Detective John Cardinal is on the hunt for an ingenious killer even as he mourns his own wife’s tragic death in this thriller of heart-stopping suspense
Autumn has arrived in Algonquin Bay, and with it an unusual spate of suicides. The most shocking victim yet is Detective John Cardinal’s wife, who has finally succumbed to her battle with manic depression. As Cardinal takes time to grieve, his partner, Lise Delorme, handles an unsavory assignment: a young girl appears in a series of unspeakable photos being traded online, and background elements indicate she lives in Algonquin Bay. Delorme is desperate to find the girl before she suffers more abuse.
When Cardinal receives a string of hateful anonymous notes about his wife’s death, he begins to suspect homicide. His colleagues believe he is too distraught to think clearly, and he’s forced to investigate alone. In doing so, he comes up against a brand of killer neither he—nor the reader—has ever seen before.
In his most masterful and thrilling novel yet, Giles Blunt confirms his reputation as a rising international star in crime fiction, and positions Detective John Cardinal among the finest characters in the genre.
Louise Penny - A Fatal Grace
Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder. No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter - and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death. When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he's dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC de Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament. And yet no one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder - or brilliant enough to succeed? With his trademark compassion and courage, Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life to find the dangerous secrets long buried there. For a Quebec winter is not only staggeringly beautiful but deadly, and the people of Three Pines know better than to reveal too much of themselves. But other dangers are becoming clear to Gamache. As a bitter wind blows into the village, something even more chilling is coming for Gamache himself.
Michael Connelly - Echo Park
In 1993 Harry Bosch was assigned the case of a missing person, Marie Gesto. The young woman was never found - dead or alive - and the case has haunted Bosch ever since. Thirteen years later Bosch is in the Open-Unsolved Unit when he gets a call from the DA's office. A man accused of two killings is willing to confess to several other murders in a deal to avoid the death penalty. One of his victims, he says, is Marie Gesto. Bosch begins to crack when he realises that he and his partner missed a clue back in 1993 which could have prevented the nine murders that followed the killing of Marie Gesto...
Louise Penny - The Cruelest Month
‘Many mystery buffs have credited Louise Penny with the revival of the type of traditional murder mystery made famous by Agatha Christie... The book's title is a metaphor not only for the month of April but also for Gamache's personal and professional challenges - making this the series standout so far.’ - Sarah Weinman Welcome to Three Pines, where the cruellest month is about to deliver on its threat. It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. . . When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a seance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil - until one of their party dies of fright. Was this a natural death, or was the victim somehow helped along? Brilliant, compassionate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the SQ (Sûreté du Québec) is called to investigate, in a case that will force him to face his own ghosts as well as those of a seemingly idyllic town where relationships are far more dangerous than they seem.
Linwood Barclay - A Tap on the Window
_On a rainy night, a man gives a teenage girl a lift home, but the girl he picks up isn't the same one he drops off. Once again, bestseller Linwood Barclay hooks the reader from page one with his latest suspense masterpiece._ When Cal Weaver stops at red light on a rainy night while driving home, he ignores the bedraggled-looking teenaged girl trying to hitch a lift. Even when she starts tapping on his window. But when she says, 'Hey, aren't you Scott's dad?' and he realizes she's one of his son's classmates, he can't really ignore her. OK, so giving a ride to a teenage girl might not be the smartest move, but how much harm could it do? Over the next 24 hours Cal is about to find out. When the girl, Claire, asks to stop at a restroom on the way home, he's happy to oblige. But the girl who gets back in the car seems strangely nervous, and it's only when they get nearer their destination that Cal realizes she no longer has the nasty cut that he noticed on Claire's hand. After he's finally let her out of the car he remains puzzled and intrigued. But it's only the next morning that he starts to really worry. That's when the police cruiser turns up at his door and asks him if he gave a lift to a girl the previous night. A girl who has now been found brutally murdered. If Cal is going to clear his name he's going to have to figure out what Claire was really up to and what part he played in her curious deception. But doing so will involve him in some of the small town of Griffon's most carefully kept secrets - and a conspiracy as bizarre as it is deadly.
Chris Carter - The Death Sculptor
_Good job you didn't turn on the lights..._ A student nurse has the shock of her life when she discovers her patient, prosecutor Derek Nicholson, brutally murdered in his bed. The act seems senseless - Nicholson was terminally ill with only weeks to live. But what most shocks Detective Robert Hunter of the Los Angeles Robbery Homicide Division is the calling card the killer left behind. For Hunter, there is no doubt that the killer is trying to communicate with the police, but the method is unlike anything he's ever seen before. And what could the hidden message be? Just as Hunter and his partner Garcia reckon they've found a lead, a new body is found - and a new calling card. But with no apparent link between the first and second victims, all the progress they've made so far goes out of the window. Pushed into an uncomfortable alliance with the confident Alice Beaumont, Hunter must race to put together the pieces of the investigation... before the Death Sculptor puts the final touches to his masterpiece.
Dan Brown - The Da Vinci Code
Harvard professor Robert Langdon receives an urgent late-night phone call while on business in Paris: the elderly curator of the Louvre has been brutally murdered inside the museum. Alongside the body, police have found a series of baffling codes. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, begin to sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to find a trail that leads to the works of Leonardo Da Vinci - and suggests the answer to a mystery that stretches deep into the vault of history. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine code and quickly assemble the pieces of the puzzle, a stunning historical truth will be lost forever...
Chris Carter - The Crucifix Killer
When the body of a young woman is discovered in a derelict cottage in the middle of Los Angeles National Forest, Homicide Detective Robert Hunter finds himself entering a horrific and recurring nightmare. Naked, strung from two wooden posts, the victim was sadistically tortured before meeting an excruciatingly painful death. All the skin has been ripped from her face - while she was still alive. On the nape of her neck has been carved a strange double-cross: the signature of a psychopath known as the Crucifix Killer. But that's impossible. Because two years ago, the Crucifix Killer was caught and executed. Could this therefore be a copycat killer? Or could the unthinkable be true? Is the real killer still out there, ready to embark once again on a vicious and violent killing spree, selecting his victims seemingly at random, taunting Robert Hunter with his inability to catch him? Hunter and his rookie partner are about to enter a nightmare beyond imagining.
Luana Lewis - Don’t Stand So Close
_What would you do if a young girl knocked on your door and asked for your help? If it was snowing and she was freezing cold, but you were afraid and alone? What would you do if you let her in, but couldn’t make her leave? What if she told you terrible lies about someone you love, but the truth was even worse?_ Stella has been cocooned in her home for three years. Severely agoraphobic, she knows she is safe in the stark, isolated house she shares with her husband, Max. The traumatic memories of her final case as a psychologist are that much easier to keep at a distance, too. But the night that Blue arrives on her doorstep with her frightened eyes and sad stories, Stella’s carefully controlled world begins to unravel around her…
Mari Jungstedt - The Double Silence
_Do you really know who your friends are? From the best-selling Swedish crime writer comes a chilling story about the worst of our best-kept secrets._ A man is pushed from a cliff; a woman is missing after a bike ride; an elderly man is washed ashore. The friends are closer than most – too close, some might say. Every year they leave their cosy suburban neighbourhood to go on holiday together to a remote Swedish island. But this year, their holiday won’t go as expected. A terrible series of tragedies will unfold, seemingly random, all somehow connected. Detective Superintendent Anders Knutas will have to look into the friends’ tangled pasts to find the truth. What malevolent force has followed them to the island? Or was it amongst them all along? Even the closest friends don’t share everything...
Claire McGowan - The Lost
_Not everyone who's missing is lost..._ When two teenage girls go missing along the Irish border, forensic psychologist Paula Maguire has to return to the hometown she left years before. Swirling with rumour and secrets, the town is gripped by fear of a serial killer. But the truth could be even darker. _Not everyone who's lost wants to be found..._ Surrounded by people and places she tried to forget, Paula digs into the cases as the truth twists further away. What's the link with two other disappearances from 1985? And why does everything lead back to the town's dark past- including the reasons her own mother went missing years before? _Nothing is what it seems..._ As the shocking truth is revealed, Paula learns that sometimes, it's better not to find what you've lost.
Claire McGowan - The Dead Ground
A stolen baby. A murdered woman. A decades-old atrocity. Something connects them all... A month before Christmas, and Ballyterrin on the Irish border lies under a thick pall of snow. When a newborn baby goes missing from hospital, it's all too close to home for forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, who's wrestling with the hardest decision of her life. Then a woman is found in a stone circle with her stomach cut open and it's clear a brutal killer is on the loose. As another child is taken and a pregnant woman goes missing, Paula is caught up in the hunt for a killer no one can trace, who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
John Le Carré - A Most Wanted Man
New spies with new loyalties, old spies with old ones; terror as the new mantra; decent people wanting to do good but caught in the moral maze; all the sound, rational reasons for doing the inhuman thing; the recognition that we cannot safely love or pity and remain good "patriots" -- this is the fabric of John le Carré's fiercely compelling and current novel A Most Wanted Man. A half-starved young Russian man in a long black overcoat is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash secreted in a purse around his neck. He is a devout Muslim. Or is he? He says his name is Issa. Annabel, an idealistic young German civil rights lawyer, determines to save Issa from deportation. Soon her client's survival becomes more important to her than her own career -- or safety. In pursuit of Issa's mysterious past, she confronts the incongruous Tommy Brue, the sixty-year-old scion of Brue Frères, a failing British bank based in Hamburg. Annabel, Issa and Brue form an unlikely alliance -- and a triangle of impossible loves is born. Meanwhile, scenting a sure kill in the "War on Terror," the rival spies of Germany, England and America converge upon the innocents. Thrilling, compassionate, peopled with characters the reader never wants to let go, A Most Wanted Man is a work of deep humanity and uncommon relevance to our times.
Karin Slaughter - Broken
When Special Agent Will Trent arrives in Grant County, he finds a police department determined to protect its own. Officer Lena Adams is hiding secrets from him, and while her role in the death of the county’s popular police chief is unclear, that man’s widow, Dr. Sara Linton, desperately needs Trent’s help to crack the case of a prisoner’s death. While the police force investigates the murder of a young woman pulled from a frigid lake, Trent investigates the police force. Caught between two complicated and determined women, trying to understand the facts surrounding Chief Tolliver’s death, Trent will uncover explosive secrets—and confront a thin blue line that could be murderous if crossed.
Karin Slaughter - Fallen
There’s no police training stronger than a cop’s instinct. Faith Mitchell’s mother isn’t answering her phone. Her front door is open. There’s a bloodstain above the knob. Her infant daughter is hidden in a shed behind the house. All that the Georgia Bureau of Investigations taught Faith Mitchell goes out the window when she charges into her mother’s house, gun drawn. She sees a man dead in the laundry room. She sees a hostage situation in the bedroom. What she doesn’t see is her mother. . . . “You know what we’re here for. Hand it over, and we’ll let her go.” When the hostage situation turns deadly, Faith is left with too many questions, not enough answers. To find her mother, she’ll need the help of her partner, Will Trent, and they’ll both need the help of trauma doctor Sara Linton. But Faith isn’t just a cop anymore—she’s a witness. She’s also a suspect. The thin blue line hides police corruption, bribery, even murder. Faith will have to go up against the people she respects the most in order to find her mother and bring the truth to light—or bury it forever. Karin Slaughter’s most exhilarating novel yet is a thrilling journey through the heart and soul, where the personal and the criminal collide, and conflicted loyalties threaten to destroy reputations and ruin lives. It is the work of a master of the thriller at the top of her game, and a whirlwind of unrelenting suspense.
J. A. Kerley - The Death Collectors
Thirty years after his death, Marsden Hexcamp's ‘Art of the Final Moment’ remains as sought after as ever. But this is no ordinary collection. Hexcamp's portfolio was completed with the aid of a devoted band of acolytes – and half a dozen victims, each of whom was slowly tortured to death so that their final agonies could be distilled into art. When tiny scraps of Hexcamp's ‘art’ begin appearing at murder scenes alongside gruesomely displayed corpses, Detective Carson Ryder and his partner Harry Nautilus must go back three decades in search of answers. Meanwhile an auction has been announced and the death collectors are gathering. These wealthy connoisseurs of serial-killer memorabilia will pay millions to acquire Hexcamp's art – unless Carson and Harry can beat them in their quest for the anti-grail.
J. A. Kerley - The Death Box
_Carson Ryder thought he’d seen everything…_ A specialist in twisted crimes, Detective Carson Ryder thought he’d seen the lowest depths of human depravity. But he’s barely started his new job in Miami when called to a horrific scene: a concrete pillar built of human remains, their agony forever frozen in stone. Finding the secret of the pillar drags him into the sordid world of human trafficking, where one terrified girl holds the key to unraveling a web of pain, prostitution and murder. There’s just one problem: Ryder’s not the only one chasing the girl. And the others will kill to keep the secret safe.
J. A. Kerley - The Killing Game
_He’s coming to get you…_ After a humiliating encounter with a cop, Romanian immigrant Gregory Nieves launches a vendetta against the Mobile Police Department, Alabama. Nieves can’t fight a department, so he selects one man who symbolizes all men in blue: Carson Ryder, the MPD’s specialist in bizarre and twisted crimes. Carson has never seen a killing spree like this one: Nothing connects the victims, the murder weapon is always different, and the horrific crime scenes are devoid of evidence. It almost seems he’s being taunted. Even laughed at. Carson doesn’t know it yet, but he is caught up in a sadistic game of life and death. And there can only be one victor…
J. A. Kerley - In The Blood
TV evangelist Reverend Scaler made his fortune from firebrand rhetoric on the sins of modern America. But Scaler has preached his last sermon after being bound and beaten to death in an apparent S&M session. Detective Carson Ryder has his own problems. He's edgy and unpredictable, the crime scene barely seeming to affect him any more than finding an infant abandoned in a boat – nearby, a burnt-out shack, a body and signs of a struggle. Scaler's tangled personal life reveals bizarre connections between the cases. And it seems the baby fighting for its life in hospital has powerful enemies. Ryder can't seem to save himself – but can he save the life of an innocent child?
J. A. Kerley - Little Girls Lost
Children are disappearing in Mobile, Alabama, the latest snatched from her own bedroom. There are no clues – and, as yet, no bodies. Homicide Detective Carson Ryder is called in to investigate the abduction of little LaShelle Shearing only to find the case getting tangled up in murky departmental and civic politics. And with his partner Harry Nautilus fighting for his life after being viciously attacked, Carson is feeling increasingly isolated. Public rage is now reaching dangerous levels, and Ryder’s bosses turn for help to ex-Detective Conner Sandhill whose uncanny ability to spot connections and details missed by others is legendary – but who left the department under a cloud. Ryder and Sandhill form an uneasy alliance in the hunt for the missing children, a hunt which becomes all the more urgent for tragic personal reasons. But at the root of these disappearances is something truly evil… and its source is closer to home than either could have imagined.
J. A. Kerley - Her Last Scream
_They thought they were safe at last…_ Across the US, a secret network of crisis centres permanently relocates women in serious danger from domestic abuse. But now someone is killing them before they reach their destinations. Detectives Carson Ryder and Harry Nautilus are having trouble gaining the trust of the volunteers who run the scheme. The only way in is for an undercover police officer to pose as a threatened woman, making herself a target and drawing the killer out. Reinetta Early is the ideal candidate – but she also happens to be Harry’s niece. He always promised his sister that he would keep Reinetta safe from harm. Suddenly he’s unsure if he can even keep her alive…