Talk about starting the month off right! March has a number of exciting new crime reads in store, but today’s bunch of brand-new releases might just be the most exciting of all. Today, March 5th, marks release day for a gripping work of domestic suspense, a bookish crime novel with a Gothic edge, and the newest release from Denmark’s Queen of Crime - and this blog post will give you a quick rundown of each. Clear your TBR - you’ll want to dive into these beauties as soon as possible! Read on for my picks for new crime fiction on sale this week.
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NEW RELEASE TUESDAY: MARCH 5th, 2019
THE STRANGER DIARIES by Elly Griffiths
My Quick Take:
Love Gothic literature? Love mysteries with bookish subject matter? Love intricate, layered plotting, narrated by compelling female leads? I’ve got the perfect book for you. Elly Griffiths’ exceptional standalone THE STRANGER DIARIES is, to me, perfection. From its gorgeous cover to its wholly original plot, THE STRANGER DIARIES is that diamond in the rough that sneaks up on you and reminds you why reading crime fiction is just so fun.
From My Review:
How is this the first time I’ve read a book by Elly Griffiths? There’s no other way to say it: I’ve been missing out. Griffiths’ exceptional standalone THE STRANGER DIARIES is a spring 2019 must-read. Layered and immersive, atmospheric and authentic, this brilliant twist on Gothic suspense will captivate the reader. Following Clare Cassidy, a teacher who specializes in Gothic literature, THE STRANGER DIARIES takes readers into a bookish mystery with sinister undertones. When one of Clare’s closest colleagues is found murdered, Clare is grief-stricken—but things take an ominous turn when a clue is discovered on the corpse that tie the gruesome crime to the work of a Gothic writer who happens to be one of Clare’s favorites. Could life be imitating art? As Clare ventures into the dark heart of the goings on at her place of employment, it begins to appear that this work of fiction is playing out in the real world—to deadly end. In THE STRANGER DIARIES, Griffiths masterfully blends Gothic influence with modern-day suspense sensibility, and the result is effortless, spine-tingling, page-turning fun. Masterfully blurring the lines between reality and fiction, Elly Griffiths has crafted an exceptional bookish mystery that is both an ode to Gothic literature and an effective work of Gothic suspense unto itself. | Continue Reading
Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. A high school English teacher specializing in the Gothic writer R. M. Holland, she teaches a course on it every year. But when one of Clare’s colleagues and closest friends is found dead, with a line from R. M. Holland’s most famous story, “The Stranger,” left by her body, Clare is horrified to see her life collide with the storylines of her favorite literature.
To make matters worse, the police suspect the killer is someone Clare knows. Unsure whom to trust, she turns to her closest confidant, her diary, the only outlet she has for her darkest suspicions and fears about the case. Then one day she notices something odd. Writing that isn't hers, left on the page of an old diary:
Hallo Clare. You don’t know me.
Clare becomes more certain than ever: “The Stranger” has come to terrifying life. But can the ending be rewritten in time?
BEAUTIFUL BAD by Annie Ward
My Quick Take:
Annie Ward’s BEAUTIFUL BAD is a harrow slice of domestic suspense that defies genre expectations in the best way possible. PIvoting between a thriller with a global focus and a suspense novel with deeply personal ramifications, BEAUTIFUL BAD seamlessly transports readers around the globe and into a marriage with very dark secrets at its core. Pick this one up if you love the domestic suspense subgenre, but are looking for something new and fresh - BEAUTIFUL BAD delivers in spades.
From My Review:
No matter how many domestic suspense novels you’ve read, chances are you haven’t read one quite like BEAUTIFUL BAD by Annie Ward. Intimate yet expansive, BEAUTIFUL BAD takes readers into the most private secrets of a troubled marriage via pit stops in that same married couple’s history. Traveling from the Balkans to England to post-9/11 New York, BEAUTIFUL BAD draws readers into a story epic in scope, but decidedly personal at its core. This suspense novel has all the hallmarks of your favorite domestic thriller: a marriage with a dark side, a cast of unreliable characters, and some engaging, page-turning twists along the way. But what makes me particularly glad to have read this book is the authenticity that fills its every page. BEAUTIFUL BAD is based on the real-life experiences of its author, and the author’s closeness to the material is evident here in the best possible way. Ward writes with sensitivity about topics including PTSD, the complexities of friendship, and the pressures and challenges of marriage and motherhood—not to mention the utterly compelling portrait she paints of the world as seen through her protagonist’s eyes. BEAUTIFUL BAD is a multifaceted suspense novel brimming with energy, emotion, and entertainment value. Highly recommended for readers who want complex yet binge-worthy domestic suspense. | Continue Reading
Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries. Hospitals and lakes. When Ian drinks vodka in the basement. ISIS. When Ian gets angry… That something is really, really wrong with me.
Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.
From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.
HER FATHER’S SECRET by Sara Blaedel
My Quick Take:
Denmark’s Queen of Crime is back with HER FATHER’S SECRET, the second installment in her Family Secrets trilogy, and it’s a winner. In breaking with her police procedural series following Louise Rick of the Copenhagen police department, Blaedel has given herself space to explore new territory with the Family Secrets books - and readers who love character-driven stories set against wholly unique backdrops will be thoroughly rewarded. Pick HER FATHER’S SECRET up for endearing characters, a fascinating exploration of the funeral home industry, and a compelling blend of Nordic sensibility and American setting.
Sara Blaedel’s newest venture is a distinct departure for the author known best for her gritty procedural series. The Family Secrets trilogy (Book 1: THE DAUGTER; Book 2: HER FATHER’S SECRET) follows a Danish woman, Ilka, who decides to leave behind her established life in Denmark and travel to the United States in pursuit of the truth about her estranged father, who abandoned her when she was a young girl. But when Ilka arrives in the U.S., she discovers she might just be in over her head. Her father has passed away, and has left his business to our protagonist in his will. What is this business, you ask? It’s a funeral home, and the business is crippled by debt that Ilka is now responsible for, too.
Blaedel is known for the authenticity of her books, and it’s no accident that she’s earned this reputation. She does extensive research to back up her writing, and perhaps my favorite element of the Family Secrets books is her exploration of the funeral industry in America. Blaedel does a superb job giving readers the inside scoop on an under-discussed industry; I don’t know about you, but this series is the first I’ve ever read that uses a funeral home as its foundation. HER FATHER’S SECRET finds trilogy protagonist Ilka grappling with the financial difficulties her father has left for her to solve - and connecting the dots between a recent shooting victim and her father’s murky past, too. HER FATHER’S SECRET ups the tension from book one in the trilogy; Blaedel hits her stride as she places her very ordinary protagonist in some extraordinary situations here. Perhaps best of all is Blaedel’s skill at crafting endearing, true-to-life characters. The Family Secrets books aren’t big, flashy stories - but they’re not meant to be, either. These books are all about true-to-life storytelling, complete with relatable, down-to-earth characters and the drama of ordinary life. Readers who prefer gritty, dark crime fiction will be best suited to the Louise Rick series, but readers who enjoy character-driven suspense with a Nordic twist will find HER FATHER’S SECRET right up their alley.
A woman's murder is only the beginning as a daughter races to unravel the maze of secrets her father left behind--before she becomes the next victim--in the latest emotionally gripping novel from Sara Blaedel, #1 internationally bestselling author with over 3 million copies sold worldwide.
After suddenly inheriting a funeral home from her father--who she hadn't heard from in decades--Ilka Jensen has impulsively abandoned her quiet life in Denmark to visit the small town in rural Wisconsin where her father lived. There, she's devastated to discover her father's second family: a stepmother and two half sisters she never knew existed. And who aren't the least bit welcoming, despite Ilka's efforts to reach out.
Then a local woman is killed, seemingly the unfortunate victim of a home invasion turned violent. But when Ilka learns that the woman knew her father, it becomes increasingly clear that she may not have been a completely random victim after all.
The more Ilka digs into her father's past, the more deeply entangled she becomes in a family drama that has spanned decades and claimed more than one life--and she may be the next victim...