May’s Best New Mysteries

Reading outdoors is increasingly becoming an option as spring’s thaw continues apace—but our favorite new mysteries can be enjoyed regardless of outside temperatures; pick up any one of these books and you’ll barely notice if your sunglasses melt off, or an icicle forms on the tip of your nose. Fans will be excited to learn there’s a new book in Steve Hamilton’s game-changing Nick Mason series, and Boston’s beloved Dennis Lehane has written an unnerving new psychological thriller. Happy reading, gumshoes!

Since We Fell, by Dennis Lehane
In this utterly absorbing psychological thriller by the author of Mystic River and Shutter Island, former journalist Rachel Childs struggles to put her life together after suffering from a breakdown live on the air while covering the aftermath of the 2009 earthquake in Haiti. An intensely affecting portrait of a woman whose anxieties are for reasons both completely valid and completely fabricated, Lehane’s first novel featuring a female protagonist is also a nailbiting thriller with a jarring twist. Don’t miss the most recent tour de force by a master of the genre.

The Thirst (Harry Hole Series #11), by Jo Nesbø
Everyone’s favorite perennially disgruntled Oslo police detective has a new lease on life! He’s been happily married for several years, he’s given up drinking, and he’s traded solving gruesome murders for an underpaid but cushy job as a lecturer at a police college. Of course, all good things must come to an end, and this sunny period in Harry Hole’s life starts to fall apart when a killer with an MO that brings up some terrible memories for Harry of The Murderer That Got Away begins dispatching victims—after meeting them through Tinder. Swipe right on this eerie new installment in Nesbø’s highly regarded series.

Robert B. Parker’s Little White Lies (Spenser Series #46), by Ace Atkins
The perils of online dating also feature in the 46th installment in Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series, which is being continued in the quite capable hands of author Ace Atkins. When wealthy single lady Connie Kelly meets the handsome, charismatic M. Brooks Welles on a dating website, he seems almost too good to be true—and when he disappears several weeks later with three hundred thousand of her dollars, she discovers that this is in fact the case. Although Welles has built a distinguished career, including guest spots on national news shows, as Spenser digs into his past, his house of cards begins to crumble. Kelly is only the latest in a long line of victims—but will Welles’ past catch up with him before our intrepid detective does?

Exit Strategy, by Steve Hamilton
Hamilton’s latest is a follow-up to the electrifying New York Times bestseller The Second Life of Nick Mason, in which a maximum-security prisoner makes a deal with the devil in order to escape twenty more years behind bars. In Exit Strategy, Mason once more finds himself beholden to one Darius Cole, a ruthless puppet master who enjoys forcing him into a life of increasingly brutal crime. This time Mason’s mission, (which he does not have the option not to accept) is to hunt down and silence the men who originally put Darius Cole behind bars. But with the man whom he replaced as Cole’s unwilling henchman hot on his trail and out for blood, this dangerous mission may well verge on impossible.

Heat Storm (Nikki Heat Series #9), by Richard Castle
In the ninth novel in Castle’s fast-paced Nikki Heat series, which stars a tough as nails NYC homicide detective, Nikki teams up for the first time ever with Derrick Storm, another of Castle’s most beloved characters. Nikki’s mother, Cynthia, has been presumed dead for 17 years, but it turns out she may have actually been in hiding. Complicating things are the Shanghai Seven, a group of wealthy, connected, and merciless businessmen who will use everything in their power to stand in the way of the truth.

Proving Ground, by Peter Blauner
In Blauner’s first novel in 11 years since the acclaimed Slipping into Darkness, Iraq War veteran Nathaniel Dresden is forced to confront his thorny history with his father, David, when the well-known lawyer is found murdered near Prospect Park. Natty’s father had been in the middle of a suit against the FBI, and the list of those who could have had reason to want him dead is long. When Natty finds himself on that very list and under suspicion from NYPD Detective Lourdes Robles, the two must join forces to solve the case—while coming to terms with their own difficult pasts. Set in contemporary New York City, Blauner’s novel pulses with energy and is populated by complex characters who operate in a world where there are no easy answers.

What whodunits are you tearing through this month?

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