Looking ahead to the new year, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect from 2023. But we know one thing for sure: it’s going to be a great year for fans of crime fiction. From exciting debuts to suspenseful new books from some of our favorite authors, there are so many books you’ll be dying to add to your TBR. Here are some of the crime fiction novels we’re the most excited about reading next year.
Conducting a routine cover development trip to Tajikistan, Pike and Jennifer learn that Afghanistan has fallen, and there’s a man on the run. One that has done more for the United States in Afghanistan than anyone else. Pulled in to extract him, Pike collides headlong into a broader mystery: His covert company, along with every other entity in the Taskforce, has been hit with a ransomware attack, and there’s some connection between the Taliban and the hack. Given the order to track down the perpetrators, he has no idea that the problem set is much, much larger and more dangerous than a simple attack on his organization. That hack was just a test-run, and the real one is coming soon, engendered by a former NSA specialist in the U.S. government.
A man who wants to return to the bipolar world of the Cold War, the turncoat has cloaked his attack behind hackers from Serbia and Russia, and if successful, his target will alter the balance of power on the global stage. So far, the specialist has remained one step ahead of the Taskforce, but he has just made one massive mistake: hitting Pike Logan.
The Wolfs, the most powerful family in California, have a new head–thirty-six-year-old former high school teacher Jenny Wolf.
That means Jenny now runs the prestigious San Francisco Tribune.
She also controls the legendary pro football team, the Wolves.
And she has a murdered father to avenge—if she can survive the killers all around her.
An unforgettable family drama by two writers at the top of their craft.
Don’t Fear the Reaper is Stephen Graham Jones’ highly anticipated sequel to his 2021 novel My Heart is a Chainsaw. Four years after the events of the first novel, Jade Daniels’ conviction is overturned and she’s released from prison. But life doesn’t get any easier when she returns to her hometown of Proofrock. Convicted Serial Killer, Dark Mill South, has escaped from his prison transfer right outside of Proofrock, and he’s seeking revenge.
Every Man a King is another must-read novel from bestselling mystery author Walter Mosley. In this second novel following former NYPD investigator Joe King Oliver, Joe is approached by a friend of the family and multi-billionaire Roger Ferris with a tough assignment. White nationalist Alfred Xavier Quiller has been accused of murder and selling sensitive information to the Russians. But Ferris believes Quiller was set up, and he wants Joe to investigate the charges. As Joe gets closer to uncovering the truth, he finds himself and everyone he loves directly in the line of danger.
Looking for a crime thriller filled with killer twists? You won’t want to miss David Baldacci’s Simply Lies, which follows Mickey Gibson, a former New Jersey detective and single mother of two. Now, Mickey works for ProEye, a global investigation company that tracks down the assets of the wealthy who have tried to avoid creditors. When Mickey’s colleague asks her to visit the home of a notorious arms dealer, Mickey is shocked to discover the body of a man hidden in a secret room within the arms dealer’s mansion. But things only get stranger from there: it turns out the arms dealer never existed, and no one at ProEye has heard of the colleague who sent Mickey to the house in the first place.
Five years ago, David and Cheryl Burroughs were living a dream life when tragedy struck. Now, Cheryl is remarried, and David is serving a life sentence in a maximum-security prison for the brutal murder of their son. But when David receives evidence from Cheryl’s sister, Rachel, that his son might not actually be dead, everything changes. Now, David must break out of jail to clear his own name and uncover what really happened to his son.
Charlie Garner’s ex-wife Meg was last seen working at a local donut shop run by an evangelist cult known to most people as “the Saucer People.” Most people think Meg is running away from debt collectors, but after she’s been missing for over a week, Charlie begins to suspect something more sinister. With the help of his brother Felix and journalist Amelia “Scrappy” Moon, Charlie is determined to uncover the truth behind this strange cult and find out what really happened to Meg.
Jenna, Donnie, and Nico used to be best friends. Twenty-five years ago, they grew close as residents of Savior House, an abusive group home for parentless teens. But when the house shut down, they went their separate ways and went on to live very different lives: one became a stay-at-home mom, one a rock star, and one a reality TV producer. Still, none of them were able to fully let go of the trauma in their past. And now something else is bringing them back together: someone is trying to kill them.
In The 23rd Midnight, the third installment in James Patterson and Maxine Paetro’s Women’s Murder Club series, serial killer Evan Burke is behind bars, but the violence doesn’t stop there. Now, an obsessed copycat killer is recreating the murders of the famous killer from the Women’s Murder Club’s past. Only he’s adding his own gruesome twists to the murders. Now, Detective Lindsay Boxer must track down the killer or the entire Murder Club will be in danger.
Elle Cosimano is back with the third book in the Finlay Donovan series, and this one might be the most hilarious and suspenseful one yet. In this book, Finlay has once again found herself in quite the predicament: she owes the Russian mob. Now mob boss Feliks is calling in a favor: find and identify a contract killer before the cops do. Simple enough, right? But what happens if the killer turns out the be an officer himself?
Scorched Grace is the first novel from thriller author Gillian Flynn’s imprint Gillian Flynn Books. The story follows Sister Holiday, a chain-smoking, heavily tattooed, queer nun turned amateur sleuth. After Saint Sebastian's School becomes the target of a shocking arson spree, Sister Holiday is dissatisfied with the official’s lack of response, and so she decides to take matters into her own hands. But before she can solve this high-stakes case, Sister Holiday will first be forced to reckon with the shadows from her own past.
In Fixit, the sixth installment in Joe Ide’s critically acclaimed IQ series, Isaiah Quintabe’s must rescue his first love, Grace, who has been kidnapped by Skip Hanson, a professional hitman and IQ’s sworn enemy. Skip is hellbent on revenge, determined to get back at Isaiah for sending him to prison and destroying his life. Now Isaiah and his sometimes partner, ex-hustler Juanell Dodson, must track clues throughout L.A. to save Grace before it’s too late.
Peter Swanson’s compelling characters Lily Kinter and Henry Kimball are back in The Kind Worth Saving. When Joan comes to Henry Kimball asking him to investigate her husband, the private investigator can’t help but feel ill at ease. The two knew each other years ago back when Henry was a high school English teacher and at the center of a tragedy. What starts as an investigation into infidelity becomes something much more complicated when Henry discovers two bodies in an uninhabited suburban home with a "for sale" sign out front. Now it feels like history is repeating itself, and Henry can’t help but wonder if Joan is hiding something from him. Something she’s kept hidden for many years.
In Death of a Traitor, the latest mystery in M.C. Beaton’s bestselling series, Sergeant Hamish Macbeth is back to investigate the disappearance of local woman Kate Hibbert. Kate has only been a resident of the sleepy village of Lochdubh for a year, but already she’s ruffled quite a few feathers. So when her neighbors see Kate lugging her suitcase to the bus stop, they can’t help but hope she’ll be leaving for good. But two weeks later, Kate’s cousin arrives in town claiming Kate has gone missing. And when Hamish Macbeth shows up on the scene to investigate the mystery, he starts to suspect Kate might not be quite who she appeared.
The Cabinet of Dr. Leng is the latest exciting addition to Preston and Child’s Aloysius Pendergast series. In this book, FBI Special Agent Pendergast and Constance Greene face their most complicated case yet. As Constance sets off on a quest in the past to prevent the deaths of her brother and sister, Pendergast remains in contemporary New York, desperately searching for a way to reconnect with Constance. Will he be able to find her before the infamous serial killer, Dr. Enoch Leng, gets to her first?
Looking for an escape from her busy New York life, Grace Evans books an Airbnb on a ranch in the middle of Wyoming. The good news: the owner is a handsome man named Calvin Wells. The bad? She’s got no cell phone service and an uneasy feeling that something is not right in this town. Despite her uneasiness, she and Calvin start to grow close. But as her day of departure grows nearer, Calvin’s interest in Grace turns into obsession.
Is Israel Pike a killer? That’s what everyone believes after he finds seven men murdered aboard their yacht–including two Senate rivals. Meanwhile, on the same island, 12-year-old Lyman Rankin is looking for shelter from his alcoholic father when he runs into an abandoned house. Only, he’s not alone. He’s greeted by a mysterious woman with a hatchet who threatens to kill him if he makes a noise. As Michael Koryta’s suspenseful crime novel propels forward, Lyman and Israel’s stories collide in surprising ways.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria was an enigmatic figure who was deposed in 1886, mysteriously drowning three days later. Eccentric to the point of madness, history tells us that in the years before he died Ludwig engaged in a worldwide search for a new kingdom, one separate, apart, and in lieu of Bavaria. A place he could retreat into and rule as he wished. But a question remains: did he succeed?
Enter Cotton Malone. After many months, Malone’s protégé, Luke Daniels, has managed to infiltrate a renegade group intent on winning Bavarian independence from Germany. Daniels has also managed to gain the trust of the prince of Bavaria, a frustrated second son intent on eliminating his brother, the duke, and restoring the Wittelsbach monarchy, only now with him as king. Everything hinges on a 19th century deed which proves that Ludwig’s long-rumored search bore fruit–legal title to lands that Germany, China, and the United States all now want, only for vastly different reasons.
In a race across Bavaria for clues hidden in Ludwig’s three fairytale castles–Neuschwanstein, Linderhof and Herrenchiemsee–Malone and Daniels battle an ever-growing list of deadly adversaries, all intent on finding the last kingdom.
Welcome to Mae Pruett’s Los Angeles, where “Nobody talks. But everybody whispers.” As a “black-bag” publicist tasked not with letting the good news out but keeping the bad news in, Mae works for one of LA’s most powerful and sought-after crisis PR firms, at the center of a sprawling web of lawyers, PR flaks, and private security firms she calls “The Beast.” They protect the rich and powerful and depraved by any means necessary.
After her boss is gunned down in front of the Beverly Hills Hotel in a random attack, Mae takes it upon herself to investigate and runs headfirst into The Beast’s lawless machinations and the twisted systems it exists to perpetuate. It takes her on a roving neon joyride through a Los Angeles full of influencers pumped full of pills and fillers; sprawling mansions footsteps away from sprawling homeless encampments; crooked cops and mysterious wrecking crews in the middle of the night.
In February 1986, the Halland police receive a call from a man who claims to have attacked his first victim. I’m going to do it again, he says before the line cuts off. By the time police officer Sven Jörgensson reaches the crime scene, the woman is taking her last breath. For Sven, this will prove a decisive moment. On the same night, Sweden plunges into a state of shock after the murder of the prime minister. Could there possibly be a connection?
As Sven becomes obsessed with the case, two more fall victim. For years, Sven remains haunted by the murders he cannot solve, fearing the killer will strike again. Having failed to catch him, Sven retires from the police, passing his obsession to his son, who has joined the force to be closer to his father.
Decades later, the case unexpectedly resurfaces when a novelist returns home to Halland amid a failed marriage and a sputtering career. The writer befriends the retired police officer, who helps the novelist—our narrator—unspool the many strands of this engrossing tale about a community confronting its shames and legacies.
As kids, Emily and Chess were inseparable. But by their 30s, their bond has been strained by the demands of their adult lives. So when Chess suggests a girls trip to Italy, Emily jumps at the chance to reconnect with her best friend.
Villa Aestas in Orvieto is a high-end holiday home now, but in 1974, it was known as Villa Rosato, and rented for the summer by a notorious rock star, Noel Gordon. In an attempt to reignite his creative spark, Noel invites up-and-coming musician, Pierce Sheldon to join him, as well as Pierce’s girlfriend, Mari, and her stepsister, Lara. But he also sets in motion a chain of events that leads to Mari writing one of the greatest horror novels of all time, Lara composing a platinum album––and ends in Pierce’s brutal murder.
As Emily digs into the villa’s complicated history, she begins to think there might be more to the story of that fateful summer in 1974. That perhaps Pierce’s murder wasn’t just a tale of sex, drugs, and rock & roll gone wrong, but that something more sinister might have occurred––and that there might be clues hidden in the now-iconic works that Mari and Lara left behind.
Yet the closer that Emily gets to the truth, the more tension she feels developing between her and Chess. As secrets from the past come to light, equally dangerous betrayals from the present also emerge––and it begins to look like the villa will claim another victim before the summer ends.
One year ago, Isabelle Drake's life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.
Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.
Isabelle's entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle's past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust...including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.
What to Read Next
Emily Martin has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. She’s a contributing editor at Book Riot and blogs/podcasts at Book Squad Goals.mes