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Posted by on 4 Jan, 2024 in Australian Crime Fiction, Bestseller, British Crime, British Thrillers, Crime, Domestic Suspense, Forecast Friday, Looking Forward Friday, Thriller | 1 comment



2024 has already gotten off to a good start with two impressive early thriller releases by veteran Gerald Seymour (The Best Revenge) and Jack Beaumont (Dark Arena) and the forthcoming Good Dog by Simon Rowell. At first glance, it promises to be another bumper year for crime and thriller readers, with a plethora of good looking titles by established and new authors scheduled for release. I have picked out below a baker’s dozen of the ones scheduled for release in the first five months of the year that I am most looking forward to.

Before diving into next year’s titles, I thought I would look back at those books I was most keenly anticipating at the beginning of 2023 and see whether they lived up to expectations!

In January 2023 I nominated 13 books that I was most looking forward to:

They were a diverse lot and they generally met the mark, although only a handful were really top notch. Of the thirteen, only three found their way onto my best reads of 2022 (Peter Swanson’s The Kind Worth Saving, John Lawton’s Moscow Exile and Sara Ochs’ strong debut, The Dive), while Dinuka McKenzie’s Taken was also very close to being there. Another five were very good, especially Mark Billingham’s The Last Dance and Anthony McCarten’s Going Zero. I was slightly disappointed with two of the books by better known authors, M W Craven and Alex North, and never saw copies of City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashitay or Jane Casey’s The Close, so never got to read or review them.

So for 2023, nine of the books I was looking forward to met the mark, while four lagged somewhere behind. I hope to do better this year.

In picking through the upcoming releases, I have tried to cover the spectrum of crime fiction from dark crime to police detection and cold case mysteries, to domestic suspense and a pair of international thrillers. I also picked out a couple of lighter murder mysteries and a promising looking debut.

In addition to the ones below, I am also looking forward to releases later in the year by Michael Robotham, Robert Harris, Oliver Harris, Riley Sager and Western Australian authors Dave Warner and David Whish-Wilson. I am also anticipating some exciting yet-to-be-announced new releases from favourite authors, such as Michael Connelly, Tony Park and Richard Osman, and the English edition of a new Bennie Griessel book by Deon Meyer.

I have included the Australian release dates below, which may vary from the British and American publication dates.

Sanctuary by Garry Disher (Text, 2 April 2024)

Without doubt the book that I am most keen to read is Sanctuary (Text, 2 April 2024) by Garry Disher.

Garry Disher is one of the veterans of the Australian crime fiction scene and the quality of his yearly offerings has rarely faltered over the past twenty five years, or more. Best known for his Wyatt, Hal Challis and, more recently, the Paul ‘Hirsch’ Hirschhausen series, Disher heads off in new direction with Sanctuary.

Suggestive of his Wyatt novels, Sanctuary features a female cat burglar, Grace, who we last met in the Hal Challis novel, Whispering Death.

The publishers have provided the following plot description:

“Grace is a thief: a good one. She was taught by experts and she’s been practising since she was a kid. She specialises in small, high-value items—stamps, watches—and she knows her Jaeger-LeCoultres from her Patek Philippes. But it’s a solitary life, always watchful, always moving. It’s not the life she wants.

Lying low after a run-in with an old associate, Grace walks into Erin Mandel’s rural antiques shop and sees a chance for something different. A normal job. A place to call home.

But someone is looking for Erin. And someone’s looking for Grace, too.

And they are both, in their own ways, very dangerous men.”

I have been keenly awaiting for the return of Grace and have already started reading Sanctuary. I suspect that it will be another successful outing by Garry Disher.

Body Of Lies by Sarah Bailey (Allen & Unwin, 27 February 2024)

Another Australian novel that I am very keen to read is Body Of Lies, (Allen & Unwin, 27 February 2024), the fourth Gemma Woodstock mystery by Sarah Bailey.

Sarah’s stand alone crime thriller The Housemate was one of my favourite novels of 2021 and it came on the heels of her three very good novels about Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock.

In Body Of Lies Sarah brings back Gemma, who at the beginning of the novel has returned to her hometown of Smithson. On maternity leave, Gemma is reluctant to become involved in the bizarre local mystery of a car crash victim whose corpse is stolen from the morgue. No one knows who the dead woman was or why her body was taken. Gemma is intrigued by the case but refuses to get involved, despite the urging of her journalist friend Candy Fyfe. But in the days after the body goes missing, the town is rocked by another shocking crime and Gemma can’t resist joining the investigation.

Together, Candy and Gemma follow the clues the dead woman left behind. As they attempt to discover the identity of the missing woman, Gemma uncovers devastating secrets about the people she thought she knew best. The closer Gemma gets to the truth, the more danger she is in.

Sarah is an outstanding author and I am looking forward to catching up with the far from perfect Gemma Woodstock.

Tipping Point by Dinuka McKenzie (Harper Collins, 31 January 2024)

Australia crime fiction has been blessed by the emergence in the past two years of a string of highly talented female authors, including Shelley Burr and Michelle Prak to name just two. Certainly one of the most promising of these is Dinuka McKenzie, whose first two books, The Torrent and Taken, were outstanding crime novels.

In February, Dinuka is returning with a new novel in her series about rural based detective Kate Miles, Tipping Point (Harper Collins).

Weeks from Christmas in the sweltering heat of summer, Detective Kate Miles’ estranged brother, Luke Grayling, returns home to Esserton to farewell a childhood friend, Ant Reed, who committed suicide. Within days of the funeral, another young man, Marcus Rowntree, is found shot dead in the back paddock of his property.

Almost twenty years ago, Luke, Ant and Marcus were best mates in high school, and now two of the three friends are dead. A tragic coincidence? Or is there something more sinister connecting the three men?

When Luke is identified as a person of interest in Marcus’s death, Kate once again finds herself in the middle of a media storm, sidelined from the case and battling accusations of conflict of interest. As press attention deepens, and uncomfortable truths about Luke’s personal life and past events come to light, Kate is forced to balance loyalty to the police force with the bonds of friendship and blood.

What Happened To Nina? by Dervla McTiernan (Harper Collins, 28 February 2024)

International Australian author Dervla McTiernan seems set to follow up the success of her The Murder Rule with another American based crime thriller in the form of What Happened To Nina? (Harper Collins, 28 February 2024).

The publishers have provided the following plot description:

“Nina and Simon are the perfect couple. Young, fun and deeply in love. Until they leave for a weekend at his family’s cabin in Vermont, and only Simon comes home.


Nobody knows. Simon’s explanation about what happened in their last hours together doesn’t add up. Nina’s parents push the police for answers, and Simon’s parents rush to protect him. They hire expensive lawyers and a PR firm that quickly ramps up a vicious, nothing-is-off-limits media campaign.


Soon, facts are lost in a swirl of accusation and counter-accusation. Everyone chooses a side, and the story goes viral, fuelled by armchair investigators and wild conspiracy theories and illustrated with pretty pictures taken from Nina’s social media accounts. Journalists descend on their small Vermont town, followed by a few obsessive ‘fans.’


Nina’s family is under siege, but they never lose sight of the only thing that really matters – finding their daughter. Out-gunned by Simon’s wealthy, powerful family, Nina’s parents recognize that if playing by the rules won’t get them anywhere, it’s time to break them.”

I miss Dervla’s stories about Irish police detective Cormac Reilly, but What Happened To Nina? seems to be an intriguing crime thriller drawn from recent events in America.

The Instruments of Darkness by John Connolly (Hodder & Stoughton, 30 April 2024)

Also set in America is the latest Charlie Parker thriller by Irish author John Connolly, The Instruments Of Darkness (Hodder & Stoughton, 30 April 2024).

The publishers have provided the following information:

“In Maine, Colleen Clark stands accused of the worst crime a mother can commit: the abduction and possible murder of her child. Everyone – ambitious politicians in an election season, hardened police, ordinary folk – has an opinion on the case, and most believe she is guilty.

But most is not all. Defending Colleen is the lawyer Moxie Castin, and working alongside him is the private investigator Charlie Parker, who senses the tale has another twist, one involving a husband too eager to accept his wife’s guilt, a disgraced psychic seeking redemption, and an old twisted house deep in the Maine woods, a house that should never have been built.

A house, and what dwells beneath.”

A new Connolly novel is always a treat, especially one featuring Charlie Parker, and The Instruments Of Darkness will be at the top of my reading pile as soon as I get a copy. It also has a terrific cover!

Note: it is being released in Australia on 30 April 2024, ahead of the UK release on 7 May 2024.

Think Twice by Harlan Coben (Century, 14 May 2024)

Like a lot of people, I have been enjoying the Netflix show Fool Me Once based on Harlan Coben’s book of the same name:

Like all of the Netflix shows based on Coben’s books, it is very well done and makes me keen for his new novel, Think Twice (Century), which is due out in Australia on 14 May 2024.

Think Twice sees the return of Coben’s popular series character, sports agent Myron Bolitar, in what seems to be another complex mystery. The publishers have provided the following information about Think Twice:

“How can a dead man be wanted for murder?

This is the question sports agent Myron Bolitar asks himself when two FBI agents visit him in New York.

The man they are looking for is Myron’s former client and rival, Greg Downing. Greg’s DNA has been found at the scene of a high profile double-murder, and he is now the FBI’s main suspect.

But Greg died three years previously, Myron says. He went to his funeral and gave the eulogy.

The FBI are disbelieving, and Myron knows he has to find some answers – and quickly.

Could Greg Downing still be alive?

The more Myron and his close friend Win dig into what really happened, the more dangerous their world becomes.”

Coben has a knack for creating interesting thriller premises and he seems to have done it once more with Think Twice. The story sounds great and, like most of Coben’s novels, it promises to deliver a good dose of secrets, lies and a murderous conspiracy that stretches back into the past.

It is certainly one that I will be looking forward to reading as soon as it becomes available.

Long Time Gone by Charlie Donlea (Kensington, 21 May 2024)

Charlie Donlea slips under the radar a bit, but in recent years he has become one of my favourite authors. His books always deliver good twisty plots and feature straight forward telling that eschews the padding that other authors use.

His latest, Long Time Gone (Kensington, 21 May 2024), sounds like another twisty, interesting tale:

“When Dr. Sloan Hastings submits her DNA to an online genealogy site for a research assignment, her goal is to better understand the treasure-trove of genetic information contained on ancestry websites. Brilliant and driven, Sloan is embarking on a fellowship in forensic pathology, training under the renowned Dr. Livia Cutty. Sloan has one reservation about involving herself in the experiment: she’s adopted. Grateful for a loving home, she’s never considered tracking down her biological parents. The results of her search are shocking.

Sloan’s DNA profile suggests her true identity is that of Charlotte Margolis, aka “Baby Charlotte”, who captured the nation’s attention when she mysteriously disappeared, along with her parents, in July 1995. Despite an exhaustive search, the family was never seen again, and no suspects were named in the case.  

Sloan’s discovery leads her to the small town of Cedar Creek, Nevada, the site of her disappearance. It also leads her to Sheriff Eric Stamos. The Margolis family’s influence and power permeate every corner of Harrison County, and Eric is convinced that in learning the truth about her past, Sloan can also help discover what happened to Eric’s father, who died under suspicious circumstances soon after he started investigating the case of ‘Baby Charlotte’s’ disappearance.”

Anna O by Matthew Blake (Harper Collins, 31 January 2024)

Each year there are a number of ‘concept crime novels and thrillers’, which are based around an interesting idea. In 2024 the pick of them seems to be Matthew Blake’s Anna O, (Harper Collins, 31 January 2024).

The publishers have provided the following detail:


Not since the night she was found in a deep sleep by the bodies of her best friends, suspected of a chilling double murder.

For Doctor Benedict Prince, a forensic psychologist on London’s Harley Street, waking Anna O could be career-defining. As an expert in sleep, he knows all about the darkest chambers of the mind; the secrets that lie buried in the subconscious.

As he begins Anna O’s treatment – studying his patient’s dreams, combing her memories, visiting the site where the horrors played out – he pulls on the thread of a much deeper, darker mystery.

Awakening Anna O isn’t the end of the story, it’s just the beginning”

Apart from the intriguing premise, the main reason that I am keen to read Anna O is that Matthew Blake is the pseudonym of spy fiction author Matthew Richardson, whose The Scarlett Papers was my favourite thriller of 2023. I am hoping that Anna O will be as good!

How To Solve Your Own Murder by Kristen Perrin (Quercus, 26 March 2024).

Also with a concept feel to it, is How To Solve Your Own Murder(Quercus, 26 March 2024), by Kristen Perrin.

The publishers have provided the following description:


In 1965, seventeen-year-old Frances Adams was told by a fortune teller that one day she’d be murdered. Frances spent the next sixty years trying to prevent the crime that would be her eventual demise. Of course, no one took her seriously – until she was dead.

For Frances, being the village busybody was a form of insurance. She’d spent a lifetime compiling dirt on every person she met, just in case they might turn out to be her killer. In the heart of her sprawling country estate lies an eccentric library of detective work, where the right person could step in and use her findings to solve her murder.

When her great-niece Annie arrives from London and discovers that Frances’ worst fear has come true, Annie is thrust into her great-aunt’s last act of revenge against her sceptical friends and family. Frances’ will stipulates that the person who solves her murder will inherit her millions.

Can Annie unravel the mystery and find justice for Frances, or will digging up the past lead her into the path of the killer?”

I think that this one will appeal to fans of quirky murder mysteries, such as Knives Out! I have started reading it and it is certainly engaging so far.

Black Wolf by Juan Gomez-Jurado (Macmillan, 12 March 2024)

One book I was slow getting to last year was Juan Gomez-Jurado’s Red Queen, although I thoroughly enjoyed it when I did.

Red Queen featured Spanish detective extraordinaire Antonia Scott, who mixed great mental skills with several bad flaws. It was a great read and I am looking forward to the follow-up novel, Black Wolf (Macmillan, 12 March 2024).

Antonia Scott is the lynchpin of the Red Queen project, created to work behind the scenes to solve the most dark, devious and dangerous crimes. In southern Spain, in the Costa del Sol, a key mafia figure is found brutally murdered in his villa, his pregnant wife, Lola Moreno, barely escapes an attempt to kill her and is on the run. An unusual shipping container arrives from St Petersburg in Spain with the corpses of nine women.

Now Antonia, with the help of her protector, Jon Gutierrez, must track down the missing Lola. But they are not the only ones – a dangerous hitman, known as the Black Wolf, is also on her trail. And Antonia Scott, still plagued by her personal demons, must outwit, out-maneuver, and, ultimately, face this terrible, mysterious killer.

 Hunted by Abir Mukherjee (Harvill Secker, 9 May 2024).

The pick of the early thrillers seems to be Abir Mukherjee’s Hunted, (Harvill Secker, 9 May 2024).

I have enjoyed those of Mukherjee’s Wyndham and Banerjee books that I have read, and Hunted seems to be bringing the brisk pace and social consciousness of those stories to a modern setting:

“It’s a week before the presidential elections when a bomb goes off in an LA shopping mall.

In London, armed police storm Heathrow Airport and arrest Sajid Khan. His daughter Aliyah entered the USA with the suicide bomber, and now she’s missing, potentially plotting another attack.

But then a woman called Carrie turns up at Sajid’s door after travelling halfway across the world. She claims Aliyah is with her son Greg, and she knows where they could be.

Back in the US, Agent Shreya Mistry is closing in on the two fugitives. But the more she investigates, the more she realises there is more to this case than meets the eye and suspects a wider conspiracy.

Hunted by the authorities, the two parents are thrown together in a race against time to find their kids before the FBI does, and stop a catastrophe that will bring the country to its knees.”

Again I have started reading this one and I am enjoying it so far.

The Eleventh Floor by Kylie Orr (Harper Collins, 31 January 2024)

A relatively new author to the crime genre is Australian Kylie Orr, whose The Eleventh Floor, (Harper Collins, 31 January 2024), seems quite promising.

Kylie Orr’s twisty looking psychological drama seems perfect for those who enjoy dark tales of domestic suspense:

“Sleep deprived, struggling and at breaking point, first-time mum Gracie Michaels books one night – alone – at The Maxwell Hotel. A king-size bed all to herself. No demands. With time to recharge she’ll be able to return to her family more like the unflappable mother she pretends to be.

Instead, she wakes in a room she doesn’t recognise after an encounter with a man who is not her husband. Then she sees something she wishes she hadn’t.

Being drawn into a crime was not something Gracie had planned for her hotel stay but when a distraught family appeals for information and a police investigation heats up she is trapped in a maze of lies.

To speak out jeopardises her marriage, but her silence threatens her son, her sanity and her safety. Will Gracie destroy her own family by telling the truth or devastate someone else’s by keeping her secrets?”

Seems to be an engaging mix of domestic drama and twisty plotting.

The Antique Hunter’s Guide To Murder by C. L. Miller (Macmillan, 27 February 2024)

At this stage there does not seem to be the breadth of promising looking debuts that we have seen in recent years, although this may change as the year goes by. One that sticks out for me is The Antique Hunter’s Guide To Murder, (Macmillan, 27 February 2024), by C. L. Miller. I think that fans of cosy mysteries and antiques will probably greatly enjoy this one.

The publisher has provided the following details:

“Freya Lockwood has avoided the quaint English village in which she grew up for the last twenty years. That is until news arrives that Arthur Crockleford, antiques dealer and Freya’s estranged mentor, has died . . . and the circumstances seem suspicious.

You will uncover a reservation, I implore you to attend . . .

But when a letter from Arthur is delivered, sent just days before his death, and an ordinary pine chest concealing Arthur’s journals, including reservations in her name, are revealed, Freya finds herself sucked back into a life she’d sworn to leave behind.

But beware, trust no one. Your life depends on it . . .

Joining forces with her eccentric Aunt Carole, Arthur’s staunch best friend, Freya follows both clues and her instincts to an old manor house for an ‘antiques enthusiasts weekend’. But not is all as it seems; the antiques are bad reproductions and the other guests are menacing and secretive.

Can Freya and Carole solve the mystery surrounding the weekend before a killer strikes again?”

C. L. Miller is apparently the daughter of the late Judith Miller, the author of Miller’s Antique Price Guide and a member of the Antique’s Roadshow team, so you can expect some good insights into the world of antiques. Probably not in the style of Jonathan Gash’s novels about the British antiques dealer and faker Lovejoy, which I enjoyed many years ago, but I suspect fans of traditional murder mysteries will enjoy this one.

Extinction by Douglas Preston (Forge, 26 April 2024)

One which sits outside the list above, and which I have already read, is Extinction by Douglas Preston (Forge, 26 April 2024).

Combining Michael Crichton style thrills with a heavy of dose of clever science, Extinction heads into Jurassic Park territory in a highly entertaining manner.

“Erebus Resort, occupying a magnificent, hundred-thousand acre valley deep in the Colorado Rockies, offers guests the experience of viewing woolly mammoths, Irish Elk, and giant ground sloths in their native habitat, brought back from extinction through the magic of genetic manipulation. When a billionaire’s son and his new wife are kidnapped and murdered in the Erebus back country by what is assumed to be a gang of eco-terrorists, Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Frances Cash partners with county sheriff James Colcord to track down the perpetrators.

As killings mount and the valley is evacuated, Cash and Colcord must confront an ancient, intelligent, and malevolent presence at Erebus, bent not on resurrection–but extinction.”

I will be doing a fuller review closer to the release date, but it is a good fun read!

The above records my picks of the new books coming out between now and the end of May 2024, for a more comprehensive overview here is a fuller list of all 2024 releases compiled by George Easter from Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine:

1 Comment

  1. A few of these are on my reading list as well. Here’s to a great year of reading!

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