CBTB's Most-Anticipated Crime Books of Late 2018
13 buzz-worthy releases from the end of August through the end of the year
2018 is flying by - and it's been bringing with it some really outstanding new crime fiction. From Jo Nesbo's MACBETH to Lucy Atkins' THE NIGHT VISITOR and a whole lot more, there's been a little something for everyone to love in the year so far—and now that summer reading is winding down, it's time to look towards the fall. In this post, you'll find the tail-end-of-summer reads I'm most excited about (publication date of 8/28 and onward!), plus an assortment of the upcoming fall releases that are a priority on my reading list. There are psychological thrillers, horror story prequels, Nordic Noir novels, and a whole lot more—so settle in, grab a cup of coffee, and discover some upcoming releases to add to your TBR, too! Note: This list is organized by publication date.
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Most-Anticipated Crime Books of Late 2018
BLACKOUT by Ragnar Jonasson
Minotaur Books; August 28, 2018
Why I’m Excited: BLACKOUT is my favorite of the Dark Iceland books, and I’m so excited it’s finally coming to the US! Atmospheric, chilling, and totally brilliant - this one is an excellent choice for readers who love classic detective fiction. Bonus: Jonasson uses a very cool device to give this story a claustrophobic and tense atmosphere. The atmosphere of this story is literary darkened by a volcanic eruption.
Plot Summary: On the shores of a tranquil fjord in Northern Iceland, a man is brutally beaten to death on a bright summer's night. As the 24-hour light of the arctic summer is transformed into darkness by an ash cloud from a recent volcanic eruption, a young reporter leaves Reykajvik to investigate on her own, unaware that an innocent person's life hangs in the balance. Ari Thor Arason and his colleagues on the tiny police force in Siglufjordur struggle with an increasingly perplexing case, while their own serious personal problems push them to the limit. What secrets does the dead man harbour, and what is the young reporter hiding? As silent, unspoken horrors from the past threaten them all, and the darkness deepens, it's a race against time to find the killer before someone else dies.
TEAR ME APART by J.T. Ellison
MIRA; August 28, 2018
Why I’m Excited: Remember how obsessed I was with J.T. Ellison’s standalone psychological suspense novel LIE TO ME? Well she’s back, and her next standalone novel sounds just as good. I’m ready for an end-of-summer binge-read, and this one sounds like just the ticket.
Plot Summary: One moment will change their lives forever…
Competitive skier Mindy Wright is a superstar in the making until a spectacular downhill crash threatens not just her racing career but her life. During surgery, doctors discover she’s suffering from a severe form of leukemia, and a stem cell transplant is her only hope. But when her parents are tested, a frightening truth emerges. Mindy is not their daughter.
Who knows the answers?
The race to save Mindy’s life means unraveling years of lies. Was she accidentally switched at birth or is there something more sinister at play? The search for the truth will tear a family apart…and someone is going to deadly extremes to protect the family’s deepest secrets.
LIES by T.M. Logan
St. Martin’s Press; September 11, 2018
Why I’m Excited: I’ve seen lots of buzz surrounding the publication of LIES by T.M. Logan in the UK - enough so that it made me curious to read this one for myself! This sounds like it has the potential to be another binge-worthy psychological thriller, a category that I’m always game to check out.
Plot Summary: Six days ago, Joe Lynch was a happily married man, a devoted father, and a respected teacher living in a well-to-do London suburb. But that was before he spotted his wife’s car entering a hotel parking garage. Before he saw her in a heated argument with her best friend’s husband. Before Joe confronted the other man in an altercation where he left him for dead, bleeding and unconscious.
Now, Joe’s life is unraveling. His wife has lied to him. Her deception has put their entire family in jeopardy. The man she met at the hotel has vanished. And as the police investigate his disappearance, suspicion falls on Joe.
Unable to trust the woman he loves, Joe finds himself at the mercy of her revelations and deceits, unsure of who or what to believe. All he knows is that her actions have brought someone dangerous into their lives―someone obsessed with her and determined to tear Joe’s world apart.
What if your whole life was based on LIES?
I KNOW YOU KNOW by Gilly Macmillan
William Morrow; September 18, 2018
Why I’m Excited: I fell in love with Gilly Macmillan’s writing in her suspense novel THE PERFECT GIRL - and I’m so excited to dig into her next binge-worthy story of psychological suspense! I’m hoping this one will be just as addictive as THE PERFECT GIRL.
Plot Summary: Twenty years ago, eleven-year-olds Charlie Paige and Scott Ashby were murdered in the city of Bristol, their bodies dumped near a dog racing track. A man was convicted of the brutal crime, but decades later, questions still linger.
For his whole life, filmmaker Cody Swift has been haunted by the deaths of his childhood best friends. The loose ends of the police investigation consume him so much that he decides to return to Bristol in search of answers. Hoping to uncover new evidence, and to encourage those who may be keeping long-buried secrets to speak up, Cody starts a podcast to record his findings. But there are many people who don’t want the case—along with old wounds—reopened so many years after the tragedy, especially Charlie’s mother, Jess, who decides to take matters into her own hands.
When a long-dead body is found in the same location the boys were left decades before, the disturbing discovery launches another murder investigation. Now Detective John Fletcher, the investigator on the original case, must reopen his dusty files and decide if the two murders are linked. With his career at risk, the clock is ticking and lives are in jeopardy…
UNDER MY SKIN by Lisa Unger
Park Row; October 2, 2018
Why I’m Excited: Somehow I have never read a book by Lisa Unger, and I’m so excited for that to change. This psychological thriller incorporates a few of my favorite tropes - memory loss and lost periods of time, to be specific - so I have a feeling it’s the perfect Lisa Unger book for me to start with!
Plot Summary: What if the nightmares are actually memories?
It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?
The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts—there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?
DRACUL by Dacre Stoker & JD Barker
G.P. Putnam’s Sons; October 2, 2018
Why I’m Excited: This prequel to Dracula is inspired by materials left behind by the author of the classic story - and, to make things even more exciting, the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker himself teams up with thriller writer JD Barker (author of THE FOURTH MONKEY) to write it.
Plot Summary: It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here ...
A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents' Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen--a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen--and that the nightmare they've thought long ended is only beginning.
A riveting novel of gothic suspense, Dracul reveals not only Dracula's true origin, but Bram Stoker's---and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.
THE DARKNESS by Ragnar Jonasson
Minotaur Books; October 16, 2018
Why I’m Excited: THE DARKNESS launches a brand-new series from one of my favorite Nordic authors - and it’s absolutely superb. I’ve already read THE DARKNESS, and it absolutely belongs on your fall reading list! This is another supremely chilling and moody mystery - and it’s as precisely-plotted as all of Jonasson’s work. (You can find my review here.)
Plot Summary: The body of a young Russian woman washes up on an Icelandic shore. After a cursory investigation, the death is declared a suicide and the case is quietly closed.
Over a year later Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavík police is forced into early retirement at 64. She dreads the loneliness, and the memories of her dark past that threaten to come back to haunt her. But before she leaves she is given two weeks to solve a single cold case of her choice. She knows which one: the Russian woman whose hope for asylum ended on the dark, cold shore of an unfamiliar country. Soon Hulda discovers that another young woman vanished at the same time, and that no one is telling her the whole story. Even her colleagues in the police seem determined to put the brakes on her investigation. Meanwhile the clock is ticking.
Hulda will find the killer, even if it means putting her own life in danger.
THE CRAFTSMAN by Sharon Bolton
Minotaur Books; October 16, 2018
Why I’m Excited: A coffin-maker convicted of burying children alive? This one sounds just plain creepy. Everything about this plot sounds totally enticing to me - and it sounds like a breath of fresh air, too, which I’m always game for!
Plot Summary: Florence Lovelady's career was made when she convicted coffin-maker Larry Grassbrook of a series of child murders 30 years ago in a small village in Lancashire. Like something out of a nightmare, the victims were buried alive. Florence was able to solve the mystery and get a confession out of Larry before more children were murdered., and he spent the rest of his life in prison.
But now, decades later, he's dead, and events from the past start to repeat themselves. Is someone copying the original murders? Or did she get it wrong all those years ago? When her own son goes missing under similar circumstances, the case not only gets reopened... it gets personal.
In master of suspense Sharon Bolton's latest thriller, readers will find a page-turner to confirm their deepest fears and the only protagonist who can face them.
THE MIDNIGHT WITNESS by Sara Blaedel
Grand Central Publishing; October 23, 2018
Why I’m Excited: This one needs no explanation! THE MIDNIGHT WITNESS is the first book in Sara Blaedel’s Louise Rick series - and I’m so excited to finally learn the origins of a fictional detective I’ve come to know and love over the years.
Plot Summary: A young woman is found strangled in a park, and a male journalist has been killed in the backyard of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen.
Detective Louise Rick is put on the case of the young girl, but very soon becomes entangled in solving the other homicide too when it turns out her best friend, journalist Camilla Lind, knew the murdered man. Louise tries to keep her friend from getting too involved, but Camilla's never been one to miss out on an interesting story. And this time, Camilla may have gone too far...
Emotionally riveting and filled with unexpected twists, THE MIDNIGHT WITNESS is a tour-de-force from international phenomenon Sara Blaedel.
DAUGHTERS OF THE LAKE by Wendy Webb
Lake Union Publishing; November 1, 2018
Why I’m Excited: Local folklore, chilling dreams, and a rural setting? Count me in. Author Wendy Webb has been called the “Queen of Northern Gothic,” and I simply cannot wait to give DAUGHTERS OF THE LAKE a read.
Plot Summary: After the end of her marriage, Kate Granger has retreated to her parents’ home on Lake Superior to pull herself together—only to discover the body of a murdered woman washed into the shallows. Tucked in the folds of the woman’s curiously vintage gown is an infant, as cold and at peace as its mother. No one can identify the woman. Except for Kate. She’s seen her before. In her dreams…
One hundred years ago, a love story ended in tragedy, its mysteries left unsolved. It’s time for the lake to give up its secrets. As each mystery unravels, it pulls Kate deeper into the eddy of a haunting folktale that has been handed down in whispers over generations. Now, it’s Kate’s turn to listen.
As the drowned woman reaches out from the grave, Kate reaches back. They must come together, if only in dreams, to right the sinister wrongs of the past.
INHUMAN RESOURCES by Pierre Lemaitre
MacLehose Press; November 6, 2018
Why I’m Excited: Pierre Lemaitre’s BLOOD WEDDING is arguably my favorite psychological thriller of all time, and I’m always excited for his new books. This one sounds quirky and totally out there—and I can’t wait to dig in!
Plot Summary: Alain Delambre is a fifty-seven-year-old former HR executive, drained by four years of hopeless unemployment. The only job offers he gets are for low-level, demoralizing positions. He has reached rock bottom and can see no way out.
So when a major company finally invites him in for an interview, Alain is ready to do anything--borrow money, shame his wife and his daughters, and even participate in the ultimate recruitment test: a role-playing game that involves taking hostages.
Alain vows to commit body and soul in this struggle to regain his dignity. But if he had realized that the odds were stacked against him from the beginning, he never would have tried to land the position. Now, his fury is limitless. And what began as a role-playing game could quickly become a bloodbath.
MY SISTER, THE SERIAL KILLER by OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE
Doubleday; November 20, 2018
Why I’m Excited: First of all - that cover is A+. Second - a satirical, darkly humorous yet totally chilling-sounding story of a woman whose sister has a habit of killing her boyfriends, from a debut author with a law degree and experience in the publishing world under her belt? Yes, I am 100% in.
Plot Summary: "Femi makes three, you know. Three and they label you a serial killer."
Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola's third boyfriend in a row is dead. Korede's practicality is the sisters' saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her "missing" boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.
Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she's exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola's phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she's willing to go to protect her.
THE FIRE WITNESS by Lars Kepler
Vintage Crime/Black Lizard; November 27, 2018
Why I’m Excited: Of three Kepler backlist titles being re-released in paperback this year, THE FIRE WITNESS is the one I’m most excited about! This gorgeous cover plus a female-driven plot makes this Nordic thriller right up my alley. I’m dying to get my hands on this one!
Plot Summary: Detective Joona Linna is on leave dealing with personal and professional issues when he gets pulled into the investigation of a horrific murder at a home for wayward teenage girls. One girl is dead, and another is missing. The local police want to close the case quickly, especially after they discover a bloody hammer under the missing girl's bed. But a woman claiming to see visions of the murdered girl insists there is more going on than meets the eye, and Joona is inclined to believe her. As he digs deeper into the case, he finds himself in dark and dangerous territory. This compelling thriller will have you turning pages long into the night.
And that's a wrap! Which of these books are on your TBR? Any others that you're particularly looking forward to? Here's to some fantastic months of crime reading ahead! xx A