Finder, Joseph. Suspicion. Dutton. May 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780525954606. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698158481 F
In Finder’s (Buried Secrets; Vanished) 11th heart-pounding thriller, a struggling writer desperately scrambles to pay his bills; protect his teenage daughter, Abby; and avoid a 40-year prison term. To cover tuition costs for the private school Abby loves, Danny Goodman reluctantly accepts a generous loan from Thomas Galvin, the extremely wealthy father of Abby’s best friend. After the money is wired into his account, however, the feds accuse Danny of laundering drug money and trap him into working as a confidential informant. But if Galvin and the Mexican drug cartel he’s financing suspect Danny is snitching to the feds, Danny, and quite likely Abby, will die. Trapped, our hero begins to lie, conceal secrets, and engage in increasingly dangerous and deceptive activities—until finally Danny decides he wants out rather than risk losing those he loves. The startling climax concludes another fantastic Finder thriller. VERDICT Finder fans as well as devotees of action-packed suspense have a great read ahead. The taut pacing, staccato chapters, and ingenious plot, especially Finder’s characteristically creative use of digital surveillance techniques, guarantee a literary thrill ride.
French, Nicci. Waiting for Wednesday. Pamela Dorman: Viking. Apr. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780670015771. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101635469 F
In French’s third novel (Blue Monday; Tuesday’s Gone) featuring London psychotherapist Frieda Klein, seemingly average mother Ruth Lennox is found murdered without apparent reason. As details of her secret life emerge, the cast of characters expose a web of tangled lives. Frieda gets involved when her teenage niece befriends the dead woman’s son. The pace picks up after one of Frieda’s patients, during therapy, makes an offhand remark that leads Frieda to believe a serial killer is at work. With personal connections to DCI Karlsson, our sleuth begins obsessively investigating leads on her own, making alliances that culminate in a sorrowful and astonishing conclusion. VERDICT Demanding the reader’s full attention, this richly detailed and intricate thriller weaves the story of Frieda’s life, past and present, into a compelling and suspenseful story. Fans of Elizabeth George will appreciate French’s attention to subtlety and detail. Readers new to the series are advised to read the first two books in order to understand the ongoing plot of Frieda’s life, including the pall cast by a past attack. [See Prepub Alert, 10/20/13.]
Hayes, Samantha. Until You’re Mine. Crown. Apr. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780804136891. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780804136907. F
In British author Hayes’s (Tell Tale; Someone Else’s Son) wonderfully creepy thriller, a serial killer is targeting pregnant women and no one can understand why. The only clues lie in the killings themselves—pregnant bellies slit open, the mother left to perish—leaving the police to believe the killer wants a baby. Through the use of three female narrators—Claudia, the happily married, pregnant social worker; her nanny Zoe; and Lorraine, the harried detective and mother of two teen girls—Hayes not only delivers a splendid mystery, she offers insights into the inner lives of today’s women and mothers in particular. Society’s idea of a woman being able to “do it all” makes Lorraine barely able to hold anything together, from her investigation of the murders to raising her daughters. Claudia is in the final days of her pregnancy and worries about how motherhood will affect her life. And Zoe is obsessed with getting pregnant and becoming a mother—or is she? VERDICT Readers will find it hard to put this title down. A well-written, compelling plot, great characters, and a feminist viewpoint all add up to a satisfying read.
Perry, Karen. The Innocent Sleep. Holt. Feb. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780805098723. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780805098730. F
This debut literary thriller opens with a terrible tragedy: a sudden earthquake in the Moroccan city of Tangiers kills Harry and Robin’s only child, a young son, Dillon. Five years later, the couple have long since relocated to Ireland and are slowly becoming hopeful for their future. All seems well until Harry sees their son in the streets of Dublin—and with this glimpse, long-held secrets threaten to destroy Harry and Robin’s new life. The novel, with alternating narratives from each spouse, investigates whether Dillon is truly alive, and if so, how. The breakneck pace of the narrative, which is spiced with the ingredients of deceit, infidelity, and secret lives, forms a gripping, well-written read. Perry is a pseudonym for the Dublin-based authors Paul Perry and Karen Gillece; this is the duo’s debut project. Outside of their literary partnership, both authors have written several solo novels to much acclaim. VERDICT This novel, with a premise that taps into the fears of every parent, is an entertaining thriller that fans of Tana French and Gillian Flynn will enjoy. [See Prepub Alert, 8/9/13.]
Robotham, Michael. Watching You. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Mar. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780316252003. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316251990. F
Marnie Logan’s husband, Daniel, has been missing for over a year, leaving her in financial limbo. She can’t access any of his accounts, and he has left behind a large debt, previously unknown to her, that she is expected to pay. When the debt collector is found murdered, the police turn their attention to Marnie as the last person to have seen him alive. Soon they discover a disturbing pattern: anyone who has caused Marnie harm has been paid back in spades. Her psychologist, Joe O’Laughlin, is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, perhaps risking his own life. VERDICT Robotham’s newest thriller (after Say You’re Sorry) is full of surprises. Well written and slightly creepy, it will keep readers intrigued to the final page. [See Prepub Alert, 9/16/13.]