Check It Out Category: Mysteries/Thrillers/Suspense

You Are Invited: Domestic Thriller Night

the summer of author visits

Our MPPL Summer Celebration of Bookish Escapes has been great fun, and it isn’t over yet! Join us for the grand finale in which we indulge our tastes for delicious tension, intrigue, and page-turning excitement on Domestic Thriller Night: An Evening with Megan Miranda and Shari Lapena. On Thursday, August 12 from 7-8pm, this virtual author visit will be broadcast on Zoom, so you can enjoy from the comfort of your favorite reading chair. Register here.

such a quiet place book cover

Join readers from area libraries for a virtual evening with bestselling domestic thriller authors Megan Miranda and Shari Lapena when they discuss their new books with bestselling author Mary Kubica. Kubica’s most recent title is Local Woman Missing.

Megan Miranda’s new book, Such A Quiet Place, is described as the perfect summer beach read, is set in a seemingly idyllic neighborhood. Scratch the surface though, and there is deceit and viciousness festering inside the households of this community. Such A Quiet Place strikes an unnerving chord and will leave you wondering – do you ever really know your neighbors?

not a happy family book cover

Shari Lapena’s Not A Happy Family has it all: rich people behaving badly, sibling rivalry, twists, turns, red herrings, and, of course, a few murders interspersed. When Fred and Sheila Merton are savagely killed, their adult kids are devastated. Or are they? Lapena’s new book brings to life the world of the rich and powerful with the dysfunctional Merton family. In this family, everyone is keeping secrets. Even the dead.

Presented in partnership with Algonquin Area Public Library, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, Deerfield Public Library, Glencoe Public Library, Highland Park Public Library, Lake Villa District Library, Mount Prospect Public Library, Niles-Maine District Library, Schaumburg Township District Library, Vernon Area Public Library, and Wilmette Public Library.

Also, if you missed our fabulous MPPL-exclusive chat with romance author Talia Hibbert and booktuber Ashley from The Bookish Realm, you can access the recording here. We still have hearts in our eyes!

 

Author Program: Carl Hiaasen Interviews John Sandford

 

Enjoy sitting in on a virtual chat with bestselling thriller author John Sandford on Wednesday, April 14 from the comfort of your own home. Whether you are an established fan, looking for a new series, or simply interested in hearing first-hand about life as an author, you’ll be treated to a lively conversation. This program will be presented via Zoom, and you may register HERE.

As the reader resource tool NoveList describes, “John Sandford stands out for his consistent delivery of riveting characters and intense, richly layered plots in his Prey series, Kidd series, and his stand-alone novels. Crime drives his stories, whether his heroes are the ones solving or the ones committing the crime. Intricate details and graphic violence lend a gritty realism to the tone of these books, while maintaining a fast, suspenseful pace. Quirky characters and witty dialogue relieve the tension. Sandford’s good guys and bad guys alike are intriguing, complex, and realistically flawed.”

If you are interested in giving his books a try but uncertain how to begin with such a long series, here are entry points you might use:

Golden Prey book cover

Golden Prey (2017)
Prey series, #27

A series of audacious robberies compels newly appointed U.S. marshal Lucas Davenport to investigate the possible return of a gang leader who once killed two FBI agents.

Why start here? Series protagonist Lucas Davenport has a fresh start with a new job, and you don’t have to know the backstory to enjoy the thrilling chase that unfolds.

 

Invisible Prey book coverInvisible Prey (2007)
Prey series, # 17

Investigating the seemingly open-and-shut double homicide case involving a pair of wealthy elderly women, Lucas Davenport begins to suspect that the handful of small items that were stolen from the crime scene may have had more significant values.

Why start here? If your taste in crime fiction favors intriguing procedural, this entry offers all the Davenport flavor with heightened emphasis on the puzzles. Bonus: This is recurring character Virgil Flowers’ first appearance with Davenport, and he’ll even go on to have his own series.

 

Mad River book coverMad River (2012)
Virgil Flowers series, #6

When three teenagers with dead-end prospects begin a killing and robbery spree through rural Minnesota, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins a growing number of cops trying to stop them.

Why start here? New release Ocean Prey is the first to pair Davenport and Flowers in equal parts, and this entry shows Virgil’s distinct personality and approach.

 

Certain Prey book coverCertain Prey (1999)
Prey series, #10

Clara Rinker is the best hit woman in the business. She’s been hired by an attorney in Minnesota who wants a rival eliminated. But the witness survives, the attorney starts acting strangely and a big cop named Lucas Davenport gets on her case. There are loose ends popping up everywhere and Lucas is in for the run of his life.

Why start here? For those fascinated by the interplay between hero and villain, such as in TV series Luther, The Fall, or Hannibal, the same dark, titillating satisfaction can be found in this pairing.

 

Rules of Prey book coverRules of Prey (1989)
Prey series, #1

Lieutenant Lucas Davenport is determined to track down a diabolically clever serial killer who leads a double life, carefully picks out his female victims, and taunts the police with notes signed Maddog.

Why start here? For those who cannot bear to jump in mid-series, here’s where it all began!

 

 

Scandinavian Chills

Scandinavian Chills book list

Winter’s cold chill is right around the corner, and Scandinavian mysteries and thrillers are bound to give you a different kind of icy sensation. Grisly murders, dark settings, and daring detectives connect these tales to make your blood run cold.

The Chestnut man book cover

 

The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup 

When a serial killer begins leaving handmade dolls at his murder scenes, two detectives struggle to put aside their differences and follow forensic clues linking the case to a politician’s kidnapped daughter.

Bleak; Gruesome

 

The Crow Girl book cover

 

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund 
Series: Victoria Bergman novels, 1

Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg investigates a serial killer who is targeting children.

Disturbing; Suspenseful

 

The Ice Princess book cover

 

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg 
Series: Patrik Hedstrom mysteries, 1

After she returns to her hometown to learn that her friend, Alex, was found in an ice-cold bath with her wrists slashed, biographer Erica Falck researches her friend’s past in hopes of writing a book and joins forces with Detective Patrik Hedstrom, who has his own suspicions about the case.

Leisurely-paced; Compelling

 

The Keeper of Lost Causes book cover

 

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Series: Department Q, 1

Chief detective Carl Morck, recovering from what he thought was a career-destroying gunshot wound, is relegated to cold cases and becomes immersed in the five-year disappearance of a politician.

Atmospheric; Suspenseful

 

Unseen book cover

Unseen by Mari Jungstedt
Series: Detective Anders Knutas mysteries, 1

In the midst of preparing for the midsummer tourist season, the island of Gotland is rocked by the brutal killings of a young woman and her dog, a crime that becomes only the first as a serial killer terrorizes tourists and locals alike and brings Inspector Anders Knutas into an alliance with journalist Johan Berg to find the murderer before more women die.

Intricately Plotted; Fast-paced

 

Call Me Princess book cover

 

Call Me Princess by Sara Blaedel 
Series: Louise Rick and Camilla Lind novels, 1

Copenhagen Detective Inspector Louise Rick searches for an online predator who has brutally attacked a young woman in her home, a crime that prompts Louise to set up an online profile on the dating site where the predator is soliciting women.

Suspenseful; Gritty

What Mount Prospect Is Reading

What You've Been Reading image

Mount Prospect, you’ve been reading, and we’ve been talking! Every week we have been extending an open invitation for readers to gather and share the books keeping them company in these odd times. We’ve chatted romance, dark fantasy, nonfiction, mysteries, feel-good, horror, and elegant prose. Check out the titles brought by our attendees, and please consider joining us for this week’s conversation: Let’s Talk Books!

Stay Sweet book coverStay Sweet
Siobhan Vivian
Age of Witches book coverThe Age of Witches
Louisa Morgan

 

Mockingbirds book coverThe Mockingbirds
Daisy Whitney
Dutch House book coverThe Dutch House
Ann Patchett

 

Tenant book coverThe Tenant
Katrine Engberg
Headliners book coverHeadliners
Lucy Parker
Wow, No Thank You book coverWow, No Thank You
Samantha Irby

 

Beautiful Ones book coverThe Beautiful Ones
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

 

Monster of Elendhaven book coverThe Monster of Elendhaven
Jennifer Giesbrecht
Foul Is Fair book coverFoul Is Fair
Hannah Capin

 

Honey-Don't List book coverThe Honey-Don’t List
Christina Lauren
Year of the Witching book coverThe Year of the Witching
Alexis Henderson

 

Mornings with Rosemary book coverMornings with Rosemary
(also published as The Lido)
Libby Page
Vanishing Half book coverThe Vanishing Half
Brit Bennett
All Adults Here book coverAll Adults Here
Emma Straub

 

What to Watch from Home – Staff Digital Picks for Chilling Drama

Staff Video Picks Chilling Drama image

There are times when the most satisfying tension release is to lose ourselves in someone else’s (fictional) drama. To help escape our own strain, it can feel cathartic to be swept away in dark thrills, mystery, action, or espionage. If a flair for the dramatic sounds good to you right now, check out these staff suggestions available to watch from home on Hoopla and Kanopy with your library card.

First Reformed video image

 

First Reformed

If you like dark suspense, unstable characters who are navigating their purposes in life, and those who become attracted to the opposite of what they might preach. ~Chelsea

 

Fall TV series image

 

The Fall

This psychological thriller had me on the edge of my seat all season long! The story follows a serial killer and the detective intent on bringing him down. As the story progresses, the two become obsessed with each other. Will he or won’t he be caught? You’ll have to watch and find out. ~Al

 

Down the Shore video image

 

Down the Shore

Starring James Gandolfini. The lives of three childhood friends begin to unravel when a deadly secret from their past is revealed. ~Denise

 

Hidden TV series image

 

Hidden 

Who knew that Wales could hold its own against Scandinavia with moody, can’t-look-away noir? This limited series has all the hallmarks, including baggage-laden investigators and immersive sense of place. ~Cathleen

 

 

Leave No Trace video image

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace follows a veteran and his teenage daughter who live in the woods in the Pacific Northwest. It follows their lifestyle, their bond, and how unsustainable their lifestyle becomes and how both of them try to adapt. ~Chelsea

 

 

Still Life DVD cover

 

Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery

Based on Louise Penny’s novel. Gorgeous scenery and a fascinating mystery. ~Denise

 

 

Charade video image

 

Charade

This classic may be remembered for moments of stylish banter, but it also boasts multiple twists on whom can be trusted. Director Stanley Donen’s playful mix of light and dark is a cross-generational favorite. ~Cathleen

 

 

Gunpowder video image

Gunpowder

Who doesn’t miss Kit Harington from Game of Thrones? Get your next fix of him in Gunpowder, a historical drama set in the 1600s based on the Gunpowder plot to assassinate King James I of England. With striking visuals, a stellar score, and top-notch acting, this will surely please fans of historical fiction ~Al

 

 

Gone Baby Gone video image

 

Gone Baby Gone

Expertly portraying the gritty depths and darkness of human nature, this adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s novel wisely plants the compelling bleak-yet-determined qualities of the characters at the forefront.  ~Cathleen

 

 

 

Pandemic video imageDenise recommends
Pandemic
Keeping Faith TV series imageKelda recommends
Keeping Faith
Winters Bone video imageCathleen recommends
Winter’s Bone

 
 
Still looking? Check out earlier installments of Staff Movies and TV Picks available from home or contact us for suggestions personalized to your mood and taste.