Friday, June 06, 2014

Bright Days, Dark Deeds

So here’s my summer vacation nightmare story.

More than a few years ago, my wife and I decided to spend three unhurried weeks at the beach resort town of Negril, on the western end of Jamaica. We’d both been to the Caribbean before, but this was our first stay in the enchanted land of reggae, on the island where Ian Fleming once owned an estate, and which he’d used periodically as a setting for his James Bond adventures. We figured we could pack light, since the weather was supposed to be clear and temperate. But I also tried to make sure that I stuffed my bags with sufficient reading material to keep me entertained during so much downtime. Regrettably, I miscalculated. Only two weeks into our vacation, I polished off the healthy stack of crime novels and non-fiction works I’d brought along. Meanwhile, my wife had a mere two books in her suitcase, and one of those was a psychological text of some sort. The other was an Anna Quindlen novel, perhaps One True Thing (1994). In any event, it took me mere hours to finish Quindlen’s tale, and then I was right back where I’d been, with nothing to read.

Now, had we been staying in a city of respectable size, it would have been fairly easy to find a bookstore. On the extreme western of Jamaica, though, there were no such amenities. Apparently, people go to Negril merely to snuggle into beach chairs on the sand, sip rum punch, and glance up occasionally at topless young lovelies frolicking in the surf. And while I’m not against any of those activities, I need more intellectual stimulation. Enhancing my tan while fending off roving spliff peddlers was not going to do it. I tried walking down the beach to a minuscule town center, but could find nothing better than a drugstore with a spinner rack full of well-thumbed paperback romance novels and diet guides. Finally, I could do no better than to re-read the books I’d just spent the previous two weeks digesting.

In preparation for every vacation since then, I have erred on the side of overabundance, rather than risk being caught short (and bored) again.

Fortunately, there will be no difficulty finding first-rate mystery, crime, and thriller novels to fill your free time over the coming summer months, regardless of which side of the Atlantic Ocean you call home. Between now and Labor Day we’ll be treated to spanking-new releases by prominent wordsmiths such as Megan Abbott, Alan Furst, Ian Rankin, Karin Fossum, Philip Kerr, and Stephen King, as well as fresh fiction from dependable storytellers on the order of Alafair Burke, Michael Koryta, Kelli Stanley, Andrew Taylor, Jeri Westerson, and Rennie Airth. Checking through publisher catalogues, as well as The Bloodstained Bookshelf, Euro Crime, and other online resources, I came up with a preliminary selection of more than 260 works in this genre that I’ll be watching for over the next 12 weeks. There will be more new books hitting store shelves, of course, but consider this list a good starting point in your search for reading satisfaction.

JUNE (U.S.):
The Abduction, by Jonathan Holt (Harper)
All Day and a Night, by Alafair Burke (Harper)
All the Things You Are, by Declan Hughes (Severn House)
The American Mission, by Matthew Palmer (Putnam)
American Woman, by Robert Pobi (Thomas & Mercer)
Angelica’s Smile, by Andrea Camilleri (Penguin)
The Antiquarian, by Gustavo Faverón Patriau (Black Cat)
The Arsonist, by Sue Miller (Knopf)
The Baklava Club, by Jason Goodwin (Sarah Crichton)
Barcelona Shadows, by Marc Pastor (Pushkin Press)
A Barricade in Hell, by Jaime Lee Moyer (Tor)
A Better World, by Marcus Sakey (Thomas & Mercer)
Blacklist, by Jerry Ludwig (Forge)
Bliss House, by Laura Benedict (Pegasus)
Chimes at Midnight, by Michael A. Black (Five Star)
Coldsleep Lullaby, by Andrew Brown (Minotaur)
Cop Town, by Karin Slaughter (Delacorte Press)
Cradle to Grave, by Eleanor Kuhns (Minotaur)
A Dark and Twisted Tide, by Sharon Bolton (Minotaur)
Dark Angel, by Mari Jungstedt (Stockholm Text)
The Death of Lucy Kyte, by Nicola Upson (Bourbon Street)
Denial of Murder, by Peter Turnbull (Severn House)
The Devil in the Marshalsea, by Antonia Hodgson (Mariner)
The Devil May Care, by David Housewright (Minotaur)
The Director, by David Ignatius (Norton)
Elizabeth Is Missing, by Emma Healey (Harper)
Eyes on You, by Kate White (Harper)
Face Value, edited by David Baldacci (Simon & Schuster)
Face Value, by Michael A. Kahn (Poisoned Pen Press)
The False Virgin, by The Medieval Murderers (Simon & Schuster)
The Farm, by Tom Rob Smith (Grand Central)
The Fever, by Megan Abbott (Little, Brown)
The Forty-Two, by Ed Kurtz (New Pulp Press)
Ghost Month, by Ed Lin (Soho Crime)
The Good Suicides, by Antonio Hill (Crown)
Hell to Pay, by Garry Disher (Soho Crime)
Identity, by Ingrid Thoft (Putnam)
I Love You More, by Jennifer Murphy (Doubleday)
Indefensible, by Lee Goodman (Atria/Emily Bestler)
Killing the Curse, by Dennis Hetzel (Headline)
Land of Shadows, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Forge)
The Last Heir, by Chuck Greaves (Minotaur)
The Last Taxi Ride, by A.X. Ahmad (Minotaur)
The Late Scholar, by Jill Paton Walsh (Minotaur)
A Matter of Breeding, by J. Sydney Jones (Severn House)
The Michael Gray Mysteries, by Henry Kuttner (Haffner Press)
Midnight in Europe, by Alan Furst (Random House)
Moving Day, by Jonathan Stone (Thomas & Mercer)
Mr. Mercedes, by Stephen King (Scribner)
The Murder Farm, by Andrea Maria Schenkel (Quercus)
Murder on Nob Hill, by Shirley Tallman (St. Martin’s Griffin)
Never Look Back, by Clare Donoghue (Minotaur)
The Nightmare Place, by Steve Mosby (Orion)
No Stone Unturned, by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street)
Of Sea and Cloud, by Jon Keller (Tyrus)
Phantom Instinct, by Meg Gardiner (Dutton)
Present Darkness, by Malla Nunn (Atria/Emily Bestler)
The Quick, by Lauren Owen (Random House)
The Quiet Woman, by Terence Faherty (Five Star)
Reckless Disregard, by Robert Rotstein (Seventh Street)
Redemption Key, by S.G. Redling (Thomas & Mercer)
The Red Chameleon, by Erica Wright (Pegasus)
The Red Room, by Ridley Pearson (Putnam)
Replay, by Marc Levy (Europa Editions)
Resurrection Bay, by Wayne McDaniel and Steven Womack
(Midnight Ink)
Saints of New York, by R.J. Ellory (Overlook Press)
The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling (Mulholland)
Skin of the Wolf, by Sam Cabot (Blue Rider Press)
Someone Else’s Skin, by Sarah Hilary (Penguin)
The Splintered Paddle, by Mark Troy (Five Star)
Strange Gods, by Annamaria Alfieri (Minotaur)
A Swollen Red Sun, by Matthew McBride (Mysterious Press/
Open Road)
Summer House with Swimming Pool, by Herman Koch (Hogarth)
That Night, by Chevy Stevens (St. Martin's Press)
Third Rail, by Rory Flynn (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Those Who Wish Me Dead, by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown)
Top Secret Twenty-One, by Janet Evanovich (Bantam)
Traitors to All, by Giorgio Scerbanenco (Melville International Crime)
Two Soldiers, by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström (Quercus)
Vertigo 42, by Martha Grimes (Scribner)
The Ways of the Dead, by Neely Tucker (Viking)

The Art of Killing Well, by Marco Malvaldi (MacLehose Press)
Blood Med, by Jason Webster (Chatto & Windus)
Blood Whispers, by John Gordon Sinclair (Faber & Faber)
Children of War, by Martin Walker (Quercus)
The Corpse Bridge, by Stephen Booth (Sphere)
The Curse of the House of Foskett, by M.R.C. Kasasian
(Head of Zeus)
The Dark Horizon, by Simon Hall (Thames River Press)
The Death Collector, by Neil White (Sphere)
Death of a Scholar, by Susanna Gregory (Sphere)
Dodger of the Dials, by James Benmore (Heron Books)
A House of Knives, by William Shaw (Quercus)
The Human Flies, by Hans Olav Lahlum (Mantle)
If I Should Die, by Matthew Frank (Michael Joseph)
The Kill, by Jane Casey (Ebury Press)
Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 11, edited by Maxim Jakubowski (Robinson)
The Memory Killer, by J.A. Kerley (Harper)
The Murder of Harriet Krohn, by Karin Fossum (Harvill Secker)
The Night Watchman, by Richard Zimler (Corsair)
Roseblood, by Paul Doherty (Headline)
Shredder, by Niall Leonard (Definitions)
The Spider of Sarajevo, by Robert Wilton (Corvus)
To the Top of the Mountain, by Arne Dahl (Harvill Secker)
Twisted, by Lynda La Plante (Simon & Schuster)
The Visitors, by Simon Sylvester (Quercus)
Wanted, by Emlyn Rees (C&R Crime)
Want You Dead, by Peter James (Macmillan)
The White Sea, by Paul Johnston
(Creme de la Crime)
Zodiac Station, by Tom Harper
(Hodder & Stoughton)

JULY (U.S.):
Back Channel, by Stephen L. Carter (Knopf)
The Black Hour, by Lori Rader-Day (Seventh Street)
The Bone Orchard, by Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
The Bone Seeker, by M.J. McGrath (Viking)
The Bosch Deception, by Alex Connor (Quercus)
Bravo, by Greg Rucka (Mulholland)
The Butcher, by Jennifer Hillier (Gallery)
Candle Flame, by Paul Doherty (Creme de la Crime)
The Care and Management of Lies, by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper)
Cataract City, by Craig Davidson (Graywolf Press)
The Catch, by Taylor Stevens (Crown)
The City, by Dean Koontz (Bantam)
City of Devils, by Diana Bretherick (Pegasus)
Come, Sweet Death, by Wolf Haas (Melville International Crime)
Cup of Blood, by Jeri Westerson (Old London Press)
The Dead Will Tell, by Linda Castillo (Minotaur)
Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little (Viking)
Don’t Try to Find Me, by Holly Brown (Morrow)
Dry Bones in the Valley, by Tom Bouman (Norton)
Enemies at Home, by Lindsey Davis (Minotaur)
Everyone Lies, by A.D. Garrett (Minotaur)
First Light, by Al Lamanda (Five Star)
Forest of Fortune, by Jim Ruland (Tyrus)
The Forsaken, by Ace Atkins (Putnam)
Forty Acres, by Dwayne Alexander Smith (Atria)
Gold Digger, by Frances Fyfield (Witness)
The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica (Mira)
The Good, the Bad, and the Emus, by Donna Andrews (Minotaur)
Grave Doubts, by Elizabeth Corley (Minotaur)
The Heist, by Daniel Silva (Harper)
Herbie’s Game, by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime)
The Home Place, by Carrie La Seur (Morrow)
Hounded, by David Rosenfelt (Minotaur)
House Reckoning, by Mike Lawson (Atlantic Monthly Press)
I Can See in the Dark, by Karin Fossum (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Ice Shear, by M.P. Cooley (Morrow)
Inside Man, by Jeff Abbott (Grand Central)
Last to Know, by Elizabeth Adler (Minotaur)
The Last Town, by Blake Crouch (Thomas & Mercer)
Lawless & the Flowers of Sin, by William Sutton (Exhibit A)
The Mad and the Bad, by Jean-Patrick Manchette (NYRB Classics)
The Madmen of Benghazi, by Gérard de Villiers
(Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Murder in Retribution, by Anne Cleeland (Kensington)
Never Coming Back, by Tim Weaver (Viking)
The Night Searchers, by Marcia Muller (Grand Central)
Now and in the Hour of Our Death, by Patrick Taylor (Forge)
The Pale House, by Luke McCallin (Berkley)
Peter Pan Must Die, by John Verdon (Crown)
A Possibility of Violence, by D.A. Mishani (Harper)
The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent, by Susan Elia MacNeal (Bantam)
Really the Blues, by Joseph Koenig (Pegasus)
Red Joan, by Jennie Rooney (Europa Editions)
Red Winter, by Dan Smith (Pegasus)
Remains of Innocence, by J.A. Jance (Morrow)
Rollover, by Susan Slater (Poisoned Pen Press)
Snatched, by Bill James (Severn House)
Sorrow Bound, by David Mark (Blue Rider Press)
Strangers, by Bill Pronzini (Forge)
Supreme Justice, by Max Allan Collins (Thomas & Mercer)
A Ticket to Oblivion, by Edward Marston (Allison & Busby)
Tomorrow and Tomorrow, by Thomas Sweterlitsch (Putnam)
Vengeance Is Mine, by Reavis Z. Wortham (Poisoned Pen Press)
Wayfaring Stranger, by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
The White Magic Five & Dime, by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco (Midnight Ink)
The Wolf, by Lorenzo Carcaterra (Ballantine)
World of Trouble, by Ben Winters (Quirk)

Abattoir Blues, by Peter Robinson
(Hodder & Stoughton)
Acts of Omission, by Terry Stiastny
(John Murray)
Artefacts of the Dead, by Tony Black
(Black and White)
Believe No One, by A.D. Garrett (C&R Crime)
The Blooding, by James McGee (HarperCollins)
Broken Monsters, by Lauren Beukes (HarperCollins)
The Corners of the Globe, by Robert Goddard (Bantam Press)
Dark Road, by Ian Rankin and Mark Thomson (Orion)
Dead Men’s Bones, by James Oswald (Penguin)
The Devil’s Seal, by Peter Tremayne (Headline)
An Evil Mind, by Chris Carter (Simon & Schuster)
The Final Silence, by Stuart Neville (Harvill Secker)
The G File, by Håkan Nesser (Mantle)
The Hummingbird, by Kati Hiekkapelto (Arcadia)
Into a Raging Blaze, by Andreas Norman (Quercus)
The Killing Room, by Christobel Kent (Atlantic Books)
A Morbid Habit, by Annie Hauxwell (Heinemann)
The Night Hunter, by Caro Ramsay (Severn House)
Painting Death, by Tim Parks (Harvill Secker)
Plague, by C.C. Humphreys (Century)
Research, by Philip Kerr (Quercus)
Season of Fear, by Brian Freeman (Quercus)
The Swimmer, by Joakim Zander (Head of Zeus)
The Testimony of the Hanged Man, by Ann Granger (Headline)
The Tottenham Outrage, by M.H. Baylis (Old Street)
Vagabond, by Gerald Seymour (Hodder & Stoughton)
Without You, by Saskia Sarginson (Piatkus)

Alone in the Classroom, by Elizabeth Hay (MacLehose Press)
The Art Whisperer, by Charlotte and Aaron Elkins (Thomas & Mercer)
Assassin’s Game, by Ward Larsen (Forge)
Bagmen, by William Lashner (Thomas & Mercer)
Before, During, After, by Richard Bausch (Knopf)
The Beggar & the Hare, by Tuomas Kyrö (Atria/Marble Arch Press)
Beware Beware, by Steph Cha (Minotaur)
The Black Road, by Tania Carver (Pegasus)
Blind Moon Alley, by John Florio (Seventh Street)
Bones Never Lie, by Kathy Reichs (Bantam)
Brainquake, by Samuel Fuller (Hard Case Crime)
By My Hand, by Maurizio de Giovanni (Europa Editions)
Cat on a Cold Tin Roof, by Mike Resnick (Seventh Street)
Chain of Events, by Fredrik T. Olsson (Sphere)
City of Ghosts, by Kelli Stanley (Minotaur)
Close Call, by Stella Rimington (Bloomsbury USA)
A Colder War, by Charles Cumming (St. Martin’s Press)
Dead Line, by Chris Ewan (Minotaur)
Deadout, by Jon McGoran (Forge)
Designated Daughters, by Margaret Maron (Grand Central)
Death at Chinatown, by Frances McNamara (Allium Press)
Don’t Look Back, by Gregg Hurwitz (St. Martin’s Press)
An Event in Autumn, by Henning Mankell (Vintage/Black Lizard)
The Frozen Dead, by Bernard Minier (Minotaur)
The Good Know Nothing, by Ken Kuhlken (Poisoned Pen Press)
Gun Metal Heart, by Dana Haynes (Minotaur)
Half in Love with Artful Death, by Bill Crider (Minotaur)
Haunted, by Randy Wayne White (Putnam)
Hollow Mountain, by Thomas Mogford (Bloomsbury)
Inamorata, by Megan Chance (Lake Union)
Inspector Colbeck’s Casebook, by Edward Marston (Allison & Busby)
The Iron Sickle, by Martin Limón (Soho Crime)
The Kills, by Richard House (Picador)
The Long Way Home, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
The Minotaur’s Head, by Marek Krajewski (Melville
International Crime)
Moon in a Dead Eye, by Pascal Garnier (Gallic)
No Safe House, by Linwood Barclay (New American Library)
One Kick, by Chelsea Cain (Simon & Schuster)
Payoff, by Douglas Corleone (Minotaur)
Queen of Hearts, by Rhys Bowen (Berkley)
The Reckoning, by Rennie Airth (Viking)
The Spirit and the Skull, by J.M. Hayes (Poisoned Pen Press)
Strange Shores, by Arnaldur Indridason (Minotaur)
Summer of the Dead, by Julia Keller (Minotaur)
Tabula Rasa, by Ruth Downie (Bloomsbury USA)
Three-Card Monte, by Marco Malvaldi (Europa Editions)
Unmanned, by Dan Fesperman (Knopf)
Windigo Island, by William Kent Krueger (Atria)
You, by Zoran Drvenkar (Knopf)

Alphabet House, by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Hesperus Press)
Confessions, by Kanae Minato (Mulholland)
The Dark Meadow, by Andrea Maria Schenkel (Quercus)
The Doll Maker, by Richard Montanari (Sphere)
Fall From Grace, by Tim Weaver (Penguin)
Fiddle City, by Dan Kavanagh (Orion)
The First Horseman, by D.K. Wilson (Sphere)
The Girl Next Door, by Ruth Rendell (Hutchinson)
Gods of Gold, by Chris Nickson (Severn House)
The House on the Hill, by Kevin Sampson (Jonathan Cape)
The Killing Season, by Mark Pearson (Arrow)
Murder at the Chase, by Eric Brown (Severn House)
The Mysterious Affair at Castaway House, by Stephanie Lam (Penguin)
The Night the Rich Men Burned, by Malcolm Mackay (Mantle)
Paths of the Dead, by Lin Anderson (Pan)
The Ploughmen, by Kim J. Zupan (Picador)
The Root of All Evil, by Roberto Costantini (Quercus)
The Sandman, by Lars Kepler (Blue Door)
Savage Magic, by Lloyd Shepherd (Simon & Schuster)
The Secret Place, by Tana French (Hodder & Stoughton)
Shoot to Kill, by James Craig (Constable)
The Silent Boy, by Andrew Taylor (HarperCollins)
Summer Lies Bleeding, by Nuala Casey (Quercus)
Summer of Ghosts, by P.D. Viner (Ebury Press)
Talking to Ghosts, by Hervé Le Corre (MacLehose Press)
The Winter Foundlings, by Kate Rhodes (Mulholland)

Did I miss anything? If there are crime, mystery, and thriller novels you think belong on this rundown, but that are not mentioned, please let us all know about them in the Comments section below.


Leslie Budewitz said...

Great list. Let me add to July: CRIME RIB by Leslie Budewitz (Berkley Prime Crime), second in the Agatha Award-winning Food Lovers' Village Mysteries.


Anonymous said...

It came out in May, but I'd recommend Dennis Tafoya's THE POOR BOY'S GAME. It's what kicked off my summer reading list on Memorial Day Weekend.

Irene McKenna said...

Thank you for this wonderful list! I am bookmarking this post to peruse at my leisure. :-)

Timothy Hallinan said...

What a list, and what a service you're providing.

And THANKS for the note telling me LITTLE ELVISES had been nominated for the Shamus. How cool is that?

Love this site.