Get a kick from these thrillers written by contributors to Alta Journal. They’re pulled from a special guide of 83 titles, and this category includes works by Keenan Norris and Lisa Quigley, and a spotlight on Walter Mosley.
In April in Paris, a nightmare prompts Shaun, an American professor, to investigate a 1916 murder that occurred in his father’s childhood home in the Bronx. Leaving Paris, where he was enjoying a sabbatical, Shaun returns to the United States to gather evidence and considers the possibility that his dream was a repressed memory. His efforts to uncover the truth take him around the globe as he tries to keep alive his first romantic relationship following the death of his wife. Arcade Publishing, July 2021, 264 pages, $24.99 hardcover
Angry teenage girls, black magic, and mysterious killings turn Max’s idea of a fun summer at Camp Neverland into a nightmare. When her friends start getting knocked off in gruesome ways, Max must decide whether she will try to fit in with her peers at all costs or reveal a secret that may get her ostracized. Lisa Quigley, who previously contributed to the Rewind or Die series with her novella, Hell’s Bells, spins this sinister and unsettling tale. Unnerving, June 2021, 122 pages, $11.49 paperback
After participating in a protest against police brutality, a young Black man becomes a fugitive in The Confession of Copeland Cane. Set in Oakland in the 2030s, the eponymous character, Cope, must ward off a deadly flu and navigate a police state aided by social media surveillance. When he sends a freshman journalist named Jacqueline the transcript of a 48-hour recording detailing his ordeal and critiques of society, she is faced with the choice of turning him in or helping share his story. Unnamed Press, June 2021, 288 pages, $28 hardcover
Picking up where Castro’s Curveball left off, Escape from Castro’s Cuba brings Billy Bryan back to Havana, this time for a role in a movie. When Billy tries to recruit a baseball player off the island, he ends up pitted against his eccentric old friend Fidel Castro. Tim Wendel brings years of experience as a baseball journalist to his 14th book, which pivots from sports fiction to political thriller. University of Nebraska Press, March 2021, 270 pages, $19.95 paperback