Last year, Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train took the lit world by storm, captivating readers with its page-turning story of deceit. Readers are more than a little excited about the upcoming movie adaptation, but in the meantime, here are 15 new thrillers to look out for this year if you loved The Girl on the Train. Check out the list below, complete with publishers’ descriptions and release dates.
After She’s Gone by Lisa Jackson
Cassie Kramer and her younger sister, Allie, learned the hazards of fame long ago. Together, they’d survived the horror of a crazed fan who nearly killed their mother, former Hollywood actress Jenna Hughes. Still, Cassie moved to L.A., urging Allie to follow. As a team, they’d take the town by storm. But Allie, finally free of small-town Oregon, and just that little bit more beautiful, also proved to be more talented — and driven. Where Cassie got bit parts, Allie rose to stardom. But now her body double has been shot on the set of her latest movie — and Allie is missing.
Police discover that the last call to Allie’s phone came from Cassie, though she has no recollection of making it. Instead of looking like a concerned relative, Cassie is starting to look like a suspect — the jealous sister who finally grew sick of playing a supporting role. As the tabloids go into a frenzy, Cassie ends up on a Portland psych ward. Is she just imagining the sinister figure who comes to her bedside, whispering about Allie — a visitor of whom there is no record? Is someone trying to help — or drive her mad?
Release date: Out now
The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother’s bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night.
In the aftermath, Kristin and Richard’s life rapidly spirals into nightmare. The police throw them out of their home, now a crime scene, Richard’s investment banking firm puts him on indefinite leave, and Kristin is unsure if she can forgive her husband for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. But the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, faces a much graver danger. In one breathless, violent night, she is free, running to escape the police who will arrest her and the gangsters who will kill her in a heartbeat. A captivating, chilling story about shame and scandal, The Guest Room is a riveting novel from one of our greatest storytellers.
Release date: Out now
Beside Myself by Ann Morgan
Six-year-old Helen and Ellie are identical twins, but Helen is smarter, more popular, and their mother’s favorite. Ellie, on the other hand, requires special instruction at school, is friendless, and is punished at every turn.
Until they decide to swap places — just for fun, and just for one day — and Ellie refuses to switch back. Everything of Helen’s, from her toys to her friends to her identity, now belongs to her sister. With those around her oblivious to her plight, the girl who used to be Helen loses her sense of self and withdraws into a spiral of behavioral problems, delinquency, and mental illness. In time, she’s not even sure of her memory of the switch.
Twenty-five years later, she receives a call that threatens to pull her back into her sister’s dangerous orbit. Will she take this chance to face her past?
Release date: Out now
The Case of Lisandra P. by Hélène Grémillon
Buenos Aires, 1987. When a beautiful young woman named Lisandra is found dead at the foot of a six-story building, her husband, a psychoanalyst, is immediately arrested for her murder. Convinced of Vittorio’s innocence, one of his patients, Eva Maria, is drawn into the investigation seemingly by chance.
As she combs through secret recordings of Vittorio’s therapy sessions in search of the killer — could it be the powerful government figure? the jealous woman? the musician who’s lost his reason to live? — Eva Maria must confront her most painful memories, and some of the darkest moments in Argentinian history.
Release date: Out now
The Winter Girl by Matt Marinovich
It’s wintertime in the Hamptons, where Scott and his wife, Elise, have come to be with her terminally ill father, Victor, to await the inevitable. As weeks turn to months, their daily routine — Elise at the hospital with her father, Scott pretending to work and drinking Victor’s booze — only highlights their growing resentment and dissatisfaction with the usual litany of unhappy marriages: work, love, passion, each other. But then Scott notices something simple, even innocuous. Every night at precisely eleven, the lights in the neighbor’s bedroom turn off. It’s clearly a timer… but in the dead of winter with no one else around, there’s something about that light he can’t let go of. So one day while Elise is at the hospital, he breaks in. And he feels a jolt of excitement he hasn’t felt in a long time. Soon, it’s not hard to enlist his wife as a partner in crime and see if they can’t restart the passion.
Their one simple transgression quickly sends husband and wife down a deliriously wicked spiral of bad decisions, infidelities, escalating violence, and absolutely shocking revelations. Matt Marinovich makes a strong statement with this novel. The Winter Girl is the psychological thriller done to absolute perfection.
Release date: January 19
The Ex by Alafair Burke
In this breakout standalone novel of suspense in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on a Train, a woman agrees to help an old boyfriend who has been framed for murder — but begins to suspect that she is the one being manipulated.
Twenty years ago she ruined his life. Now she has the chance to save it.
Widower Jack Harris has resisted the dating scene ever since the shooting of his wife Molly by a 15-year-old boy three years ago. An early morning run along the Hudson River changes that when he spots a woman in last night’s party dress, barefoot, enjoying a champagne picnic alone, reading his favorite novel. Everything about her reminds him of what he used to have with Molly. Eager to help Jack find love again, his best friend posts a message on a popular website after he mentions the encounter. Days later, that same beautiful stranger responds and invites Jack to meet her in person at the waterfront. That’s when Jack’s world falls apart.
Olivia Randall is one of New York City’s best criminal defense lawyers. When she hears that her former fiancé, Jack Harris, has been arrested for a triple homicide — and that one of the victims was connected to his wife’s murder — there is no doubt in her mind as to his innocence. The only question is who would go to such great lengths to frame him — and why?
For Olivia, representing Jack is a way to make up for past regrets, to absolve herself of guilt from a tragic decision, a secret she has held for 20 years. But as the evidence against him mounts, she is forced to confront her doubts. The man she knew could not have done this. But what if she never really knew him?
Release date: January 26
The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle
Like Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley, veteran con artist Roy is a born liar — and when he meets wealthy widow Betty online, he knows she’s an easy mark. In no time at all, he’s spinning his web of duplicity and betrayal around her, even moving into her lovely cottage. He’s sure his scheme will be a success. He’s done this before.
But who is Roy, really? While this masterful narrative of literary suspense entwines Roy’s and Betty’s futures, it also delves deeply into their pasts. As the clock turns back and the years fall away, truth will out. Before Roy can close the deal, there is a reckoning to be made.
How many lies will it take to make him finally tell the truth?
Release date: February 2
Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.
Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago — barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.
Release date: February 2
Find Her by Lisa Gardner
Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.
Flora Dane is a survivor.
Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.
Flora Dane is reckless.
… Or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime — a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him — she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.
Release date: February 9
The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer
Newly single mom Beth has one constant, gnawing worry: that her dreamy eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, who has a tendency to wander off, will one day go missing. And then one day, it happens: On a Saturday morning thick with fog, Beth takes Carmel to a local outdoor festival, they get separated in the crowd, and Carmel is gone.
Shattered, Beth sets herself on the grim and lonely mission to find her daughter, keeping on relentlessly even as the authorities tell her that Carmel may be gone for good. Carmel, meanwhile, is on a strange and harrowing journey of her own — to a totally unexpected place that requires her to live by her wits, while trying desperately to keep in her head, at all times, a vision of her mother…
Alternating between Beth’s story and Carmel’s, and written in gripping prose that won’t let go, The Girl in the Red Coat — like Emma Donoghue’s Room and M. L. Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans — is an utterly immersive story that’s impossible to put down… and impossible to forget.
Release date: February 16
The Widow by Fiona Barton
But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.
There’s a lot Jean hasn’t said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.
Now there’s no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.
The truth — that’s all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything.
Release date: February 16
She’s Not There by Joy Fielding
“I think my real name is Samantha. I think I’m your daughter.”
Carole Shipley’s heart nearly stops when she hears those words from the voice on the other end of the phone. Instantly, she’s thrust 15 years into the past, to a posh resort in Baja, Mexico — and the fateful night her world collapsed.
The trip was supposed to be a celebration. Carole’s husband, Hunter, convinced her to leave their two young daughters alone in their hotel suite while the couple enjoyed an anniversary dinner in the restaurant downstairs. But returning afterward, Carole and Hunter made a horrifying discovery: their two-year-old girl had vanished without a trace.
What followed were days, weeks, and years of anguish for Carole. She was tormented by media attention that branded her a cold, incompetent mother, while she struggled to save her marriage. Carole also had to deal with the demands of her needy elder daughter, Michelle, who was driven to cope in dangerous ways. Through it all, Carole desperately clung to the hope that Samantha would someday be found — only to be stung again and again by cruel reality.
Plunged back into the still-raw heartbreak of her daughter’s disappearance, and the suspicions and inconsistencies surrounding a case long gone cold, Carole doesn’t know whom or what to believe. The only thing she can be sure of is that someone is fiercely determined to hide the truth of what happened to Samantha.
Release date: February 23
Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes
In the compulsively readable follow-up to her widely acclaimed debut novel You, Caroline Kepnes weaves a tale that Booklist calls “the love child of Holden Caulfield and Patrick Bateman.”
Hidden Bodies marks the return of a voice that Stephen King described as original and hypnotic, and through the divisive and charmingly sociopathic character of Joe Goldberg, Kepnes satirizes and dissects our culture, blending suspense with scathing wit.
Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this 30-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.
In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: truelove. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend — he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice..
Release date: February 23
No One Knows by J.T. Ellison
In an obsessive mystery as thrilling as The Girl on the Train and The Husband’s Secret, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison will make you question every twist in her page-turning novel — and wonder which of her vividly drawn characters you should trust.
The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage — they were happy, weren’t they? — screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?
In No One Knows, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops… no one knows.
Release date: March 22
Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica
In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.
Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where 18-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.
As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger’s spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end.
Release date: May 17
Which of these are you most excited for? Tell us in the comments!