Thrillers and Suspense
Bloody Sunday by Ben CoesWhat it's about: Just as CIA agent Dewey Andreas is about to retire, he gets word of a North Korean plan to launch nuclear weapons on the nation's capital. But when his straightforward mission targeting a key enemy general goes catastrophically awry, Dewey will have to sneak into Pyongyang in order to prevent the attack and save millions of lives.
For fans of: high-octane military and spy novel writers like Brad Thor, Vince Flynn, and Tom Clancy.
Series alert: Bloody Sunday is the 8th Dewey Andreas novel, after Trap the Devil.
The Boy at the Door by Alex DahlThe setup: Cecilia Wilborg has almost everything, including a dark secret that could destroy her seemingly perfect life and seemingly perfect family. Annika Lucasson has almost nothing, except that she knows what Cecilia is hiding.
Read it for: the well-developed, complex characters whose alternating perspectives will keep you wondering whose side you're on.
Author alert: Alex Dahl shines in this powerful debut, so fans of Scandinavian crime fiction should keep an eye out for whatever she does next.
Don't Send Flowers by Martín SolaresStarring: Carlos Treviño, an ex-cop who was run out of his corrupt Mexican town four years ago, all for daring to do his job.
Why he's back: A powerful business magnate has hired Carlos to track down his teenage daughter, who has disappeared without a trace.
Why you might like it: This literary noir has a non-traditional narrative structure, telling the first half of the story from Carlos's perspective and the second half from that of his nemesis, the crooked local police chief who will do anything to destroy him.
The Middleman by Olen SteinhauerWhat happens: A cryptic phone call. Hundreds of overnight disappearances. A series of assassinations on the 4th of July. All of these events are connected, and it's just the beginning of one man's plot to take down American society as we know it.
Featuring: Rachel Proulx, a dedicated FBI agent investigating the protest movement that has turned into a frightening terrorist threat.
Read it for: the intricate plotting and the timely, thought-provoking exploration of many current social and political issues.
The Drama Teacher by Koren ZailckasWhat it's about: The collapse of her latest identity sends semi-professional swindler Gracie Mueller and her children fleeing the Catskills for Manhattan, where she manages to bluff her way into a teaching job at a prestigious prep school.
The problem? Being a con artist isn't the only thing that makes Gracie an unreliable narrator.
Read it for: the flawed yet sympathetic characters, narrators who can't be trusted, and mothers who will do anything to protect their children.
White Plague by James AbelWhat happens: pretty much everything you don't want to happen on a submarine. The USS Montana has gone wildly off course, a highly infectious disease is ravaging the crew, and oh yeah, it's also on fire. Into this arctic mayhem steps bioterror expert Dr. Joe Rush, who might have to make a tough choice between saving the remaining crew members or keeping the advanced technology onboard out of enemy hands.
Series alert: This is the 3rd book in the Joe Rush series, followed by Vector.
The Trident Deception by Rick CampbellThe setup: a nuclear-armed submarine receives orders to launch their payload at Iran in retaliation for their devastating strike on Washington D.C. The only problem? The attack they're supposed to be avenging never actually happened. When the vessel goes radio silent, it's up to the military and the US government to find out where the false orders came from and if there's a way to avert World War III.
For fans of: fast-paced military fiction like those by Larry Bond and Dale Brown.
The Rising Sea: A Novel from the NUMA Files by Clive Cussler and Graham BrownWhat it's about: An investigation into the findings of a widely discredited Japanese scientist sends the NUMA team deep into the East China Sea, where they uncover a large-scale conspiracy to conceal and exploit
an invaluable new scientific discovery -- one that could displace millions of people and alter the world's balance of power forever.
Reviewers say: "readers are deep in Cussler territory, and the water's fine" (Publishers Weekly).
Black Horizon by James GrippandoThe premise: The honeymoon of attorney Jack Swyteck and FBI agent Andie Henning is interrupted when an oil rig explodes off the coast of Cuba. While Jack works the wrongful death case of an oil worker's widow, Andie goes undercover to investigate if the accident was an accident at all.
What else could go wrong? The Cubans have forbidden American involvement in the multinational cleanup effort and will use force if necessary, giving this ecological disaster the makings of a political one. There's also the troubling possibility that Jack and Andie's cases are connected, and not in a way that either of them anticipated.
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth WareStarring: Laura "Lo" Blackstock, a travel writer covering the maiden voyage of an ultra-luxurious cruise liner, the Aurora.
What goes wrong: On the ship's first night at sea, Lo witnesses someone push the woman from the next cabin overboard. Worse yet, no one will believe what she saw because all other passengers are supposedly accounted for.
Author alert: Don't miss Ruth Ware's other atmospheric thrillers, including The Lying Game and The Death of Mrs. Westaway.
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Pasadena, Texas 77506