Saturday, December 12, 2015

Top ten mysteries of 2015: Wall Street Journal

Two of the Wall Street Journal's top mysteries of the year:
By Rebecca Scherm

Julie, the 21-year-old American woman working as an antiques restorer in a Parisian shop, is well-mannered, soft-spoken—and living in dread. Her real name is Grace, and she has fled her native Tennessee in the wake of a botched museum robbery that she engineered. Convinced that she is the “bad apple” she was told she was as a child, Grace-Julie is ripe for recruitment into even more dangerous schemes. Rebecca Scherm’s fast-paced first novel, full of suspense and surprise, shows that “empowerment,” as embraced by an on-the-lam bad apple, can provoke some most unexpected thrills.

Writers Read: Rebecca Scherm

The Valley
By John Renehan

A fog-shrouded U.S. Army outpost in the remote reaches of Afghanistan is the ominous setting of John Renehan’s combat-ready first novel. Lt. Black (no first name) is sent to this mountainous up-country position on an administrative investigation that soon turns into something much more strange. Surrounded by Taliban and other militia, the outpost’s troops are in the grip of some fatal conspiracy, which he catches glimpses of through the green glare of night-vision goggles and the orange glow of psychedelic lava lamps. This superb debut is at once a battle novel, a puzzling mystery and a psychological mind-bender.

Writers Read: John Renehan
Read about the other titles on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue