Spring is nice, but it can be annoyingly sunny and cheerful, don’t you think? If you’re in the mood for some stress and gloom, then we’ve got the books for you. This season, in addition to bringing spring showers and beautiful daffodils pushing up through the ground, is also delivering must-read mysteries and thrillers from the likes of Stephen King and Ruth Ware. Beautiful weather getting to you? Never fear.
In this unique novel from Anthony Grooms, the author fictionalizes an actual group of murders from 1946 in which two black couples were lynched. This horrific crime is the jumping-off point for a novel that takes readers inside the lives of a witness, a victim, and the prime suspect. In a starred review, Kirkus raved: “That Grooms’ incisive, gripping, and empathetic novel dares to probe beneath the humiliations, customs, and fears that sustain injustice implies that our seemingly eternal conversation on race, to which the title refers, may not be as vain as it often seems.”
On shelves: March 1
Leo Duvnjac is getting out of prison, but he hasn’t changed his ways. In fact, despite having been locked up, he’s planning another big crime: robbing a Swedish police station. This would leave him 100 million Swedish crowns richer, but would cost him the rapport he’s built with his family. Meanwhile, Detective John Broncks (who was responsible for catching Leo last time) suspects that something might be afoot. The ensuing chase will keep readers on the edge of their seats. You won’t want to miss the latest from bestselling novelist Anders Roslund and famous screenwriter Stefan Thunberg (who write as Anton Svensson).
On shelves: March 6
Travel to California in Tess Sharpe’s latest thriller, Barbed Wire Heart. Readers will meet Harley McKenna, a girl who has led a hard life as the daughter of Duke McKenna, a notorious meth dealer. Harley began working for Duke at a young age, so she’s no newcomer to the business of cooking and selling meth. But when the Springfields arrive in town, the stakes become much higher. The Springfields were involved in the meth lab explosion that killed Harley’s mother, and she’s never forgotten it. Reades will hold their breath as Harley sets out to forge her own path in this dangerous world.
On shelves: March 6
The year is 1920, and two members of Calcutta’s police force are looking into an assassination. The victim was Prince Adhir, the son of the Maharajah, who was in line for the throne. There are people who may have wanted the prince dead, including conservative religious groups in the country who don’t like the prince’s somewhat more liberal leanings. As Captain Sam Wyndham and Sergeant Banerjee continue to dig into the case, it grows more dangerous by the day. Fans of Abir Mukherjee’s Sam Wyndham series will love this new installment.
On shelves: April 3
Cecily Grayson just barely survived the explosion. She wasn’t in the office building at the time it blew up, but she was supposed to be. In this psychological thriller, readers will get inside Cecily’s head, and also meet two more women whose lives were touched by the tragedy: a survivor, and an activist working on behalf of survivors. Not all of them, however, are telling the truth. Secrets and lies swirl on these pages, intermingling with guilt and doubt. For readers who love experiencing one event from multiple perspectives, this is a gripping novel to pick up this spring.
On shelves: April 3
If you read last year’s The Freedom Broker and have been hankering for K. J. Howe’s next novel, then you’re in luck this spring. Skyjack, the next installment in the Thea Paris series, finds Thea escorting two child soldiers to London. Then, their flight is hijacked, and Thea must figure out how to get the plane on the ground safely. This thriller will leave your heart pounding and your pulse racing. Pro tip: For a extra scary reading experience, crack this novel open on your next flight.
On shelves: April 10
Eliza Fontaine tried to commit suicide. At least, that’s what they tell her when she wakes up in the hospital. She has tried to kill herself before, so this news is not unprecedented. But this time, Eliza knows something is different. She’s sure that someone pushed her into the pool where she nearly drowned. Eliza decides she has to find out who tried to kill her, and why. But as she uncovers more and more information, things get stranger and stranger. This new tale from Sara Shepard is riveting, and we bet you won’t be able to put it down.
On shelves: April 17
Winnie experiences every mother’s worst nightmare when her newborn child Midas, goes missing. Winnie had left him with a babysitter to go to a meeting of her mothers’ group (the “May Mothers,” as they call themselves) and then, he was gone. Winnie, with the help of three other May Mothers, will do everything in her power to find him. However, the women must contend with the media and the threat of having their own lives put on display. This thriller will soon be a movie starring Kerry Washington, so we suggest you get reading!
On shelves: May 1
Take to the high seas in this new thriller from Owen Laukkanen. In it, readers will meet McKenna Rhodes, the captain of the salvage boat Gale Force. When the Gale Force receives a call to help a freighter ship in distress, they rush to meet it to help tow it to safety. But there’s more aboard the ship than Rhodes bargained for: a stowaway with fifty million dollars in a suitcase. The Gale Force isn’t the only ship that wants to tow the freighter, and there are multiple parties interested in the mysterious stowaway with the suitcase. The best part? This adventure won’t even make you seasick.
On shelves: May 8
If you love birdwatching and mysteries, then the Birder Murder Mysteries by Steve Burrows is perfect for you. In this installment, Chief Inspector Domenic Jejeune (an avid birder) is juggling two issues at once. One concerns his missing brother, who is likely somewhere in Colombia. The other problem is that his job might be in danger—at home in England, a coworker named Marvin Laraby (with whom he doesn’t get along) seems to be eyeing his position. Get ready to dive back into this beloved series.
On shelves: May 8
Stephen King is—dare we say it?—the king of keeping us up all night, afraid to turn the lights off for fear of what lurks in the darkness around the corner. In this new novel, a young boy is found murdered in a park in Flint City, and it looks like the killer might be one of the city’s most prominent community members. But the suspect has an alibi, and a good one at that. The police will scramble to find the killer, and the more they learn, the stranger and more far-reaching the case will become. Don’t start this one if you need a good night’s sleep.
On shelves: May 22
You may know Ruth Ware as the author of The Woman in Cabin 10, and now she’s back with The Death of Mrs. Westaway. This psychological thriller begins with a death, and then an inheritance. Hal opens the mail and thinks she has inherited a large sum of money—but the letter, it turns out, was sent to her by mistake. She’s interested in trying to get the money anyway, and sets off for the funeral to try to convince the people there that the fortune is hers. Things quickly spiral out of control, and Hal will find herself drawn into a situation more shadowy than anything she had imagined.
On shelves: May 29