As summer temperatures heat up, it’s the perfect time to kick back with chilling mysteries from some of crime fiction’s best: Julia Spencer-Fleming, Peter Robinson, Karin Slaughter and Tana French.
Hid From Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming
A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Novel
Russ Van Alstyne was a young veteran home from the war front, angry and disillusioned, when he found himself suspected of murder. Now decades later, as police chief of Millers Kill, the crime for which he was never convicted–nor completely cleared–again threatens his future.
The body of a third young woman, baring all the eerie hallmarks of the first two, has been discovered in the same area. While an upcoming town vote to dissolve the police department–and his job–and turn public safety over to the state police has everyone’s attention, old rumors about his questioned innocence resurface.
He and his wife, Clare, are also new parents, juggling the demands of career and family. Clare, an Episcopalian priest, already has her hands full running St. Alban’s Church. It’s a responsibility made all the more taxing when she must make a decision that could challenge church doctrine and put her career at risk.
As accusing faces from the past resurface, community development sought by both new money and old families adds to the challenges the small-town police chief must defeat. To help her husband, it’s essential Clare, struggling with her own private demons, maintain a perilous balance between priestly duties and her desire to uncover critical information.
Russ must solve the case before his removal as chief or risk losing everything he loves and have the stench of suspicion follow him forever.
Hid From Our Eyes is the nineth book in the Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne series, and with its flawed, relatable characters, it’s well worth the wait. Set amid the beautiful Adirondacks, we’re reminded that nature’s beauty can conceal man’s evil.
Julia Spencer-Fleming is the New York Times Bestselling author and an Agatha, Anthony, Dilys, Barry, Macavity and Gumshoe Award winner. Her books have also been nominated for Edgar, Nero Wolfe, and Romantic Times RC awards. Follow her at Facebook.com/juliaspencerfleming
Not Dark Yet by Peter Robinson
A DCI Banks Novel
Eastvale property developer Connor Clive Blaydon hasn’t had qualms about breaking the law. Now, someone’s been equally cavalier–and murdered him.
Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his Yorkshire team, well-acquainted with Blaydon and his criminal activity, quickly discover a clear link to a vicious Albanian crime syndicate. Hoping the cache of spy-cameras discovered in his lavish home will yield answers to the killing, the team is disturbed to discover a blurry video exposing a different crime–a brutal rape of a young woman.
As Detective Inspector Annie Cabbot and Detective Constable Gerry Masterson work to identify the victim and her attacker, misdirection and deceit stymie their investigation. Nothing’s adding up for the detectives and Annie, a sexual assault survivor herself, feels an urgent need to find the woman.
Meanwhile, Banks friend Zelda, a facial recognition ace, disappears. He fears that she, determined to bring the men who kidnapped her as a teen from a Moldova orphanage to justice, is putting herself in grave danger. The DCI knows that the seedy, violent world she’d escaped–particularly the vicious Tadic family–awaits to dispatch unyielding revenge.
Not Dark Yet is the 27th novel in the bestselling, award-winning DCI Banks series. Robinson reminds readers why he’s widely acknowledged as one of the best writers of crime fiction. It’s a well-crafted mystery with complex, emotionally-charged, parallel stories–all which we’ve come to expect. As DCI Banks grows increasingly disillusioned with his job and the personal toll it has extracted, fans are left with gnawing concern about what comes next for their music-loving detective.
Robinson has also written two short-story collections and three stand-alone novels, which have collectively sold more than 10 million copies. In 2020, he was presented the Grand Master Award by the Crime Writers of Canada. He’s won Edgar, Macavity and Barry awards, the CWA (UK) Dagger in the Library Award, and the Swedish Crime Writer’s Academy Martin Beck Award.
To learn more about Peter Robinson, the DCI Banks series, and his other works, check out his website www.inspectorbanks.com
The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter
A Will Trent Novel
During the investigation of a prison riot murder, an inmate wants to play let’s-make-a-deal. Hardly a common occurrence. However, for Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Will Trent, the inmate’s claims are disturbing: He was set up by corrupt officers led by Chief Jeffrey Tolliver–and the real killer is still hunting young women across the state.
In exchange for information about the riot murder, the con wants Will to reopen the case and implicate Tolliver, a dead cop with a hero’s reputation. Adding to Will’s growing list of uneasy questions is the murder of a young woman days before the prison riot.
As Will examines both crimes, he realizes he must disprove–or prove–the inmate’s claims to discover who killed the latest victim. But Will can’t unravel either mystery without the help of his girlfriend, medical examiner Sara Linton–Tolliver’s widow. However, after almost 10 years, memories are fuzzy, and witnesses and evidence have disappeared. It’s enough time for lies and assumptions to have become truth.
In a state where an elected county coroner isn’t required to be a medical examiner, Sara begins to suspect critical clues may have been missed–and the body count is higher. When the past investigations and present crimes collide, Will and Sara realize they could lose everything–including each other.
The Silent Wife is the 10th Grant County/Will Trent novel. The story takes on the subject of violence against women, and author Karin Slaughter doesn’t sugarcoat. She’s the New York Times bestselling author of 21 novels, published in 120 countries, having sold more than 35 million copies. In addition to her series, she’s published five standalones, including her newest, False Witness. Her standalone novel Pieces of Her is in development for Netflix, and her series is in development for television.
The Searcher by Tana French
An Irish Thriller
Retired Chicago police detective Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote, bucolic Irish village would be the ideal cornerstone for the next chapter of his life. Ready to leave the daily ugliness of big city law enforcement and a painful divorce behind him, he wants to build a new life somewhere nice, where nothing can kill you–no guns, poisonous snakes, nothing.
Oh, and he’d like a good local pub.
Cal’s respite from other people’s problems ends when a troubled local kid shows up at his cottage. Trey Reddy’s older brother is missing and no one, including the police, will help or seems to care. The villagers, along with the boy’s mother, have dismissed the teen as a runaway. But Trey is adamant that the boy wouldn’t just leave. It’s not Cal’s business or concern; he’s got a ramshackle cottage to remodel and a life to reboot. But his cop senses won’t let him turn away from the intriguing youth.
As he probes the teen’s disappearance, Cal is met with indifference, then hostility, and ultimately violence. When Trey is badly beaten, and then Cal is attacked, he begins to believe the answers may lie in the treacherous mountain bogs.
The Searcher is one of the best–and most atmospheric–novels I read all year. Tana French captures and lays before readers an incredible landscape, its sites, scents and wildlife. She brings to life the very essence of village life with its collage of complex characters. And like the big city Cal Hooper left behind, he discovers that small towns have dark, dangerous secrets–they’re just better at concealing them.
This is the seventh novel by Tana French. Her books, including In the Woods, The Likeness and The Witch Elm, have sold more than 3 million copies. She’s won numerous awards including the Edgar, Macavity, and Barry, the Los Angeles Time Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller, and the Irish Book Award for Crime Fiction. To learn more about the author, go to her website at www.tanafrench.com