Spring 2019 Mysteries & Thrillers: Canoe Trips, Oxygen Treatments, and a Hit-and-Run

Spring 2019 Mysteries & Thrillers: Canoe Trips, Oxygen Treatments, and a Hit-and-Run

spring 2019’s must-read mysteries and thrillers

Spring means warmer weather, daffodils, and… riveting new mysteries and thrillers to keep you up at night. At least that’s what we heard! This season, readers can dive into an exciting new bunch of novels including a buzzy book about a hyperbaric oxygen chamber explosion and a historical thriller set in 18th-century Stockholm. You won’t want to miss spring 2019’s must-read mysteries and thrillers!

Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson

Henrietta (you can call her Hen) has been having a difficult stretch. She experienced a psychotic break after her neighbor was killed and the perpetrator was never found, but she is finally doing a little bit better. Her husband Lloyd has been supportive, and the two have just moved to a new, quieter neighborhood outside of the city. They have nice new neighbors named Mira and Matthew, and it looks like the four of them might become close friends. Something is off, though. Hen spots something of Matthew’s in his house that leads her to believe he might have been involved in the murder of her former neighbor. Hen becomes fixated on the possibility of Matthew being dangerous, and takes drastic action to keep herself safe.

On shelves: March 5

Call Me Evie by JP Pomare

Evie’s real name is Kate, and her life has taken a very strange turn recently. She’s living in a cabin on the coast in New Zealand with a man who claims to be her uncle but definitely isn’t. Her “uncle” Jim says that she needed to leave her hometown of Melbourne, Australia following a serious incident that Kate herself can’t remember. She can’t figure out if Jim is trying to help her or if his presence in her life is decidedly sinister. Kate will discover the truth in fragments, and readers will be utterly hooked.

On shelves: March 5

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Ian and Maddie seem to have an idyllic life together. They’re very much in love, and they have a young and thriving son named Charlie. But despite appearances, things are unraveling at the seams. Ian is suffering from PTSD. Maddie is frightened of Ian’s drinking and his anger, and privately worries that he might hurt their son. There are things Maddie can’t remember, and she starts going to therapy in hopes of sorting out everything she is dealing with. The narrative jumps around in time and between POVs, all the while the reader pieces together the details of a violent crime. For readers who love stories about marriages with a secret dark side, Beautiful Bad is a great book to pick up this spring.

(Psst: Head over to BookishFirst to read an excerpt!)

On shelves: March 5

The Wolf and the Watchman by Niklas Natt och Dag

Travel back in time to 1793 Stockholm, Sweden in this historical thriller from Niklas Natt och Dag. There, a man named Mickel Cardell makes a horrifying discovery: There’s a body floating in the lake. He will team up with a Stockholm lawyer named Cecil Winge to try to determine the identity of the deceased as well as to find out how the corpse wound up there. If you’ve been struggling to decide between reading a historical novel or a thriller next, The Wolf and the Watchman will kill two birds with one stone.

On shelves: March 5

The River by Peter Heller

Two outdoorsy, college-age friends Wynn and Jack embark on a canoeing trip on Canada’s Maskwa River expecting to relax, but their trip quickly turns dangerous. A forest fire is in progress in the woods around the river, and it’s moving quickly. They’re not alone in the woods: A man and a woman are also in the area, and the two friends witness an altercation between them. Later in their trip, they encounter the man again, but this time the woman isn’t with him. Could the man have harmed the woman he was traveling with? Wynn and Jack find themselves entangled in this mystery while the fire keeps burning. Do yourself a favor: Don’t take this one on your next canoeing trip.

On shelves: March 5

Save Me from Dangerous Men by S.A. Lelchuk

Nikki Griffin has no tolerance for men who hurt women. In addition to owning a bookstore (adorably named The Brimstone Magpie), she works as a private investigator who specializes in tracking down dangerous and abusive men. Once she catches them, she punishes them. In this novel, Nikki is looking into a case of possible intellectual property theft from a big-deal tech company when she finds herself embroiled in a much scarier situation than she anticipated. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly gushed: “This intelligent, action-packed thriller will resonate with readers as it touches on such themes as domestic violence, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the intrusive potential of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence.” Need we say more?

On shelves: March 19

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

Driss Guerraoui came to the United States from Morocco and settled in California where he made a life for himself. Then, on an evening in spring, a car strikes him and zooms away. Driss dies, and no one is sure who is responsible for having killed him. In the aftermath of Driss’ killing, people from his past resurface to process the loss. What follows is both a mystery novel about finding Driss’ killer and a literary reflection on family, class, race, and immigration that will stick with readers long after they’ve turned the final page. (Bonus points: Roxane Gay gave it an excellent review on Goodreads.)

On shelves: March 26

Confessions of an Innocent Man by David R. Dow

In Confessions of an Innocent Man, readers will meet Rafael Zhettah. He owns a restaurant in Houston, and one day, a gorgeous woman dines at his establishment and his life is never the same again. The woman’s name is Tieresse, and Rafael falls head over heels for her. The two begin a life together. Then, Tieresse is murdered and Rafael is wrongfully convicted and receives a death sentence. Author David R. Dow is a defense attorney, and founded the Texas Innocence Network. Over the course of his legal career, he has defended many death row inmates, and he brings a unique perspective to subjects covered in his novel. Readers will be transfixed by Confessions of an Innocent Man.

On shelves: April 9

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

In Angie Kim’s novel, you’ll meet Pak and Young Yoo. This couple lives in Miracle Creek, Virginia, where they’re in charge of the Miracle Submarine—a hyperbaric oxygen chamber that promises to treat a variety of ailments. One day, the Miracle Submarine explodes and two people lose their lives and four more are seriously hurt. Immediately, people in town are suspicious that the explosion might not have been an accident. Some people believe that the Yoos did it intentionally for the insurance payout; others are convinced that a single mother in town is responsible. A trial ensues and will leave readers hanging on Kim’s every word.

On shelves: April 16

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Julia Phillips’ novel Disappearing Earth unfolds over the course of a year, with each chapter covering a month. In the first chapter, eight-year-old Sofia and her 11-year-old sister Alyona are playing outside on Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula when someone they don’t know invites them into his car. The man abducts the girls, and the remainder of the story follows the ensuing investigation a month at a time. Kirkus called this novel: “An unusual, cleverly constructed thriller that is also a deep dive into the culture of a place many Americans have probably never heard of, illuminating issues of race, culture, sexual attraction, and the transition from the U.S.S.R. to post-Soviet Russia.”

On shelves: May 21

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