Vector by James AbelBio-Thriller. Joe Rush is a former Marine medical officer with a particular expertise in bioterrorism. Right now, he and his friend Eddie Nakamura are in Brazil with two goals: to study resistant forms of malaria, and to look for signs of bioterrorist activity. When Eddie gets sick and is then kidnapped, Joe discovers just how closely linked those two goals are. All too soon, a global pandemic threatens. A blistering pace, plausible medical concerns, advanced technologies, and plenty of twists and turns make this series an excellent choice for fans of Michael Crichton.
Lovemurder by Saul BlackSuspense Fiction. Katherine Glass has been in prison for six years. So why are her grisly murders being replicated now? Turns out, the beautiful serial killer had a partner, who's demanding that Katherine be released -- or more will die. San Francisco Homicide detective Valerie Hart risks being toyed with, but she turns to Katherine for help in identifying the next victim before it's too late. With complex personalities on both sides of the good/evil divide, plenty of tension, and a pace that doesn't let up, this raw, intricately plotted serial killer thriller is a good choice for fans of Chelsea Cain's Heartsick.
Every Day Above Ground by Glen Erik HamiltonCrime Fiction. A former Army Ranger who was raised by a professional thief, Van Shaw is trying to stay on the right side of the law while taking whatever odd jobs he can to make ends meet and restore the Seattle home he recently inherited. But the promise of a big score proves too tempting, and soon Shaw is in the middle of a heist gone bad, scrambling to figure out who set him up and why. Every Day Above Ground is the 3rd in a gritty, atmospheric series, the 1st of which, Past Crimes, won both an Anthony and a Macavity Award.
The Driver: A Novel by Hart HansonThriller. In this debut by the creator of the TV series Bones, violence should be expected -- as well as memorable dialogue and a sensitive portrayal of the trials faced by returning veterans. Former Army Special Forces officer Michael Skellig has been chauffeuring reality TV star/skateboard mogul Bismarck Avila for 28 hours straight when he saves him from a shooting at a hotel. Promoted to full-time bodyguard/driver, Skellig now needs to find out who's targeting his client. To complicate matters a bit, Skellig's also hearing the voice of a terrorist he killed in Yemen...and he's in love with the foul-mouthed cop who thinks Skellig might have been involved in the hotel shooting.
Emma in the Night by Wendy WalkerPsychological Suspense. Three years after teenage sisters Cassandra and Emma disappeared, Cass has returned alone. Though she spins a tale of a couple who had held them captive in order to get their hands on the baby that no one knew Emma was carrying, the FBI psychiatrist assigned to the case has her doubts -- from the very beginning, Abby Winter had thought the girls' narcissistic mother had something to do with their disappearance. As she listens to Cass tell her story, Abby is determined to find out what actually happened. With a twisty plot, unreliable narrators, and a compelling family dynamic, this book "aims for the heart and never lets go" (Kirkus Reviews).
The Objects of Her Affection by Sonya CobbCrime Fiction. Sophie Porter's family finances are carefully balanced, but a new mortgage rate threatens to send everything into free fall. To cover the bills, Sophie starts lifting small but precious artifacts from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where her husband works as a curator. Hooked both on the money that selling them brings and the rush she gets from a successful heist, Sophie's not sure she can stop. So when the FBI starts nosing around, she might be in serious trouble. A realistic picture of an ordinary woman pushed to extremes, this debut novel also provides great details of the museum world.
The Forgers by Bradford MorrowSuspense Fiction. In this literary novel of suspense, we begin with the gruesome murder of rare book collector Adam Diehl. Narrated by a semi-reformed forger of literary works named Will, who is dating Adam's sister, The Forgers describes in rich detail the pleasures of rare books -- and the thrill of forging them. This latter is especially important, as Will's past as a forger is quickly catching up with him. Will, an unreliable narrator from the start, appears to have a stalker, and the question soon becomes -- did he kill Adam, or is he the next victim?
The Red Room by Ridley PearsonSpy Fiction. Ok, this one's a little different -- the main appeal here for art fans is the fact that a work of art is at the center of the action. Security expert (and art trader) John Knox and his partner, former Chinese spy Grace Chu, are in Istanbul, having agreed to orchestrate a brief meeting and broker a trade. But they quickly find that they're prey to some unknown threat -- and that's before Grace is kidnapped and John is shot at. Plenty of tradecraft and political commentary will satiate Gabriel Allon fans in particular -- and there are four books in the series (starting with The Risk Agent) for those who get hooked.
Unbecoming by Rebecca SchermPsychological Suspense. Working as an antiques and jewelry restorer in Paris, 23-year-old Grace from Tennessee is hiding from her past with a new identify as Julie from California. She's also keeping an eye on the news from her hometown, where her husband and his best friend are incarcerated for art theft. Told in flashbacks that fill the novel with double-crosses, this leisurely paced tale combines both character study and suspense -- and plenty of details from the art and antiques world.
The Heist by Daniel SilvaSpy Fiction. A collection of art-related suspense novels would be incomplete without one by Daniel Silva starring art restorer and Israeli intelligence agent Gabriel Allon. In The Heist, Allon is manipulated into hunting down a stolen Caravaggio masterpiece; in the course of his investigation, he learns that tyrants across the world are collecting stolen art as a form of currency. Soon, Allon has Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in his sights, and has set in motion a plan to flush out al-Assad's buyer. Though many series characters appear in this fast-paced, detailed 14th in the series, newcomers needn't fear starting here.
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