Library Column: New adult mysteries and thrillers

Published 4:00 am Sunday, August 1, 2021

This column was submitted by Evangeline Cessna, Local History Librarian at the Warren County – Vicksburg Public Library.

This week’s column features mysteries and thrillers from our New Adult Fiction collection.

In “An Ambush of Widows” by Jeff Abbott, two men who didn’t know each other are found dead together in a place neither had any business being. Henry North is a down-on-his-luck cybersecurity expert from New Orleans and Adam Zhang is a co-founder of one of Austin’s most successful venture capitalist firms. When Henry doesn’t return from his business trip, Kirsten, his wife, panics. Soon, she gets an anonymous phone call: “Your husband is dead in Austin.” Zhang’s wife Flora knew her husband had secrets. While she expected an affair, she had decided to be forgiving of his weakness — until he ended up dead. Austin police aren’t sure who the second man is at first, but they waste no time in looking at Flora for her husband’s murder. Flora and Kirsten form a tenuous alliance to fight the powerful foe determined to paint a false picture about the murders.

Linda Castillo continues her Kate Burkholder series with “Fallen.” When a young woman is found murdered in a Painters Mill motel, police chief Kate Burkholder must unravel the mystery of Rachael Schwartz’s life to discover who killed her. Rachael, like Kate, was a rebellious Amish woman who leaves the Plain life and fleas Painters Mill. Why was she back in town and who would brutally killer her? The more Kate learns about Rachael’s life, the more she sees why the girl had such a dubious reputation. As a child, Rachael was rowdy and a rulebreaker. As an adult, she was charismatic and beautiful with a keen eye for opportunity and an ambition that didn’t care who got in her way. Someone doesn’t want Rachael’s past nor the secrets she took to her grave coming to light. When the perpetrator strikes again, it’s too close to home for Kate’s liking and she hastens her investigation to catch this callous killer.

  1. A. Cosby illustrates two fathers’ quest for vengeance in his novel “Razorblade Tears.” Ike Randolph has been out of jail and keeping his nose clean for 15 years. As a black man, however, he is a bit afraid when the cops show up on his doorstep. The last thing he expects to hear is that his son, Isiah, and his white husband, Derek, have been murdered. While Ike never fully accepted the young men’s relationship, he is devastated by the news. Derek’s father Buddy Lee was nearly as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed that his father was a criminal. Ike and Buddy Lee find common ground as ex-cons and the love they had for their sons. Using Buddy Lee’s criminal contacts, he and Ike team up in a desperate desire for revenge. God help anyone who gets in their way.

Laura Dave explores the secrets we all keep in “The Last Thing He Told Me.” Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his new wife, Hannah: Protect her. Even though she is a bit confused by the situation, Hannah knows exactly who he means — his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey. As a child, Bailey tragically lost her mother, but she wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother. Hannah becomes desperate as she tries to call Owen, but to no avail. The FBI then arrests Owen’s boss, and a US Marshal and FBI agents show up at the couple’s home unannounced. Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth of Owen’s past and as they do, begin building a bond and a new future as a family. Does Bailey hold the key to her father’s secrets?

“For Your Own Good” is a novel by Samantha Downing. Belmont Academy is home to the best and brightest and Teddy Crutcher has just won Teacher of the Year. He says that his wife couldn’t be prouder, but no one has really seen her in a while. He also doesn’t seem to be bothered with the death of a school parent that looks more and more like murder. Nor can he be bothered with a student digging a little too deeply into Teddy’s personal life. His singular focus seems to be pushing his students to their full academic potential. What Teddy needs is for his colleagues and the endlessly meddlesome parents to stay out of his way. Sometimes, excellence can come at too high a cost, but that’s just too bad.