What better way to start the spring season than with some of these literary crime fiction novels? While a serial killer awaits his execution, we learn about how he became who he is through the women in his life. A man keeps postponing his engagement because he can’t end his loveless arranged marriage. An M15 agent infiltrates a literary group and falls for the very man she’s supposed to keep an eye on. In these character-driven crime fiction books, you’ll get to experience a myriad of perspectives going through high-stakes adventures. So, before your next park day in the sun, grab one of these books to keep you company.
A fierce zealot in the hurricane-ravaged bottomlands of South Mississippi has gained a foothold by capitalizing on the vulnerability of a dwindling population and burning need for hope. Her promises of salvation sow the seeds of violence. Elsewhere, Jessie and her baby Jace, are running across the Mississippi/Louisiana line to return to her childhood home and desolate father. Jace’s father, Holt, is missing and hunted by a brutish crowd. An old man witnesses the wrong thing. In a matter of days, all their lives will collide and be changed.
Lin Kong, a doctor in the Chinese Army, returns to his village every summer to two women. Lin tries to end his loveless marriage with Shuyu, but each time, ends up returning to Manna Wu, the educated, modern nurse he loves, to tell her they’ll have to postpone their engagement once again. Caught between conflicting claims of two vastly different women, Lin has been waiting for eighteen years, but this year, he promises it’ll be different.
In 1929, Robert Lee Harrington, a master carpenter, arrived in Birmingham with his pregnant wife and young daughter to pursue a job opportunity. The “Magic City” had a booming steel industry and vibrant nightlife but was a stronghold for the Klan. With his beautiful light-skinned wife and shiny car, Robert worries about attracting the wrong kind of attention. Now in 2019, Meghan McKenzie, the youngest reporter at the Detroit Free Press, travels to Birmingham to find the full story of how her great-grandfather was murdered. But as she delves deeper into her investigation, she begins to uncover dark secrets that put her life at risk.
Ted Mundy, a British soldier’s son born in a new independent Pakistan, and Sasha, a refugee son of an East German Lutheran pastor, meet as students in a riot-torn West Berlin in the late Sixties. Then again during Cold War espionage. Then, finally and most terribly, duinr today’s unipolar world of terror and counter-terror. Both men are willing to do anything to serve their country.
It’s 1972, but the Cold War is far from over. England’s legendary intelligence agency is determined to change the cultural conversation by sponsoring writers whose politics align with the government—operation “Sweet Tooth”. Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal M15 recruit. As a compulsive reader of novels, she’s the perfect person to infiltrate Tom Haley’s literary circle. She loves the stories and starts loving the man. Conflicted with concealing her undercover life, she must learn whether she can trust anyone.
In this literary suspense, we follow the story of a serial killer on death row. Ansel Packer’s execution is in twelve hours. He doesn’t want to die. He wants to be understood. We learn the story of Ansel’s life through a kaleidoscope of women—a mother, a sister, and a homicide detective. Through these three women, we examine the choices that led up to the tragedy, unraveling the familiar narrative of an American serial killer and interrogating our system of justice and our cultural obsession with crime stories.
What to Read Next
Emily Hoang is a writer and editor, who is obsessed with haunted houses, ghosts, and dreams. More info can be found on her website.