The outside temps have made it clear that summer is seemingly going to stay FOREVER, and what’s the best way to chill in the summer heat? You know it: flop down under the nearest ceiling fan and grab a book—one so riveting that you simply cannot leave that lovely breeze. Below are a few I’ve enjoyed recently—you have plenty of time to check them out before sweater weather!
The Swallows by Lisa Lutz: I’ve been a huge fan of Lutz’s work since The Spellman Files series so I was thrilled that she had a new book out and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. It’s set in a second-tier boarding school and begins when new teacher Alex Witt arrives and starts to uncover secrets that have the potential to destroy the school. But Alex has secrets of her own, and an unknown enemy who may know a little too much about them. I can’t say much more without revealing spoilers—suffice to say that this completely original thriller is almost impossible to summarize and not to be missed. It’s definitely going to be in my top 10 for 2019!
The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker: Austin author Chandler Baker’s adult debut (she’s published 5 YA novels) was chosen as the July pick for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club. It’s a thriller about a group of female coworkers who sue a male executive in their Dallas firm for sexual harassment. When he falls to his death from the 18th floor it’s not clear whether he’s committed suicide—or perhaps been helped on his way. A timely examination of the myriad facets of workplace inequality explored in the context of a thriller.
Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman: After last year’s Sunburn, I felt like my summer wouldn’t be complete without a Lippman thriller—and this one didn’t disappoint. In 1966 Baltimore, pampered Jewish housewife “Maddie” Schwartz walks out on her husband, determined to carve out a life with meaning. She helps the police solve a murder, which leads to a job at the afternoon newspaper. When the body of a young black woman is found floating in a park, Maddie sees an opportunity to make a name for herself by reporting on the investigation. What I loved most about this one was the unique structure—the story is told from the shifting viewpoints of a number of characters but the narrative is seamlessly woven
Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin: Any true crime podcast addicts out there? This is one you’ll love! True crime podcaster Quentin Garrison examines a killing spree that took place more than 40 years ago—one to which he has a personal connection. The teenage killers were believed to have died in a fire, but Quentin has reason to believe that April Cooper may be alive. Shortly after he contacts the woman he believes may be April, she is almost killed in a brutal home invasion. While she lies in a coma, her daughter is forced to confront how little she really knows about her mother’s past—a realization that makes her question who her mother really is. Could she have been that teenage girl who was at least partially responsible for the murders of a dozen victims?
Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware: Ware is a master of suspense, and this is her modern take on Henry James’ Turn of the Screw. London nanny Rowan Caine is looking for something completely different online when she stumbles across the job of her dreams—private nanny to a family living in a luxurious Scottish Highlands manse. But the dream quickly becomes a nightmare when one of the children dies and Rowan is arrested for murder. The story is told in the form of letters Rowan writes to an attorney as she explains the events leading up to the tragedy. The suspense builds slowly and then ends with some gut-wrenching twists.
Someone We Know by Shari Lapena: This book starts with a bang when a brutal murder takes place in the first chapter. The story then shifts pace when we learn about the idyllic suburb in upstate New York where the victim lived. All is not quite as it seems and the tension builds slowly as Lapena gradually uncovers hidden secrets—it appears any number of people may have had a reason to kill the victim. The slow burn builds to a satisfyingly explosive conclusion.
My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing: The lovely Millicent and her husband seem to have it all—a beautiful home in a prestigious gated community; successful careers (he’s the country club tennis pro and she’s a realtor); 2 great kids; a marriage of over 15 years. But things have gotten a little stale in the bedroom. Normal people take a vacation or buy sex toys—this couple finds that getting away with murder is the best aphrodisiac. Any book that combines sex and murder is not to be missed!
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager: This was one of the most anticipated books of the summer and it certainly lives up to the hype! New Yorker Jules Larsen is desperate for money and a place to live, and she thinks she’s found the perfect solution—an apartment-sitting gig at the exclusive Bartholomew. All she has to do is live in a vacant apartment for 3 months and pick up a $12,000 paycheck. Sound too good to be true? I think you know it is. The plot is super twisty and you won’t see the end coming in a million years.’
Meike is a part-time bookseller and event staffer at BookPeople with a penchant for thrilling reads. Her picks and many more like them can be found at BookPeople in-store and online now!