Auntie M has gathered new thrillers to add delight to your fall reading. What these have in common is fast pacing and twisted plots. Enjoy!

Emily Bleeker’s Working Fire takes readers to the Midwest, where Ellie Brown has returned from her ticket out of Illinois–med school–to care for her father after he suffers a stroke. Her job as a paramedic is not as interesting as she’s thought it would be, but at least she sees her sister, Amelia, and enjoys dinner with her sister’s husband, Steve, and their two girls.

The book opens with a punch, with Ellie and her partner, Chet, getting an unbelieveable call: it’s Amelia’s address and there are reported gunshots. That’s just the beginning of a story is told from Ellie’s point of view in the present, with action from six weeks ago in Amelia’s point of view.

This alternating style allows readers to see both sisters, who have a tight relationship, as individuals. There are secrets here being kept, which adds to the emotional tension. What really happened inside Amelia’s house that led to the shooting?

As Amelia’s life hangs in the balance, Ellie will try to find whom she can really trust, which turns out to be a very complicated situation. One final ending twist is totally unexpected.

Tim Chapman’s background as a forensic scientist gives him the gravitas he needs for his protagonist, Sean McKinney in The Blue Silence. The Chicago scientist with an interest in Tai Chi has a huge hole in his heart at the moment.

Sean’s a widower with a large dog, Hendrix, whose daughter is newly away at college. A recent breakup from his girlfriend leads Sean to accept when Angelina begs him to look into the disappearance of her roomate’s twin sister.

Sean soon finds himself at Tulane in New Orleans, getting more than he bargained for when he and his dog, Hendrix, reach Angelina, and her friend, Madeleine. Sean meets the twins parents, too, but it soon becomes more than complicated on the hunt for Sylvie.

There will be a hint of romance for Sean, intrigue in the art world, a hidden diary, and Hendrix and Angelina in jeopardy before it’s all over. A satisfying thriller and hopefully the first of a series featuring the forensic expert.


Readers can go from New Orleans to Baton Rouge in Roger Johns’ Dark River Rising.

Wallace Hartman is a police detective who heads this new series. Saddled with her partner on medical leave and missing his advice, Wallace is nevertheless quickly immersed in the scene of a grisly murder. It’s evident the drug dealer victim was tortured before being killed and left in a most horrific manner that captures attention immediately.

Wallace grudgingly accepts DEA agent Mason Cunningham’s help as they agree he needs her local knowledge and she needs his resources, especially after a scientist tied to the first victim disappears. She will meet the Staples family, whose have a personal motive for wanting revenge on the drug dealer, but that’s just the start of the investigation.

This is a compelling police procedural with enough action and twists, plus a hint of romance to keep the pages flipping. A good hard look at the dark underbelly of Baton Rouge with a compelling new protagonist.


The sequel to Eeric Rickstad’s The Silent Girls heats up quickly. The Names of Dead Girls takes readers to rural Vermont in the expert company of detectives Sonja Test and Frank Rath and their team.

It starts out with the cliffhanger of the first book, when Rath’s nemesis, Ned Preacher is paroled early and is watching Rath’s niece, Rachel, whom Rath has raised after Preacher murdered his sister and her husband.

After protecting Rachel for years, she’s just found out the truth of her parentage. Then several local girls go missing and when their bodies are found, it’s too much of a coincidence for Rath to feel that anyone but Preacher is to blame.

Preacher’s style is to terrorize Rachel while he taunts Rath, and the detective’s investigation will take him into Montreal. This is dark and terrific suspense with great imagery that makes the setting a secondary character. Keep the lights on for this one.

Julia Keller’s series featuring prosecutor Bell Elkins and the rural area of Acker’s Gap, WV, continues with Fast Falls the Night.

It starts out with a death from an overdose and the suspense ratchets up quickly as they spread like wildifire. Bell finds herself and her team working at top speed to stop the wave as it escalates.

They race to find the heroin batch that’s been laced with a lethal tranquilizer, searching for the source as the overdoses mount and the bodies pile up. Bell will be fighting more than just the drug lords though, as some within the law enforcement community believe the addicts should be left to die.

Bell sees how the addicts actions affect more than themselves, but readers also have other perspectives from different points of view. There will be a hostage at one point, and also dark fammily secrets for Bell to be revealed before it’s all over.

All of the action takes place in a compressed 24-hr period, adding to the urgency and the swift pacing. Definitely a cliffhanger of an ending.

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