From The Booking Desk:

I conducted a poll late last year to see how many people would miss this weekly feature if I stopped it and the response immediately let me know that I needed to continue this list of new releases. And so, here is the first official Monday BOLO post for 2019. Any one of these books would be a great way to start your reading year off right. If the rest of the year continues with quality like we are seeing this week, it is going to be one heck of a year in crime fiction.


Emma Rous – The Au Pair (Berkley, Paperback, $16.00, 01/08/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

Debuts like this one do not come along that often. The BOLO Books Review of The Au Pair, which ran on the blog last week tells you all you need to know about this stunning novel that perfectly blends family drama, gothic elements, and a hell of a twisty plot full of secrets. This is easily the first must-read debut of the year.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous’ The Au Pair would be it.

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother, Danny, were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is smiling serenely and holding just one baby.

Who is the child, and what really happened that day?


Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen – The Anonymous Girl (St. Martin’s Press, Hardcover, $27.99, 01/08/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

I was a huge advocate for this duo’s debut last year. If you missed what I had to say, you can find the BOLO Books Review of The Wife Between Us here. As for this new novel, it is even better! Look for my review on Thursday and then a recap of their Howard County Library Event (which happens on Saturday) next week. This one is not to be missed.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.


Cathy Ace – The Wrong Boy (Four Tails, e-book, $5.99, 01/08/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

BOLO Books will have a launch day review of this novel posted tomorrow, but there is no need to wait to pre-order this excellent psychological suspense novel. Cathy Ace has long been one of crime fiction’s most consistent writers, but here she really elevates her already very high standards to new levels. This is another must-read.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Perched on a Welsh clifftop, the ancient, picturesque hamlet of Rhosddraig has its peaceful façade ripped apart when human remains are discovered under a pile of stones. The village pub, The Dragon’s Head, run by three generations of women, becomes the focal point for those interested in the grisly find, and it’s where layers of deceit are peeled away to expose old secrets, and deep wounds. The police need to establish who died, how, and why, but DI Evan Glover knows he can’t be involved in the investigation, because he’s just two days away from retirement. However, as the case develops in unexpected ways, it becomes irrevocably woven into his life, and the lives of local families, leading to disturbing revelations – and deadly consequences . . .


Chris Hammer – Scrublands (Touchstone, Hardcover, $26.99, 01/08/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

I sound like a broken record, but this is another novel – this one also a debut – that you do not want to miss. From the stunning cover to its fascinating characters; from the complex plot to the stunning resolution, readers will not be disappointed on any level.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

In the vein of The Dry and Before the Fall, a town’s dark secrets come to light in the aftermath of a young priest’s unthinkable last act in this arresting and searing debut thriller.

In Riversend, an isolated rural community afflicted by an endless drought, a young priest does the unthinkable, killing five parishioners before being taken down himself.

A year later, accompanied by his own demons from war-time reporting, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend. His assignment is simple: describe how the townspeople are coping as the anniversary of their tragedy approaches. But as Martin meets the locals and hears their version of events, he begins to realize that the accepted wisdom—that the priest was a pedophile whose imminent exposure was the catalyst for the shooting, a theory established through an award-winning investigation by Martin’s own newspaper—may be wrong.

Just as Martin believes he’s making headway, a new development rocks the town. The bodies of two German backpackers—missing since the time of the church shootings—are discovered in a dam in the scrublands, deserted backwoods marked by forest fires. As the media flocks to the scene, Martin finds himself thrown into a whole new mystery.

What was the real reason behind the priest’s shooting spree? And how does it connect to the backpacker murders, if at all? Martin struggles to uncover the town’s dark secrets, putting his job, his mental state, and his life at risk as more and more strange happenings escalate around him.

For fans of James Lee Burke, Jane Harper, and Robert Crais, Scrublands is a compelling and original crime novel that marks Chris Hammer as a stunning new voice in the genre. A compulsively readable thriller of the highest order, Scrublands never loosens its grip, from its opening scene to the very last page.


Gytha Lodge – She Lies in Wait (Random House, Hardcover, $27.99, 01/08/2019)

BOLO Books Comments:

Yes, yet another debut and yet another not to be missed novel. This series launch is going to garner many fans very quickly, making Gytha Lodge a name you will want to remember.

Jacket Copy (Publisher’s Description):

Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust? A teen girl is missing after a night of partying; thirty years later, the discovery of her body reopens a cold case in an absorbing novel featuring a small-town cop determined to finally get to the truth—for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson.

On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.

This searing, psychologically captivating novel marks the arrival of a dazzling new talent, and the start of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens.