I’ve Read Over 20 Thriller Books This Year—These Are The Ones I Can’t Stop Thinking About

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There are a few things that are cemented as a part of my identity, some good, some not so much: my codependent relationship with my 16-year-old dog, having one of the strongest Chicago accents people have ever heard, how many times I’ve watched Dance Moms all the way through (at least five), and being absolutely obsessed with anything scary.

I was a fan of thrillers and true crime far before they were trendy to love (if I do say so myself). I basically walked out of the womb concerned about what really happened to JonBenét Ramsey and I was watching scary movies when the appropriate thing would have been to stick to Toy Story. I also have always loved to read, which led to a lifetime of an obvious, beautiful collision of my interests: psychological thriller books.

I started 2022 at my parent’s home for two weeks, which encouraged me to toss Netflix aside and make my Kindle my best friend. I’ve gotten into a groove and read a lot of books so far this year, some of which the titles I can’t even remember and others that have left me wishing I could experience them again from the start.

If there’s one thing I know, it’s when a thriller book is worth recommending. Ready to find your next favorite book? These are at the top of my list, and I promise every one will have you on the edge of your seat.

Ashley Audrain

The Push

This book is absolutely the best one I’ve read this year, if not one of the best I’ve read ever. Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had. But in the thick of motherhood's exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn't behave like most children do. In the midst of the unsettling plotline, this story takes a deep dive into motherhood and what happens when it isn’t what you expect it to be.

Aimee Molloy

Goodnight Beautiful

I read this after our lovely social media editor recommended it, and it is by far one of the most unique books I've ever read.

Two newlyweds, Sam and Annie, leave New York City to settle in Sam's upstate hometown. While Sam spends his days as a psychotherapist treating patients in his home office, Annie's days are far less busy, and it just so happens that all of Sam's sessions can be heard through the vent upstairs. My jaw dropped to the floor not once but twice while I was reading this—I promise, the twists won't even be on your radar.

Stacy Willingham

A Flicker in the Dark

When I finished this book, I put it down and immediately texted my friends that it’s the best book I’ve read in a while. I can’t emphasize enough how truly shocked I was and how hooked I was from the beginning.

When Chloe Davis was 12, six teenage girls went missing in her small Louisiana town. By the end of the summer, her own father had confessed to the crimes and was put away for life, leaving Chloe and the rest of her family to grapple with the truth and try to move forward while dealing with the aftermath. Now, 20 years later, when a local teenage girl goes missing, and then another, that terrifying summer comes crashing back, with Chloe at the center of the mystery.

Colleen Hoover

Verity

Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer when she gets the offer of a lifetime: to ghost write the final books of bestselling author Verity Crawford's most famous series, which she's unable to finish after being in an accident. Verity's husband encourages Lowen to come stay at their home to go through Verity's office and notes on ideas for the rest of the series—and while she's there, she finds more than she bargained for.

This is one of my top three favorite books of all time. Not only do the characters suck you in from the start, but the final pages also leave you completely speechless. This was a "finished in 24 hours" book for me, and I wish I could experience it again from the beginning 10 more times.

Romy Hausmann

Dear Child

Amazon describes this book as Gone Girl meets Room, and I couldn't have said it better myself.

A woman held captive in a shack in the woods finally escapes, but when she claims to be Lena, who had disappeared 14 years before, her family swears it isn't really her. It's full of twists, suspense, and an original plot that leaves you thinking far after you're done.

Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing

You know the books that hook you literally from page one, that just read with ease and don’t take any time to get into? This is one of them.

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her 6-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold. Now, 11 years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they'll find.

Elizabeth Haynes

Into the Darkest Corner

Catherine is enjoying her single life when she meets charismatic, successful Lee. While their relationship starts out passionate, it turns into obsession quickly, and Catherine ends up being completely isolated from her former life.

Prior to reading this, I had never heard of it, and it ended up being one of the most captivating books I've ever read.

Trigger warning: The plot of this book is about domestic abuse.

B. A. Paris

The Dilemma

I wasn't lying when I said I went through a B.A. Paris phase, and I don't regret it one bit. This book is unique in that the entirety of it happens within the same day, which made it completely un-put-downable for me.

It's Livia's 40th birthday party, and her daughter Marnie, who's studying abroad, isn't going to make it to the party Livia has been looking forward to for years. When her husband learns terrible news that potentially impacts Marnie, the rest of the day is filled with suspense as he grapples with whether or not he should let Livia enjoy her big day or warn her about Marnie.

Adrian McKinty

The Chain

When a mother is targeted by a group of masterminds, she finds out she has to commit a crime or risk never seeing her daughter again.

This book was the winner of countless awards, and rightfully so: It's one of the most unique thriller stories you'll ever encounter and keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time.

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

The Golden Couple

Written by the authors of The Wife Between Us, this book is completely un-put-downable from the start. Wealthy Washington suburbanites Marissa and Matthew Bishop seem to have it all—until Marissa is unfaithful. Beneath their veneer of perfection is a relationship riven by work and a lack of intimacy. She wants to repair things for the sake of their 8-year-old son and because she loves her husband. Enter: Avery Chambers.

Avery is a therapist who lost her professional license. Still, it doesn’t stop her from counseling those in crisis, though they have to adhere to her unorthodox methods. And the Bishops are desperate. But soon, they find out that the infidelity is the least of their problems.

Laura Dave

The Last Thing He Told Me

You’ve probably seen this book floating around TikTok, and it’s one that really is worth the hype. Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly whom the note refers to—Owen’s 16-year-old daughter, Bailey: Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child; Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was, and Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he disappeared.

Minka Kent

Unmissing

Merritt Coletto and her husband, Luca, have the life they dreamed of: a coastal home, a promising future, and a growing family. That dream ends with a late-night knock on the door. Weak, broken, and emaciated, it’s Luca’s first wife, Lydia. Missing for 10 years, presumed dead, and very much alive, she has quite a story.
Racked with guilt over the beautiful life they’ve built, Merritt and Luca agree to help get Lydia back on her feet—it’s the least they can do. But the more enmeshed Lydia becomes in Merritt’s family, the more questions Merritt has. The answers, when they come, are terrifying.

 

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