There’s nothing like getting lost in a new book. In fact, sometimes you get so lost that — without even realizing it — you’re suddenly turning the last page. And if there’s any type of book sure to keep your attention, it’s a twisty thriller. Clocking in at around 300 pages, these novels are short enough — and gripping enough — to read in one sitting. Check out our recommendations below, complete with publishers’ descriptions.
The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti
Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips.
What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her.
As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she — whoever she is — vanishes completely.
A “dark, twisty, edge-of-your-seat suspense” (Karen Robards), The Vanishing Year combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll. Told from the point-of-view of a heroine who is as relatable as she is enigmatic, The Vanishing Year is an unforgettable new novel by a rising star of the genre.
Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra
In 2003, 16-year-old Rebecca Winter disappeared.
She’d been enjoying her summer break: working at a fast-food restaurant, crushing on an older boy, and shoplifting with her best friend. Mysteriously ominous things began to happen — a presence in her room at night, periods of blackouts, a feeling of being watched — though Bec remained oblivious of what was to come.
Eleven years later she is replaced.
A young woman, desperate after being arrested, claims to be the decade-missing Bec.
Soon the impostor is living Bec’s life. Sleeping in her bed. Hugging her mother and father. Learning her best friends’ names. Playing with her little brothers.
But Bec’s welcoming family and enthusiastic friends are not quite as they seem. As the impostor dodges the detective investigating her case, she begins to delve into the life of the real Bec Winter — and soon realizes that whoever took Bec is still at large, and that she is in imminent danger.
Look Past by Eric Devine
Someone brutally murdered Mary Mathison, daughter of a prominent and very conservative local pastor, and Avery, a transgender boy who loved Mary, is bent on finding her killer. He goes to the crime scene to do some investigating, but is quickly put in harm’s way. Reluctantly, Avery must move to the sidelines to wait for the police to do their job.
However, following Mary’s funeral, Avery receives the first in a series of disturbing text messages that can only come from the killer, revealing that Avery is now a target. The killer claims that Mary’s murder was revenge for her relationship with Avery. The killer’s demands are simple and horrific: Avery must repent for changing his gender identity, or he will be the next one killed.
Now Avery is torn between finding the murderer and protecting himself from a killer who is playing a disturbing cat-and-mouse game. Can Avery deny who he is to catch Mary’s killer? Or will sacrificing himself be the ultimate betrayal?
Silent Source by James Marshall Smith
The hatred is deep. The death is slow. The cause is invisible and silent.
You know that Atlanta PD has given up on a case when they call in Dr. Damon Keane. The scientist-sleuth is quietly famous in forensic circles for unraveling the most daunting technical puzzles, but this case is baffling.
Two people are already dead. The third victim, a priest, is dying by inches in an Atlanta hospital bed, and the cause is a complete mystery to doctors and police detectives alike. As if matters weren’t strange enough, the priest’s rosary beads have turned the color of blood.
Despite that bizarre transformation, Keane knows that he’s not chasing any kind of supernatural entity. The killer is a man — twisted by anger and the lust for vengeance — but still very much human.
As the death toll mounts, the killer’s trail winds through London’s Hyde Park, to the edge of Siberia (home to a thriving black market in nuclear materials), to the backwoods of Georgia. For all of his perception and skill, Keane is always one step behind.
Now time is running out. The killer is making his final preparations to murder an entire city. To stop an unthinkable massacre, Damon Keane must find the silent source.
The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things by Courtney Elizabeth Mauk
Set against a layered Manhattan landscape, The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things explores a fractured family through the alternating perspectives of the mother, father, and brother of a young woman during the aftermath of her disappearance. A year of silent but collective anguish culminates in the fateful 30 hours after a body with a striking resemblance to hers is found, and we see her buttoned-up Upper West Side family spiral in different, dangerous directions: Her mother, Carol, nearly comatose by day, comes alive at night in a vigilante-like attempt to track down her daughter’s killer. Her brother, Ben, once the “good kid,” adopts her bad habits along with her former friends who may have been complicit in her death. And after failing to keep his family from splitting apart, her seemingly stoic father, Drew, finally allows himself to crack.
In her third novel, Courtney Elizabeth Mauk presents a nuanced character study and offers a jolting and unforgettable portrait of a family’s struggle to survive.
The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.
It begins with a reality TV show. Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of their endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens — but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them — a young woman the show’s producers call Zoo — stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.
Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life — and husband — she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all her survival skills — and learn new ones as she goes.
But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways — and her ability to parse the charade will be either her triumph or her undoing.
Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.
The Fall Guy by James Lasdun
In this taut psychological thriller, a couple and their houseguest find themselves caught in a deadly web of secrets, obsession, and revenge.
It is summer, 2012. Charlie, a wealthy banker with an uneasy conscience, invites his troubled cousin Matthew to visit him and his wife in their idyllic mountaintop house. As the days grow hotter, the friendship between the three begins to reveal its fault lines, and with the arrival of a fourth character, the household finds itself suddenly in the grip of uncontrollable passions. As readers of James Lasdun’s acclaimed fiction can expect, The Fall Guy is a complex moral tale as well as a gripping suspense story, probing questions of guilt and betrayal with ruthless incisiveness. Who is the real victim here? Who is the perpetrator? And who, ultimately, is the fall guy? Darkly vivid, with an atmosphere of erotic danger, The Fall Guy is Lasdun’s most entertaining novel yet.
Release date: October 18
Safe With Me by K.L. Slater
Thirteen years ago someone did something very bad to Anna. Now it’s her turn to get even…
Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.
Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognizes the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully…
First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…
But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?
Release date: November 3
Which of these do you plan to read? Share in the comments!
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