Brown, Jewell, Patterson, Pekkanen & More: Thriller Stand-Alones, Aug. 2023, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Fresh thrills for August. 

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Beukes, Lauren. Bridge: A Novel of Suspense. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Aug. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9780316267885. $29. Downloadable. THRILLER

Estranged from neuroscientist mother Jo owing to Jo’s obsessive belief in the dreamworm, said to facilitate travel to alternate worlds, Bridget Kittinger is shocked to discover the dreamworm in the depths of the freezer after her mother’s death. Visiting other worlds might help Bridget understand this one, but, alas, others would kill to get the dreamworm for themselves. A speculative thriller from the author of The Shining Girls.

Brennan, Allison. North of Nowhere. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781250164421. $28. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

For five years, teenagers Kristen and Ryan McIntyre have been running from their father, who’s head of a crime family. Now he’s close at hand, and the man who’s been their protector is desperately piloting them high above the Montana wilderness. When the plane crashes, their army veteran aunt (also a protector) rushes to discover what’s happened. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Brown, Sandra. Untitled. Grand Central. Aug. 2023. 448p. ISBN 9781538742945. $30. CD. THRILLER

Gunshots suddenly splatter a Texas county fair, and corporate consultant Calder Hudson awakens in a hospital after surgery, lucky to have survived but still infuriated. Then he meets children’s book author Elle Portman, who was also at the fair, but can they sustain their growing attraction given the violence surrounding their meeting? From Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner Brown; with a 500,000-copy first printing.

Garza, Amber. In a Quiet Town. Mira: Harlequin. Aug. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780778334255. pap. $18.99. THRILLER

Wife of a rigid pastor, Tatum has stayed secretly in touch with their estranged daughter, Adrienne, and is alarmed to learn that she hasn’t shown up for her shift at the bar. Though Adrienne has always been a sterling employee, no one thinks there’s a problem until a man appears who claims to be Adrienne’s fiancé. With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Goldin, Megan. Dark Corners. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250280688. $29. Downloadable. THRILLER

Though not billed as a series title, this work marks the return of Rachel Krall, the true-crime podcaster featured in Night Swim. Popular influencer Maddison Logan has gone missing after visiting a man jailed for breaking and entering but suspected of multiple murders, and Rachel goes undercover at a busy influencer conference to figure out where she is. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Heller, Peter. The Last Ranger. Knopf. Aug. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780593535110. $27. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

This latest from the nationally best-selling Heller (The River) is set in Yellowstone National Park, where enforcement ranger Ren Hopper encounters a local poacher chasing a small black bear. The situation escalates to shattered windshields, red-ribboned animal traps, and finally conspiracy, highlighting tensions between rich tourists and the local town’s struggling residents.

Hightower, Lynn. The Beautiful Risk. Severn House. Aug. 2023. 256p. ISBN 9781448309931. $24.99. THRILLER

In this latest from the internationally best-selling, Shamus Award–winning Hightower, hearing-impaired forensic accountant Junie Lagarde is adjusting to life without husband Olivier, a French safety consultant who died in a plane crash atop Mount Blanc. Then she’s sent a picture of a man who certainly looks like Olivier, with what appears to be the couple’s vanished German Shepherd.

Jaworowski, Ken. Small Town Sins. Holt. Aug. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781250881670. $27.99. Downloadable. THRILLER

In a declining Pennsylvania coal and steel town, the actions of three people reveal their broken pasts and possibly threaten their lives. Volunteer fireman Nathan steals money he’s found in a burning building, nurse Callie risks illegality when she grants a dying young patient her final wish, and Andy, who’s recovering from heroin addiction, sets out to challenge a serial predator. From playwright Jaworowski, a staff editor at the New York Times; a debut novel with a 125,000-copy first printing.

Jewell, Lisa. None of This Is True. Atria. Aug. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781982179007. $28. CD. THRILLER

Podcaster Alix Summers encounters reticent Josie Fair at a local pub, then outside her children’s school, where Josie confides that her life is in upheaval and might make for an interesting podcast. She insinuates herself into Alix’s life but vanishes as the podcast is being made, and Alix becomes the subject of her own true-crime podcast. From the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Jewell.

Jones, Sandie. The Trade Off. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781250836939. $29. Downloadable. CD. THRILLER

Deputy editor for the Daily Voice, Alex would do anything for a good story, but when she gleefully publishes scandalous information she’s given about a popular television personality, the woman commits suicide. Newbie reporter Jess is now working on the story and discovers that there’s a lot more to it than originally imagined. From the Reese’s Book Club honoree and New York Times best-selling Jones; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Joy, David. Those We Thought We Knew. Putnam. Aug. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780525536918. $28. THRILLER

A young Black artist returns to her North Carolina mountain home to trace her family history but instead turns her attention to the Confederate statue still standing in town. Meanwhile, the local deputies discover a drifter who turns out to be a high-up Klan member, and two violent crimes follow. From Dashiell Hammett Award winner Joy, though note that this is also BISACed as literary fiction.

McAllister, Gillian. Just Another Missing Person. Morrow. Aug. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9780063252394. $30. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

For Julia, her latest case is particularly fraught: not only is 22-year-old Olivia missing after having been seen entering a dead-end alley, but the safety of Julia's own family depends on her not discovering what happened. From the Reese’s Book Club honoree and New York Times best-selling McAllister.

Patterson, James & Duane Swierczynski. Lion & Lamb. Little, Brown. Aug. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780316404891. $30. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Veena Lion, as smart as they come, and Cooper Lamb, investigator to the stars, are rival PIs working different sides of a high-profile case involving Grammy-winning singer Francine Hughes and her star quarterback husband, Archie Hughes. Patterson’s first novel set in Philadelphia; with a 400,000-copy first printing.

Pekkanen, Sarah. Gone Tonight. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9781250283979. $29. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Quiet, nose-to-the-grindstone Ruth Sterling lives for daughter Catherine, but that’s about to change; Catherine is aching to leave home. But Ruth is resistant; there's a reason the two have moved every few years and that Catherine knows nothing about Ruth’s past. With a 250,000-copy firsts printing.

White, Kiersten. Mister Magic. Del Rey: Ballantine. Aug. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780593359266. $28. THRILLER

The classic children’s program Mister Magic was shut down 30 years ago owing to a fatal accident, and after Val unexpectedly encounters her remaining castmates, they hold a reunion at the remote desert compound where the show was filmed. They never knew the identity of the show’s mysterious host, and Val is beginning to fear that they’ve been lured into a trap. From the No. 1 New York Times best-selling, Bram Stoker–honored White.

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Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; winner of ALA's Louis Shores Award for reviewing; and past president, awards chair, and treasurer of the National Book Critics Circle, which awarded her its inaugural Service Award in 2023.

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