Decades-old murder cases, deadly family secrets, an endangered witness, and traumatic brain injuries. These are the common threads running through some of this month's paperback mysteries and thrillers. This selection of paperbacks will thrill you, engross you, and pull the wool over your eyes. Oh, and make your commute fly by.
A Cold Trail by Robert Dugoni
Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite returns home to Cedar Grove, hoping to take a break with her attorney husband and their new daughter. But they're soon back at work: Dan representing a local business owner and Tracy investigating the brutal murders of a cop and a reporter, both of whom had been looking into an unsolved 1993 murder. And when their cases start to crisscross, Tracy once again finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who won't hesitate to kill again. There are satisfying twists and red herrings, and the hometown setting permits locals to fill in a little of Dan and Tracy's backstory, making it unnecessary to have read the previous six titles in the series.
Thief River Falls by Brian Freeman
The author of a bestselling thriller called Thief River Falls, named after her rural Minnesota hometown, Lisa has retreated to her remote house, where she can come to terms with the loss of her entire family with no one to intrude on her agony. Until a nameless runaway boy shows up on her door with an outrageous tale of witnessing a brutal murder and the police cover up that followed. Powerful men in Thief Falls are now looking for the boy and Lisa may be the only one standing between him and danger. Maybe this time, Lisa can prevent disaster. Fast-paced, with lots of action, Thief River Falls is also agonizingly suspenseful, delivering shocks right up to the last page.
Last Day by Luanne Rice
Twenty years ago, following the theft of the famous painting Moonlight and the murder of their mother, Detective Conor Reid vowed that he would protect Beth Lathrop and her sister Kate. So when Beth is found strangled in her home, and Moonlight is missing again, a devastated Conor feels like he's failed. Though he suspects Beth's husband, the man has a watertight alibi and Conor's focus must shift to others in this picture-perfect New England town, including Beth and Kate's closest childhood friends. Family secrets, broken marriage vows, and dubious motivations drive this twisty domestic thriller.
Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald
Family secrets are at the heart of Behind Every Lie also. Eva wakes up in hospital to the news that her mother, Kat, has been murdered. Suspiciously—at least according to the police—Eva was found unconscious nearby but has no recollection of the events preceding her being knocked unconscious. And to make matters worse, Eva and Kat had a complicated, difficult relationship. Trying to stay one step ahead of the police, Eva goes to London—Kat's former home—to try to unearth her mother's secrets and discover the reasons behind her death. But that's exactly what someone does not want her doing. Eva will have to confront issues of trust, trauma, and buried secrets to clear her name in this angsty thriller.
Outfox by Sandra Brown
FBI agent Drex Easton has been playing cat and mouse with a man he believes to have been a serial killer for over thirty years. Over those thirty years, the conman once known as Weston Graham has used various names and countless disguises to marry wealthy women before making them, and their fortunes, disappear without trace. Now, Drex believes that a handsome businessman, Jasper Ford, may be Weston's latest persona, and that his attractive, wealthy, younger wife, Talia, may be his latest victim. But when Drex goes undercover as the couple's new neighbor, he becomes worried that Weston has picked up an accomplice. Fast-paced, slick and twisty, with a killer reveal (!), Outfox is one of Brown's best.
When I Was You by Minka Kent
After surviving a brutal attack, Brienne Dougray retreats to her house where she tries to come to grips with the debilitating headaches and memory loss she suffers as a result of the attack. Increasingly home-bound and isolated, Brienne realizes that someone else has stepped into the vacuum she's left in the world, and is using the same name as her, the same car, same hair, and the same clothes, and even moved in on Brienne's family. She will have to gather together the frail threads of her sanity and go back out into the world to hunt an identify thief. Suspension of disbelief falters at times, and you may figure out the culprit early, but Kent gets to the ending by a satisfyingly deceptive route.
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