Unusual Suspects

A Real Life Double Agent!

Hello mystery fans! This week I have for you a small-town mystery where the buried secrets will rise, a real life double agent, and a dark serial killer novel!

The Huntress, new from Kate Quinn, the New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network.

The Huntress cover imageOne of Marie Claire’s Best Women’s Fiction of the year! One of Bookbub’s biggest books of the year! “If you enjoyed The Tattooist of Auschwitz, read The Huntress.” – The Washington Post From the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Alice Network, comes a fascinating historical novel about a battle-haunted English journalist and a Russian female bomber pilot who join forces to track the Huntress, a Nazi war criminal gone to ground in America.

Small-Town Missing Person (TW domestic violence/ addiction/ suicide)

Fallen Mountains cover imageFallen Mountains by Kimi Cunningham Grant: I’m a sucker for small-town mysteries where the buried secrets are gonna rise and this novel did all of that really well. It’s told in past and present while following a group of people in Fallen Mountains, Pennsylvania: Red, a widowed sheriff set to retire; Transom, Chase, and Laney, friends who grew up together; Possum, a once bullied kid now out of prison. Transom is missing and while most think this is just his usual M.O. of leaving without saying anything his girlfriend is certain something is wrong and convinces Red to investigate. This set’s off Transom’s father to hire an investigator sent to work with Red–and a thing I really liked about this novel was that instead of them fighting and trying to stop the other they actually work together in trying to figure out where Transom is. The thing is Transom was the type of person who even those who loved him knew to watch out for his possible bite. So soon you realize, if he didn’t pull a Transom and take off, lots of people had a reason to harm him. While Red is a good sheriff he has a secret that Transom’s disappearance may drag out into the light and, well, it’s a small-town filled with secrets and it seems this missing person case may be a reckoning for many…

Real Life Double Agent! (TW suicide mention)

Agent ZigZag cover imageAgent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre: For fans of spy novels this is a must-read nonfiction that details the life of a conman turned double agent during WWII. I knew this was going to be a ride when just at the beginning of getting to know Eddie Chapman–prior to his double agent days–there was safe heists, blackmailing women he’d given STDs too, and a prison escape. He was a criminal and conman who managed to always slip by and ended up being sent into Britain on a mission as a German spy but ended up working for MI5 for years! The thing with Chapman was no one ever really knew who he was really working for and while MI5 believed he could be trusted to always complete any mission they gave him they knew he couldn’t be trusted with anything else. Literally nothing else. This is one of those nonfiction reads that has the pacing and feel of a thriller with moments where you do a double take and have to remind yourself this is a true story. I really recommend the audiobook if you’re a listener, and if you’re a fan of John le Carré type novels get thee this book now!

Dark-ish And Intense Serial Killer Novel (TW rape/ pedophile)

The Last Woman in the Forest cover imageThe Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets: This was another one of those reads that rang a lot of my bells: serial killer; character with unique/interesting job; strangers pair up to solve a mystery; did he or didn’t he? Told in past and present we get to know Marian Engström who works with training dogs in remote areas where conservation studies are being performed. This is how she meets the love of her life Tate Mathias, her mentor. But after his death things start to not add up for her and she begins to question if he could have been the still unidentified serial killer. He couldn’t have been really, she would have known, right? But he did tell her the story of having found one of the serial killer’s victims and she can’t let this go, so she contacts the psychologist/forensic profiler from the case who is now retired and dying of brain cancer. I inhaled the audiobook (great multiple narrators) of this dark, atmospheric mystery that had me both fascinated with the conservation studies and the exploration of grief and being a victim. The audiobook ends with the author explaining her own story of rape and why she wrote this novel.

Recent Releases

A Dangerous Collaboration cover imageA Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn (Currently reading and loving–this is one of my favorite historical mystery series!)

The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson (True crime)

Article 353 by Tanguy Viel,William Rodarmor (Translation) (French noir)

The Hunger by Alma Katsu (Paperback) (An eerie, suspenseful reimagining of the already horrifying historical event of the Donner-Reed Party–Full review) (TW child death/ suicide/ rape–including incestual)

Barbed Wire Heart by Tess SharpeBarbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe (Paperback) (Super good crime novel–Full review) (TW rape/ domestic abuse/ addiction/ pedophile)

The Italian Party by Christina Lynch (Paperback) (Historical fiction about newlyweds where one doesn’t know the other is a spy.)

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh (Paperback) (Twisty thriller.) (TW: suicide/ domestic abuse)

Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan (Paperback) (Dark Dublin Procedural–Full review) (Trigger Warnings: cutting/ domestic abuse/ suicide)

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott (Paperback) (Group of friends, decade old mystery.) (TW suicide)

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. And here’s an Unusual Suspects Pinterest board.

Until next time, keep investigating! And in the meantime, come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canavés.

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