The Big October Chill, Thriller Previews, Oct. 2020, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

Big-print-run authors, astonishing short fiction, names new to us, and historical thrillers—all will keep readers glued to their seats. 

Big Authors, Big Print Runs

French, Nicci. House of Correction. Morrow. Oct. 2020. 432p. ISBN 9780063021341. $27.99; pap. ISBN 9780063021358. $16.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

Jewell, Lisa. Invisible Girl. Atria. Oct. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9781982137335. $28. cover of Molloy's Goodnight BeautifulTHRILLER

Molloy, Aimee. Goodnight Beautiful. Harper. Oct. 2020. 320p. ISBN $27.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

Patterson, James & Shan Serafin. Three Women Disappear. Little, Brown. Oct. 2020. 368p. ISBN 9780316541619. $28. CD/downloadable.

In House of Correction, French’s new stand-alone, back-in-town Tabitha is arrested for murder when a dead body is found in her shed, and given her pill-popping history of depression and faded recollections of the day, she starts wondering if she really is guilty (50,000-copy paperback and 30,000-copy hardcover first printing). In Jewell’s Invisible Girl, virginal 30-year-old geography teacher Owen Pick is suspended from his job for sexual misconduct he denies, ends up on a shady online involuntary celibate forum, and eventually is a suspect in a teenager’s disappearance (250,000-copy first printing). Molloy follows up her New York Times best-selling The Perfect Mother with Goodnight Beautiful, about newlyweds Sam Statler and Annie Potter, who have moved to his quiet upstate New York town as he pursues his career as a therapist, though, dangerously, his sessions are heard by neighbors through a ceiling vent (100,000-copy first printing). Finally, in Patterson/Serafin’s Three Women Disappear, a mob accountant who’s nephew of the don of central Florida is fatally stabbed in his own kitchen, and which of three women—his wife, his maid, or his personal chef—might be responsible? (500,000-copy first printing).

Big Authors, Short Fiction

Neville, Stuart. The Traveller and Other Stories. Soho Crime. Oct. 2020. NAp. ISBN 9781641292030. $27.95. THRILLER/SHORT STORY

Oates, Joyce Carol. Cardiff by the Sea. Mysterious: Grove Atlantic. Oct. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9780802157997. $26. THRILLER/SHORT STORY

A Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner and finalist for multitudinous awards, Neville collects short crime, horror, and speculative fiction (some new to print) in The Traveller and Other Stories, a cogent example of Northern Irish noir. The protean Oates offers four masterly, never-before-published novellas, exemplified by the titular story in Cardiff by the Sea, whose protagonist rediscovers past tragedy when she inherits a house in Maine from someone she doesn’t know.

New Names

Carlyle, Rose. The Girl in the Mirror. Morrow. Oct. 2020. 304p. ISBN cover of Carlyle's The Girl in the Window9780063030145. $27.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

Green, Evie. We Hear Voices. Berkley. Oct. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9780593098301. $26. Downloadable. THRILLER

Hausmann, Romy. Dear Child. Flatiron: Macmillan. Oct. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781250768537. $26.99. THRILLER

Henderson, Alice. A Solitude of Wolverines: A Novel of Suspense. HarperCollins. Oct. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9780062982063. $27.99. THRILLER

Selfon, Brian. The Nightworkers. MCD: Farrar. Oct. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9780374222017. $27. THRILLER

In Carlyle’s The Girl in the Mirror, jealous Iris takes over the identity—and the handsome husband—of golden-girl twin sister Summer, who mysteriously disappears from a yacht in the middle of the Indian Ocean (100,000-copy first printing). Green, the pseudonym for a longtime writer, aims for gothic suspense in We Hear Voices, featuring a little boy who emerges from a terrible flu claiming to have an imaginary friend who turns out to be dangerously controlling. Dear Child, an international best seller and Hausmann’s English-language debut, features a woman who escapes from the windowless shed where she has long been held to confront real doubts that she is, as she claims, a woman named Lena who disappeared 14 years ago (75,000-copy first printing). A sanctuary monitor for the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust (bravo!), Henderson launches her writing career with A Solitude of Wolverines , featuring new-to-Montana biologist Alex Carter, who is threatened by locals but in even bigger trouble when the cameras she has placed in the forest reveal images of a badly injured man wandering about (40,000-copy first printing). Finally, in Selfon’s The Nightworkers, by a former chief investigative analyst for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, shady Shecky Keenan is panicked because his crime family’s new runner, mysterious artist Emil Scott, has vanished with a huge bagful of dirty money.

Historical Thrillers

Clements, Oliver. The Eyes of the Queen. Leopoldo: Atria. Oct. 2020. 304p. ISBN cover of Turton's Devil and the Dark Water9781501154690. $27. CD. THRILLER

Norman, Samantha. Death and the Maiden. Morrow. Oct. 2020. 416p. ISBN 9780062562388. $27.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

Turton, Stuart. The Devil and the Dark Water. Sourcebooks Landmark. Oct. 2020. 448p. ISBN 9781728206028. $26.99. THRILLER

In The Eyes of the Queen, first in the new “Agents of the Crown” series, Clements assays the origins of the secret service that protected Queen Elizabeth I, focusing on John Dee, the scholar/soldier who ran it (40,000-copy first printing). With Death and the Maiden, Norman wraps up mother Ariana Franklin’s 1100s England–set series about Adelia Aguilar, Mistress of the Art of Death, with an original story about Adelia’s daughter, Allie, investigating when several girls go missing from a village she is visiting (40,000-copy first printing). In The Devil and the Dark Water, Turton’s follow-up to the top LibraryReads pick, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, famed detective Samuel Pipps is sailing back to Amsterdam in chains when terrifying events assault the crew, Pipps’s sidekick vanishes, and Pipps himself is asked to puzzle out what’s happening.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @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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