Keigo Higashino's Malice is a spiraling masterpiece of mystery. Devised as an inverted detective story, with the apropos early capture, Malice is quickly flipped from a "whodunit" to a "whytheydunit," fueling its suspense with an absence of motive. In turn, Higashino drives this novel via the dueling unreliable narratives of Detective and Prime Suspect. These narrative threads unravel, respectively, in their own chapters, yet collectively twist together to form Malice, simultaneously spinning both sides of the story and sending the reader into a tizzy towards truth.
The speculative fiction of Ben Winters' Underground Airlines inhabits a 21st Century wherein the peculiar institution of slavery continues to thrive. These "altered states" of America turn into a parallel universe when an imminent Civil War is averted through the Crittenden Compromise, a pact enforcing slavery as a constitutional right in select southern states. Subsequently, Winters' novel is inverted at its core and reads, in part, as a thrilling postmodern slave narrative—its protagonist, Victor, an antithesis of Harry Tubman, covertly laboring as "soul catcher" tasked with returning a fugitive slave to the modern day plantation of a corporate factory.
Suspense simmers The Dry, a thrilling debut mystery by Jane Harper, set in the drought ridden sticks of Australia. The arid air and unforgiving barrens mirror the small town of Kierwarra in shock, yet again, from murder. After being run out of Kierwarra as a teenager, Aaron Falk returns as a middle-aged federal agent to investigate this triple homicide—its victims including the mother and son of his childhood friend, Luke, who is suspected of committing murder suicide. Aaron, burdened by present grief and a past that's made him prodigal pariah, must see beyond tar and feathers to solve the crime of The Dry.