Thor’s latest leads Jon Land’s list of July’s best thrillers 💥👩💥

Brad Thor takes his seminal hero, former Navy SEAL Scot Harvath, to new heights and depths in the blistering and bracing “Black Ice” (Atria, 320 pages, $28.99).

With a new relationship and attitude, Harvath is giving serious thought to hanging up his holster, like a classic gunfighter from the Old West. As was the case with those heroes of lore, though, fate intervenes in the form of a past he cannot escape no matter how much he tries, when a foe he thought he’d killed miraculously resurfaces. From there, we’re treated to a new Cold War adventure, and I mean literally, since the story ultimately takes Harvath to the Arctic Circle.

That leads to inevitable comparisons to the Alistair MacLean classic “Ice Station Zebra,” but Thor is more than up to such a lofty likeness. He’s the undisputed master of blending geopolitics with spycraft and adding just enough action to the mix, which helps make “Black Ice” a thriller aficionado’s dream.

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Truly impressive legal thriller

Karin Slaughter is always good, but in the mesmerizing “False Witness”(Morrow, 504 pages, $28.99), she’s downright great.

"False Witness"

At its heart, this is a legal thriller extraordinaire that follows lawyer Leigh Collier barely managing to balance her firm’s politics and time demands with being the mother of a 16-year-old daughter. Driving the action is a sexual assault case Leigh knows she must take despite her misgivings, especially since she has a long-buried past with the client.

Slaughter stands firmly alongside Sandra Brown, Lisa Scottoline and Lisa Gardner as preeminent female forces in popular fiction, as great a writer as she is a storyteller. The truth about “False Witness” is that it’s not to be missed.

More:Jon Land’s picks for June’s must-read thrillers

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Old-style noir from a new pair

Tess Gerritsen and Gary Braver, both masters of biotech-oriented or medical thrillers, make for an interesting pairing in “Choose Me” (Thomas & Mercer, 310 pages, $24.95).

"Choose Me"

But here’s the thing: “Choose Me” fits into neither of the categories this stalwart team is best known for. Instead it’s a hardboiled psychological thriller from the school of noir that follows college professor Jack Dorian’s misplaced affair with one of his students. The story kicks into overdrive when the coed turns up dead, with Jack marked as a suspect. Or was it suicide? And who’s responsible for Taryn Moore’s pregnancy?

Thor’s latest leads Jon Land’s list of July’s best thrillers

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