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We know that with authors in this genre consistently killing it (see what we did there? Killing it?) it can be incredibly hard to choose between one great book and another.
But, with a new year on our hands, it's easy enough to pare down the highlights of those published within a specific timeframe, which we've done in today's blog post featuring 10 thrillers launching in the first half of the year that we're particularly looking forward to.
Mark Greaney: One Minute Out (Feb 18)
From Mark Greaney, the New York Times bestselling author of Mission Critical and a coauthor of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels, comes another high-stakes thriller featuring the world's most dangerous assassin: the Gray Man.
While on a mission to Croatia, Court Gentry uncovers a human trafficking operation. The trail leads from the Balkans all the way back to Hollywood.
Court is determined to shut it down, but his CIA handlers have other plans. The criminal ringleader has actionable intelligence about a potentially devastating terrorist attack on the US. The CIA won't move until they have that intel. It's a moral balancing act with Court at the pivot point.
Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn't know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.
No one seems to take Naomi Pine's disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.
Wilde can't ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions... secrets that Wilde must uncover before it's too late.
Dean Koontz: Devoted (March 31)
From Dean Koontz, the international bestselling master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying threat to humanity and the singular compassion it will take to defeat it.
Woody Bookman hasn’t spoken a word in his eleven years of life. Not when his father died in a freak accident. Not when his mother, Megan, tells him she loves him. For Megan, keeping her boy safe and happy is what matters. But Woody believes a monstrous evil was behind his father’s death and now threatens him and his mother. And he’s not alone in his thoughts. An ally unknown to him is listening.
A uniquely gifted dog with a heart as golden as his breed, Kipp is devoted beyond reason to people. When he hears the boy who communicates like he does, without speaking, Kipp knows he needs to find him before it’s too late.
Woody’s fearful suspicions are taking shape. A man driven by a malicious evil has set a depraved plan into motion. And he’s coming after Woody and his mother. The reasons are primal. His powers are growing. And he’s not alone. Only a force greater than evil can stop what’s coming next.
Lisa Regan: Find Her Alive (April 15)
Josie treads gently, careful not to disturb the pile of perfect white bones laid out in the grass by her feet. Her voice is little more than a whisper.
“No! Not my sister…”
Detective Josie Quinn hasn’t heard from her sister since Trinity stormed out of the house in the heat of an argument three weeks ago. So, when human remains are found at the remote hunting cabin where Trinity was last seen, Josie can only assume the worst.
Gathering her team, Josie feels a surge of relief when the dental records match a different body – that of a missing single mother from a neighboring town. But now Josie’s is not the only broken family desperate for answers.
Dusting the crime scene for prints, a name smudged into the side of a nearby car is the first in a trail of clues Trinity left for Josie. In need of a big story to save her journalism career, it seems Josie’s sister was attempting to make contact with a dangerous serial killer known for creating sculptures with his victim’s bones. And Trinity won’t stop until she’s found him, even if it means becoming his next masterpiece…
Josie is certain there’s a critical clue in the ivory hair comb delivered to Trinity just days before she went missing. But as more bones surface, each set more likely to be Trinity’s than the last, time is running out to find her alive. Can Josie’s team trust her instincts in a case that is so deeply personal? Can she find her sister without putting other innocent lives in danger?
John Sandford: Masked Prey (April 21)
Lucas Davenport investigates a vitriolic blog that seems to be targeting the children of U.S. politicians in the latest thriller by #1 New York Times-bestselling author John Sandford.
The daughter of a U.S. Senator is monitoring her social media presence when she finds a picture of herself on a strange blog. And there are other pictures . . . of the children of other influential Washington politicians, walking or standing outside their schools, each identified by name. Surrounding the photos are texts of vicious political rants from a motley variety of extremist groups.
It's obviously alarming--there's an unstated but deadly threat here--but when the FBI is called in, there isn't much the feds can do. The anonymous photographer can't be pinned down to one location or IP address, and more importantly, at least to the paper-processing bureaucrats, no crime has actually been committed. With nowhere else to turn, influential Senators decide to call in someone who can operate outside the FBI's constraints: Lucas Davenport.
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David Baldacci: Walk the Wire (April 21)
Amos Decker -- the FBI consultant with a perfect memory -- returns to solve a gruesome murder in a booming North Dakota oil town in the newest thriller in David Baldacci's #1 New York Times bestselling Memory Man series.
When Amos Decker and his FBI colleague Alex Jamison are called to London, North Dakota, they instantly sense that the thriving fracking town is ripe for trouble. The promise of a second gold rush has attracted an onslaught of newcomers all hoping for a windfall, and the community is growing faster than houses can be built. The sudden boom has also brought a slew of problems with it, including drugs, property crimes, prostitution -- and now murder.
Decker and Jamison are ordered to investigate the death of a young woman named Irene Cramer, whose body was expertly autopsied and then dumped in the open -- which is only the beginning of the oddities surrounding the case. As Decker and Jamison dig into Irene's life, they are shocked to discover that the woman who walked the streets by night as a prostitute was a teacher for a local religious sect by day -- a sect operating on land once owned by a mysterious government facility that looms over the entire community.
London is a town replete with ruthless business owners, shady government officials, and religious outsiders, all determined to keep their secrets from coming out. When other murders occur, Decker will need all of his extraordinary memory and detective skills, and the assistance of a surprising ally, to root out a killer and the forces behind Cramer's death. . . before the boom town explodes.
Michael Connelly: Fair Warning (May 26)
Stalwart journalist Jack McEvoy -- the hero of The Poet and The Scarecrow -- must track a serial killer who has been operating completely under the radar -- until now -- in this thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly.
Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, McEvoy realizes he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he's ever encountered.
McEvoy investigates -- against the warnings of the police and his own editor -- and makes a shocking discovery that connects the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. But his inquiry hits a snag when he himself becomes a suspect.
As he races to clear his name, McEvoy's findings point to a serial killer working under the radar of law enforcement for years, and using personal data shared by the victims themselves to select and hunt his targets.
Called "the Raymond Chandler of this generation" (Associated Press), Michael Connelly once again delivers an unputdownable thriller that reveals a predator operating from the darkest corners of human nature -- and one man courageous and determined enough to stand in his way.
Iris Johansen: The Persuasion (June 2)
When Eve Duncan's daughter, Jane MacGuire, becomes a madman's target, Jane must team up with longtime love interest Seth Caleb in this suspense novel from the #1 bestselling author of Smokescreen.
"In SMOKESCREEN, Johansen's Eve Duncan must outwit a vicious psychopath in the middle of the jungle. I really enjoyed this rip-roaring thriller."―Catherine Coulter, New York Times bestselling author of Paradox
"Dive into the explosive world of Iris Johansen, where villains get exactly what they deserve and the good guys - eventually - win the day. That's a world I want to live in!"―Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"SMOKESCREEEN is supercharged, combustible and totally addictive. There's no one like Iris Johansen!"―Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author
"A master storyteller, Iris Johansen brings characters to life like no other. A tension filled novel...her plot is intricate, her characters compelling. SMOKESCREEN is great fun."―Robert Dugoni, New York Times bestselling author
Karin Slaughter: The Silent Wife (July 28)
Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognizes the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there.
As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But when the past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake…
A young wife is forced to confront a decades-old deadly secret when a medium connects her to her dead grandfather.
A vicious psychopath wants ultimate revenge against Savich, but first, she wants to destroy what he loves most—his family.
A series of three red boxes are delivered personally to Savich at the Hoover Building, each one containing puzzle pieces of a town only FBI agent Pippa Cinelli recognizes. Savich sends in Cinelli to investigate undercover but someone knows who she is.
Savich and Sherlock are up to their eyebrows in danger, but can they figure out the red box puzzle and the young wife’s secret before it’s too late?
Which thriller is your favorite from the list above? Or, is there another book you've read this year that thinks warrants being in the running for "Best of 2020?" Be sure to submit it as a nomination in the 2020 Thrillerfix Book Awards right here!