"The Better Sister"

By Alafair Burke (Harper)

Readers of this wonderfully twisty thriller about two estranged sisters — married, at different times, to the same man — should get ready to be led down the garden path to a conclusion so morally ambiguous a professional ethicist might have to be called in. You end up feeling both horrified and vaguely complicit. — Richard Lipez

"Beyond All Reasonable Doubt"

By Malin Persson Giolito, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles (Other)

Author of “Quicksand,” (also on Netflix) Giolito has come up with another knockout legal thriller. More than a decade after a professor is convicted for the grisly murder of a 15-year-old girl, lawyer Sophia Weber agrees to help him petition for a new trial — with a surprising outcome. — R.L.

"Big Sky"

By Kate Atkinson (Little, Brown)

The handsome former military man and police inspector Jackson Brodie makes a welcome return. He's moved to the U.K.’s northeastern coast, where he's set up a small agency and takes on a case involving a sex-trafficking ring. As with all Atkinson's books, the richness comes in spending time with the kaleidoscope of characters who spin together in the whirlwind ending. — Carolyn Kellogg


By Denise Mina (Mulholland/Little, Brown)

In this multilayered tale, a woman’s innocent podcast addiction turns into something darker — setting off a collision between her present and secret past. The narratives roam from Scotland to England to Italy to the murky depths far beneath the sea; they change in tone from violent to spooky to slapstick. Mina, a master of Tartan noir, delivers a tour-de-force of suspense. — Maureen Corrigan

"The Guardians"

By John Grisham (Doubleday)

In Grisham’s latest terrific novel — his 40th — the main character is a workaholic attorney and Episcopal priest named Cullen Post. He is investigating the wrongful conviction of a black manset up to take the fall for the murder of a white lawyer in a small Florida town 22 years before. — M.C.

"Lady in the Lake"

By Laura Lippman (Morrow)

Inspired by the unsolved death of Shirley Parker, a barmaid and secretary whose body was found in Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park in 1969, Lippman’s ambitious novel weaves some 20 points of view into a seamless, vivid whole. — Jen Michalski

"The Other End of the Line"

By Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli (Penguin Paperback)

Blind, Camilleri dictated this delightful mystery novel before his death in July at age 93. Here the beloved Inspector Montalbano investigates the murder of a tailor. As in all his books, Camilleri captures the voices of his native country with zest. — Dennis Drabelle

"The Plotters"

By Un-Su Kim, translated by Sora Kim-Russell (Doubleday)

Set in contemporary Seoul, “The Plotters” delivers a vivid portrait of a mesmerizing central character, a stoic orphan named Reseng who becomes an assassin for hire. Kim mixes bookishness, crackpots and commissioned murder into a rich and unsettling blend. — D.D.

"The Quaker"

By Liam McIlvanney (Europa)

Based on serial murders that rocked Scotland in the 1960s, “The Quaker” is a chilling suspense tale that reminds us why noir endures. Just when you think you have figured out the puzzle, suspects or motives dissolve into the Scottish dew. — M.C.

"The Turn of the Key"

By Ruth Ware (Gallery/Scout)

Ruth Ware’s latest pays homage to Henry James’s “The Turn of the Screw” while slyly updating it. Set in an old mansion that’s been renovated into a “smart house,” the book turns the building — and its thick assortment of blinking surveillance cameras, talking refrigerators, embedded phone and speaker systems — into its own nerve-shattering character. — M.C.