Rising Star Thriller Writers: Fiction Previews, Jun. 2021, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Ranging from debut authors to authors who have claimed big sales or awards with their first few books, here are rising stars in the thrillersphere. 

Adams, Taylor. Hairpin Bridge . Morrow. Jun. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780063065444. $27.99. lrg. prnt. SUSPENSE

Imamura , Natsuko. The Woman in the Purple Skirt. Penguin. 224p. tr. from Japanese by Lucy North. ISBN 9780143136026. $23. Downloadable. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

McCreight, Kimberly. Friends Like These. Harper. Jun. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9780063061569.  $27.99. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

McHugh, Laura. What’s Done in Darkness. Random. Jun. 2021. 256p. ISBN 9780399590313. $27. Downloadable. SUSPENSE

Mangan, Christine. Palace of the Drowned. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jun. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781250788429. $27.99. CD. SUSPENSE

Michaelides, Alex. Untitled. Celadon: Macmillan. Jun. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781250304452. $27.99. CD. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

Murray, James & Darren Wearmouth. The Stowaway. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781250263650. $27.99. SUSPENSE

Offutt, Chris. The Killing Hills. Grove. Jun. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9780802158413. $26. THRILLER/LITERARY

Porter, Henry. The Old Enemy. Atlantic Monthly. Jun. 2021. 368p. ISBN 9780802158659. $26. THRILLER/ESPIONAGE

Steadman, Catherine. The Disappearing Act. Ballantine. Jun. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780593158036. $28. Downloadable. SUSPENSE

Vernon, P. J. Bath Haus: A Thriller. Doubleday. Jun. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780385546737. $26.95. Downloadable. THRILLER/GAY

Wahrer, Caitlin. The Damage. Pamela Dorman: Viking. Jun. 2021. 384p. ISBN 9780593296134. $27. Downloadable. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

In Hairpin Bridge, Adams’s No Exit follow-up, Lena Nguyen doesn’t believe that estranged twin sister Cambry committed suicide by leaping off a deep-in-the-country Montana bridge; otherwise, she likely wouldn’t have called 911 16 times before her death (100,000-copy first printing). Three-time Akutagawa Prize nominee Imamura introduces us to The Woman in the Purple Skirt, who always sits alone on a park bench and is eventually helped by The Woman in the Yellow Cardigan—but which character is really in control? In Edgar-nominated, New York Times best-selling author McCreight’s Friends Like These, a bachelor party in the Catskills is a cover for a staged intervention to help one of the guests, a drug-addicted art dealer, but someone ends up dead (75,000-copy first printing). Abducted from her found-religion parents’ isolated Arkansas homestead and returned unharmed yet still treated as damaged, teenage Sarabeth gladly makes her exit, but in International Thriller Writer Award winner McHugh’s What’s Done in Darkness, she gets called back five years later to help with a copycat crime. Following Mangan’s nationally best-selling Tangerine, Palace of the Drowned stars flailing British novelist Frankie Croy, staying in a friend’s vacant Venice palazzo in 1966 as she struggles to regain her early writing promise and not quite trustful of a fan who comes her way (200,000-copy first printing). Having had a huge international best seller with The Silent Patient, Michaelides aim for another winner in his as yet Untitled new work (one-million-copy first printing). In Murray/Wearmouth’s The Stowaway, the murder aboard Maria Fontana’s cruise ship looks suspiciously like the work of a serial killer she might have helped set free while serving on a jury (75,000-copy first printing). On leave with his family in The Killing Hills of Kentucky in Offutt’s latest, U.S. Army CID agent Mick Hardin starts investigating when he learns that local politicians want the newly minted sheriff—his sister—pulled from a murder case. In CWA Steel Dagger Award–winning Porter’s The Old Enemy, nearly getting killed twice sends former MI6 agent Paul Samson on a hunt for a one-time Stasi agent. Following the New York Times best-selling, Reese Witherspoonoptioned Something in the Water, Steadman returns with The Disappearing Act, about a British actress who realizes that she’s the only witness to the disappearance of an actress she met while auditioning during Hollywood’s harried pilot season. Recovering addict Oliver, who is happily married to prominent DC trauma surgeon Nathan, barely manages to escape with his life when he risks wrecking his marriage by visiting a gay Bath Haus—and that’s just the beginning of his troubles in the latest from Vernon (When You Find Me). Debut novelist Wahrer’s The Damage centers on a lawyer determined to help her young brother-in-law when he’s violently assaulted while partying with college friends at a bar and cannot remember what happened.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (bhoffert@mediasourceinc.com, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Book Review; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president of the National Book Critics Circle, to which she has just been reelected.

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