Time for another entry in this incredibly popular feature here at BOLO Books – The APB (All Points Bulletin).
As always, competition for these slots was tough. Which books are generating that elusive buzz in the publishing industry? Which are books that I personally have been waiting for? As always, I try to keep this a mixture of books from heavy-hitters and those newer to our genre – and across all sub-genres and with some expression of the diversity that exists in our literary community.
For the APB, the format is simply to present a gallery featuring the covers, the official release date of each book, and a brief explanation of why I am anticipating the title.
A full review will often follow closer to the release date.
It’s no secret that Lisa Unger is one of my favorite storytellers. I’ve covered many of her novels on BOLO Books and In The Blood ranks very high on my list of favorite crime novels. What makes Lisa Unger so special is that you never really know what you are going to get with each new release, but you can always count on it being a gripping read that feels fresh and original even while it honors the heritage of the crime fiction canon. Confessions fits the bill.
When an author hits big with their debut, it raises the stakes on the followup. While Stuart Turton’s first novel was very much an homage to Agatha Christie, his new historical plays with the conventions of the unbeatable detective duo a la Arthur Conan Doyle.
Lisa Jewell’s popularity with crime fiction readers grows with each new release. Last year’s The Family Upstairs set new heights for her and anticipation for her 2020 release is sizzling. Jewell has a knack for uncovering fears within everyday lives that reminds me of a darker Mary Higgins Clark.
Dharma Kelleher is one of the few transgender crime writers working today, which is reason enough to read her books; we all need to listen to the full variety of voices that form the backbone of our society. But rest assured, you are also going to get some kick-ass reads. One would be hard-pressed to find other action-packed thrillers that are so rooted in a foundation of heart, healing, and hope. These are also novels that champion those who find themselves on the fringes of society – for any number of reasons.
The talented Isabella Maldonado launches a new series with a serial killer novel. I haven’t read it yet, but Nina Guerrera sounds like my kind of woman! Maldonado’s real-life background insures that her fictional crime fighters read as authentic without being super-human. This time the villain sounds creepy as hell, so I am glad that Isabella has Nina’s back.
I am a huge John Connolly fan! His writing is some of the most lyrical and atmospheric you will find in the crime fiction realm – not surprising given that Connolly is a huge fan of James Lee Burke (the master of that style.) Some readers take issue with the supernatural elements that weave their way into the Charlie Parker novels, but I believe that is what makes them both so unique and always satisfying. That said, here John Connolly is taking readers back to Charlie Parker’s early days, just after the tragedy that would shape his life, and long before his connection to the “spirit world.” A perfect place for new readers to see what all the buzz is about.
The work of Liz Nugent is insidious. She has the ability to make even the most innocent gesture and serene situation seem menacing to the point that you almost want to put the books down; but her ability to devise plots that demand an explanation keeps readers glued to the pages even as the day darkens. I’ve been a fan since the moment I picked up Unraveling Oliver and then Lying in Wait so impressed me.
I read this novel shortly after seeing Halley Sutton moderate a panel at one of the crime fiction conventions. Yes, she was that impressive. I fully expected this to be one of the most talked about books of the summer – but the pandemic had other ideas. Despite the release delay, The Lady Upstairs will still be the talk of the town soon enough. You will want to make sure you get your copy on release day, so that you can be part of the conversation.
Another one I haven’t read yet, but count me in on any novel where people envy the lives of others – that never ends well. Kirkus likens it to Mean Girls for the adult set, so that gives you a bit of the vibe here.
Just when we thought Ragnar Jónasson had left Ari Thór behind, he surprises us with one final book in the Dark Iceland series. I’ll be saving this one for my winter break, because I can always count on Jónasson to transport me to another place. I was supposed to visit Iceland for the first time this Fall, but that has been delayed due to the pandemic, so this will help to ease that pain.