Thriller Previews, Jan. 2023, Pt. 2 | Prepub Alert

From The Thing in the Snow to All the Dangerous Things: thrillers. 

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Adams, Sean. The Thing in the Snow. Morrow. Jan. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780063257757. $27.99.CD. THRILLER/ABSURDIST

Following his attention-getting debut, The Heap, Adams returns with a psychological thriller cum satire set at an all-but-abandoned research institute in an unspecified chilly north. While the sole remaining researcher studies the sensation of coldness, supervisor Hart is alarmed by the appearance of something out there in the snow. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Alsterdal, Tove. You Will Never Be Found. Harper. (High Coast, Bk. 2). Jan. 2023. 448p. tr. from Swedish by Alice Menzies. ISBN 9780063115118. $28.99. CD. THRILLER/INTERNATIONAL

First seen in We Know You Remember, a Glass Key winner also voted Best Swedish Crime Novel of the Year, Det. Eira Sjödin is handling a missing-persons case when her own boss (with whom she was having an affair) vanishes. Meanwhile, workers have found a fearful, quaking man hiding in a mining town that’s being relocated—the old mine is swallowing houses and streets wholesale. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

Bennett, Michael. Better the Blood. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2022. 336p. ISBN 9780802160607. $27. THRILLER/INTERNATIONAL

From Māori screenwriter/director Bennett, this debut thriller features stubborn Māori detective Hana Westerman, constantly rejiggering her work-life balance as she hunts down New Zealand’s first serial killer. The killings soon prove to be retribution for the execution of a Māori leader during the country’s bloody colonial past, and for Hana things get personal.

Brennan, Allison. Don’t Open the Door. Mira: Harlequin. Jan. 2023. (Regan Merritt, Bk. 2). 368p. ISBN 9780778333623. $28.99;  pap. ISBN 9780778386506. $9.99. CD. THRILLER

Because Regan works as a U.S. marshal, husband Grant blames her when their 10-year-old son, Chase, is shot dead while playing a videogame. After they divorce, Grant ends up wanted for questioning in relation to several deaths, and Regan must discover whether he’s guilty—and, if so, of what. With a 400,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing.

Grippando, James. Code 6. Harper. Jan. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780063223783. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER/TECHNOLOGICAL

Playwright Kate Gamble has made an enemy of her father with a play about the shadier side of the data integration company SF-Technologies, of which he is CEO. Then she’s contacted by a former boyfriend, who’s prosecuting a case against SF-Technologies. Expect combustion of all sorts from the New York Times best-selling Grippando; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

Hawkins, Rachel. The Villa. St. Martin’s. Jan. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250280015. $27.99. CD. SUSPENSE

In 1974, bad-boy rock star Noel Gordon recharged creatively at the Italian villa where childhood friends Emily and Chess are now reconnecting. Among his guests was rising-star Pierce Sheldon, who was murdered there, and as Emily begins digging into the villa’s past, she senses there’s more to that story than revealed at the time. Following the New York Times best-selling Reckless Girls; with a 200,000-copy first printing.

Johnstone, Carole. The Blackhouse. Scribner. Jan. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781982199678. $28. THRILLER

Two decades ago, five-year-old Maggie caused a media sensation when she announced that a man had been murdered on a mist-wrapped island in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides she had never visited. Now she’s traveling there, trying to make sense of this spooky event. Following the well-received Mirrorland.

Kapoor, Deepti. Age of Vice. Riverhead. Jan. 2023. 544p. ISBN 9780593328798. $30. Downloadable. THRILLER

Kapoor launches a trilogy about the wealthy, corrupt Wadia family of New Delhi, linking the stories of playboy Sunny, who wants to supersede his father; cautious servant Ajay, from a shockingly destitute background; and ambitious journalist Neda, who becomes involved with Sunny. A big hit at Frankfurt in 2019, this saga sold immediately to 20 countries worldwide and is slated for a Fox TV series. Indian-born-, -raised, and -educated Kapoor worked in New Delhi as a journalist and now lives in Portugal. 

Krentz, Jayne Ann. Sleep No More. Berkley. Jan. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780593337820. $28. THRILLER

With her latest, romantic suspense queen Krentz launches “The Lost Night Files” trilogy, about three women whose lives were changed—they’ve developed mysterious powers—on a single night none of them can remember. A cold-case podcast could help them understand this startling turn of events.

Kubica, Mary. Just the Nicest Couple. Park Row: Harlequin. Jan. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780778333111. $28.99. CD. SUSPENSE

Jack Hayes vanishes after a ferocious fight with his wife, Nina, who’s now looking for him frantically, and Nina’s friend and coworker Lily believes that she is the last person to have seen him before he wisped away like smoke. But she and her husband agree they can’t tell anyone. Following the New York Times best-selling Local Woman Missing. With a 200,000-copy first printing.

Ledwidge, Michael. Hard To Break. Hanover Square: Harlequin. Jan. 2023. (Michael Gannon, Bk. 3.). 352p. ISBN 9781335449337. $27.99. CD. THRILLER

Last seen in Run for Cover, Michael Gannon is on a grizzly bear hunt in Alaska with his son when he’s trapped by bad guys and put on a corporate plane heading toward a frightening encounter. From James Patterson coauthor Ledwidge. With a 50,000-copy first printing.

Marshall, Kate Alice. What Lies in the Woods. Flatiron: Macmillan. Jan. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781250859884. $28.99. CD. THRILLER

In this adult turn from successful children’s/YA author Marshall, Naomi Shaw is attacked while playing in the woods with best friends Cassidy and Olivia. She survives 17 knife wounds and joins with her buddies in identifying the assailant, helping to put away a serial killer. But there’s more to the event than they revealed, which a grown-up Naomi is determined to disclose. With a 75,000-copy first printing.

Patterson, James & Brendan DuBois. Countdown. Little, Brown. Jan. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9780316457378. $29. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

When a CIA special Activities operation goes wrong, an undercover officer realizes that her superiors are dealing shadily with an informant, and she’s suddenly privy to a plot that could kill thousands. To scotch it (in seven days), she must give up her identity and tread even further into the shadows.

Pellegrino, Amanda. The Social Climber. Park Row: Harlequin. Jan. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780778387022. $17.99. Downloadable. THRILLER

Pellegrino follows up the LJ-starred Smile and Look Pretty with dreamer-schemer Eliza Bennett set to marry upper-crust Graham Walker after pommeling her way into Manhattan high society and a top PR job. But word about shady doings in her evangelical-college past makes her friends start wondering who Eliza really is—and what she wants.

Preston, Douglas & Lincoln Child. The Cabinet of Dr. Leng. Grand Central. Jan. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781538736777. $30. THRILLER

FBI Special Agent Pendergast and Constance Greene are back, but on different timelines. Catherine has found her way to late 1800s New York, where she’s intent on putting an end to events that would lead to the deaths of her sister and brother and also to Dr. Enoch Leng, the serial killer who first terrified readers in the authors’ The Cabinet of Curiosities. In the present day, Pendergast frets about reuniting with her. With a 375,000-copy first printing.

Reyes, Ana. The House in the Pines. Dutton. Jan. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9780593186718. $27. THRILLER

When Maya sees a YouTube video of a young woman dropping dead before a mysterious man named Frank, just as Maya’s best friend did before this same man seven years previously, she returns to her Berkshires hometown to uncover the source of Frank’s baleful influence. A buzzing debut.

Taylor, Brad. The Devil's Ransom. Morrow. (Pike Logan, Bk. 17). Jan. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9780063221987. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

Bad news: Pike Logan’s Taskforce has been hit by a ransomware attack that seems to have originated with the Taliban. Worse news: it’s just a trial run, and the real attack is coming from a traitor who once served as a National Security Agency specialist in the U.S. government. Next in a long-running series after End of Days.

Tudor, C.J. The Drift. Ballantine. Jan. 2023. 352p. ISBN 9780593356562. $28. lrg. prnt. THRILLER

Hannah is trapped in a crashed bus after escaping from boarding school, former detective Meg awakens among strangers in a swaying cable car, and Carter and his pals, who survive in a deserted ski chalet by manufacturing vaccines for trade, fear their generator is dying. All while a terrible snowstorm threatens. Following the raved-about Burning Girls and forthcoming short story collection A Sliver of Darkness.

Willingham, Stacy. All the Dangerous Things. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jan. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781250803856. $27.99. CD. THRILLER

Unable to sleep but for the occasional quick nap after her toddler was taken from his crib a year previously, Isabelle Drake is willing to do anything to discover what happened to him—including being interviewed by a true-crime podcaster. But the way he probes into Isabelle’s past is making her nervous. Following her skyrocketing debut, A Flicker in the Dark.

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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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