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Angie Kim’s 2019 Edgar Award-winning debut takes the typical courtroom drama and amps up the tension. After a mysterious explosion at an experimental medical facility kills two patients, a small-town community seeks out someone to blame. As the murder trial moves forward, secrets and lies float to the surface, leaving the reader to sift through testimonies and consider all the evidence before Kim’s quick-paced page-turner comes to a close. The author inadvertently researched her book years before writing it. When her son was two, she tried hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, to alleviate the symptoms of his ulcerative colitis, among other medical issues; in Miracle Creek, she set fire to a fictional HBOT pressurized chamber. One of TIME’s must-read books of 2019, Miracle Creek, which was influenced by Dennis Lehane’s Mystic River, is part murder mystery and part psychological study. Kim weaves together a legal case, an immigrant story, and a parent’s psyche into a deeply satisfying saga that shifts between different perspectives, offering readers conflicting evidence—and a chance to close the case themselves. —Meg Zukin

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