The coming year brings so many exciting new thrillers to shelves that it was hard to narrow our selections down! From heart-pounding tales of action to spine-tingling stories of domestic mistrust, there’s a thriller to suit every taste in the list below. Highlights include a trio of psychological suspense novels already slated for movie adaptations — including The Woman in the Window, The Wife Between Us, and The Perfect Mother); hotly-anticipated series continuations from Gregg Hurwitz, Heather Graham, and Dean Koontz; and the much-talked-about collaboration between former president Bill Clinton and the world’s most popular storyteller, James Patterson. Check out our list of some of the best thriller books 2018 below, complete with publishers’ descriptions.
The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn
For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in 36 languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.
It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening…
Anna Fox lives alone — a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times… and spying on her neighbors.
Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble — and its shocking secrets are laid bare.
What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one — and nothing — is what it seems.
Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.
The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry
A bomb is more than a weapon. A bomb is an expression of the bomber’s predictions of human behavior — a performance designed to fool you into making one fatally wrong move. In The Bomb Maker, Thomas Perry introduces us to the dark corners of a mind intent on transforming a simple machine into an act of murder — and to those committed to preventing that outcome at any cost.
A threat is called into the LAPD Bomb Squad and when tragedy ensues, the fragmented unit turns to Dick Stahl, a former Bomb Squad commander who now operates his own private security company. Just returned from a tough job in Mexico, Stahl is at first reluctant to accept the offer, but his sense of duty to the technicians he trained is too strong to turn it down. On his first day back at the head of the squad, Stahl’s three-person team is dispatched to a suspected car bomb. And it quickly becomes clear to him that they are dealing with an unusual mastermind — one whose intended target seems to be the Bomb Squad itself.
As the shadowy organization sponsoring this campaign of violence puts increasing pressure on the bomb maker, and Stahl becomes dangerously entangled with a member of his own team, the fuse on this high-stakes plot only burns faster. The Bomb Maker is Thomas Perry’s biggest, most unstoppable thriller yet.
The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement — a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love.
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage — and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.
Read between the lies.
Release date: January 9
Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys
Servants and socialites sip cocktails side by side on their way to new lives in this “thrilling, seductive, and utterly absorbing” (Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author) historical suspense novel in the tradition of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile and Ken Follett’s Night Over Water.
The ship has been like a world within itself, a vast floating city outside of normal rules. But the longer the journey continues, the more confined it is starting to feel, deck upon deck, passenger upon passenger, all of them churning around each other without anywhere to go…
1939: Europe is on the brink of war when young Lily Shepherd boards an ocean liner in Essex, bound for Australia. She is ready to start anew, leaving behind the shadows in her past. The passage proves magical, complete with live music, cocktails, and fancy dress balls. With stops at exotic locations along the way — Naples, Cairo, Ceylon — the voyage shows Lily places she’d only ever dreamed of and enables her to make friends with those above her social station, people who would ordinarily never give her the time of day. She even allows herself to hope that a man she couldn’t possibly have a future with outside the cocoon of the ship might return her feelings.
But Lily soon realizes that she’s not the only one hiding secrets. Her newfound friends — the toxic wealthy couple Eliza and Max; Cambridge graduate Edward; Jewish refugee Maria; fascist George — are also running away from their pasts. As the glamour of the voyage fades, the stage is set for something sinister to occur. By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and Lily’s life will be changed irrevocably.
Release date: January 9
Need to Know by Karen Cleveland
In pursuit of a Russian sleeper cell on American soil, CIA analyst Vivian Miller uncovers a dangerous secret that will threaten her job, her family — and her life. On track for a much-needed promotion, she’s developed a system for identifying Russian agents, seemingly normal people living in plain sight.
After accessing the computer of a potential Russian operative, Vivian stumbles on a secret dossier of deep-cover agents within America’s borders. A few clicks later, everything that matters to her — her job, her husband, even her four children — is threatened.
Vivian has vowed to defend her country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But now she’s facing impossible choices. Torn between loyalty and betrayal, allegiance and treason, love and suspicion, who can she trust?
Release date: January 23
Hellbent by Gregg Hurwitz
Evan Smoak — government assassin gone rogue — returns in Hellbent, an engrossing, unputdownable thriller from Gregg Hurwitz, the latest in his #1 international bestselling Orphan X series.
Taken from a group home at age 12, Evan Smoak was raised and trained as an off-the-books government assassin: Orphan X. After he broke with the Orphan Program, Evan disappeared and reinvented himself as the Nowhere Man, a man spoken about only in whispers and dedicated to helping the truly desperate.
But this time, the voice on the other end is Jack Johns, the man who raised and trained him, the only father Evan has ever known. Secret government forces are busy trying to scrub the remaining assets and traces of the Orphan Program and they have finally tracked down Jack. With little time remaining, Jack gives Evan his last assignment: find and protect his last protégé and recruit for the program.
But Evan isn’t the only one after this last Orphan — the new head of the Orphan Program, Van Sciver, is mustering all the assets at his disposal to take out both Evan (Orphan X) and the target he is trying to protect.
Release date: January 30
Into the Black Nowhere by Meg Gardiner
In this exhilarating thriller inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix faces off against a charming, merciless serial killer.
In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin.
Caitlin and the FBI’s serial crime unit discover the first victim’s body in the woods. She’s laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest’s darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style — posed like Snow White awaiting her prince’s kiss.
To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for a homology — that elusive point where character and action come together. She profiles a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can overpower and take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy — dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin’s profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people’s trust. But with only circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders, the police allow him to escape. As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.
Release date: January 30
Look For Me by Lisa Gardner
In #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner’s latest twisty thrill ride, Detective D. D. Warren and Find Her’s Flora Dane return in a race against the clock to either save a young girl’s life… or bring her to justice.
The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one — a sixteen-year-old girl — missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case — but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.
Release date: February 6
A Dangerous Game by Heather Graham
Trouble always finds her…
Wrapping up a normal day at the office, criminal psychologist Kieran Finnegan is accosted by a desperate woman who shoves an infant into her arms and then flees, only to be murdered minutes later on a busy Manhattan street.
Who was the woman? Where did the baby come from? Kieran can’t stop thinking about the child and the victim, so her boyfriend, Craig Frasier, does what any good special agent boyfriend would do — he gets the FBI involved. And asks Kieran to keep out of it.
But the Finnegans have a knack for getting into trouble, and Kieran won’t sit idle when a lead surfaces through her family’s pub. Investigating on her own, she uncovers a dangerous group that plays fast and loose with human lives and will stop at nothing to keep their secrets — and they plan to silence Kieran before she can expose their deadly enterprise.
Release date: March 13
After Anna by Lisa Scottoline
Nobody cuts deeper than family…
Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.
Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.
Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.
Riveting and disquieting, After Anna is a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page.
Release date: April 10
The Cutting Edge by Jeffery Deaver
Dangerously good. Distinctively Deaver.
Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs return to New York City to confront a killer terrorizing couples at their happiest-and most vulnerable.
In the early hours of a quiet, weekend morning in Manhattan’s Diamond District, a brutal triple murder shocks the city. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs quickly take the case. Curiously, the killer has left behind a half-million dollars’ worth of gems at the murder scene, a jewelry store on 47th street. As more crimes follow, it becomes clear that the killer’s target is not gems, but engaged couples themselves.
The Promisor vows to take the lives of men and women during their most precious moments-midway through the purchase of an engagement ring, after a meeting with a wedding planner, trying on the perfect gown for a day that will never come. The Promisor arrives silently, armed with knife or gun, and a time of bliss is transformed, in an instant, to one of horror.
Soon the Promiser makes a dangerous mistake: leaving behind an innocent witness, Vimal Lahori, a talented young diamond cutter, who can help Rhyme and Sachs blow the lid off the case. They must track down Vimal before the killer can correct his fatal error. Then disaster strikes, threatening to tear apart the very fabric of the city-and providing the perfect cover for the killer to slip through the cracks.
Release date: April 10
The Fallen by David Baldacci
David Baldacci returns with the next blockbuster thriller in his #1 New York Times bestselling Memory Man series featuring detective Amos Decker — the man who can forget nothing.
Amos Decker and his journalist friend Alex Jamison are visiting the home of Alex’s sister in Baronville, a small town in western Pennsylvania that has been hit hard economically. When Decker is out on the rear deck of the house talking with Alex’s niece, a precocious eight-year-old, he notices flickering lights and then a spark of flame in the window of the house across the way. When he goes to investigate he finds two dead bodies inside and it’s not clear how either man died. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There’s something going on in Baronville that might be the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the country.
Faced with a stonewalling local police force, and roadblocks put up by unseen forces, Decker and Jamison must pull out all the stops to solve the case. And even Decker’s infallible memory may not be enough to save them.
Release date: April 17
Shattered Mirror by Iris Johansen
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes Shattered Mirror, a new explosive thriller featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan.
Iris Johansen returns with a thrilling novel of action and danger where fan favorite Eve Duncan is thrown once more into a deadly game of intrigue. It begins when Eve receives a package containing a skull — and instructions for Eve to do her work reconstructing it. When she does, a beautiful woman’s face emerges. But when Eve is introduced to the dead woman’s mirror image, a game is on where her twin’s life hangs in the balance.
Release date: April 24
Twisted Prey by John Sandford
Lucas Davenport confronts an old nemesis, now a powerful U.S. senator, in the thrilling new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling Prey series.
Lucas Davenport had crossed paths with her before.
A rich psychopath, Taryn Grant had run successfully for the U.S. Senate, where Lucas had predicted she’d fit right in. He was also convinced that she’d been responsible for three murders, though he’d never been able to prove it. Once a psychopath had gotten that kind of rush, though, he or she often needed another fix, so he figured he might be seeing her again.
He was right. A federal marshal now, with a very wide scope of investigation, he’s heard rumors that Grant has found her seat on the Senate intelligence committee, and the contacts she’s made from it, to be very… useful. Pinning those rumors down was likely to be just as difficult as before, and considerably more dangerous.
But they had unfinished business, he and Grant. One way or the other, he was going to see it through to the end.
Release date: April 24
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
Some people are so good at making perfect look easy.
They call themselves the May Mothers — a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. Twice a week, with strollers in tow, they get together in Prospect Park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood; sharing the fears, joys, and anxieties of their new child-centered lives.
When the group’s members agree to meet for drinks at a hip local bar, they have in mind a casual evening of fun, a brief break from their daily routine. But on this sultry Fourth of July night during the hottest summer in Brooklyn’s history, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but the May Mothers insisted that everything would be fine. Now Midas is missing, the police are asking disturbing questions, and Winnie’s very private life has become fodder for a ravenous media.
Though none of the other members in the group is close to the reserved Winnie, three of them will go to increasingly risky lengths to help her find her son. And as the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days after Midas goes missing, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured.
Unfolding over the course of thirteen fraught days and culminating in an exquisite and unexpected twist, The Perfect Mother is the perfect book for our times — a nuanced and addictively readable story that exposes the truth of modern mothers’ lives as it explores the power of an ideal that is based on a lie.
Release date: May 1
The Crooked Staircase by Dean Koontz
“I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead.”
Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom — and free will — of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead… or make her wish she was.
Jane’s ruthless pursuers can’t stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.
Release date: May 8
The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
The White House is the home of the President of the United States, the most guarded, monitored, closely watched person in the world. So how could a U.S. President vanish without a trace? And why would he choose to do so?
An unprecedented collaboration between President Bill Clinton and the world’s bestselling novelist, James Patterson, The President is Missing is a breathtaking story from the pinnacle of power. Full of what it truly feels like to be the person in the Oval Office — the mind-boggling pressure, the heartbreaking decisions, the exhilarating opportunities, the soul-wrenching power — this is the thriller of the decade, confronting the darkest threats that face the world today, with the highest stakes conceivable.
Release date: June 4
Providence by Caroline Kepnes
A propulsive novel that is part love story, part detective story, and part supernatural thriller — from the acclaimed author of You whose work Stephen King describes as “hypnotic and totally original.”
Best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe share a bond so intense that it borders on the mystical. But before Jon can declare his love for his soul mate, he is kidnapped, his plans for a normal life permanently dashed.
Four years later, Chloe has finally given up hope of ever seeing Jon again. Then, a few months before graduation, Jon reappears. But he is different now: bigger, stronger, and with no memory of the time he was gone. Jon wants to pick up where he and Chloe left off… until the horrifying instant he realizes that he possesses strange powers that pose a grave threat to everyone he cares for. Afraid of hurting Chloe, Jon runs away, embarking on a journey for answers.
Meanwhile, in Providence, Rhode Island, healthy college students and townies with no connection to one another are suddenly, inexplicably dropping dead. A troubled detective prone to unexplainable hunches, Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus suspects there’s a serial killer at work. But when he starts asking questions, Eggs is plunged into a whodunit worthy of his most outlandish obsessions.
With an intense, mesmerizing voice, Caroline Kepnes makes keen and powerful observations about human connection and how love and identity can dangerously blur.
Release date: June 19
Death Notice by Zhou Haohui
An elite police squad hunts a manipulative mastermind out to publically execute criminals the law cannot reach. A wild thriller and deadly game of cat-and-mouse from one of China’s most popular authors. For fans of Jo Nesbo, Se7en, and Hong Kong police cinema.
The brutal murder of respected police officer Sergeant Zheng Haoming sends shock waves through Chengdu, a modern metropolis in the heart of China’s stunning Sichuan province. He had been obsessed by an unsolved, eighteen-year-old murder case until an entity calling itself Eumenides (after the Greek goddess of vengeance and retribution) releases a terrifying manifesto. Is the manifesto a sick joke, or something more sinister? Soon, the public starts nominating worthy targets for Eumenides to kill, and, two days later, Sergeant Zheng is dead.
Eumenides’ cunning game is only getting started. The police receive a “death notice,” a chilling note announcing the the killer’s next target, the crimes they have committed, and the date of their execution. The note is both a challenge and a taunt to the police. When the first victim dies in public, under their complete protection, the police are left stunned. More death notices are coming. The chase is on.
Death Notice is an explosive, page-turning thriller filtered through a vibrant cultural lens. Zhou Haohui expertly adds an exhilarating new perspective to the twists and tropes of the genre all fans love, making for a uniquely propulsive and entertaining read.
Release date: June 5
Spymaster by Brad Thor
#1 New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor returns with his latest, action-packed Scot Harvath thriller.
Release date: July 3
Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott
A mesmerizing psychological thriller about how a secret can bind two friends together forever… or tear them apart.
Kit Owens harbored only modest ambitions for herself when the mysterious Diane Fleming appeared in her high school chemistry class. But Diane’s academic brilliance lit a fire in Kit, and the two developed an unlikely friendship. Until Diane shared a secret that changed everything between them.
More than a decade later, Kit thinks she’s put Diane behind her forever and she’s begun to fulfill the scientific dreams Diane awakened in her. But the past comes roaring back when she discovers that Diane is her competition for a position both women covet, taking part in groundbreaking new research led by their idol. Soon enough, the two former friends find themselves locked in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse that threatens to destroy them both.
Release date: July 17
Which of these thrillers do you plan to read this year? Leave a comment and tell us!