Best New Books: Week of 8/20/2019

If you love thrillers and mysteries this is your lucky week. Nearly all of this week’s best new books are filled with intrigue, action, and suspense; with dangers ranging from a serial killer, to the Donner Party, to an Amazon-like retail giant. So get ready to stay up all night turning pages…


Old Bones by  Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

old bonesNora Kelly, a young but successful curator with a series of important excavations already under her belt, is approached by the handsome Historian, Guy Porter, to lead an expedition unlike any other. Guy tells his story–one involving the ill-fated Donner Party, who became permanently lodged in the American consciousness in the winter of 1847, when the first skeletonized survivors of the party stumbled out of the California mountains, replete with tales of courage, resourcefulness, bad luck, murder, barbarism–and, finally, starvation and cannibalism.

Captivated by the Donner Party, Nora agrees and they venture into the Sierra Nevada in search of the camp. Quickly, they learn that the discovery of the missing starvation camp is just the tip of the iceberg–and that the real truth behind those long-dead pioneers is not only far more complex and surprising than they could have imagined… but it is one that puts them both in mortal danger from a very real, present-day threat in which the search for the lost party, and its fabled fortune in gold, are merely means to a horrifying end.

Description from Goodreads.

“Preston and Child have created a fine mix of fiction and historical fact. The story is peopled by complex and engaging characters with sometimes murky ambitions… The ending, which seems far-fetched, is definitely, disturbingly possible.” – BookTrib

“From the thriller world’s dynamic duo comes a new work of archeology, murder, and the Donner Party. This one should please longtime fans of Preston and Child, as well as new devotees drawn in by that ever-appealing set up of a past crime coming back to haunt the present.” – CrimeReads

“A smart, satisfying read.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook | eAudiobook


The Whisper Man by  Alex North

whisper manAfter the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes a fresh start will help him and his young son Jake heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night.

Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Frank Carter’s crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison: The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

Description from Goodreads.

“Works beautifully… If you like being terrified, The Whisper Man has your name on it.” – New York Times

“Brilliant… an affirmation of the power of the father-son relationship… will satisfy readers of Thomas Harris and Stephen King.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“A powerful and scary story that will haunt readers long after the final page is turned.” – Library Journal

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook

The Last Widow by  Karin Slaughter

last widowA mysterious kidnapping:

On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. Vanished into thin air, the authorities are desperate to save the doctor.

A devastating explosion:

One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhood’s has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC.

A diabolical enemy:

Medical examiner Sara Linton and her partner Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, rush to the scene—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. When the assailants abduct Sara, Will goes undercover to save her and prevent a massacre—putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves.

Description from Goodreads.

“With familiar characters, further developed here, and a plot as timely as it is riveting, Slaughter’s latest will enthrall her ever-growing legion of fans… Slaughter’s thrillers have become near-automatic best-sellers, and this is one of her best.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Vivid characters and rapidly escalating stakes complement the riveting, adrenaline-fueled plot. Along the way, Slaughter examines such topics as misogyny, white nationalism, and the politicization of law enforcement. Thriller fans will devour this visceral, gratifying entry.” – Publishers Weekly

“Even the most ardent fans of Slaughter’s white-hot thrillers will be shocked and horror-stricken by the outrage Dash has planned. All the emotional intensity Slaughter’s readers expect, now focused on a diabolical domestic terrorist. Don’t say you weren’t warned.” – Kirkus Reviews

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook | eAudiobook

The Murder List by  Hank Phillippi Ryan

murder listLaw student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future.

Problem is–she’s wrong.

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival.

The Murder List is a new standalone suspense novel in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and B. A. Paris from award-winning author and reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan.

Description from Goodreads.

“This masterly plotted thriller with a twisted ending offers a riveting, character-driven story. The Murder List… is guilty of inciting shock and amazement at the author’s skill… A must-read for fans of legal thrillers.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“…her best book to date, and the underlying mystery will baffle even the most savvy crime fiction and legal thriller readers.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune

Available Formats:

Print Book


Tidelands by  Philippa Gregory

tidelandsEngland 1648. A dangerous time for a woman to be different…

Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, and England is in the grip of civil war between renegade King and rebellious Parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even to the remote Tidelands – the marshy landscape of the south coast. 

Alinor, a descendant of wise women, crushed by poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbors. This is the time of witch-mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

Description from Goodreads.

“A gripping novel… With her usual meticulous attention to detail, the author easily elicits the chaos and dangers of the mid-17th century… This book will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series. Fans of Gregory’s works and of historicals in general will delight in this page-turning tale.” – Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

“Dynamic… History buffs and Gregory’s fans alike will be anticipating the next installment.” – Publishers Weekly

“The author crafts her material with effortless ease. Her grasp of social mores is brilliant, the love story rings true and the research is, as ever, of the highest calibre.” – Daily Mail

Available Formats:

Print Book | Audiobook | eBook


The Warehouse by  Rob Hart ★

warehouseCloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave. 

Paxton never thought he’d be working for Cloud, the giant tech company that’s eaten much of the American economy. Much less that he’d be moving into one of the company’s sprawling live-work facilities. 

But compared to what’s left outside, Cloud’s bland chainstore life of gleaming entertainment halls, open-plan offices, and vast warehouses… well, it doesn’t seem so bad. It’s more than anyone else is offering. 

Zinnia never thought she’d be infiltrating Cloud. But now she’s undercover, inside the walls, risking it all to ferret out the company’s darkest secrets. And Paxton, with his ordinary little hopes and fears? He just might make the perfect pawn. If she can bear to sacrifice him. 

As the truth about Cloud unfolds, Zinnia must gamble everything on a desperate scheme—one that risks both their lives, even as it forces Paxton to question everything about the world he’s so carefully assembled here. 

Together, they’ll learn just how far the company will go… to make the world a better place. 

Set in the confines of a corporate panopticon that’s at once brilliantly imagined and terrifyingly real, The Warehouse is a near-future thriller about what happens when Big Brother meets Big Business–and who will pay the ultimate price.

Description from Goodreads.

“Whip-smart… The engrossing plot not only seems that it could happen, but also, in many ways, is happening now.” – SFGate

“Gripping and cerebral… a literary blockbuster with brains.” – The Guardian

“While touching on income inequality, drug addiction, and corporate espionage, Hart creates a compelling and intriguing thriller that holds up a black mirror to our own frightening state of affairs. Hart dedicates the book to a real victim, Maria Fernandes, who worked part time at three different jobs and accidentally suffocated on gas fumes while sleeping in her car in 2014. That’s a profound inspiration, and Hart has written a hell of a prosecution of modern commerce and the nature of work, all contained in the matrix of a Cory Doctorow–esque postmodern thriller that might not turn out the way you hoped. Part video game, part Sinclair Lewis, part Michael Crichton; it adds up to a terrific puzzle.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“… very well constructed; a lot of thought clearly went into Cloud and the near-future world it dominates. It’s an exciting, well-paced, suspenseful tale laced through with insightful commentary on today’s politics and commerce.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook

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