These 5 Suspense Novels Are Worth Losing Sleep Over This Summer

For book lovers, there’s no time like summer: The days are longer, leaving more sunlight hours for reading; television shows go on hiatus, eliminating other distractions; and hard-won vacation time allows for the freedom to binge-read our favorite books. And while there’s no shortage of best-of lists filled with beach reads and care-free romances to peruse, we here at Bustle prefer our summer reading to have a little edge to it.

Lucky for us, Kensington books has released a spate of new thrillers to make summer reading more page-turning than ever. From sinister family dramas to international spy thrillers to murder mysteries, you’ll burn through the daylight hours and well into the night as you race to finish these breathtaking suspense novels, all of which feature fascinating, complicated female heroines or anti-heroines.

If you can get through these five new titles, congratulations, you’re just as dark and twisted as we are!

1. The Betrayed Wife by Kevin O’Brien

The Betrayed Wife takes the “perfect family” narrative and turns it on its head. Sheila O’Rourke, a loving and dedicated wife, has recently relocated with her husband to Seattle in search of a fresh start. And it seems to be working: Her husband Dylan has been more present and really seems to be making a renewed effort. So when a mysterious young woman named Eden arrives on their doorstep claiming to be Dylan’s daughter from a previous relationship, Sheila goes out of her way to incorporate her into the family. But Eden’s arrival heralds a host of unwelcome new developments, from threatening, anonymous messages to strange happenings at the neighboring house. This gripping new novel by best-selling author Kevin O’Brien will have you on edge until the final pages.

2. Bad Things by Nancy Bush

Imagine having to return as an adult to the small, coastal town you escaped before high school. Imagine that the return is necessitated by the death of your stepbrother, who remained in the town long after you’d moved on. Now imagine that more and more untimely deaths are occurring among your small group of former classmates, and a pattern emerges: The dead are all successful men who were total misogynistic jerks in high school. This is exactly what happens to Kerry Monaghan, the protagonist of best-selling author Nancy Bush’s new thriller-slash-revenge fantasy, Bad Things. Follow Kerry as she begins to investigate her stepbrother’s fate, and the fate of her former classmates, by chasing down a seemingly unstoppable killer.

3. Willing To Die by Lisa Jackson

Willing To Die, the latest book by best-selling author Lisa Jackson, centers on Detective Regan Pescoli of Grizzly Falls, Montana. While on maternity leave, Detective Pescoli unexpectedly takes in her teenage niece Ivy, who arrives on her doorstep after a family tragedy. Ivy’s parents, Doctor Paul Latham and the detective’s sister Brindel, were shot point-blank in their beautiful home in San Francisco after a home invasion that seemed to target them specifically. Detective Pescoli throws herself into the investigation, headed by her partner Selena Alvarez, in a desperate attempt to find justice for her niece. But in this unpredictable story of murder and suspense, nothing is business as usual, and soon Pescoli’s instincts tell her that she and her loved ones are in real danger. This harrowing tale will have you checking behind the shower curtain for days.

4. Little Comfort by Edwin Hill

This debut novel by Edwin Hill, already hailed as a standout by critics, is set in the rarefied world of Boston’s elite. Hester Thursby, a librarian at an Ivy League university, moonlights as a private investigator of sorts — using her superlative research skills, she helps track down missing persons on behalf of their loved ones. When she’s tasked with tracking down a bon vivant — and master manipulator — named Sam Blaine, who has insinuated himself into the life of one of Boston’s most celebrated socialites, she’s drawn into the wealth and glamour of old money New England. But the closer she gets to tracking him down, the more dangerous her assignment becomes.

5. Liars’ Paradox by Taylor Stevens

Liars’ Paradox is the ultimate spy thriller of the summer. Twins Jack and Jill were raised by their mother Clare to hunt, hide, and scavenge their way through life. Trained in the art of espionage, the twins gradually grew to understand that their unusual upbringing called into question the mental fitness of their mother. Now 26, the twins are thrust back into the underground world they tried to escape when their mother goes missing — and they begin to suspect that what they took for their mother’s paranoia was actually desperate self-protection. This page-turner will have you drawing maps on your bedroom wall, tracing international crime syndicates and gifted assassins in order to uncover the mystery beneath this twisted tale.

This article is sponsored by Kensington Books.