, exciting story about Kurt Nordstrum, a resistance fighter who flees to England after the death of his fiancée and the destruction of his cell. He provides secret information about an impenetrable Nazi stronghold in occupied Norway where the heavy water is produced, and begins training for a suicidal assault on the plant. The mission is fraught with peril, ranging from a violent snowstorm on the evening the team parachutes in, to the betrayal of local quislings who serve their Nazi masters all too well. Even folks who know their history will be glued to the page.

    Charlatans, by Robin Cook
    Cook offers up a twisting medical thriller set at Boston Memorial Hospital, one of the most advanced teaching hospitals in the country. Young Dr. Noah Rothauser is excited to become Chief Resident at this prestigious institution, where the operating rooms have been outfitted as super-advanced “hybrid” theaters. When a popular hospital employee dies during a routine procedure while his surgeon, the famous Dr. William Mason, is conducting several surgeries at once, Rothauser investigates. Under pressure from Mason to target the anesthesiologist—who turns out to have multiple online personas, among other secrets—Noah doggedly pursues the truth as the body count continues to climb—even if finding it might kill him.

    Are You Sleeping, by Kathleen Barber
    A decade ago, the murder of Josie Buhrman’s father destroyed her life. Her mother ran off and joined a cult. Her sister, once her best friend, betrayed her. Josie fled to New York, changed her name, and started over, slowly building a stable life with her partner Caleb—without telling him anything true about her past. When a podcast reexamining the details of her father’s murder becomes a huge hit (think Serial), the past comes roaring back to threaten Josie’s newfound stability. When her mother’s unexpected death brings her back to her hometown, Josie must not only acknowledge the past she’s so carefully hidden, but face the very real demons that have chased her ever since that fateful night.

    Girl in Snow, by Danya Kukafka
    When 15-year old Lucinda Hayes is found dead at a local playground, her Colorado suburban community is engulfed in Twin Peaks-style dread and suspicion. Officer Russ Fletcher works the case, focusing initially on Cameron, the son of his former partner, who has a reputation for spying on the Hayes family through their windows, and who can’t remember anything about the night in question. Cameron’s far from the only suspect, however, as Lucinda’s murder exposes a web of connections and secrets—including some Russ himself would prefer not see the light of day. Cameron and Russ’ points of view are complemented by that of Jade Dixon-Burns, a girl obsessed with the occult and Lucinda’s seemingly-perfect life. All three tell their story in alternating chapters that slowly unravel the shocking truth.

    The Walls, by Hollie Overton
    Kristy Tucker works as a public information officer for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, supporting her teenage son and ill father. It’s a depressing job, partially spent interviewing prisoners, but Kristy finds solace when she meets Lance Dobson, who seems like the perfect man. Until after their wedding, when Lance transforms into verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive, threatening to kill her family if Kristy tries to leave him. During a moment of weakness, Kristy confesses her situation to an inmate, wrongfully convicted Clifton Harris. Clifton quietly suggests the solution to Kristy’s problem might lie with his fellow. This sets off a crackling plot that supplies thrills even as it questions our country’s criminal justice system.

    Emma in the Night, by Wendy Walker
    Three years ago, the beautiful Tanner sisters—Emma and Cassandra—ran away from home under mysterious circumstances. When Cass shows up, FBI forensic psychiatrist Abby Walker is called in to assist. Cass tells a heartbreaking story: she realized Emma was planning to run away, and hid in the car when she did. Emma, it turns out, was pregnant, and met up with a couple who had offered to assist her. Instead, the couple kidnapped Emma (and Cass, once she was found) and held them captive until Cass was able to escape. Walker suspects Cass isn’t telling them everything, and as the FBI hunts for Emma on a remote island off the coast of Maine, the secrets of the girls’ childhood start to come out, ramping up the tension and confirming that Cassandra is, above all, a survivor.

    The post August’s Best New Thrillers appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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