April 2016 Must Reads in Mystery, Suspense, and Fiction

Here are the  books that I’m especially looking forward to in Mystery, Suspense, and Fiction for April. Lots of great books this month (even a true crime title)!  Enjoy (all synopsis are from B&N or Amazon)!




The Big Fear by Andrew Case (Thomas & Mercer-April 1)

Synopsis-It’s August in New York, and the steaming garbage littering the streets isn’t the only thing that stinks.

Civilian investigator Leonard Mitchell can keep his job as the new head of the Department to Investigate Misconduct and Corruption only by successfully prosecuting veteran cop Ralph Mulino.

Mulino shot an armed man on a dark night; he didn’t know the man was a fellow cop. Now, to keep his badge and his freedom, he has to make his case to the investigator. But the gun Mulino saw in his victim’s hand has disappeared.

As Mitchell digs deeper into Mulino’s claim, it becomes clear that the “misconduct and corruption” infecting New York City go far beyond the actions of one allegedly dirty cop. Murder and sabotage force Mulino and Mitchell into an uneasy partnership to uncover the truth and protect the city they are both sworn to serve.

Assuming, of course, they can stay alive…




Dodgers by Bill Beverly (Crown-April 5)

Synopsis-Dodgers is a dark, unforgettable coming-of-age journey that recalls the very best of Richard Price, Denis Johnson, and J.D. Salinger. It is the story of a young LA gang member named East, who is sent by his uncle along with some other teenage boys—including East’s hothead younger brother—to kill a key witness hiding out in Wisconsin. The journey takes East out of a city he’s never left and into an America that is entirely alien to him, ultimately forcing him to grapple with his place in the world and decide what kind of man he wants to become.

Written in stark and unforgettable prose and featuring an array of surprising and memorable characters rendered with empathy and wit, Dodgers heralds the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction.




The Girl From Home by Adam Mitzner (Gallery Books-April 5)

Synopsis-Jonathan Caine is a true master of the universe—a currency wizard with a trophy wife, a penthouse condo with a view of the Statue of Liberty, and the desire for more—when his world comes crashing down, spiraling him into a relentless fall from grace. Devastated, Jonathan returns to his hometown to care for his ailing father and attend his twenty-fifth high school reunion, where he becomes reacquainted with former prom queen Jacqueline Williams. Back in the day, Jackie didn’t even know Jonathan existed. Now she is intrigued by the man he has become. But their budding relationship has problems, not the least of which is Jackie’s jealous and abusive husband. Jonathan is determined to learn from his mistakes, but is he capable of complete transformation? Or will a shocking temptation test his desire for redemption beyond anything he could have imagined?




Exposure by Helen Dunmore (Atlantic Monthly Press-April 5)

Synopsis-Virtuoso storyteller Helen Dunmore returns with a thrilling Cold War espionage tale in which the closest ties are called into question and nobody is quite who they seem.

It’s London, 1960. The Cold War is at its height, and a spy may be a friend or neighbor, colleague or lover. Two colleagues, Giles Holloway and Simon Callington, face a terrible dilemma over a missing top-secret file. At the end of a suburban garden, in the pouring rain, Simon’s wife, Lily, buries a briefcase containing the file deep in the earth. She believes that in doing so she is protecting her family. What she will learn is that no one is immune from betrayal or the devastating consequences of exposure.




The Father by Anton Svensson (Quercus-April 5)

Synopsis-How does a child become a criminal? How does a father lose a son?

An epic crime novel with the excitement of Jo Nesbo’s Headhunters and the narrative depth of We Need to Talk About Kevin, The Father is inspired by the extraordinary true story of three brothers who committed ten audacious bank robberies in Sweden over the course of just two years.

None had committed a crime before. All were under twenty-four years old. When their incredible spree had come to an end amid the glare of the international media, all of them would be changed forever as individuals and as a family.

This intoxicating, heartbreaking thriller tells the story of how three boys are transformed over the course of their lives from innocent children to the most wanted criminals in Sweden. And of the man who made them that way: their father.




Burning by Danielle Rollins (Bloomsbury USA Childrens-April 5)

Synopsis-Tucked away, deep in the woods, Brunesfield Correctional Facility’s cold walls and empty hallways keep dangerous girls away from the world . . . girls like Angela Davis, whose fate was determined by one bad decision. After a few years in juvie, Angela is finally close to her release, but everything changes the day a new warden with dark plans takes over. Angela knows evil when she sees it, and as strange disappearances and frightening incidents happen more and more frequently, it becomes clear that Brunesfield could be the end of them. Angela and her friends must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves from very place keeping them locked away?

From the author of The Merciless comes an atmospheric thriller rich with secrets and conspiracies that will have readers on the edge of their seats.




Three Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell (GP Putnam’s Sons-April 5)

Synopsis-In 1958, Greenwich Village buzzes with beatniks, jazz clubs, and new ideas—the ideal spot for three ambitious young people to meet. Cliff Nelson, the son of a successful book editor, is convinced he’s the next Kerouac, if only his father would notice. Eden Katz dreams of being an editor but is shocked when she encounters roadblocks to that ambition. And Miles Tillman, a talented black writer from Harlem, seeks to learn the truth about his father’s past, finding love in the process. Though different from one another, all three share a common goal: to succeed in the competitive and uncompromising world of book publishing. As they reach for what they want, they come to understand what they must sacrifice, conceal, and betray to achieve their goals, learning they must live with the consequences of their choices. In Three-Martini Lunch, Suzanne Rindell has written both a page-turning morality tale and a captivating look at a stylish, demanding era—and a world steeped in tradition that’s poised for great upheaval.




Quiet Neighbors by Catriona McPherson (Midnight Ink-April 8)

Synopsis-A woman on the run blows the dust off a series of deadly secrets

It’s the oldest bookshop in a town full of bookshops; rambling and disordered, full of treasures if you look hard. Jude found one of the treasures when she visited last summer, the high point of a miserable vacation. Now, in the depths of winter, when she has to run away, Lowell’s chaotic bookshop in that backwater of a town is the safe place she runs to.

Jude needs a bolt-hole; Lowell needs an assistant, and when an affordable rental is thrown in too, life begins to look up. The gravedigger’s cottage isn’t perfect for a woman alone, but at least she has quiet neighbors.

Quiet, but not silent. The long dead and the books they left behind both have tales to tell, and the dusty rooms of the bookshop are not the haven they seem to be. Lowell’s past and Jude’s present are a dangerous cocktail of secrets and lies, and someone is coming to light the taper that could destroy everything.




A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain (Pegasus-April 11)

Synopsis-When brilliant FBI agent Kendra Donovan stumbles back in time and finds herself in a 19th century English castle under threat from a vicious serial killer, she scrambles to solve the case before it takes her life―200 years before she was even born.

Beautiful and brilliant, Kendra Donovan is a rising star at the FBI. Yet her path to professional success hits a speed bump during a disastrous raid where half her team is murdered, a mole in the FBI is uncovered and she herself is severely wounded. As soon as she recovers, she goes rogue and travels to England to assassinate the man responsible for the deaths of her teammates.

While fleeing from an unexpected assassin herself, Kendra escapes into a stairwell that promises sanctuary but when she stumbles out again, she is in the same place – Aldrich Castle – but in a different time: 1815, to be exact.

Mistaken for a lady’s maid hired to help with weekend guests, Kendra is forced to quickly adapt to the time period until she can figure out how she got there; and, more importantly, how to get back home. However, after the body of a young girl is found on the extensive grounds of the county estate, she starts to feel there’s some purpose to her bizarre circumstances. Stripped of her twenty-first century tools, Kendra must use her wits alone in order to unmask a cunning madman.




King Maybe by Timothy Hallinan (Soho-April 12)

Synopsis-Junior Bender finds himself caught in a Hollywood revenge plot epic enough for the silver screen.

Los Angeles’s most talented burglar, Junior Bender, is in the middle of stealing one of the world’s rarest stamps from a professional killer when his luck suddenly turns sour. It takes an unexpected assist to get him out alive, but his escape sets off a chain reaction of blackmail, strong-arming, and escalating crime. By the time Junior is forced to commit his third burglary of the week—in the impregnable fortress that’s home to the ruthless studio mogul called King Maybe—he’s beginning to wish he’d just let the killer take a crack at him.




Strike by Delilah S. Dawson (Simon Pulse-April 12)

Synopsis-From the author of the “gritty near-future dystopian tale,” (Booklist) Hit comes the thrilling sequel about an indentured assassin fighting to survive in a world of anarchy.

The hit list was just the beginning.

Time to strike back.

After faking her own death to escape her term as an indentured assassin for Valor Savings Bank, Patsy is on the run with her boyfriend, Wyatt. All she wants to do is go home, but that’s never going to happen—not as long as Valor’s out to get her and the people she loves.

Left with no good choices, Patsy’s only option is to meet with a mysterious group that calls itself the Citizens for Freedom.

Led by the charismatic Leon Crane, the CFF seem like just what Patsy has been looking for. Leon promises that if she joins, she’ll finally get revenge on Valor for everything they’ve done to her—and for everything they’ve made her do.

But Patsy knows the CFF has a few secrets of their own. One thing is certain: they’ll do absolutely anything to complete their mission, no matter who’s standing in their way. Even if it’s Patsy herself.




Daredevils by Shawn Vestal (Penguin Press-April 12)

Synopsis-At the heart of this exciting debut novel, set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid-1970s, is fifteen-year-old Loretta, who slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet her so-called gentile boyfriend. Her strict Mormon parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. The Harders relocate to his native Idaho, where Dean’s teenage nephew Jason falls hard for Loretta. A Zeppelin and Tolkien fan, Jason worships Evel Knievel and longs to leave his close-minded community. He and Loretta make a break for it. They drive all night, stay in hotels, and relish their dizzying burst of teenage freedom as they seek to recover Dean’s cache of “Mormon gold.” But someone Loretta left behind is on their trail…

A riveting story of desire and escape, Daredevils boasts memorable set pieces and a rich cast of secondary characters. There’s Dean’s other wife, Ruth, who as a child in the 1950s was separated from her parents during the notorious Short Creek raid, when federal agents descended on a Mormon fundamentalist community. There’s Jason’s best friend, Boyd, part Native American and caught up in the activist spirit of the time, who comes along for the ride, with disastrous results. And Vestal’s ultimate creation is a superbly sleazy chatterbox—a man who might or might not be Evel Knievel himself—who works his charms on Loretta at a casino in Elko, Nevada.




Y.T. by Alexei Nikitin (Melville House-April 12)

Synopsis-Ukraine, 1984. The Soviet Union is creaking toward collapse, and a group of bored radiophysics students devise a strategy game to keep themselves entertained. But war games are no joke, and no sooner does their game get underway than the KGB pulls the students in for questioning. Eventually they’re released, but they remain marked men.

Twenty years later, capitalism is in full swing when one member of the group, Davidov, receives an e-mail with a familiar ultimatum attached, signed, eerily, “Y.T.” Someone has revived the game, but it’s not any of his friends from the university . . . and the consequences now feel more real than ever.

The first English-language publication of a major Russian novelist, Y.T. follows an innocent-seeming game to its darkest places, and the result is a disturbing vision of war and tyranny. Y.T. is a wildly inventive novel that explores the banality deep in the heart of a paranoid totalitarian state.




Close Your Eyes by Michael Robotham (Mulholland-April 12)

Synopsis-When a former student bungles a murder investigation, clinical psychologist Joseph O’Loughlin steps in to face a ruthless killer.

A mother and her teenage daughter are found murdered in a remote coastal home, one defiled by multiple stab wounds and the other posed like Sleeping Beauty waiting for her prince. Joe O’Loughlin is drawn into the investigation when a former student, trading on Joe’s reputation by calling himself “the Mindhunter,” jeopardizes the police inquiry by leaking details to the media and stirring up public anger.

Joe discovers a link between the farmhouse murders and a series of vicious attacks in which the victims are choked unconscious and brutally scarred. Now, Joe must stop a ruthless and brash criminal who has apparently graduated to murder.

Much to his surprise, he is ably assisted by his eldest daughter, now a keen and courageous observer of her own right. Together they must track and catch a hunter who seems to anticipates every move they make.




Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro (Harper-April 12)

Synopsis-In Depression-era Boston, a city divided by privilege and poverty, two unlikely friends are bound by a dangerous secret in this mesmerizing work of historical fiction from the New York Times bestselling author of The Perfume Collector.

Maeve Fanning is a first generation Irish immigrant, born and raised among the poor, industrious Italian families of Boston’s North End by her widowed mother. Clever, capable, and as headstrong as her red hair suggests, she’s determined to better herself despite the overwhelming hardships of the Great Depression.

However, Maeve also has a dangerous fondness for strange men and bootleg gin—a rebellious appetite that soon finds her spiraling downward, leading a double life. When the strain proves too much, Maeve becomes an unwilling patient in a psychiatric hospital, where she strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic young woman, who, like Maeve, is unable or unwilling to control her un-lady-like desire for freedom.

Once out, Maeve faces starting over again. Armed with a bottle of bleach and a few white lies, she lands a job at an eccentric antiques shop catering to Boston’s wealthiest and most peculiar collectors. Run by an elusive English archeologist, the shop is a haven of the obscure and incredible, providing rare artifacts as well as unique access to the world of America’s social elite. While delivering a purchase to the wealthy Van der Laar family, Maeve is introduced to beautiful socialite Diana Van der Laar—only to discover she’s the young woman from the hospital.

Reunited with the charming but increasingly unstable Diana and pursued by her attractive brother James, Mae becomes more and more entwined with the Van der Laar family—a connection that pulls her into a world of moral ambiguity and deceit, and ultimately betrayal. Bewitched by their wealth and desperate to leave her past behind, Maeve is forced to unearth her true values and discover how far she’ll to go to reinvent herself.




The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales (Riverhead-April 12)

Synopsis-In a world beset by amassing forces of darkness, one organization—the Regional Office—and its coterie of super-powered female assassins protects the globe from annihilation. At its helm, the mysterious Oyemi and her oracles seek out new recruits and root out evil plots. Then a prophecy suggests that someone from inside might bring about its downfall. And now, the Regional Office is under attack.

Recruited by a defector from within, Rose is a young assassin leading the attack, eager to stretch into her powers and prove herself on her first mission. Defending the Regional Office is Sarah—who may or may not have a mechanical arm—fiercely devoted to the organization that took her in as a young woman in the wake of her mother’s sudden disappearance. On the day that the Regional Office is attacked, Rose’s and Sarah’s stories will overlap, their lives will collide, and the world as they know it just might end.




Poisonous by Allison Brennan (Minotaur-April 12)

Synopsis-Teen-aged Internet bully Ivy Lake fell off a cliff and few people cared … except her mentally-challenged eighteen-year-old step-brother, Tommy. He loved her in spite of her cruelty. He’s distraught and doesn’t understand why his blended family is falling apart. After a year, the police still have no answers: Ivy could have jumped, could have been pushed, or it could have been an accident. With too many suspects and not enough evidence, the investigation has grown cold.

Tommy thinks that if someone can figure out what happened to his step-sister, everything will go back to normal, so he writes to investigative reporter Maxine Revere. This isn’t the type of case Max normally takes on, but the heartbreak and simple honesty in Tommy’s letter pulls her in. She travels to Corte Madera, California, with her assistant David Kane and is at first pleased that the police are cooperative. But the more Max learns about Tommy and his dysfunctional family, the more she thinks she’s taken on an impossible task: this may be the one case she can’t solve.

If Ivy was murdered, it was exceptionally well-planned and that kind of killer could be hiding in plain sight … planning the next act of violence. Max believes the truth is always better than lies, that the truth is the only thing that matters to gain justice for victims and their families. But for the first time, she wonders if this time, the truth will kill.




Maestra by L.S. Hilton (Minotaur-April 12)

Synopsis-By day, Judith Rashleigh is a put-upon assistant at a prestigious London art house.

By night, she’s a hostess at one of the capital’s notorious champagne bars, although her work there pales against her activities on nights off.

TO GET WHAT SHE WANTS

Desperate to make something of herself, Judith knows she has to play the game. She’s transformed her accent and taught herself about wine and the correct use of a dessert fork, not to mention the art of discretion. She’s learned to be a good girl. But when Judith is fired for uncovering a dark secret at the heart of the art world—and her honest efforts at a better life are destroyed—she turns to a long-neglected friend. A friend who kept her chin up and back straight through every slight: Rage.

SHE WILL CROSS EVERY LINE

Feeling reckless, she accompanies one of the champagne bar’s biggest clients to the French Riviera, only to find herself alone again after a fatal accident. Tired of striving and the slow crawl to the top, Judith has a realization: If you need to turn yourself into someone else, loneliness is a good place to start. And she’s been lonely a long time.

Maestra is a glamorous, ferocious thriller and the beginning of a razor-sharp trilogy that introduces the darkly irresistible Judith Rashleigh, a femme fatale for the ages whose vulnerability and ruthlessness will keep you guessing until the last page.




Dust Up by Jon McGoran (Forge-April 19)

Synopsis-Detective Doyle Carrick is awakened in the middle of the night by frantic banging on his front door, a sound followed by gunfire. Ron Hartwell, a complete stranger, is dying on his doorstep.

A halfhearted investigation labels the murder a domestic dispute, with Miriam, Ron’s widow, the sole suspect. When Doyle discovers the Hartwells both worked for a big biotech company, he suspects something else is going on, but it’s not his case. Then, in a run-down North Philly hotel, Miriam tells him her story.

In Haiti, Miriam and Ron had stumbled upon a corporate conspiracy that involved international politics and tainted food shipments. Doyle was their last hope to blow the whistle. Before she can tell him the rest, they are attacked by gunmen and she disappears again.

As Doyle follows her back to Haiti, and uncovers a web of deceit, intrigue and mass murder. Giant biotech corporations are working to topple the Haitian government. Giant biotech corporations are working together to topple the Haitian government, while competing in ways that could put millions of lives at risk.

To prevent this, Doyle must enlist the help of his most dangerous enemies, and question everything he ever knew about himself and what it means to be a cop.

This is a fantastic series. Trust me.




The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth (Henry Holt-April 5)

Synopsis-A sweeping narrative history of a terrifying serial killer–America’s first–who stalked Austin, Texas in 1885

In the late 1800s, the city of Austin, Texas was on the cusp of emerging from an isolated western outpost into a truly cosmopolitan metropolis. But beginning in December 1884, Austin was terrorized by someone equally as vicious and, in some ways, far more diabolical than London’s infamous Jack the Ripper. For almost exactly one year, the Midnight Assassin crisscrossed the entire city, striking on moonlit nights, using axes, knives, and long steel rods to rip apart women from every race and class. At the time the concept of a serial killer was unthinkable, but the murders continued, the killer became more brazen, and the citizens’ panic reached a fever pitch.

Before it was all over, at least a dozen men would be arrested in connection with the murders, and the crimes would expose what a newspaper described as “the most extensive and profound scandal ever known in Austin.” And yes, when Jack the Ripper began his attacks in 1888, London police investigators did wonder if the killer from Austin had crossed the ocean to terrorize their own city.

With vivid historical detail and novelistic flair, Texas Monthly journalist Skip Hollandsworth brings this terrifying saga to life.




Hard Light by Elizabeth Hand (Minotaur-April 19)

Synopsis-Punk photographer Cass Neary, “one of noir’s great anti-heroes” (Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love), rages back in the series that began with the award-winning novels Generation Loss and Available Dark. Fleeing Reykjavik and a cluster of cult murders, Cass lands in London to rendezvous with her longtime lover Quinn, a person of interest to both Interpol and the Russian mob.

Only Quinn doesn’t show up. Alone in London and fearing the worst, Cass hooks up with a singer-songwriter with her own dark past, who brings her to the wrong party. Cass becomes entangled with the party’s host, Mallo Tierney, an eccentric gangster with a penchant for cigar cutters and neatly-wrapped packages, and a trio of dissolute groupies connected to a notorious underground filmmaker.

Forced to run Mallo’s contraband, Cass is suddenly enmeshed in a web of murder, betrayal, and artistic and sexual obsession that extends from London to the stark beauty of England’s Land’s End Peninsula, where she uncovers an archeological enigma that could change our view of human history―if she survives.

Strobe-lit against an apocalyptic background of rock and roll, rave culture, fast drugs and transgressive photography, Hard Light continues the breathless, breathtaking saga of Cassandra Neary, “an anti-hero for the ages. We’d follow Cass anywhere, into any glittery abyss, and do.” [Megan Abbot, author of The Fever]




The Exiled by Christopher Charles (Mulholland-April 19)

Synopsis-Can anyone ever truly outrun his past?

Back in the 1980s, Wes Raney was an ambitious New York City Narcotics Detective with a growing drug habit of his own. While working undercover on a high-risk case, he made decisions that ultimately cost him not only his career, but also his family. Disgraced, Raney fled-but history is finally catching up with him.

Now in his early forties, Raney has been living in exile, the sole homicide investigator covering a two-hundred-mile stretch of desert in New Mexico. His solitude is his salvation-but it ends when a brutal drug deal gone wrong results in a triple murder. Staged in a locked underground bunker, the crime reawakens Raney’s haunted and violent past.

From the vast, unforgiving landscape of the American west to the mean streets of New York, The Exiled is at once a riveting murder mystery and a brilliant portrait of a man on the run from himself, an unforgettable thriller that is “impossible to put down” (Frank Bill).




The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas (Delacorte-April 19)

Synopsis-For fans of Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places and Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars, The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.

There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.

Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.

Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.

But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.

Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.




Barren Cove by Ariel S. Winter (Atria-April 26)

Synopsis-Sapien is a relic of a bygone age, searching for meaning in a world where his outdated allegiances to a time long past have left him isolated and hopeless. Seeking peace and quiet, he retires to a beach house at Barren Cove, a stately Victorian manor even more antiquated than he.

He becomes increasingly fascinated with the family whose lives are entwined with the home—angry and rebellious Clark; flamboyant Kent; fragile, beautiful Mary; and most of all, Beachstone, the mysterious man whose history may hold all the answers Sapien has been searching for. As Sapien unlocks their secret loves and betrayals, the dangerous past of Barren Cove will indelibly change him…and who he is fated to become.

A brilliantly imaginative and poignant tale in the tradition of Kazuo Ishiguro and Neil Gaiman, Barren Cove is a luminous and surprising exploration of legacy, loss, and humanity itself.




It Takes One by Kate Kessler (Redhook-April 26)

Synopsis-It Takes One is the first in a brand new thriller series where a criminal psychologist uses her own dark past to help law enforcement catch dangerous killers.

Criminal psychologist Audrey Harte is returning home after seven years. She’ll have to face the whispers and the rumors that have haunted her family since she left. Because when Audrey was thirteen, she and her best friend Maggie killed Maggie’s abusive father.

Her first night back in town ends in a fight with a drunken Maggie, with her old crush Jake to witness it all. Audrey can’t believe it can get worse.

Then Maggie turns up dead.




The Drowning Girls by Paula Treick DeBoard (Mira-April 26)

Synopsis-Liz McGinnis never imagined herself living in a luxurious gated community like The Palms. Ever since she and her family moved in, she’s felt like an outsider amongst the Stepford-like wives and their obnoxiously spoiled children. Still, she’s determined to make it work—if not for herself, then for her husband, Phil, who landed them this lavish home in the first place, and for her daughter, Danielle, who’s about to enter high school.

Yet underneath the glossy veneer of The Palms, life is far from idyllic. In a place where reputation is everything, Liz soon discovers that even the friendliest residents can’t be trusted. So when the gorgeous girl next door befriends Danielle, Liz can’t help but find sophisticated Kelsey’s interest in her shy and slightly nerdy daughter a bit suspicious.

But while Kelsey quickly becomes a fixture in the McGinnis home, Liz’s relationships with both Danielle and Phil grow strained. Now even her own family seems to be hiding things, and it’s not long before their dream of living the high life quickly spirals out of control…




The Other Widow by Susan Crawford (William Morrow-April 26)

Synopsis-The author of The Pocket Wife explores the dark side of love, marriage, and infidelity in this sizzling novel of psychological suspense.

Everybody’s luck runs out. This time it could be theirs . . .

It isn’t safe. That’s what Joe tells her when he ends their affair—moments before their car skids off an icy road in a blinding snowstorm and hits a tree. Desperate to keep her life intact—her job, her husband, and her precious daughter, Lily—Dorrie will do everything she can to protect herself, even if it means walking away from the wreckage. Dorrie has always been a good actress, pretending to be someone else: the dutiful daughter, the satisfied wife, the woman who can handle anything. Now she’s going to put on the most challenging performance of her life. But details about the accident leave her feeling uneasy and afraid. Why didn’t Joe’s airbag work? Why was his car door open before the EMTs arrived? And now suddenly someone is calling her from her dead lover’s burner phone. . . .

Joe’s death has left his wife in free fall as well. Karen knew Joe was cheating—she found some suspicious e-mails. Trying to cope with grief is devastating enough without the constant fear that has overtaken her—this feeling she can’t shake that someone is watching her. And with Joe gone and the kids grown, she’s vulnerable . . . and on her own.

Insurance investigator Maggie Devlin is suspicious of the latest claim that’s landed on her desk—a man dying on an icy road shortly after buying a lucrative life insurance policy. Maggie doesn’t believe in coincidences. The former cop knows that things—and people—are never what they seem to be.

As the fates of these three women become more tightly entwined, layers of lies and deception begin to peel away, pushing them dangerously to the edge . . . closer to each other . . . to a terrifying truth . . . to a shocking end.




Ghosts of Bergen County by Dana Cann (Tin House Books-April 27)

Synopsis-Set in New York City and New Jersey on the cusp of the financial crisis, Ghosts of Bergen County is a literary mystery with supernatural elements.

Gil Ferko is a private-equity lieutenant who commutes to Manhattan from the New Jersey suburbs. His wife, Mary Beth, has become a shut-in since a hit-and-run accident killed their infant daughter. When Ferko reconnects with Jen Yoder, a former high school classmate, Jen introduces him to heroin. As his dependency on the drug grows, his downward spiral puts his life in danger and his career in jeopardy. Mary Beth has also found an escape―first in prescription drugs that numb her senses, then in the companionship of a mysterious girl who heightens them. A ghost? Mary Beth believes so. And Jen is also haunted. Years ago she witnessed a man she had just met fall from a rooftop. She walked away from the accident and has been haunted since by the question of why she did so. As her quest to rectify that mistake starts to collide with the mystery of the hit-and-run driver who killed Ferko and Mary Beth’s daughter, all of the characters are forced to face the fine line between fate and happenstance. Dana Cann’s debut novel is a tautly paced and intricately plotted story in which collective burdens manifest into hauntings.


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