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The Best New Fiction Coming Out This Month

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The CrimeReads editors make their selections for the best new fiction coming out this May.



Megan Abbott, Beware the Woman

Megan Abbott goes Rosemary’s Baby! A pregnant woman and her doting husband head to a family retreat in the woods, ready to relax with the knowledge that her father-in-law is a doctor. But a sudden health scare, and the family’s strict supervision of her activities, make the cottage start to feel more like a prison, and Abbott’s narrator starts to get a bad feeling about her mother-in-law’s early demise. Abbott has already proven that teenage girlhood is Noir AF, so I’m psyched to read her do the same thing for pregnancy. –MO


Molly Odintz, Scott Montgomery, Hopeton Hay eds, Austin Noir
(Akashic Books)

The long-running Akashic noir series gets a standout installment this year, with a new collection focused on stories from one of America’s most fascinating cities, still clinging to its traditional ‘weirdness’ but also reckoning with a massive influx of money and an extreme clash of cultures that in many ways stands in for the broader forces at play in America today. The new collection has stories from Gabino Iglesias, Ace Atkins, and more, and with Molly Odintz, Scott Montgomery, and Hopeton Hays handling editorial duties, the volume takes on a rare sophistication worthy of its subject. This is the collection the city — and noir readers everywhere — deserve. –DM


Ivy Pochoda, Sing Her Down

Ivy Pochoda is one of the great writers of today, crime or otherwise, although luckily for me, she writes pure noir. Her latest plays with tropes of the western as two former cellmates from an Arizona prison engage in a cat-and-mouse game after both achieve release. Ivy Pochoda’s swaggering prose captures the blistering enmity between the characters, and is a fitting follow-up to her sublime and shattering These Women. –MO


T.J. Newman, Drowning
(Avid Reader/Simon & Schuster)

In the follow-up to Newman’s juggernaut debut thriller, we find ourselves trapped inside a crashed airplane which has sealed off as it drowns to the sea bottom, and while a rescue mission kicks into high gear. Newman proves that she has a knack for white-knuckle prose and adrenaline-inducing stories. –DM 


Tania Malik, Hope You Are Satisfied
(Unnamed Press)

It’s 1990. The invasion of Kuwait sets off the first Gulf War, and in between waiting for the SCUD missiles and the Americans, the employees of a small travel agency promising luxury Saudi Arabian vacations spend their time bickering, sleeping together, and partying in clubs off-limits to the local citizens. Riya is worried about her sister and in need of some extra cash, and the urge to help her best friend with an expensive issue is the final push she needs to accept a dangerous gig from a shady character. Let the international intrigue ensue! –MO


C.E. McGill, Our Hideous Progeny

In this innovative debut, Victor Frankenstein’s grand-niece, Mary, is determined to make her own way in the bustling science scene in mid-19th century London, but is running into obstacles at every turn. But soon, she comes across the family mystery: what really happened to her great-uncle? The search for that answer will take her on a dangerous journey. McGill paints a vivid period landscape and unfolds a story that resonates across the generations.


Vanessa Walters, The Nigerwife

In this pitch-perfect psychological thriller, set in the glitzy world of Lagos’ ultra-wealthy jet-set, a young ex-pat wife married to a wealthy Nigerian man disappears, and her aunt soon arrives from London seeking answers. The liquor pours are heavy, the sun beating down even heavier, and secrets weigh heaviest of all in this sultry, suspenseful thriller that had better be adapted for television as soon as the WGA strike is ended. –MO


Jaime Lynn Hendricks, I Didn’t Do It

Hendricks follow-up effort is a brisk, fun murder mystery set at a…well, a murder mystery conference. A star author turns up dead and the lead suspects are four of her peers, who of course immediately enter into a complex psychological game as each of them tries to finger the real killer. –DM


Daniel Weizmann, The Last Songbird
(Melville House)

So, let’s say Joan Baez was your regular Lyft client, and you’re a budding songwriter/former private investigator, and she asked you to look into some mysteries from her past, and then was found murdered. You’d obviously avenge Joan Baez, right? I mean, who wouldn’t. Joan Baez is perfect. Also, props to Daniel Weizmann for respecting older women as artists and for his clear dedication to writing about music in an evocative and intelligent manner. –MO


Kevin Powers, A Line in the Sand
(Little Brown)

When a former interpreter from Iraq, living out a lonely relocation on the Virginia shore, comes across a body on the beach, he thinks the violence and cruelty from the war is catching up with him again. A detective and a local reporter get involved in the matter, which soon seems to point in the direction of a government contractor. Powers writes with deep empathy and insight, bringing out a nuanced tale of geopolitics and personal tragedy. –DM

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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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