With many new books coming out in 2017, it can be hard to decide the best ones to read. To help, we’ve rounded up 2017’s top fiction books. These 15 new releases hit the number one spot on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction bestseller list so far this year. From mysteries to thrillers, romance to historical fiction, there is truly something for every reader’s tastes on this list of top fiction books. Grab a mug of tea and dive in!
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely 15-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from — a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface — you never know what lies beneath.
Camino Island by John Grisham
A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty-five million dollars.
Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books. Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.
Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer’s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position. She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an even more mysterious company. A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable’s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.
But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there’s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.
Come Sundown by Nora Roberts
A novel of suspense, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession…
The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose — and her mind has been shattered…
When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him — and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past — and the threat that follows in her wake — will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented
February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.
From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state — called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo — a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.
Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?
The Mistress by Danielle Steel
Incomparable storyteller Danielle Steel illuminates rarely glimpsed precincts of unimaginable wealth and power, where love and freedom are the most dangerous desires of all.
Natasha Leonova’s beauty saved her life. Discovered on a freezing Moscow street by a Russian billionaire, she has lived for seven years under his protection, immersed in rarefied luxury, while he pursues his activities in a dark world that she guesses at but never sees. Her home is the world, often on one of Vladimir Stanislas’s spectacular yachts manned by scores of heavily armed crew members. Natasha’s job is to keep Vladimir happy, ask no questions, and be discreet. She knows her place, and the rules. She feels fortunate to be spoiled and protected, and is careful not to dwell on Vladimir’s ruthlessness or the deadly circles he moves in. She experiences only his kindness and generosity and believes he will always keep her safe. She is unfailingly loyal to him in exchange.
Theo Luca is the son of a brilliant, world famous, and difficult artist, Lorenzo Luca, who left his wife and son with a fortune in artwork they refuse to sell. Lorenzo’s widow, Maylis, has transformed their home in St. Paul de Vence into a celebrated restaurant decorated with her late husband’s paintings, and treats it as a museum. There, on a warm June evening, Theo first encounters Natasha, the most exquisite woman he has ever seen. And there, Vladimir lays eyes on Luca’s artwork. Two dangerous obsessions begin.
Theo, a gifted artist in his own right, finds himself feverishly painting Natasha’s image for weeks after their first meeting. Vladimir, enraged that Lorenzo’s works are not for sale, is determined to secure a painting at any price. And Natasha, who knows that she cannot afford to make even one false move, nevertheless begins to think of a world of freedom she can never experience as Vladimir’s mistress. She cannot risk her safety for another man, or even a conversation with him, as Theo longs for a woman he can never have.
From Moscow to the Riviera, Paris, and London, The Mistress is a riveting tale of vast fortune, cruelty, creative genius, and daring courage, as uncompromising individuals chart a course for collision.
Never Never by James Patterson and Candice Fox
The Instant #1 New York Times and USA Today Bestseller
assume you know someone. Harry Blue is the top Sex Crimes investigator in her department. She’s a seasoned pro who’s seen it all. But even she didn’t see this coming: her own brother arrested for the grisly murders of three beautiful young women.
accept a reassignment to the middle of nowhere “for your own good.” Harry’s been sent to a makeshift town in a desolate landscape — a world full of easy money, plenty of illegal ways to spend it, and a ragtag collection of transient characters who thrive on the fringes of society. A place where little grows, but evil flourishes.
trust anyone. Looking into a seemingly simple missing persons case, Harry’s been assigned to a new “partner.” But is he actually meant to be a watchdog? Still reeling from the accusations against her brother, Harry can’t even trust her own instincts, which she’s never doubted… until now.
go anywhere without leaving a trace. Far from the world she knows and desperate to clear her brother’s name, Harry has to mine the dark secrets of her strange new home for answers to a deepening mystery — before she vanishes in a place where no one would ever think to look for her.
Never Never is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride with enough intrigue and suspense to keep you guessing until the final page. You’ll never be able to put it down.
Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
Lisa Gardner’s latest thriller following her runaway hit Find Her takes her wildly popular brand of suspense to new heights.
Eight years ago, Sharlah May Nash’s older brother beat their drunken father to death with a baseball bat in order to save both of their lives. Now thirteen years old, Sharlah has finally moved on. About to be adopted by retired FBI profiler Pierce Quincy and his partner, Rainie Conner, Sharlah loves one thing best about her new family: They are all experts on monsters.
Then the call comes in. A double murder at a local gas station, followed by reports of an armed suspect shooting his way through the wilds of Oregon. As Quincy and Rainie race to assist, they are forced to confront mounting evidence: The shooter may very well be Sharlah’s older brother, Telly Ray Nash, and it appears his killing spree has only just begun.
As the clock winds down on a massive hunt for Telly, Quincy and Rainie must answer two critical questions: Why after eight years has this young man started killing again? And what does this mean for Sharlah? Once upon a time, Sharlah’s big brother saved her life. Now, she has two questions of her own: Is her brother a hero or a killer? And how much will it cost her new family before they learn the final, shattering truth? Because as Sharlah knows all too well, the biggest danger is the one standing right behind you.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Introducing an instant classic — master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a dazzling version of the great Norse myths.
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki — son of a giant — blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Once, when Thor’s hammer is stolen, Thor must disguise himself as a woman — difficult with his beard and huge appetite — to steal it back. More poignant is the tale in which the blood of Kvasir — the most sagacious of gods — is turned into a mead that infuses drinkers with poetry. The work culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and rebirth of a new time and people.
Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerge these gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
Dangerous Games by Danielle Steel
Bringing together a cast of fascinating characters in a riveting tale of ambition and corruption, politics, passion, and ultimate justice, Dangerous Games is a thrilling drama from Danielle Steel.
Television correspondent Alix Phillips dodges bullets and breaks rules to bring the most important news to the world — from riots in America to protests on the streets of Tehran. With her daughter in college, and working alongside cameraman Ben Chapman, a deeply private ex–Navy SEAL, Alix revels in the risks and whirlwind pace of her work. But her latest assignment puts her at the center of an explosive story that will reshape many lives, including her own: investigating damning allegations involving the Vice President of the United States, Tony Clark.
Alix begins with a nationally revered woman who may be the key to exposing frightening secrets. Olympia Foster is the fragile, reclusive widow of America’s most admired senator, who had been destined for the presidency before an assassin’s bullet felled him. Since then, Olympia has found emotional support in Clark, who once wanted her as his wife and now stands as her protector and confidant. When Alix digs deeper, federal agents pick up the trail. Then the threats start.
As the stakes rise in this dangerous game, Alix needs Ben’s help as never before. And soon they realize they are grappling with an adversary far more sinister than they had imagined.
The Cutthroat by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott
Isaac Bell may be on the hunt for the greatest monster of all time in the newest action-adventure novel from #1 New York Times–bestselling author Clive Cussler.
The year is 1911. Chief Investigator Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Detective Agency has had many extraordinary cases before. But none quite like this.
Hired to find a young woman named Anna Pape who ran away from home to become an actress, Bell gets a shock when her murdered body turns up instead. Vowing to bring the killer to justice, he begins a manhunt which leads him into increasingly more alarming territory. Anna Pape was not alone in her fate — petite young blond women like Anna are being murdered in cities across America.
And the pattern goes beyond the physical resemblance of the victims — there are disturbing familiarities about the killings themselves that send a chill through even a man as experienced with evil as Bell. If he is right about his fears, then he is on the trail of one of the greatest monsters of his time.
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles
The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family, and the enemies bent on destroying them in this revelatory volume in the epic trilogy set in modern-day Natchez, Mississippi — Greg Iles’s epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present.
Shattered by grief and dreaming of vengeance, Penn Cage sees his family and his world collapsing around him. The woman he loves is gone, his principles have been irrevocably compromised, and his father, once a paragon of the community that Penn leads as mayor, is about to be tried for the murder of a former lover. Most terrifying of all, Dr. Cage seems bent on self-destruction. Despite Penn’s experience as a prosecutor in major murder trials, his father has frozen him out of the trial preparations — preferring to risk dying in prison to revealing the truth of the crime to his son.
During forty years practicing medicine, Tom Cage made himself the most respected and beloved physician in Natchez, Mississippi. But this revered Southern figure has secrets known only to himself and a handful of others. Among them, Tom has a second son, the product of an 1960s affair with his devoted African American nurse, Viola Turner. It is Viola who has been murdered, and her bitter son — Penn’s half-brother — who sets in motion the murder case against his father. The resulting investigation exhumes dangerous ghosts from Mississippi’s violent past. In some way that Penn cannot fathom, Viola Turner was a nexus point between his father and the Double Eagles, a savage splinter cell of the KKK. More troubling still, the long-buried secrets shared by Dr. Cage and the former Klansmen may hold the key to the most devastating assassinations of the 1960s. The surviving Double Eagles will stop at nothing to keep their past crimes buried, and with the help of some of the most influential men in the state, they seek to ensure that Dr. Cage either takes the fall for them, or takes his secrets to an early grave.
Unable to trust anyone around him — not even his own mother — Penn joins forces with Serenity Butler, a famous young black author who has come to Natchez to write about his father’s case. Together, Penn and Serenity battle to crack the Double Eagles and discover the secret history of the Cage family and the South itself, a desperate move that risks the only thing they have left to gamble: their lives.
Mississippi Blood is the enthralling conclusion to a breathtaking trilogy seven years in the making — one that has kept readers on the edge of their seats. With piercing insight, narrative prowess, and a masterful ability to blend history and imagination, Greg Iles illuminates the brutal history of the American South in a highly atmospheric and suspenseful novel that delivers the shocking resolution his fans have eagerly awaited.
The Black Book by James Patterson and David Ellis
Three bodies in a beautiful and luxurious bedroom.
Billy Harney was born to be a cop. The son of Chicago’s chief of detectives, whose twin sister is also on the force, Billy plays it by the book. Alongside Detective Kate Fenton, Billy’s tempestuous, adrenaline-junkie partner, there’s nothing he wouldn’t sacrifice for his job. Enter Amy Lentini, a hard-charging assistant state’s attorney hell-bent on making a name for herself — who suspects Billy isn’t the cop he claims to be. They’re about to be linked by more than their careers.
One missing black book.
A horrifying murder leads investigators to an unexpected address — an exclusive brothel that caters to Chicago’s most powerful citizens. There’s plenty of incriminating evidence on the scene — but what matters most is what’s missing: the madam’s black book. Now shock waves are rippling through the city’s elite, and everyone’s desperate to find it.
Chicago has never been more dangerous.
As everyone who’s anyone in Chicago scrambles to get their hands on the elusive black book, no one’s motives can be trusted. An ingenious, inventive thriller about power, corruption, and the power of secrets to scandalize a city — and possibly destroy a family — The Black Book is James Patterson at his page-turning best.
The Fix by David Baldacci
Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution-style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself.
Even with Decker’s extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter — a family man with a successful consulting business — and his victim, a schoolteacher. Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack.
Enter Harper Brown. An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case. The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren’t cleared for it.
But they learn that the DIA believes solving the murder is now a matter of urgent national security. Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government — or worse, an international terrorist group — and an attack may be imminent.
Decker’s never been one to follow the rules, especially with the stakes so high. Forced into an uneasy alliance with Agent Brown, Decker remains laser focused on only one goal: solving the case before it’s too late.
Golden Prey by John Sandford
Lucas Davenport’s first case as a U.S. Marshal sends him into uncharted territory in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
The man was smart and he didn’t mind killing people. Welcome to the big leagues, Davenport.
Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him.
And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble. A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools” compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly real fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved; to them, he’s just another large target.
Filled with his trademark razor-sharp plotting and some of the best characters in suspense fiction, Golden Prey is further reason why “Sandford has always been at the top of any list of great mystery writers” (The Huffington Post).
16th Seduction by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the most explosive case of her career.
Lindsay Boxer is learning to love again. After the picture-perfect world she shared with her husband, Joe, and their beautiful young daughter shattered under the weight of Joe’s double life, Lindsay is determined to put the pieces back together. But before she can welcome Joe back with open arms, their beloved hometown of San Francisco faces a threat unlike any the city — or the country — has ever seen.
When the danger hits even closer to home, Lindsay and Joe find a common cause and spring into action, with quick results. But what at first seems like an open-and-shut case quickly turns into anything but, when the suspect threatens everything that Lindsay has worked a lifetime to build. As Lindsay’s investigation is scrutinized and undermined by a criminal as brilliant as any high-powered defense lawyer, and her motives are called into question by everyone she thought had her back, not even the truth may be enough to save her.
In a desperate fight for her career — and her life — Lindsay must connect the dots of a deadly conspiracy before a fiendish enemy puts her on trial — and walks free with blood on his hands.
Filled with the trademark suspense and emotion that have made James Patterson the world’s #1 bestselling writer, 16th Seduction is the Women’s Murder Club’s toughest case yet — and an exhilarating thrill ride from start to finish.
Which of these top fiction books from 2017 have you read? Tell us in the comments!