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Red Swan: A Novel by P.T. DeutermannSpy Fiction. In this thrilling, complex spy novel, a CIA psychiatrist whose skill lies in discrediting political targets is forced into retirement after a successful career. (His latest victory interfered with...other American interests). When, a year later, his agency's director is found dead and he's asked to investigate, he finds that the very same tactics may have been employed on the CIA -- but both the target and the players are as yet unknown.
Lie to Me: A Novel by J.T. EllisonPsychological Suspense. Handsome Ethan Montclair and his beautiful wife Sutton are both successful authors, but there may be more than petty jealousy at play when Sutton disappears and suspicion falls on Ethan. Though she did leave a note ("Don't look for me"), that doesn't stop vicious gossip -- and worse -- from circulating. With shades of Gone Girl (alternating perspective, a marriage in shambles, manipulative characters easy to dislike) Lie to Me is a twisty, addictive read.
Good Me, Bad Me by Ali LandPsychological Suspense. At 15, Annie told UK police that her mother was a serial killer who preyed on children. Desperate to leave her horrific upbringing behind, she's changed her name and is living in the home of a psychologist to help prepare her for her mother's trial. But her desire to be good is undermined by the intensifying bullying at her new school, her resentful foster sister, and her fear of her own nature. Can she leave her mother's toxic instruction behind -- or, when she finally cracks under the pressure, will she turn out to be just like mom? This gripping debut is perfect for fans of tense, disturbing reads.
A Promise to Kill: A Clyde Barr Novel by Erik StoreyThriller. All you readers waiting eagerly for the next Jack Reacher novel (Midnight Line, coming in November) might find a happy alternative in Clyde Barr, a lone rider who just can't help but provide aid to those in need. In this case (the sequel to Nothing Short of Dying), it's a tiny village on the edge of a Ute reservation in rural Utah. Stopping to help a sick old man, Clyde gets drawn into problems with a visiting bike gang, who are hassling locals but have much grander, more dangerous plans afoot. Plenty of action -- and a lot of chase scenes -- follow.
Focus on: Legal Thrillers
The Ex: A Novel by Alafair BurkeLegal Thriller. Twenty years ago, Olivia Randall broke Jack Harris' heart. Now, she's a successful defense attorney, and Jack stands accused of murdering the man whose son killed his wife three years previously. Jack's daughter, Buckley, demands that Olivia help him. And while at first it looks like an easy enough case, as the evidence piles up Olivia sees hints of a conspiracy -- and she begins to doubt that Jack is the same kindhearted man she remembers. Fans of author Alafair Burke's mix of psychological suspense and legal drama will also want to keep an eye out for her next book, The Wife, coming in January.
The Jezebel Remedy by Martin ClarkLegal Thriller. Eccentric Lettie VanSandt is a paranoid animal hoarder who's antagonized everyone in town. Lisa and Joe Stone are her lawyers, and when she dies in a fire, they have to settle her will -- after years of filing endless patent claims and petty lawsuits. That she died cooking meth seems unlikely, but it's not until other oddities appear that they realize that something sinister is afoot. Quirky characters, a strongly depicted small-town setting, an excellent grasp of legal matters (the author's a circuit court judge), and witty repartee mark this one for fans looking for a laid-back, Virginia-set Carl Hiaasen.
The Gods of Guilt: A Lincoln Lawyer Novel by Michael ConnellyLegal Thriller. Pragmatic mobile lawyer Mickey Haller (his office is his Lincoln Town Car) is defending a pimp accused of killing one of his "girls," who Mickey happened to know. Mickey, who's more interested in finding a favorable verdict than the truth, finds this case a bit fishy; the ensuing investigation and courtroom scenes are full of drama. A gripping and somewhat melancholy novel, The Gods of Guilt is the 6th and most recent Mickey Haller novel, though the character also appears in three Harry Bosch novels: The Crossing, The Wrong Side of Goodbye, and Two Kinds of Truth (publishing this month).
The Verdict by Nick StoneLegal Thriller. Legal clerk and recovering alcoholic Terry Flynt is pleased to be selected to help on a high-profile murder case involving multimillionaire hedge fund manager Vernon James. Not only is it a chance to help his floundering career, but Terry blames Vernon (once his best friend) for getting him thrown out of Cambridge and the dispiriting turns his life has taken since then. With Terry as an able guide to the British legal system, a complex plot awash in moral ambiguities, and richly detailed characters, this novel is sure to appeal to fans of the best courtroom dramas.
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