We love taking books to the beach, but sometimes it can get a little warm. Cool off with a spine-tingling, goosebump-raising, straight-up chilling mystery or thriller. Whether you’re interested in a novel about a psychopathic seven-year-old who is trying to kill her mother, a toxic friendship, or a horror novel about unexpected guests, there’s a book on this list to put ice in your veins. What are you waiting for? Check out summer 2018’s must-read mysteries and thrillers.
Anthony Horowitz riveted readers with his 2017 mystery Magpie Murders, and now he’s back with a new novel featuring a modern version of Sherlock Holmes named Daniel Hawthorne with a fictionalized version of Horowitz as his Watson. A woman in London has done something rather eccentric: She’s planned her own funeral down to the last detail. When she is found strangled later the same day, Hawthorne isn’t sure what to think. Horowitz, a writer, decides to turn the case into a book and tags along with Hawthorne. This twisty mystery has gotten an impressive amount of advance praise, and we think it’s well deserved.
On shelves: June 5
Louise Wilson and Lavinia Williams are friends, but the friendship doesn’t look quite like other friendships. That’s because it’s lopsided: Lavinia is beautiful and outgoing and leads a charmed life. Louise, on the other hand, doesn’t have a very broad social circle, isn’t very happy, and is determined to cling to her friendship with Lavinia no matter what. Then, the dynamic of the friendship shifts, and Louise finds herself on the outside again. Louise doesn’t take this well, and she will have to make a new, more sinister plan to keep Lavinia close.
On shelves: June 5
Mark and Erin are newlyweds on their honeymoon in Bora Bora. Everything is going well until they decide to go scuba diving. There, in the warm azure water, they find something they never could have anticipated. Will they report what they have found, or take the discovery with them to the grave? The decision they make will have rippling consequences for them both, and their honeymoon just might turn out to be quite different from the one they signed up for. Want to add some excitement to your next trip to the beach? Bring this book.
On shelves: June 5
Rice Moore works on a forest preserve in Appalachia, and he’s happy there. He has beautiful natural surroundings, interesting wildlife to watch, and consistent work. It’s also conveniently far away from the Mexican drug cartel he had a skirmish with. Then, someone starts killing bears in the preserve. Rice is incensed by the crime and will stop at nothing to catch the poachers. As he gets drawn deeper and deeper into the case of the bear-killer, he teeters on the edge of another kind of danger: allowing the Mexican drug cartel to find out where he has been hiding out.
On shelves: June 12
Have you been sleeping a little too well lately? Have we got the book for you. Paul Tremblay’s The Cabin at the End of the World is virtually guaranteed to rob you of more than a few z’s. A family of three—Eric and Andrew and their adopted daughter Wen—has taken off for New Hampshire to spend a few days relaxing in a cabin. Wen is playing in the yard when strangers begin to appear. There are four of them, they know her name, and they are carrying what appear to be homemade weapons. Things get very scary very fast, and we predict you won’t sleep a wink after reading this one.
On shelves: June 26
Readers, meet Heloise Chancey. She’s a detective in 1863 London, where a serial killer is at work. The victims are prostitutes, and the murders are particularly gruesome. Heloise steps in to help the police, who are struggling to crack the case. Heloise also enlists the help of her maid, Amah Li Leen. But Amah may be more connected to the case than Heloise knew. In a starred review, Kirkus raved: “It’s a pleasure to watch Tjia’s unusual sleuth get mad and get even in a grisly tale with a surprising climax; readers will eagerly await the sequel.”
On shelves: July 1
If you eagerly devoured The Lost Ones last year, then you’re in luck: Nora Watts returns in this sequel. Nora’s father, Sam, isn’t around anymore. He died by his own hand—or at least, that’s what Nora was told. She’s had to learn to live with this difficult fact, but all of that is thrown into question when she bumps into someone who knew him. Nora also gets drawn into an overdose case, which is connected to a violent gang of dealers. This is a heart-pounding and satisfying follow-up to The Lost Ones, and we just know you’ll love it.
On shelves: July 3
Hanna Jensen is seven years old and she doesn’t speak. She loves her father Alex very much. She doesn’t love her mother Suzette. In fact, she is actively planning to get rid of Suzette permanently. She has been expelled from multiple schools for disciplinary issues, and now she spends her days at home. Hanna’s intentions are murderous, but Alex can’t see any of it—he sees Hanna as innocent and sweet. Will Alex realize what Hanna is up to before she manages to off Suzette? You’ll have to read to find out. We bet that parents will find this novel particularly unsettling.
On shelves: July 17
Kit Owens and Diane Fleming spent some of their formative teenage years together. They both worked hard at school, and formed a relationship around their academics. That all fell apart when Diane told Kit something she had been keeping a secret. Years later, the two women realize they are competing for the same job and the results are explosive. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly gushed: “No writer can touch Abbott in the realm of twisted desire and relationships between women, both intimate and feral.”
On shelves: July 17
It’s tough having super successful parents—just ask Andrea (or “Andy”) Oliver, who was born to a prominent speech therapist and a big-deal lawyer. Andy has been living at home and taking care of her mother, who has cancer. The two are out at the mall one day when someone begins firing shots at them. Andy will scramble to figure out who is trying to hurt them, and why. Along the way, she discovers she just might not know her mother as well as she thinks. Karin Slaughter’s reputation precedes her, and it’s no secret that she’s a favorite of ours here at Bookish. We can’t wait to dive into her latest novel, and we know you’ll love it too.
On shelves: August 21