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Whodunit? The Latest Thrillers from 8 Killer Writers

In the lead up to the first Motive Crime & Mystery Writers Festival from June 3-5, we bring you 8 titles guaranteed to keep you in suspense / BY Robert Wiersema / May 31st, 2022

With three days of readings, discussions, interviews and panels, the 2022 Motive Crime & Mystery Festival, with a spotlight on Nordic Noir, is a treasure trove for crime fans. Here are the hotly anticipated titles that will be discussed by writers, appearing either in-person or virtually, at the event organized by the Toronto International Festival of Authors between June 3 to 5, 2022.

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1Confidenceby Denise Mina

Fans of Scottish writer Denise Mina’s 2019 novel Conviction – including Reese Witherspoon and A.J. Finn –  are counting the days to the release of Confidence, which features the return of amateur detectives Anna and Fin, who are drawn into the disappearance of a YouTube star. Bridging the worlds of social media and internet influencers with historical mysteries and relics, Confidence is another inspired chase across Europe. (July 5) 

2Take Your Breath Awayby Linwood Barclay

The new novel from New York Times bestselling Canadian author Linwood Barclay begins with the disappearance of Brie Mason, while her husband, Andrew, is away on a fishing trip. Andrew becomes the prime suspect, although there is no evidence to bring a case against him. Six years later, after bottoming out and being surrounded by people who assume he got away with murder, Andrew has finally found peace – he’s moved away, changed his last name and found a new partner. But when a woman who looks a lot like Brie appears, his life is overturned again.

3Cold Cold Bonesby Kathy Reichs

The celebrated American author and real-life forensic anthropologist is back with her 21st Temperance Brennan story, which opens with the fictional forensic anthropologist receiving a gift: a fresh human eyeball in a box on her back porch. Even worse, GPS coordinates etched into the eyeball lead Brennan to a macabre crime scene on the site of a  Benedictine monastery. Reich’s novel is a terrifying puzzle box of references to previous cases and pieces of evidence, and someone is haunting Brennan with the past in order to close in on her in the present. 

4The Darkness in the Lightby Daniel Kalla

Emergency room physician Danial Kalla is one of Canada’s best-selling and most impressive writers, and his latest novel, The Darkness in the Light, demonstrates why. When psychiatrist David Spears begins to lose patients to suicide, he struggles to understand what happened. Was it his own failing? Was it the new antidepressant he had prescribed? Or was it something else? The questions lead him to Utqiagvik, Alaska, the northernmost town in the United States, where he is drawn into a world of darkness, treachery, and death.

5The Islandby Adrian McKinty

When Heather decides to accompany her new husband, widowed doctor Tom, to a conference in Australia with his two children, she sees it as an opportunity to bond with the kids and solidify the new family. Soon, however, they are struggling to survive, after a visit to a mysterious private island turns deadly. Belfast-born Adrian McKinty – whose novel The Chain was an international bestseller – has a way with a thriller, alternating thumb-screw suspense with roller coaster thrills. 

6Deep Houseby Thomas King

Thumps Dreadfulwater is one of Canada’s favourite reluctant detectives, a former cop turned photographer with a droll tone and keen eye, who is just trying to live a quiet life in the small town of Chinook. The pandemic is waning as  Deep House opens, and Dreadfulwater is looking forward to things returning to normal. Unfortunately for him – and fortunately for us – he discovers a body in a canyon, and has to solve a case even he doesn’t fully understand.

71979by Val McDermid

Is there anything better than a new book from Val McDermid, the Queen of Crime? How about a new series! 1979 introduces readers to investigative journalist Allie Burns, and the newsroom of the daily Clarion. Burns’ investigative work is a way for her to challenge the newsroom’s glass ceiling and get away from “women’s stories,” but as she digs, she finds secrets that will put her life on the line, with connections and conspiracies some are willing to kill to keep hidden. 

8Unhingedby Jorn Lier Horst and Thomas Enger

Just in time for summer, a chilling blast of Nordic Noir, as the bestselling Blix & Ramm series returns with a third instalment. After the execution-style murder of a police investigator who has been trying to reach her superior, Alexander Blix, to inform him of a break in a series of Oslo murders, Blix’s daughter almost becomes the next victim. As she struggles to survive, Blix and online journalist Ramm are plunged into a world of secrets and lies, where no one can be trusted. 


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