Dozens of crime fiction, horror, and true crime books are hitting the shelves this fall. Here are our most anticipated.
Because in that town there is an orchard, and in that orchard, seven most unusual trees. And from those trees grows a new sort of apple: strange, beautiful, with skin so red it’s nearly black.
Take a bite of one of these apples, and you will desire only to devour another. And another. You will become stronger. More vital. More yourself, you will believe. But then your appetite for the apples and their peculiar gifts will keep growing–and become darker.
This is what happens when the townsfolk discover the secret of the orchard. Soon it seems that everyone is consumed by an obsession with the magic of the apples . . . and what’s the harm, if it is making them all happier, more confident, more powerful?
Even if something else is buried in the orchard besides the seeds of these extraordinary trees: a bloody history whose roots reach back to the very origins of the town.
But now the leaves are falling. The days grow darker. It’s harvest time, and the town will soon reap what it has sown.
Nothing compares to Shirley Jackson… unless it returns to the world of Shirley Jackson. This novel is the first one to return to Hill House (the best haunted house in the world, that is). Holley Sherwin and her girlfriend Nisa retreat Hill House in a month-long writing mission… and as with its source material, longing, isolation, and shifting planes of unimaginable terror abound.
Featuring stories by: Erin E. Adams, Violet Allen, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Maurice Broaddus, Chesya Burke, P. Djèlí Clark, Ezra Claytan Daniels, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, N. K. Jemisin, Justin C. Key, L. D. Lewis, Nnedi Okorafor, Tochi Onyebuchi, Rebecca Roanhorse, Nicole D. Sconiers, Rion Amilcar Scott, Terence Taylor, and Cadwell Turnbull.
She’s going to burn. The girl you love is going to burn. There’s nothing you can do about it.
When another classmate disappears, Richard must find a way to prove his innocence—and preserve his sanity—as he grapples with the dark magic that is possessing Ballantyne and pursuing his destruction.
Then again, Richard may not be the most reliable narrator of his own story . . .
Ana and Reid needed a lucky break.
The horrifically complicated birth of their first child has left Ana paralyzed, bitter, and struggling: with mobility, with her relationship with Reid, with resentment for her baby. That’s about to change with the words any New Yorker would love to hear–affordable housing lottery.
They’ve won an apartment in the Deptford, one of Manhattan’s most revered buildings with beautiful vistas of Central Park and stunning architecture.
Reid dismisses disturbing events and Ana’s deep unease and paranoia as the price of living in New York—people are odd—but he can’t explain the needle-like bite marks on the baby.
Once in a long while, a child is born possessing the rarest of gifts, the innate ability to feel impossible beauty, to recognize priceless works of art. When such a child is discovered, a 250-year-old secret organization called Our World trains them to acquire the greatest works of art through theft, bribery, forgery, and even murder. Once found, the masterpiece will disappear again without anyone ever knowing it surfaced and sold for billions of dollars of profit at a secret auction attended by only the wealthiest of the art world’s patrons.
One of Our World’s rare geniuses is Zhivago. He is also a psychopathic killer. On his trail is Hunter, a man who will stop at nothing to destroy the organization and save his daughter from suffering the same fate her mother did at its hands.
For fans of Verity and A Flicker in the Dark, Midnight is the Darkest Hour is a twisted tale of murder, obsessive love, and the beastly urges that lie dormant within us all…even the God-fearing folk of Bottom Springs, Louisiana. In her small hometown, librarian Ruth Cornier has always felt like an outsider, even as her beloved father rains fire-and-brimstone warnings from the pulpit at Holy Fire Baptist. Unfortunately for Ruth, the only things the townspeople fear more than the God and the Devil are the myths that haunt the area, like the story of the Low Man, a vampiric figure said to steal into sinners’ bedrooms and kill them on moonless nights. When a skull is found deep in the swamp next to mysterious carved symbols, Bottom Springs is thrown into uproar—and Ruth realizes only she and Everett, an old friend with a dark past, have the power to comb the town’s secret underbelly in search of true evil.A dark and powerful novel like fans have come to expect from Ashley Winstead, Midnight is the Darkest Hour is an examination of the ways we’ve come to expect love, religion, and stories to save us, the lengths we have to go to in order to take back power, and the monstrous work of being a girl in this world.
What if Sean Courtland’s old Chevy truck had broken down somewhere else? What if he’d never met Denise Givens, a waitress at a local tavern, and gotten into a bar fight defending her honor? Or offered a ride to Dan Young, another young man like Sean, burdened by secrets and just drifting through the small Wisconsin town?
Instead, Sean enlists Dan’s help with a construction job in the basement of a local—the elderly, reclusive Marion Devereaux—and gradually the two men come to realize that they’ve washed up in a place haunted by the disappearance of three young boys decades earlier. As Sean and Dan’s friendship deepens, and as Sean gets closer to Denise and her father, they come to the attention of a savvy local detective, Corrine Viegas, who has her own reasons for digging into Dan’s past—and for being unable to resist the pull of the town’s unsolved mystery. And with each chance connection, an irreversible chain of events is set in motion that culminates in shattering violence and the revelation of long-buried truths.
Gripping and immersive, this crime novel by bestselling author Tim Johnston becomes so much more: a book about friendship and love and good hard work—and a masterful read about how the most random intersection of lives can have consequences both devastating and beautiful.
Welcome to “In Real Life,” the hot new reality show that forces social media’s reigning kings and queens to unplug for three weeks and “go live” without any filters. IRL is supposed to be the opportunity of a lifetime, watched closely by legions of loyal followers. But for these rising stars–including Elody, an Instagram model with an impulsive streak; Kira, a child star turned fitness influencer; Logan, a disgraced TikTok celeb with a secret; and Max, a YouTuber famous for exposés on his fellow creators–it’s about to turn into a nightmare.
When the production crew fails to show up and one of their own meets a violent end, these social media moguls find themselves stranded with a dead body and no way to reach the outside world. When they start receiving messages from a mysterious Sponsor threatening to expose their darkest secrets, they realize that they’ve been lured into a deadly game…and one of them might be pulling the strings.
With the body count rising and cameras tracking their every move, the creators must figure out who is trying to get them canceled–like, literally–before their #1 follower strikes again.
The most recent of the series—book 32 of 32—finds detective Alex Cross at Reagan Airport, of all places, when a jet crashes and explodes on the runway. Though it seems at first like the plane’s mechanics failed, Cross soon learns that it was gunned down by a stolen machine gun from the Vietnam War era… and the list of people who know how to operate that particular type of gun is short. It’s a race against time as Cross sets out to solve the case and find the airport killer.
When Detective Stark, Molly’s old foe, investigates the author’s unexpected demise, it becomes clear that this death was murder most foul. Suspects abound, and everyone wants to know: who killed J.D. Grimthorpe? Was it Lily, the new Maid-in-Training? Or was it Serena, the author’s secretary? Could Mr. Preston, the hotel’s beloved doorman, be hiding something? And is Molly really as innocent as she seems?
As the case threatens the hotel’s pristine reputation, Molly knows she alone holds the key to unlocking the killer’s identity. But that key is buried deep in her past–because long ago, she knew J.D. Grimthorpe. Molly begins to comb her memory for clues, revisiting her childhood and the mysterious Grimthorpe mansion where she and her dearly departed Gran once worked side by side. With the entire hotel under investigation, Molly must solve the mystery post-haste. If there’s one thing Molly knows for sure, it’s that dirty secrets don’t stay buried forever…
In this thrilling new installment of Patricia Cornwell’s #1 bestselling Scarpetta series, chief medical examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta finds herself in a Northern Virginia wilderness examining the remains of two campers wanted by federal law enforcement.
The victims have been savaged beyond recognition, and other evidence is terrifying and baffling, including a larger-than-life footprint.
After one of the most frightening body retrievals of her career, Scarpetta must discover who would commit murders this savage, and why.
An evocative family drama and a riveting mystery about the ferocious pull of motherhood for two very different women–from the New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee and Girl in Translation.Jasmine Yang arrives in New York City from her rural Chinese village without money or family support, fleeing a controlling husband, on a desperate search for the daughter who was taken from her at birth—another female casualty of China’s controversial One Child Policy. But with her husband on her trail, the clock is ticking, and she’s forced to make increasingly risky decisions if she ever hopes to be reunited with her daughter.Meanwhile, publishing executive Rebecca Whitney seems to have it all: a prestigious family name and the wealth that comes with it, a high-powered career, a beautiful home, a handsome husband, and an adopted Chinese daughter she adores. She’s even hired a nanny to help her balance the demands of being a working wife and mother. But when an industry scandal threatens to jeopardize not only Rebecca’s job but her marriage, this perfect world begins to crumble and her role in her own family is called into question.
Childhood sweethearts Nicole and Tom are a normal, loving couple—until a massive lottery win changes their lives overnight. Soon they’ve moved into a custom-built state-of-the-art Glass Barn on the stunning grounds of Lancaut Manor in Gloucestershire. They have fancy cars, expensive hobbies, and an exclusive lifestyle they never could have imagined. But this dream world quickly turns into a nightmare when Tom is found dead in the swimming pool. Was Tom’s death a tragic accident, or was it something worse?Nicole is devastated. Tom was her rock. And their beautiful barn—with all its smart features that never seem to work for her—is beginning to feel very lonely. But she’s not entirely by herself out there in the country. There’s a nice young couple who live in the Manor itself along with their middle-aged housekeeper who has the Coach House. And an old friend of Tom’s from school has turned up to help her get through her grief. But big money can bring big problems and big threats. And is Nicole’s life in danger as well? Nicole’s beginning to feel like a little fish in a big glass bowl. Surrounded by piranhas.
That is, until the accident.
My husband was hit by a car. It was pouring with rain. Nobody saw what happened. But the police are asking questions…
Do they know about the terrible argument we had that day?
Do they know about the text message I sent, telling someone to Delete everything?
With lavish comforts, gorgeous scenery, and indulgent drinking, the trip should be the perfect escape. But it soon becomes clear that even a remote idyllic getaway can’t keep out the problems simmering in each of their lives. As old tensions are reignited, the three couples are pushed to the edge. Will their secrets destroy them, or will they destroy each other first? And who’s been watching them from beyond the vineyard gates?
When a torrential rainstorm hits, plunging them into darkness, the answers prove all too deadly…
What to Read Next
Mary Kay McBrayer is the author of America’s First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster. You can find her short works at Oxford American, Narratively, Mental Floss, and FANGORIA, among other publications. She co-hosts Everything Trying to Kill You, the comedy podcast that analyzes your favorite horror movies from the perspectives of women of color. Follow Mary Kay McBrayer on Instagram and Twitter, or check out her author site here.
Lauren Shade is the community manger for Novel Suspects.