The Heights by Louise CandlishWhat it is: a menacing, slow-burn psychological thriller about grief, paranoia, and the true costs of exacting revenge.
The setup: While consulting with one of her property developer clients, lighting consultant Ellen Saint sees a young man who bears a striking resemblance to Kiernan, a friend of her deceased son Lucas.
The twist: Ellen and her ex-partner Vic blame Kiernan for their son's death and hired a contract killer to take him out two years ago.
The Night Shift by Alex FinlayNew Year's Eve, 1999: A killer enters a video store in Linden, New Jersey, and stabs the four teens working there. Only one of them, Ella Monroe, manages to survive the attack.
Fifteen years later: A copycat knife attack takes place at an ice cream parlor and again there is a sole survivor, a local high school student named Jessica. Ella, now working as a therapist, reluctantly agrees to counsel Jessica as they both live with the knowledge that their assailant could still be out there.
Reviewers say: The Night Shift is a "fast-paced tale that delivers one stunning surprise after another" (Library Journal).
The Old Woman with the Knife by Gu Byeong-moWhat it's about: Jogak (alias "Hornclaw") is an aging assassin who is looking forward to a quiet retirement after a 45-year career. The tranquil future she's planned for is at risk, however, after she forms an unexpected connection with an emergency room doctor and his family.
Read it for: the incisive look at the precarious position of older women in Korean society; the surprising moments of absurdist humor.
About the author: Gu Byeong-mo is a bestselling South Korean writer of novels, young adult fiction, and short stories. The Old Woman with a Knife is her English-language debut.
The Fell by Sarah MossWhat it is: a timely and candid tale of relatable quarantine ennui that smoothly gives way to an atmospheric survival story set in Northern England.
Starring: Kate, a 40-something divorcee whose cabin fever drives her to break quarantine to go on a forbidden hike; her teenage son Matt, who has no idea where Kate is and fears the worst; their immunocompromised neighbor Alice, who saw Kate sneaking out of the house but has her own reasons for hesitating to call the police.
Reviewers say: The Fell is "darkly humorous, arrestingly honest, and intensely lyrical" (Kirkus Reviews).
The Whispers by Heidi PerksThe premise: After nearly two decades in Australia, Grace returns to her coastal hometown of Clearwater, England, and tries to reconnect with her childhood best friend Anna, who has built her own tightly knit friend group in Grace's absence.
The problem: Grace feels uncomfortable around the clique Anna belongs to, something that gets worse when Anna goes missing after a girls' night out and Grace appears to be the only one of Anna's friends worried about foul play.
For fans of: psychological suspense about small town secrets and toxic relationships.
Blood Sugar by Sascha RothchildWhat it's about: Sure, she's killed before, but Miami psychotherapist Ruby Simon truly had nothing to do with the recent death of her husband Jason. Unrepentant about the "accidental" deaths she's engineered in the past, now she must find a way to prove that Jason really did die of diabetes complications.
Is it for you? Although her complex personality and motivations might make sympathizing with her surprisingly easy, Ruby has no regrets about the crimes she did commit and is not the most reliable narrator.
About the author: Blood Sugar is the debut novel of Sascha Rothchild, who is best known for writing and producing the Netflix original series GLOW.
The Cartographers by Peng ShepherdThe premise: Cartographer Nell Young has a strained relationship with her father Daniel, a well-regarded scholar in their shared field, but she is understandably upset after learning her father was found dead at his desk at the New York Public Library.
The problem: Though Daniel's death appears to be from natural causes. but Nell grows suspicious after discovering a hidden cache of extremely valuable maps among her father's papers and starts connecting the dots after consulting with Daniel's dedicated acolytes and esteemed former colleagues.
For fans of: authors like Natasha Pulley and Erin Morgenstern; thrillers that take deep dives into specialized topics or obscure careers.
The Resting Place by Camilla StenWhat it is: an atmospheric and intricately plotted tale of the estranged members of an unhappy Swedish family coping with the unsolved murder of their matriarch Vivianne and the creepy country estate where they all gather to sort out the details of her will.
What makes it unique: Vivianne's granddaughter Eleanor, who narrates the story, witnessed the murder, but she is unable to identify the perpetrator because she has prosopagnosia, more commonly called "face blindness."
The Patient's Secret by Loreth Anne WhiteWhat it's about: Loosely based on a true story, this psychological thriller centers on three women in British Columbia whose pasts, presents, and futures overlap in ways that could have devastating, deadly consequences for all involved.
Starring: successful psychotherapist Lily Bradley; free-spirited drifter Arwen Harper; police detective Rue Duval, who is tasked with uncovering the truth after a dead body is discovered on the beach.
Reviewers say: Author Loreth Anne White keeps "the reader guessing as she peels back the layers of a seemingly perfect family to reveal the shocking truth" (Publishers Weekly).
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