Spring probably doesn’t seem like an obvious time of year to read mysteries and thrillers (love is in the air, etc.) but we strongly disagree. This season boasts an exciting crop of new books that we think will keep your blood pressure high and your nights sleepless well into the summer. Whether you’re stoked for Harlan Coben’s latest about what happens when you see (supposedly) dead people on a nanny cam, or you’re more excited about the brand new Vinyl Detectives series, we’ve got something for everyone this season. So pull up your favorite chair, and prepare to sit on the edge of it: Spring mysteries and thrillers are here.
Harlan Coben is unquestionably a master of the genre, and we know his fans will agree. This new thriller from Coben takes the reader inside the mind of Maya Burkett, a veteran who sees something unbelievable on her nanny cam: her husband, who she thought was dead. Maya’s husband was supposedly killed when he was attacked in Central Park. Things get weirder when questions surface about the death of Maya’s sister, Claire, who was also killed under suspicious circumstances. Maya will have to take matters into her own hands to find the truth, and what she finds will shock readers.
On shelves: March 22
Ben Webster is missing, and Ike Hammer has decided to go looking for him. The two have a history (and have appeared together in Christopher Morgan Jones’ two prior spy novels), and worked together for years as spies. Hammer has been out of the field for a while, though, and he isn’t sure he’s up to the task of tracking Webster down in the mountains of Eastern Europe–he is 58, after all. Hammer’s journey will take him to places he never thought he would go, both geographically and personally. This is a spy thriller not to be missed.
On shelves: March 22
Jolly old London
M. J. Carter’s newest detective novel, the sequel to last year’s The Strangler Vine, is easily one of the most anticipated books of the season. William Avery and Jeremiah Blake are at it again in Victorian London, where there’s a murderer on the loose. Lovers of historical fiction will adore all of the period-appropriate flare in this novel, including politics and social struggles—this book recreates the London of Charles Dickens. We don’t want to spoil things by saying too much, but trust us when we tell you that Avery and Blake have still got it.
On shelves: March 29
Joe O’Loughlin has everything readers could want in a protagonist: As a psychologist, he has a lot of insight into the minds of killers; as a dad, he has relatable struggles with his two daughters; and as a sufferer of Parkinson’s disease, he has his own battle to fight. Here, O’Loughlin is helping the police with a grisly murder case where a mother and daughter were killed. The mother’s body was mangled when it was found, but the daughter was laid out nicely in bed as though she were just sleeping. If you aren’t intrigued yet, add in a sexual fetish called “dogging” and an evolving situation with Joe’s ex wife, Julianne. As Kirkus so aptly put it, “[Michael] Robotham’s crime thrillers are at the top of the genre’s food chain.” We wholeheartedly agree.
On shelves: April 12
Do you like your legal thrillers with a seafaring twist? If so, we’ve go the book for you. The Satin Lady sinks, and there are no survivors—or, at least, that’s what everyone assumes. Meanwhile on land, a legal problem is unfolding: A young lawyer, Beth Swahn, realizes that $70 million of a big legal settlement has disappeared, and her client is nowhere to be found, either. Beth’s reputation is suddenly on the line, and she must think and act quickly to unravel the mystery of the missing money. And readers, don’t think we forgot about the boat: The mystery of the Satin Lady lurks throughout the whole book.
On shelves: April 19
New to town
The place is Jerusalem, the time is 1945. Brand is coping with having lost all of his family to the Holocaust, and is settling into Jerusalem hoping that he can put down some roots there. He quickly becomes involved with a resistance group that wants to push the British out of Palestine, and he also starts working as a cab driver. He begins to fall for a woman named Eva, but the relationship makes him miss his recently deceased wife. Then, the resistance group steps up its game, and Brand gets drawn into a violent situation that he is deeply uncertain about. This is an understated but powerful historical thriller.
On shelves: April 26
Skeletons in the closet
How well do you ever really know someone? This is what Sophie starts to wonder about her new husband Will. She moves to Savannah with him, and once she begins spending time around his family and friends while Will is away for work, she learns some troubling things about her new husband that don’t add up. Soon, things get weird enough that Sophie needs to call in her friend Faith Fairchild, who has a knack for solving mysteries. Together, the two friends will team up to unearth the truth about Will, his family, and the strange happenings around Savannah. We think you’ll fall in love with this romantic suspense novel from Katherine Hall Page.
On shelves: April 26
John Hart is back with another Southern gothic set in North Carolina, and we’re sure we don’t have to remind you who he is. Hart is, after all, the only author to ever win two Edgars for Best Novel in a row. But back to the book: Elizabeth Black is the heart of this story. She’s a police detective, but she isn’t currently working. The force asked her to take some time away from the job after she fired 18 shots at two men who had raped a young girl. Yes, the men were monsters, but 18 bullets… well, that’s a lot. Elizabeth is also in love with an incarcerated man who was convicted of murdering a woman with a son. And that son is angry, and just waiting for the day that his mother’s murderer gets out so that he can exact his revenge. With all of this tension brewing, we think it’ll be a miracle if you manage to read this in more than one sitting.
On shelves: May 3
For the record
You might not think of record collecting as a particularly dangerous occupation, but the contents of this book say otherwise. When a record collector in London starts tracking down a rare and valuable piece of vinyl, he soon realizes that someone sinister is on his tail. The stakes are high, as it becomes apparent that someone else wants the record, and that they will resort to killing the competition if they have to. This book has it all: jazz record, twin kittens (!), and murder, of course. We think you’ll love this first installment in the Vinyl Detectives Mysteries.
On shelves: May 10
A fork in the road
This thriller takes readers inside the life of Nick Mason, a thief and criminal who gets out of prison after five years, although he didn’t commit the murder he was in there for in the first place. But Mason isn’t exactly free—he owes some favors to Darius Cole, an inmate he got to know while he was on the inside. Those favors, unsurprisingly, don’t exactly qualify as “legal,” and Mason is conflicted. Should he do Cole’s bidding (even if that bidding involves murder), or should he try to get his life on the right track and maybe get to have a relationship with his daughter? You’ll have to read to find out.
On shelves: May 17