The Last Hack: A Jack Parlabane Thriller by Christopher BrookmyreSuspense Fiction. Scottish journalist Jack Parlabane's skill with breaking and entering is handy, but it pales in comparison to 19-year-old Samantha Morpeth's computer savvy. Though in real life she's shy and beset by bullies, she's known online as brilliant hacker Buzzkill. Unfortunately, she's being threatened with exposure. And her problems don't end there -- which is where Jack comes in. Combining high tech details with plenty of action and well-developed, complex characters, The Last Hack is the 8th in an unconventional series.
Blackmail by Rick CampbellMilitary Thriller. Earlier in the Trident Deception series, the U.S. went to war with China, resulting in a severely limited military capacity. Which is why Russia has decided that now is a good time to strike. Having launched missiles at a U.S. aircraft carrier, Russia is moving to take over Lithuania and Ukraine. Soon, Russia and the U.S. are preparing for all-out war. Keep an eye out for viscerally realistic battle scenes both above and below water -- Tom Clancy fans will be pleased.
Flashmob: A Novel by Christopher FarnsworthThriller. First introduced in series debut Killfile, telepathic troubleshooter John Smith is up against a terrifying web presence known as Downvote, which incites violence against specific individuals. When a reality TV star is shot in the middle of her wedding, Smith's search for the people behind Downvote takes him across the world. Despite the science-fiction premise, Smith's abilities feel believable; Publishers Weekly calls his 2nd appearance "brilliant."
Fierce Kingdom: A Novel by Gin PhillipsSuspense Fiction. After a pleasant afternoon at the zoo, Joan realizes that the loud noises she'd heard were actually gunshots -- human bodies litter the park's entrance, and at least one armed man stands between her and freedom. She grabs her four-year-old and finds cover, but with an antsy, hungry preschooler, even the best hiding place won't last forever, and Joan must soon make a move. Their harrowing ordeal moves lightning-fast, taking place over only three hours. Like Rosamund Lipton's Afterwards, Fierce Kingdom considers what a mother will do to protect her children.
Final Girls: A Novel by Riley SagerPsychological Suspense. The lone survivor of a serial killer's massacre a decade earlier, Quincy Carpenter has finally built a relatively normal life when she hears that another lone survivor (a "final girl" in horror movie parlance) has died. A third has emerged from hiding to land on Quincy's doorstep. Quincy -- who remembers little of her ordeal and gets through the day with the help of her baking blog and Xanax -- finds that a new nightmare is just beginning. Written by an established author under a pseudonym, this "debut" is a nerve-wracking, unsettling read.
Clownfish Blues by Tim DorseyCrime Caper. In this 20th (and most recent) entry in the Serge Storms series, our erstwhile "hero" is busy recreating scenes from the television series Route 66 with his perpetually stoned sidekick, Coleman. Preferring the term "sequential killer" to "serial killer" (he never plans to kill again -- he just finds himself in situations where he's forced to), Serge unleashes his own form of justice on the Sunshine State once more. If you're looking for devastating humor and sharp dialogue, do yourself a favor and pick up Clownfish Blues -- or any other entry in the series, which can easily be read out of order.
Razor Girl: A Novel by Carl HiaasenCrime Caper. Although this is the 2nd novel to feature former cop Andrew Yancy (now on the payroll as a member of the roach patrol), you needn't have read the prior one (Bad Monkey) to enjoy the antics he gets reluctantly involved in. Opening with a scam artist's very...unique...way of snaring marks, this offbeat crime caper involves a case of mistaken identity, a bigoted reality TV star, stolen sand, a very large engagement ring, property issues, an addictive male-enhancement potion (with unfortunate side-effects), and too many sub-plots to count.
Lola: A Novel by Melissa Scrivner LoveCrime Fiction. Though she plays the role of submissive girlfriend to a South Central LA gang leader, Lola Vasquez is actually the gang's true boss. When their shot at making it big goes very, very wrong, she'll have to put all her resources towards keeping her people safe from a Mexican drug cartel out for blood. Gritty and fast-paced, this gangland-set novel touches on issues of class, race, and gender and offers "one of crime fiction's most captivating protagonists yet" (Library Journal).
Midnight Sun: A Novel by Jo NesbøScandinavian Crime Fiction. Calling himself Ulf, failed hitman Jon is hiding from his vindictive former employer in a tiny village in Norway's Arctic Circle. Seeking shelter in the church that houses a religious sect, he meets a grieving widow and her young son, who offer not just friendship but shelter and protection as well. But though he's found something to live for, Ulf is very aware that he's still being hunted. Less violent than author Jo Nesbø's Harry Hole series (not to mention a shorter read), this is a follow-up of sorts to Blood on Snow.
The Cartel: A Novel by Don WinslowSuspense Fiction. This long-anticipated sequel to 2005's The Power of the Dog catches us up on DEA agent Art Keller's life: he's become a beekeeper for a New Mexico monastery. But when his nemesis, cartel leader Adán Barrera, escapes from a Mexican prison, Keller is drawn back into the world to stop the escalating violence between cartels. At nearly 600 pages, this is an epic tale, not only taking on personal vendettas but incorporating the very real damage done to bystanders in Mexican drug wars. (Don't miss Don Winslow's latest, The Force, which published in June).
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