Recent Releases - Thrillers and Suspense

Thrillers and Suspense
August 2021
Recent Releases
Hairpin Bridge
by Taylor Adams

What it's about: Everyone is shocked to hear that 24-year-old Cambry Nguyen committed suicide, including her twin sister Lena, who refuses to believe it was possible. Soon Lena is traveling to Montana, to talk to the local police, visit the bridge Cambry allegedly jumped from, and do everything she can to find the truth.

For fans of: other intricately plotted thrillers about grief and suspicious suicides, such as Clare Mackintosh's Let Me Lie or You Can Trust Me by Sophie McKenzie.
The Hunting Wives
by May Cobb

What it is: a gritty, intricately plotted fish-out-of-water story about obsession, small-town secrets, and the lengths some people will go to just to feel like they belong.

Starring: city girl Sophie O'Neill, who has just left her successful career behind in Chicago and moved with her husband and son to a sleepy Texas town; oil-rich socialite Margot Banks, whose glamorous lifestyle and exclusive circle of friends have an irresistible allure.

Read it for: the frenetic pleasure-seeking of Sophie's new friends and the deliciously gossipy twists and turns. 
Dust off the Bones
by Paul Howarth

Sequel alert: Dust off the Bones revisits brothers Tommy and Billy McBride, who readers met as teenagers in the compelling but bleak Only Killers and Thieves, during their misguided journey to avenge the murders of their rancher parents in the 1880s Australian Outback.

Ten years later: The brothers are deeply divided by their personalities, aspirations, and outlooks on their legacy of violence. Billy now lives the life of a cattle baron while Tommy drifts around the frontier under an assumed name.

What they share: haunting memories about their previous actions and fear of exposure; a latent desire to repair their relationship; and when a sinister figure from their past goes on trial, a chance at redemption.
Lesson in Red
by Maria Hummel

What it's about: the suspicious death of an iconoclastic star art student whose work stirred up lots of unwanted questions about L.A.'s cutthroat creative circles.  

For fans of: intricately plotted murder mysteries, dishy art world drama, and toxic competition in elite academic settings.

Reviewers say: "Scathing, sexy, suspenseful, and righteous" (Booklist).
by Katie Kitamura

What it is: a reflective and character-driven story of young professionals working at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, whose private lives are nearly as complex as the cases being litigated in public.

Starring: the unnamed narrator, an interpreter with an insatiable curiosity about the secret lives of her colleagues; the narrator's increasingly distant married lover Adriaan; the manipulative former president of a West African nation, whose war crimes trial begins to engulf the narrator's life.

Read it for: the narrator's incisive observations about the rarefied world around her; the stifling sense of dread that increases each time she enters the courtroom; the deft interplay between high stakes personal and geopolitical conflicts.
Palace of the Drowned
by Christine Mangan

The premise: Each novel that British author Frankie Croy releases is less successful than the last, and when her latest receives an especially scathing review she starts a downward spiral that culminates in a very public meltdown, after which she accepts a friend's offer of a vacant Venetian palazzo as a place to lie low and recover. 

The problem: In Venice, Frankie meets a young fan named Gilly, whose kindness and lack of judgement are a balm to the lonely and emotionally fragile author. Over time, Frankie grows suspicious of the inconsistent life story of her new 
protégé, although could it just be her unacknowledged drinking problem that's affecting her perception of things?
Bath Haus
by P.J. Vernon

What happens: Recovering addict Oliver is supposed to be past his wild younger days, but he can't resist one last trip to Haus, a D.C. bathhouse where men go for anonymous sex. His encounter goes terribly wrong however, and he returns home covered in bruises. 

What it means: Oliver is terrified to tell his partner Nathan what really happened, concocting a mugging story to cover for his brush with infidelity. As police investigate both the fake mugging and the real assault, Oliver must deftly juggle his lies while also trying to figure out who is sending him threatening text messages.

Is it for you? Author P.J. Vernon portrays Oliver's assault and other upsetting aspects of the story with an unflinching eye, which some readers will find compelling but might be too much for others. 
Impostor Syndrome
by Kathy Wang

What it is: a fast-paced, thought-provoking tech industry satire about workers at a social media company where some seriously shady activities go on behind the scenes.

Starring: Alice Lu, a Chinese American staff member who discovers an unexpected pattern in the company's recent data breach; Julia Lerner, the company's COO who has clawed her way to the top, motivated by much more than simple career ambition.

Read it for: Alice and Julia's increasingly suspenseful t
ête-à-tête; compelling and insightful commentary on cultural assimilation and toxic corporate culture.
by Phoebe Wynne

What it's about: Mythology teacher Rose Christie is thrilled with her new job at Caldonbrae, a prestigious all-girls boarding school on the coast of Scotland. As she learns more about the rest of the faculty, it's not long before her hunch that something's off becomes a certainty and she's fighting to save her students -- and herself.

Why you might like it: The intensifying tension builds at a slow burn and the scenic Scottish cliffs and crashing waves lend the story an irresistible gothic air.

Reviewers say: "Fans of dark academia will fall hard for this gothic tale powered by bold heroines who refuse to submit" (Booklist). 
Version Zero
by David Yoon

What it is: an intricately plotted, fast-paced techno-thriller that follows a disgruntled, blacklisted tech industry worker whose ill-advised attempt to get revenge has unintended, massively disruptive consequences, risking the future of the internet itself. 

Read it for: the spine-chilling plausibility of what could go wrong in a tech-dependent society like our own; the compelling narrative voice, which recounts events in an unconventional way. 

About the author: Version Zero is the first adult novel for young adult writer David Yoon, whose previous work includes Super Fake Love Song and Frankly in Love.
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