Fiction Previews, Apr. 2013, Pt. 4: David Baldacci, Iris Johansen, T. Jefferson Parker, and More

Baldacci, David. The Hit. Grand Central. Apr. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9781455521210. $27.99. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
What to do when a government assassin turns rogue? Colleague Will Robie, who debuted this year in Baldacci’s The Innocent, is tasked with doing him in but begins to see that the man has a point. He changes his mind, though, when a loved one lands in the rogue’s crosshairs. The title is undoubtedly prophetic.

Clark, Mary Higgins. Daddy’s Gone A Hunting. S. & S. NAp. ISBN 9781451668940. $26.95. CD: S. & S. THRILLER
Why did a family-owned furniture firm, including the mansion stocked with all those antiques, burst into flame in the middle of the night? What was CPA Kate Connelly doing there? Why was the trustworthy Gus, a retired employee, with her? And what’s Kate’s sister, fashion designer Hannah, to do now that Kate is in the hospital and Gus is dead? The Queen of Suspense keeps the questions coming.

Coughlin, Jack & Donald A. Davis. Time To Kill: A Sniper Novel. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781250012876. $25.99. THRILLER
The Muslim Brotherhood wants war—specifically, war between Iran and Egypt that would lead to a triumphant Iran and control of the Suez Canal. Blowing up the Sphinx and assuring that Iran’s national soccer team is gunned down on a visit to Cairo is just part of the plan, masterminded by a shady double agent called the Pharaoh. Enter Kyle Swanson, American sniper extraordinaire, who’s asked to set things straight without any apparent U.S. involvement. Another in the New York Times best- selling series from former gunnery sergeant Coughlin and blockbuster author Davis. Whoa, this could start a war.

Ephron, Hallie. There Was an Old Woman: A Novel of Suspense.  Morrow. Apr. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780062117601. $25.99. THRILLER
Mystery reviewer for the Boston Globe and the Mary Higgins Clark Award–nominated author of Never Tell a Lie and Come and Find Me, Ephron crafts a tale of domestic suspense. When her mother is sent to the hospital, Evie Ferrante goes to her home—and is shocked by what she finds. Why is the house a wreck, who could have given her mother that high-end flat-screen television and expensive liquor, and what could her mother have meant when whispering to a neighbor “Don’t let him in until I’m gone”? Not the biggest printing, but such credentials; look into this if you’ve got fans.

French, Nicci. Tuesday’s Gone: A Frieda Klein Novel. Pamela Dorman Bks: Viking. Apr. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9780670025671. $27.95. THRILLER
The multi-million-copy best-selling author French (actually husband-and-wife team Nicci Gerard and Sean French) hit a new high with the first Frieda Klein novel, Blue Monday. Frieda’s back, asked by Chief Inspector Karlsson to investigate when a social worker finds a client serving tea to a naked, decomposing corpse. When Frieda discovers that the victim is a notorious con man, she wonders whether someone is conniving to get her involved in a dangerous investigation—that could end with her death. Creepy stuff; you’ll be looking over your shoulder as you read.

Johansen, Iris. Taking Eve. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781250019981. $27.99. THRILLER
Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan’s job is to bring closure to those who have lost loved ones. Now she’s doing it for Jim Doane, whose 25-year-old son has vanished, leaving behind only a skull fragment. For reasons of his own, Jim can’t go to the police, so he turns to Eve. Launching a new Eve Duncan trilogy; with a one-day laydown on April 16 and obviously big.

Kosmatka, Ted. Prophet of Bones. Holt. Apr. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780805096170. $26. THRILLER
Called to an archaeological dig on a remote Indonesian island to investigate the desiccated bones of a newly discovered species of tool user, scientist Paul Carlson uncovers facts that could remake the very foundations of science—and, ultimately, of society. Then the dig is forcibly shut down by paramilitaries, and Paul barely escapes with his life. At home, Paul finds that he still isn’t safe; because of what he’s learned, forces out there want to shut him down completely. Cool, an anthropological thriller; Kosmatka did well with his debut, The Games, and has been nominated for a Nebula for his short fiction, which suggests a certain crossover appeal.

Parker, T. Jefferson. The Famous and the Dead: A Charlie Hood Novel. Dutton. Apr. 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780525953173. $26.95. THRILLER
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy Charlie Hood works undercover to stem the flow of arms across the border. (The diamond fillings in his left canine, shining right in the face of the bad guys as he smilingly arrests them, have earned him the nickname Charlie Diamonds.) Bradley Jones, son of Charlie’s beloved Suzanne, a notorious L.A. outlaw now dead, is both a sheriff’s deputy and an employee of the Baja Cartel. Then there’s Mike Finnegan, who touches both men’s lives and might be immortal. Three-time Edgar Award winner Park goes wild.

Patterson, James & Maxine Paetro. The 12th of Never. Little, Brown. Apr. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780316210829. $27.99. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
On her next “Women’s Murder Club” outing, Det. Lindsay Boxer must return to work directly after having a baby. An upcoming football player for the San Francisco 49ers has been accused of a particularly gruesome murder, and a dotty English professor is having nightmares about another gruesome murder that turns out actually to have happened. What might these cases have in common? Read the book.

Poyer, David. The Whiteness of the Whale. St. Martins. Apr. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9781250020567. $26.99. THRILLER
The activists aboard the racing yacht Black Anemone are heading into Antarctic waters, intent on challenging a Japanese whaling fleet. Everyone aboard is shadowed by a dark secret, and they all pull together when they come upon a sperm whale with a temper to challenge Moby-Dick’s. Retired naval officer Poyer has written 30 books, most set upon the Seven Seas and several required reading in the Literature of the Sea course at the U.S. Naval Academy, along with works by Conrad and Melville. Okay, perhaps he’s not quite in their league, but he should be rousing good fun for thriller fans.

Quick, Amanda. The Mystery Woman. Putnam. Apr. 2013. ISBN 9780399159091. $26.95. PARANORMAL THRILLER
Conjuring up the skills he once used as a spy for the Crown, Joshua North is hunting down his sister’s blackmailer. At first he suspects Beatrice Lockwood, who’s also being hunted by a scientist intent on resurrecting a dead lover with an ancient Egyptian formula for preserving dead bodies. Beatrice’s special paranormal talents are needed to make the formula work. Soon, Joshua and Beatrice join forces, and these two cases connect in a nicely explosive way. Jayne Ann Krentz in paranormal mode; expect demand.

Scottoline, Lisa. Don’t Go. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781250010070. $27.99. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
Dr. Mike Scanlon’s life is in chaos. Returning home from service in Afghanistan when his wife dies in a freak house accident, he finds that his medical practice has all but collapsed in his absence and that he hardly knows his baby daughter. Then he learns an ugly secret that sends him back to Afghanistan, at least until he comes to his senses and fights to retrieve his daughter, his life, and the truth. Billed as a thriller but more than that, it seems, and Edgar Award winner Scottoline gets a one-day laydown on April 9.

Swerling, Beverly. Bristol House. Viking. Apr. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780670025930. $27.95. THRILLER
Thriller? Mystery? Historical? Contemporary? (It’s actually classed, a little puzzlingly, as contemporary women’s fiction.) I’m putting this book here for convenience (and it is eliciting comparisons to Kate Mosse’s work). In present-day London, Annie is investigating the whereabouts of some ancient Judaica with the help of investigative reporter Geoff Harris (who’s attracted to her, so that’s the “contemporary women’s” angle). Meanwhile, in 1535 London, a Carthusian monk and a goldsmith known as the Jew of Holborn are caught in an intrigue involving a Jewish treasure, sexual escapades, and Thomas Cromwell (he’s hot!) that has ramifications for Annie and Geoff’s search. Swerling, author of the “City of Dreams” series, has a feel for history.

Waite, Urban. The Carrion Bird. Morrow. Apr. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780062216885. $25.99; eISBN 9780062216908. LITERARY THRILLER
This book comes well recommended. Waite’s debut, The Terror of Living, was nominated for QPB’s 2011 New Voices Award and was named one of Esquire’s “Ten Best Books of 2011,” while rights to the current title have been sold in nine countries. The setting is the white-hot Southwest, the mood noir. Hired gun Ray Lamar wants to quit his job and return to Coronado, NM, to get reacquainted with his motherless son. His last job is to steal a rival’s stash, but shady figures along the Mexican border are getting in the way. Upmarket thrills  pushed to fans of Cormac McCarthy and Dennis Lehane; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Woods, Stuart. Unintended Consequences. Putnam. Apr. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9780399159879. $26.95. THRILLER
Woods, who’s been turning them out right and left, is back with another Stone Barrington story. Here, Stone wakes up in a hospital in Paris with no idea what happened to him and no memory of the previous four days. His clue hunting starts with a dinner invitation from a mysterious woman. What’s in store? For one thing, lots of author events for Woods, who will pilot his way to them on his own plane.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @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.