Here is a small selection of anticipated novels coming from St. Martin’s Press, Thomas Dunne Books, Flatiron Books, and a couple other Macmillan imprints. (I’d recommend checking out their non-fiction lists, too. They have a great, broad range of books on the way.)
Featuring: Brad Abraham, Charles Cumming, Anthony Franze, Grant Ginder, Lee Matthew Goldberg, Christopher Golden, Jack Grimwood, Joseph Helmreich, Jay Hosking, Robert Kroese, Liza Palmer, Sarah Pinborough, M.L. Rio, Ben Sanders, Graeme Simsion, Kimberley Tait, Rio Youers
Brad Abraham, MAGICIANS IMPOSSIBLE (Thomas Dunne, Jul.4)
The story of a twenty-something slacker who discovers that he descended from a line of magical spies and is thrust into the middle of a secret and epic battle.
Jason Bishop’s world is shattered when his estranged father commits suicide, but the greater shock comes when he learns his father was a secret agent in the employ of the Invisible Hand, a brotherhood of spies wielding magic in a covert war. Now the Golden Dawn, the ones responsible for Daniel Bishop’s death and the death of Jason’s mother years before, have Jason in their sights, and his survival depends on mastering his own dormant magic abilities.
But enduring the Invisible Hand’s rigorous training may not be enough to turn the tide. Jason’s first mission ends in disaster and he’s captured by the enemy. Taken to its leader — the enigmatic Red Queen — he’s ready for anything, except the revelation that the Invisible Hand is the real threat, committed to using mastery of magic to subjugate the world with only the Golden Dawn in opposition. Jason has been fighting for the bad guys all along, and he’s the one who can tip the balance of a war that has raged since creation.
But in a world cloaked in mystery and magic, who can Jason trust? The Golden Dawn, who claim to hold the secrets behind Jason’s mysterious lineage? The Invisible Hand, who’ve been more of a family than his own family ever was? One thing’s for certain: the magic Jason Bishop has been mastering is telling him not to trust anyone.
Charles Cumming, A DIVIDED SPY (St. Martin’s Press, Feb.14)
MI6’s Thomas Kell faces off against a handsome and charismatic Russian double agent.
Thomas Kell thought he was done with spying. A former MI6 officer, he devoted his life to the Service, but it has left him with nothing but grief and a simmering anger against the Kremlin.
Then Kell is offered an unexpected chance at revenge. Taking the law into his own hands, he embarks on a mission to recruit a top Russian spy who is in possession of a terrifying secret. As Kell tracks his man from Moscow to London, he finds himself in a high stakes game of cat and mouse in which it becomes increasingly difficult to know who is playing whom.
As the mission reaches boiling point, the threat of a catastrophic terrorist attack looms over Britain. Kell is faced with an impossible choice. Loyalty to MI6 — or to his own conscience?
I’m a big fan of Cumming’s novels. This is the third novel in the author’s Thomas Kell series. Published by St. Martin’s Press in North America; it’s already out in the UK, published by Harper Collins.
Anthony Franze, THE OUTSIDER (Minotaur, Mar.21)
A young law clerk finds himself caught in the cross-hairs of a serial killer in this fast-paced thriller set in the high-pressure world of the Supreme Court…
Things aren’t going well for Grayson Hernandez. Just graduated from a fourth-tier law school, he’s drowning in student debt. The only job he can find is as a messenger at the Supreme Court, where he’s forced to watch the best and the brightest from the outside — the elite group of lawyers who serve as the justices’ law clerks.
When Gray intervenes in a violent mugging, he finds himself in the good graces of the victim: the Chief Justice of the United States. Gray soon finds himself the newest — and unlikeliest — law clerk at the Supreme Court. It’s another world: highbrow debates over justice and the law in the inner sanctum of the nation’s highest court; upscale dinners with his new friends; attention from Lauren, the lead clerk whom he can’t stop thinking about.
But just as Gray begins to settle in to his new life, FBI Special Agent Emma Milstein approaches him with an offer. Convinced that a murderer is on the loose, the FBI wants Grey to be their eyes and ears on the inside.
Gray begins looking into the private lives of his fellow law clerks and justices. Just when he thinks he’s uncovered a link between all the killings, the authorities turn their sights on him. Helped by Samantha and his boyhood-friend-turned-criminal, Arturo, Gray must uncover the murderer before they strike again…
Grant Ginder, THE PEOPLE WE HATE AT THE WEDDING (Flatiron Books, Jun.6)
A bitingly funny, hugely entertaining novel in which a fractured family from the Chicago suburbs must gather in London for their eldest daughter’s marriage to an upper-crust Englishman, proving that the harder we strain against the ties that bind, the tighter they hold us close.
Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins. They couldn’t hate it more.
The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best girlfriend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable affair with her married boss. She might just like her klonopin prescription a bit too much. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track Penn professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing his lacrosse bro undergrads. Paul works for a famous “immersive” psychologist – sadistically forcing people to confront their own fears day in and day out. He hates it. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to the dashing European playboy of the Western World Henrique, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. You can’t even, with her, can you?
As this dysfunctional clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in this bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel.
It’s quite some time since I read (and enjoyed) Ginder’s debut, This is How it Starts. This latest novel sounds like it could be quite fun. Published by Flatiron Books.
Lee Matthew Goldberg, MENTOR (Thomas Dunne, Jun.13)
Kyle Broder has achieved his lifelong dream and is an editor at a major publishing house.
When Kyle is contacted by his favorite college professor, William Lansing, Kyle couldn’t be happier. Kyle has his mentor over for dinner to catch up and introduce him to his girlfriend, Jamie, and the three have a great time. When William mentions that he’s been writing a novel, Kyle is overjoyed. He would love to read the opus his mentor has toiled over.
Until the novel turns out to be not only horribly written, but the most depraved story Kyle has read.
After Kyle politely rejects the novel, William becomes obsessed, causing trouble between Kyle and Jamie, threatening Kyle’s career, and even his life. As Kyle delves into more of this psychopath’s work, it begins to resemble a cold case from his college town, when a girl went missing. William’s work is looking increasingly like a true crime confession.
The Mentor is a twisty, nail-biting thriller that explores how the love of words can lead to a deadly obsession with the fate of all those connected and hanging in the balance.
Christopher Golden, ARARAT (St. Martin’s Press, Apr.18)
A mountain adventure that quickly turns into a horrific nightmare of biblical proportions.
Fans of Dan Simmons’ The Terror will love Ararat, the thrilling tale of an adventure that goes awry. When a newly engaged couple climbs Mount Ararat in Turkey, an avalanche forces them to seek shelter inside a massive cave uncovered by the snow fall. The cave is actually an ancient, buried ship that many quickly come to believe is really Noah’s Ark. When a team of scholars, archaeologists, and filmmakers make it inside the ark for the first time, they discover an elaborate coffin in its recesses. The artifact tempts their professional curiosity; so they break it open. Inside, they find an ugly, misshapen cadaver — not the holy man that they expected, a hideous creature with horns. A massive blizzard blows in, trapping them in that cave thousands of meters up the side of a remote mountain… but they are not alone.
Also on CR: Interview with Christopher Golden (2013)
Jack Grimwood, MOSKVA (Thomas Dunne, Jul.11)
Red Square, 1985. The naked body of a young man is left outside the walls of the Kremlin, frozen solid — like marble to the touch — missing the little finger from his right hand.
A week later, Alex Marston, the headstrong fifteen-year-old daughter of the British Ambassador, disappears. Army Intelligence Officer Tom Fox, posted to Moscow to keep him from telling the truth to a government committee, is asked to help find her. It’s a shot at redemption.
But Russia is reluctant to give up the worst of her secrets. As Fox’s investigation sees him dragged deeper towards the dark heart of a Soviet establishment determined to protect its own, his fears for Alex’s safety grow with those of the girl’s father.
And if Fox can’t find her soon, she looks likely to become the next victim of a sadistic killer whose story is bound tight to that of his country’s terrible past…
Joseph Helmreich, THE RETURN (Thomas Dunne, Mar.14)
Years after a scientist is abducted on live TV, a graduate student tracks down the mysteriously returned and now reclusive man, ultimately uncovering a global conspiracy.
During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up, wandering in a South American desert, denying ever having been abducted and disappearing from the public eye.
Meanwhile, he inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he’s been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents, determined to force him into revealing what he knows.
Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction, the real reason for his return, and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.
Equal parts science-fiction and globe-hopping thriller, The Return will appeal to fans of both, and to anyone who has ever wondered… what’s out there?
Jay Hosking, THREE YEARS WITH THE RAT (Thomas Dunne, Jan.24)
A young man’s quest to find his missing sister will catapult him into a dangerous labyrinth of secrets in this provocative, genre-bending, and page-turning debut.
After drifting between school and dead-end jobs, a young man makes the decision to return to the city he left after high school. The magnet is his beloved older sister, Grace: the golden girl, smart and charismatic even when rebelling, and always his hero. Now she is a promising graduate student in science and the center of a group of friends that take “Little Brother” into their fold, where he finds camaraderie, romance, and even a decent job.
But it soon becomes clear that all is not well with Grace. She veers into sudden rages, often directed at her seemingly adoring boyfriend, John, who is engaged in the same field of research. Her accusations of betrayal are cryptic, and her brother is especially confused and troubled when she turns on him, accusing him of a fatal disloyalty. A visit to their mother triggers an episode that suggests Grace has tumbled into serious mental illness — except that John seems to know more than he is telling, and some supposedly objective certainties about what is real seem to be starting to fracture.
When Grace disappears, the narrator embarks on a mission to discover the truth, a quest that brings him up against an astonishing question: if the universe is infinite, could there be infinite variations of ourselves, past, present, and future, in a dimension only a few can even imagine? And if there are, and we could enter that dimension, what might confront us? And could we ever make it back?
Robert Kroese, THE LAST IOTA (Thomas Dunne, May 9)
The year is 2039, and Los Angeles is poised between order and chaos. After the Collapse of 2028, a vast section of LA, now known as the Disincorporated Zone, was disowned by the civil authorities and became essentially a third world country within the borders of the city. Navigating the boundaries between DZ and LA proper is a tricky task, and there’s no one better suited than eccentric private investigator Erasmus Keane. So when movie mogul Selah Fiore decides she needs to get her hands on a rare coin lost somewhere in the city, she knows Keane is the man for the job.
But while the erratic Keane and his more sensible partner Blake Fowler struggle to unravel the mystery of the elusive coins, Blake’s girlfriend Gwen goes missing and Selah Fiore turns up murdered. Both of these crimes seem to be linked to the coins — and to an untraceable virtual currency called iotas, used by drug dealers and terrorist networks.
Framed for Selah’s murder and desperate to find Gwen, Keane and Fowler must outwit DZ warlords, outmaneuver a reclusive billionaire, and stay a step ahead of the police while they gradually uncover the truth about iotas. Soon the clues begin to point to a conspiracy at the highest levels of government — and to a mysterious trickster who has orchestrated it all. As the DZ devolves into chaos and another Collapse seems to loom, Blake Fowler realizes that the brilliant Erasmus Keane may have finally met his match.
Also on CR: Interview with Robert Kroese (2016)
Liza Palmer, THE F WORD (Flatiron Books, Apr.25)
At once a funny, whip-smart sendup of L.A. culture and an irresistible love story, The F Word is a novel about how sometimes who we become isn’t who we really are.
“We’re all pushing some version of the life we want you to believe. It’s all just PR.”
Olivia Morten is perfect. Maybe her high-flying publicist job has taken over her life, but her clients are L.A.’s hottest celebrities. Maybe her husband is never around, but he is a drop-dead-gorgeous, successful doctor. Maybe her friends are dumb, but they know how to look glamorous at a cocktail party. And maybe her past harbors an incredibly embarrassing secret, but no one remembers high school… right?
When Ben Dunn, Olivia’s high school arch nemesis and onetime crush, suddenly resurfaces, Olivia realizes how precarious all of her perfection is. As she finds herself dredging up long-suppressed memories from her past, she is forced to confront the most painful truth of all: maybe she used to be the fat girl, but she used to be happy, too.
Sarah Pinborough, BEHIND HER EYES (Flatiron Books, Jan.31)
Love at first sight can be blinding…
It’s said that the only people who really know what goes on in a marriage are the couple themselves. But what if even they don’t know the truth?
David and Adele seem like the ideal pair. He’s a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him. But why is he so controlling? And why is she keeping things hidden?
Louise, David’s new secretary, is intrigued and drawn into their orbit. But as Louise gets closer to each of them, instead of finding answers she uncovers more puzzling questions. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong – and how far a person might go to protect a marriage’s secrets.
I’m a big fan of Pinborough’s novels. This one has been enjoying quite the early buzz, and I’m really looking forward to reading it. Published by Flatiron Books in North America, and in the UK by Harper Collins. [It looks like 13 Minutes is also getting a US release this year, in May.]
M.L. Rio, IF WE WERE VILLAINS (Flatiron Books, Apr.11)
Oliver Marks has just served ten years for the murder of one of his closest friends – a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the detective who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened ten years ago.
As a young actor studying Shakespeare at an elite arts conservatory, Oliver noticed that his talented classmates seem to play the same roles onstage and off – villain, hero, tyrant, temptress – though Oliver felt doomed to always be a secondary character in someone else’s story. But when the teachers change up the casting, a good-natured rivalry turns ugly, and the plays spill dangerously over into life.
When tragedy strikes, one of the seven friends is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.
This is pitched as being in the “tradition of The Secret History“, so my attention and interest was immediately piqued. Really looking forward to giving this a try. Published by Flatiron Books, and due to be available in the UK.
Ben Sanders, MARSHALL’S LAW (Minotaur, Apr.4)
Marshall Grade is back and deadlier than ever as enemies from his past converge to enact a bloody plan of vengeance.
Ex-undercover cop Marshall Grade is hiding out in California when he learns that federal agent Lucas Cohen has survived a kidnapping. Cohen was Marshall’s ticket into witness protection, and his captors have a simple question: where’s Marshall now?
Marshall’s undercover work gave him a long list of enemies, and the enemy in this case is a corrupt businessman named Dexter Vine. Vine’s almost broke, in debt to people even worse than himself, and he wants to settle old scores while he has time. He’s hired Ludo Coltrane — a nonchalant psychopath and part-time bar manager — to find Marshall at any cost. Ludo’s no stranger to killing, but his associate, the cash-strapped ex-con Perry Rhodes, may prove more of a liability than an asset.
The question is: what has Marshall done to make Dexter want him dead? And are the contacts from his old life — ex-colleague Lana, and the heroin dealer Henry Lee — prepared to help him, or will they just sell him out?
Graeme Simsion, THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP (St. Martin’s Press, May 2)
On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT. But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find — and then lose — love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?
And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?
Kimberley Tait, FAKE PLASTIC LOVE (Flatiron Books, May 9)
Four millennial bright young things charge into the real world, with all the unfounded confidence of twenty-two:
M., our narrator, is one of the few young women at her prestigious, high-octane investment bank. To her mother’s chagrin, she has always insisted she prefers her signet ring to any diamond.
Belle is M.’s college best friend. Wide-eyed and whimsical, she marks the sidewalks of Manhattan with messages in pink chalk and snaps a ceaseless stream of photos for her viral blog.
Chase is Belle’s British-American, on-again-off-again boyfriend. Equal parts fraternity bro and Savile Row, he is M.’s colleague and arch nemesis.
Jeremy is M.’s new friend, a modern-day Gatsby, dapper and earnest, who would rather be piloting a hot air balloon than stuck behind his Wall Street desk.
As the financial crisis bears down and social media grows ever more ubiquitous, style and substance become increasingly difficult to distinguish. In this fake plastic world, what do success and friendship and love even look like?
Rio Youers, THE FORGOTTEN GIRL (St. Martin’s Press, Jun.13)
Harvey Anderson is a twenty-six-year-old street performer from New Jersey. He enjoys his peaceful life, but everything is turned upside down when he is abducted and beaten by a group of nondescript thugs. Working for a sinister man known as “the spider,” these goons have spent nine years searching for Harvey’s girlfriend, Sally Starling. Now they think they know where she lives. And who she loves.
There’s only one problem: Sally is gone and Harvey has no memory of her. Which makes no sense to him, until the spider explains that Sally has the unique ability to selectively erase a person’s memories. An ability she has used to delete herself from Harvey’s mind.
But emotion runs deeper than memory, and Harvey realizes that he still feels something for Sally. And so — with the spider threatening — he goes looking for a girl he loves but can’t remember… and encounters a danger that reaches beyond anything he could ever imagine.
Political corruption and manipulation. A serial killer’s dark secrets. An appetite for absolute, terrible power… For Harvey Anderson, finding the forgotten girl comes at quite a cost.
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