With all the new releases you're hearing about, you may find yourself asking, "What's the best type of book to read this summer?" Romance, literary fiction, melodrama, dystopia, YA — there's a compelling case to be made for diving into any one of those genres. And maybe you needn't limit yourself to one type of book. Maybe you're willing to sample widely from the literary buffet. I hate buffets, though. I don't like the thought of fried chicken and pizza and lo mein existing on the same plate: it confuses my brain. It'll come as no surprise, then, that when I make my summer reading list, I keep it very curated. This summer, I'm gorging on thrillers.
And, frankly, there's enough variety — and suspense — in these new releases to keep even the most adventurous reader entertained. Detective stories share shelf space with tales of interpersonal deception; you're equally likely to encounter kidnappings and cases of mixed identity as you are grisly murders. What unites these thrillers, though, is their ability to keep you reading long after your eyes want to stay open at night. Forget the summer heat: these books will give you goosebumps.
1. Good As Gone by Amy Gentry
Both a mother-daughter and a family-under-fire story, Good Is Gone is laden with confused identities and a thrumming plot. Amy Gentry's debut also holds a mirror up to the myriad ways rape culture is perpetuated.
2. Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel Of Suspense by Julia Heaberlin
What a knockout first line: "For better or for worse, I am walking the twisted path back to my childhood." At sixteen, Tessa is found next to a murdered girl and a heap of bones in a field of black-eyed Susans in Texas. Twenty years later, the events of her past come back to haunt her – and she's forced to confront the fact that her killer may not be the man who has been imprisoned for the crime.
3. Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry
When Claire Messud is endorsing something, you know it's got to be good — especially when The Woman Upstairs author compares Berry's work to that of Elena Ferrante. When Nora takes the train from London to visit her sister Rachel, she discovers that her sister has been brutally slain. As Nora mourns, her life is overtaken by her quest to find her sister's killer... and you'll never be able to predict what happens.
4. Troublemaker by Linda Howard
Doesn't that cover say it all? Linda Howard is known for her steamy thrillers, and Troublemaker is as hot as they come. It's also a fish-out-of-water story: when undercover paramilitary team leader, Morgan Yancy, finds himself in small-town West Virginia where the part-time police chief, Isabeau “Bo” Maran, wants none of his nonsense complicating her life, the slow-burning tension that develops between the two leads to an army of unanswered questions that threaten everyone involved.
5. The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
When her best friend, Cassie, goes missing, agoraphobic Wylie is forced to look past her own psychological issues and try to save her BFF. With a science-fiction twist that you'll never see coming in a million years, this YA thriller is wholly unique — and utterly addictive.
6. Watching Edie by Camilla Way
Odds are you'll need to read this one in a single sitting. With comparisons to movies like Single White Female, Camilla Way's story of what happens when high school friends, Edie and Heather, encounter one another in their thirties is sure to make you look twice at the people you call your pals.
7. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
This debut is guaranteed to haunt you — especially if you're about to tie the knot. Paris's thriller asks the question: "The perfect marriage or the perfect lie?" Jack and Grace, the couple at the center of this totally enthralling novel, are so clearly not what they seem you'll have no choice but to read and read and read until their darkest secrets are revealed. Warning: brace yourself.
8. You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott
Remember playing hide-and-go-seek? That feeling you'd get when you were hiding and you could sense the seeker's presence in the room? That's the creepy thrill Megan Abbott's books always give me and I love that this one's plot revolves around the always-fascinating world of girl's gymnastics.
9. Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse
You'll be hooked from the prologue in this story of an artist whose accidental death may not be so accidental. Get ready for a conclusion with surprises that will have you flipping back through the chapters, wondering how you missed the clues.
10. The Woman In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
There's an air of instant claustrophobia when a thriller is set at sea, and The Woman in Cabin 10 makes good use of that eerie tone. Ware has been compared to Agatha Christie. Does higher praise exist on those high seas of suspense writing? I think not.