From dark pasts to ruthless killers, the clock is ticking for the characters on this list. Here are some novels to get your heart racing as our heroes run toward a better future—or at least one they can survive to see.
by Jeff Abbott
In Austin, Texas, Sam Capra tries to be a good suburban dad to his thirteen-year-old son Daniel while running a collection of bars and nightclubs around the world. He’s had no recent contact with his former partner, Mila, who works for America’s most secret espionage agency: Section K. Suddenly, a fellow spy reveals to Sam that Markus Bolt, the last American traitor who turned over allied agent names and military secrets to Russia, is missing. Now the Americans must find him before the Russians, and Sam is tasked with making contact with Bolt’s abandoned daughter, Amanda, to determine whether she knows where her father might have gone. But as Sam’s search for Bolt gets more dangerous, he faces threats that could change his and his son’s lives forever.
In this latest installment of the Peter Ash novel series, war veteran Peter Ash encounters a pregnant young woman alone on a gravel road with a dead car. He gets more than he expects by offering her a ride: a deadly cat-and-mouse chase with her vicious ex-cop husband. Peter must use all his skills from his time as a Marine to save the woman and escape a ruthless killer who might just be his match.
This first installment of the Blanche White series introduces us to the titular character. Blanche is a feisty, middle-aged African American housekeeper working for the genteel rich in North Carolina. She becomes the prime suspect in a murder and must use her sharp wit and network of fellow domestic workers to discover the truth and save herself. Her humor, irony, and commentary on the quirks of southern society makes her a memorable character.
by Dolly Parton
Every song tells a story, and this one sings about a star on the rise. Twenty-five-year-old Annielee Keyes, aka Rose, is tough, driven, and talented trying to claim her destiny in Nashville as a singer-songwriter by writing about the hard life she left behind. But the darkness she’s fled is still out to get her, threatening to destroy everything she’s worked so hard for.
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Emily Hoang is a writer and editor who is obsessed with haunted houses, ghosts, and dreams. More info can be found on her website.