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The Best New Crime Novels Coming Out in July

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The CrimeReads editors select the month’s best new fiction in crime, mystery, and thrillers.



Jennifer Hillier, Things We Do In The Dark

I’ve been obsessed with Jennifer Hillier’s sly psychological thrillers since her breakout hit Jar of Hearts, and Things We Do In the Dark promises to showcase her characters’ signature slippery grasp on morality once again. Paris Peralta is found at the center of a shocking crime scene, but she’s not afraid of the police: she’s afraid of the woman from her past who will recognize the crime and come calling. I cannot wait to read this book. –MO


Daniel Silva, Portrait of an Unknown Woman

Every Daniel Silva has their own particular taste when it comes to the flavor of a new Gabriel Allon adventure, but certainly there’s some broad agreement that Allon is at his most fascinating when he’s playing to his skills as an art restorer, in addition to his career at Mossad. In Portrait of an Unknown Woman, he’s on the trail of a forged masterpiece, a painting that’s been trading hands and millions on its mysterious journey across Europe. –DM


Silvia Moreno-Garcia, The Daughter of Doctor Moreau 
(Del Rey Books)

I can’t get enough of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s playful takes on classic genres. In her latest, the Island of Doctor Moreau gets a Yucatan-set treatment, steeped in sultry atmospherics and set during the lead-up to the Mexican Revolution as the hacienda system begins to crumple. Carlota Moreau loves her scientist father, whose injections keep her alive; she loves her fur-covered playmates, whose ailments can be ascribed to their mishmash of human and animal genes; she even cares for the drunken plantation overseer who facilitates the gruesome experiments. But her character was raised to be pampered, not tested, and her loyalties will soon face a breaking point as the goals of her father, his patron, and those they torture pull Carlota in opposite directions. –MO


Conner Habib, Hawk Mountain

A supremely tense debut, Conner Habib’s Hawk Mountain channels Patricia Highsmith by way of Hitchcock, with a chance encounter on a beach that throws two men—one of them a long ago bully, the other the bullied—into a present-day collision. Habib builds the sense of dread with slow, carefully meted out notes of obsession and intuition. –DM


Barbara Bourland, The Force of Such Beauty

I’d describe this one as “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” if it was written from the perspective of Grace Kelly or Lady Di. A former Olympic athlete, body broken from overtraining, meets the handsome heir to a small kingdom and becomes his blushing bride. Soon, her nuptial bliss turns to waking nightmare, as her husband and her mother-in-law conspire to control every dollar in the kingdom and every moment of the new princess’s life.–MO


Elizabeth Hand, Hokuloa Road

If Lost had been written by Jane and Paul Bowles, with some input from Stephen King, then it might read something like Hokolua Road. I guess I just could have called it a tropical version of the Shining, given the set-up: an out-of-work builder from Maine accepts a job as a live-in caretaker for a remote Hawaiian estate owned by reclusive and eccentric tech billionaire. He’s out of his element, far from help, and mysterious things just keep happening…But is it all in his admittedly messed-up head, or is the land itself rejecting him? –MO


Dwyer Murphy, An Honest Living

If Cara Black’s Aimee Leduc smoked pot, or if Michael Connelly was from Paris, their books might read a little something like Dwyer Murphy’s absurdly entertaining and extremely literary debut, An Honest Living. A lawyer is hired by an old man’s younger wife to find out if he’s been selling off her book collection. Actually, someone pretending to be the wife hired the lawyer, and now the real wife is trying to solve two mysteries—who would bother to impersonate her, and why did her husband send her a box of rare books and pamphlets just before his untimely demise? Those who enjoy New York settings and forays into the world of rare books will particularly enjoy this rollicking yet literary read. –MO


Sarah Pearse, The Retreat
(Pamela Dorman Books)

A sinister wellness retreat on an island once stalked by a serial killer and now thought to be cursed? That is the intense setting for Sarah Pearse’s new novel, which features the detective from her previous novel, Elin Warner, as she looks into the death of a young woman who seems to have perished in a fall. But then Elin realizes that the woman was not a guest at the retreat, but an outsider–someone who was never meant to be there at all. Can’t wait to read it when I’m done hiding under the covers. –OR


Rachel Howzell Hall, We Lie Here
(Thomas & Mercer)

Rachel Howzell Hall’s latest has one of the best cold opens I’ve ever read—I dare you to not race your way through this book after reading the first ten pages. After the opening shocker, we switch to the perspective of a frustrated TV writer who’s headed home for her parents’ anniversary dinner when she receives a disturbing message from her mother’s childhood friend. The next day, the friend is dead, and the writer must journey to a remote summer vacation cabin where answers to past and present-day crimes may be found. Now I need to do a list of cabin-set mysteries so I can make a joke about that Cabin Porn photography collection. –MO


Ruth Ware, The It Girl

In Ruth Ware’s latest page-turner, Hannah Jones wants to let her past lie and focus on her pregnancy, but the media just won’t leave her alone. After all, she was once the roommate of murdered Oxford “It girl” April Coutts-Cliveden, and it was Hannah’s testimony that sent the suspected killer, John Neville, to prison. Now, John Neville is dead, raising uncomfortable questions that Hannah may end up answering after all. –MO

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Michael Neff
Algonkian Producer
New York Pitch Director
Author, Development Exec, Editor

We are the makers of novels, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

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