August 14, 2006 12:00 PM

Thrills and Chills

The Grays by Whitley Strieber: One government faction believes aliens are trying to save us; another thinks they want to conquer in this truly spooky sci-fi tale from the author of Communion.

Still Life by Louise Penny: Set in an artistic haven outside Montreal, this cerebral mystery about a bow-and-arrow murder and a detective who works out of a local bistro is a rare treat.

Snow Blind by P.J. Tracy: A killer encases his victims—cops, no less—inside snowmen. The startling imagery from the mother-daughter team known as P.J. Tracy powers the novel along, as does the instantly likable cast, back for a fourth outing.

Learning to Kill by Ed McBain: A gripping collection of the late mystery writer’s earliest short stories from the ’50s is a must for fans who want to see how the master honed his skills.

No Good Deeds by Laura Lippman: This slice-of-Baltimore-life mystery finds PI and ex-journalist Tess Monaghan following a street kid into a maze leading to a controversial unsolved murder; the suspense is relentless.

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