Tana French's thrillers hit the sweet spot between thoughtful, literary fiction with complex female characters and high octane mysteries. They're some of the only books both my father and I can obsess over. If you love television like The Fall, The Bridge, Happy Valley, Prime Suspect, Homeland — anything with a troubled genius lady searching for the dark truth — any and all of Tana's addictive novels are for you. Warning: will induce antisocial behavior as you obsessively read alone in a corner/lie to those you love so you can keep reading.
When I picked up What Happened to Interracial Love? I didn't put it down until I reached the end. Published posthumously, Kathleen Collins' collection of short stories is an unflinching and intimate portrait of African-American life. Through a woman's memories of an uncle who wept himself to death, the unraveling of a seemingly happy family, and an ultimately doomed romance during the summer of '63, her characters will make you swoon then break your heart within the span of a page. I honestly can't remember the last time I felt so seen and understood by an author's work.