Thrillers and Suspense
Keep You Close by Karen ClevelandStarring: FBI agent and single mom Stephanie Maddox, who works hard to balance her demanding career with the stresses of parenting her teenage son Zachary.
What happens: Stephanie's biggest worry about her son is what colleges he'll get into, at least until the day she finds a gun in his bedroom. He denies that the gun belongs to him, but Stephanie quickly learns that her colleagues have been watching Zach with interest.
Read it for: its fast pace and its timely exploration of issues such as domestic terrorism and online radicalization.
Recursion by Blake CrouchWhat it is: an intricately plotted and thought-provoking technothriller about the power of memory and well-intentioned science gone awry.
What went wrong: When she invented a way to reintroduce lost memories, neuroscientist Helena Smith was just trying to help Alzheimer's patients. But now someone is using her technology to give people false memories, and the fate of reality itself is on the line.
You might also like: Virtual Sabotage by Julie Hyzy; Three Laws Lethal by David Walton.
Into the Jungle by Erica FerencikWhat it's about: Lily Bushwold is a foster care survivor embarking on a dream job teaching English in Bolivia, only to arrive and find it was a scam. With little for her back in Boston, she decides to stay and falls in love with Omar, an indigenous mechanic and fellow newcomer to the city of Cochabamba.
Welcome to the jungle: When Omar is called back to his home village, Lily begs to come with him until he relents. And while Omar's family isn't happy he brought home a gringa, Lily will to have to face bigger problems, like ruthless poachers, tribal rivalries, and even nature itself.
Deception Cove by Owen LaukkanenFeaturing: Widow and combat veteran Jess Winslow; Lucy, the therapy dog who helps Jess cope with her PTSD; and Mason Burke, a recently released convict who trained Lucy in prison as part of a rehabilitation program.
What happens: A slimy local official believes that Jess' deceased husband had something that belonged to him and kidnaps Lucy as collateral. To rescue her beloved pit bull, Jess teams up with Mason to discover the truth.
But what about Lucy?!? Part of the tension of this fast-paced and action-packed thriller is worrying about the dog's safety, which some readers might find too stressful.
The Favorite Daughter by Kaira RoudaThe premise: The Harris family's seemingly perfect life was shattered by the death of Mary, their eldest daughter, in a freak accident. Stay-at-home mom Jane was particularly shaken, and has spent the year since in a thick fog of grief.
The problem: Now that Jane is recovering, she sees things she spent the last year ignoring, like the suspicious behavior of her husband David and how distant her other daughter, Betsy, has become. Then notes begin to arrive -- notes that suggest Mary's death wasn't an accident after all.
Read it for: the upscale yet creepy gated community that the Harris family calls home; the flawed, unreliable narrator; the occasional moments of dark humor.
Exhibit Alexandra by Natasha BellWhat it's about: Marc Southwood lives a happy and uneventful life with his wife Alex and their two daughters -- or he did, until his wife was kidnapped. When the police investigation starts to turn up Alex's many secrets, Marc begins to wonder if he ever knew his wife at all.
Reviewers say: "On one level a gripping page-turner and on another a disturbing exploration of identity, art, and decency" (Publishers Weekly).
Next up: Since Natasha Bell hasn't yet announced a second book, try Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes or Darcey Bell's A Simple Favor.
The Terminal List by Jack CarrStarring: James Reece, a Navy SEAL who vows to get revenge for the murders of his crew, his wife, and his three-year-old child in this intricately plotted and compelling thriller.
Trust no one: After some digging, James has reason to believe that the kill orders that destroyed his life came from inside the government he pledged to serve.
Next up: the sequel, True Believer, is due out at the end of July.
The French Girl by Lexie ElliottOn holiday: Kate Channing and six of her university friends go on a weeklong getaway to a picturesque farmhouse in the French countryside, where they meet a beautiful and enigmatic local named Severine.
Ten years later: Severine went missing the same day Kate and her friends left to return to Oxford, but police reopen the cold case after Severine's body is discovered. Now it's time for Kate and her friends to reckon with everything that happened on that trip a decade ago.
Next up: The Missing Years is Lexie Elliott's second novel, which came out in April.
The Devil's Half Mile by Paddy HirschWhat it is: a dialect-filled, richly detailed historical thriller about political scheming and stock market manipulation that may involve some of America's most legendary founding fathers.
Manhattan, 1799: Justy Flanagan is a young lawyer who returns from his studies in Ireland and Paris find out the truth about his stock broker father's death, which was ruled a suicide.
Next up: Hudson's Kill, the next entry in the Justice Flanagan series, is due out in September of this year.
The Chalk Man by C.J. TudorWhat it's about: The summer of 1986, Eddie and his friends drew each other coded chalk messages all over their small town. But then two local kids were found dead near some of the markings and they took on a sinister tone. Thirty years later, the chalk figures are back, and with them, more deaths.
Is it for you? The creepy, menacing tone of The Chalk Man will appeal most to fans of horror movies, especially slasher films.
Next up: C.J. Tudor released the revenge thriller The Hiding Place in February of this year.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Fox River Valley Libraries
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Dundee, Illinois 60118