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Alice’s Island

Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, trans. from the Spanish by the author (Atria)

In this moving, fairy-dusted novel, elementary school teacher Alice Williams travels to an island off the coast of Cape Cod in search of the secrets kept by her late husband. Rather than danger, the endearingly quirky Alice finds the road to the rest of her life.

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The Bone Fire

S.D. Sykes (Pegasus Crime)

Set in 1361, this excellent whodunit takes Oswald de Lacy and his family to an isolated castle to escape the bubonic plague. There Oswald ends up investigating his host’s murder while trying to protect his family from the deadly disease. This outing reinforces Sykes’s place in the historical mystery genre’s top ranks.

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Conviction

Denise Mina (Mulholland)

Troubled Anna McDonald’s obsession with true-crime podcasts leads her to pursue a case involving a murdered family, a sunken yacht, and a wrongful conviction. Mina balances introspections on modern life and human nature with laugh-out-loud humor. This spellbinding thriller both endorses and exemplifies the power of storytelling.

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Game of Snipers

Stephen Hunter (Putnam)

Series hero Bob Lee Swagger must track down the Syrian-born mercenary known as Juba the Sniper after Juba arrives in the U.S. intent on killing a high-value target. Fans of Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal will be impressed.

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Good Girl, Bad Girl

Michael Robotham (Scribner)

Two major cases involving teenage girls—one a murder victim, the other an abuse survivor—preoccupy forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven. Cyrus must tease out the secrets the first girl may have died for—as well as some of those that could still get the second girl killed—in this haunting psychological thriller.

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Lady in the Lake

Laura Lippman (Morrow)

In 1960s Baltimore, Maddie Schwartz, an affluent housewife seeking more than marriage and motherhood, looks into the murder of a young black woman whose body is found in a fountain. Edgar-winner Lippman captures the era’s zeitgeist while painting a striking portrait of unapologetic female ambition.

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Red Metal

Mark Greaney and H. Ripley Rawlings IV (Berkley)

In this outstanding near-future military action thriller, Russian forces invade Kenya to reclaim a rare earths mine they lost control of years before. The various battles—fought on land, sea, and in the air—are exciting, realistic, and technically detailed, complete with the high emotions experienced by the combatants.

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The Silent Patient

Alex Michaelides (Celadon)

London psychotherapist Theo Faber, the emotionally fragile narrator of this edgy, intricately plotted first novel, seeks to treat artist Alicia Berenson, who has remained silent since she was convicted of the shooting murder of her fashion photographer husband. Psychological thriller fans won’t want to miss this one.

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This Poison Will Remain

Fred Vargas, trans. from the French by Siân Reynolds (Penguin)

Eccentric Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg suspects foul play when he looks into the deaths of three elderly men, each bitten by a spider. Distinctive characters add depth to the sophisticated and rewarding plot. French author Vargas deserves a wide American readership.

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Your House Will Pay

Steph Cha (Ecco)

Set in Los Angeles, this ambitious tale of race, identity, and murder examines the consequences of a Korean woman’s involvement in the shooting death of an unarmed young black woman. This timely, morally complex story will appeal to mainstream readers as well.

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