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Best Crime Novels

Readers' Cafe

Down the River unto the Sea
The Driver A Novel
Exit Strategy A Nick Mason Novel
Final Girls A Novel
The Force A Novel
Hellbent
Let Me Lie
The Lying Game A Novel
Need to Know A Novel
Our Little Secret A Novel
Sunburn A Novel
SWITCH
Tangerine A Novel
The Woman in the Window A Novel
Y is for...
Down the River unto the Sea / Walter Mosley

Since Mosley launched his Easy Rawlins series to universal acclaim with Devil in a Blue Dress (1990), he has published more than 50 books across multiple genres. Now he begins a new series, starring PI Joe King Oliver, and it rekindles some of the remarkable energy that drove the early Rawlins novels. Oliver was an NYPD detective until he was framed by parties unknown for sexual assault and wound up at Rikers, looking at serious time. His one remaining friend on the force gets Joe released and sets him up with a PI agency, where Joe has been toiling in desultory fashion for the last decade, supported at the agency by his teen daughter. Two new cases change everything. First, the woman Joe was accused of assaulting contacts him, admitting to taking part in the frame-up and prompting Joe to investigate his own case. Meanwhile, he takes on another case every bit as politically incendiary as his own: helping a radical African American journalist escape the electric chair. Mosley writes with great power here about themes that have permeated his work: institutional racism, political corruption, and the ways that both of these issues affect not only society at large but also the inner lives of individual men and women. And he has created a new hero in Joe Oliver with the depth and vulnerability to sustain what readers will hope becomes a new series. (Booklist)

The Driver: A Novel / Hart Hanson

Debut author.

Michael Skellig is a limo driver waiting for his client in the alley behind an upscale hotel. He's spent the past twenty-eight hours ferrying around Bismarck Avila, a celebrity skateboard mogul who isn't going home any time soon. Suddenly the wind begins to speak to Skellig in the guttural accent of the Chechen torturer he shot through the eye in Yemen a decade ago: Troubletroubletrouble. Skellig has heard these warnings before - he's an Army Special Forces sergeant whose limo company is staffed by a ragtag band of wounded veterans, including his Afghan interpreter - and he knows to listen carefully.

Skellig runs inside just in time to save Avila from two gunmen but too late for one of Avila's bodyguards - and wakes up hours later in the hospital, the only person of interest in custody for the murder. Complicating matters further is the appearance of Detective Delilah Groopman of the LAPD, gorgeous and brash, for whom Skellig has always held a candle. As for Avila? He's willing to help clear Skellig's name under one peculiar condition: that Skellig become Avila's personal chauffeur. A cushy gig for any driver, except for the fact that someone is clearly trying to kill Avila, and Skellig is literally the only person sitting between Avila and a bullet to the head.

Exit Strategy: A Nick Mason Novel / Steve Hamilton

Nick Mason has been given a true mission impossible: Infiltrate WITSEC, the top-secret federal witness-protection program that has never been compromised, locate the three men who put his boss Darius Cole behind bars for life, and kill them.

But first he has to find them - they're ghost prisoners locked down around the clock in classified "deep black" locations by an battalion of heavily armed U.S. marshals charged with protecting them - and the clock is ticking. Cole is appealing his conviction, and these witnesses are either his ticket to freedom or the final nail in his coffin. If they testify, Darius Cole will never step foot in the outside world again. If they are killed, he will walk out a free man.

As he risks everything to complete his mission, Mason finds himself being hunted by the very man he replaced, the ruthless assassin who once served, then betrayed, Darius Cole. Rather than waiting to be Mason's next victim, he has escaped witness protection to hunt down and kill Mason himself.
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Final Girls: A Novel / Riley Sager

Debut author.

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie-scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to - a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout's knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media's attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well - maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fianc??, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won't even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy's doorstep. Blowing through Quincy's life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa's death come to light, Quincy's life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam's truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

The Force: A Novel / DON WINSLOW

After more than a dozen acclaimed, under-the-radar novels, Winslow moved into the first rank of American thriller writers with his drug-war odyssey The Cartel. His latest offers a similarly epic take on the cop novel, though it lacks its predecessor's singular brilliance. Denny Malone, a veteran NYPD detective sergeant, stalks the streets of Upper Manhattan, knowing nothing happens or gets dealt without his knowledge or consent. The higher-ups have given his elite team, "Da Force," free rein to keep the peace, even if rules are bent and spoils pocketed along the way. In a city where someone's going to profit off the drugs and the violence, why shouldn't it be his team? Malone prides himself on loyalty and tradition, but after a multimillion-dollar heroin bust gets the attention of the feds, he's forced to make an unthinkable decision: to turn on his brother cops and rat on his beloved teammates. (Library Journal)

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Hellbent / Gregg Hurwitz

Taken from a group home at age twelve, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as an off-the-books government assassin: Orphan X. After he broke with the Orphan Program, Evan disappeared and reinvented himself as the Nowhere Man, a man spoken about only in whispers and dedicated to helping the truly desperate.

But this time, the voice on the other end is Jack Johns, the man who raised and trained him, the only father Evan has ever known. Secret government forces are busy trying to scrub the remaining assets and traces of the Orphan Program and they have finally tracked down Jack. With little time remaining, Jack gives Evan his last assignment: find and protect his last prot??g?? and recruit for the program.

But Evan isn't the only one after this last Orphan -- the new head of the Orphan Program, Van Sciver, is mustering all the assets at his disposal to take out both Evan (Orphan X) and the target he is trying to protect.

Let Me Lie / CLARE MACKINTOSH

Two years ago, Tom and Caroline Johnson committed suicide, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their adult daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents' deaths, unable to comprehend why they chose to end their lives. Now with a young baby herself, she feels her mother's presence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as Anna digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her. She soon learns that nothing is as it seemed.

The Lying Game: A Novel / RUTH WARE

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister...

The next morning, three women in and around London - Fatima, Thea, and Isabel - receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, "I need you."

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other - ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school's eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate's father) .
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Need to Know: A Novel / KAREN CLEVELAND

Debut author.

In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, a CIA analyst uncovers a dangerous secret that will test her loyalty to the agency - and to her family.

What do you do when everything you trust might be a lie?

Vivian Miller is a dedicated CIA counterintelligence analyst assigned to uncover the leaders of Russian sleeper cells in the United States. On track for a much-needed promotion, she's developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.

After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America's borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her - her job, her husband, even her four children - are threatened.???

Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she's facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?

Our Little Secret: A Novel / ROZ NAY

THE TOP TEN INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING PSYCHOLOGICAL SUSPENSE YOU CAN'T MISS...

"A cracking read...Our Little Secret builds to a deliciously dark conclusion." -- Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10

Our Little Secret is a twisted tale of love, pain, and revenge that will stay with the reader long after they turn the last page.

They say you never forget your first love. What they don't say though, is that sometimes your first love won't forget you ...

A police interview room is the last place Angela expected to find herself today. It's been hours, and they keep asking her the same inane questions over and over. "How do you know the victim?" "What's your relationship with Mr. Parker?" Her ex's wife has gone missing, and anyone who was close to the couple is a suspect. Angela is tired of the bottomless questions and tired of the cold room that stays the same while a rotating litany of interrogators changes shifts around her. But when criminologist Novak takes over, she can tell he's not like the others. He's ready to listen, and she knows he'll understand. When she tells him that her story begins a decade before, long before Saskia was in the picture, he gives her the floor.

A twenty-something young professional, Angela claims to have no involvement. How could she? It's been years since she and H.P., Mr. Parker that is, were together. As her story unfolds, it deepens and darkens. There's a lot to unpack ... betrayal, jealousy, and a group of people who all have motives for retribution. If Angela is telling the truth, then who's lying?

Sunburn: A Novel / LAURA LIPPMAN

Named one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2018 by Bustle, Popsugar, Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, Seattle Times, Book Riot, LitHub, BookPage, and Paperback Paris.

"Every time Laura Lippman comes out with a new book, I get chills because I know I am back in the hands of the master. She is simply a brilliant novelist, an unflinching chronicler of life in America right now, and Sunburn is her dark, gleaming noir gem. Read it." -Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Gone Girl

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman returns with a superb novel of psychological suspense about a pair of lovers with the best intentions and the worst luck: two people locked in a passionate yet uncompromising game of cat and mouse. But instead of rules, this game has dark secrets, forbidden desires, inevitable betrayals - and cold-blooded murder.

One is playing a long game. But which one?

They meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware. Polly is set on heading west. Adam says he's also passing through. Yet she stays and he stays - drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him. Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair. Still, each holds something back from the other - dangerous, even lethal, secrets.

Then someone dies. Was it an accident, or part of a plan? By now, Adam and Polly are so ensnared in each other's lives and lies that neither one knows how to get away - or even if they want to. Is their love strong enough to withstand the truth, or will it ultimately destroy them?

Something - or someone - has to give.

Which one will it be?

Inspired by James M. Cain's masterpieces The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity, and Mildred Pierce, Sunburn is a tantalizing modern noir from the incomparable Laura Lippman.

SWITCH / JOSEPH FINDER

Michael Tanner is on his way home from a business trip when he accidentally picks up the wrong MacBook in an airport security line. He doesn't notice the mix-up until he arrives home in Boston, but by then it's too late. Tanner's curiosity gets the better of him when he discovers that the owner is a US senator and that the laptop contains top secret files.

When Senator Susan Robbins realizes she's come back with the wrong laptop, she calls her young chief of staff, Will Abbott, in a panic. Both know that the senator broke the law by uploading classified documents onto her personal computer. If those documents wind up in the wrong hands, it could be Snowden 2.0 - and her career in politics will be over. She needs to recover the MacBook before it's too late.

When Will fails to gain Tanner's cooperation, he is forced to take measures to retrieve the laptop before a bigger security breach is revealed. He turns to an unscrupulous "fixer" for help. In the meantime, the security agency whose files the senator has appropriated has its own methods, darker still - and suddenly Tanner finds himself a hunted man, on the run, terrified for the safety of his family, in desperate need of a plan, and able to trust no one.

Tangerine: A Novel / Christine Mangan

"As if Donna Tartt, Gillian Flynn, and Patricia Highsmith had collaborated in a screenplay to be filmed by Hitchcock - suspenseful and atmospheric."
- Joyce Carol Oates, author of The Book of American Martyrs

The last person Alice Shipley expected to see since arriving in Tangier with her new husband was Lucy Mason. After the accident at Bennington, the two friends - once inseparable roommates - haven't spoken in over a year. But there Lucy was, trying to make things right and return to their old rhythms. Perhaps Alice should be happy. She has not adjusted to life in Morocco, too afraid to venture out into the bustling medinas and oppressive heat. Lucy - always fearless and independent - helps Alice emerge from her flat and explore the country.

But soon a familiar feeling starts to overtake Alice - she feels controlled and stifled by Lucy at every turn. Then Alice's husband, John, goes missing, and Alice starts to question everything around her: her relationship with her enigmatic friend, her decision to ever come to Tangier, and her very own state of mind.

Tangerine is a sharp dagger of a book - a debut so tightly wound, so replete with exotic imagery and charm, so full of precise details and extraordinary craftsmanship, it will leave you absolutely breathless.

Optioned for film by George Clooney's Smokehouse Pictures, with Scarlett Johansson to star

The Woman in the Window: A Novel / A. J. Finn

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Anna Fox lives alone - a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble, and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one - and nothing - is what it seemss

Y is for... / Sue Grafton

The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y is for Yesterday begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate - and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state's evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

Now, it's 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents - until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That's when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help. As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he's not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find ...

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