She Lies Close by Sharon DoeringThe premise: Recently divorced insomniac Grace Wright has just moved with her two young children to Saint's Crossing, a neighborhood that seems like the perfect place for a fresh start.
The problem: Grace learns that a neighbor was once the primary suspect in the case of a missing girl and she is (understandably) curious about what happened. The mix of insomnia and obsession lead to strange gaps in her memory, and Grace grows increasingly paranoid about what people -- including herself -- are capable of.
The Mirror Man by Jane GilmartinWhat it is: a thought-provoking cyber-thriller that examines issues like identity, personhood, and the pressures of capitalism in a near-future society where technology is outpacing ethics at an exponential rate.
The premise: Jeremiah Adams takes a yearlong "sabbatical" from his life when his employer, ViGen Pharmaceuticals, offers him a $10 million reward to let them test how well a clone can fill his shoes.
The problem: Jeremiah soon has reason to regret his choice when the clone's personality starts radically diverging from his own.
The Secrets We Kept by Lara PrescottWhat it is: a sweeping, richly detailed story about censorship and Cold War women inspired by inspired by the true story behind the publication of Boris Pasternak's classic novel Doctor Zhivago:
The key players: Russian-American CIA agent Irina Drozdova, who gets in over her head in more ways than one after taking the assignment; Olga Vsevolodovna, Pasternak's long-time partner who risks the gulag rather than betray the details of his emerging masterpiece to Soviet authorities.
A Good Enough Mother by Bev ThomasWhat it's about: Psychotherapist Ruth Hartland finds her professional ethics tested by a deeply troubled new patient, a young man who bears a striking resemblance to her own long-missing son.
Read it for: the authentic portrayal of Ruth's professional life; the delicate balance between the intricate plotting of the story and its deeply moving tone.
You might also like: The Liars Room by Simon Lelic or The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, which also focus on therapists whose lives are upended by new patients.
Theme Music by T. Marie VandellyWhat it is: a compelling, horror-tinged thriller that ponders the questions of trauma, memory, and whether or not you can ever really go home again.
Starring: Dixie Wheeler, the sole survivor of the massacre of her family who has decided that she wants to buy (and try to rehabilitate) the scene of the crime, her family home.
Try this next: Joseph Schreiber's No Doors, No Windows, which features a protagonist revisiting his own childhood trauma when he decided to complete his deceased father's unfinished horror novel.
Three-Fifths by John VercherWhat it's about: the untenable position that Bobby Saraceno, a mixed-race man who has been passing for white, finds himself in after one of his friends commits a hate crime.
Read it for: the multifaceted characters, including Bobby's white alcoholic mother and long-absent Black father; the heightened tension as the story unfolds against the ever-present backdrop of the O.J. Simpson trial.
American Spy by Lauren WilkinsonWhat it is: a stylistically complex novel, inspired by the true story of an African American FBI agent who accepts a CIA "honeypot" assignment targeting Thomas Sankara, communist revolutionary and eventual president of Burkina Faso.
Mixed emotions: Although agent Marie Mitchell is an experienced intelligence professional, the longer her African assignment goes on the more she comes to admire Sankara, both as a politician and as a man.
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