Killer Beach Reads: 15 Authors Share the Books They’re Taking to the Beach

Killer Beach Reads: 15 Authors Share the Books They’re Taking to the Beach

killer beach reads

Summer is here, and maybe you’re looking for a mystery or thriller to take to the beach with you. Need some help? Never fear: We decided to ask the pros. Here, some of Bookish’s favorite mystery and thriller authors dish on the killer beach reads they’re throwing into a tote bag along with their sunglasses this summer. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

Borrowed Time by Tracy Clark

“For my upcoming trip to Mexico, I’ll be reading Tracy Clark’s Borrowed Time. This story follows P.I. Cass Raines who’s looking into a murder as a favor to a friend. But no good deed goes unpunished and soon, Cass finds herself in danger!” —Rachel Howzell Hall, author of They All Fall Down

Gretchen by Shannon Kirk

“Shannon Kirk’s Gretchen is perfect read for the beach this summer. You’re going to need the sun on your shoulders when you dive into Gretchen’s dark world, because she wants to be your best friend, whether you want her to be or not. Creepy, haunting, and beautifully written in Kirk’s signature lyrical prose, this is Kirk’s most masterful storytelling yet, and a blend of the best of thriller and horror.” Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

“I was lucky to get an early peek at Megan Goldin’s The Escape Room, a sleek, addictive thriller about high-flying Wall Street types out for revenge. I could not put it down—I read my eyes out until the very shocking end!” —Michele Campbell, author of A Stranger on the Beach

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

“I am really looking forward to immersing myself in The Huntress by Kate Quinn. It’s set in the post-WWII era and features the Night Witches, the all-female bomber regiment that caused such damage to Hitler’s forces. Based on the description, it features bold heroines and a historical settingjust my cup of tea!”Tess Gerritsen, author of The Shape of Night

Red Metal by Mark Greaney and H. Ripley Rawlings

Red Metal is going to be a big, suspenseful, and well-researched novel about modern warfare that will feel like it’s ripped right from today’s headlines. These authors know their stuff.” —David Bell, author of Layover

Recursion by Blake Crouch

“I cannot wait to dive into Recursion by Blake Crouch.  Between the Wayward Pines series and the absolutely incredible Dark Matter, Blake creates worlds that hug the balance between The Twilight Zone, The X Files, and Stephen King.  His characters are always so well-written and authentic, and the situations he puts them in are always super thrilling (see what I did there?).  I’m not normally a fast reader, but when I have a Blake Crouch book in my hands, it’s usually done within days. If I’m reading Recursion at the beach, I may be finished before the sun goes down.” —Matthew Farrell, author of I Know Everything

Scrublands by Chris Hammer

“People do bad things when the heat is turned up, and the characters in this novel are no exception. Scrublands is the ideal summer read, with its scorching hot setting, duplicitous characters, and a mystery that will niggle at you every time you set the book down.” ―Oyinkan Braithwaite, author of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Layover by David Bell

“David Bell is one of my favorite psychological suspense authors. In his latest, Layover, Bell takes a familiar situation—waiting in an airport—and morphs it into an opportunity for his main character, Joshua, to meet the stunning, Morgan. Before she departs, they share a kiss. The only problem? The woman is a missing person. As Joshua races to discover the truth, readers will discover the shocking twists and turns that only Bell can deliver. It is a truly addictive read.” —Rea Frey, author of Because You’re Mine

Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland

“I’ve been a fan of Barbara Bourland’s work since her first, devastatingly funny and cool fashion satire I’ll Eat When I’m Dead. Her new thriller follows a young artist as she navigates the treacherous, glamorous art world. It’s smart, sexy, suspenseful—pretty much everything you want in a summer read.” —Siobhan Adcock, author of The Completionist

The Comforts of Home by Susan Hill

“My summer beach read is The Comforts of Home by Susan Hill. In the ninth book in the atmospheric DCS Simon Serrailler series, the enigmatic and emotionally unavailable master detective comes to terms with the serious injuries he suffered on a previous case. He uses the time off to reconnect with his family, and to investigate the murder of a mysterious woman on the Scottish island where he is convalescing.” ―Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of A Deadly Divide

Temper by Layne Fargo

“I read a lot of thrillers, and one of the very best this year is the debut by Layne Fargo, Temper. With plot twists so subtle they are delivered in one word and an irreverent, unapologetic fierceness, this novel captivates. Fargo is a bold, new voice who is changing the rules of the game.” —Wendy Walker, author of The Night Before

Shamed by Linda Castillo

“I’ll be reading Shamed by Linda Castillo. It’s a crime thriller about the search for a missing seven-year-old Amish girl.” —Megan Goldin, author of The Escape Room

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

“I’m a huge fan of Laura Lippmann’s work. Her books are always more than just mysteries. Lady in the Lake promises a tantalizing combination of classic noir with Lippman’s signature examination of urban life, female ambition, and Baltimore’s complicated history. I can’t wait for it.” —Cristina Alger, author of Girls Like Us

The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister

“I’ve been a fan of British crime novelist Gillian McAllister for years, which is why I’m thrilled she’s finally making her U.S. debut. The Good Sister is an intense and emotionally charged courtroom drama that pits sister against sister in the aftermath of an unthinkable tragedy. For fans of psychological thrillers, McAllister’s unique understanding of the legal profession combined with her ability to craft unforgettable characters make The Good Sister a must-read for summer.” —Hollie Overton, author of The Runaway

After the End by Clare Mackintosh

“I’m a very big fan of Clare Mackintosh, and I’ve read all three of her thrillers, with I Let You Go being one of my favorite books of all time. But this summer she has something different out and I can’t wait to read it. After The End is the story of a couple who are faced with the heartbreaking decision of whether to end their tragically-ill son’s life. It’s a position that Mackintosh and her family have found themselves in, so it’s going to be a tough read, and perhaps not my normal choice for the beach, so I’ll be packing plenty of tissues along with my sun lotion.” Sandie Jones, author of The First Mistake


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