10 interesting and useful novels for May that can be read

10 interesting and useful novels for May that can be read


Stephen Mack Jones, Dead of Winter

Stephen Mack Jones’s August Snow series has been a real revelation for detective fiction, and during this , the third installment, the planet just keeps getting richer and more nuanced and therefore the writing more incisive. Here, Snow is approached by the top of an area institution, Authentico Foods, who is being strong-armed by an anonymous antagonist. Snow decides to assist and therefore the refore the investigation soon takes during a shadowy land operation and the attempted gentrification of Detroit’s Mexicantown. this is often a criminal offense novel that takes on big social issues with style and insight.


Kathy Wang, Impostor Syndrome
(Custom House)

This is the Silicon Valley spy novel we’ve all been expecting , with a side order of biting satire and furious feminism. In 2006, Julia Lerner is an orphaned Muscovite with a computing degree. 12 years later, she’s one among the foremost powerful women in Silicon Valley , sending sensitive information to her Russian handlers when she’s not busy crushing the competition to her social media company employer or being the keynote speaker on work/life balance at yet one more conference. Things start to heat up when an underling stumbles on a suspicious use of knowledge and therefore the two begin an epic game of cat-and-mouse with gasp-worthy consequences.


David Gordon, Against the Law
(Mysterious Press)

With his new “Joe the Bouncer” novel, Gordon features a unique and worthwhile series on his hands: a throwback to the wild crime series of the 70s from writers like Donald Westlake and Lawrence Block, writers who infused their crime capers with a sort of urbane wit that threaded together all the action. In Against the Law, Joe, still plying his trades as a strip club bouncer by night and a mob fixer by other times. takes on employment tracking down a mysterious heroin source. Pretty soon, he’s at the middle of it all, the sole man who can prevent a gang war erupting on city streets, and keeping the peace goes to need his skills as a former special ops man and, relatedly, a master thief. Gordon’s writing is consistently sharp and funny, and he conjures up a vivid, sleazy, exciting vision of latest York. –DM


Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps

Stacey Abrams is understood for crafting delicious romance novels when she’s not campaigning for voter rights, but 2021 brings a special treat: her first ever legal thriller!!! A young law clerk for an enigmatic Supreme Court Justice finds herself within the midst of intrigue and danger as she tries to hold out a seeming-wild-goose-chase after her mentor finishes up comatose. She forms an uneasy partnership with the judge’s estranged son, because the two race against the clock to seek out the culprit behind the dastardly deeds. Action-packed and filled with good people doing badass things! –MO


L.R. Dorn, The Anatomy of Desire
(William Morrow)

Anatomy of Desire, the debut offering from L.R. Dorn (Matt Dorff and Suzanne Dunn) is an audacious crime novel, a stylistically daring retelling of Thedore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy that takes the shape of an oral history, or better yet the script of an investigative docuseries. If that seems like a replacement reading experience, that’s the purpose . The result’s an immersive text that takes us inside the look for a missing woman, a l. a. social influencer last seen on a lake with another woman found dead. Dorn captures the cadences—and the excitement—of a real crime podcast while maintaining the depth of perspective and knowledge of a completely unique . –DM



Mia P. Manansala, Arsenic and Adobo

Mia P. Manansala won the Eleanor Taylor Bland Award from Sisters in Crime for her early work on her debut, and that i couldn’t be happier to ascertain her creative new cozy series come to fruition. In Arsenic and Adobo, Manansala has all the ingredients for an incredible culinary cozy—a recently returned daughter, meddling relatives, a failing restaurant, and a dead restaurant critic. Also, attempt to read this one without ordering food online. I dare you. –MO

Chris Power, A Lonely Man

An apparently chance meeting during a bookstore launches the story of Chris Power’s intricate, searching debut. The meeting is between two Brits in Berlin, one a writer in search of his next book, the opposite claims to be a ghostwriter on the lam, hired to write down a book for a Russian oligarch, a person who was shortly after killed. The bizarre tale connects the 2 , but in unusual ways, as both seem to be testing the other’s sense of reality, art, fiction, truth, and lies. A Lonely Man is an uncanny novel within the best sense possible. The mystery comes in readers efforts to untangle the various disorienting layers of narrative, asking themselves whether anything during this compelling world is authentic, and whether that’s the proper question in the least . –DM



Nancy Tucker, The First Day of Spring (Riverhead)

The First Day of Spring may be a strange combination of heartwarming, disturbing, and devastating. It begins with a murder—8-year-old Chrissie has killed alittle boy, her motives obscure, and her pleasure at the act unquestioned. 20 years later, Chrissie lives under a replacement name together with her young daughter, whom Chrissie is scared of losing. As we follow her on a desperate journey to her old haunting grounds, interspersed with slow reveals of horrific neglect suffered by Chrissie in her own childhood, we begin, perhaps, to know her childhood act, and to ascertain a path toward redemption. –MO



Gin Phillips, Family Law

Phillips Family Law is directly a thriller, a searing legal drama, and an intimate portrait of family life in flux. Set in 1980s Alabama, the story follows a lawyer and a girl who comes into her orbit in an unexpected and intense way. Phillips evokes the era’a tensions with precision and power, but quite anything Family Law may be a closely observed novel about friendship, closeness, and trauma. –DM



Ben Winters, The Quiet Boy

rs is know for his quiet, noir takes on fantasy and alternative history, but his latest goes in a completely new direction as Winters looks at the long consequences of a botched procedure and explores the character of vengeance. The Quiet Boy is split between two timelines and two legal cases: in 2008, a family sues a hospital for malpractice after their child’s health is broken by a routine procedure, while ten years later, the family’s patriarch is now the one on trial: for the murder of a key witness from the primary trial. –MO