OFF THE SHELF: Top 10 mystery-thrillers are revealed

International bestseller Henning Mankell, who published his first Kurt Wallander novel in the U.S. in 1997, may not have captured the imagination of North American readers in the same way as his fellow Swede, Stieg Larsson, did with the Millennium trilogy, but fans of Swedish crime fiction will welcome what Mankell has announced will be the last in the detective series, The Troubled Man, (published next month) about a retired Swedish naval commander haunted by an incident during the Cold War.

International bestseller Henning Mankell, who published his first Kurt Wallander novel in the U.S. in 1997, may not have captured the imagination of North American readers in the same way as his fellow Swede, Stieg Larsson, did with the Millennium trilogy, but fans of Swedish crime fiction will welcome what Mankell has announced will be the last in the detective series, The Troubled Man, (published next month) about a retired Swedish naval commander haunted by an incident during the Cold War.

Mankell’s title is one of Publisher’s Weekly top 10 mysteries and thrillers to be published this spring.  

The other noteworthy titles include: 

––The Trinity Six by Charles Cumming.  

The British author’s fifth spy novel supposes that in addition to the “Cambridge Five,” there was a sixth man who betrayed his country to the Soviets during the Second World War and after.

 –– The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino.  

In this tale of miscarried human devotion, a lonely mathematician tries to save an attractive neighbour from being arrested for the murder of her abusive ex-husband.

–– The Informationist by Taylor Stevens.  

In this debut novel, Stevens draws on her experience of being raised in the Children of God cult, and takes a great new action heroine, androgynous Vanessa Michael Munroe, from Texas to Africa.

–– Guilt by Association by Marcia Clark.  

Still best known as the lead prosecutor in the O.J. Simpson case, Clark makes her fiction debut in this novel, which introduces L.A. deputy DA Rachel Knight, whose appealing personality combines strength of character with compassion and all-too-human foibles.

–– Red on Red by Edward Conlon. 

The author’s experience in the NYPD was the subject of his memoir Blue Blood, and is put to fine use in this fiction debut about a New York City police detective who investigates a suspected dirty cop.

 –– The Night Season by Chelsea Cain.  

Now that serial killer Gretchen Lowell is safely behind bars, Portland, Oregon detective Archie Sheridan shows he can sustain the series on his own in the author’s fourth crime thriller, which involves the real-life 1948 Vanport, Oregon flood.

 –– The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly.  

The film of Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer, due for a mid-March release, is sure to give a boost to his fourth Mickey Haller novel, in which a client is accused of killing the banker she blames for trying to take away her home.

–– The Fires of the Gods by I.J. Parker.  

Sugawara Akitada, the hero of this mystery series set in 11th century Japan, must contend in his eighth outing with a demotion from senior secretary to junior secretary in the Ministry of Justice as well as defend himself from a murder charge.

 –– Killed at the Whim of a Hat by Colin Cotterill.  

The author of seven mysteries set in 1970s Laos, Cotterill launches a new contemporary series set in southern Thailand. This traditional mystery should resonate with fans of Alexander McCall Smith.  The title is part of a public statement made by George W. Bush; this and other similar Bush quotations head each chapter.