Novel Suspects editors line up the best new mystery and thriller novels that we want—no, need—to read.
by Megan Abbott
Why yes, I am starting with one of this year’s best new novels. Everything about this psychological thriller is *chef kiss.* Megan Abbott, known for her fantastic explorations of girls and women and their secrets, desires, and rage, is back with her best work yet—and that’s saying something given her already impressive, excellent catalog. In Give Me Your Hand, we go from two girls sharing a secret to two women competing for a spot on a new study in a research lab, and that’s all I’m going to tell you because who am I to take away the joy of discovering every turn in this novel?
Nora Watts is back, and I’m so excited! Watts was introduced in The Lost Ones as one of those “unlikable” women that I liked a lot—from her ability to know when people are lying, to her determination to uncover the truth. In It All Falls Down, it looks like Watts will be trying to uncover her father’s past in Detroit while her own past in Vancouver is looking for her…
I call these the Nevertheless, She Persisted Mysteries, and this is one of my favorite series! Kendra Donovan is an FBI agent in modern times when she somehow slips through a wormhole—or something—and finds herself in an English castle in 1815. I know! Donovan uses her FBI knowledge to solve crimes in the 1800s while trying to find her way back to present-day. But that proves rather difficult because she can’t reveal things she knows from the future. And, also, there's that whole pesky thing about women really not having many rights. If you’ve yet to discover Julie McElwain's Kendra Donovan series, treat yo self and yo shelf!
I am always here for anything “inventive” and “darkly twisted.” Watch the Girls sounds bananas—and I’m gonna eat up all them bananas. As a teen star, Liv’s sister disappeared at a party and Liv barely survived the night. Now 15 years later, desperate for money, Liv crowdfunds a web series where she plays a detective. But is someone leaving her clues to follow so they can finish the job from 15 years ago?... I’m already scared and fully invested!
We do not get enough translated crime novels so, whenever I see one it’s automatically a must-read for me. Name of the Dog follows Edgar "Left" Mendieta, a detective in Culiacán, Mexico who teams up with the head of the Pacific Cartel to chase down a criminal who's murdering dentists. Things are about to get all kinds of complicated and twisty because the motive seems to be revenge. Ah, hello, revenge, I like reading crime novels about you.
You know how James Patterson teamed up with former President Bill Clinton to write the thriller The President Is Missing?! Well, Andrew Shaffer wrote a fictional buddy cop mystery starring former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden. I literally don’t need to know anything else about this. Take my money. I need this book.
The author of Final Girls is baaaaack! And he’s brought the cabin horror element again, but this time it’s three girls at camp who walk out of the cabin never to be seen again. The only girl left behind, now a woman, returns to the reopening of the camp as a painting instructor to find out what really happened all those years before. Riley Sager's previous novel had enough thrills, horror, and mystery to make this one a definite read for me.
Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor who always has a book in one hand. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and spends way too much time asking her goat-dog “What’s in your mouth?!” Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.