Here is your guide to the newest in thrillers as well as a feature list of recent winners of The International Thriller Writers Awards.
Foxed: a Detective Lane mystery - Garry Ryan
Pub Date: 10/01/2013
After a long series of professional and personal upheavals, Detective Lane begins his latest adventure happy, at peace, and enjoying life with his partner Arthur, their children Christine and Matt, and his able new partner, RCMP officer Keely Saliba.
The Dead Run - by Adam Mansbach
Pub Date: 09/24/2013
Thriller. Author Adam Mansbach may be best known for writing a humorous picture book for adults satirizing the bedtime habits of small children and their unhappy, exhausted parents, but he's back to his roots with this gripping blend of horror and suspense. Set on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, The Dead Runfollows two people -- one escaping from her torturers and one coerced into delivering a creepy relic to a cult leader -- as they try to make it through the desert alive. In addition to religious fanatics, outlaw bikers, and corrupt cops, there might be an undead virgin or two; this fast-paced, violent, profanity-laden tale won't be for everyone.
Blowback: A Vanessa Pierson Novel - by Valerie Plame and Sarah Lovett
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Pub Date: 10/01/2013
Spy Fiction. Former CIA agent Valerie Plame, famously exposed by the second Bush administration, has put her undercover experience to good use in this co-authored fiction debut (and likely series opener) starring CIA ops officer Vanessa Pierson. Vanessa's following leads to determine who's behind Iran's stockpiling of nuclear weapons. Regularly violating orders (including the one about not getting romantically involved in the field), Vanessa also regularly finds herself in trouble with her superiors, but that's all part of the fun. The rest is provided by international travel, anti-surveillance tradecraft, and high-octane action. Don't miss it!
Mortal Bonds - by Michael Sears
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Pub Date: 10/01/2013
Financial Thriller. In this sequel to the Shamus Award-winning Black Fridays, former Wall Street trader Jason Stafford is hired to find three billion dollars -- the proceeds of a Ponzi scheme whose author died in prison amid financial scandals. But each person he contacts seems to suffer suspicious -- and deadly -- accidents. As in the 1st book in the series, Jason's troublesome ex-wife complicates things, while scenes with his autistic son add a touching, personal counterpoint to the shady financial activities and even shadier major players.
Mother, Mother - by Koren Zailckas
Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: 09/17/2013
Psychological Suspense. Sixteen-year-old Violet has been committed to a mental hospital after supposedly injuring Will, her 12-year-old brother; Will is both brainwashed and autistic; older sister Rose has run away; dad's an alcoholic. And mom? Mom's the powerful force behind all that devastation, both sadistic and narcissistic as she manipulates others for her own reasons. Violet, despite her institutionalization, is perhaps the most stable, but as she tries to discover clues to Rose's disappearance (and what really happened the night Will got hurt), she invites more violence into her life. Told from both Violet and Will's points of view, Mother, Motheris disturbing in its revelations of abuse and riveting in its slow unfolding.
The International Thriller Writer Awards
Each year, the International Thriller Writers (ITW) gives awards to the best thrillers and suspense novels in certain categories -- including best novel and best first novel. Some recent winners are listed below.
Spilled Blood - by Brian Freeman
Publisher: Silver Oak
Pub Date: 05/01/2012
Suspense Fiction. St. Croix, Minnesota, is a dying town, falling apart as its children die of leukemia, while just upriver, the town of Barron -- home to a successful chemical plant -- is flourishing. Naturally, tensions are fueled by allegations of pollution and they come to a tipping point with the death of the chemical company head's daughter...and the accusations of murder leveled at a St. Croix girl. Now add some fuel to the fire -- a mysterious man threatening retribution, a violent thug, a missing scientist, and the St. Croix girl's lawyer, who happens to be her father. Suspense "doesn't get any more excruciating than this," says Booklistof this 2013 winner of the ITW Award for Best Novel.
The Neighbor: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel - by Lisa Gardner
Publisher: Bantam Books
Pub Date: 06/22/2010
Suspense Fiction. In Boston, Massachusetts, a pretty young teacher has disappeared from her home, leaving her young daughter asleep upstairs. While at first it seems possible, if unlikely, that she left of her own volition, things don't quite add up...and there's no shortage of suspects, starting with her strangely uncommunicative husband. The detective assigned to the case is D.D. Warren (in her 3rd appearance), and she digs up more strange connections the deeper she goes, including information that suggests that the missing woman -- and her husband -- carefully concealed her past. The Neighbor won the 2010 ITW Award for Best Novel; the series is now up to six if it catches your fancy.
Spiral - by Paul McEuen
Publisher: Dial Press
Pub Date: 03/22/2011
Scientific Thriller. Liam Connor is an 86-year-old pioneer in the field of nanoscience, working out of Cornell University. His death by apparent suicide is hard for both his granddaughter Maggie and his colleague Jake Sterling to swallow -- especially after it becomes clear that he was tortured. It is up to the two of them to determine why Liam was tortured -- and what role he played in the use of biological weapons in World War II. Booklist's reviewer called Spiralthe "most gripping and engrossing thriller" he's read in 50 years of reading thrillers and praises the author's skill with plot, pace, and characterization, and with his "brief, lucid disquisitions" on science. No wonder it won the ITW Award for Best First Novel in 2012.
The 500 - by Matthew Quirk
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Pub Date: 06/05/2012
Thriller. Smart and well written, this debut novel -- which was selected as a "Best Beach Read" by The Hollywood Reporter and won the ITW Award for Best First Novel in 2013 -- is being likened to John Grisham's The Firm ("only with a whole lot more action," says bestselling author James Patterson). It stars former con artist and Harvard Law student Mike Ford, who accepts a position with a consulting firm whose specialty is pulling strings for (and pulling the strings of) the top 500 most powerful people inside the Beltway. If you love this intrigue-filled book, you'll be pleased to know that there's a sequel in the pipeline.
Still Missing - by Chevy Stevens
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub Date: 05/24/2011
Psychological Suspense. On a beautiful sunny day, Vancouver Island realtor Annie O'Sullivan shows a house to one last friendly prospective buyer -- and is kidnapped at gunpoint. Held captive in a remote cabin and made to follow rules that dictate when she can eat, bathe, and even speak, Annie is brutalized physically and psychologically for a year before she can escape. Now, in sessions with her therapist, Annie shares the story of her trauma, her escape, and her ongoing fear and anger, for her kidnapper has yet to be found. Psychologically intense, this 2011 winner of the ITW Award for Best First Novel is "sure to leave readers looking over their shoulders for a smiling stranger" (Booklist).