Top Thriller Writers from Abbott to Woods, Aug. 2022, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Big chills for the summer. 

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Abbott, Jeff. Traitor’s Dance. Grand Central. (Sam Capra. No. 6). Aug. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781538708743. $28. Downloadable. THRILLER

Ten years after events in The First Order, the autonomous independent spy group called The Round Table has been disbanded, and Sam Capra contentedly manages bars and nightclubs worldwide while tending to his son. Then he gets a call that Marcus Bolt, the last of several U.S. traitors who turned over allied military secrets to the Russians, has disappeared from Moscow. Now Sam is asked to contact Marcus’s estranged daughter to see what she knows. From three-time Edgar nominee Abbott, whose Sam Capra thriller The Last Minute won an International Thriller Writers Award; with a 25,000-copy first printing.

Brown, Sandra. Untitled. Grand Central. Aug. 2022. 448p. ISBN 9781538752012. $29. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Thriller Master Brown returns after 73 New York Times best sellers; the last, Blind Tiger, debuted at No. 5 on the New York Times best sellers list and No. 3 on the Combined Print & E-Book list. No word on plot, but there’s a 500,000-copy first printing.

Coulter, Catherine. Reckoning. Morrow. (FBI Thriller, No. 26). Aug. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780063004139. $28.99. lrg. prnt. THRILLER/LEGAL

Past and present danger looms in this latest featuring FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock. Virginia Commonwealth attorney Kirra Mandarian turns to Savich when she finds herself dangerously out of her depth while seeking to bring down the man she holds responsible for her parents’ death 14 years earlier. Meanwhile, Sherlock joins with Metro officers in Washington, DC, to protect 12-year-old piano prodigy Emma Hunt when she performs at the Kennedy Center; granddaughter of a crime boss and adopted by a federal judge, she was abducted at age six and has just avoided another kidnapping. With a 200,000-copy first printing.

Emerson, Ramona. Shutter. Soho Crime. Aug. 2022. 312p. ISBN 9781641293334. $27.95. THRILLER/SUPERNATURAL

Diné forensic photographer Rita Todacheene doesn’t just take good pictures, she helps solve cases for the Albuquerque police force with insights gleaned from the ghosts of crime victims, whom she can see and hear. More curse than gift, her ability to confer with the otherworld has driven her from the reservation, where it’s regarded with suspicion, and has wrecked her personal life. Now an especially angry ghost won’t leave Rita alone, sending her on a mission of vengeance that could get her killed. Diné writer/filmmaker Emerson’s debut is at once a thriller, a horror story, and a portrait of growing up on the reservation; a big push at PLA and ALA.

Goldin, Megan. Stay Awake. St. Martin’s. Aug. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781250280664. $27.99. CD. THRILLER

Goldin follows up her edgy and much-appreciated The Escape Room and The Night Swim with Liv Reese waking up in a taxi she doesn’t remember catching; thrust from her brownstone apartment, now inhabited by a stranger; and finding a bloodstained knife in her pocket and the words “STAY AWAKE” scrawled on her skin—the same message scrawled in the victim’s blood at a crime scene. Even more confoundingly, she learns that two years have gone by, completely lost to her memory. With a 150,000-copy first printing.

Hogan, Chuck. Gangland. Grand Central. Aug. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9781538751756. $28. Downloadable. CRIME

The New York Times best-selling, Hammett Prize–winning Hogan bases his latest on the true story of Tony Accardo, the longest‑reigning mob capo in history. It’s the 1970s, and loyal trooper Nicky Passero is tasked with retrieving stolen jewelry that includes a gold and diamond bracelet Tony got his wife for Christmas. Meanwhile, even as Tony seems more and more unbalanced in his directives, a battle for the mob control of Chicago rages, and Nicky finds himself beholden to the FBI. With a 30,000-copy first printing.

Howard, Catherine Ryan. Run Time. Blackstone. Aug. 2022. NAp. ISBN 9781982694685. $25.99. THRILLER

A last-minute replacement on the set of Final Draft, a psychological horror flick being filmed in remote West Cork, former soap-star Adele Rafferty is grateful for the job. But she begins having second thoughts when eerie events in the script start happening in real life. From the Edgar short-listed Howard, whose recent 56 Days was a New York Times and Washington Post Best Thriller.

Iglesias, Gabino. The Devil Takes You Home. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780316426916. $28. Downloadable. CRIME/SUPERNATURAL

Desperately in debt owing to his daughter’s illness and with his marriage stumbling, Mario tries to save the situation by taking on a job as hitman. When tragedy descends, he agrees to one more job, but it’s risky: with an old buddy and a cartel-insider named Juanca, he’s set to hijack a cartel’s cash shipment before it reaches Mexico. As they drive along Texan backroads, they run into real violence and the kind of spooky, inexplicable encounters one would expect from a Bram Stoker–nominated author. (He’s got Anthony and Locus nominations, too.) With a 60,000-copy first printing.

Jones, Sandie. The Blame Game. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9781250836908. $27.99. CD. THRILLER/DOMESTIC

A psychologist specializing in domestic crisis, Naomi is supportive of her client Jacob when he announces his decision to leave his wife. But on the morning of their next session, she finds her door unlocked and his file missing. Is she being paranoid, or is she being targeted for trouble herself? From the author of the Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick The Other Woman; with a 100,000-copy first printing.

Kirsanow, Peter. W.E.B. Griffin The Devil’s Weapons. Putnam. (Men at War, No. 8). Aug. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9780593422281. $28. CD. ACTION & ADVENTURE

With the advent of World War II, Poland has been divided between Germany and the Soviet Union, and both countries are seeking scientist Sebastian Kapsky, who initially worked with leading aerospace engineers Walter Riedel and Werner von Braun but then rejected the Nazi perversion of science. He’s vanished in the Soviet occupation zone, and OSS head Col. “Wild Bill” Donovan sends in top agent Dick Canidy to rescue him. Thriller author Kirsanow (Target Omega), a lawyer and presidential appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, picks up Griffin’s New York Times best-selling series.

Li, Winnie M. Complicit. Emily Bestler: Atria. Aug. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781982190828. $27. CD. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

Her Hollywood dreams in ruins, Sarah Lai now works as a lecturer at a lackluster college, but a journalist’s questions about her work with star producer Hugo North elicit a desire to set the record straight about the abuse of power that quashed her career. Soon she realizes that she’s got some owning up to do as well. Li authored the Edgar finalist Dark Chapter; with a 75,000-copy first printing.

Moore, Taylor. Firestorm. Morrow. Aug. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780063066557. $27.99. lrg. prnt. CRIME

Moore brings back DEA Special Agent Garrett Kohl from his LJ-starred debut Down Range to battle more bad guys threatening his beloved Texas homestead and High Plains. W orking in concert with Russian agents , the energy consortium Talon is using bribery and violence to launch a rip-the-earth mining operation and corral the world’s supply of rare earth minerals. Harsh exchanges between Talon and the Kohls are bad enough, but then Kohl’s friend Kim Manning, a CIA operative, is kidnapped. With a 200,000-copy first printing.

Osborne, Lawrence. On Java Road. Hogarth: Crown. Aug. 2022. 256p. ISBN 9780593242322. $27. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

After two decades in Hong Kong, ex-pat English journalist Adrian Gyle is just bumping along, bored and disaffected. Then the streets startle into violence as pro-democracy demonstrations gather strength, and the death of a young protester named Rebecca—the girlfriend of one of Adrian’s oldest buddies—compels him to investigate. From the classy writer of multipleNew York Times Notable Books, most recently The Glass Kingdom.

Patterson, James with Richard DiLallo. The Ninth Month. Grand Central. Aug. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781538720837. $32; pap. ISBN 9781538753002. $17.99. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Hard-working, hard-partying Emily Atkinson leads the glamorous New York life until she ends up in the hospital owing to her excesses and discovers that she is pregnant. A friendly nurse advises a healthier lifestyle, getting her get back into running and enjoying quiet evenings at home. But when women in her social circle start disappearing, Emily fears that she, too, is being targeted. With a 250,000-copy paperback and 40,000-copy hardcover first printing.

Slaughter, Karin. Girl, Forgotten. Morrow. Aug. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9780062858115. $28.99. lrg. prnt. CD. THRILLER

Sent to Longbill Beach to protect a judge who’s been receiving death threats, newly minted U.S. Marshal Andrea Oliver has something else on her mind: she hopes to discover who killed Emily Vaughn there on her prom night in 1982. With a 250,000-copy first printing.

Takamura, Kaoru. Lady Joker, Vol. 2. Soho Crime. Aug. 2022. NAp. tr. from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell & Marie Iida. ISBN 9781641290296. $28.95. THRILLER

With this second volume, Takamura wraps up a story based on Japan’s notorious Glico-Morinaga kidnapping in 1984, though the kidnapping here takes place in 1995. The first, multi-best-booked installment introduced a cluster of individuals who trace their health problems (or those of loved ones) to a Hinode Beer factory and plot to kidnap the corporation’s president. The second volume chronicles the kidnapping’s aftermath, revealing high-level business malfeasance and fractures in Japanese society. With Lady Joker, the multi-award-winning Takamura gets her first translation into English.

Winstead, Ashley. The Last Housewife. Sourcebooks Landmark. Aug. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781728229911. $27.99. THRILLER/PSYCHOLOGICAL

In their last year of college, Shay Evans and best friend Laurel escaped the lure of a charismatic man preaching female submission. Years later Laurel is dead, and when Shay enlists the help of a true-crime podcast host to discover why, she uncovers a secret cult of men violently devoted to the concept of male superiority. From the author of the well-received In My Dreams I Hold a Knife.

Woods, Stuart. Untitled. Putnam. (Stone Barrington, No. 62). Aug. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9780593540008. $28. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable. THRILLER

Readers all know Stone Barrington, behind-the-scenes guy for a Manhattan law firm and an expert in high-class intrigue and government intelligence. He’s back, but with no plot details. Woods sold nearly a million copies across frontlist formats in 2020.

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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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