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This story first appeared in the May 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
1. The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango
German screenwriter Arango weaves an intricate tale about an author who gets framed for the disappearance of his wife (also the one really writing his books) and his pregnant mistress in a story that evokes Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr. Ripley).
2. Armada by Ernest Cline
With its nods to classic video games, Cline’s debut, Ready Player One, was 2011’s go-to geek novel (Spielberg is directing the adaptation). Cline’s follow-up riffs on 1984’s The Last Starfighter with a story about gamers trying to stop an alien invasion.
3. The President’s Shadow by Brad Meltzer
After a severed hand is found on the White House lawn, the President calls on the Culper Ring, a secret society founded by George Washington, to help him figure out whose hand it is and the meaning of the message clenched in its fist.
4. The Devil’s Bag Man by Adam Mansbach
In this sequel to 2013’s The Dead Run, Jess Galvan has absorbed the soul of a 500-year-old Aztec demon/drug lord, gaining superstrength — but is having trouble holding the evil at bay. “Two souls, one body. The math was a bitch,” he says.
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