Gardiner, Meltzer, Paris, & More | Thriller Previews, Jun. 2017, Pt. 3

Beck, Haylen. Here and Gone. Crown. Jun. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780451499578. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780451499592. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER
A woman fleeing an abusive marriage with her children is taken into custody by a shifty-looking Arizona sheriff who later denies that she had any children with her. To someone cross-country, it sounds spookily like something that once happened to him. From a pseudonymous, Edgar Award–nominated author of crime fiction.

Billingham, Mark. Love Like Blood: A Tom Thorne Novel. Atlantic Monthly. Jun. 2017. ISBN 9780802126535. $26. THRILLER
Series stalwart Tom Thorne helps DI Nicola Tanner (seen in 2016’s Die of Shame) investigate when she loses her partner, Susan to a brutal murderer Nicola believes was gunning for her. Could the motive be Nicola’s current focus on a series of cold-case honor killings? From the award-winning British bjorkcrime writer; look for promotion at ALA annual.

Bjork, Samuel. The Owl Always Hunts at Night. Penguin. Jun. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780143110408. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780698193819. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
Sold in over 30 territories after the bang-up international success of the LJ-starred I’m Traveling Alone, this new thriller from the pseudonymous multithreat Norwegian novelist, playwright, and singer/songwriter again features Det. Holger Munch. A teenager from an orphanage has been murdered, her body cosseted on a bed of feathers and enshrined by candles, and a creepy video of the victim before her murder motivates troubled but brilliant investigator Mia Kruger to rejoin the team.

Child, Lee, ed. MatchUp: The Battle of the Sexes Just Got Thrilling. S. & S. Jun. 2017. 464p. ISBN 9781501141591. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781501141614. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER/ANTHOLOGY
Following 2014’s FaceOff, a New York Times best-selling anthology featuring 22 top thriller writers, this new anthology adds gender to the mix by pairing 11 top female writers with 11 top male writers for 11 distinctive stories. Included, for instance, is “Faking a Murderer,” penned by matchupKathy Reichs and Lee Child (also the volume’s editor) and featuring their beloved characters Temperance Brennan and Jack Reacher, respectively.

Coes, Ben. Trap the Devil. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9781250043184. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466841284. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
A coup aimed at toppling the U.S. government, featuring key people in politics, the military, and the private sector? That’s what former White House intern/speechwriter Coes has dreamed up, with only series stalwart Dewey Andreas set to intervene. If only Dewey doesn’t get blamed for the secretary of state’s assassination. With a national tour.

Elsberg, Marc. Blackout. Sourcebooks Landmark. Jun. 2017. 320p. tr. from German by Marshall Yarborough. ISBN 9781492654414. $26.99. THRILLER
The lights have gone out all over Europe, with nuclear reactors beginning to overheat, and a former hacktivist tries to investigate the cause. Soon he’s accused of causing the blackout and must join with a Paris-based American reporter to get the grid up and running while quelling threats to the United States. A million-copy international best seller published in 15 languages; our chance to join the fun.

Ephron, Hallie. You’ll Never Know, Dear. Morrow. Jun. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780062473615. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062473646. THRILLER
Lissie was only seven when little sister Janey and an extra-special porcelain doll disappeared from their front yard, and 40 years later she still blames herself. No one finderhas ever responded to an ad their mother has placed each year on the anniversary of Janey’s disappearance, but now the doll has come to light. The next from Ephron, all of whose novels have been short-listed for the Mary Higgins Clark Award; with a 35,000-copy first printing.

Finder, Joseph. The Switch. Dutton. Jun. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9781101985786. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781101985793. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
The MacBook that Michael Tanner picked up accidentally at the TSA security line at LAX belongs to U.S. senator Susan Robbins, and it contains top secret files that have been uploaded illegally. Does he agree to return it? No, he does not, and that’s where things get sticky. Lately, Finder has been popping back up on the New York Times best sellers list and is building a new audience.

Gardiner, Meg. UNSUB. Dutton. Jun. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9781101985526. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101985533. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
In FBI lingo, the UNSUB is an unknown subject, and the UNSUB in this latest from Edgar Award winner Gardiner is the Prophet, a serial killer who ran roughshod over the Bay Area in the 1990s unsub(just like the Zodiac killer). The father of narcotics detective Caitlin Hendrix was lead investigator on the case, still unsolved, and it destroyed his career. Now bodies are turning up that bear the signature of the Prophet—the ancient sign for Mercury—and Caitlin is left puzzling over whether this is a copycat killer or the real thing. The start of a new series; with a five-city tour.

Gregory, Daryl. Spoonbenders. Knopf. Jun. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781524731823. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781524731830. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. SUPERHEROES/LITERARY
Conman Teddy Telemachus manages a family of talk-show favorites who really do have superhuman powers. Maureen can astral-project, for instance, and Frankie is blessed with telekinesis. But when the CIA, the Mafia, and a diehard skeptic all challenge The Amazing Telemachus Family, grandson Matty comes to the rescue with his own special gifts. With a seven-city tour to Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, and San Diego; optioned by Paramount Television.

Harris, Charlaine & others. Indigo. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781250076786. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466888357. THRILLER
A collaboration among 11 writers, including Harris, Christopher Golden, and Kelley Armstrong, this work features an investigative reporter named Nora Hesper who moonlights as the vigilante Indigo. In both roles, she focuses on a cult that’s murdering children, but events soon make her indigoconsider her own past—in particular, what happened after her parents were killed. Still a teenager, she traveled the world on their life insurance, and her study of meditation and magic seems to have given her some strange powers.

Harrison, Colin. You Belong to Me. Sarah Crichton: Farrar. Jun. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780374299477. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781429944625. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
Los Angeles Book Prize finalist Harrison returns with another edgy urban thriller, this one featuring immigration lawyer Paul Reeves. Map-obsessed Paul is attending an auction with neighbor Jennifer Mehraz, the stunning wife of an Iranian financier-lawyer, when she is snatched by a former lover who marches in wearing fatigues. Even as Jennifer’s husband obsesses over the bad publicity, Paul learns that a rare and invaluable map has also gone missing.

Holt, Anne. Odd Numbers: Hanne Wilhelmsen Book Nine. Scribner. Jun. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781451634730. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781451634891. MYSTERY
In this penultimate entry in the internationally best-selling series featuring Det. Hanne Wilhelmsen, an explosion at the Islamic Cooperation Council’s headquarters in Oslo leaves 23 people dead. Hanne has been isolated from the Security Service, working cold cases from home, but helping a friend’s disturbed son draws her into the case surrounding the explosion. Note that the author will appear at the June 2017 Bay Area Book Festival.

Kellerman, Jonathan with Ande Parker (adaptor) & Michael Gaydos (illus.). Monster. Ballantine. Jun. 2017. 176p. ISBN 9780345541512. $26. THRILLER
Dr. Alex Delaware joins with Det. Milo Sturgis to figure out who murdered a doctor from a state psychiatric facility, and if that plot sounds familiar, it should. This is the third graphic novel adaptation of a Kellerman thriller, following Silent Partner (a New York Times graphic novel best seller) and The Web.

Kelly, Erin. He Said/She Said. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2017. 400p. ISBN 781250113696. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250113702. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
In summer 1999, while visiting Cornwall with eclipse-fanatic lover Kit, Laura intervenes when she sees a kellyerinman threatening a woman. When the victim shows up at Kit and Laura’s house, initially full of gratitude but eventually turning spooky, Laura wonders if she misinterpreted what she saw. Fifteen years later, Kit and Laura are living off the grid and still threatened by the past. Huge publicity and part of the mini publishing boom occasioned by this summer’s solar eclipse, the first visible from the continental United States in nearly four decades.

King, Laurie R. Lockdown: A Novel of Suspense. Bantam. Jun. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780804177931. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780804177948. THRILLER
In King’s first contemporary stand-alone suspense in over a decade, it’s Career Day at Guadalupe Middle School, a concept initiated by new principal Linda McDonald in an effort to fight truancy and gang violence. But someone in the crowd is looking for revenge, and an entire classroom is held hostage. Lots of backstory, from a janitor with a secret to the student trying to escape her mother’s past, and several of the characters have also appeared in some of King’s short stories.

Lancet, Barry. The Spy Across the Table. S. & S. Jun. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9781476794914. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781476794938. THRILLER
When two of his friends are murdered backstage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, antiques dealer, Japan expert, and private investigator Jim Brodie finds that he’s not the only one interested in the case. The First Lady, college roommate to one of the victims, asks him to find the killer, which infuriates Homeland Security head Tom Swelley. For Swelley knows that this was not a random act of violence. From Barry Award winner Lancet.

Maden, Mike. Tom Clancy Point of Contact. Putnam. Jun. 2017. 688p. ISBN 9780735215863. $29. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
Checking out a German company for the investment firm that acts as cover for The Campus, Jack Ryan Jr. takes along back-office employee David Kraft to help run numbers and carry the bags. Unfortunately, David’s secret past gets them both in trouble. Author of the successful “Drone” series, with a doctorate in conflict, technology, and international relations, Madden brings good madenskills to the Clancy mix.

Meltzer, Brad. The Escape Artist. Grand Central. Jun. 2017. 384p. ISBN 9781455559527. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455559510. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
No plot details yet on Meltzer’s next thriller. But he’s a perennial New York Times best-selling author (2015’s The President’s Shadow has sold over 300,000 copies across formats), and this book has a 200,000-copy first printing backed by a seven- to ten-city tour. So purchase is a no-brainer where thriller fans abound.

Oates, Joyce Carol. DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense. Mysterious Pr: Grove Atlantic. Jun. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9780802126528. $25. SUSPENSE/PSYCHOLOGICAL
An 11-year-old hops into a car steered by the black-sheep male relative she worships and is driven off to a troubling fate. A group of naive birdwatchers are shuttled to a remote and dangerous part of the world. An increasingly disturbed university transfer student obsesses over the murder of a classmate. These are just three of seven creepy tales, previously published in venues like Boulevard and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, with which Oates unsettles us here.

Paris, B.A. The Breakdown. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2017. 336. ISBN 9781250122469. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250122483. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLERparisba
One cold, rainswept night, Cass takes a shortcut home through the woods and sees a woman sitting in a car. Later, the woman is reported killed, and Cass feels so guilty for not stopping that she’s suffering from memory lapses. Then there are those silent phone calls. More chills from the author of last year’s New York Times best-selling Behind Closed Doors.

Sullivan, Matthew. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. Scribner. Jun. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781501116841. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501116865. SUSPENSE
After the shocking suicide of young Joey Molina, a regular at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, bookstore clerk Lydia Smith (Joey’s favorite at the store) goes through his scanty possessions. She’s surprised to find his books defaced in unsettling ways that suggest both a troubled soul and a secret message she needs to follow. Uncovering Joey’s past leads to her own past, where a murderer is lurking. A debut from an award-winning short story writer.

Womack, Gwendolyn. The Fortune Teller. Picador. Jun. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9781250099778. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781250099785. THRILLER
Like Womack’s debut, the RWA PRISM–winning The Memory Painter, this second novel sounds womacklike a heady blend of fantasy, thrills, romance, and art. An antiquities appraiser at a Manhattan auction house, Semele Cavnow has discovered a manuscript dating from the time of Cleopatra that mentions a fabulous deck of tarot cards while seeming to prophesize the cataclysms of the next two millennia. With someone trying to interrupt the sale of the manuscript and hints that those tarot cards still exist, Semele must act, even if client Theo Brussard proves hard to enlist.

Woods, Stuart. Indecent Exposure. Putnam. Jun. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780735217119. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780735217133. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
The ineffably smooth Stone Barrington is back, and as usual I have no plot details to reveal. But I can tell you that Woods sold over 1.2 million novels in 2015 alone, that this is his third title in 2017 (after Fast and Loose and Venus Flytrap), and that it’s being billed as the author’s 50th consecutive New York Times best seller.

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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.

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