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The Best Mysteries & Thrillers of May

If I had to describe the five books I've selected to write about from our list of the Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense of May, I'd have to call it "Southern Gothic-meets-Gone Girl-meets-the Apocalypse." If that's not a gumbo recipe for thriller success, I don't know what is. If you're more in the mood for a straight police procedural, you can see our full list here.


Redemption Road by John Hart

It may have taken Hart five years to write this novel, but it was an instant best seller. He writes character-based Southern Gothic thrillers, and in Redemption Road, Hart (the only writer to receive two consecutive Edgar awards) weaves many threads together to create plot twists and intrigue that will only add to his legions of adoring fans. The female police detective Elizabeth Black is especially well-drawn.


I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh

Readers are absolutely loving this book. Some of the more famous readers have chimed in, among them The Girl on the Train author Paul Hawkins ("a finely crafted novel with a killer twist") and Lee Child ("Astonishingly good"). The story has a rough start, especially for parents of young children: a five-year-old boy lets go of his mother's hand and is killed by a hit-and-run driver. If you can handle that, give this one a try. Here's one more reader review, by Elizabeth Haynes, author of Into the Darkest Corner: "I read I Let You Go in two sittings; it made me cry (at least twice), made me gasp out loud (once), and above all made me wish I'd written it . . . a stellar achievement."


Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

Lisa Scottoline describes Kubica's novel as "Single White Female on steroids." Kubica is the best-selling author of The Good Girl, a debut that firmly established her as an author to pay attention to (the book also helped launch the phenomenon of best-selling novels with "Girl" in the title). Don't You Cry follows two storylines. In Chicago, a young woman disappears from her apartment. Meanwhile, in a small nearby town a mysterious young woman appears in a coffee shop. Kubica is a master of suspense. In her books, things are not always what they at first seem to be. And that's a good thing.


The Fireman by Joe Hill

The Fireman was also the title of a 1951 Ray Bradbury short story-- a story that grew into the novel Fahrenheit 451 two years later. Joe Hill's book shares some similarities with Bradbury's, but instead of burning books, it's people that are being burned. Amazon Senior Editor Adrian Liang has this to say about the book: "Each and every page had me entranced. Set in New Hampshire right about now, The Fireman opens with a man spontaneously combusting outside the office of school nurse Harper Grayson. He's not the first victim of Draco incendia trychophyton, the spore responsible for this transformation, but he's the signal that Dragonscale has spread to Harper's small town. It also spreads to Harper soon after she realizes she's pregnant. Highly contagious and 100 percent fatal, Dragonscale soon plunges the world into chaos." Adrian points out that Hill cleverly keeps the story on a personal scale, making it all the more chilling.


The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

Justin Cronin, who is both a literary darling and a writer of immensely popular post-apocalyptic fiction, brings home his Passage Trilogy with the thrilling finale The City of Mirrors. I'll let Stephen King speak for Cronin's book here:

"A thrilling finale to a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction."—Stephen King


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