Here are some page turners that need to be on your reading list:
“The Escape Room” (St. Martin’s Press): This novel by Megan Goldin has the revenge plotting of “The Perfect Girlfriend,” the yuppie satire of “American Psycho” and the badass women reclaiming corporate America of “Whisper Network.” It’s also probably the best new thriller you’ll read this summer.
Sara Hall reluctantly joins a prestigious Wall Street firm to pay for her parents’ medical expenses and soon finds herself in over her head. The novel alternates between her perspective and another story, taking place at the firm sometime in the future, where Sara is gone and a handful of her coworkers find themselves trapped in a makeshift “escape room.” Though they’re told they were gathered in the elevator for a team-building exercise, they’re stuck in this claustrophobic space with no lights and no way to get out. What did they do to find themselves trapped there? How, if at all, is Sara involved? These questions will keep you turning the pages.
“The Nickel Boys” (Doubleday): Following Colson Whitehead’s critically acclaimed 2016 novel “The Underground Railroad,” expectations were set very high for the author’s next work. Fortunately, Whitehead delivers in his searing new novel, “The Nickel Boys.”
Set during the advent of the civil rights movement, the novel centers on Elwood Curtis, an up-and-coming African American boy who hitchhikes his way into a stolen car and finds himself sentenced to a juvenile reform school. Based on the true story of a school in Jim Crow Florida, Nickel Academy is the site of sadistic torture and deprivation for boys ages 5 to 18. In the sorriest cases, students disappear “out back.” Tragically, many of the boys were sent there for only minor slip-ups; as the narrator wryly observes, “All the violent offenders… were on staff.”
“The Marriage Clock” (William Morrow): In Zara Raheem’s fresh debut novel, Leila Abid, a Muslim-American woman, races to find the man of her dreams as her traditional Indian parents threaten to arrange the marriage for her.
A friend pushes Leila to decide exactly what she wants in a guy. The resulting list of forty-six traits written on seven napkins brings her no closer to finding that nice Muslim man. But at her 26th birthday dinner, Leila’s ambivalence is overtaken by a new reality when her mother whips out a one-inch stack of resumes all of potential suitors.
This book is not only fast-paced but also offers a rich and vibrant picture of Indian culture and tradition, set in both Los Angeles and Mumbai.
“Someone We Know” (Pamela Dorman Books): With her fourth psychological thriller (aka “domestic suspense”), Shari Lapena will once again have you turning pages at a furious rate. “Someone We Know” returns to the region featured in her last novel, “An Unwanted Guest,” the Catskills and Hudson River Valley of upstate New York.
The premise is a familiar one: a stranger comes to town. The peaceful, idyllic lives of neighbors are destabilized, then destroyed. In this case, it’s a couple new to Aylesford. They’re too attractive, too young, and childless — i.e. a threat to all the parents around them, each facing the various phases of fading beauty.
Giving this classic mystery setup another layer of intrigue is a smart and sneaky 16-year-old, Raleigh Sharpe, who has made a habit of breaking into neighborhood homes to practice his hacking skills on others’ computers. It’s a practice that gets him in trouble. This book is a paranoid psychological thriller in the finest tradition.
BookTrib authors Jeff Daugherty, Jessica McEntee, Anne Eliot Feldman and Casey Barrett contributed to this story. BookTrib.com is the lifestyle destination for book lovers, where articles and books are paired together to create dynamic content that goes beyond traditional book reviews.