Fiction Previews, Jun. 2014, Pt. 2: 41 Big Commercial Titles, from Megan Abbott to Daniel H. Wilson

Abbott, Megan. The Fever. Little, Brown. Jun. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780316231053. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316231022. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316365703. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Things go badly for the Nash family, as a friend of teenage Deenie Nash experiences a seizure fever signaling the onset of a mysterious contagion that tears apart the entire community. Edgar Award winner Abbott is on a roll: hardcover sales for 2012’s Dare Me exceeded those of her previous title by 50 percent, and Dare Me will soon be a Fox 2000 feature film.

Billingham, Mark. The Bones Beneath: A Tom Thorne Novel. Atlantic Monthly. Jun. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780802122483. $26. THRILLER
When seriously unpleasant serial killer Stuart Nicklin claims that he wants to reveal the whereabouts of an early victim, but only if the cop who put him away is present, Tom Thorne finds himself on a misty island off the Welsh coast wondering about Nicklin’s real motives. Twelfth in the internationally best-selling Tom Thorne series.

Bolton, Sharon. A Dark and Twisted Tide. Minotaur. Jun. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781250028587. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250028570. THRILLER
In Bolton’s latest Lacey Flint book, the shrouded body of a young woman is found bobbing in the waves near Lacey’s boathouse, and Lacey doesn’t think it’s by chance. A Mary Higgins Clark Award winner and an ITW Thriller Award, CWA Gold Dagger, and Barry Award nominee, Bolton is being positioned for a big breakout here.

Brown, Rita Mae & Sneaky Pie Brown. Nine Lives To Die : A Mrs. Murphy Mystery. Bantam. Jun. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780345530509. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780345539748. MYSTERY
No word yet on plot, but here’s the 22nd mystery in the New York Times series starring indomitable feline detective Mrs. Murphy, with kitty-cat Pewter and corgi Tucker along for the ride—not to mention Mary Minor “Harry” Haristeen.

Burke, Alafair. All Day and a Night. Harper. Jun. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780062208385. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062208408. lrg. prnt. THRILLERburkeala
When the district attorney’s office receives an anonymous letter offering details kept secret about the murder of psychotherapist Helen Brunswick—details that match the modus operandi of imprisoned serial killer Anthony Amaro—NYPD Det. Ellie Hatcher and partner J.J. Rogan are compelled to reopen Amaro’s case. With a 35,000-copy first printing.

Chan, Darcie. The Mill River Recluse. Ballantine. Jun. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780553391879. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780615523774. Downloadable: Random Penguin Audio. POP FICTION
Having sold more than 700,000 copies as a self-published ebook, this title about a reclusive widow who’s secretly done good for her small Vermont town is about to appear as a big-house trade paperback original. In July, look for The Mill River Redemption, a second, not-yet-published titled that Ballantine will release in both print and ebook formats.

Coes, Ben. Independence Day: A Dewey Andreas Novel. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2014. 448p. ISBN 9781250043160. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466841260. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
Undone by his fiancée’s murder, newly recruited intelligence agent Dewey Andreas is not asked to join the teams tracking a Russian hacker suspected of supporting Al Qaeda financially and his presumed ballerina girlfriend. He follows the teams anyway and, when both are wiped out, he saves the ballerina and discovers a deadly plot that could cost millions of lives. Sales for this  New York Times best-selling series keep growing.

Elkins, Kimberly. What Is Visible. Twelve. Jun. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781455528967. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455528974. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455552504. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORICAL
Though the first printing is small at 25,000 copies, there’s big hope for this debut about Laura Bridgman, the first known deaf and blind person to learn language—50 years before Helen Keller. The subject itself fascinates, and Elkins is a National Magazine Award finalist for her nonfiction.

Evanovich, Janet. Top Secret Twenty-one: A Stephanie Plum Novel. Bantam. Jun. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780345542922. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780345542946. CD/downloadable: Random Penguin Audio. THRILLER
Evanovich’s Notorious Nineteen has sold nearly a million copies in print and ebook combined, and Takedown Twenty, released in November, remains on the New York Times best sellers list. Now bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is back for more—but no plot details yet.fairstein

Fairstein, Linda. Terminal City . Dutton. Jun. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780525953883. $27.95. CD: Random Penguin Audio. THRILLER
Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney’s office in Manhattan for more than two decades, Fairstein writes thrillers that take advantage of her intimate knowledge of New York City. Here, series stalwart Alex Cooper, Manhattan assistant district attorney for the Sex Crimes Unit, finds trouble brewing in Grand Central Terminal.

Frank, Dorothea Benton. The Hurricane Sisters. Morrow. Jun. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780062132529. $26.99. CD: HarperAudio. lrg. prnt. POP FICTION
Having bonded in college, 23-year-olds Ashley Anne Waters and Mary Beth Smythe live rent free in the beach house owned by Ashley’s parents on South Carolina’s Sullivan Island. When gallery assistant Ashley (an aspiring artist) and caterer’s assistant Mary Beth (who wants to teach) hit on a plan to improve their finances, tensions are opened up among three generations of the Waters family. With a 150,000-copy first printing and an eight-city tour to Atlanta, Des Moines, Portland (OR), San Francisco, Seattle, and locales in New Jersey, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Gabaldon, Diana. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood. Delacorte. Jun. 2014. 832p. ISBN 9780385344432. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780440246442. TIME TRAVEL
This latest in Gabaldon’s relentlessly seductive series, which ends up in revolutionary Philadelphia, was originally scheduled for December 2013, then March 2014, and now is promised for June. Fingers crossed!

Gaiman, Neal (text) & Eddie Campbell (illus.). The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains: A Tale of Travel and Darkness with Pictures of All Kinds. Morrow. Jun. 2014. 80p. ISBN 9780062282149. $21.99. FANTASY/GRAPHIC NOVEL
Here’s a four-color graphic take by Eisner Award winner Cambell on Gaiman’s novelette “The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains,” a tale of family and hidden treasure in an otherworldly setting that first appeared in Stories: All New Tales. The original piece won the Locus Award and the Shirley Jackson Award in the Best Novelette category. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Gardiner, Meg. Phantom Instinct. Dutton. Jun. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780525954316. $26.95. THRILLER
A year after her boyfriend was shot dead before her and the Los Angeles club where she bartended destroyed by a Molotov cocktail, Harper Flynn remains convinced that one of the attackers escaped. Her only ally is L.A. Sheriff Deputy Aiden Garrison, himself badly enough injured in the blast to suffer delusions. From Edgar Award winner Gardiner.

Grimes, Martha. Vertigo 42: A Richard Jury Mystery. Scribner. Jun. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781476724027. $26. MYSTERY
Richard Jury is back, meeting Tom Williamson at the Vertigo 42 bar on the 42nd floor of a swank London office building to hear his plea that wife Tess’s death at a country house in Devon was murder and not an accidental fall. With a nine-year-old having fallen to her death five years before Tess and with other plunging deaths now occurring, Jury thinks it wise to investigate.

Healey, Emma. Elizabeth Is Missing. Harper. Jun. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780062309662. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062309709. THRILLERhealey
Though elderly Maud is slowly losing her memory, she’s convinced that her good friend Elizabeth is in danger, and the instant dismissal of her concerns by family, caretakers, and police isn’t keeping her from seeking out the truth. Pay attention to this debut by Londoner Healey, as rights have been sold to 15 countries and counting.

Hearne, Kevin. Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles. Del Rey. Jun. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780345548481. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780345548498. Downloadable: Random Penguin Audio. FANTASY
Hearne finally goes hardcover with this latest in his urban fantasy series starring Atticus O’Sullivan, the last remaining Druid. Only now he’s got company: apprentice Granuaile, a full Druid herself, and an age-old archdruid he’s managed to defrost who may or may not help him fight the Norse god Loki.

Henry, Patti Callahan. The Stories We Tell. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781250040312. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466835542. POP FICTION
The marriage of upscale Savannah couple Eve and Teddy Morrison, in trouble because Teddy thinks Eve is neglecting their rebellious teenage daughter because of her work, really spirals downward when Teddy is involved in a car accident with Eve’s sister. Henry’s books include the New York Times best-selling Driftwood Summer and And Then I Found You, a (love it) Okra Pick.

Hilderbrand, Elin. The Matchmaker. Little, Brown. Jun. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780316099752. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316329026. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316329033. POP FICTIONmatchmaker
When wildly successful matchmaker Dabney Kimball Beech learns that she is dying of pancreatic cancer, she’s determined to find matches for several key people in her life: her famed economist husband, her journalist lover, and daughter Agnes, whose fiancé just doesn’t cut it with Dabney. From the New York Times best-selling author who always celebrates Nantucket; with a seven-city tour to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, San Francisco, San Diego, and Chicago.

Howorth, Lisa. Flying Shoes. Bloomsbury USA. Jun. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781620403013. $26. POP FICTION
Thirty years after a boy was molested and murdered in her Virginia hometown on Mother’s Day, Mary Byrd Thornton receives a reporter’s call that takes her back to the scene of the crime. Not a thriller but a study of family and community stresses, this debut was penned by the owner of Square Books in Oxford, MS, named 2013 Bookstore of the Year by Publishers Weekly. That should bring it some attention.

Ignatius, David. The Director. Norton. Jun. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780393078145. $26.95. THRILLER
Newly appointed CIA director Graham Weber hasn’t been at his desk a week when he discovers that the agency has been hacked, which sets him on a chase through the brave new world of cyberespionage. A multi-award-winning columnist at the Washington Post, where his coverage has included the CIA, Ignatius knows his stuff.

Johnson, Craig. Any Other Name: A Longmire Mystery. Viking. Jun. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780670026463. $26.95. MYSTERY
While investigating the putative suicide of a detective from a nearby county, Sheriff Walt Longmire discovers that his normally scrupulous friend has suppressed information about the disappearances of three women. The Longmire series has racked up three consecutive New York Times best sellers and inspired an A&E television series that averages 5.4 million viewers per episode.

Kwok, Jean. Mambo in Chinatown. Riverhead. Jun. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9781594632006. $27.95. POP FICTION
Living with her widowed father and little sister in the apartment in New York’s Chinatown where kwokshe grew up, 22-year-old Charlie Wong struggles along miserably as a dishwasher—but then gets a job as a receptionist at a ballroom dance studio and discovers a natural talent for dancing that puts her at odds with her traditional family. Kwok’s debut, Girl in Translation, had a good readership owing to strong support from People and O, The Oprah Magazine.

Lee, Linda Francis. The Glass Kitchen. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780312382278. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466850613. POP FICTION
Having landed in Manhattan by way of Texas, Portia Cuthcart no longer indulges her gift for cooking—and predicting exactly how the events around a meal will unfold. Then she meets 12-year-old Ariel, who needs a mother as much as her widowed father needs biscuits. Lee, whose books have sold nicely, is getting an extra push for this one.

Lustbader, Eric Van. Robert Ludlum’s (TM) The Bourne Ascendancy. Grand Central. Jun. 2014. 448p. ISBN 9781455577538. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455577569. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455577545. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Bad news for Bourne—he’s been kidnapped by terrorists and placed in an underground bunker, where the biggest, baddest terrorist of them all, El Ghadan (“Tomorrow”), aims to persuade him to undertake a special mission. Ludlum books always make the New York Time best sellers list, and the publisher has a new Ludlum website in store for fans.

Moses, Pamela. The Appetites of Girls. Amy Einhorn: Putnam. Jun. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780399158421. $26.95. POP FICTION
Insecure Ruth, smothered with her immigrant mother’s good cooking; rich Francesca, who mosespamovereats to defy her Park Avenue mom; Opal, who wishes her glamorous mom would take her on a dinner date; and talented violinist Setsu, who lets her brother take the best treats from her plate—and her life. They all meet as suitemates at college, which explains the comparisons to J. Courtney Sullivan’s Commencement. A debut with potential from the editor who gave you Kathryn Stockett’s The Help.

Moyer, Jaime Lee. A Barricade in Hell. Tor. Jun. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780765331830. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429948180. FANTASY
Delia Martin can see ghosts, and in last year’s excellent Delia’s Shadow she was pursued by a particularly importuning shadow in 1915 San Francisco, just hit by the earthquake. Now it’s 1917, and she’s being haunted by a troublesome little girl who leads Delia to understand that a crusading evangelist’s message of peace has a dark side.

Nunn, Malia. Present Darkness. Atria. Jun. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781451616965. pap. $16. MYSTERY
More South Africa–set mystery, this one unfolding during the apartheid era and bringing back Detective Emmanuel Cooper. Cooper is anticipating his Christmas vacation when the youngest son of his best friend and savior, Zulu Det. Constable Samuel Shabalala, is accused of assaulting a white couple. Nunn, also an award-winning filmmaker, has fans.

O’Reilly, Sally. Dark Aemilia: A Novel of Shakespeare’s Dark Lady. Picador. Jun. 2014. 448p. ISBN 9781250048134. $26.  HISTORICAL
Daughter of a Venetian musician at Queen Elizabeth’s court, Aemilia Lanyer (née Bassano) darkaemwas the first Englishwoman to establish herself as a professional poet, and she is sometimes rumored to be the “Dark Lady” of Shakespeare’s sonnets. British author O’Reilly, an award-winning fiction author and former Cosmopolitan New Journalist of the Year, makes her U.S. debut with a novel that imagines a relationship between Aemilia and Will and brings in some witches to boot. Lots of in-house excitement, with a big push to fans of Deborah Harkness, Paula Brackston, and Sarah Dunant.

Palmer, Matthew. The American Mission. Putnam. Jun. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780399165702. $26.95. THRILLER
Having lost his security clearance in a debacle in Darfur, Alex Baines jumps at a chance offered by his mentor to start over in the Congo, where he’s nevertheless dismayed by the activities of a shadowy U.S.-based mining concern. A debut to watch from a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service.

Patterson, James & David Ellis. Invisible. Little, Brown. Jun. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780399165702. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316405409. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316405416. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
In this stand-alone, the third Patterson has coauthored with Ellis, Emmy Dockery is so convinced that hundreds of kidnappings, rapes, and murders nationwide are the responsibility of one man that she takes a leave from her FBI job to pursue her hunch. Everyone thinks she’s crazy, including her field agent ex-boyfriend—until she shows him some proof.

Pearson, Ridley. The Red Room. Putnam. Jun. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780399163746. $26.95. THRILLER
Surveillance expert John Knox is understandably perturbed when he’s shown a photograph of redroomhis latest delicate transaction in the Middle East. He’s even more perturbed when he’s compelled to pose as an art dealer in Istanbul so that, with no clear purpose, he and confederate Grace Chu can make brief contact with their shadowy target. A big tour for this New York Times best-selling author.

Pettersson, Vicki. The Given ( Celestial Blues Bk. 3) Harper Voyager. Jun. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780062066206. pap. $14.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
In this third in Pettersson’s smash-hit supernatural noir series starring fallen angel/PI Griffin Shaw and reporter Katherine “Kit” Craig, Grif tries to find the wife who survived the attack that killed him 50 years ago and gets attacked again for his troubles. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Pratchett, Terry & Steve Baxter. The Long Mars. Harper. Jun. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780062297297. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062297310. lrg. prnt. SF
Set in 2040–45 after the terrible Yellowstone eruption caused massive population displacement, especially to the various Long Earth worlds, this third novel in Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter’s “Long Earth” series finds protagonists Sally, Joshua, and Lobsang doing rescue work. And Sally might just set out on a voyage across the Long Mars with her errant father. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Slaughter, Karin. Cop Town. Delacorte. Jun. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780345547491. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780345547514. THRILLER
In 1974 Atlanta, Kate Murphy is already floundering on her first day on the police force, and things gets worse when she’s partnered with angry Maggie Lawson, a move meant to sideline both of them that has the opposite effect. Optioned by Warner Horizon for a TV series, with Slaughter cowriting the pilot.

Smith, Tom Rob. The Farm. Grand Central. Jun. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780446550734. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455555482. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455555475. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
Daniel was wrong when he though his parents’ leaving London for retirement in rural Sweden thefarmwould prove idyllic. First, his father calls to say that his mother is missing after discharging herself from a mental hospital where she was placed after a breakdown, then his mother calls to say that his father’s story is a bunch of lies. The hot thriller author of books like Child 44 keeps up the suspense but moves in a new direction.

Thayer, Nancy. Nantucket Sisters . Ballantine. Jun. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780345545480. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780345545497. POP FICTION
Whoa, complicated: having grown apart after forging a close childhood friendship while playing on Nantucket’s beaches, upscale Piper is resigned to being a trophy wife while seamstress’s daughter Maggie counts pennies and excludes the possibility of love. Then they are both romanced by wealthy (and evidently slick) Midwesterner Cameron Chadwick—with unfortunate results.

Thoft, Ingrid. Identity. Putnam. Jun. 2014. 448p. ISBN 9780399162138. $26.95. THRILLER
Thoft did nicely with her first P.I. Fina Ludlow mystery, whose tougher-than-nails heroine wowed some readers and overwhelmed others. In her next case, Fina helps single-mother Rosalie Sanchez uncover the identity of daughter Rosalie’s sperm donor, but then the donor ends up dead.

Vachss, Andrew. Shockwave: An Aftershock Novel. Pantheon. Jun. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780307908858. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307908865. THRILLER
The author of the celebrated Burke series offers the second in a new series starring former mercenary Dell and former battlefield nurse Dolly. When a dead man washes up on a Pacific Northwest beach, his head bashed in and his body decorated with neo-Nazi tattoos, a homeless man is arrested for his murder. But Dolly knows better and turns to Dell for help.

Walsh, Jill Paton The Late Scholar: The New Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mystery. Jun. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781250032799. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250032782. MYSTERY
In another in her continuation of the Dorothy Sayers series featuring Lord Peter Wimsey and his detective novelist wife, Harriet Vane, Whitbread Prize–winning author Walsh sends the couple to 1950s Oxford, where his lordship is needed to resolve a dispute among the Fellows of St. Severin’s College, Oxford University. Alas, the Fellows start dying.

Wilson, Daniel H. Robogenesis. Doubleday. Jun. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780385537094. $26.95. SF
In Wilson’s breakout debut thriller, Robopocalypse, the masterly artificial intelligence presence called Archos wreaks havoc but finally is destroyed. Here, we learn that in fact Archos is simply fragmented among machines worldwide and is slowly reassembling, intent on quashing humanity once and for all. Huge fan demand already.


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.