Thrillers with Bona Fides: Feb. 2024, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Veterans and rising thriller stars.

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Blake, Matthew. Anna O. Harper. Jan. 2024. 448p. ISBN 978 0063314153. $30. CD. THRILLER

Forensic psychologist Benedict Prince is tending to an unusual patient: up-and-coming writer Anna Ogilvy, who stabbed two people to death, evidently while sleepwalking, and hasn’t awakened since. Neurologists would say she has resignation syndrome, and Benedict’s job is to rouse her so that she can stand trial. Blake, who’s been writing horror, gets a buzzy 200,00-copy first printing.

Dean, Abigail. Day One. Viking. Feb. 2024. 368p. ISBN 9780593295878. $29. THRILLER

A lone gunman blasts away during a primary-school play in a charming Lake District village, and conspiracy theories erupt thereafter. At the center of the chaos stand Marty, beloved daughter of a teacher who was killed, and outsider Trent, attracted to the conspiracies. British author Dean debuted with the New York Times best-selling Girl A.

Frick, Kit. The Split. Emily Bestler: Atria. Feb. 2024. 256p. ISBN 9781668022474. $27. THRILLER

When flighty Esme calls rock-steady older sister Jane amid a torrential storm, asking to be picked up in the city (she’s just dumped her husband), Jane refuses—and is guilt-stricken when Esme subsequently goes missing. But wait, there’s an alternative narrative, with Jane dutifully lugging home an unappreciative Esme as tensions between them streak to breakpoint. From ITW finalist Frick, for the YA novel I Killed Zoe Spanos.

Landau, A.J. Leave No Trace: A National Parks Thriller. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781250877338. $28. THRILLER

When the Statue of Liberty succumbs to a terrorist attack, Special Agent Michael Walker of the National Park Service is sent to New York to head the investigation but discovers that FBI agent Gina Delgado is instead in charge. With more attacks threatened, Michael finds a young survivor of the initial attack with a crucial video that could expose the culprits. Landau is the pseudonym of prolific thriller writer Jon Land and Jeff Ayers, librarian, longtime LJ reviewer, and co-executive director of ThrillerFest.

Lief, Katia. Invisible Woman. Atlantic Monthly. Feb. 2024. 272p. ISBN 9780802161406. $27. THRILLER

Once a groundbreaking filmmaker, Joni Ackerman gave it all up to raise a family with husband Paul, a television bigwig recently sent east to launch a production studio in New York. Now scandal is breaking around a Hollywood luminary that recalls a painful secret involving Joni’s long-estranged friend Val, and Joni, Paul, and Val have different ideas about whether that secret should will out. From the author of The Money Kill, a Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee.

Mullen, Thomas. The Rumor Game. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2024. 368p. ISBN 9781250842770. $28. Downloadable. THRILLER

In 1943 Boston, journalist Anne Lemire decides to go beyond the rumors she’s tasked with reporting (are Nazis really poisoning the local lobsters?) by investigating whether local businesses are spreading Nazi propaganda. Her efforts bring her face to face with FBI Special Agent Devon Mulvey, whose job is to circumvent sabotage in the war industries, and they end up wrestling with espionage, organized crime, and domestic fascism. With a 75,000-copy first printing; from the CWA short-listed author of Lightning Men.

Paris, B.A. The Guest. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781250289421. $29. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Iris and Gabriel should be happy at their lovely country home, but Gabriel is shaken by the death of a young man at the nearby quarry even as friend Laure arrives from Paris and spookily takes over their lives, having walked out on a cheating husband who won’t return their calls. More domestic suspense from the New York Times best-selling author; with a 200,000-copy first printing.

Ryan, Hank Phillippi. One Wrong Word. Forge. Feb. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781250849496. $28.99. Downloadable. THRILLER

Accused of having an affair with a client, public relations fixer Arden Ward has only two weeks to repair the damage before her career crumbles, and she gratefully takes on a Boston real estate mogul charged in a drunk driving accident. Though Ned was acquitted, his reputation is in ruins, and his family is being harassed. Then the case takes a wicked turn. With a 50,000-copy first printing; Ryan is a six-time Agatha and 37-time Emmy award winner.

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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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