What a time it is to be alive if you’re a fan of high-octane thrillers!
Through January and February, some of the year’s best tiles are set to come out—including new books from Brad Taylor, Mark Greaeny, Meg Gardiner, and Steve Berry.
Read more about those books, and a bunch of others, below.
Hunter Killer by Brad Taylor
Release date: January 7th
Either Pike Logan’s going crazy—paranoid someone is picking off members of the Taskforce, the elite, off-the-books program he works for—or it really is open season on the highly skilled operators.
Spoiler alert: Pike isn’t crazy, and when a longtime friend is killed at Pike and Jennifer’s Charleston, South Carolina home in a car explosion, both suspect foul play.
Worse for Pike, he believes he was the target, though everyone else seems to think he’s unstable for not buying that it was all an accident. Told to stand down by his superiors, Pike and Jennifer know there’s no way they’re sitting this one out, a decision that is further cemented when other members of their team go missing in South America while on an assignment—prompting the two to head to Brazil to check things out and hunt down whoever is targeting the Taskforce.
On the ground in Brazil, Pike and Jennifer find a team of Russian assassins waiting for them, and it doesn’t take long for the bullets to start flyin’. On top of that, Pike stumbles into a dangerous fight for offshore oil fields, complicating matters significantly as he has little interest in getting involved with Brazilian politics. The Russians, however, keep coming, convinced Pike is weakened without a team he trusts. Lucky for Pike, there is another lethal couple they can count on in Aaron and Shoshana, two Israeli operatives he’s worked with numerous times in the past, and with the Taskforce’s numbers decimated, Pike calls them in to lend a hand on short notice.
As fans of Taylor’s series know, when Shoshana shows up, bodies start hitting the floor by the masses. And while some might have debated in past books who the more gifted killer is, Pike or Shoshana, the author leaves little doubt here as an enraged Pike lets it all hang out, putting a serious hurting on the bad guys while trying desperately to protect the closest thing he has to a family—his team—before it’s too late.
Long considered to be the heir to the throne once held by Vince Flynn, Brad Taylor, now fourteen books into his bestselling series, continues to find new ways to keep his franchise fresh. Here, he achieves that by going the 24 route, killing a major supporting character early on and establishing that nobody is safe moving forward. Readers will feel that tension each time Pike, Jennifer, and other beloved characters find themselves in dangerous situations.
This is the Pike Logan fans have been wanting to see, and by turning his hero loose, Hunter Killer becomes Brad Taylor’s most stunning novel to date
Deep State by Chris Hauty
Release date: January 7th
Believe it or not, Washington D.C. is about to get even more polarizing.
Nothing about Hayley Chill, the protagonist of Hauty’s lights-out debut, is normal. After serving in the United States military, Hayley changes career paths and ends up interning at the White House. A former champion boxer turned energetic go-getter, Hayley is assigned to the office of Peter Hall, the President’s Chief of Staff, where she quickly makes a name for herself after taking down a trespasser—earning the respect of POTUS in the process.
Following her five minutes of fame, Hayley wants nothing more than to get back to work and settle into her normal routine, when her boss is suddenly found dead in his home of an apparent heart attack. While everyone else is content to believe Hall’s death is from natural causes, Hayley finds a lone clue to suggest otherwise, and in trying to make sense of what it all means, accidentally unearths a major conspiracy in the process.
As it turns out, a well-connected, well-organized, and powerful group of Washington elites aren’t happy with the job performance of recently elected President Richard Monroe, a self-proclaimed populist whose tactics since taking the White House have proven to be divisive. Hayley, for her part, knows she needs to warn the president, but at every turn is another once-trusted ally who reveals themselves to be part of the opposition—a list that includes Secret Service Agent Scott Billings, whom Hayley was once interested in romantically, among others—all of whom are hell-bent on seeing their mission through no matter what.
The deep state is real, and with the president’s life in grave danger, it’s up to Hayley Chill to put the pieces together, unmask the traitors working to undermine America’s commander-in-chief, and stop them before it’s too late . . .
With his super-charged plot and a perfectly-timed, mind-bending twist, Chris Hauty becomes the latest writer to take the thriller world by.
House on Fire by Joseph Finder
Release date: January 21st
In his fourth go-around (following Guilty Minds, 2016) private spy Nick Heller returns to take on a powerful pharmaceutical company and the wealthy family behind it in this all-new, page-turning thriller from New York Times bestseller Joseph Finder.
It all started at a funeral. Heller, like many others, went to pay his respects to Sean Lenehan, a former Army Ranger who battled an addiction to Oxycodone before accidentally overdosing, leaving behind a wife and two young children. But for Heller, Lenehan was more than just a former teammate and brother-in-arms. Years back, Sean saved Nick’s life. Now, following his tragic death, Heller is left wishing he could have returned the favor.
Still mourning the loss of his friend, Heller is approached by Sukie Kimball, whose father, Conrad, owns Kimball Pharma—one of the leading producers of Oxycodone in the country. Sukie explains to Heller that she’s gone to multiple funerals, seeing first-hand how the drug that has made her family rich has taken so man lives and ruined so many others. In an effort to do something about it and help ease her own guilt, Sukie claims that a study had been conducted years ago warning of Oxycodone’s addictive nature, a study she claims her father helped make sure never saw the light of day. Now, she wants Heller to help prove it, taking down her father’s empire once and for all.
Heller agrees, but as always, nothing is ever quite that straightforward, and here, things take a turn when Nick, posing as Sukie’s lover to gain access to Conrad’s New York mansion, bumps into a blast from the past who threatens to blow his cover. The more Heller learns about the Kimball family, the more he realizes that they’ll do anything to protect their dynasty—and when someone is killed on Kimball grounds, Nick finds himself racing to figure out who the killer is before they come after him too.
Joseph Finder pulls out all the stops for this one, delivering another heart-stopping thriller that’s not to be missed. Heller, one of the genre’s best characters, has always thrived under pressure—but his ability to stay calm, cool, and one step ahead of the bad guys is suddenly tested like never before. That tension drives the story early, setting the table for a knockout final act that will certainly leave readers hoping Finder doesn’t take four more years to release the series’ fifth book.
House on Fire is another must-read from Joseph Finder, who proves yet again that his series is of the best things going right now.
Into the Fire by Gregg Hurwitz
Release date: January 29th
Following the 2019 blockbuster hit Out of the Dark, Evan Smoak—aka Orphan X—returns in the latest high-octane thriller from New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz.
His last job was one for the ages. Now, following intense blowback and years of being hunted by the very government that once plucked him from an orphanage as a boy and turned him into a skilled, calculated killer, Evan Smoak wants to retire. But what is retirement for a guy like Evan, who broke from the Orphan Program and went on to become a feared vigilante known as the Nowhere Man?
That is the question he grapples with here, and when his roam zone rings yet again, another desperate soul on the other end begging for help, Evan intends to make this mission his final one . . .
Of course, nothing is ever that easy in the life of Evan Smoak, who once again finds himself outnumbered and up against the odds.
Max Merriweather has nowhere to go. Previously, his cousin Grant, a forensic accountant, gave him an envelope containing a flash drive with instructions to hand everything over to a media contact should anything ever happen to him—which, of course, it does. Someone, after first appearing to try and save Grant’s life following a serious car accident that leaves him unconscious, ends up killing him in the hospital. Then they take out the LA Times reporter who was supposed to take the envelope.
Suddenly, Max fears for his life and turns to the Nowhere Man for help.
Evan, unable to turn his back on Max, jumps in to lend a hand—but when he and Joey Morales, his smart-talking sixteen-year-old protegee, discover that Grant’s flash drive contains detailed readouts regarding various criminal records, he inadvertently finds himself sucked into LA’s dark underworld, where danger awaits him at each and every turn. Complicating matters further is Evan’s inability to respond physically the way he’s used to after sustaining a series of concussions that leaves him battling troubling symptoms on top of the bad guys.
With any hope of retirement put on hold until he’s able to save Max and make sense of the information in their possession, Evan must first run through yet another gauntlet of dangerous adversaries to save the day. But this time, with everything working against him and the clock rapidly ticking down, he realizes he may have met finally met his match.
Hurwitz, who continues his impressive run of top-notch thrillers here, delivers a brilliant setup that, in a way, resets his series following the events of Out of the Dark. Truth is, that book closed a major arc, and with no way to top the scope of that story or raise the stakes any higher, Hurwitz did the next best thing by taking Evan back to ground zero. Orphan X finally found the answers he’d spent years searching for, but that doesn’t make him any safer. Especially when his life as the Nowhere Man piles on, forcing Evan to, for the first time, seriously consider stepping away from the action.
Think John Wick meets The Bourne Identity . . . Gregg Hurwitz pulls off another daring, action-packed thrill ride with Into the Fire, one of his strongest novels to date and a major player for best thriller of the year.
One Minute Out by Mark Greaney
Release date: February 18th
When legendary CIA assassin Courtland Gentry sets his sights on taking down a human trafficking ring, his mission seems straightforward enough until he inadvertently discovers a potential terrorist attack against the United States in the process.
Had Gentry just killed Ratko Babic, his latest target handed down by the CIA, Greaney’s stellar ninth Gray Man book would have ended with a single dead bad guy. Instead, though, Court decides to get up close and personal with the Serbian war criminal, and in doing so, rips back the curtain on a global human trafficking ring known as “the Consortium,” setting the stage for a violent showdown.
Trafficking, which has become one of the most profitable criminal enterprises in the world, poses a global threat. Here, the people behind the Consortium snatch women and sell them to the highest bidders through a black-market pipeline around the world. The vile leaders behind such a practice are both ruthless and heartless, treating innocent women as merchandise instead of fellow human beings. Court, having seen the horrors first-hand, makes it his personal mission to burn the entire operation to the ground—but to do so, he’ll have the kill a lot of bad guys, not to mention take out the hired help brought in by the Consortium’s director to cut down Gentry before he can put them in his sights.
For Court, better known in spy circles as the Gray Man, killing is as easy as breathing, and while he’s taken on some explosive missions in the past, he’s never been quite this motivated. But seeing the job through gets a bit harder when the CIA, who locks onto the Consortium’s leader for other reasons, differs with Court on how to handle things. Especially when it’s revealed that an attack against the homeland may be in the works, and the director may be in possession of crucial intel.
Forced to go in alone once again and operate without any help from the agency, Gentry sidesteps his bosses at CIA and teams with Talyssa Corbu, a young Europol analyst determined to find and save her sister, who was recently abducted and sold into the trafficking trade.
With the board set, the Gray Man gets to work, which means bad guys stop breathing in big numbers—but as the body count soars, Gentry realizes not everything is quite as straightforward as he thought, and saving the countless victims may not be as easy as just wiping out the Consortium.
Greaney, who has proven to be one of the top five action thriller writers on the scene today, mixes things up this time around by writing in the first-person narrative, taking readers right inside the Gray Man’s head for what’s easily his darkest, most compelling novel to date. While lots of other top authors have pulled off writing first-person POV thrillers (Brad Taylor, Lee Child, Joseph Finder, etc.), Greaney’s style is unique, and allowing Gentry to speak directly to readers creates a powerful dynamic as fans will love hearing from the super-assassin and seeing the plot through his eyes. It all works incredibly well and is paired perfectly with the dark subject matter at hand.
Mark Greaney dials up another can’t-miss, action-packed thriller with One Minute Out, his grittiest novel to date and a must-read for fans of Vince Flynn and Daniel Silva.
The Dark Corners of the Night by Meg Gardiner
Release date: February 18th
They call him The Midnight Man. A deranged killer who targets families and breaks into their homes late at night, before then killing the parents in front of their helpless, innocent children.
After a string of gruesome murders, the LAPD turns to the FBI for help tracking the killer, and once again, Caitlin Hendrix—star of Gardiner’s UNSUB and Into the Black Nowhere—working alongside her team of FBI profilers, finds herself tracking a madman through the dark shadows of the night. But this time, things are different for Caitlin, who is still reeling from an attack on her best friend, among other things, and has taken to self-medicating while adopting some seriously unhealthy habits to help herself cope with the constant exposure to evil that her job requires.
After a rough start to their investigation that bears little fruit, the story takes a turn when The Midnight Man botches a break in attempt and is forced to flee the scene, leaving behind a little girl who is able to offer up some clues about the man’s true identity. As a profile of the killer begins to emerge based on feedback from the survivors, not everyone agrees with the findings and theories that Hendrix presents, but that won’t stop Caitlin—who deep down fears that she’s finally met her match, but nonetheless gives everything she’s got in hopes of stopping the murderer before he can claim anymore victims.
Once again, Meg Gardiner puts on a show with her latest scary-good thriller, mixing a chilling, heart-pounding plot with masterful character development and relentless pacing to create an unforgettable reading experience that’ll stay with readers long after turning the final page. Not only does she up the ante by creating her most terrifying villain to date, but several hard-hitting twists will keep readers on the edge of their seats, breathlessly racing to see which characters will makes it out alive.
If you aren’t reading this series, clear your TBR piles and start with this one. Meg Gardiner is that good.
Robert Ludlum’s The Treadstone Resurrection by Joshua Hood
Release date: February 25th
When a former back-ops agent is dragged back into the life he’s so desperately tried to leave behind, all hell breaks loose for the bad guys who realize beat too late that they should have just left him alone.
For Adam Hayes, who operates within the same world as Jason Bourne, the life of running and gunning for Treadstone is a thing of the past. Now living in Washington state, filling his days with wood working and other construction jobs, Hayes is proof that sometimes not being able to forget what you’ve done is far worse than not being able to remember who you are. Believing he was able to get out and move on from that life, Hayes tries to make peace with where he’s at, that is until an old Treadstone pal pulls him back into the game for one more action-packed go-around.
Just before someone put a bullet in him, Nick Ford was able to fire off one final email—a message to Hayes containing proof of a drug smuggling outfit in Venezuela that compromises everyone from the Venezuelan president to rogue CIA agent. Shortly after receiving the message, a kill team shows up at Hayes latest job site, and just like that, the once assassin is forced to dust off his lethal set of skills in order to defend himself. What he quickly realizes, though, is that the kill team is just the first wave of bad guys who are coming for him, and the deeper Hayes is pulled in, the more he realizes that he only way to protect himself—and more importantly, his estranged family—is to figure out what’s going on and put an end to it before it’s too late.
Clear by Fire author Joshua Hood hasn’t had his name on a book since Warning Order came out back in 2016. Now, he’s been trusted with penning the first Jason Bourne spinoff series, and he rewards the Ludlum estate with a well-written, action-packed thriller that brings the heat and introduces a captivating, ass-kicking new hero in Adam Hayes. The sky is the limit for this new franchise, and Hood’s return to the genre is a good thing for readers everywhere.
The Warsaw Protocol by Steve Berry
Release date: February 25th
When seven relics believed to be the weapons of Christ begin disappearing from around the world, it’s up to Justice Department agent Cotton Malone and the rest of the gang from the Magellan Billet to figure out who’s behind the thefts, and what their endgame is.
Following the events of Steve Berry’s acclaimed 2019 novel The Malta Exchange, Malone is attending a rare book fair in Burgess when he witnesses one of the religious artifacts being stolen. Later on, he learns from his old boss and close friend Stephanie Nell that someone has sensitive information on Poland’s President Janusz Czajkowski, which will be sold off to the highest bidder at a private auction. But there’s a catch . . .
The price to gain entry to the auction itself is one of the relics.
That becomes a major point here, as both Russia and the United States are but two countries desperate to get their hands on the blackmail, though they have two very different reasons for trying to obtain the information.
President Czajkowski, it turns out, is the reason that the US can’t build a missile system on Polish soil, and American President Warner Fox (who is far more corrupt than his predecessor, Danny Daniels) is hell-bent on finding a way around Czajkowski, even if it means using said blackmail to strong-arm him. With no other viable option on the table, Fox tasks Cotton Malone with stealing one of the remaining six relics and then crashing the auction—a risky move that, if it goes right, could finally lead to Fox finding his loophole around Poland’s line in the sand.
Malone’s target is the Holy Lance, the spear that is believed by Christians to have been used to pierce the side of Christ Jesus during the crucifixion, located in Poland. Getting to it won’t be easy, but neither will getting around with the relic in hand while trying to infiltrate the secret sale that’s set to go down. With his mission parameters set, Malone heads out to see the job through, hoping for a quick and straightforward adventure. Of course, he soon learns that he’s embarked on a journey that is anything but.
Caught in the middle of a deadly game that, if he’s not careful, could soon lead to war—Cotton Malone suddenly finds himself in the most dangerous and challenging position he’s ever faced.
Ever since The Lost Order (2016), Steve Berry has been operating on another level. While it’s rare to see an author hit their stride more than ten books into their already mega-popular series, Berry’s done just that—mixing hard-hitting action with intriguing, thought-provoking, and entertaining plotlines that pack a historical punch unmatched by anyone else in the genre.
Packed with plenty of action, historical detail, and enough suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish, Steve Berry delivers another conspiracy-laden thriller that his fans will surely devour.