Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell (Atria Books; Oct. 13)
Invisible Girl centers around Saffyre Maddox, a 17-year-old student and a survivor of childhood trauma who has been recently declared “cured” by her therapist Roan Fours. Meanwhile, Cate Fours — Roan’s wife and a mother of two teenagers — is trying to hold onto her marriage despite suspecting her husband of an affair. And across the street from the Fours’ home, 33-year-old Owen Picks lives with his aunt and spends most of his time on incel blogs, having been fired from his teaching job for sexual misconduct. When Saffyre disappears — last seen on the London street where the Fours family and Owen live, which happens to be the site of several recent sexual assaults — all of their lives collide, their secrets revealed.
It’s a dark, carefully plotted domestic thriller filled with complex, lonely, and (mostly!) sympathetic characters. It takes on toxic masculinity and incel culture in a way that adds to but never overwhelms the central mystery of the novel, and ends with a satisfying conclusion and then one final, disturbing twist.
The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo (Knopf; Nov. 10)
Carl and Roy are brothers who couldn’t lead more different lives: Roy stayed in the rural Norwegian village where he was born and enjoys a modest life, while the more impulsive Carl left for a new start as an entrepreneur in Canada. But when Carl returns to his hometown with his new wife and a plan to build a hotel and spa on their family’s property, family secrets from the brothers’ childhoods begin to resurface and threaten the life that Roy has built for himself.
The Kingdom is a complex and simmering standalone novel from the author of the popular Harry Hole detective series, and it dives deeply into the psyches of its characters. Twisty, violent, gripping, and very disturbing, it’s Nordic noir at its best.
They’re Gone by E. A. Barres (Crooked Lane; Nov. 10)
They’re Gone starts with the murder of two men from different backgrounds who are killed in the same way on the same night, and follows on their widows’ search for answers. Deb Linh Thomas, the wife of successful professional Grant Thomas, is devastated by his death and becomes more distraught when she learns her husband was under investigation by the FBI. Meanwhile, Cessy Castillo is relieved that her abusive ex-cop husband Hector Ramirez is gone — until she learns he was deeply in debt to some bad people and she’s expected to pay up. So Deb and Cessy join forces to learn the dark truth about their husbands while trying to avoid a similar fate.
E.A. Barres — a pen name of seasoned thriller writer E.A. Aymar — has written a hard-boiled crime thriller in which the women fight back. It’s expertly plotted and action-packed, but it also features a diverse cast of characters — including two strong women of color as protagonists — and offers biting social commentary.
Diana Sparrow wakes up in the hospital after a car accident with no memory and two broken collarbones. During her recovery, she’s in the care of her mother-in-law Harriet — whom Diana hates although she can’t remember why — and she discovers that her best childhood friend is sleeping with her husband. Diana also begins to have recurring nightmares about the accident in which she hits something — or someone. As her life unravels and she tries to piece together what happened the night of the crash, Diana can’t help but wonder if she’s losing her mind.
This domestic thriller is a modern day take on the classic film Gaslight that will make you question what’s real and what’s not. It’s a dark, unpredictable, and twisty look at friendship and betrayal, and it will surprise you right up until the end.