Try Not to Breathe by David BellWhat it is: the compelling and intricately plotted story of a broken family forced to navigate their toxic dynamics when one of them disappears.
Starring: the missing Anna Rogers, who wants to avoid her family only slightly less than she wants to avoid her stalker; cop-turned-security guard Avery, Anna's elder sister who shoulders the burden of discovering what happened.
Reviewers say: "Bell is truly at the top of his game with this psychological thriller" (Library Journal).
The Last Dance by Mark BillinghamSeries alert: The Last Dance is the first entry in a series starring offbeat detective Declan Miller and his equally unconventional new partner DS Sara Xiu.
Their first case: the double murder of two seemingly unrelated people that will have unanticipated ties to organized crime and Miller's personal life.
Who it's for: mystery and suspense fans who enjoy witty writing and quirky, likeable characters.
Before She Finds Me by Heather ChavezHow it started: with an apparent mass shooting, while students arrived on a college campus for move in-day.
How it's going: In the aftermath of the shooting two mothers work to discover what really happened, if the shooting was meant as cover for an assassination, and if the intended victim(s) lived or died that day.
Read it for: the flawed yet sympathetic characters, who tell this fast-paced story from multiple perspectives.
Lay Your Body Down by Amy Suiter ClarkeWhat it's about: Listless twentysomething Del Walker swore she would never return to her rural Minnesota hometown, which is dominated by a local megachurch. But after receiving a cryptic message from an old boyfriend who later turns up dead in a "hunting accident", Del decides to come back for the funeral, and for answers.
Why you might like it: In addition to Del's determination and unexpected knack for investigating, readers may appreciate the atmospheric small-town setting with its barely concealed air of menace and mistrust.
Thicker Than Water by Megan CollinsThe setup: Julia Larkin immediately hits it off with her brother Jason's wife Sienna, becoming best friends and eventually business partners as time goes by.
What goes wrong: Jason falls into a coma after a car crash, but the timing still leaves room for police to suspect he was involved in a brutal murder. To clear his name, Julia and Sienna will have to rely on the strength of their bond as they investigate the truth about the crime and Jason's activities leading up to his accident.
For fans of: Defending Jacob by William Landay.
Night Will Find You by Julia HeaberlinWhat it is: an atmospheric thriller about an unlikely investigator brought in to help police solve a high-profile cold case.
Starring: Vivian Bouchet, an astrophysicist who reluctantly agrees to help a childhood friend, now a cop, solve a child kidnapping case while struggling to reconcile her scientific understanding of the world with the inexplicable "psychic" phenomena that give her unique insight into the investigation.
Read it for: the likeable characterization of Vivian, whose thoughtful and observant perspective on the case and the world in general will endear her to readers.
The Three Deaths of Willa Stannard by Kate RobardsWhat it's about: Despite the evidence pointing to suicide, Sawyer Stannard cannot believe that her sister Willa would take her own life. Soon Sawyer learns that Willa was secretly writing true crime under a pseudonym, and that the controversial cold case she was investigating before her death might have gotten her killed.
You might also like: Behind Her Lives by Briana Cole; Hairpin Bridge by Taylor Adams.
Reviewers say: "A welcome debut that’s both a fleet thriller and a pathology of sisterhood at its most harrowing" (Kirkus Reviews).
How Can I Help You by Laura SimsThe premise: No-longer-aspiring novelist Patricia Delmarco is the newest hire at a Midwestern small-town public library, where she joins a staff including long-time circulation clerk Margo Finch.
The problem: Margo, a former nurse, has a dark past she has worked hard to keep hidden. But Patricia is observant and clever, and when she finds a patron dead in the public bathroom she starts to suspect something might be very, very wrong with Margo.
For fans of: flawed characters, unreliable narrators, and stories told from multiple perspectives.
The Good Ones by Polly StewartTwenty years ago: Nicola's childhood friend Lauren disappeared from their Appalachian hometown, leaving behind her husband and young daughter.
Present day: In town for her mother's funeral, Nicola grows interested in Lauren's case again and seeks help from Lauren's widower, a scion of one of the town's most prominent families.
Read it for: Nicola's complex inner journey during the investigation, including her relatable survivor's guilt and ambivalent relationship with the town she left behind for good reason.
The Guest Room by Tasha SylvaWhat it is: "A slow burn of a psychological thriller wrapped up in mysterious ambiguity" (Kirkus Reviews).
The premise: In order to pay the mortgage on her recently deceased sister's London home, Tess begins renting a spare room to short-term guests. Among her other poor grief-related coping mechanisms, Tess starts snooping through her guests' things, only to make a discovery about her current lodger that might send her spiraling out of control.
For fans of: flawed yet sympathetic characters navigating difficult moments in their lives and relationships.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
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