Poisoned Pasta, ISIS, and an Avalanche: Winter 2017 Mysteries & Thrillers

Poisoned Pasta, ISIS, and an Avalanche: Winter 2017 Mysteries & Thrillers

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Picture this: You’re on your holiday vacation, and you’re supposed to be relaxing. But what if you don’t want to relax? What if you’d rather fly through some pulse-pounding, heart-stopping mysteries and thrillers instead? No judgement from us. In fact, we encourage it. Whether you want to get snowbound in Iceland in Ragnar Jónasson’s new mystery, or travel to rural, drought-stricken Australia in Jane Harper’s debut, we’ve got you covered. So stop relaxing, and start reading

The Gentleman from Japan

Poisonous pasta

For readers who’ve been clamoring for the next installment in James Church’s Inspector O series, the wait is finally over. The sixth book in the series finds Inspector O on the trail of a murderer who has poisoned several noodle shop patrons. The case quickly becomes more complicated than anyone could have imagined. As always, readers will find Church’s novel well-researched and plausible, as James Church is the pen name of an unnamed former spy who worked for several decades in Asia, the same part of the world where his novels take place. What are you waiting for?

On shelves: December 6

Don’t Turn Out the Lights

On the edge

Radio host Christine Steinmeyer didn’t know what to think when she found a suicide note in her mailbox. Maybe it had been sent to the wrong person? Then, someone calls into her show alleging that the note was for her and that she’s responsible for the death of the person who wrote it. Commandant Martin Servaz has received some unusual communications regarding a suicide as well, prompting his return from leave. What is going on, and will Servaz get to the bottom of it? As the title suggests, you just might want to leave your night light on (at the very least) after finishing this one.

On shelves: December 6

The Ice Beneath Her

A chilling crime

When woman is beheaded and left in the home of a controversial Stockholm businessman, the police aren’t sure what to think. There are so many questions to answer: Was the businessman involved? And if not, who did this? Why? Told in multiple perspectives, The Ice Beneath Her will keep readers guessing until the very end. In a starred review, Kirkus raved, “A tour de force that lifts its author to the front rank among the increasingly crowded field of Nordic noir.” We couldn’t agree more.

On shelves: December 27

Killing Adonis

Family secrets

When Freya Miller saw the ad for the nursing job, she knew she had to take it. The listing promised a lot of money, not much work, and some peace—no one would ask her any questions, and all she had to do was return the favor. When Freya is hired, she is immediately drawn into the world of the Vincetti family. They’re rich (they own a massive corporation), they’re connected, and their son, Elijah, is in a coma. All Freya has to do is take care of him. But some things about the Vincetti family seem a little… off, and it gets harder for Freya to resist the temptation to ask questions. Readers who love family secrets and quirky characters, don’t miss this.

On shelves: January 3

An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock

Up in flames

Terry Shames is back with the sixth installment in the beloved Samuel Craddock series, and this time, it’s a prequel. The case in this book takes place in the 1970s, and concerns the murders of five black men. Patrolman John Sutherland, who got to the scene first, is deeply racist and doesn’t treat the crime with the seriousness it merits. Craddock must work quickly to make sure that the killer can’t strike again, and to ensure that justice is served despite Sutherland’s failures. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly wrote: “Skilled depictions of the lawman’s formative choices and emotions enhance a timely story with resonance in the era of Black Lives Matter.”

On shelves: January 3

The Dark Room

City by the bay

When a series of bizarre and disturbing photographs are sent to the mayor of San Francisco, homicide inspector Gavin Cain knows he must get to the bottom of it. Included with the photos is a note from the sender urging the mayor to kill himself. This thriller is twisty and dark, and will leave readers’ blood pressure elevated for hours on end. In a starred review, Kirkus raved, “Moody and macabre with an Edgar Allen Poe feel to it, this book leaves an uncomfortable, indelible impression that can’t be shaken by simply putting it down.”

On shelves: January 10

The Dry

Like wildfire

Federal agent Aaron Falk is headed home to Kiewarra, Australia, but not for a cheery holiday visit. No, he’s headed back because his friend Luke Hadler shot and killed his own wife, young son, and then himself. Aaron is home for the funerals, but is soon roped into the investigation surrounding the murders. Aaron and Luke had a history together as children, and as Aaron digs into the facts, he encounters an old secret that he hoped he would be lost to the sands of time. Kiewarra, which is in a terrible drought, comes to life on the page, and readers will have a hard time putting this one down.

On shelves: January 10

Fever Dream

Tell me a story

In a hospital in Argentina, a mother named Amanda is talking to a young boy named David as she dies. David asks Amanda many questions about her life and how she came to be in the hospital. But something is not right. The relationship between David and Amanda becomes stranger and stranger, and author Samanta Schweblin casts an eerie feeling over the novel. This book seethes with unease and terror, and will impress readers not just for the story it tells, but for the singular feeling that it creates. We couldn’t be happier to see this book translated into English.

On shelves: January 10

Snowblind

Let it snow

Travel to northern Iceland in this chilling (see what we did there?) mystery from Ragnar Jónasson. When Ari Thór Arason moves from the big city of Reykjavík to the tiny town of Siglufjörður, he leaves a lot behind. Back in Reykjavík, he had a life and a relationship with Kirstin. Now, he just has his job on the police force in a village where he doesn’t know anyone. But things don’t stay quiet in Siglufjörður for long. One villager dies in what appears to be an accident, and another, a woman, is attacked and left out in the snow. When an avalanche cuts the town off from the outside world, Ari must work quickly to find the attacker before it’s too late.

On shelves: January 31

The Prisoner

Going undercover

For readers who’ve been on the edges of their seats itching for for the next installment in Alex Berenson’s John Wells series, the wait is finally over. In this 11th installment, readers will be riveted as John takes on his biggest challenge yet. Someone at the CIA is leaking information to ISIS. All John has to do is find out who it is. Simple, right? Wrong. John will go undercover with al Qaeda and try to make contact with a member of ISIS: the titular prisoner. This fast-paced story packs some serious danger and thrills, and we suspect it will become a fan favorite in an already popular series.

On shelves: January 31

The Freedom Broker

Please come home

Have you been hankering for a new series to obsess over? You’re in luck. K.J. Howe’s Thea Paris series starts with this first installment, The Freedom Broker. Thea Paris has what you might call a specialized skill. She’s a kidnap-negotiator, and she’s one of the very best on the planet. Thea entered the field because of her own experiences as a child: Her brother was kidnapped, and it changed Thea forever. In this thriller, Thea’s mega-rich father disappears, and she must work quickly to get him back from his captors. This new series is off to a fantastic start, and we think you’ll love Howe’s new protagonist.

On shelves: February 7

The Dime

The big D

Betty Rhyzyk turns heads. She’s almost six feet tall, with red hair and a tough Brooklyn-forged air about her. When she leaves New York and moves to Dallas to join the police force, she knows the transition will take some time. What she didn’t expect was for her first case to get so messy so quickly. It looked like a straightforward drug bust, but soon, Betty is part of the case in a way she never wanted to be. The case gets more dangerous with every twist, and readers just might find themselves holding their breath. Kirkus gushed in a starred review, “Violent, sexy, and completely absorbing. [Kathleen] Kent’s detective is Sam Spade reincarnated—as a brilliant, modern woman.”

On shelves: February 14

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