Yesterday, I gave you my 10 most anticipated reads for June 2013 in SF/F/Horror. Today I’ve got the 10 books that I’m especially looking forward to in the mystery/suspense category (click on the covers to pre-order)! These are in no particular order.
Synopsis-A STUNNING NEW NOVEL FROM ONE OF THE BEST-SELLING AUTHORS OF ALL TIME!
Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.
Three Lives of Tomomi Ishikawa by Benjamin Constable (Gallery-June 4th)_
Synopsis-What writer Benjamin Constable needs is a real-life adventure wilder than his rampant imagination. And who better to shake up his comfortable Englishman-in-Paris routine than the enigmatic Tomomi “Butterfly” Ishikawa, who has just sent a cryptic suicide note?
She’s planted a slew of clues—in the pages of her journal, on the hard drive of her computer, tucked away in public places, under flowerpots, and behind statues. Heartbroken, confused, and accompanied by an imaginary cat, Ben embarks upon a scavenger hunt leading to charming and unexpected spaces, from the hidden alleys of Paris to the cobblestone streets of New York City.
But Butterfly’s posthumous messages are surprisingly well informed for the words of a dead person, and they’re full of confessions of a past darkened by insanity, betrayal, and murder. The treasures Ben is unearthing are installments of a gruesome memoir. Now he must draw a clear line between the real and surreal if he is to save himself, Butterfly, and what remains of their crazy and amazing friendship.
The Fort by Aric Davis (Thomas & Mercer-June 11th)
Synopsis-During the waning summer days of 1987, a deranged Vietnam vet stalks Grand Rapids, Michigan, abducting and murdering nameless victims from the streets, leaving no leads for police. That is, until he picks up sixteen-year-old Molly. From their treehouse fort in the woods, three neightborhood boys spy the killer holding a gun to Molly’s back, they go to the police—only to have their story disregarded. But the boys know evil lives in their midst. A growing sense of honor and urgency forces the boys to take action—to find Molly, to protect themselves, to stand guard for the last long days of summer.
At turns heartbreaking and breathtakingly thrilling, The Fort perfectly renders a coming-of-age story in the 1980s, in those final days of childhood independence, discovery, and paradise lost.
The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill (Crown-June 18th)
Synopsis-Inspector Hector Salgado is a transplanted Argentine living in Barcelona. While working on human trafficking case, Salgado’s violent temper got the best of him and he beat a suspect within an inch of his life. Ordered on probation, he fled to Argentina to cool off for a few months.
Now he’s back in Barcelona and is eager for another big case. But his boss has other plans. He assigns Salgado to a routine accidental death: a college student fell from a balcony in one of Barcelona’s ritzier neighborhoods. As Salgado begins to piece together the life and world of the victim, he realizes that his death was not all that simple: his teenage friends are either overly paranoid or deceptively calm, and drugs might be involved. Hector begins to follow a trail that will lead him deep into the underbelly of Barcelona’s high society where he’ll come face-to-face with dangerous criminals, long-buried secrets, and, of course, his own past. But Hector thrives on pressure, and he lives for this kind of case—dark, violent, and seemingly unsolvable.
Gripping, sophisticated, and wickedly entertaining, The Summer of Dead Toys introduces a charismatic new detective and announces Antonio Hill as a new master of the crime thriller.
The Trojan Colt by Mike Resnick (Seventh Street-June 4th)
Synopsis-Hired to guard a high-priced yearling of “Trojan,” a recently retired classic winner in Lexington, Kentucky, Eli Paxton is only days into the job when the yearling’s young groom goes missing. Asked by the boy’s parents to investigate his disappearance, Paxton focuses on the Lexington breeding farm. It turns out that another staff member has disappeared in the past couple of months. As Paxton worries that the missing boys may never be found, he becomes a target himself when a secret threatens to derail the world of professional horse racing.
*I reviewed the first in the Eli Paxton series, DOG IN THE MANGER, at Crime Fiction Lover and really enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to this one!
Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway by Sara Gran (HMH-June 18th)
Synopsis-When Paul Casablancas, Claire DeWitt’s musician ex-boyfriend, is found dead in his Mission District home, the police are convinced it’s a simple robbery. But Claire knows nothing is ever simple.
With the help of her new assistant, Claude, Claire follows the clues, finding hints to Paul’s fate in her other cases—especially that of a missing girl in the gritty 1980s East Village and a modern-day miniature horse theft in Marin. As visions of the past reveal the secrets of the present, Claire begins to understand the words of the enigmatic French detective Jacques Silette: “The detective won’t know what he is capable of until he encounters a mystery that pierces his own heart.” And love, in all its forms, is the greatest mystery of all—at least to the world’s greatest PI.
*I ADORED the first book in this series, CLAIRE DEWITT AND THE CITY OF THE DEAD, so I have high hopes for this one!
Hour of the Rat by Lisa Brackmann (Soho-June 18th)
Synopsis-Iraq War vet Ellie McEnroe has a pretty good life in Beijing, representing the work of controversial dissident Chinese artist Zhang Jianli. Even though Zhang’s mysterious disappearance of over a year ago has her in the sights of the Chinese authorities. Even though her Born-Again mother has come for a visit and shows no signs of leaving. But when her mom takes up with “that nice Mr. Zhou next door,” Ellie decides that it’s time to get out of town—given her mother’s past bad choices of men, no good can come of this.
An old Army buddy, Dog Turner, gives her the perfect excuse. His unstable brother Jason has disappeared in picturesque Yangshuo, a famous tourist destination, and though Ellie knows it’s a long shot, she agrees to try to find him. At worst, she figures she’ll have a few days of fun in some gorgeous scenery.
But her plans for a relaxing vacation are immediately complicated when her mother and the new boyfriend tag along. And as soon as she starts asking questions about the missing Jason, Ellie realizes that she’s stumbled into a dangerous conspiracy that may or may not involve a sinister biotech company, eco-terrorists, an art-obsessed Chinese billionaire and lots of cats—one that will take her on a wild chase through some of China’s most beautiful—and most surreal—places.
Detective Maier travels to Phnom Penh, the Asian kingdom’s ramshackle capital, to find the missing heir to a Hamburg coffee empire.
As soon as the private eye and former war reporter arrives in Cambodia, his search for the young coffee magnate leads into the darkest corners of the country’s history and back in time, through the communist revolution to the White Spider, a Nazi war criminal who hides amongst the detritus of another nation’s collapse and reigns over an ancient Khmer temple deep in the jungles of Cambodia.
Maier uncovers a tale of mass murder that reaches from the Cambodian Killing Fields back to Europe’s concentration camps. But it is a tale not yet finished and Maier soon realises that, if he is to prevent more innocent lives from being destroyed, he will have to write the last terrifying chapter himself.
The Wild Beasts of Wuhan by Ian Hamilton (Picador-June 25th)
Synopsis-Meet Ava Lee, alluring but deadly, with a mind like a steel trap, as she chases millions of dollars and dangerous criminals around the globe in this exotic and fast-paced new crime series by Ian Hamilton.
In The Wild Beasts of Wuhan, Wong Changxing, a rich Chinese powerbroker, has just been bilked out of $100 million in an elaborate art forgery con. His one hope of recovering the money, and of saving face, is Ava Lee—a forensic accountant with a talent for tracking down untraceable funds. With the help of her mentor, the Triad-connected Uncle, Ava traces the provenance of the meticulously forged paintings to Denmark, the Faroe Islands, New York, and London. As she infiltrates one of the most prestigious auction houses in the world, she uncovers a massive web of corruption, where high art and high-stakes fraud threaten more than just her client’s business—this is one scam that could get her killed. Ava Lee is one of the most scintillating, unique heroines to come along in years.
*I recently reviewed THE DISCIPLE OF LAS VEGAS and kind of fell in love with the diminutive, but kinda scary, Ava Lee, so this one should be great fun!
Evil and the Mask by Fuminori Nakamura (Soho-June 11th)
Synopsis-The second book by prize-winning Japanese novelist Fuminori Nakamura to be available in English translation, a follow-up to 2012’s critically acclaimed The Thief─another fantastically creepy, electric literary thriller that explores the limits of human depravity─and the powerful human instinct to resist evil.
When Fumihiro Kuki is eleven years old, his elderly, enigmatic father calls him into his study for a meeting. “I created you to be a cancer on the world,” his father tells him. It is a tradition in their wealthy family: a patriarch, when reaching the end of his life, will beget one last child to dedicate to causing misery in a world that cannot be controlled or saved. From this point on, Fumihiro will be specially educated to learn to create as much destruction and unhappiness in the world around him as a single person can. Between his education in hedonism and his family’s resources, Fumihiro’s life is one without repercussions. Every door is open to him, for he need obey no laws and may live out any fantasy he might have, no matter how many people are hurt in the process. But as his education progresses, Fumihiro begins to question his father’s mandate, and starts to resist.