Featured Fiction Author

Book Cover Image. Title: Simple Plan, Author: Scott Smith

Simple Plan

Scott Smith

I read this book at least once a year. A plane crash. Millions discovered by two brothers and a sketchy friend. Shifting allegiances. A wife who whispers pragmatic evil. I think it’s one of the most ingeniously plotted thrillers around (this baby flies!), but it’s so much more than that. Smith has the keen ability to take his readers by the hand and lead them gently but firmly into hell. And yet this strange, nasty terrain is peopled with characters you absolutely know—needful, prideful, yearning, and doomed because of their own dark impulses. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: The Talented Mr. Ripley, Author: Patricia Highsmith

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Patricia Highsmith

A glossy, gorgeous look inside the mind of my favorite sociopath. So in thrall will you be to charming Tom Ripley that you’ll find yourself a very willing accessory to his crimes. It’s the genius of Highsmith to coerce you into rooting for a serial killer. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Dope, Author: Sara Gran

Dope

Sara Gran

This was the first novel I read by Gran, and it blew my mind. It’s a slender, startling noir starring Josephine, a former junkie on a missing persons case in 1950s New York. I’ve always avoided using the phrase “instant classic,” but: instant classic. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Sailor Twain:  Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson, Author: Mark Siegel

Sailor Twain

Mark Siegel

A haunting Gilded Age graphic novel about love, lust, and mermaids. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes, Author: Marcus Sakey

The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes

Marcus Sakey

This is a brainy, thoughtful, and incredibly fun thriller—a wild ride told from the point of view of an amnesiac as he tries to unravel a past that may be quite tragic. Expect many twists in the road—you’ll gasp at each one. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Author: Maria Semple

Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Maria Semple

A hilarious, nasty, heartfelt satire about parenting, privilege, genius, resilience and life in Seattle. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: The Wycherly Woman (Lew Archer Series #9), Author: Ross Macdonald

The Wycherly Woman (Lew Archer Series #9)

Ross Macdonald

My home library has a shelf devoted entirely to Macdonald. You can pick up almost any book in his sun-dazzled Lew Archer series and enjoy mid-century California noir like no other—but this one has one hell of a femme fatale. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Cast of Shadows, Author: Kevin Guilfoile

Cast of Shadows

Kevin Guilfoile

A sleek, nuanced thriller about a doctor who goes to wild lengths to find his daughter’s murderer. The novel felt slightly futuristic in 2005; in 2012 it feels startlingly familiar. The shocks are the same no matter the year. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: The Alienist, Author: Caleb Carr

The Alienist

Caleb Carr

A tale of grisly murder in Gilded Age Manhattan—it’s evocative, unsettling, fascinating, and brilliant, and one of my all-time favorites. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Dare Me:  A Novel, Author: Megan Abbott

Dare Me

Megan Abbott

Lord of the Flies set in a high-school cheerleading squad. When a glamorous, mysterious new coach upsets the team’s rigid pecking order, alpha girl Beth bristles. Tense, dark, and beautifully written, Dare Me is not a traditional thriller, but it’s a potent reminder that the mind of a girl can be a very scary place. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: People Who Eat Darkness:  The True Story of a Young Woman Who Vanished from the Streets of Tokyo--and the Evil That Swallowed Her Up, Author: Richard Lloyd Parry

People Who Eat Darkness

Richard Lloyd Parry

Best true-crime book of the year: Parry's investigation into a Tokyo murder case is beautifully written, brilliantly researched, and incredibly thoughtful. Buy Now

Book Cover Image. Title: Quiet:  The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Author: Susan Cain

Quiet

Susan Cain

A true gift for the introvert, Cain's well-researched book will make you proud to be quiet. Buy Now