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It seems fairly certain that Neal Stephenson’s new thriller, Reamde, released in late September, will be a big hit, but what else looks like a sure bet to make a splash in the next few weeks? Let’s take a look at some likely candidates…

Those Across the River by Christopher Buelman (Ace). If you like supernatural fiction, this highly touted debut novel by a talented poet may be just what you’re looking for. A failed college professor and veteran of World War I moves into an ancestral house after the Great Depression, with terrifying results. It’s blurbed by Charlaine Harris, compared to the work of Stephen King, and described as “equal parts historical fiction, horror story, and fantasy novel.”

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (Algonquin). Described as a modern re-telling of The Scarlet Letter “set in a not-too-distant future when the separation between church and state has been dissolved,” the hype surrounding this new novel from the bestselling author of Mudbound couldn’t be more intense. Main character Hannah Payne’s skin color has been altered to red, to reflect her crime of murder, the victim her unborn child. Comparisons to Margaret Atwood’s The Hand-Maid’s Tale are perhaps inevitable.

Aloha From Hell by Richard Kadrey (HarperVoyager). Kadrey’s Sandman Slim noir supernatural series has been going from the strength to strength, and quickly picking up a legion of devoted readers. In this new installment, Sandman Slim must stop an insane killer bent on destroying both Heaven and Hell, which could result in an all-out war between angels and demons. Leave it to Kadrey to ratchet up the stakes--and continue to give readers a great street-level view of Los Angeles in the process.

Trackers by Deon Meyer (Atlantic Monthly Press). Known as the “King of South African Crime Fiction,” Meyer’s latest features his recurring character Lemmer, a freelance bodyguard. In this latest pulse-pounding novel, Lemmer helps a farmer smuggle black rhinos out of Zimbabwe so they won’t be slaughtered by poachers, but things get complicated fast. The book also features Milla Strachan, a former journalist now writing intelligence reports, and Mat Joubert, a former police detective now working as a private eye. The three will become intertwined in a mystery bigger than they could ever have imagined.

Children of Paranoia by Trevor Shane (Dutton). Fusing SF and suspense, Shane has postulated a secret war going on amongst us, unknown to most until it’s too late: “Since the age of eighteen, Joseph has been assassinating people on behalf of a cause he believes in but doesn’t fully understand. The War is ageless, hidden in the shadows, governed by a rigid set of rules, and fought by two distinct sides…” When Joseph meets a woman named Maria, all of his preconceived ideas about the war and his role in it crumble.


So there you have it—some great adrenaline-pulsing, big concept novels to transition you from summer to fall. Any other titles of this type have your interest? Please tell us about them in the comments.


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Oh man--you and me both!

I'm personally looking forward to Haruki Murakami's reimagining of "1984" with "1Q84."

Interesting list you made here! Thanks for all the information!

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