Thriller Debuts: Jun. 2023, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

First-timers find chills close at hand. 

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Adelman, Melissa. What the Neighbors Saw. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250876560. $28. CD/downloadable. SUSPENSE

Pregnant Alexis and lawyer husband Sam, who’s on the cusp of making partner, are thrilled with the Cape Cod fixer-upper they’ve just bought in a fancy Washington, DC, suburb. Their joy is short-lived, however, as neighbor Teddy is found murdered on the banks of the Potomac and secrets start crawling up through the cracks of a now-divided neighborhood. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

Cochran, Rachel. The Gulf. Harper. Jun. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780063284128. $30. CD. THRILLER

In 1970s Gulf-coast Texas, 29-year-old Lou is mourning her brother’s death in Vietnam while helping to renovate the crumbling mansion of her older neighbor, Miss Kate. Then Miss Kate is murdered, and no one—including Miss Kate’s grasping daughter, who’s arrived in town to reclaim the house—seems to care about finding the killer. From Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner fiction award winner Cochran; with a 35,000-copy first printing.

Gilbert, Sian. She Started It. Morrow. Jun. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780063286290. $30. CD. SUSPENSE

Once close friends who have drifted apart, Annabel, Esther, Tanya, and Chloe decide to accept an invitation for an all-expenses-paid meetup in the Bahamas from Poppy Greer, who always hopefully skirted their group. Poppy is clearly prospering, and the island is gorgeous—but it’s also remote and precisely the sort of place where ugly secrets can come out in the open and wreak havoc. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Kvensler, Ulf. The Couples Trip. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Jun. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781335455000. $27.99. CD. SUSPENSE

Each year, Anna, Henrik, and Milena take a big hike together in the rugged mountains of northern Sweden. This year, however, Anna and Henrik agree to let Milena’s boyfriend, Jacob, come along. Big mistake. Screenwriter/showrunner Kvensler’s first effort won the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers' Best Debut of the Year and was short-listed for the Crimetime Award; with a 50,000-copy first printing.

Michallon, Clémence. The Quiet Tenant. Knopf. Jun. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593534649. $28. lrg. prnt. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

Good neighbor Aidan has a secret: he’s a serial killer who has already dispatched eight women and has a ninth, Rebecca, imprisoned in a backyard shed awaiting the knife. Compelled to move with his daughter, Aidan must bring Rebecca along but wagers that she is too cowed after five years of captivity to attempt escape. But Rebecca is tougher than he thinks. A big-news debut that inspired 30 international auctions.

Stewart, Polly. The Good Ones. Harper. Jun. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780063234154. $30. THRILLER

There were signs of struggle when Lauren Ballard disappeared 20 years ago, leaving her husband and young daughter bereft. Now her friend Nicola Bennett has returned to their Appalachian hometown, newly unemployed and still trying to figure out what happened to Lauren. No one else seems to care anymore, but Nicola soon uncovers some shocking secrets. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Wilding, Rose. Speak of the Devil. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9781250886934. $28. CD. SUSPENSE

An ex, a wife, a widow, a teenager with a crush, a mother figure, a friend, and a journalist—seven women, all linked to a man who has been murdered, and all with a reason to kill him. They swear that they didn’t do it, and to protect themselves, they’re joining forces to figure out who did. With a 100,000-copy first printing.

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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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