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  • Jeff Somers 6:00 pm on 2019/05/31 Permalink
    Tags: , , , thrillers,   

    June’s Best Thrillers 


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    This month’s best thrillers include a new story featuring genius FBI agent Emily Dockery from James Patterson and David Ellis, the latest globe-trotting Scot Harvath twister from Brad Thor, and the newest brain-bending work from Blake Crouch.

    Unsolved, by James Patterson and David Ellis
    James Patterson and David Ellis delivery the sequel to Invisible, which introduced the obsessive, genius FBI researcher Emily Dockery. Emily notices things others miss, and it has made her reputation in the bureau. Now, she’s seeing a string of murders across the country—deaths that appear to be accidental, and which seem to have no connection to one another. Whoever’s orchestrating them seems to know what Emily is thinking, and keeps one step ahead of her as she works the case hard. Meanwhile, Emily’s ex-fiancee and reluctant partner, Special Agent Harrison “Books” Bookman, suspects treason within the Bureau—and hasn’t ruled out Emily herself as the culprit.

    Backlash, by Brad Thor
    The 18th Scot Harvath novel finds the legendary operative in the most desperate position of his life. Harvath is a dangerous man; a former Navy SEAL who graduated from a stint in the Secret Service to leading the top secret Apex Project. He’s charged with defending his country by any means necessary, and over the course of 17 books he’s proved he’s a patriot—and he’s a bad person to cross. The lone survivor of an attack that downs his plane behind enemy lines, with no support or equipment, Harvath must find a way to survive using just his brains and his experience as he claws his way to getting revenge on those who would dare attack everything he loves. This white-knuckle adventure will please longtime Harvath fans and introduce new readers to one of the best thriller characters around.

    Tom Clancy: Enemy Contact, by Mike Maden
    Jack Ryan Jr. continues to honor his father’s legacy in his latest tense political adventure. Someone’s selling out the CIA, auctioning its deepest secrets to the highest bidder and destabilizing the entire intelligence system of the Western world. After barely surviving a disastrous mission in Poland, Jack Jr. is called to the bedside of a friend dying of cancer and asked for one final favor: to scatter the man’s ashes on a specific hillside in Chile. Jack agrees, thinking it simply as a way to honor a friend—but he’s almost immediately contacted by a former army ranger and warned not to go through with it. Ever his father’s son, Jack does anyway, setting off a chain of events that leaves him isolated, in grave danger, and within spitting distance of discovering the identity of the mole in the CIA.

    Skin Game, by Stuart Woods and Parnell Hall
    Stuart Woods and co-writer Parnell Hall’s Teddy Faye returns. The ex-CIA agent is ordered by the agency’s chief to drop everything and head to Paris in order to ferret out a mole. Faye obeys, attracting the attention of Fahd Kassin, a Syrian tough with a penchant for assassination. Teddy reaches Paris, but before he can begin his investigation he finds himself going undercover to track Kassin, who has arrived in the city to attend a rare animal convention. As Teddy gets the better of his enemies in increasingly entertaining ways, he stumbles onto a plot that threatens more than just one ex-CIA operative.

    Recursion, by Blake Crouch
    At the start of Blake Crouch’s latest mind-bending high-concept sci-fi thriller, New York City detective Barry Sutton begins to encounter people suffering from False Memory Syndrome—a condition where they “remember” lives they never lived, and suffer emotionally due to tragedies they never actually experienced. A year earlier, a brilliant neuroscientist named Helena Smith accepts funding from a mega-wealthy sponsor in order to create a device that can preserve memories to be re-experienced whenever desired—but it also allows people to literally enter those memories, changing everything. As the disorder spreads throughout the city, reality itself is threatened; who can say what is real when you can’t trust your own memories? As Harry connects with Helena and they realize her research is destabilizing the world, the two join forces to find a way to save the human race from this threat from within.

    The Last House Guest, by Megan Miranda
    Littleport, Maine is the sort of town where life is split down the middle between the summer tourists and the year-round residents who serve their wealthier part-time neighbors. The divide is so strong that the friendship that springs up between visiting Sadie Loman and townie Avery Greer is remarkable, both for its authenticity and its longevity—every year Sadie visits with her family, and for the summer, she and Avery are a team. Until the summer Sadie turns up dead. Her death is officially ruled a suicide, but Avery can’t accept that—and the more she digs into her friend’s death, the more convinced she is that she shouldn’t, as forces in the community seem to be arrayed against her lonely quest for the truth.

    What books look thrilling to you in June?

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

     
  • Cristina Merrill 5:00 pm on 2019/05/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , thrillers   

    Sunset Beach Offers Plenty of Thrills & a Refreshingly Different Heroine 


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    In a world where women are constantly judged by their likability quotient, it’s refreshing when a woman—real or fictional—is wholly unconcerned with what people think about her. Such is the case in Sunset Beach, the latest thriller by Mary Kay Andrews. Don’t let the book’s frothy-looking cover fool you. This yarn, part thriller and part coming-of-age story, has way more to it thanks to its heroine, her tenaciousness, and her remarkable IDGAF attitude.

    When we first meet 36-year-old Drucilla Campbell—who understandably goes by Drue—she’s at one of the lowest points of her life to date. Her mother recently died of cancer, her ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she got fired from an awful waitressing job by an exceptionally terrible boss. If all of these things weren’t bad enough, she’s recovering from a severe injury sustained while kiteboarding, a beloved sport she’d been doing for most of her life. She’s forced to embrace a more sedentary lifestyle, and this seems to hurt her more than anything else.

    With nothing to lose, Drue moves to Florida’s west coast to take a job at her estranged father’s law firm. This law firm is the kind that involves bus stop and billboard advertisements and promises clients who have been physically injured top representation and a huge cash settlement. Drue’s job involves fielding phone calls from prospective clients to determine whether their personal injury situations are legit and would provide the firm with a lucrative case. It’s a pretty awful job, but Drue desperately needs the money.

    To make matters worse, she’s forced to work with her father’s latest wife, Wendy, who is also an old childhood friend of Drue’s. They parted ways on bad terms as teenagers, and they really don’t like each other as adults. Plus, Drue’s father is pushing 70. Talk about awkward.

    Then there’s the matter of Jonah, one of Drue’s new coworkers with whom she engages in a one-night stand. She has zero desire to pursue anything romantic with him, but as they get to know each other—and as he makes it pretty darn clear that he genuinely likes her—she reluctantly realizes that he’s a good guy.

    On the flip side of all this drama, Drue has inherited her grandparents’ old beach house. Said beach house may be in a decrepit state, but it’s still on the beach, and any romance reader who experienced, say, the so-called Polar Vortex this year just might be overcome with some major real estate envy. Forget about the house’s outdated appliances and its myriad of issues. A beach house is a beach house, and Drue spends a lot of her spare time fixing it up. Her efforts make for some fun reading. (Do you hear the home repair people sing?)  

    Now, back to Drue’s new job.

    Drue soon becomes obsessed with two very different cases, and these two cases are what drive and motivate her throughout the story. One of those is a decades-old cold case involving the disappearance of a local woman. The other, a murder case, is a more recent one that was resolved to a client’s dissatisfaction.

    Drue is none too happy with the way the latter case turned out, as it involves the livelihood of a little girl and the grandmother struggling to raise her, and so she makes it her personal mission to dig deeper in the hopes of righting some serious wrongs and getting the child a larger settlement. This doesn’t fly well with Drue’s father, so Drue mostly keeps her efforts under wraps. Also, the time-consuming mystery interferes greatly with her work life and performance, which means more fights with stepmommy.

    Drue doesn’t care about any of this, though, as much as she needs to make a livelihood. She’s eager to help this little girl. The result: Drue refuses to cower to anyone’s demands, and while she doesn’t exactly enjoy sparring with anyone in the office, she greets criticism with more of an eye roll than anything else. Her IDGAF attitude is surprising at first, considering she has nothing, but it soon becomes quite impressive. She does, after all, want to help the helpless, and she ends up putting a lot of her own personal time into solving the mystery.

    This I-Really-But-No-Really-Don’t-Care-What-You-Think-About-Me attitude also extends to Drue’s life outside of work. She may be broke with a rundown house and a glitchy car and not a whole lot in terms of work experience, but she makes zero apologies for who she is and refuses to let others dictate how she comports herself.

    It’s rather refreshing.

    So yes, readers can feel free to throw this yarn into their beach bags with the intention of passing the day away in a relaxing manner, but they’ll be pleasantly surprised. Drue may exhibit some pretty sullen and even unnecessarily abrasive behavior at times, but this is exactly what helps her sleuthing and makes the story work. Yes, there is plenty of mystery within this story’s 400-plus pages. Yes, there are plenty of shady characters who will keep readers guessing until the end. And yes, there is romance to cap it all off. But in the end, the strongest point of Sunset Beach is its fiercely independent heroine, one who is determined to help another person no matter the cost.

    Sunset Beach is on B&N bookshelves now. The B&N Exclusive Edition includes an essay by the author, and four recipes.

    The post <i>Sunset Beach</i> Offers Plenty of Thrills & a Refreshingly Different Heroine appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 5:00 pm on 2019/04/30 Permalink
    Tags: , , , cari mora, , thrillers,   

    May’s Best New Thrillers 


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    Our list of the best thrillers out this month is stacked with star authors like Thomas Harris, the father of Hannibal Lecter, who delivers an entirely new story of greed and obsession; Clive Cussler, who returns with another Fargo Adventures story; and Jeffery Deaver, who is launching a taut new series. May just got a lot more exciting.

    Cari Mora, by Thomas Harris
    The author of The Silence of the Lambs delivers his first standalone novel in four decades, a tense thrilling with a most unexpectedly dangerous protagonist. It’s the story of Cari Mora, an tenuously legal immigrant working in Miami as the caretaker of a luxurious beach house, having fled violence and brutality in her home country. What Cari doesn’t know is that her life in the U.S. will be no safer: a drug cartel has buried $25 million under the house, and a group of ruthless, driven men seek to claim it. The worst of them, a sadistic fiend named Hans-Peter Schneider, is willing to do whatever it takes to get to the money, but he finds himself distracted with the beautiful Cari, and decides to claim her as part of the fortune. But Schneider soon discovers that Cari has learned how to survive the hard way, and has the skills—and the desperate drive to survive—to match his own perverse desires.

    The Oracle, by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell
    Cussler and Burcell’s treasure hunting couple Sam and Remi Fargo have never let a little thing like the threat of a supernatural curse prevent them from tracking down the treasures of the ancient world, and they aren’t about to start now. In the 6th century, a Vandal kingdom in Africa collapsed when a bundle of sacred scrolls were stolen and a curse was laid upon the king. The scrolls were never found, and the Fargos are determined to recover them. Delaying their quest is the theft of the humanitarian supplies being delivered by their charity, which forces them to travel to Africa to ensure replacements get to their intended destination. But the couple themselves are next assailed by thieves, and Remi is taken hostage. As Sam desperately searches for her, he discovers an apparent connection between the kidnapping and the ancient scrolls. The Fargos will be tested to their limits and beyond as they struggle to survive their 11th adventure..

    The Night Window, by Dean Koontz
    Five books into Koontz’s fast-paced techno-thriller series, Jane Hawk’s struggle against the Techno Arcadians—a shadowy cabal using secret nanotech implants to control minds and souls—is at its most desperate point. Having hidden her son Travis with allies, she teams up with former FBI agent Vikram Rangnekar and adopts a new identity in order to continue the fight. Vikram, a skilled computer hacker, has an unrequited crush on Jane, and brings his own problems into the mix in the form of an Arcadian obsessed with his capture. As they work together to find a way to stop the conspiracy, the Arcadians prove just how fearsome they are—some hunt humans for sport, some hunt for Travis in order to secure leverage over Hawk, and all of them are willing to use advanced surveillance technology to control the population and eliminate any threats to their rule.

    The Never Game, by Jeffery Deaver
    Jeffrey Deaver introduces a new protagonist in Colter Shaw, the son of a survivalist who travels the country in a mobile home taking on the search for people who the proper authorities can’t—or won’t—locate. Shaw is in California to search for Sophie Mulliner, who stormed out of her father’s house after an argument and was never seen again. The police think she’s just left town, but Shaw calculates long odds that she’s still alive. He quickly finds clues pointing to an abduction, and realizes the police who missed them were either incompetent or corrupt. When another abduction occurs, and then another, Shaw begins to piece together a connection between the crimes and a shadowy video game—and the uncertain fates of the victims puts a ticking clock on his efforts to track them down and save them from a terrifying fate.

    The Paris Diversion, by Chris Pavone
    Kate Moore appears to be just another young ex-pat in Paris, living comfortably as the wife of her hedge-fund manager husband Dexter. But Kate is much more than that: she’s a CIA agent under cover so deep not even Dexter knows their marriage is a sham. Despite all that, Kate has grown bored with her pretend-small life, but her malaise is shattered by two events: a young jihadi straps a bomb to himself and stands in front of the Louvre, and one of her husband’s wealthiest clients vanishes right before making announcing a major deal. Kate only gets more excited as the connections between the two events become clear, and relishes finally being able to dive into her real work—activating hidden support networks and chasing down leads in order to solve an increasingly twisted mystery.

    Vessel, by Lisa A. Nichols
    When the space mission onboard the Sagittarius ends in calamity, Catherine Wells is the only survivor to return to Earth, where she is met with suspicion. Catherine herself isn’t quite sure what to think; after nine years in space her personal relationships are already strained, and she’s experiencing memory loss, blackouts, and violent mood swings that make reconnecting with her family back on Earth enough of a challenge, never mind piecing together the events of a disaster in space. Cal Morganson, who is leading the follow-up mission and thus has a vested interest in figuring out what went wrong the first time, begins working directly with Catherine to try and get to the bottom of the mystery. It’s a story of confused identity and desperate survival—Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter meets Andy Weir’s The Martian.

    Reaper: Threat Zero—A Sniper Novel, by Nicholas Irving with A. J. Tata
    In the next thriller from bestselling author Nicholas Irving and A.J. Tata, a retired U.S. special operations forces sniper, decorated ex-military sniper Vick Harwood returns in an explosive story that begins when a caravan of vehicles bringing the families of U.S. cabinet members to Camp David is ambushed and its passengers are brutally murdered. Harwood watches the live feed of footage captured by a fellow Ranger, Sammie Samuelson, who confesses to the attack and commits suicide live on the internet. Harwood investigates with the help of an FBI agent, Valerie Hinojosa, and soon uncovers a terrorist plot, leading to his recruitment into Team Valid, an elite team directed by the president to extract revenge on the terrorists behind the heinous act by tracking down their families and executing them. But as Harwood and his team travel the world in search of their targets, he discovers evidence that suggests nothing is as it seems, and soon, he is fighting not only for justice, but to defend his own closely held moral code.

    What new books are thrilling you this month?

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

     
  • Jeff Somers 3:00 pm on 2019/04/24 Permalink
    Tags: , alex michaelides, , , , , thrillers   

    Agatha Christie, Sleight of Hand, and Psychological Complexity: An Interview with The Silent Patient Alex Michaelides 


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    There’s no shortage of excellent thrillers to read in the modern world, but every now and then a book comes along that rises above the rest and becomes that book that gets passed from person to person like a virus, accompanied by breathless endorsements and the sort of giddy joy only book lovers recognize. Well, we have our first bona-fide phenomenon thriller of 2019, the twisty, buzzy The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides.

    The Silent Patient has the bones of an old-school mystery, fused with a modern energy similar to The Girl on the Train or Gillian Flynn’s novels. It’s the sort of book you immediately want to recommend to your book club or best friend or, you know, strangers on your morning commute, just so you’ll have people to discuss it with. And then we thought, wait a sec, we’re Barnes and Noble, we can excitedly discuss the book with the author. So we reached out and sat down with Alex Michaelides himself to fanblog all over him, chatting about Agatha Christie, working as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, and, of course, the genesis of his remarkable debut novel.

    You obviously have a deep love for old-school mystery-thrillers like the works of Agatha Christie or Patricia Highsmith. How did those old-school cool novels influence The Silent Patient?

    Well, I grew up on the tiny island of Cyprus, in the Mediterranean. It was before the internet, and there was nothing to do in the summers except read. I was thirteen when I discovered Agatha Christie, and devoured all of her novels over one summer at the beach. It was probably the happiest reading experience I ever had, and it made me into a reader—and, I suspect, a writer. So later on, when I began thinking about writing a novel, I knew I wanted something to replicate that experience I’d had on the beach. And the plan was to take a Christie-style plot and marry it with a deeper psychological complexity. I tried to imagine what Christie might be writing now, if she were alive and had my life experience. Of course it’s not just Christie—I’m a huge fan of Patricia Highsmith, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, Dorothy L. Sayers, all women actually! There is something so satisfying about encountering a story that works on one level and yet when you reach the end you realize you have been looking at everything the wrong way up. I think that sleight of hand, like a magician’s trick, is what appeals to me the most.

    Like all magic tricks, at its core writing is all about process. They say write what you know, and you drew on your experience working at a therapeutic community to write The Silent Patient. How much ‘real life’ is in the story?

    I was pretty messed up as a teenager, neurotic, anxious, depressed—and I had a lot of personal therapy for many years. I also studied it a couple of places at a postgraduate level—but never finished my studies, as I felt strongly that I was a writer not a therapist. As part of my studies, I worked at a secure psychiatric facility for teenagers. It was one of the most formative experiences of my life, and certainly the most humbling. It was incredible, helping kids heal and get well—and it went a long way to healing the messed-up teenage part of myself. I didn’t know I was going to write The Silent Patient then, but later on when I knew that I wanted to write a Christie-style book, I needed an enclosed location—the kind of thing she does so brilliantly—and I suddenly thought of the psychiatric unit. And instead of a detective, I could have a psychotherapist. Everything went from there. I didn’t use any of the people I encountered at the unit, but I did use the atmosphere and the emotions that I felt while I was working there. I kept notes at the time, and that helped me a lot when I came to write the book.

    Many have noted the symbolism of a woman who doesn’t speak, combined with the themes of Alcestis in The Silent Patient, which ties into what’s going on today with #MeToo and other movements. Was this intentional?

    You know, it wasn’t intentional, as I wrote The Silent Patient before the #MeToo movement began. But there was a synchronicity there, for sure. When they were bidding for the movie rights, I had many producers, male and female, comment on the fact that Alicia does not speak and asking me how I felt it related to #MeToo. It was quite clear to me that when a person is imprisoned, and not believed, not being heard, then her only recourse is not to speak. So silence in my thinking is a last resort; the last weapon available, when everything else has been taken away from you. That was what interested me about Alicia—as well as the silence in the Greek myth of Alcestis. Alcestis dies to save her husband, and yet when she’s brought back to life at the end of Euripides’s play, she refuses to speak when confronted with her husband. Why? Is she overjoyed, overcome with emotion? Or is she deeply furious, angry with him, betrayed and hurt that he let her die? The refusal to conclude, the refusal to supply a definite answer, is so powerful, and has been haunting me my whole life.

    We hear you’re adapting your own novel for a film version—are there any special challenges to turning your own work into a different medium? Did you think about a film version as you were writing it?

    I think writing for screen and for novels is very different. A friend of mine is a critic, and he always says something I find very helpful—that screenplays are about contraction, and novels are about expansion. Meaning that for a movie you try to keep everything going, keep the plot ticking along. Whereas in a book you can slow down and go into someone’s thoughts and spend a day with them as they walk round the park or think about their life. And discovering that transformed me as a writer. I feel very much that I’m more of a novelist than a dramatist. I never really imagined it as a film. And I think the silence will be extremely challenging. Having said that, making the film is an incredible opportunity. It will be very exciting to take the book apart and put it together again for another medium. I am very pliable these days. I think you have to be, if you’re going to succeed as a writer. It’s never good to get stuck on ideas or lines or bits of dialogue.

    What’s harder—writing a novel or getting a movie made?

    I would say each is hard. The motivation to keep writing every day, for months at time, is a big part of writing a book. But it’s much harder—as in emotionally more painful—to make a movie. I personally have found film-making to be a soul destroying process. A movie with a decent script and a great cast can be derailed by production problems that are nobody’s fault. It’s heartbreaking. So the decision to write The Silent Patient was a last ditch attempt to try and be in control of the creative process from start to finish, and get away from movies. So the irony I am now writing the screenplay is not lost on me. I have a feeling it’s going to be different this time, as I’m working with some amazing people.

    Speaking of writing, The Silent Patient contains a DefCon-5 kind of plot twist that has people’s heads spinning, yet it works perfectly. Did you start with the twist, or did you start with the premise or the characters and find the twist as you outlined? What’s your position on ‘spoiler etiquette’?

    It was rather a magical moment, the way it happened. As I have said, the various strands came together—Greek Mythology, Agatha Christie, psychotherapy—and the idea was born in one moment, as I was walking through the park near where I live. I was trying to imagine a psychological detective story about a woman who doesn’t speak and the therapist trying to help her. I was trying to come up with an ending—and I remember asking myself, ‘what would Agatha Christie do?’ And then suddenly, I saw it. I sat down on the nearest bench and pulled out my phone and wrote down the whole plot, which I still have on my phone. The details changed of course, but the general movement of the story and the twist have remained the same. It was a really good day, that day.

    Regarding spoilers, I will always remember going to see The Mousetrap in London, when I was a kid. At the end of the performance, one of the actors steps forward and asks the audience not to reveal the ending to anyone else as it would spoil their enjoyment of the play. So I think it’s just good manners, don’t you?

    We do! So we’re not going to spoil The Silent Patient, we’ll just encourage everyone reading this to buy a copy immediately so we can all discuss it freely. Thanks, Alex, for taking the time to talk about your book with us!

    Shop all thrillers >

    The post Agatha Christie, Sleight of Hand, and Psychological Complexity: An Interview with <i>The Silent Patient</i> Alex Michaelides appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 9:00 pm on 2019/04/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , thrillers,   

    April’s Best Thrillers 


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    Redemption, by David Baldacci
    Amos Decker, the Memory Man with the perfect recall, returns in more ways than one in Baldacci’s latest as he heads back to his hometown of Burlington, Ohio, with FBI partner Alex Jamison along for the ride. There, Decker meets Meryl Hawkins, the first person he ever arrested. Hawkins was convicted of murder and has spent years in jail, emerging ravaged by time and illness. Even as he’s dying, Hawkins insists to Decker that he didn’t commit those crimes, and Decker is shaken by the possibility that he made a youthful mistake that sent an innocent man to jail. Digging into the case, Decker discovers a connection to another crime—one that hasn’t been committed yet, and which he might be able to put a stop to if he can solve the puzzle in time.

    The 18th Abduction, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
    Three teachers head out for a fun night in San Francisco after class, but their adventure turns deadly when the trio is abducted, tortured, and murdered. When one of their bodies is discovered, Detective Lindsay Boxer catches the case that has the city worrying over the safety and security of the entire school system. Lindsay turns to her best friend, investigative reporter Cindy Thomas, for help, and the fresh perspective reveals unexpected facets of the victims. The Women’s Murder Club must work together like never before to protect their families and their city from a terrifying threat.

    Neon Prey, by John Sandford
    When Howell Paine fails to pay back the money he owes loan shark Roger Smith, Smith sends violent thug Clayton Deese to punish him. But Paine fights back with an unexpected ferocity, and Deese is jammed up on racketeering charges. When Deese escapes his ankle bracelet and investigators discover partially-eaten bodies buried in his backyard, Lucas Davenport takes an interest and begins tracking the killer and the brutal gang he travels with as they journey across the country, pulling jobs to fuel their gambling and drug use. Worried that Deese is an unstable source of dire secrets that could ruin him, Smith decides he has to go, setting up a tense three-way game of cat-and-mouse Davenport fans are sure to love.

    I Know Who You Are: A Novel, by Alice Feeney
    When actress Aimee Sinclair’s husband Ben disappears from their London townhouse the day after a terrible fight, the police center their investigation on her. After security footage of a woman that looks a lot like Aimee cleaning out their bank accounts turns up, they suspect she’s hiding something—and she is, though it’s not what the police think. Aimee definitely has a secret, one she’s now convinced someone knows and is using against her. Juggling the investigation and an audition for a high-profile role in a disturbing, career-making film, Aimee slowly reveals her shocking past even as the present-day mystery develops, one unexpected clue at a time.

    Collusion, by Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley
    With a title guaranteed to catch your eye, long-time political insider Gingrich and co-writer Earley deliver an action thriller ripped from the headlines. When the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is killed by terrorists, disgraced former Navy SEAL Brett Garrett is tasked with conveying an encrypted thumb drive to the president himself. The drive reveals that a high-ranking member of the Russian government intends to defect, and it falls on Garrett and the FBI’s expert on domestic terrorism, Valerie Mayberry, to bring him in and prevent a deadly poison attack on American soil. Standing in his way: corrupt politics, liberal protesters, and deadly enemies.

    Saving Meghan, by D.J. Palmer
    Meghan Gerard was once a vibrant star athlete with a bright future. But by age 15, she’s frequently with a broad range of mysterious ailments that her medical team can’t seem to explain. On the surface, her wealthy parents are devoted to her, especially her mother, Becky, but when Meghan takes a turn for the worse, the doctors begin to openly wonder if Becky is perhaps keeping Meghan sick in a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Becky finds herself racing against time to prove that Meghan is truly sick and in desperate need of help—and she’ll have to face her own dark history and family secrets along the way.

    The Mother-in-Law, by Sally Hepworth
    This tense thriller will appeal to anyone who’s ever had a less-than-friendly relationship with the in-laws. When Lucy marries Ollie, everything is perfect—except for her relationship with his mother Diana. A beloved member of the community, Diana is faultlessly polite and outwardly kind, but Lucy knows the woman doesn’t like her. When Diana appears to kill herself, leaving a note behind stating that she doesn’t want to live through the breast cancer she’s been diagnosed with, everyone is shocked. But what’s more shocking is the autopsy that finds no cancer whatsoever—but plenty of evidence that Diana was murdered. The revelation of changes to her will mean everyone in the family suddenly has a motive, and as the truth comes out, one thing is certain: the family will never be the same.

    True Believer, by Jack Carr
    Carr follows up The Terminal List with a thriller with an explosive twist: the most famous domestic terrorist in American history, former Navy SEAL James Reece, isn’t punished for pursuing his violent revenge on those who killed his family and colleagues. Instead, he’s recruited by the CIA as the one man who can turn the Iraqi commando coordinating a series of devastating attacks that have sowed chaos around the world. Offering Reece a pardon for himself and immunity for those who have protected him, the agency convinces a reluctant Reece to take on the job, setting him on a globe-trotting course that exposes a far-reaching conspiracy.

    The Invited, by Jennifer McMahon
    Helen and Nate Wetherell take the plunge and purchase 44 acres of land in rural Vermont on which to build their dream home. After they move into a trailer on the property and begin planning the project, however, they learn that a century before, a woman named Hattie Breckenridge was hanged as a witch on their property. Soon after, ominous things begin to happen. Pragmatic acience teacher Nate blames the locals who want them to stop building and go away, but as Helen investigates the history of the property, she becomes engrossed in Hattie’s legend—and convinced supernatural forces may be at work.

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

     
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