Fall 2019’s Buzziest Mysteries & Thrillers

Fall 2019’s Buzziest Mysteries & Thrillers

Fall has arrived, and the days are getting shorter. This means that twilight comes earlier each day, creating the perfect setting to pick up a spooky mystery or thriller. This season, readers have lots of great options to choose from, whether you’re interested in a buzzy tale involving dolls and a serial killer, or you’re more excited about the latest installment in a long-running series. Read on and check out fall 2019’s must-read mysteries and thrillers!

Cold Storage by David Koepp

David Koepp is the screenwriter of Jurassic Park, so you know he can tell a good story. Roberto Diaz works for the Pentagon, and his job has taken him around the world and put him in some dicey situations. One of those situations was more than three decades ago in the Australian outback, where he encountered an organism with massive destructive potential. He made sure that the organism was put into cold storage where it theoretically wouldn’t pose a threat to anyone. Thirty-two years later, however, Diaz learns he was wrong. The cold storage facility has been sold, security at the property has lapsed, and the organism is back out in the world. It’s up to Diaz and two partners to keep the world safe from the organism, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.

On shelves: September 3

The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

The Chestnut Man is one of those books you might not want to start if you’re home alone one night. If there’s a thunderstorm or the power is out, forget it. Søren Sveistrup’s new novel tells the story of a serial killer who is on the loose in Copenhagen. He leaves a doll or a “chestnut man” at the scene of each crime, and investigators are desperate to catch him. As the police study the crime scenes and the dolls, they realize something incredibly eerie: The dolls have fingerprints on them. But they’re not just any fingerprints. They’re the prints of a girl who was abducted and killed the previous year. What are her prints doing on the dolls? When will the Chestnut Man strike next? Most importantly, how will the police catch him? You’ll have to read to find out.

On shelves: September 3

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

For readers who loved Attica Locke’s Bluebird, Bluebird, September 17 is going to be a very good day. Locke is back with the second installment in her Highway 59 series, and readers get to reunite with Texas Ranger Darren Matthews. This time, he’s investigating the disappearance of a young boy named Levi King, the son of a high-profile white supremacist. Meanwhile, Darren is trying to put more effort into his marriage following a rough period related to the events of Bluebird, Bluebird, and he’s dealing with a tricky situation with his mother, who is blackmailing him. This book packs lots of twists and turns as well as a riveting exploration of racism in small-town East Texas. You won’t want to miss it.

On shelves: September 17

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

If you were lucky enough to go to BookCon over the summer, odds are you saw this book, heard about it, or, if you were really lucky, snagged a copy. Stephen Chbosky is a household name because of his beloved novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Now he’s back, but with a book that’s very different from his last. Imaginary Friend is a horror novel about a young child named Christopher and his mother, Kate. They’re new in the town of Mill Grove, and things are going well there until Christopher disappears one day. Almost a week later, he reappears with an imaginary friend who is apparently giving him instructions. For readers who loved Stephen King’s The Shining, there’s a lot to like (and fear!) in Imaginary Friend.

On shelves: October 1

Full Throttle by Joe Hill

Speaking of Stephen King… his son, Joe Hill, is a fantastic conjurer of chills and thrills in his own right, and he does just that in this new collection. Full Throttle contains thirteen short stories (including two that were co-authored by Hill’s father). Kirkus has called Hill “the poet laureate of everyday terrors,” and in a starred review said Full Throttle was comprised of “Miniature masterworks of modern horror proving that life is hard, weird, and always fatal.” This collection has it all: a Bookmobile, a lakeside corpse, and zombies. Readers–particularly those who like their horror in short-story form rather than book-length scares–will love Hill’s latest.

On shelves: October 1

Little Voices by Vanessa Lillie

Devon Burges has her hands full. She’s had a tough pregnancy, and the birth turns out to be more challenging than anticipated. After having her baby, complications linger, and she doesn’t feel like herself. In the midst of all of this, she learns that a close friend of hers, Belina, has been murdered. She has a strong conviction that the man the police have identified as the lead suspect in the case–also a friend of hers–did not actually commit the crime. Devon becomes increasingly preoccupied with finding the truth about who killed her friend, but the demands of recovering from a C-section, dealing with postpartum depression, and taking care of a newborn are overwhelming on their own. We bet readers will find Vanessa Lillie’s first novel completely engrossing.

On shelves: October 1

The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen

Do you love a good haunted house story? If so, you’ll enjoy Tess Gerritsen’s latest, The Shape of Night. Ava Collette has been having a hard time recently, and she decides to get away to a quiet part of Maine to recover and spend some time on the cookbook she’s been writing. She rents a home called Brodie’s Watch and settles in. Brodie’s Watch isn’t the peaceful refuge Ava had hoped it would be, however: Things go bump in the night, and Ava is decidedly unnerved by the experience. Strange and sinister occurrences are plaguing the town, too, and Ava finds herself wondering if there might be a ghost or a murderer on the loose… or maybe even both. This standalone novel is perfect for Gerritsen fans both new and old. 

On shelves: October 1

Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

Steph Cha’s new novel Your House Will Pay is based on the real-life shooting of a young girl in Los Angeles in 1991. Cha takes readers to present-day L.A. where Shawn Matthews is still grieving his sister’s murder nearly 30 years after the fact. Her death and the subsequent trial heightened racial tensions in L.A., particularly those between the black and Korean communities. Readers will also meet Grace Park, a young Korean-American woman who will cross paths with Shawn Matthews when another violent incident unfolds in L.A. Cha’s novel takes readers into the lives of the Matthews and Park families as they deal with the complexities of race and loss. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly raved: “This timely, morally complex story could well be Cha’s breakout novel.” We heartily agree. 

On shelves: October 15

The Art of Theft by Sherry Thomas

Fans of the Lady Sherlock series, you’re in luck! Sherry Thomas is back with a fourth installment, and it’s a good one. Charlotte Holmes needs to steal a painting, and she needs to act quickly before it gets sold at a high-profile art sale. It’s not just the painting she’s interested in: There are sensitive documents tucked behind the canvas. This challenge will require a team, and Charlotte’s friends and family are up to the task. They will travel to France where the painting is being kept and creep around a chateau in the hopes of gathering information. They get far more than they bargained for, and soon, Charlotte finds herself involved in a bigger and twistier case than she had imagined. 

On shelves: October 15

Lethal Pursuit by Will Thomas

Historical fiction fans, listen up. Will Thomas returns with the 11th installment in his Barker & Llewelyn series, and it will transport readers to late-19th century London. Private investigators Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn get a surprise in the mail one day: a key that gives them access to Downing Street, where the Prime Minister lives. The Prime Minister needs help recovering an important document, but he’s not the only person interested in it. Barker and Llewelyn will find themselves in the midst of a wide international web of people who are desperate to track down the document first. Will the two investigators get there first? You’ll have to read to find out!

On shelves: November 12

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