2018 Books Preview: Chills and Thrills
These 12 thrillers and mysteries will add some shivers to your winter
If you're into suspense, you're in luck: This season's new thrillers offer top-notch tension — with some seriously twisted villains, many mysterious disappearances, a few creepy husbands, several tormented detectives and lots of simply great storytelling. Our picks:
You Can Run
Mosby’s latest crime caper follows Detective Will Turner on the trail of a sicko murderer known as the Red River Killer. Because Turner knew one of the victims, his hunt is personal — and grows complicated when he starts to wonder if someone else is the bad guy. Mosby’s work is always twisty, and this one will keep you guessing until the very end.
Pegasus Crime, Dec. 5, 2017
The queen of the best-seller list, famous for her romance novels, is kicking off a new trilogy, a foray into dystopian fantasy that may earn the novelist a few gazillion more fans (she’s written plenty of suspense, but under the pseudonym J.D. Robb). After a mysterious virus has killed half of humanity and all semblance of government has fallen apart, a couple struggles to survive while grappling with and trying to understand magical forces.
St. Martin’s Press, Dec. 5, 2017
The Woman in the Window
Rear Window meets The Girl on the Train in this much-anticipated debut thriller about Anna, a troubled woman afraid of the outside world who believes she’s witnessed a murder in a neighboring home. When even the police question her sanity and sobriety (she really likes her wine), Anna’s left to suss out the killer alone. Lots of surprises. What’s not surprising: Film rights were sold months ago.
William Morrow, Jan. 2
James Lee Burke
Mystery master Burke is back with Dave Robicheaux, the New Orleans police officer last featured in the author’s 2013 best-seller Light of the World who’s forever battling his alcoholism and demons from Vietnam. Lucky for newcomers to Burke, you don’t need to have read his 20 other Robicheaux books to appreciate this smart thriller about a murder case that leads the investigator into a world of mobsters and political corruption.
Simon & Schuster, Jan. 2
The Wife Between Us
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
This one’s going to be big, and not just because Hollywood has already snapped up the movie rights. It’s an utterly absorbing debut about a marriage gone bad with a few jaw-dropping plot twists. Suffice it to say that you’ll pity the innocent, nervous young bride who fears she’s being stalked by her husband’s ex-wife — and then the story gets more complicated.
St. Martin's Press, Jan. 9
Grist Mill Road
Christopher J. Yates
Two boys, Matthew and Patrick, are forever changed after Matthew injures a girl named Hannah with a BB gun. Years later, Hannah is happily married to Patrick and completely unaware of the guilt he still carries about that day and the true nature of his involvement. Then Matthew reenters their lives. It’s a complex, carefully plotted tale by the author of the 2015 thriller Black Chalk.
Picador, Jan. 9
Reich, whose last nail-biter was 2015’s Invasion of Privacy, now introduces a new hero: Simon Riske, a James Bondian spy for hire who gets caught up in a massive cash heist in Paris involving a Saudi Prince, Russian criminals, a mobster out for blood and international intrigue. It’s a high-energy action thriller sure to be snapped up by fans of writers like David Baldacci, John Sandford and Lee Child.
Little, Brown, Jan. 16
Look for Me
Gardner’s mesmerizing story is set in Boston and features female police Detective D.D. Warren and vigilante Flora Dane — characters who appear in some of her other 20 novels, including last year’s hit Find Her, though this isn’t a sequel. Now Warren and Dane are drawn into a disturbing case where a family’s been murdered, with the exception of 16-year-old daughter Roxanna, who’s missing. They need to find her, while figuring out if she’s a killer or victim. (Fun fact: There’s another thriller coming out in January named Don’t Look for Me by Mason Cross.)
Dutton, Feb. 6
Force of Nature
The Australian author’s debut The Dry was a mega-best-seller this year, and now she’s back already with another winner — this one about a corporate retreat gone very wrong. As in The Dry, Force of Nature is set in Australia and features federal agent Aaron Faulk (though you don’t need to have read the earlier book to enjoy this one), on the hunt for a missing member of the retreat who’s presumed murdered. It’s a whodunit that will keep you guessing.
Flatiron Books, Feb. 6
The Glass Forest
A literary page-turner by the author of the 2015 novel The Bookseller, Swanson’s latest is set in 1960 and features a sweet young woman, Angie, married to an older man named Paul Glass. They hurry to the home of Paul’s brother, Henry, after he’s been found dead and his wife’s gone missing. As Angie tries to comfort Henry’s abandoned teenage daughter, she begins to discover that the Glass family has some dark secrets.
Touchstone, Feb. 6
Down the River Unto the Sea
The prolific author, best known for his mystery series featuring Los Angeles detective Easy Rawlins, is back with a new hero: Joe King Oliver, a former New York cop who’s been framed and jailed for assault. Years later he begins to investigate who was behind the set-up while taking on the case of a black journalist accused of cop-killing. It’s a heady stew of racial politics and seedy characters that Mosley’s fans are sure to eat up.
Little, Brown, Feb. 20
Just try to put this gripping thriller down once you pick it up. Its clever, slightly sci-fi premise is that a company has developed a way to use DNA testing to match people with their true loves (“the one”). Set in England, the story is told from the perspectives of five characters — including a serial killer — who find their matches. Each has some scary or stunning surprises in store.
Hanover Square Press, Feb. 20