Who is she? Where is she going? What a current book-cover trend says about a changing genre.

By Stephan Lee
November 02, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

From swoopy cursive text to close-ups of rain boots, trends in book-cover art crop up all the time. This fall we noticed three new crime thrillers with fleeing women in red coats. For publishers, there are aesthetic concerns — a red focal point against a neutral background is eye-catching. But Josh Kendall, editorial director of Mulholland Books, believes the figures in red may reflect a shift in what readers want from crime fiction. “More and more people want books about character,” he says. “Desiring to know who that person is invites you into that human connection.”