Bombings in Paris and Amsterdam are just dress rehearsals for an Islamic State attack on America that Israeli intelligence agent Gabriel Allon is trying to stop in Daniel Silva’s The Black Widow (Harper). In this 16th novel featuring Silva’s intrepid assassin, Allon’s secret weapon against the terror mastermind known as Saladin is Natalie Mizrahi, a young Jewish doctor living in Israel. Allon gives her a crash course in tradecraft and builds her a cover, transforming her into a revenge-seeking Muslim radical he hopes will catch Saladin’s attention on terrorist recruiting websites. Invited to an Islamic State training camp in Syria, Natalie makes herself indispensable to Saladin. She plays along, but does she have what it takes to help Gabriel stop a deadly attack? The novel’s grand finale is heart-stopping, unexpected and deeply unsettling, especially amid today’s headlines. — Carol Memmott

(Little, Brown)

For a parent to witness his or her child compete at the Olympics would be worth all those early-morning practices, private coaching fees and long-distance drives to tournaments. Indeed, it would be worth almost anything, wouldn’t it? Maybe even covering up a murder? Megan Abbott’s novel You Will Know Me (Little, Brown) takes readers deep into the obsessive, highly structured world of young female gymnasts and the families who help push these athletes to victory. It’s a masterful tale that’s both suspenseful and an eerily accurate portrait of the way teenage and parental cliques operate. — Maureen Corrigan

( Grand Central / )

Noah Hawley’s Before the Fall (Grand Central) begins one August evening as a private plane awaits passengers on a runway in Martha’s Vineyard. Chartered by David Bateman, a Republican political kingmaker who has founded a wildly profitable (and proudly right-wing) cable news network, the plane is to carry vital members of his circle — his wife, Maggie, the couple’s two young children, the family’s Israeli-born bodyguard, a financier friend facing indictment for money laundering — and an outlier, a modestly successful painter. The plane crashes, and soon readers and federal officials alike are struggling to understand why. What caused this tragedy? Readers can look for clues in chapters devoted to the background of each passenger and the plane’s three-member crew. Hawley, the author of four previous novels and the creator of the TV show “Fargo,” here has spun a tale that’s at once an intriguing puzzle, a tasty satire and a painful story of human loss. — Patrick Anderson

(Gallery/Scout Press )

Ruth Ware channels Alfred Hitchcock in The Woman in Cabin 10 (Gallery/Scout), an atmospheric thriller as twisty and tension-filled as her 2015 debut “In a Dark, Dark Wood.” Ware sets her missing-person story on a luxury cruise ship in the North Sea. Among the passengers is travel writer named Lo Blacklock who hears a splash then sees what she believes is the body of a woman sinking beneath the waves. Lo met the woman who was in the cabin next to hers just once, but no one else on board admits to having seen a passenger in cabin 10. The insistent Lo risks everything to prove she’s right. The novel’s tone is dark and claustrophobic as Lo continues her search for the woman, even though someone is trying to stop her — maybe even kill her. — Carol Memmott


Our narrator is a young woman named Nora who has taken the train from London to spend the weekend with her sister Rachel, who lives in a country village. Or, rather, lived in a country village. At Rachel’s house in Cornwall, Nora is greeted by a horrific sight: Rachel has been stabbed to death. These are but the very first moments of Flynn Berry’s taut and intense debut, Under the Harrow (Penguin). A traumatized Nora speaks in hollowed-out tones and clipped present-tense sentences throughout this (refreshingly) short thriller. She’s also a wee bit unreliable. There’s a subtle strain of Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” in “Under the Harrow.” Certainly, the eerie Cornwall scenes here contribute to the association, as does Nora’s haunted first-person narration. In both works — if a reader is attentive enough — the truth can be glimpsed in the shadows, lurking within the bare facts of what our narrator discloses. — Maureen Corrigan

(St. Martin's)

The devastating aftereffects of a heinous attack on a teenage girl are at the center of Wendy Walker’s All is Not Forgotten (St. Martin’s). Part crime story, part psychological thriller, the novel asks the provocative question: If you are a victim of brutality, would you take a drug that would wipe out every memory of what happened? The parents of 15-year-old Jenny Kramer make that decision for their daughter after she’s raped and tortured at a teen party in Fairfield, Conn. But whitewashing Jenny’s memory doesn’t fix things. She’s told she was raped, but she’s unable to recover from something she can’t remember. No memory means Jenny can’t identify her attacker. Told through the voice of the psychiatrist who tries to help Jenny recall what happened, this novel is a nerve-jangling study of the trauma that rape imposes on the survivor, her family, friends and community. — Carol Memmott


Mark and Maggie live in Chicago, where he’s a college professor and she runs a veterinary clinic. After being mugged and left unconscious on the sidewalk, Maggie becomes skittish and obsessive; she buys mace and a knife and thinks about getting a gun. Such is their unsettled state as Mark and Maggie depart for a visit Mark’s parents in Hannah Pittard’s captivating novel Listen to Me (Houghton Mifflin). As the couple drives, a storm rages and gradually worsens. Streetlights don’t work. Hotels have neither electricity nor vacancies. People they encounter are hostile. We’re not far from “Deliverance” country, imagining the worst. We like Mark and Maggie, whatever their faults. Pittard brilliantly explores the couple’s reliance on each other, and the mingled joy, mystery and sadness of their marriage. — Patrick Anderson

( William Morrow )

Laura Lippman’s Wilde Lake (Morrow) is one of her best novels and feels like one of her most personal. The story takes us deep into the life of Luisa (Lu) Brant, seen both as a child and as the state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland. The novel moves easily between Lu’s past and present. At 45, Lu is a widow, the mother of twins, and an ambitious politician. Soon after her election, Lu prosecutes a murder case in which a homeless man is charged with killing a woman. It at first seems open and shut, but of course there are complications. Throughout, Lippman takes realistic looks at teenage sex, at a boy who learns he’s gay, at unhappy marriages, at the challenges of family life and, underlying everything, at the way the past keeps overtaking the present, despite our best efforts to escape it. — Patrick Anderson

(Marian Wood Books/Putnam)

Bernie Gunther is a changed man in The Other Side of Silence (Marian Wood/Putnam), Philip Kerr’s 11th novel to feature him. A Berlin cop and later private eye, Bernie is pushing 60, living under an assumed name and working as a hotel concierge. It’s 1956, and Bernie is doing whatever it is that a concierge does on the French Riviera. If you have trouble picturing cold-eyed, world-weary Bernie frolicking on a sun-soaked beach, not to worry. “Yesterday I tried to kill myself,” he confesses in the book’s opening line. Nor do surf and sand figure much in this fine thriller. Most of the action takes place in hotels or private apartments, in wartime Germany (during a long flashback), or in the Villa Mauresque, the extravagant, art-filled Riviera residence of novelist W. Somerset Maugham. Blackmail is what brings Maugham and Bernie together. Other real people flit through the novel, including Maugham’s nephew Robin, also a novelist, and the traitors Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and Kim Philby. “The Other Side of Silence” makes for a welcome break from the relentlessly grim atmosphere in which Bernie is accustomed to working. — Dennis Drabelle


On a flight to Paris, travel writer Will Rhodes’s plane nearly plummets. After it stabilizes, Will downs some sleeping pills with a whiskey. The brush with death sparks a revelation: Though he’s made “the relentless pursuit of happiness his career,” he’s miserable. Will’s marriage and finances are faltering. The affair he had while on assignment in Argentina was caught on tape. And now the woman he slept with says she’s a CIA agent. She makes an offer he can’t refuse: “ ‘You’ll become an asset of the CIA, Will Rhodes. Or we’ll ruin your life.’ ” So Will becomes a spy. Things get even more complicated when he realizesthat means he might have to kill — or be killed. Now Will wants out. But too many people know Will is a man who knows too much. Chris Pavone’s The Travelers (Crown) is a fast-paced tale, filled with characters clutching passports (fake and genuine) as they messenger envelopes stamped “confidential,” upload and download secret files, haunt hidden rooms, and, literally, hang from cliffs — Gerald Bartell

(Random House)

All of Alan Furst’s 14 novels are set during or just before World War II, but A Hero of France (Random House) is the first one to deal directly with the occupation of Paris. And it is the first to feature the deeply appealing protagonist known throughout most of the novel by his nom de guerre, Mathieu. A French Army captain who survived the World War I invasion and went back to a business he owned, this athletic but starting-to-age 39-year-old soon finds himself intimately engaged with a cause: helping British bomber and fighter crews make their way to Spain and back to England to rejoin the Royal Air Force. Furst rolls all of this out with his usual steady-as-she-goes pacing and a prose style that nicely mixes the elegant and the matter-of-fact. And it’s not giving anything away to say that in the end, many readers will want to stand up and sing “La Marseillaise” through their tears. — Richard Lipez