The Best Debut Novels of the Month: May 2024 ‹ CrimeReads

The editors of CrimeReads make their choice for the best debut novels in the field of crime, mystery and thrillers.


Nicola Solvinic, The hunter’s daughter
(Berkley Books)

In Solvinic’s debut, a decorated cop kills a man on duty and is confronted with a flood of repressed memories of her serial killer father. She then confronts a new killer who appears to be copying his dark rituals. The story unfolds like a dream and Solvinic penetrates deep into the tortured psyche of her characters. –DM

Alana B. Lytle, Man’s best friend

In Lytle’s chilling debut, a young woman who recently gave up her dream of acting meets a young scion who can introduce her to a world of wealth and privilege she has always longed for. But soon the compromises begin, and she finds herself increasingly cut off from her former life, with disturbing suggestions as to why. Lytle writes compellingly about this decadent world and the costs of belonging to it. –DM

Sam Garonzik, A difficult road to go
(Great Central)

An atmospheric beach town and a father with loose ends combine to deliver strong results in Garonzik’s well-crafted debut. When a body washes up in the surf, we’re thrown headlong into a gripping murder mystery as an unemployed father investigates a shady hedge fund and a dead financier, all with a plucky three-year-old by his side. –DM

Fiona McPhillips When we were silent

Fiona McPhillips breathes new urgency into the private school thriller now that this story of justice has been postponed. In When we were silent, Louise Manson enrolls in an elite academy in Dublin with a single goal: to expose the swimming coach as a sexual predator. Decades later, she must face her past traumas when another coach at the school goes on trial for abuse. McPhillips imbues her story with deep sensitivity and righteous anger, for a compelling and thought-provoking read. –MO

L.M. Chilton, Swept

Another episode of modern dating, this time with an extra fun twist! Chilton’s hapless heroine is suspected of murder after the shocking deaths of several men she has been matched with. Who is to blame for killing all these (admittedly mediocre) dating prospects? And why are they so determined to blame her? –MO

Back To Top