On the Radar: Five twisty thrillers

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Summer is nearly here and as temperatures rise the publishing industry begins to deliver page-turning thrillers for the holiday season. Our news column seems to reflect this – each book this week is a thriller that aims to get you hooked. We start with The Wreckage of Us by English author Dan Malakin, plus we have the latest from Rachel Howzell Hall, a debut from Lori Brand, a new one from the writing duo Ellery Lloyd and an indie gangster thriller from Canadian writer Oswald Black.

Read on and take your pick.

The Wreckage of Us by Dan Malakin

The Wreckage of Us by Dan Malakin front cover

A husband with something to hide is the starting point for The Wreckage of Us, Dan Malakin‘s latest twisty thriller, out on 6 June. Astrid Webb has gone missing before, so her partner Bryan isn’t too alarmed when her car is found abandoned near the woods, even though the driver’s door was left open and the seat is spotted with blood. But as the days pass and Astrid doesn’t come home, the police become suspicious of Bryan. Astrid was ill and there are things her husband isn’t telling them – but when a woman’s body is found, her face badly disfigured, it’s clear that Bryan can’t stay quiet forever. The question is, who is he trying to protect?
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What Fire Brings by Rachel Howzell Hall

What Fire Brings by Rachel Howzell Hall front cover

A woman taken on to help a best-selling thriller novelist to write his books finds herself in the centre of a real-life mystery in Rachel Howzell Hall‘s What Fire Brings, which comes out on 11 June. But Bailey Meadows has ulterior motives when she moves into the remote Topanga Canyon home of author Jack Beckham – she wants to find Sam Morris, a community leader dedicated to finding missing people, who has disappeared in the canyon surrounding Beckham’s property, an area known for wildfires and mountain lions. Bailey soon learns that other women have gone missing too, and as she struggles to put the pieces together, she’s about to find herself in the firing line.
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Bodies to Die For by Lori Brand

Bodies to Die for by Lori Brand front cover

Who knew that the conflicts of body image could ever surface in a crime novel? Set the snacks aside and settle down on 11 June, when Bodies to Die For by Lori Brand is published. Fitness influencer Gemma is a walking advertisement for the “perfect” body, and offline she’s obsessed with bikini bodybuilding competitions. Software engineer Ashley, on the other hand, is overweight and ready to take down diet culture by whatever means necessary. The fight comes to a head at the Olympia bodybuilding show, where Gemma’s toughest rival turns up dead and more fitness girls fall like dominoes. Suddenly, it looks like the body image war has gone too far.
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Wedding Bandits by Oswald Black

Wedding Bandits by Oswald Black front cover

Canadian debut author Oswald Black releases a darkly comic shot of noir on 11 June with the arrival of Wedding Bandits. There was always something fishy about Angie Robertson’s marriage – and when the groom goes missing with over $200,000 in wedding gifts and a brand new 911 Porsche convertible it seems like everyone’s suspicions were correct. It’s another day at the office for the missing groom and his team of con artists, who have pulled the caper many times before. But Angie’s dad is a well-known gangster, and he’s not about to see his beloved daughter upset. Soon he and his son are on their tail, and with the FBI also in hot pursuit it could finally be curtains for the wedding bandits.
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The Final Act of Juliette Willoughby by Ellery Lloyd

Back in in 1938, runaway heiress and artist Juliette Willoughby died in an accidental studio fire in Paris, and her masterpiece Self Portrait as Sphinx perished with her. In Cambridge, half a century later, two academics uncover evidence that Juliette’s death was anything but accidental. The ‘Willoughby Curse’ is the stuff of legend, but what does this latest discovery mean? And how could it be connected to a brutal murder in present-day Dubai? All will become clear when The Final Act of Juliette Willoughby by Ellery Lloyd comes out on 11 June in the US, 20 June in the UK.
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Click here to read about last week’s new releases.

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