January 21, 2020

2020 preview: Most anticipated mysteries & thrillers

The 33 most anticipated mysteries and thrillers of 2020.

January 21, 2020

2020 preview: Most anticipated mysteries & thrillers

The 33 most anticipated mysteries and thrillers of 2020.

January 21, 2020

2020 preview: Most anticipated mysteries & thrillers

The 33 most anticipated mysteries and thrillers of 2020.

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The post-holidays winter blues are in full swing, but there’s a silver lining—an entire year’s worth of fabulous mysteries and thrillers lie ahead.

The Better Liar by Tanen Jones
Ballantine | January 14

Tanen Jones is out to give the almost painfully heterosexual “domestic thriller” a welcome shot of queer energy. Her debut, The Better Liar, is impeccably crafted with an ending to die for.

The Janes by Louise Luna
Doubleday | January 21

Tough as nails PI Alice Vega returns in Luna’s follow-up to 2018’s Two Girls Down, continuing a series that represents the very best in modern noir.

Hi Five by Joe Ide
| January 28

IQ is back for another adventure, told in Ide’s inimitable voice. The genius L.A. PI jut wants to be normal—but knowing him, that won’t last long.

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah
William Morrow | February 4

Hannah’s latest may have the creepiest premise of the year. Beth sees her ex-best friend, Flora, after more than a decade has passed. But Flora’s young children appear to be the exact same age.

A Divided Loyalty by Charles Todd
William Morrow | February 4

It is truly uncanny how Charles Todd manages to continue not one, but two historical mysteries series at such a steady pace and consistent quality. Next up is a chilling and truly puzzling new case for Inspector Ian Rutledge, involving stone circles, an unidentified woman, and possibly, one of his colleagues.

The Chill by Scott Carson
Emily Bestler | February 11

This Stephen King-esque thriller centering on a creepy, possibly haunted reservoir grounds its fantastical premise with empathetic character work and sharp detail.

Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Agora | February 11

Moreno-Garcia’s magnificent, evocative fantasies are consistently wonderful, and it’s very exciting to see her turn her talents to a noir thriller.

No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez
William Morrow | February 18

While driving home one night, Cassie Larkin rescues a woman being attacked by a man, who then steals her car to make a quick getaway. And that’s when things get creepy, because he now has her name and her address from her registration. When her husband disappears a few days later, Cassie assumes the worst.

The Last Passenger by Charles Finch
| February 18

Finch’s prequel series, which tells the story of a young and untested Charles Lenox, comes to a close in this 1855-set mystery.

The Holdout by Graham Moore
Random House 
| February 18

A smart, deeply satisfying legal thriller, The Holdout is the book to read if you’ve been missing “American Crime Story,” especially the first season covering the O.J. Simpson trial.

Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
William Morrow | March 3

Years ago, bookseller Malcolm Kershaw wrote a blog post listing out the eight most perfect murders in fiction. Now, it’s pretty clear someone is mimicking the murders on his list. Swanson’s fiendishly clever love letter to classic mysteries only gets crazier from there.

The Deep by Alma Katsu
Putnam | March 10

I am personally very frightened of the ocean, so this book is seemingly designed to give me nightmares. Taking place on both the Titanic and its lesser-known sister ship the Brittanic, Katsu’s historical thriller posits that the Titanic sank due to something ghost-like and watery and nefarious.

A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn
| March 10

Veronica Speedwell has another mystery to solve in Victorian London, but this time Jack the Ripper is stalking the alleyways and public panic is reaching a fever pitch.

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian
Doubleday | March 17

When ER doctor Alexis’ boyfriend disappears during a cycling trip to Vietnam, the secrets she begins to uncover cast doubt on their entire relationship in the latest thriller from the phenomenally talented Bohjalian.

The Boy from the Woods by Harlan Coben
Grand Central | March 17

A gloriously pulpy premise—a boy found living feral in the woods, who 30 years later searches for another lost child—in the hands of a thriller master.

Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
Berkley | March 17

I’m sure someone, somewhere, is writing a really interesting paper on why we’re all so fascinated with Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Wrobel’s debut picks up after the damage has seemingly been done, and Rose Gold Watt’s abusive mother, Patty, is released from prison. But for some twisted, possibly vengeful reason, Rose Gold welcomes her back home.

The Herd by Andrea Bartz
Ballantine | March 24

The founder of an elite, women’s-only working space (yes, it’s basically The Wing) is murdered in Bartz’s sophomore thriller.

The Last Tourist by Olen Steinhauer
| March 24

Steinhauer brings back Milo Weaver for another adventure as a new breed of Tourists threaten the stalwart CIA agent.

Who Speaks for the Damned by C.S. Harris
Berkley | April 7

The Sebastian St. Cyr series is among the best of Regency mysteries, and this time St. Cyr is investigating the death of Nicholas Hayes, who was believed to have died 15 years before St. Cyr stumbles upon his corpse.

A Stroke of Malice by Anna Lee Huber
Berkley | April 7

And now onto another Regency sleuth, Lady Darby, whose holidays are marred by murder in Huber’s eighth historical mystery starring Kiera Darby and her dashing husband, Sebastian Gage.

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones
St. Martin’s | April 7

Having recently wrapped her Charley Davidson series, Jones kicks off a new mystery series—but this time it’s all garden-variety humans, and no urban fantasy monsters in sight.

Hid from Our Eyes by Julia Spencer-Fleming
Minotaur | April 7

Spencer-Fleming’s first mystery in seven years takes place over three separate timelines as cops from three different generations try to catch the same serial killer operating in upstate New York.

Camino Winds by John Grisham
Doubleday | April 28

Grisham returns to the deceptively peaceful locale of Camino Island for another adventure starring novelist Mercer Mann.

He Started It by Samantha Downing
Berkley | April 28

Downing’s debut, My Lovely Wife, was an enjoyably nasty thriller centered on a particularly toxic marriage. Next up—a particularly toxic family in He Started It.

The Goodbye Man by Jeffery Deaver
Putnam | May 12

Expert tracker Colter Shaw returns, and this time he’s tracking down two white teenagers accused of a horrific hate crime.

Lone Jack Trail by Owen Laukkanen
Mulholland | May 26

Laukkanen’s Deception Cove was an expertly crafted thriller with a surprisingly sweet center, so we’re excited for another adventure starring Mason Burke, Jess Winslow and the dog they both love.

A Royal Affair by Allison Montclair
Minotaur | June 9

Montclair’s debut, The Right Sort of Man, was the rare historical mystery was sprightly, moving and just a joy all around. So I was already excited for her second Sparks & Bainbridge mystery, even before I learned that the ladies’ next case will be investigating Philip Mountbatten, the future husband of Elizabeth II.

The Mist by Ragnar Jónasson
| June 23

Detective Hulda is back and Jónasson will be throwing another horribly scarring case at her in this terrifying tale of an isolated cabin, a snowstorm and a murder.

The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Grand Central | June 23

Guillermo del Toro’s writing a thriller??? This book will follow a rookie FBI agent, but knowing del Toro, there will probably be some gorgeously designed, supernatural evil involved in the mysterious events Odessa Hardwicke sets out to investigate.

The Golden Cage by Camilla Läckberg
Knopf | July 7

The Swedish mystery queen will be making a bit of a change of pace in this standalone psychological thriller following a billionaire’s wife out for revenge on her terrible husband.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
| July 7

As is tradition, Sager will be putting his own clever spin on a classic horror/thriller trope this July. This year it’s the haunted house, a la The Amityville Horror.

Dead Man Dancing by John Galligan
| July 14

Galligan’s dark, painfully relevant Bad Axe County was one of my favorite thrillers of last year, and Dead Man Dancing sounds like a powerful follow-up.

The Grove of the Caesars by Lindsey Davis
Minotaur | July 28

Roman private investigator Flavia Albia is out to catch a serial killer who operates in a sacred grove in Davis’ eighth mystery starring the adopted daughter of her other beloved detective, Marcus Didius Falco.

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