Summer thrillers you won't want to miss

Vannessa Cronin on June 22, 2020
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10 summer thrillers you won't want to miss

Some years it can be difficult coming up with ten mystery and thriller titles to recommend in July, and especially in August. Most thrillers have published earlier in the summer, and late summer is almost a lull period before the heavy hitters come along in September and October. This summer though, there are many exciting thrillers scheduled for July and August. One of the few upsides to COVID-19 is that some excellent mysteries and thrillers were re-scheduled from earlier in the year to late summer. Here's a look at some of the thrillers we're excited about, books that will see you through the rest of the summer.


The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell

From the author of It's Always the Husband comes a thriller about the two Mrs. Fords. The first is glamorous, accomplished, wealthy, and now dead. The second Mrs. Ford is a young, former waitress who finally finds herself married to her summer love from long ago—Connor Ford. She's wealthy beyond her wildest dreams, but a little concerned about how the path to her happiness was cleared.


The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne

Rachel Cunningham has voluntarily been locked away in a psychiatric facility for well over a decade, tortured by the deaths of her parents, which she takes responsibility for, though the gaps in her memory prevent her from remembering how she killed them. Encouraged by a journalist, she returns to her family’s log cabin in the remote forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to make sense of her past. And the part her troubled sister Diana played in their family drama.


The Eighth Detective by Alex Pavesi

If Moneyball were about thrillers instead of baseball, and was written by Christopher Nolan, you might wind up with The Eighth Detective. It’s about an ambitious young editor, Julia, who travels to the remote Mediterranean island where Grant—a former thriller writer and professor of mathematics—lives in seclusion. As she edits his mystery anthology for reissue, she discovers typos that may in fact be deliberately placed clues to a much bigger, real-life mystery.


The End of Her by Shari Lapena

Stephanie and Patrick are still in the honeymoon phase of marriage (despite colicky twin baby daughters) when Erika, a face from Patrick's past, turns up with disturbing claims about Patrick's late first wife. Though Patrick protests he's being wrongly accused, Erika is convincing enough to make Stephanie's faith in her husband waver. Who's telling the truth? Because knowing who to trust could mean the difference between life and death for Stephanie.


The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard

As supermarket security guard Jim Doyle reads The Nothing Man, the survivor memoir Eve Black has written about the attack on her family that left her alone in the world at the age of twelve, he becomes enraged. Because he is the Nothing Man. And reading Eve's words, he realizes that her efforts to track down her family's killer have been successful, and that she's close to unmasking him as the killer. He will have to stop her, one way or the other.


Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan

In Anatomy of a Scandal, Sarah Vaughn wove a white-knuckle thriller out of the #MeToo movement. White knuckles will be the order of the day with Little Disasters too, as Vaughn spins a story out of what has to be every parent's nightmare. When the baby daughter of one of her friends is brought to her for treatment, pediatrician Liz faces a dilemma. As sure as she is that Jess would never harm her own child, there's irrefutable medical evidence that someone has. But Liz's obligation to report her findings will cause problems: personal, professional, and legal.


Nothing Can Hurt You by Nicola Maye Goldberg

Inspired by a true story, each chapter of Nothing Can Hurt You is told from the multiple points of view of those affected by the death of Sara Morgan, a popular student killed in the woods near her small liberal arts college in upstate New York. Whether it’s Sara's boyfriend Blake, who confesses to her murder, or the housewife who discovered Sara’s body, alternating narrators spin a powerful story and provide an intriguing look at the ways in which gender violence ripples through an entire community.


The Hollow Ones by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

When Walt Leppo, a decorated FBI agent, turns violent and guns down a murderer he is supposed to apprehend, rookie FBI agent Odessa Hardwicke is blindsided. She's even more blindsided by what she thinks she saw in the seconds after she was forced to turn her gun on her partner. Now desk-bound while she considers her future with the Bureau, she ends up on the trail of a mysterious figure named Hugo Blackwood, who is either an evil lunatic or the answer to it all.


The Lion's Den by Katherine St. John

Belle's acting career is stalled, and the waitressing job she is forced to take to make ends meet is too humiliating for words. So when her best friend Summer invites her to join her and her billionaire boyfriend on his yacht for a jaunt around the Mediterranean, it sounds perfect. But Belle isn't the only friend Summer has invited to the dream vacation, which quickly turns into a nightmare. The Lion's Den is aptly-titled, and serves up glamor, betrayal, gold-digging, Birkin bags, champagne, success, and if Belle doesn't keep her wits about her—murder.


Blacktop Wasteland by S. A. Cosby

Race, poverty, and the longing to be the kind of father and family man he never had, lure Beauregard "Bug" Montague to dip back into his former life, as the best getaway driver from North Carolina to Florida. But the diamond heist that promises to make him enough money to finally go straight for real could rob him of the life he dreams about.


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