Thrillers and Suspense
November Road by Lou BerneyPicture it: New Orleans -- 1963. While the nation is mourning the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a mafioso named Frank Guidry is just looking to skip town. People in his organization are being killed off, and it apparently has something to do with the death of the president.
On the road: Frank picks up a hitchhiking woman and her two children, who have their own reasons to lie low. Together they can hide in plain sight as a nuclear family, though Frank's past may catch up with them all before they make it to his hideout in Reno.
In Her Bones by Kate MorettiWhat it's about: Edie Beckett is just trying to live a normal life, but staying out of the spotlight is hard when your mother is a convicted serial killer whom the media just can't get enough of.
Even worse: The pressure has turned Edie into an alcoholic with increasingly common gaps in her memory, and now her once benign interest in the families of her mother's victims is starting to turn into an obsession.
For fans of: Paula Hawkins, Ruth Ware, and Clare Mackintosh.
Foe by Iain ReidThe premise: In the near future, Henrietta and her husband Junior live a quiet, rural life together on their isolated farm. Until a stranger arrives to offer Junior a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity -- one he never even applied for.
The problem: The company responsible for the project begins going to extreme, uncomfortable lengths to put Junior (and his wife) through what might be the world's creepiest background check.
Is it for you? This character-driven story features elements of science fiction, but it still has an eerie atmosphere and rising tension that thriller fans can appreciate.
Trust Me by Hank Phillippi RyanWhat it's about: the improbable connection between Ashlyn Bryant, an accused murderer who vehemently denies her guilt, and Mercer Hennessey, the journalist assigned to cover Ashlyn's likely conviction.
Read it for: the tight, intricate plotting and the complicated yet sympathetic characters.
Author alert: Agatha Award-winning writer Hank Phillippi Ryan's previous work includes the Charlotte McNally mystery series and the Jane Ryland thrillers.
The Ancient Nine by Ian K. SmithWhat it is: the richly detailed story of Spenser Collins, an inner-city Chicago kid whose hard work gains him entry to Harvard, where he's invited to join the super elite Delphic Club and join the ranks of some of the world's most influential men.
What goes wrong: Even for a secret society, Delphic is hiding some very dark secrets. And when Spenser and his fellow club member Dalton start digging for more information, the closer they get to answers, the more danger they put themselves in.
Little Deaths by Emma FlintWhat it is: a compelling literary crime novel about a flawed but sympathetic single mother whose children are brutally murdered in 1960s Queens, New York.
For fans of: Sarah Waters, Tana French, and Megan Abbott.
Inspired by: the story of Alice Crimmins, a Bronx mother who was convicted of the 1965 murder of her children despite a lack of evidence.
A Hero of France by Alan FurstWho it's about: a team of patriotic Frenchmen (and women) in occupied Paris, whose backgrounds and skills are as diverse as their motivations for resisting the Nazis.
Read it for: the arresting combination of high tension and well-rendered atmosphere, which make for a deeply immersive reading experience.
Inspired by: the innumerable members of the French Resistance, who risked life and limb to oppose the Nazi takeover of their country.
Defectors by Joseph KanonStarring: Frank Weeks, a former CIA agent who spied for the Soviets and later defected to Moscow when his cover was blown.
What goes wrong: His 12 years in the USSR haven't exactly been what he thought they would be, and a plan to publish his memoirs soon puts his life (and the lives of those closest to him) in jeopardy.
Inspired by: the defections of spies like Guy Burgess and Arthur Adams, and especially My Silent War, the memoir of British double agent Kim Philby.
Burial Rites by Hannah KentThe setup: In 1820s Iceland, a young woman has been convicted of murdering two men and sentenced to death for her (alleged) crimes. But before her sentence can be carried out, word must be sent to Denmark, which still governed Iceland at the time.
Now, we wait: Unsure what to do with their condemned prisoner, the authorities decide to send her somewhere remote and oblige a reluctant farming family to be her hosts.
Inspired by: the life and death of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, whose controversial 1820s murder case still fascinates Iceland to this day.
The Long Drop by Denise MinaWhat it's about: The police may no longer suspect William Watt in his family's brutal murder, but with a cloud of suspicion still hanging over him, he decides to put up a reward for information about the crime.
Prime suspects: the stranger who comes to claim the reward but seems to know a little too much about what might have happened, and William himself, who turns out be more than first meets the eye.
Inspired by: the story of Peter Manuel, a serial killer believed to have murdered nine people in 1950s Scotland.
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