CBTB’s Most-Anticipated Crime Books Hitting Shelves May - July 2019
Dear crime readers: ‘tis the season for another “most anticipated” list! 2019 has already delivered a whole slew of stellar new crime reads, and there is so much more to come as we look towards the summer months. Between May, June, and July 2019, we crime readers will be treated to some of the best the genre has to offer: from new Nordic Noir to page-turning psychological thrillers and dark stories of revenge, there’s a little something for everyone on sale in the coming months! Today’s blog post will be focused on crime fiction releasing from May 2019 through July 2019 -- aka all the crime books you need to take you from spring into summer with a jam-packed TBR list. And not to worry: I will be sharing additional “most anticipated” lists for late summer, fall, and winter 2019 down the road, too!
Without further ado, let’s dive on in to my picks for Most-Anticipated Crime Books Hitting Shelves May - July 2019!
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Most-Anticipated Crime Books Hitting Shelves May - July 2019
THE ISLAND by Ragnar Jonasson
May 21st, 2019 | Minotaur
Why I’m Excited: I’ve been fortunate enough to read an early copy of THE ISLAND already, and let me tell you, it’s fantastic. This is book two in a trilogy (and you’ll want to read book one - THE DARKNESS - before digging into this one), and it’s become apparent that Jonasson truly just gets better with each book he writes. Atmospheric suspense set in Iceland, THE ISLAND delivers chills and masterful plotting from its first page to its last.
Plot Details: Autumn of 1987 takes a young couple on a romantic trip in the Westfjords holiday―a trip that gets an unexpected ending and has catastrophic consequences.
Ten years later a small group of friends go for a weekend in an old hunting lodge in Elliðaey. A place completely cut off from the outside world, to reconnect. But one of them isn't going to make it out alive. And Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir is determined to find the truth in the darkness.
Ragnar Jonasson burst onto the American scene with Snowblind and Nightblind, the first two novels in the Ari Thor thriller series, and the praise was overwhelming. With The Darkness, he launched a new series featuring a completely new sleuth, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdottir of the Reykjavik Police department. The Island is the second book in this series.
INTO THE JUNGLE by Erica Ferencik
May 28th, 2019 | Gallery Books
Why I’m Excited: It’s been a couple of years since I read Erica Ferencik’s previous thriller THE RIVER AT NIGHT, but I can still remember what a genuinely fun and engrossing read that was. In THE RIVER AT NIGHT, Ferencik took a group of ordinary friends and put them on a disastrous rafting trip; in INTO THE JUNGLE, Ferencik takes her readers into the jungle of Bolivia. THE RIVER AT NIGHT was edge-of-your-seat entertainment, and I’m betting Ferencik will deliver another pulse-pounding survival story here.
Plot Details: Lily Bushwold thought she’d found the antidote to endless foster care and group homes: a teaching job in Cochabamba, Bolivia. As soon as she could steal enough cash for the plane, she was on it.
When the gig falls through and Lily stays in Bolivia, she finds bonding with other broke, rudderless girls at the local hostel isn’t the life she wants either. Tired of hustling and already world-weary, crazy love finds her in the form she least expected: Omar, a savvy, handsome local man who’d abandoned his life as a hunter in Ayachero—a remote jungle village—to try his hand at city life.
When Omar learns that a jaguar has killed his four-year-old nephew in Ayachero, he gives Lily a choice: Stay alone in the unforgiving city, or travel to the last in a string of ever-more-isolated river towns in the jungles of Bolivia. Thirty-foot anaconda? Puppy-sized spiders? Vengeful shamans with unspeakable powers? Love-struck Lily is oblivious. She follows Omar to this ruthless new world of lawless poachers, bullheaded missionaries, and desperate indigenous tribes driven to the brink of extinction. To survive, Lily must navigate the jungle--its wonders as well as its terrors—using only her wits and resilience.
Primal, gripping, and terrifying, Into the Jungle features Erica Ferencik’s signature “visceral, white-knuckle” (Entertainment Weekly) prose that will sink its fangs into you and not let go.
BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT by Malin Persson Giolito
June 4th, 2019 | Other Press
Why I’m Excited: Show me a buzzworthy new Scandinavian crime novel, and I’ll show you a book that’s on my must-read list. Malin Persson Giolito is best known for her award-winning crime novel QUICKSAND, which was just adapted for Netflix. Now, in her newest release, she’s back with a gripping legal thriller that follows a female lawyer who attempts to prove the innocence of a convicted killer. This one looks tailor-made for me!
Plot Details: I'm giving you a chance to achieve every lawyer's dream, said Sophia Weber's old professor. Freeing an innocent man.
Thirteen years ago, a fifteen-year-old girl was murdered. Doctor Stig Ahlin was sentenced to life in prison. But no one has forgotten the brutal crime. Ahlin is known as one of the most ruthless criminals.
When Sophia Weber discovers critical flaws in the murder investigation, she decides to help Ahlin. But Sophia's doing her utmost to get her client exonerated arouses many people's disgust. And the more she learns, the more difficult her job becomes. What kind of man is her client really? What has he done? And will she ever know the truth?
THOSE PEOPLE by Louise Candlish
June 11th, 2019 | Berkley
Why I’m Excited: Yet another CBTB favorite author returning with a new crime novel in 2019! Louise Candlish’s OUR HOUSE was one of my favorite reads of 2018, and I can’t wait to see what she’s up to next in her newest release. I love psychological thrillers that push “ordinary” relationships and situations to dark extremes, and THOSE PEOPLE appears to be exactly that kind of read.
Plot Details: From the author of the international bestseller Our House, a new novel of twisty domestic suspense asks, “Could you hate your neighbor enough to plot to kill him?”
Lowland Way is the suburban dream. The houses are beautiful, the neighbors get along, and the kids play together on weekends.
But when Darren and Jodie move into the house on the corner, they donʼt follow the rules. They blast music at all hours, begin an unsightly renovation, and run a used-car business from their yard. It doesn’t take long for an all-out war to start brewing.
Then, early one Saturday, a horrific death shocks the street. As police search for witnesses, accusations start flying—and everyone has something to hide.
CONVICTION by Denise Mina
June 18th, 2019 | Mulholland Books
Why I’m Excited: Here’s an embarrassing confession… I have yet to read a book by Denise Mina. But! That’s all about to change, and I couldn’t be more excited. CONVICTION looks right up my alley; this crime story revolves around true crime podcasts, and follows a protagonist who finds herself on the run, the secrets from her past threatening to catch up with her. I love its cover, its plot, everything—and I can’t wait to dig in.
Plot Details: The day Anna McDonald's quiet, respectable life explodes starts off like all the days before: Packing up the kids for school, making breakfast, listening to yet another true crime podcast. Then her husband comes downstairs with an announcement, and Anna is suddenly, shockingly alone.
Reeling, desperate for distraction, Anna returns to the podcast. Other people's problems are much better than one's own -- a sunken yacht, a murdered family, a hint of international conspiracy. But this case actually is Anna's problem. She knows one of the victims from an earlier life, a life she's taken great pains to leave behind. And she is convinced that she knows what really happened.
Then an unexpected visitor arrives on her front stoop, a meddling neighbor intervenes, and life as Anna knows it is well and truly over. The devils of her past are awakened -- and in hot pursuit. Convinced she has no other options, she goes on the run, and in pursuit of the truth, with a washed-up musician at her side and the podcast as her guide.
A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY by M.T. Edvardsson
June 25th, 2019 | Celadon Books
Why I’m Excited: Legal thrillers (particularly Scandinavian legal thrillers!) seem to be having a bit of a moment this spring, and I’m not complaining at all. I’ve been following the buzz surrounding A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY for quite a while now, and am in the midst of reading this book as I write this roundup - and so far, it’s easy to see why this book is catching people’s eye. Written with intentionality and insight, A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY is thoughtful and thought-provoking suspense.
Plot Details: Eighteen-year-old Stella stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost fifteen years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him?
Stella’s father, a pastor, and mother, a criminal defense attorney, find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A Nearly Normal Family asks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?
LOCK EVERY DOOR by Riley Sager
July 2nd, 2019 | Dutton
Why I’m Excited: Riley Sager is brilliant at blending modern-day suspense with homages to old-school horror - a combination that I absolutely love. In his newest psychological thriller, he takes readers into a luxury apartment building in New York where apartment-sitters have a habit of disappearing. His books FINAL GIRLS and THE LAST TIME I LIED have been instant-favorites for me, and I’m confident LOCK EVERY DOOR will be as well!
Plot Details: No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan's most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew's sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.
KNIFE by Jo Nesbø
July 9th, 2019 | Knopf
Why I’m Excited: This one needs no explanation! Jo Nesbø has been my favorite author for years and years, and a new installment in his fan-favorite Harry Hole series is always reason to celebrate. But KNIFE is something special. I may or may not have already had the chance to read a very early version of this book, and it’s vintage Nesbø in all the best ways; gritty, emotional, and downright gripping. The king of Scandinavian crime fiction has outdone himself here.
Plot Details: Brilliant, audaciously rogue police officer, Harry Hole from The Snowman and The Thirst, is back and in the throes of a new, unanticipated rage--once again hunting the murderer who has haunted his entire career.
Harry Hole is not in a good place. Rakel--the only woman he's ever loved--has ended it with him, permanently. He's been given a chance for a new start with the Oslo Police but it's in the cold case office, when what he really wants is to be investigating cases he suspects have ties to Svein Finne, the serial rapist and murderer who Harry helped put behind bars. And now, Finne is free after a decade-plus in prison--free, and Harry is certain, unreformed and ready to take up where he left off. But things will get worse. When Harry wakes up the morning after a blackout, drunken night with blood that's clearly not his own on his hands, it's only the very beginning of what will be a waking nightmare the likes of which even he could never have imagined.
ONE LITTLE SECRET by Cate Holahan
July 9th, 2019 | Crooked Lane Books
Why I’m Excited: Cate Holahan is a pro at writing binge-worthy summer reads. I absolutely devoured her twisty, intelligent thriller LIES SHE TOLD in 2017, and have been eagerly anticipating her next release ever since! I was particularly impressed with Holahan’s deft “book within a book”-style plotting in LIES SHE TOLD; I can’t wait to see what inventive plots she dreams up in her newest psychological thriller. Bonus: her newest release is billed as a locked room mystery, which is always up my alley!
Plot Details: The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town―and desperate for some kid-free conversation―she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic husband.
Over the course of the first evening, liquor loosens inhibitions and lips. The three couples begin picking up on the others' marital tensions and work frustrations, as well as revealing their own. But someone says too much. And the next morning one of the women is discovered dead on the private beach.
Town detective Gabby Watkins must figure out who permanently silenced the deceased. As she investigates, she learns that everyone in the glass house was hiding something that could tie them to the murder, and that the biggest secrets of all are often in plain sight for anyone willing to look.
A taut, locked room mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters, One Little Secret promises to keep readers' eyes glued to the pages and debating the blinders that we all put on in the service of politeness.
THE CHAIN by Adrian McKinty
July 9th, 2019 | Mulholland
Why I’m Excited: This book has one of the most fresh and original plots I’ve heard in ages. It’s been praised as “Jaws for parents,” and is receiving massive praise from some of the biggest names in the crime genre. This will be the first Adrian McKinty book I read, and I have a feeling it will be the perfect place to start!
Plot Details: YOUR PHONE RINGS.
A STRANGER HAS KIDNAPPED YOUR CHILD.
TO FREE THEM YOU MUST ABDUCT SOMEONE ELSE'S CHILD.
YOUR CHILD WILL BE RELEASED WHEN YOUR VICTIM'S PARENTS KIDNAP ANOTHER CHILD.
IF ANY OF THESE THINGS DON'T HAPPEN:
YOUR CHILD WILL BE KILLED.
YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE CHAIN
THE HEART KEEPER by Alex Dahl
July 16th, 2019 | Berkley
Why I’m Excited: I absolutely love Alex Dahl’s unique blend of Scandinavian sensibility and modern psychological suspense. In her previous novel THE BOY AT THE DOOR, she delivered a pitch-perfect summer read: something thought-provoking and heartfelt, atmospheric and page-turning. THE BOY AT THE DOOR intelligently skewered the pressures of womanhood and motherhood, all wrapped up in a highly entertaining package, and I can’t wait to see what Alex does in her next release. (If it’s possible, it sounds even better than THE BOY AT THE DOOR.)
Plot Details: Two mothers. Two daughters. One heart.
When Alison's beloved daughter Amalie drowns, her world turns impenetrably dark. Alison tries to hold it together throughout the bleak Fall, but in the darkest days of the Norwegian Winter she completely falls apart.
In another family, Amalie's passing is a new beginning. After years of severe health problems, young Kaia receives a new heart on the morning after Amalie drowns. Her mother Iselin has struggled to raise Kaia on her own and now things are finally looking up. She's even made an affluent new friend who's taken a special interest in her and her daughter.
Alison knows she shouldn't interfere, but really, she's just trying to help Iselin and Kaia. She can give them the life they never had, and by staying close to them, she can still be with her daughter. Kaia is just like her, and surely, something of Amalie must live on in her. As her grief transforms into a terrifying obsession, Alison won't let anything stop her from getting back what she has lost.
TELL ME EVERYTHING by Cambria Brockman
July 16th, 2019 | Ballantine Books
Why I’m Excited: I have a soft spot for suspense novels that take place against university/academic backdrops, and if that describes you too, you’ll want to check out TELL ME EVERYTHING. The plot of this book reminds me a bit of Pretty Little Liars (another favorite of mine!), in that it deals with an enigmatic protagonist and secrets among a group of school-aged friends. It’s receiving impressive early praise, and has a gorgeous cover to boot. Count me in!
Plot Details: In her first weeks at Hawthorne College, Malin is swept up into a tight-knit circle that will stick together through all four years. There’s Gemma, an insecure theater major from London; John, a tall, handsome, wealthy New Englander; Max, John’s cousin, a shy pre-med major; Khaled, a wisecracking prince from Abu Dhabi; and Ruby, a beautiful art history major. But Malin isn’t like the rest of her friends. She’s an expert at hiding her troubled past. She acts as if she shares the preoccupations of those around her—dating, partying—all while using her extraordinary insight to detect their deepest vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
By Senior Day, on the cusp of graduation, Malin’s secrets—and those of her friends—are revealed. While she scrambles to maintain her artfully curated image, her missteps set in motion a devastating chain of events that ends in a murder. And as fragile relationships hang in the balance and close alliances shift, Malin must test the limits of what she’s capable of to stop the truth from coming out.
In a mesmerizing novel that peels back the innumerable layers of a seductive protagonist, debut author Cambria Brockman brings to life an entrancing story of friendship, heartbreak, and betrayal.
GRETCHEN by Shannon Kirk
July 23rd, 2019 | Thomas & Mercer
Why I’m Excited: Oh. My. Goodness. My obsession with Shannon Kirk is real. Her twisted thriller IN THE VINES knocked my proverbial socks off last year with its Gothic themes and demented characters, and GRETCHEN sounds equally fantastic. I love thrillers that push the envelope and take risks, and Kirk’s bold storytelling and unflinching characterization delivers exactly that. (IN THE VINES isn’t for the faint of heart - but it’s a must-read if you want something equal parts twisted and lush.) Bring it on, Shannon - I can’t wait to see what GRETCHEN has in store for us.
Plot Details: The new tenants have a terrible secret. So do the landlord and his daughter…
Ever since Lucy was two, she’s been on the run alongside her mother. She’s never understood the reason for a lifetime of paranoia, aliases, and lies. All she understands are the rules: never lock eyes with strangers, never let down your guard, and always be ready to move on.
Finally, after thirteen years and eleven states, their next hideaway seems perfect. An isolated, fortresslike place in the New Hampshire woods is the new home they share with its owner, a gentlemanly pianist, and his lonely daughter, Gretchen. She’s Lucy’s age and soon becomes Lucy’s first real friend.
But Gretchen and her father have secrets of their own—and an obsession with puzzles that draws Lucy into a terrifying new game of hide-and-seek. Lucy’s dark past is about to come calling. And this time, for her and her mother in the house on the hill, it might be too late to run.
BEIJING PAYBACK by Daniel Nieh
July 23rd, 2019 | Ecco
Why I’m Excited: This one is a bit outside my comfort zone, but that’s exactly why I’m so excited about it! BEIJING PAYBACK is a revenge thriller set in China - a story that explores the secrets a father hid from his son, and the lengths a son will go to finish what his father started. Combine this intriguing premise with a gorgeous cover and superb early praise, and I’m in.
Plot Details: A fresh, smart, and fast-paced revenge thriller about a college basketball player who discovers shocking truths about his family in the wake of his father’s murder
Victor Li is devastated by his father’s murder, and shocked by a confessional letter he finds among his father’s things. In it, his father admits that he was never just a restaurateur—in fact he was part of a vast international crime syndicate that formed during China’s leanest communist years.
Victor travels to Beijing, where he navigates his father’s secret criminal life, confronting decades-old grudges, violent spats, and a shocking new enterprise that the organization wants to undertake. Standing up against it is likely what got his father killed, but Victor remains undeterred. He enlists his growing network of allies and friends to finish what his father started, no matter the costs.