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Read-Alikes for ‘Ocean Prey’ by John Sandford | LibraryReads

What the Devil Knows

The St. Cyr series, and this entry in particular (following Who Speaks for the Damned), is highly recommended for readers who want their history appropriately dark and gritty, their politics dirty and corrupt, and their mystery fascinating, convoluted, and just as relevant now as it was then. Sebastian St. Cyr, with his foot in the aristocracy and his eye on justice, is a hero to be followed into whatever dark corner he investigates.
PREMIUM

The Company

Spencer, author of various series featuring police officers (“Jennie Redhead”; “Monika Paniatowski”) offers an intense, convoluted stand-alone. It’s not always easy to piece together Rob’s twisted thoughts and the police investigation, but readers who enjoy Spencer’s works might want to try.
PREMIUM

A Fatal First Night

Readers who enjoy historical mysteries with a touch of romance will enjoy the period details and strong female characters, as well as Ella’s colorful parrot, Montezuma.

You Love Me

Fans of the series will want to read this book in one sitting. It’s wickedly full of twists, turns, and a dizzying array of pop culture references and witticisms.
PREMIUM

Five Ways To Disappear

This mystery has dark elements that contrast with the beautiful locale; it will please fans of the series, as well as those who appreciate noir novels in general. The characters are well developed, with their faults laid out for readers. The several strands of the plot are all brought together quite acceptably in the denouement, except for Cal’s earlier crime, which is left to readers’ imagination; the author intends this to be the last book in the series.
PREMIUM

The Kindred Spirits Supper Club

A delightful read for fans of light paranormal romances or cozy romances in general.
PREMIUM

Open Your Heart

Readers who prioritize hot sex scenes and character-driven plots, as well as fans of Hodges’s previous novels, will enjoy this installment.

The Intimacy Experiment

Recommended for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne, as well as fans of the author’s debut.

The Venice Sketchbook

This novel’s engaging entertainment is enhanced by its dual time line that uncovers Juliet’s secrets, and a plot enlivened by coincidences and romance. A must-read for Bowen fans and historical fiction enthusiasts.

Q & A with Nasim Marashi

Read-Alikes for ‘Life’s Too Short’ by Abby Jimenez | LibraryReads

PREMIUM

David and Ameena

Rao (coauthor, Centaur) makes her solo debut with a novel rich in imagery and emotions. It challenges the reader to look deep into the characters through their actions, as an almost omniscient narrative voice hints at their future. Love or hate them, they are memorable. Recommended.
PREMIUM

Song of the Forever Rains

Mellow’s (The Animal Under the Fur) exciting premise is rather slow to start, and the romantic heat between Larkyra and Darius is tepid until the very end. Although the teenage heroine gives the book young adult crossover potential, readers will be left uncertain why Larkyra was in the dark as to Darius’s motives.
PREMIUM

I Thought You Said This Would Work

Over the course of the book, readers will discover what caused the rift between Holly and Samantha. However, the most engaging part of the story is how the characters dig themselves out of their ruts in order to give themselves a chance to look toward the future.

Lost in Paris

This debut novel will appeal to historical fiction readers, Francophiles, those who enjoy stories about mother-daughter relationships, and fans of Woody Allen’s 2011 movie, Midnight in Paris. The historical mystery, beautiful setting, and vivid characters make this a must-read.
PREMIUM

Death with a Double Edge

This atmospheric and fast-paced novel is a welcome addition to the series. Those who enjoy the interaction between Daniel and Miriam fford Croft may be disappointed since she only makes a brief appearance in this novel. Recommended to fans of historical British mysteries, such as those by Charles Finch and Charles Todd, as well as fans of Perry’s other series.
PREMIUM

Hour of the Witch

Bohjalian’s (Midwives) historical novel is full of twists and turns. Though not a typical suspense novel, the story has many of the page-turning plot lines of a thriller, and is sure to keep readers enthralled. Though it’s set in the 1600s, Mary’s story resonates today, as it addresses the role religious and societal expectations can play in the lives of individuals. A must-read and highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Transient Desires

Brunetti continues to delight, and this will do well in libraries where the series has proved popular.
PREMIUM

Local Woman Missing

The latest from Kubica (The Good Girl; The Other Mrs.) will appeal to fans of Lisa Jackson and Gregg Olsen and readers who enjoy missing-persons novels. The twists, turns, and an unpredictable ending make it irresistible.

The Anatomy of Desire

For fans of true crime and podcasts such as Serial, this riveting mock podcast docudrama ratchets up the suspense as readers glimpse every angle of the story from a 360–degree view.
PREMIUM

The Watcher Girl

Kent’s (When I Was You) psychological suspense thriller delivers with an interesting premise, captivating characters, and unexpected twists.
PREMIUM

Something Unbelievable

A moving intergenerational story with an unforgettable wartime narrative steeped in literature.
PREMIUM

The Bohemians

Historical fiction readers will treasure this engaging story peppered with notable figures from Lange’s circle of friends, including D. H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Maynard Dixon, and Frida Kahlo. Darznik (Song of a Captive Bird) deftly depicts Lange’s transformation into a renowned photographer, as well as the blatant prejudice that Caroline encounters because of her Chinese lineage.

Popisho

Xavier might be the main course of this tale, but there are many components here, including the role and power of women, broken government, poverty, prejudice, and judgment, all richly blended in an unforgettable work of magical realism by Ross (Come Let Us Sing Anyway).
PREMIUM

American Orphan

Framed as the story of a successful writer looking back on his youth, the novel treads ground similar to Santiago Baca’s memoir A Place To Stand. Despite the familiarity of the material, this is a powerful story of triumph, a tale that juxtaposes hard-edged depictions of youthful brutality with luminous descriptions of the natural world that sustained him through his troubles.
PREMIUM

The Mysteries

Silver (Mary Coin; Little Nothing) paints an evocative picture of the early ’70s. This compelling domestic drama, with heartbreak at its center, depicts the everyday mysteries that lead up to the big one

Hot Stew

With tinges of Tom Jones, this is a seriously entertaining romp through one of London’s most historic districts, alongside a band of resilient have-nots who are determined to win out over an entitled heiress.
PREMIUM

The Guncle

A funny, gentle tale of family and friends, and a salve for the wounds they often cause.
PREMIUM

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead

Austin uses seasons in the church calendar to identify stages in Gilda’s journey, moving from Advent to Easter as she captures the essence of Gilda’s angst and redemption. Along the way, her characters are hilarious, relatable, exasperating, and endearing. For all readers of fiction.
PREMIUM

Monkey Boy

Fans of Goldman’s bibliography will find much to delight in here.
PREMIUM

Swimming Back to Trout River

Hard to put down, this beautifully written novel is filled with optimism; its characters each seek to do their best under the circumstances and make decisions leading to a better future. Feng makes her mark in this promising debut, and she successfully weaves in several unexpected plot twists as the narrative unfolds, leaving readers to long for a sequel.

Wayward

At once a love letter to the Salt City and a smart and introspective device for illuminating the present through the very recent past, this novel flattens the American desire for self-realization in the face of catastrophe.

When Stars Rain Down

Jackson-Brown (House Repairs) paints a vivid picture of family and community persevering in the pressure cooker of the Deep South. Readers will be drawn to Opal’s intelligent and authentic voice, as the books confronts issues of racism, injustice, and white privilege head-on. This is a powerful Own Voices contribution to the historical fiction genre, joining titles such as Alka Joshi’s The Henna Artist and Kim Michele Richardson’s The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek in their unflinching look at the past.
PREMIUM

Antiquities

Ozick’s 30th published work (she is in her 90s) gently evokes the loneliness, helplessness, and regrets of old age. The novel initially seems a wisp of a story, but scattered within are clues that add layers of meaning to Petrie’s faded memories, as well as the impact of his own barely acknowledged anti-Semitism on his life’s trajectory.
PREMIUM

Double Blind

St. Aubyn’s impressive trove of knowledge of wide-ranging topics like artificial intelligence, epigenetics, climate science, and wilding takes nothing away from an entertaining story about love and friendship.
PREMIUM

Adulting

Talley’s latest (after The Wedding War) could have easily been a whimsical romance novel with some cautionary Hollywood tabloid fodder plot points, but the difficult topics (and possible triggers) of addiction, child abuse, rape, and suicide instead make it a more serious look at two women who need to heal in order to try to make peace with their pasts and move forward with their lives. For fans of women’s fiction with a little romance thrown in to break up the serious plotlines.
PREMIUM

Aviary

With so many (perhaps too many) characters and story threads, one worries whether McNamer (Red Rover) will be able to bring them together by the end, but she does. The conclusion is satisfying, but mention of a mysterious illness afflicting one resident returning from a cruise in early 2020 casts an ominous shadow. Recommended for readers eager for nonquaint novels about seniors.
PREMIUM

Love in Case of Emergency

German novelist and award-winning short story author Krien (Someday We’ll Tell Each Other Everything) has produced a sensitive, intricate study of the connected stories of her characters, who seek a shield against the deep loneliness caused by unwanted solitude or by being with the wrong person. Readers will find something relatable in one or more of the lives of these women.

Mary Jane

Blau’s intelligent, witty novel (after the critically acclaimed Drinking Closer to Home) captures the essence of the ’70s with humor and immensely appealing characters. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

Hummingbird Salamander

VanderMeer brings his trademark atmospheric and heavily lyrical writing style to the arena of species extinction and climate degradation. He shows that, in a creepily curious way, taxidermy and extinction are intertwined fates for doomed animals. There is an implied connection to the present COVID-19 pandemic, with dire consequences. Recommended for fans of the author, though mainstream readers may find the story deliberately inscrutable.
PREMIUM

When in Vanuatu

The abrupt ending, which focuses on tying up loose ends, doesn’t match the languid pacing of the rest of the novel, but it is a satisfying resolution. This intimate and deeply personal story will appeal to readers who enjoy emotionally potent, descriptive stories about women’s inner lives.
PREMIUM

When the Stars Go Dark

This melancholy but gripping tale uses backstory and flashbacks to propel the mystery forward. Part suspense, part self-discovery tale, this first attempt at crime fiction from historical fiction author McLain (The Paris Wife) is hard to resist. Fans of the author’s other works will not be disappointed.
PREMIUM

Secret Mischief

Blake’s seventh “Fidelis & Cragg” mystery (following Death and the Chevalier) is slow-paced, with a startling conclusion. Readers who enjoy historical and legal perspectives will appreciate the careful attention to detail in a story showing how the accused had to prove their innocence.
PREMIUM

Bad Moon Rising

The third “Bad Axe County” mystery, following Dead Man Dancing, is a grim, atmospheric story set in a bleak territory. Fans of Tricia Fields’s gritty Josie Gray mysteries or Chris Harding Thornton’s dark Pickard County Atlas may appreciate the bizarre cast of characters and the harsh setting of this book.
PREMIUM

Independent Bones

Haines follows A Garland of Bones with an issue-oriented mystery that delves into the stories of women who fought for their independence, alongside accounts of domestic abuse. Despite the heavy overtones, there’s room for humor as dogs and cats assist with the investigation. Fans of the series will enjoy the depth of the story, along with the characters’ personal development.
PREMIUM

While Justice Sleeps

Although it’s not successful as a thriller, the book’s plethora of women role models, including a chief justice, and its “inside DC” look at political skullduggery make Abrams’s novel a well-informed political and legal narrative.

People of Abandoned Character

This debut historical mystery contains echoes of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Jack the Ripper. The unreliable narration combines with richly detailed writing in a mystery with a shocking conclusion.
PREMIUM

A Peculiar Combination

Louisiana librarian Weaver (Murder at Brightwell) launches an engaging new series that sparkles. Infused with witty romantic conflict, this historical mystery with convincing period details concludes with enticing story threads for future entries. For fans of Susan Elia MacNeal and Allison Montclair.
PREMIUM

Last Seen

The book’s gritty and violent realism reads like the San Francisco cousin to James Lee Burke’s “Dave Robicheaux” series, but with plot convolutions that feel like melodrama. (Cassie’s story line moves quickly from unlikely into the realm of unbelievable.) The lead character, O’Higgins, never develops beyond his collection of personal issues, leaving the book without a captivating core. While Harrington (The Good Physician) is an author to watch, this ambitious police procedural is ultimately unsuccessful.
PREMIUM

Death Washes Ashore

The sequel to Death by the Bay is a descriptive mystery with a strong sense of place. Readers who enjoy well-plotted atmospheric stories featuring small-town sheriffs, such as Victoria Houston’s “Loon Lake” mysteries, should enjoy this book.
PREMIUM

The Vanishing Museum on the Rue Mistral

The ninth in the series (after A Noël Killing) continues the author’s focus on ambiance and the good life in Provence: the food, the wine, the art. Foodies who enjoy mysteries like David P. Wagner’s Italy-set “Rick Montoya” titles will appreciate the emphasis on gourmet meals in this police procedural.
PREMIUM

Black Water Sister

An immersive tale of family secrets, deities, spirits, and religious belief. Cho offers a complex emotional roller-coaster of a read.
PREMIUM

Million Dollar Demon

Rachel Morgan comes back strong in her 15th outing (after American Demon), as she takes on a new master vampire and finds herself dealing with emotional turmoil and high-stakes action in equal measures.
PREMIUM

I’m Waiting for You: And Other Stories

This is thought-provoking science fiction that will leave readers musing long after the book is finished.
PREMIUM

Peaces

Fans of Oyeyemi will enjoy another romp, though her work’s not for everyone—her quirky takes on existential questions and the world of perception are suited to particular tastes.
PREMIUM

The Sanatorium

A Reese Witherspoon book club pick, this title will be in demand in libraries, but listeners will likely be happier with recent titles by Ruth Ware or Lucy Foley.
PREMIUM

The Mask of Mirrors

Recommended for those who enjoy dark fantasy with elaborate worldbuilding.
PREMIUM

Send for Me

Fans of historical fiction will appreciate this well-written, character-driven tale.
PREMIUM

When a Rogue Meets His Match

Gideon is a highly competent hero who more than meets his match in heroine Messalina, and McNab brings their verbal sparring and chemistry to life.
PREMIUM

Shiver

The denouement of the locked-room mystery, which is a little disappointing, comes out of left field. Libraries may want to order on request, but it isn’t a crucial purchase.

The Duke Undone

Impeccably researched, Lowell’s latest emphasizes justice. This love story tackles weighty issues but remains suspenseful and spellbinding.

People We Meet on Vacation

Henry’s latest will appeal to readers who are drawn to stories with emotion, poetic language, and a strong sense of place, like Kate Clayborn’s Love Lettering.

Hana Khan Carries On

Readers won’t be able to put this Own Voices Muslim romance down. Highly recommended for most public library collections.
PREMIUM

Talk Bookish to Me

The inclusion of the “book within a book” plot device, where the historical romance that Kara is writing mirrors her own relationship, took time away from the central romance. Meanwhile, a sudden third-act surprise reveal and a location change, from New York City to Italy, may leave some readers struggling to believe in Ryan and Kara’s happily-ever-after. This novel will suit readers who enjoy romances like Emily Henry’s Beach Read that focus on personal growth and change.
PREMIUM

A Wicked Bargain for the Duke

The protagonists can be annoyingly stubborn (an honest conversation would easily clear up the central conflict), but fans of Frampton and her detail-rich historicals will find themselves pleasantly transported.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

The characters seem so real that readers will find themselves searching the internet, hoping to find that Opal and Nev are actual people. Walton has penned a true wonder of a debut novel, bringing real events into her story. Walton has a true storytelling voice, and her writing is impeccable.

Thirst

In this Prix Goncourt–winning novel, internationally acclaimed Belgian author Nothomb (Fear and Trembling) creates a masterpiece. While deceptively short, the book combines empathy and longing to create a fully realized characterization, wise beyond words. Highly recommended.
PREMIUM

In the Company of Killers

Christy’s credentials are excellent—National Geographic’s former head of special investigations; his earlier nonfiction title The Lizard King—but Company doesn’t quite make it, with a cookie-cutter plot and weak characterization.

The North Face of the Heart

The mysteries are dark and twisty, and the moments of danger are plentiful. Amaia’s experience with trauma gives her insight into people’s thinking; she uses this knowledge to hunt down new demons. Fans of noir fiction will devour this book.

The Keepers

The follow-up to The Finders sets a relentless pace. Corrupt politicians, the mob, a brutal killer, and a shocking death combine in a fast-paced story of an ordinary man and his extraordinary dogs. For fans of Paula Munier’s or Susan Furlong’s books featuring dogs.

When a Stranger Comes to Town

These stories by well-known authors span a wide range under the umbrella of “mystery.” Mystery enthusiasts will be hard-pressed to find a story they don’t like. Recommended for readers interested in all facets of mystery, suspense, crime, or detective fiction.
PREMIUM

Visions of the Vampire: Two Centuries of Blood-Sucking Tales

An enlightening and broad introduction to the popular vampire menace trope, this fun read is a perfect anthology for most libraries. It presents plenty of treasures for fans new and old to discover.
PREMIUM

I Would Haunt You If I Could

Filled with thought-provoking, character-driven, psychologically horrific tales that veer slightly and satisfyingly into the weird, this collection is reminiscent of the deeply unsettling and disorienting worlds of Samanta Schweblin and Dan Chaon or the backlist gem Travelers Rest, by Keith Lee Morris.

Hearts Strange and Dreadful

An excellent example of historical horror, this novel holds obvious appeal to fans of Alma Katsu’s The Hunger, but it is also reminiscent of Andy Davidson’s captivatingly creepy occult fable The Boatman’s Daughter, with its rich and compelling characters and strong, ominous sense of place.
PREMIUM

There Comes a Midnight Hour

A great introduction to an overlooked master whose popularity peaked earlier this century. Much like Kathe Koja’s Bram Stoker–nominated Velocities, this collection will bring new readers to an important author who had a clear influence on some of today’s top horror story writers, such as John Langan and Nadia Bulkin.

Smithy

For fans of the space where true crime, paranormal phenomena, and horror overlap, such as in the fiction of Clay McLeod Chapman and Emily M. Danforth.

Paradise Club

The slasher trope is making a comeback, so this title will be in high demand with readers who enjoyed Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones, The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz, and Brian Keene’s backlist gem Castaways.
PREMIUM

Walk Among Us: Compiled Edition

There is no need to know anything about the RPG in order to enjoy these modern, original, women-focused novellas of vampire menace that take the old trope in exciting new directions. Just make sure you have other recent works by these authors in your collections, as readers will be clamoring for more upon completion.

PREMIUM

Near the Bone

Henry has expertly walked the line between psychological suspense and horror to crowd-pleasing results for years, and this title is no exception. Hand out freely to fans of Sarah Pinborough, Jennifer McMahon, and Zoje Stage.

The Blacktongue Thief

Readers of epic fantasy novelists, like Tolkien or Brandon Sanderson, will enjoy this journey, which is by turns fun, magical, or terrifying for the travelers. Buehlman (The Lesser Dead) offers a departure from his horror novels in this fantasy with dark undertones. With fabulous examples of invented languages and dialects, this title is transporting.

The Light of the Midnight Stars

Highly recommended for lovers of Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver and her “Scholomance” series, as well as readers who enjoy their fantasy steeped in myths from infrequently represented people and places.

For the Wolf

This hauntingly beautiful, fractured retelling of Little Red Riding Hood is dark, emotional, and filled with tense action. Whitten’s debut is epic and enthralling.

She Who Became the Sun

Parker-Chan’s debut is forceful, immersive, and unforgettable. This inspired queer retelling of Chinese history is an exciting read.
PREMIUM

The Helm of Midnight

This tale has creative worldbuilding and an intense focus on the psychology of a killer. Its unresolved ending will leave readers either frustrated or eager to tackle the next installment in the series.

The Science of Middle-earth: A New Understanding of Tolkien and His World

Any fan, casual or academic, of Tolkien’s work will find this book entertaining and informative. Highly recommended.

Correction: This review has been edited to add the translator credit.

The Jasmine Throne

Suri (Realm of Ash) has created this world with great deliberation, including details about clothing, cuisine, and architecture. Malini and Priya both have depth and nuance, and their attraction to each other is written with care and sensitivity. Changing viewpoints help move the action along, but this is the first book in a trilogy, which inevitably means that some of the plotting will set the stage for books to come. Offer this to fans of Tanaz Bhathena or S.A. Chakraborty.
PREMIUM

Wendy, Darling

Feminist twists and creeping dread abound in this intriguing retelling of Peter Pan.

The Four Winds

With poignant prose documenting historical scenarios but also invoking currently resonant issues--environmental responsibility, immigration and displacement, workers’ and women’s rights, social ills laid bare by calamity--Hannah’s (The Great Alone) absorbing tale will enthrall a wide swath of readers.

PREMIUM

Happy Endings

Lam’s debut novel is an Own Voices delight filled with love, friendships, and sex positivity. Perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory and Abby Jimenez, this sizzling tale is dynamic, funny, and relatable.
PREMIUM

Wilde Child

Longtime historical romance fans and newbies to the genre (particularly those whose interest was piqued by Bridgerton) will delight in this well-done addition to a solid series.
PREMIUM

How To Train Your Earl

The book is carefully plotted, with instant chemistry between the leads, and a heroine with some depth. Readers need not have read the other books in the “First Comes Love” series to follow the story; those who enjoy gambler rakes and angst-ridden heroines will find it enjoyable.
PREMIUM

An Earl, the Girl, and a Toddler

Move over, Bridgertons. There’s a new set of scandalous aristocrats waiting to take London society by storm.
PREMIUM

The Road Trip

This sweet second-chance romance will please fans of The Flatshare and character-driven romances.
PREMIUM

Hot Copy

An engaging debut featuring intense feelings and situations, with plenty of heat.

Garden of Reading Delights: Fiction and Gardens | The Reader’s Shelf

PREMIUM

100 Boyfriends

An almost anarchic effort ready-made for adventurous readers; a prism refracting both the brutality and beauty of living.
PREMIUM

Astrid Sees All

Standiford’s novel is worth reading for its dark and dazzling depiction of New York’s “last bohemia” and believable youthful recklessness and angst. But too many plot lines and an unconvincing, overstuffed climax result in a work that falls short.
PREMIUM

Summertime Guests

Book a room and be sure to pack this enticing summertime read by Francis (The Summer Sail). Readers who enjoy books by Mary Kay Andrews and Fannie Flagg will want to know what happens next at the Seafarer.
PREMIUM

Excuse Me While I Disappear: Stories

Of interest to readers who enjoy short stories, particularly those who are interested in the history of Europe and the history of bookmaking and literacy.
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