Fall 2017 Mysteries & Thrillers: Dead Birds, Retired Spies, and Mental Breakdowns

Fall 2017 Mysteries & Thrillers: Dead Birds, Retired Spies, and Mental Breakdowns

Halloween is around the corner, but you don’t have to wait until October 31 for thrills and chills. If you want to get the party started early, this is the list for you. Whether you’re itching to read the latest Stephen King and Owen King novel or dive back into the world of John le Carré and the beloved George Smiley, there’s something here for everyone. Grab some candy corn and apple cider: It’s going to be a good fall.

A Legacy of Spies

Once a spy, always a spy

John le Carré is unquestionably one of the most famous mystery and thriller writers of our time, and he’s back with a new novel featuring George Smiley—the first in a quarter of a century. For those who don’t already know, Smiley works with the British Secret Service (or Circus, as some call it). Smiley calls a retired member of the Circus, Peter Guillam, when the specter of Guillam’s past involvement in the Cold War resurfaces. Readers will be delighted to encounter familiar characters from le Carré’s previous works, and are sure to enjoy this taut and exciting story from a legendary author.

On shelves: September 5

Good Me Bad Me

Like mother, like daughter

Fifteen-year-old Milly’s life has changed a lot recently. First of all, her name isn’t really Milly. But after she turned her mother in for murdering all of those children, she got a new name and a new family. Now, Milly is settling into her new home as she waits for her mother’s trial, where she will be expected to testify. From the outside, it might seem like Milly’s life is calming down and evening out, but internally, Milly struggles enormously to understand the ways in which she is and isn’t like her mother. This is a chilling psychological thriller that will keep readers wide-eyed until the end.

On shelves: September 5

House. Tree. Person.

Not what it seems

At first, the job at Howell Hall seems like the perfect way for Ali to make some money. Ali and her family (including her husband Marco and her son Angelo) have hit some seriously hard times, and working as an art therapist and salon stylist at a private psychiatric hospital sounds just about ideal. When a dead body is found nearby, however, things go from bad to worse. The combination of job stress, family stress, and a complicated past combine and threaten to plunge Ali into a dark place, emotionally. Readers will question everyone and everything in this heart-pounding tale.

On shelves: September 8

Bluebird, Bluebird

Lone star state

Author Attica Locke is a producer and writer for the tv show Empire, and here, she shows off her writing chops once again. Darren Mathews works as a Texas Ranger in East Texas, and gets a call one day about two murders in a tiny town called Lark. He immediately drives to the scene, and becomes immersed in Lark’s politics where two people seem to call the shots: Geneva Sweet, a black woman who owns a business in Lark; and Wally Jefferson, a white supremacist who is cozy with local law enforcement. Mathews, himself a black man, will find himself in the middle of an investigation rife with racial tension and secrets.

On shelves: September 12

Lies She Told

Write what you know

Liza Cole is a writer, and she has her mind set on one goal: Getting her name onto the bestseller list once more. With the deadline on her new book looming, she sits down to write, and what comes out is very, very dark. The new novel is a murder mystery about a new mother who kills her husband’s mistress. But is it really fiction? Has Liza just been writing what she knows all along? And where did her husband’s best friend go? This taut tale will have readers questioning what it Liza’s real life, and what is her novel, making this a heart-pounding read from start to finish.

On shelves: September 12

Lightning Men

Down south

For readers who loved the first installment in Thomas Mullen’s critically acclaimed Darktown series, September 12 is your lucky day. The second installment, Lightning Men, is here. Readers will travel to Atlanta in the 1950s, a time of great racial tension when local Klansmen terrorized neighborhoods. In the midst of all of this, three officers—Denny Rakestraw, Tommy Smith, and Lucius Boggs are trying to keep the peace. Soon, things spiral even further out of control and one officer must decide which is more important to him: a racist relative or justice. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly wrote: “Mullen again brilliantly combines a suspenseful plot with a searing look at a racist South.”

On shelves: September 12

The Blackbird Season

Fly away

In Kate Moretti’s latest, something strange is happening in Mt. Oanoke, Pennsylvania. Thousands of dead birds fall out of the sky right over the local high school’s athletic fields, where Nate Winters works coaching the baseball team. Nate is supposedly happily married, but in the wake of the bird incident, he is spotted with a student named Lucia at a sketchy motel, which balloons into a huge scandal in town. Then Lucia disappears, and it looks like Nate is to blame. For readers who love small town dynamics where everyone knows everyone else’s business and nothing is what it seems, The Blackbird Season is the perfect novel to pick up this fall.

On shelves: September 26

Sleeping Beauties

Like father, like son

Stephen King obviously needs no introduction, and here he’s teaming up with his son, Owen King, to raise readers’ blood pressure. Something strange is happening in the not-so-distant future. Women go to sleep, and while they slumber, a sort of cocoon forms around them. They don’t wake up and turn into butterflies, however. If they are woken up or the cocoon is damaged in any way, the women become exceptionally violent. Evie, however, hasn’t formed a cocoon yet. What could it mean, and what might the future look like without women? Readers will have to pick up Sleeping Beauties to find out.

On shelves: September 26

The Last Mrs. Parrish

The green-eyed monster

Daphne Parrish’s life looks pretty perfect. She’s beautiful, wealthy, lives in an amazing home in a ritzy town with her handsome and successful husband and two girls. Amber Patterson has noticed, and she’s jealous. So jealous, in fact, that she decides that there’s only one thing to do: insert herself into Daphne’s life, and wreak havoc. Sure enough, Amber hatches a plan to become close to Daphne and she begins to execute it. Readers will hang on author Liv Constantine’s every word and will be tempted to devour this psychological thriller in a single sitting.

On shelves: October 17

Strange Weather

Four for the price of one

Admit it: You’ve been sleeping a little too well at night. You need something to lie awake worrying about. Well, we’ve got the solution. Joe Hill has a new book of four short novels coming out, and it’s a good one. Whether you’re in the mood to deal with a storm of nails in Colorado or feel like capturing memories with a camera that makes people forget, there’s something for every reader here. In a starred review, Kirkus raved: “Worth waiting in line for, if you’re a Hill fan. If you’re not, this is the book to turn you into one.” We wholeheartedly agree.

On shelves: October 24

Wonder Valley

I love L.A.

Ivy Pochoda’s latest takes readers to good old Los Angeles, without the hassle of sitting in traffic around LAX. One morning a nude man runs through the famous L.A. traffic, and readers will follow the story backwards and then forwards again in time to figure out how he came to be there. Along the way, they’ll meet a cast of characters living in and around the city whose lives become entwined in this dark and twisty tale. This is a sweeping noir that will bring Southern California to life. Make sure you lather on some SPF.

On shelves: November 7

Heaven’s Crooked Finger

Take me to church

Earl Marcus had a strange childhood. His father. RJ, ran a strict religious group known as the Church of the Holy Flame, and when he and Earl parted, it wasn’t on good terms. Years later, after his father’s death, Earl receives a recent photo of his dad… and he appears to be alive. Earl goes home to Georgia for answers, and what he finds is deeply strange. There are secrets being whispered in town about the well on the mountaintop, and the girls who have been disappearing there. This is the first book in a planned series, so get excited.

On shelves: November 7

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