Masters of the Genre: Four Renowned Mystery and Thriller Authors Share Their Book Recommendations

Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Louise Penny, and Ruth Ware: These mystery and thriller authors are household names whose bestselling books have captivated readers across the globe. And now, to help readers discover even more riveting, edge-of-your-seat mysteries and thrillers, Barnes & Noble has asked each of these masters of the genre to recommend a 2019 release from an emerging mystery or thriller writer they love.

If you’re a thriller enthusiast hoping to diversify, or if you’re searching for a holiday gift for a mystery fan who might like to expand their tastes with new, off-the-beaten path novels with impeccable bona fides, you’ve come to the right place. It’s hard to go wrong with books that represent the best, as chosen by the best. Here are four new books to have on your radar.

Michael Connelly, the bestselling author of over thirty novels and creator of the famous Harry Bosch series, chose:

Your House Will Pay, by Steph Cha
The author of the Juniper Song crime trilogy’s latest novel, Your House Will Pay, is a taut and suspenseful read about racial tensions in Los Angeles that follows two families grappling with the effects of a decades-old crime.

“In crime fiction it is hard to be original,” Connelly said. “In L.A., where writers have been leaving tracks for a hundred years, it is even harder. With Your House Will Pay, Steph Cha has given us a wholly original story about Los Angeles that resonates far beyond its boundaries and establishes her as a writer to watch, a writer with something to say.”

John Grisham, the master of the modern-day legal thriller who has penned a new novel every year since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, chose:

Heaven, My Home, by Attica Locke
Heaven, My Home is a captivating crime novel following Texas Ranger Darren Mathews as he hunts for a missing boy—but in truth has a different target in mind: the boy’s white supremacist family. Attica Locke is the author of Bluebird, Bluebird, which won the Edgard Award for best novel in 2018 as chosen by the Mystery Writers of America.

Booksellers agree with Grishman’s enthusiasm: “Attica Locke defies genre expectations in this timely, engrossing tale of racism and redemption in East Texas,” said Josh Barronton, a Barnes & Noble bookseller in Birmingham, Alabama. “It challenges the perspectives of its reader alongside those of its conflicted protagonist. You’ll be left anxiously awaiting the next installment.”

Louise Penny, author of the internationally bestselling Chief Inspector Gamache series, chose:

The Long Call, by Ann Cleeves
From the bestselling author of the Vera Stanhope and Shetland Island series, The Long Call is the first of a new, gripping series that sees Detective Matthew Venn drawn back to his past by a mysterious death.

“In Matthew Venn, Ann has created a complex, daring, subtle character, of quiet courage and heartbreaking weaknesses,” Penny said. “And in The Long Call, she’s written an emotional thriller, where lives are exploded and perceptions twisted and shattered. It is a brilliant achievement of quiet dread and explosive secrets.”

Ruth Ware, whose In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 launched her to international fame as one of the world’s premier thriller writers, chose:

The Nanny, by Gilly Macmillan
Gilly Macmillan, the bestselling author of What She Knew, returns with a dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets that explores the lengths people will go to hurt one another.

“Dark, twisty and full of characters you’ll love to hate, The Nanny is the perfect read for a chilly winter’s night,” Ware said.

Customers can find the Masters’ Selection titles in their local Barnes & Noble, alongside the latest books by the Masters themselves, or at

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