Fiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 3: Thrillers, Mysteries, & Other Dark Doings

Adler-Olsen, Jussi. The Purity of Vengeance: A Department Q Novel. Dutton. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780525954019. $26.95. CD: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
New evidence has been unearthed in the case that eliminated Det. Carl Mørck’s two partners and sent Mørck himself to cold-case hell in Department Q, and soon he’s linking the long-ago disappearance of a brothel owner to plans made by Nete Hermansen in 1987 to destroy those who abused her in her youth—including a surgeon who led Denmark’s 1950s campaign to sterilize errant girls. From Denmark’s top crime writer.

Bradley, Alan. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel. Delacorte. Jan. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780385344050. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780345539694. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. MYSTERY
Preadolescent sleuth Flavia de Luce is back, solving another crime in Bishop’s Lacey, England, and getting closer to the mystery of her mother’s disappearance. With the publisher having signed on for four more Flavia de Luce mysteries and Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes having bought rights to produce a projected five two-hour television movies, it looks as if Flavia will be plying her special knowledge of poisons an climbing the New York Times best sellers list for some time to come.

Brekke, Jørgen. Where Monsters Dwell. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9781250016805. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250026040. MYSTERY
With a curator’s murder at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, VA, paralleling an archivist’s murder at a library in Trondheim, Norway, Richmond homicide detective Felicia Stone and Trondheim police inspector Odd Singsaker must work together, eventually discovering a link to the journal (bound in human skin) of a 1500s Norwegian serial killer. A debut novel with rights sold to 15 countries.

Chapman, Drew. The Ascendant. S. & S. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781476725888. $25. THRILLER
Possessed of a unique ability for remembering and sorting numbers, top-notch bond analyst Garrett Reilly notices something that other analysts don’t: US Treasury bonds are being rapidly sold off. He’s getting ready to get really rich from his discovery when the U.S. military arrives to shut him up; he’s just spotted the first move in a dangerously unconventional war. What does it say that Chapman was scriptwriter for both Pocahontas and the original Iron Man for 20th Century Fox?

Cook, Robin. Cell. Putnam. Jan. 2014. 448p. ISBN 9780399166303. $26.95. CD: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
The iDoc is one smart smartphone, serving as a fully customizable personal physician offering effective diagnosis and treatment. The only problem? radiology resident George Wilson’s fiancée and other patients have died during beta testing. From the author who defined the medical thriller.

Elo, Elisabeth. North of Boston. Pamela Dorman Bks: Penguin Group (USA). Jan. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780670015658. $27.95. THRILLER
The Boston-bred daughter of a tough-minded Russian father, Pirio Kasparov is aboard a fishing boat in the North Atlantic with friend and professional fisherman Ned when a freighter slams into them. She’s rescued after hours in the water, but Ned is not, and Pirio begins to suspect that his death is no accident. There’s great in-house excitement about this debut, touted as Dennis Lehane meets Smilla’s Sense of Snow.  

Gardner, Lisa. Fear Nothing: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel. Dutton. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780525953081. $27.95. THRILLER
Badly injured as she investigates a crime scene, Det. D.D. Warren has not yet returned to work but still hunts for Boston’s latest serial bad guy, the Rose Killer, who leaves behind a single rose and a bottle of champagne and seems to be emulating long-dead killer Harry Day. Day’s daughter, herself a notorious murderer now in prison, claims that she can help catch the guy. From the best-selling International Thriller of the Year Award winner.

Higgins, Jack. The Death Trade. Putnam. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780399165894. $26.95. SUSPENSE
Sean Dillon and Sara Gideon are back, running a big operation stretching from Paris to the Saudi Arabian desert that aims to rescue an Iranian scientist. Unhappy with the breakthrough he’s made in nuclear research—he doesn’t want the current regime to have the bomb—he’s still unable to run without endangering his family. From the internationally best-selling author.

Neuhaus, Nele. Bad Wolf. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2014. tr. from German by Steven T. Murray. 432p. ISBN 9781250043993. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466842434. MYSTERY
In the second U.S. publication from German author Neuhaus (after the successful Snow White Must Die), Inspectors Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein must deal with the death of 16-year-old girl and a subsequent vicious attack on a TV reporter, which lead them to investigate the possibility of a high-society child pornography ring.

Knott, Robert. Robert B. Parker’s Bull River. Putnam. Jan. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780399165269. $26.95. WESTERN
Having adapted and produced Parker’s Appaloosa for the big screen, Knott is well positioned to bring back itinerant lawmen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch in this most recent continuation of the late Parker’s franchise. No sooner have our heroes captured bad guy Capt. Alejandro Vasquez when he becomes the key to solving a bank robbery in which two battling brothers and the daughter of a millionaire are implicated.

Koontz, Dean. Innocence. Bantam. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780553808032. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780345539656. THRILLER
The No. 1 New York Times best-selling author’s new standalone might just signal the start of a new series, so pay attention. In a secretive, shadowy city, Addison hides from the prying eyes of those who live openly, because they kill his (mysterious) kind on sight. But one night he spots an edgy young woman facing down a particularly nasty sort and intervenes. This blend of chills, atmosphere, and romance comes after a year of remarketing the Odd Thomas series and six months before the launch of a new trilogy starring Ivy Elgin, who had a secondary role in Koontz’s Velocity.

Kramer, Julie. Delivering Death. Emily Bestler Bks: Atria. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781451664669. $24.99. MYSTERY
A Daphne du Maurier Award winner who’s been nominated for the Anthony, Barry, Shamus, and Mary Higgins Clark awards, Kramer returns with the next mystery starring TV reporter Riley Spartz. Even as Riley’s boss demands coverage of a Mall of America wedding to boost ratings, a package containing human teeth arrives at Riley’s desk, signaling that a killer really wants his crime aired.

Krentz, Jayne Ann. River Road. Putnam. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780399165122. $26.95. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
A forensic genealogist at private investigation firm, Lucy Sheridan has returned for her aunt’s funeral to Summer River, where 13 years ago an older and wiser Mason Fletcher embarrassed her by rescuing her from a wild teen party. Now she discovers that more bad stuff went down that night than she realized—Mason, who works security, is ready to help her again. From the New York Times best-selling author who also writes as Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick.

Marcinko, Richard & Jim DeFelice. Rogue Warrior: Curse of the Infidel. Forge: Tor. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780765332943. $26.95. THRILLER
The man who started and commanded SEAL Team 6, the navy’s first counterterrorist command, as well as Red Cell, a high-level antiterrorist unit, has also given us a thriller series that fictionalizes Red Cell activities. Here, Rogue Warrior Richard Marcinko must recruit members from the original SEAL team and blend them with members of his Red Cell International group when he gets dragged into a CIA operation that lands him on an explosives-laden luxury liner heading toward America.

Rollins, James & Rebecca Cantrell. Innocent Blood: The Order of the Sanguines Series. Morrow. Jan. 2014. 448p. ISBN 9780061991066. $27.99. THRILLER
Despite some tepid reviews, The Blood Gospel, first in a new Rollins-Cantrell series, was a New York Times and USA Today best seller, and the coauthors are back with a second book that has a 150,000-copy first printing and a one-day laydown on 12/17/13. Archaeologist Erin Granger, whose search for an ancient artifact linked with Christ has led her to a hush-hush Vatican order called the Sanguines, must appeal to the order again when she finds herself up against a man called Iscariot plotting the world’s end.

Staincliffe, Cath. Dead to Me. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781250038548. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250038531. MYSTERY
When hot-headed Rachel Bailey joins the Murder Investigation Team in Manchester, England, she’s carefully paired with thoughtful, reliable veteran Janet Scott, and together they pursue the killer of a teenage girl in a North Manchester housing estate. Creator of the hit UK TV series Blue Murder, joint winner of the CWA Short Story Dagger Award, and shortlisted for the CWA’s John Creasey and Dagger in the Library awards, Staincliffe has great credentials.

Sternbergh, Adam. Shovel Ready. Crown. Jan. 2014. 240p. ISBN 9780385348997. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780385349000. Downloadable: Random Audio. MYSTERY
In a New York City hollowed out by a dirty bomb that decimated Times Square, the rich escape into virtual reality while everyone else wanders the unrecognizable streets. Former garbage collector Spademan is now a hit man, but his latest assignment—to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist—is complicated by his intended victim’s dark secret and his client’s far-reaching agenda. From the culture editor of the New York Times Magazine.

Taylor, Brad. The Polaris Protocol: A Pike Logan Thriller. Dutton. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780525953975. $26.95. THRILLER
Taskforce operators Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill learn that Jennifer’s brother has been kidnapped by a Mexican drug cartel aiming to bring down the United States with a GPS hack that can send false signals disrupting everything from bank transfers to cruise missiles. Fifth in the New York Times best-selling Pike Logan thriller series.

Todd, Charles. Hunting Shadows: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery. Morrow. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780062237187. $25.99. MYSTERY
The New York Times best-selling, Barry Award–winning Todd returns with another Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery, this one set in Cambridgeshire. When a society wedding occasions one murder and another, seemingly unconnected, murder occurs shortly thereafter, the local constabulary calls in Scotland Yard. To solve the crimes, a puzzled Rutledge must wrestle with his ethics as he dredges up memories of a crime he witnessed during World War I.

Unger, Lisa. In the Blood. Touchstone. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781451691177. $25.99. THRILLER
Having built her life on lies, college senior Lana is primed to match wits with the little monster she’s now babysitting, even if he has been expelled from schools nationwide. But when she conceals her whereabouts on the night her best friend disappears, the secret she’s been hiding looks ready to surface. Unger, who has 1.5 million copies of her books out there, returns to creepy psychological suspense in which she excels.

Woods, Stuart. Standup Guy: A Stone Barrington Novel. Putnam. Jan. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780399164156. $26.95. CD: Penguin Audio. ACTION/ADVENTURE
After giving legal advice to a polite and polished gentleman, Stone Barrington discovers that several shady types seem unusually interested in the man’s activities, and soon an old crime looms as the reason. Another chance to visit posh homes in Florida and the Northeast with sailor, pilot, and Edgar Award winner Woods.

Wolf, Dick. The Execution. Morrow. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780062064851 $27.99; lrg. prnt. THRILLER
The man behind the Law & Order phenomenon, Wolf debuted last year with The Intercept, which achieved high acclaim and a nice presence on the New York Times extended, IndieBound, and Publishers Weekly best sellers lists. In his new novel, 23 bodies marked with the distinctive hummingbird symbol of the assassin Chuparosa are found beheaded on the U.S.-Mexico border, which sends Det. Cecilia Garza of the Mexican intelligence agency straight to New York, where she learns Chuparosa is heading next. There, she joins forces with a somewhat unsettled Jeremy Fisk, charged with keeping the city safe during United Nations Week. With a one-day laydown on 1/7/14 and a 150,000-copy first printing.

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.