LJ Best Books 2016

A jury of our peers discussed, debated, disagreed, and finally declared LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles. VISIT THE WEBSITE

Fifteen Essential Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4

Adler, Elizabeth. The Charmers. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9781250058195. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466862265. THRILLER
A villa in the south of France, inherited from an aunt? Sounds great for Mirabella Matthews until charmersshe’s nearly run off the road while driving there with the young woman to whom she’s giving a lift. As Mirabella soon discovers, Aunt Jolly wasn’t exactly Santa Claus.

Coes, Ben. First Strike. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2016. 496p. ISBN 9781250043177. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466841277. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
Preparing to attack southern Iraq, a violent Islamic group called Muslim Dawn needs more firepower, but former Delta officer Dewey Andreas (back after Independence Day) discovers that the group was initially armed by a black-ops program buried in the Pentagon. The new arms shipment gets blocked, but then Muslim Dawn leader Tristan Isolda (really) manages to take nearly 500 Columbia University students hostage and threatens to execute one an hour until the shipment is released. With a national tour.

Cussler, Clive & Boyd Morrison. The Emperor’s Revenge.  Putnam. May 2016. (The Oregon Files). 416p. ISBN 9780399175961. $29; ebk. ISBN 9780698406513. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. ACTION & ADVENTURE
The Corporation’s accounts have just been wiped out by a bank heist during the Monaco Grand Prix, and Corporation chair Juan Cabrillo and his Oregon crew are suffering. But it gets worse: the heist is designed to launch a heinous plan meant to crash the world’s economy and kill millions. Eleventh in a series that routinely makes the upper echelons of the New York Times best sellers list.

Doiron, Paul. Widowmaker. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2016. ISBN 9781250063700. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466868670. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
A Maine ski town would seem to be a pristine place, but Game Warden Mike Bowditch isn’t widowmakerthere to enjoy the snow. He’s rushing after rumors about a vigilante who’s possibly targeting sex offenders. Barry Award winner and Edgar finalist Doiron’s new work is the top of the heap for the publisher this June.

Evanovich, Janet & Lee Goldberg. The Pursuit: A Fox and O’Hare Novel. Bantam. Jun. 2016. ISBN 9780553392777. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780553392784. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER
Written by Plum-ish Evanovich and Monk-ish Goldberg, this new-ish series features the escapades of con man Nick Fox and  FBI agent Kate O’Hare and has so far sold nearly two million copies across formats. Even without plot hints, fans are lining up; look for library marketing.

Finder, Joseph. Guilty Minds. Dutton. Jun. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780525954620. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698409750. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
A sling-the-dirt website called SlanderSheet is set to run an exposé on the chief justice of the Supreme Court, claiming that he had liaisons with an escort courtesy of a wealthy casino mogul who recently appeared before the Court. Private intelligence operative Nick Heller has just 48 hours to prove the allegations false. And then the escort turns up murdered. Third in a series including Vanished and Buried Secrets, both New York Times best sellers; with a five-city tour.

Goddard, Robert. The Corners of the Globe: A James Maxted Thriller. Mysterious Pr: Grove Atlantic. Jun. 2016. 400p. $25. HISTORICAL THRILLER
Is it breakout time on this side of the pond for Goddard, a longtime best-selling UK author whose Long Time Coming won the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback? Goddard here continues the trilogy he launched with The Ways of the World, which sent Royal Flying Corps veteran James “Max” Maxted to 1919 Paris to dig into the odd circumstances surrounding the death of his diplomat father. Now a double agent, he’s on his first mission for German spy Fritz Lemmer, the man responsible for his father’s death.

Harvey, Michael. Brighton. Ecco: HarperCollins. Jun. 2016. 368p. ISBN 9780062442970. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062443021. THRILLER
At age 15, shining student athlete Kevin Pearce slips out of town (the Boston neighborhood of brightonBrighton), having just committed a terrible act of violence with friend Bobby Scales for reasons they thought were justified. Though Kevin wants no excuses made, Bobby is determined to take the rap to protect Kevin’s future. Years later, Kevin, now a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Boston Globe, returns to Brighton when he learns that Bobby heads the list of suspects in a string of local murders. Harvey himself returns home to the Boston area after setting six previous nail-biters in his adopted hometown, Chicago; already optioned for film by the Oscar-winning producer of The Departed..

Meltzer, Brad & Tod Goldberg. The House of Secrets. Grand Central. Jun. 2016. 448p. ISBN 9781455559497. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455559503. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455540440. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Meltzer keeps himself on the New York Times best sellers list with titles like the recent  The Fifth Assassin, which has shipped 670,000 copies across all formats; he’s also responsible for Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel, and Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2. Here he launches a new series with Goldberg, Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist for Living Dead Girl. No details yet, but that doesn’t keep the publisher from planning a 250,000-copy first printing,

Patterson, James. Private Rio. Little, Brown. Jun. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780316407113. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316290197. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316290203. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Having saved the day at the World Cup, Jack Morgan, head of the worldwide investigation firm privaterioPrivate, is heading to Rio for the Olympics. Alas, some evil person is threatening to sabotage the games in spectacularly violent fashion. With (not surprisingly)  a 500,000-copy first printing.

Sallis, James. Willnot. Bloomsbury USA. Jun. 2016. 192p. ISBN 9781632864529. $26. THRILLER
Though he’s been short-listed for the Anthony, Nebula, Edgar, Shamus, and Gold Dagger awards and wrote the biography Chester Himes, a New York Times Notable Book, Sallis is perhaps best known for 2005’s Drive, a noirish thriller–turned–celebrated film starring Ryan Gosling. After faring well with the sequel, 2012’s Driven, Sallis takes us to a new venue: the town of Willnot and its surrounds, where several bodies have been discovered. Thus is havoc wreaked in the life of Dr. Lamar Hale, the town’s general practitioner and guiding light.

Schutt, Bill & J.R. Finch. Hell’s Gate: A Thriller. Morrow. Jun. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9780062412522. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062412546. THRILLER
It’s World War II, and the Army Rangers sent to investigate a Japanese submarine found deep in the jungles of Brazil have vanished. So why not send daredevilish Capt. R.J. MacCready, who discovers not only old friend and fellow scientist Bob Thorne but a misty valley where an Axis plot against the Allies is being hatched. An Indiana Jones-ish debut for Schutt, a vertebrate zoologist and research associate at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, and pseudonymous coauthor Finch; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Scott, J. Todd. The Far Empty. Putnam. Jun. 2016. 448p. ISBN 9780399176340. $27. THRILLER
Appointed deputy sheriff, Chris Cherry drags his feet about returning to the Texas border town emptyfarwhere he was  a football hero, which 17-year-old Caleb Ross might understand; lonely and disaffected after his mother’s disappearance, Caleb wants the town in his past. These two are brought together when skeletal remains are unearthed on the town’s outskirts, and slowly unfolding secrets point to fearsome Sheriff Standford “Judge” Ross—Caleb’s father and Chris’s boss. A debut for Scott, who has served as a special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration for over two decades; a big library push.

Thor, Brad. Foreign Agent: A Thriller. Emily Bestler: Atria. Jun. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781476789354. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476789378. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER
At a safe house near the Syrian border, a hush-hush American operations team is getting ready to hit a special target: Abu Muslim al-Naser, director of Social Media for ISIS, whom Thor stalwart Scot Harvath located while working at a private intelligence agency under contract with both the CIA and the Department of Defense. When the safe house is bloodily attacked, Harvath has to figure out who leaked its whereabouts and the very existence of the mission. An au courant follow-up to last summer’s Code of Conduct.

Wohlsdorf, Gina. Security. Algonquin. Jun. 2016. ISBN 9781616205621. $25.95. THRILLER
It takes a killer, knocking off staff members one by one, to wreck the opening of ultra-luxurious Manderley Resort on the Santa Barbara beachfront. And it’s clear that the killer is watching everyone. A debut billed as a literary slasher; comparisons to Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train.

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Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.