Gather round, mystery lovers! It’s no secret that we at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog relish tales of suspense that set our hearts racing and our eyes darting for the door. But look over your shoulder no more! Here, in no particular order, are 5 heart-pounding must-reads released early this month.
Reckless Disregard, by Robert Rotstein
The second book in Rotstein’s gripping Parker Stern series finds Stern, a brilliant but troubled attorney with a secret past, defending a frustratingly mysterious and arrogant video game designer known only as “Poniard.” Poniard’s latest (enormously popular) videogame baldly implicates a well-known movie kingpin, William Bishop, in the murder of a beautiful and talented actress who disappeared in the 1980s—and Bishop is suing for libel. With razor-sharp courtroom scenes, a plot full of twists and turns, and a collection of colorful characters, Reckless Disregard is nearly impossible to put down (I know; I couldn’t do it). (Available in paperback and NOOK on June 3)
Vertigo 42, by Martha Grimes
In the twenty-third novel in the delightfully offbeat Richard Jury series, Scotland Yard Superintendent Richard Jury is pressured to examine a convoluted cold case involving a woman, Tess, whose husband is convinced she was murdered. Tess’s death was long thought to be the result of vertigo—but a series of eerie coincidences, including the death, five years earlier, of a nine-year-old girl who died in the exact same house, at a party Tess was hosting, convince Jury to investigate. Fans of Grimes’ deft, humorous touch and knack for bringing together an oddball cast of characters will not be disappointed. (Available in hardcover and NOOK on June 3)
Land of Shadows, by Rachel Howzell Hall
When Elouise “Lou” Norton, a hard-bitten African American homicide detective with the LAPD, takes on the case of a 17-year-old girl whose body is discovered hanging in the closet at a condo construction site, she suspects murder. But her impatient newbie partner, Colin Taggert, wants to write it off as a teen suicide. Lou sees ties between this case and the 30-year-old disappearance of her sister Tori. But can she convince her skeptical department of the growing number of links between those two cases, even as her pursuit of a dangerous killer becomes increasingly hazardous? With a funny, incisive protagonist and a multifaceted mystery, Hall is one new crime writer you’ll be putting on your watch list. (Available in hardcover and NOOK June 10)
All Day and a Night, by Alafair Burke
When a psychotherapist is found brutally murdered in Brooklyn, the grisly clues all seem to point to serial killer Anthony Amaro. There’s only one problem—Amaro has been in prison for 18 years. Was he wrongfully convicted? NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and her partner JJ Rogan are enlisted to take a second look at this troubling case. Also on the scene is an aggressive celebrity trial lawyer, who has hired attorney Carrie Blank (whose half-sister was long believed to be an earlier victim of Amaro’s) to help exonerate him for both crimes. As these two hard-nosed teams go head-to-head, each of them becomes more personally invested in this investigation than is wise. And the closer they get to the truth, the more dangerous the case becomes. The intricately woven fifth book in Burke’s popular Ellie Hatcher series, All Day and a Night will keep readers on their toes. (Available in hardcover and NOOK June 10)
The Ways of the Dead, by Neely Tucker
Experienced journalist and former war correspondent Sully Carter has returned from Bosnia deeply rattled and bitterly scarred. When the teenaged daughter of a powerful Washington, D.C., judge is found dead, the cops think it’s an open and shut case—but Sully believes it may be related to a series of unsolved cases that have gone cold. Now Sully is up against the cops, government officials, and even his own boss as he doggedly investigates the case on his own, in search of the truth. A gritty, convoluted story, a damaged but compelling hero, and crackling dialogue (which has been compared to Elmore Leonard‘s) make this stunning debut a novel you won’t soon forget. Fortunately, it’s poised to be the first of many in a red-hot new crime series. (Available in hardcover and NOOK June 12)
What mystery is on your nightstand this week?