Winter Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2018

Berenson, Alex. The Deceivers. Putnam. Feb. 2018. 432p. ISBN 9780399176166. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698407534. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
At the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks, a terrorist sting gone intentionally wrong results in puddles of blood. So what’s that got to do with John Wells’s new assignment? That’s for the reader to discover, as our somewhat flummoxed hero is not asked to investigate the catastrophe but to travel to Colombia and contact an old asset with information to share. The big news: the Russians are planning to take over the U.S. government. From the New York Times best-selling author.

Blaedel, Sara. The Undertaker’s Daughter. Grand Central. Feb. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781455541119. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455541096. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455541089. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Famed for her internationally best-selling thrillers starring Inspector Louise Ricks (the second and third Ricks trilogies are getting special trade paperback treatment from the publisher starting in January 2018), Blaedel here launches a new series and moves her setting from Denmark to America. Forty-year-old widow Ilka Nichols Jensen is leading a modest life in Copenhagen when she’s blown out of the water by news that her long-gone father has died and left her his business–a funeral home and in Racine, WI, no less. In Racine, as she’s sorting through her father’s belongings, Ilka comes across evidence of an unsolved murder and a killer who’s still at large. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Dazieri, Sandrone. Kill the Angel. Scribner. Feb. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781501174650. $27. THRILLER
The author of 50 screenplays and eight novels that have made best sellers lists in Europe, Dazieri showed up here in 2016 with Kill the Father, the first in a series starring PTSD-plagued Roman deputy police commissioner Colomba Caselli and private consultant Dante Torre, who carries harsh burdens from childhood. In their second outing, Caselli is called in when a high-speed train from Milan arrives in Rome with a carriage full of dead bodies. Islamic extremists are blamed, but Torre thinks that the real culprit is an evil woman who calls herself Gilitinè after the mythological Lithuanian goddess of death. Of Kill the Father, the starred LJ review said, “This captivating novel keeps readers guessing and on edge until the final page.”

Duffy, Brendan. The Storm King. Ballantine. Feb. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780804178143. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780804178150. Downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER
A devoted family man and pediatric cancer specialist, Nate McHale was once “the Storm King,” a boiling-with-rage teenager leading like-minded friends—including reckless, beautiful Lucy and earnest police chief’s son Tom—on missions to punish anyone who’s crossed them. Now a body has been discovered in the wood near their Adirondacks town, and secrets from their past are coming out. Duffy’s debut, House of Echoes, won a handful of stars and has been optioned for film.

Gardner, Lisa. Look for Me. Dutton. Feb. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9781524742058. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524742065. lrg. prnt. THRILLER
Gardner gets busy in this novel, assigning Det. D.D. Warren another case while bringing back once-victimized, twice-crusading Flora Dane from 2016’s Find Her. Four members of an unfortunate family have been brutally murdered, and the 16-year-old daughter is missing. Is she killer, kidnap victim, or lucky escapee? Warren and Dane look for her, following clues she has apparently left trailing behind like breadcrumbs. With a five-city tour; sales of Find Her really boomed.

Greaney, Mark. Agent in Place. Berkley. Feb. 2018. 512p. ISBN 9780451488909. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780451488923. THRILLER
Once Tom Clancy’s coauthor and now solely responsible for putting Jack Ryan on the page, Greaney also writes the Gray Man novels (most recently, Gunmetal Gray), for which he’s trained in close-range combat, battlefield medicine, and the use of firearms. Here, a group of Syrian expats want the Gray Man to help them bring down the Syrian president by kidnapping his mistress. Then they discover that the mistress has a baby—the president’s only male heir, hidden away in a safe house—and all hell breaks loose. Gunmetal Gray debuted at No. 11 on the New York Times hardcover fiction list, and a Gray Man movie is in the works.

Grippando, James. A Death in Live Oak: A Jack Swyteck Novel. Harper. Feb. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780062657800. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062657824. THRILLER
A former trial lawyer, New York Times best-selling author Grippando here brings racial tensions to a boil. The president of a Florida university’s top African American fraternity has been found hogtied and drowned in a Suwanee River Valley swamp, and his counterpart at a white fraternity is soon accused of the crime. There’s plenty of evidence against him, but defense attorney Jack Swyteck finds uncomfortable parallels to a lynching in 1944 and soon suspects a nasty conspiracy. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Kellerman, Jonathan. Night Moves: An Alex Delaware Novel. Ballantine. Feb. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780345541468. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780345541475. lrg prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER
What would you do if you returned home from an elegant dinner and found the mutilated corpse of a stranger in your house? You’d call psychologist Alex Delaware and Detective Milo Sturgis, of course. From the Edgar Award–winning, No. 1 New York Times best-selling Kellerman; need I say more?

Lawson, Mike. House Witness. Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780802126665. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780802165602. THRILLER
Political fixer Joe DeMarco has a nice following—House Rules was a No. 1 Kindle best seller, and two DeMarco outings have won Friends of Mystery awards. He also has a tough new assignment investigating the shooting death of the son his employer, House minority leader John Mahoney, has kept secret from his wife. Working with prosecutor Justine Porter, Joe thinks it’s an open-and-shut case—five bystanders have agreed to testify against golden boy Toby Rosenthal—but someone starts interfering with the witnesses in a disturbing echo of cases nationwide, and Joe realizes that he’s up against a fixer of a different sort. Look for a big push at PLA and ALA Midwinter.

Lescroart, John. Poison. Atria. Feb. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781501115707. $26.99. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER
So what if bookkeeper Abby Jarvis was embezzling funds from a business worth $25 million and owned by the Carver family for four generations? It doesn’t mean she killed her boss, family patriarch Grant Carver. Dismas Hardy, who’s come out of semi-retirement to deal with this drama (he once defended Abby on a DUI charge), quickly discovers that there are lots of skeletons rattling about the Carvers’ capacious closets and lots of folks who would have profited from Grant’s death. Doubtless Lescroart’s next New York Times best seller (after Fatal).

Marrs, John. The One. Hanover Square. Feb. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781335005106. $26.99. THRILLER
Chosen as a BBC2 Radio Book Club pick, highlighted by the Bookseller on its Heatseekers Fiction Chart, and good enough to be a print and ebook best seller, this edgy thriller is a big deal in the UK. So why not here? Scientists have discovered the genetic code that pairs people with their soulmates, and now folks everywhere are getting a quick mouth swab to determine  their DNA. But it turns out that one’s soulmate can have some deep, dark secrets. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Matthews, Jason. The Kremlin’s Candidate. Scribner. Feb. 2018. 448p. ISBN 9781501140082. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501140105. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER
It’s the end of the “Red Sparrow” trilogy but the prelude to something big; this book will be published just before the release of Red Sparrow, a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgarton. Col. Dominika Egorova, a Russian counterintelligence chief who has been stealing Kremlin secrets for her CIA handler (and paramour) for over seven years, is now spy hunting. The Kremlin plans to place a mole inside a high intelligence position in Washington, and one of the candidates (but which?) has already been active for years and could blow the cover of all  the CIA spies in Moscow, including Dominika. With a seven-city tour to Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

Perry, Karen. Girl Unknown. Holt. Feb. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780805098747. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780805098754. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
After some upsets, David and Caroline Connolly’s marriage is back on track, with jobs, children, and love life all intact. Then a fragile-looking young woman enters David’s office at the university where he teaches and announces that she might be his daughter. The Connollys are ready to embrace needy Zoë, but are they letting someone dangerous into their lives? From the pen-named Paul Perry and Karen Gillece, critically acclaimed authors swooping in for some fun.

 

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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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