From Agatha Christie to Gillian Flynn and beyond, women writers have penned some of crime fiction’s most provocative, popular work. This summer features thrillers from four writers who, despite the differences in their styles, share two striking similarities: their novels involve family dramas that escalate in chilling, unpredictable fashion — and they’ve all written books that, so far, rank among the best of crime fiction in 2022.
‘What Happened to the Bennetts' by Lisa Scottoline
The Bennetts are a typical American suburban family until a violent incident changes everything. Reluctantly, they enter witness protection. Then husband and father Jason Bennett, deep in the throes of trauma and struggling to help his family recover, comes across a stunning discovery that pushes him closer to the edge, and presents him with a crushing choice. Scottoline creates tension and emotion with a practiced hand, never losing sight of the realistic human frailties that, far too often in thrillers, are forgotten in favor of plot. The result is an absorbing, cinematic read with heart.
‘The Younger Wife,’ by Sally Hepworth
Emotionally distant sisters Tully and Rachel Aston are reunited when their father announces his engagement to Heather Wisher, a woman younger than either of them. Tully, Rachel and Heather each have their own deep-seated secrets that threaten to destroy their carefully constructed lives. As the wedding date approaches, their facades begin to unravel. “The Younger Wife” is a story of power, family and friendship and the wonderful realization of love. Hepworth — author of “The Good Sister” and “The Family Next Door — deftly weaves a detailed family story into a fast-paced thriller.
‘More Than You’ll Ever Know,’ by Katie Gutierrez
This fantastic debut tells the story of aspiring true-crime writer Cassie Bowman and the woman she’s obsessed with — Lore Rivera, a Mexican international banker who, 30 years earlier, was secretly married to two men, one who reportedly murdered the other. Cassie has her own secrets and, in the process of interviewing Lore about her past, is forced to face life-altering truths about her own. This is a sweeping novel, unflinching and evocative in its engrossing study of love, motherhood, sex, Mexico, journalism and more. (June 7)
‘You’re Invited,’ by Amanda Jayatissa
Jayatissa, author of 2021′s “My Sweet Girl” tells the story of Amaya Bloom, a young Sri Lankan woman living in the United States who is invited to the wedding of her former best friend, Kaavi. It turns out that Kaavi is marrying Amaya’s ex-boyfriend. Amaya accepts the invitation to return to Sri Lanka for the event, secretly determined to stop the wedding. She ends up accused of Kaavi’s murder. Ostensibly lighthearted, “You’re Invited” is also a story about the trappings of identity and the ache of lost friendship. (Aug. 9)
E.A. Aymar’s next novel, “No Home for Killers,” will be published in early 2023.
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