May’s Best New Thrillers

Our list of the best thrillers out this month is stacked with star authors like Thomas Harris, the father of Hannibal Lecter, who delivers an entirely new story of greed and obsession; Clive Cussler, who returns with another Fargo Adventures story; and Jeffery Deaver, who is launching a taut new series. May just got a lot more exciting.

Cari Mora, by Thomas Harris
The author of The Silence of the Lambs delivers his first standalone novel in four decades, a tense thrilling with a most unexpectedly dangerous protagonist. It’s the story of Cari Mora, an tenuously legal immigrant working in Miami as the caretaker of a luxurious beach house, having fled violence and brutality in her home country. What Cari doesn’t know is that her life in the U.S. will be no safer: a drug cartel has buried $25 million under the house, and a group of ruthless, driven men seek to claim it. The worst of them, a sadistic fiend named Hans-Peter Schneider, is willing to do whatever it takes to get to the money, but he finds himself distracted with the beautiful Cari, and decides to claim her as part of the fortune. But Schneider soon discovers that Cari has learned how to survive the hard way, and has the skills—and the desperate drive to survive—to match his own perverse desires.

The Oracle, by Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell
Cussler and Burcell’s treasure hunting couple Sam and Remi Fargo have never let a little thing like the threat of a supernatural curse prevent them from tracking down the treasures of the ancient world, and they aren’t about to start now. In the 6th century, a Vandal kingdom in Africa collapsed when a bundle of sacred scrolls were stolen and a curse was laid upon the king. The scrolls were never found, and the Fargos are determined to recover them. Delaying their quest is the theft of the humanitarian supplies being delivered by their charity, which forces them to travel to Africa to ensure replacements get to their intended destination. But the couple themselves are next assailed by thieves, and Remi is taken hostage. As Sam desperately searches for her, he discovers an apparent connection between the kidnapping and the ancient scrolls. The Fargos will be tested to their limits and beyond as they struggle to survive their 11th adventure..

The Night Window, by Dean Koontz
Five books into Koontz’s fast-paced techno-thriller series, Jane Hawk’s struggle against the Techno Arcadians—a shadowy cabal using secret nanotech implants to control minds and souls—is at its most desperate point. Having hidden her son Travis with allies, she teams up with former FBI agent Vikram Rangnekar and adopts a new identity in order to continue the fight. Vikram, a skilled computer hacker, has an unrequited crush on Jane, and brings his own problems into the mix in the form of an Arcadian obsessed with his capture. As they work together to find a way to stop the conspiracy, the Arcadians prove just how fearsome they are—some hunt humans for sport, some hunt for Travis in order to secure leverage over Hawk, and all of them are willing to use advanced surveillance technology to control the population and eliminate any threats to their rule.

The Never Game, by Jeffery Deaver
Jeffrey Deaver introduces a new protagonist in Colter Shaw, the son of a survivalist who travels the country in a mobile home taking on the search for people who the proper authorities can’t—or won’t—locate. Shaw is in California to search for Sophie Mulliner, who stormed out of her father’s house after an argument and was never seen again. The police think she’s just left town, but Shaw calculates long odds that she’s still alive. He quickly finds clues pointing to an abduction, and realizes the police who missed them were either incompetent or corrupt. When another abduction occurs, and then another, Shaw begins to piece together a connection between the crimes and a shadowy video game—and the uncertain fates of the victims puts a ticking clock on his efforts to track them down and save them from a terrifying fate.

The Paris Diversion, by Chris Pavone
Kate Moore appears to be just another young ex-pat in Paris, living comfortably as the wife of her hedge-fund manager husband Dexter. But Kate is much more than that: she’s a CIA agent under cover so deep not even Dexter knows their marriage is a sham. Despite all that, Kate has grown bored with her pretend-small life, but her malaise is shattered by two events: a young jihadi straps a bomb to himself and stands in front of the Louvre, and one of her husband’s wealthiest clients vanishes right before making announcing a major deal. Kate only gets more excited as the connections between the two events become clear, and relishes finally being able to dive into her real work—activating hidden support networks and chasing down leads in order to solve an increasingly twisted mystery.

Vessel, by Lisa A. Nichols
When the space mission onboard the Sagittarius ends in calamity, Catherine Wells is the only survivor to return to Earth, where she is met with suspicion. Catherine herself isn’t quite sure what to think; after nine years in space her personal relationships are already strained, and she’s experiencing memory loss, blackouts, and violent mood swings that make reconnecting with her family back on Earth enough of a challenge, never mind piecing together the events of a disaster in space. Cal Morganson, who is leading the follow-up mission and thus has a vested interest in figuring out what went wrong the first time, begins working directly with Catherine to try and get to the bottom of the mystery. It’s a story of confused identity and desperate survival—Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter meets Andy Weir’s The Martian.

Reaper: Threat Zero—A Sniper Novel, by Nicholas Irving with A. J. Tata
In the next thriller from bestselling author Nicholas Irving and A.J. Tata, a retired U.S. special operations forces sniper, decorated ex-military sniper Vick Harwood returns in an explosive story that begins when a caravan of vehicles bringing the families of U.S. cabinet members to Camp David is ambushed and its passengers are brutally murdered. Harwood watches the live feed of footage captured by a fellow Ranger, Sammie Samuelson, who confesses to the attack and commits suicide live on the internet. Harwood investigates with the help of an FBI agent, Valerie Hinojosa, and soon uncovers a terrorist plot, leading to his recruitment into Team Valid, an elite team directed by the president to extract revenge on the terrorists behind the heinous act by tracking down their families and executing them. But as Harwood and his team travel the world in search of their targets, he discovers evidence that suggests nothing is as it seems, and soon, he is fighting not only for justice, but to defend his own closely held moral code.

What new books are thrilling you this month?

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