Summer is the perfect time for books that allow us to escape to another place and time. And sometimes – like a roller coaster – what we really want is a thrill ride. In this summer of COVID-19 in particular, we’ve been devouring thrillers because they make us feel that our own situation is actually not so bad. If you’re similarly inclined, our ace correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has curated a list of the 15 best new summer thrillers right now – our recommended books for your next great read.
What are the best new summer thrillers right now?
Something about the summer makes us want to lose ourselves in a juicy new book. There’s nothing like the experience of that rare, impossible-to-put-down novel that keeps us reading through the wee hours of the morning.
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And since suspense is the best way to get us to turn the page, we have assembled a list of sixteen exciting thrillers for you to check out this summer. They are all new releases, either out now or coming soon, and we hope that they give you the immersive, escapist experience you’re craving.
Our Picks for the Best New Summer Thrillers
1. A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette
Bronwyn’s big day – the opening of her family’s ice cream parlor – takes a frightening turn when she finds a dead body in the snow.
This cozy mystery turns into a family affair when it’s uncovered that the victim had a long-standing disagreement with Bronwyn’s father. Anyone who loves a murderous story set in a charming small town will enjoy.
2. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes an eerie Gothic thriller set in 1950’w Mexico.
Noemí Taboada is trying to save her cousin’s life, and to do so she must travel to the mysterious High Place: the mansion where her cousin’s in-laws live, which hides more secrets than she can possibly imagine.
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3. The Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda
Arden Maynor thought she had left her past behind. She disappeared as a child and was found after several days, miraculously alive.
Twenty years later, and she has assumed a new identity – but when she finds a dead body outside her house, she realizes that she has not fully left behind what happened to her.
4. These Women by Ivy Pochoda
Dorian, Julianna, Essie, Marella and Anneke are five women who lead five very different lives.
But they all have one thing in common: they are all connected to the same dangerous man. And when there are two murders in their community of South Los Angeles, they find their lives changed forever.
5. I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick
Anna is obsessed with Zoe Spanos: a girl who vanished from the Hamptons months earlier, who just so happens to look just like her.
But when Zoe’s body is finally uncovered, Anna is the one blamed for her death. This modern take on Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca sounds like a great summer ride.
6. Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas
Shrouded in mystery, the school of Catherine House sits isolated in the middle of nowhere. Its students must meet a list of unconventional demands, including that they live completely cut off from society for three full years.
If that makes you think that perhaps all is not as it seems, you would be right. This Gothic tale is full of surprises.
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7. The Law of Lines by Hye-young Pyun
Se-oh is on a mission to get revenge for her father’s death. Ki-jeong is looking for answers for her sister’s alleged suicide.
Their paths are drawn together when Ki-jeong finds Se-oh’s contact in her sister’s cell phone. The kind of thriller that also endeavors to say something serious about loss and grief, this is a must-read.
8. A Burning by Megha Majumdar
Javin is a Muslim girl who is falsely accused of committing a terrorist attack. There is an alibi that might save her – but at what cost, and to whom?
A story about social mobility in India, this is one of the most buzzed-about books of the summer. You won’t be able to stop reading once you’ve started.
9. Her Final Words by Brianna Labuskes
From the author of Girls of Glass comes another engrossing novel. The premise is this: when a teenage girl coldly confesses to committing a murder, it should be case closed.
But detective Lucy Thorne can’t help feeling that there is something amiss, and she soon becomes obsessed with finding the truth.
Coming on July 21.
10. Axiom’s End by Lindsay Ellis
A thriller, a political novel, and a work of science fiction, Axiom’s End imagines an alternate history. What if a video leaked in the early 2000’s revealing that the United States had covered up alien life on our planet?
When Cora Sabino is caught in the crossfires of the conflict, she must make some extreme choices in order to survive.
Coming on July 21.
11. Trust No One By Debra Webb
Kerri Devlin is a detective trying to catch a killer. At the same time, she’s juggling tremendous upheaval in her personal life.
So when one starts to bleed into the other, of course everything is going to get a lot more difficult – and deadly. This is slated to be the first in a new series from the bestselling author.
Coming on August 1.
12. We Are All the Same in the Dark by Julie Haberlin
Trumanell Branson disappeared from her town in Texas without a trace. Ten years later, and those left behind are still dealing with the consequences, but another girl gone missing might at last bring truths to light and solve the mystery.
Some are calling this the number one thriller of the summer.
Coming on August 11.
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13. Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
Set on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Winter Counts is from the perspective of Virgil Wounded Horse, a local enforcer.
But when the crimes are committed closer to home, Virgil will have to confront his own demons in order to find justice for everyone.
Coming on August 25.
14. When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
Described as “Rear Window meets Get Out,” this is a thriller set in gentrifying Brooklyn.
Protagonist Sydney Green is watching as more and more of her neighbors disappear, but the reason they’re leaving may be more sinister than she even imagined. We can’t wait to read this.
Coming on September 1.
15. Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
Enchanted dreams of being a famous singer. When she is scouted by iconic R&B artist Korey Fields, she is certain she’s about to get everything she ever wanted.
But when Korey is found murdered, all the evidence shows that Enchanted is the one who did it. But did she?
Coming on September 15.
16. And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall
What do you do when a missing person may not want to be found at all?
Hall asks this question and many others in this thriller about two women, the one who has disappeared, and the one who is supposed to search for her. If you love a good secret, this book sounds like it’s full of them.
Coming on September 22.
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Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater.