Preston/Child, Burke Pere & Fille, & More | Thriller Previews, Jan. 2018

Archer, Ursula & Arno Strobel. Strangers. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2018. 320p. tr. from German. ISBN 9781250113061. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250113078. THRILLER
After foul play, a woman doesn’t recognize the man claiming to be her fiancé and not only wonders whether she should trust him but feels the need to attack him. And he begins wondering whether he’s crazy. More thrills from the internationally best-selling Austrian author of Five, here joined by bit-hit German author Strobel.

Blaedel, Sara. The Night Women . Grand Central. Jan. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781538759707. pap. $9.99; ebk. ISBN 9781538759714. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781538760215. Downloadable: Hachette Audio.
Blaedel, Sara. The Running Girl. Grand Central. Jan. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781538759738. pap. $9.99; ebk. ISBN 9781538759721. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781538760222. Downloadable: Hachette Audio.
Blaedel, Sara. The Stolen Angel. Grand Central. Jan. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781538759752. pap. $9.99; ebk. ISBN 9781538759776. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781538760246. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
The first book in Blaedel’s second Inspector Louise Ricks trilogy, of which there are three, The Night Women was published by Pegasus in 2012. Now that Grand Central has had hardcover success with the first trilogy—The Forgotten Girls (2015), which has sold nearly 150,000 copies in print and mass market combined, plus The Killing Forest (2016) and The Lost Woman (2017)—it is bringing out the second trilogy in simultaneous trade paperback editions and has plans for the third trilogy as well. In The Night Women, the discovery of an abandoned infant leads to revelations of human trafficking; The Running Girl features death at a school party overrun by violent teens, while The Stolen Angel portrays the kidnapping of a seriously ill child who will be returned only in exchange for a celebrated glass figurine just stolen from the family. With a 25,000 first-copy printing apiece; Blaedel is routinely voted Denmark’s favorite author.

Burke, Alafair. The Wife. Harper. Jan. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780062390516. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062390530. lrg. prnt. THRILLER
Angela meets NYU economics professor Jason Powell while catering a dinner party in East Hampton and happily marries him a year later, moving herself and her son out of her mother’s house and leaving behind a troubled past. Six years later, Jason, now a best-selling author and a media sensation, is accused of sexual misconduct. Angela believes that he is innocent but starts panicking when one of the accusers vanishes. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Burke, James Lee. Robicheaux. S. & S. Jan. 2018. 448p. ISBN 9781501176845. $27.99. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER
The title is a dead giveaway that two-time Edgar Award winner Burke’s popular hero, New Iberia, LA, detective Dave Robicheaux, is in for more trouble. He’s tangling with three men tangled up with one another: mighty mob boss Tony Nemo; local celebrity author Levon Broussard, whose Hollywood profits intrigue Tony; and New Orleans golden boy Jimmy Nightengale, whom Tony wants to push into the U.S. Senate. Then the man responsible for the death of Robicheaux’s wife dies, and who do you think gets blamed?

Cleveland, Karen. Need To Know .Ballantine. Jan. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781524797027. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781524797034. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER
Counterintelligence analyst Vivian Miller has a talent for discovering the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States, but a secret dossier of deep-cover agents could bring her whole life crashing down. Great bona fides for this thriller debut: the author is a veteran CIA analyst, the book has been sold to more than 20 countries, and Charlize Theron is producing and starring in the film adaptation.

Corry, Jane. Blood Sisters. Pamela Dorman: Viking. Jan. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780525522188. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780525522195. THRILLER
Fifteen years ago, three girls were involved in an accident that left one of them dead and another institutionalized, mute and unable to recall what happened. Alison does remember and is trying to forget, but after taking a job teaching art in prison, she becomes uncomfortably aware of being watched. Corry again draws on her experience teaching writing in prison, which inspired her best-selling debut, My Husband’s Wife.

De Shalit, Jonathan. Traitor. Emily Bestler: Atria. Jan. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781501170485. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781501170508. THRILLER
A young Israeli decides to betray his country for money and power, but the CIA agent he talks to at the American embassy is actually a Russian mole. So all that insider information he gleans as he rises to become a valued adviser to Israel’s prime minister goes straight to the Kremlin. Finally, everyone realizes that there’s a traitor somewhere, and the chase begins. The pseudonymous author was a top member of the Israeli Intelligence Community whose writing must be vetted, so expect authenticity—and a sense of secrets.

Dorsey, Tim. The Pope of Palm Beach. Morrow. Jan. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780062429254. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062429278. lrg. prnt. THRILLER
Good ole Serge A. Storms, always bringing trouble in his wake. He and buddy Coleman are heading to their hometown, Riviera Beach, to track down legends from their youth: Darby, a genius with a wrench and a surfboard who acted as friend and mentor to everyone, and a crazy hermit rumored to have lived far up the misty Loxahatchee River. But in a crazy state like Florida, digging up the past can get the wrong people riled—with bloody consequences. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

French, Nicci. Sunday Silence. Morrow. Jan. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780062819840. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062676696. lrg. prnt. THRILLER
French’s popular protagonist, Frida Klein, is a highly regarded psychologist often consulted by the police, so it’s really awkward when a dead body is found beneath her floorboards. The only likely suspect supposedly died years ago, but Frieda knows that he’s alive and living in secret, which makes things even stickier. Seventh in an eight-part series that helped to define psychological suspense, with the sixth, Dark Saturday, pubbing this month.

Gardiner, Meg. Into the Black Nowhere: An UNSUB Novel. Dutton. Jan. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781101985557. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101985564. THRILLER
Gardiner is tough on her new protagonist, rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix. In UNSUB, she went up against a murderous “unknown subject” that recalled the Zodiac Killer, while here her quarry has all the charm of Ted Bundy. Somewhere in southern Texas, Saturday nights are bad news for women: they keep disappearing, yanked from a movie theater or from home while checking on the baby, and they turn up in the woods in bloody white nighties, surrounded by Polaroids pressed into the earth like tombstones.

Hendricks, Greer & Sarah Pekkanen. The Wife Between Us. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781250130921. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250130938. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
You know the story: a husband dumps a troublesome first wife for a new wife who adores him, and the discarded spouse is bitterly obsessed with the other woman. That might look like what happens here, but apparently it’s not. Newbie Hendricks joins with internationally and USA Today best-selling author Pekkanen for psychological suspense with a big publicity push.

Herron, Mick. This Is What Happened. Soho Crime. Jan. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9781616958619. $23.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616958626. THRILLER
Ordinary, unnoticeable Maggie Barnes lives alone, subletting in London on a monthly basis, and has no boyfriend, buddies, or even family except for an estranged sister. Which is why MI5 has come to her to do a little infiltration job that will help block an international plot that threatens Britain. From the winner of a Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger.

Hunt, Tom. Killer Choice. Berkley. Jan. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780399586408. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399586415. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
Say your pregnant wife has just been told she has an inoperable brain tumor, and the experimental treatment that’s her only chance costs $200,000. If someone offered you the money if you would just kill someone, what would you do? That’s the dilemma Gary Foster faces in this debut, which has the in-house folks jumping.

Hurwitz, Gregg. Hellbent. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2018. 416p. ISBN 9781250119179. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250119186. THRILLER
Orphan X. The Nowhere Man. He’s actually Evan Smoak, taken from a group home at age 12 and trained to be an unacknowledged government assassin, a program he finally fled in favor of helping the truly desperate. Now, in this third in the New York Times best-selling author’s new series, the new head of the Orphan Program is planning to obliterate the remaining assets and start from scratch. Evan is tasked by his old boss to protect the final recruit—and of course he himself is in danger.

Krentz, Jayne Ann. Promise Not To Tell. Berkley. Jan. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780399585272. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399585265. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Still haunted by her mother’s long-ago death in a fire that swept her parents’ cult community, Seattle gallery owner Virginia Troy mourns the suicide of an artist she counted as client and friend. But a look at the artist’s final painting hints that she might not have taken her life, and now Virginia is questioning all sorts of things. Some of the characters will be familiar from Krentz’s When All the Girls Have Gone, but the lead couple is new (this is romantic suspense).

Lescroart, John. The Last Death Penalty. Atria. Jan. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781501115707. $26.99. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER
Retirement for Dismas Hardy? No such luck when the patriarch of the wealthy Carver family is found murdered and his bookkeeper, Abby Jarvis, stands accused. Sure, she was embezzling from the family business, worth $25 million, but lots of people stand to profit. A return to Lescroart’s popular protagonist after time out for the stand-alone Fatal, published earlier this year.

Petrie, Nick. Light It Up. Putnam. Jan. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780399575631. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399575648. lrg. prnt. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
After The Drifter (ITW Thriller Award winner for Best First Novel) and Burning Bright, troubled veteran Peter Ash finds relief from his stress with a new case: helping a Denver security company that protects wealthy cannabis entrepreneurs from those that would lift their money. One operations manager and the truck he was driving have already vanished. With a national tour.

Preston, Douglas & Lincoln Child. City of Endless Night. Grand Central. Jan. 2018. 416p. ISBN 9781455536948. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455536924. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455536931. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
With New York City overrun by a serial killer who decapitates his victims—notably, the daughter of a wealthy tech billionaire—Lt. CDS Vincent D’Agosta is especially happy when FBI Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is assigned to the case. What about New York makes it the stomping ground of this particular madman? With a 250,000-copy first printing.

Reich, Christopher. The Take. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Jan. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9780316342353. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316342339. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316268660. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER
New York Times best seller and ITW Thriller Award winner Reich lights the fuse on a new series starring Simon Riske, who interrupts the quiet life he leads running an auto garage in London to work as a freelance industrial spy. Here, he’s asked by the CIA to retrieve a letter, stolen along with millions in cash from a Saudi prince visiting Paris, that could radically undermine the balance of powers in the West. His opposite number is a Corsican named Tino Coluzzi, once a colleague, who got Simon sent to prison and tried to get him killed. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Taylor, Brad. Operator Down: A Pike Logan Thriller. Dutton. Jan. 2018. 416p. ISBN 9781101984819. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101984826. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
Figuring out whether a merchant in Israel’s world-famous Diamond Exchange was part of a scheme that could deeply embarrass Israel should be an easy job for former Mossad agent Aaron Bergman, but he seems to have vanished off the face of the earth. Pike Logan and his Taskforce get involved when they waylay killers intent on rubbing out Aaron’s partner, Shoshana, at the same time uncovering a conspiracy to destroy a democratic African government. Taylor’s books have all been New York Times best sellers, so don’t hesitate on this one.

Tudor, C.J. The Chalk Man. Crown. Jan. 2018. 288p. ISBN 9781524760984. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781524761004. lrg. prnt. CD: Random Audio. THRILLER
In 1986, Eddie and his buddies secretly communicate with chalk figures—until a mysterious chalk man they find leads them to a chopped-up body. Decades later, they think they’re being pranked when they start receiving letters bearing a single chalk figure, but then one of them  ends up dead. In-house folks see this debut as thriller-of-the-year worthy.

Woods, Stuart. Unbound. Putnam. Jan. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9780735217171. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780735217195. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER
Woods intends to do four Stone Barrington novels a year, and here’s the first for 2018. As usual, no word on the plot, but since Barrington novels sold nearly 1.4 million copies in 2016, you can assume interest.

Yates, Christopher J. Grist Mill Road. Picador. Jan. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9781250150288. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781250150318. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER
Having drawn lots of attention in 2015 with Black Chalk, an NPR Best Book of the Year optioned for film by Ron Howard, Yates returns with a thriller opening in small-town upstate New York in 1982. Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah are bound together in a love triangle held all the tighter by one seemingly senseless but decidedly criminal act. A quarter of a century later, all that poison wills out. Big promotion.

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.

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