Our list of best crime, mystery and thriller books of June 2022 includes highly-anticipated titles such as Scandinavian suspense thriller Outside by Ragnar Jonasson as well as notable releases such as Movieland by Lee Goldberg and Rock of Ages by Timothy Hallinan.
These mystery and thriller books will surely bring joy to avid crime fiction and mystery readers. (Note: For our coverage of best crime, mystery, and thriller books in previous months, please visit here).
The Man Burned by Winter (A Rooker Lindström Thriller) by Pete Zacharias (June 1)
An investigative journalist on the edge. A serial killer testing his limits. What they have in common can freeze the blood.
Still reeling from a personal tragedy, investigative journalist Rooker Lindström finds a grim hideaway from the world. It’s the dilapidated cabin on Minnesota’s Deer Lake bequeathed to him by his late father—one of the most notorious serial killers in the state. If the walls of this murder house could talk, they’d scream.
Detective Tess Harlow needs something from Rooker only he can provide: a window into the mind of a murderer. A copycat is on the prowl, following in the footsteps of Rooker’s father. After reluctantly agreeing to take on the role of consultant, Rooker makes a chilling discovery. Every victim—five and counting—is a depraved taunt meant only for him. Rooker is not just tracking a killer playing sick games. In this brutal Minnesota winter, Rooker is confronting his past.
Maybe working with Tess is Rooker’s last chance at redemption. But to outrun his father’s legacy, he must follow a darker path still to come.
Rock of Ages by Timothy Hallinan (June 14)
Four of Dressler’s old gangster colleagues have put together a national tour of once-popular rock bands they own a piece of: three nights of concerts by guys (and a few gals) who were big shots back in the 1960s and 1970s, and who are now hoping for one more gasp of glory with this nostalgia exhibition. The Rock of Ages tour has proved itself to be anything but a love fest: plenty of the bandmates have been feuding for forty years, and—perhaps unsurprisingly—drugs and bad behavior have created health, wellness, and legal problems for the musicians and managers . Plus there have been two near-fatal accidents that might have been attempted murders.
But they’re not what Irwin Dressler is concerned about. It’s that someone—one of his own colleagues—is using the tour as a front to steal Dressler’s money. And that simply cannot be allowed.
Now the tour has pulled into LA, and Junior has one weekend to figure out who’s to blame—a weekend that begins with his tires being slashed, threatening notes left on his car, and a theatrical backdrop falling on a drummer during the truly terrible first set of the first concert. To make things worse, Junior is saddled for the weekend with his teenage daughter, Rina, who lately has been much, much too interested in how her father earns his living. Can Junior recover Dressler’s money, prevent a murder, talk his daughter out of pursuing a life of crime, and somehow survive all that bad music?
The Local (A Legal Thriller) by Joey Hartstone (June 14)
In the town of Marshall sits the Federal courthouse of the Eastern District of Texas, a place revered by patent lawyers for its speedy jury trails and massive punitive payouts. Marshall is flooded with patent lawyers, all of whom find work being the local voice for the big-city legal teams that need to sway a small-town jury. One of the best is James Euchre.
Euchre’s new client is Amir Zawar, a firebrand CEO forced to defend his life’s work against a software patent infringement. Late one night, after a heated confrontation in a preliminary hearing, Judge Gardner is found murdered in the courthouse parking lot. All signs point to Zawar—he has motive, he has opportunity, and he has no alibi. Moreover, he is an outsider, a wealthy Pakistani-American businessman, the son of immigrants, who stands accused of killing a beloved hometown hero.
Zawar claims his innocence, and demands that Euchre defend him. It’s the last thing Euchre wants—Judge Gardner was his good friend and mentor—but the only way he can get definitive answers is to take the case. With the help of a former prosecutor and a local PI, Euchre must navigate the byzantine world of criminal defense law in a town where everyone knows everyone, and bad blood has a long history. The deeper he digs, the more he fears that he’ll either send an innocent man to death row or set a murderer free.
The Local is a small-town legal thriller as big in scope as Texas. It cracks with courtroom tension and high stakes gambits on every page to the final, shocking verdict.
Tom Clancy Zero Hour by Don Bentley (June 7)
Jack Ryan, Jr. is the one man who can prevent a second Korean War in the latest thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
When the leader of North Korea is catastrophically injured, his incapacitation inadvertently triggers a “dead-man’s switch,” activating an army of sleeper agents in South Korea and precipitating a struggle for succession.
Jack Ryan, Jr. is in Seoul to interview a potential addition to the Campus. But his benign trip takes a deadly turn when a wave of violence perpetrated by North Korean operatives grips South Korea’s capital. A mysterious voice from North Korea offers Jack a way to stop the peninsula’s rush to war, but her price may be more than he can afford to pay.
Unspeakable (The Killing School) by Hart Rivers (June 7)
A top CIA assassin turns on those who value him most, another killer finds it hard to kill upon discovering his heart, and a woman who once had a heart wonders how she lost it.
In the final days leading up to the end of the Vietnam War and the exodus of US troops from Saigon, JD turns on his former employer, the CIA. But taking the moral high-ground may cost him in ways he could never have imagined.
Kate, the former mission nurse, marries the world’s most powerful dirty diplomat and discovers too late that the path to redemption is quickly obliterated.
Izzy, a good man who lives to heal, must find a path for his own healing as he struggles with PTSD and the rubble that remains of his life. Must Izzy–and good men like him—become killers to stop those who kill without conscience?
…or will they become part of something UNSPEAKABLE?
Movieland by Lee Goldberg (June 21)
For decades Malibu Creek State Park was the spectacular natural setting where Hollywood fantasies were made. But when a female camper is gunned down, it becomes a real-life killing ground. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detectives Eve Ronin and Duncan Pavone are assigned the case…which Duncan fears is the latest in a series of sniper attacks that began long before Eve came to Lost Hills.
Seven victims over fourteen months…and top officials still refuse to see a connection. Eve and Duncan are stonewalled, threatened, and ordered to keep quiet. But Eve won’t back down. She’s no stranger to intimidation or corruption—she’s had a target on her back from day one at Lost Hills station.
Despite finding no evidentiary links between the shootings, Eve and Duncan follow their instincts into the shadows of Malibu Creek, where it’s not enough to expose the secrets and break the conspiracy of silence. They also have to make it out alive.
Outside by Ragnar Jonasson (June 28)
Four friends. One night. Not everyone will come out alive…
When a deadly snowstorm strikes the Icelandic highlands, four friends seek shelter in a small, abandoned hunting lodge. It is in the middle of nowhere and there’s no way of communicating with the outside world.
They are isolated, but they are not alone…
As the night darkens, and fears intensify, an old tragedy gradually surfaces – one that forever changed the course of their friendship. Those dark memories could hold the key to the mystery the friends now find themselves in. And whether they will survive until morning…
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