Summer is here, and it’s time to relax by the pool with a great mystery or thriller. Whether you are dying to pick up Ruth Ware’s latest about a smart house or want to visit an artists’ retreat in Barbara Bourland’s new novel, there’s a pick here for everyone. Read on for the summer’s must-read mysteries and thrillers!
Blake Crouch’s latest is one of the season’s most talked-about thrillers, and it’s not hard to see why. In Recursion, many Americans are struggling with something called False Memory Syndrome. It’s a poorly understood illness where victims become overwhelmed by memories that are not their own. Who–or what–is causing False Memory Syndrome, and can anyone be saved from it? NYPD detective Barry Sutton is on the case, and he won’t stop until he’s found the answer.
On shelves: June 11
Are you a fan of true crime podcasts like My Favorite Murder? If so, you and Anna McDonald, the protagonist of Denise Mina’s new novel Conviction, have something in common. Anna loves the escapism, especially after her husband announces that he is leaving Anna for his mistress. Then, one of the episodes of Death and the Dana (her podcast of choice) hits a little close to home. Anna has a secret past, it turns out, and she knows one of the people mentioned in the episode quite well. True crime turns into real life as Anna gets caught up in the case, finding herself in real danger.
On shelves: June 18
For readers fascinated by the art world, Barbara Bourland’s Fake Like Me is the perfect thriller to pick up this summer. In it, you’ll travel to an artists’ retreat in upstate New York called Pine City, where an up-and-coming artist (whose name we never learn) is feverishly working trying to recreate her works that were burned in a fire. She sets up her work in the studio previously used by an acclaimed artist named Carey Logan who spent a lot of time at Pine City before, as rumor has it, she drowned in a lake on the property. The more time the narrator spends at Pine City, the more questions she has.
On shelves: June 18
Kate Atkinson is back with another installment in her beloved Jackson Brodie series, and it’s a good one. Jackson Brodie is living near the coast with his dog and his son, Nathan, who is on school break. Jackson is taking on private investigator work to pay the bills and is generally enjoying his quiet time, although the cases he’s working on aren’t exactly the stuff of mystery novels. That changes when Jackson begins working on a new case that turn out to be bigger and more sinister than he could have imagined. For readers who love Atkinson’s thoughtful, nuanced mysteries, look no further for your next great book.
On shelves: June 25
Murder in the Crooked House by Soji Shimada
Soji Shimada is a beloved and critically acclaimed novelist in his native Japan, and now American readers will get a real treat: the opportunity to dive into his work as translated by Louise Heal Kawai. Picture an isolated and confusing home that’s difficult to navigate through, has lots of unsettling features (tilted floors, anyone?), and is packed with human-sized dolls. Sounds horrifying, right? This is the Crooked House. During a holiday party at the house, a guest is found murdered. For readers who love novels that present puzzles for them to solve, Murder in the Crooked House is sure to be a winner.
On shelves: June 25
Ames has been a valued employee at Truviv, Inc. for quite a while, and it only seems natural that when the company’s CEO passes away, he will step up to fill the position. Not everyone is happy about this, especially because there have always been rumors about Ames not respecting women. When news of the promotion is announced, four women at the office take it upon themselves to make sure that Ames is held accountable for his past actions. Secrets abound, and a death–or was it a murder?–shocks the office. Will Sloane, Grace, Rosalita, and Ardie keep Ames from becoming CEO? You’ll have to read to find out.
On shelves: July 2
With advance praise from Stephen King and Tana French, you know this one is going to be good. Do you remember chain emails, which instructed the recipient to forward the email or else suffer terrible consequences? Adrian McKinty’s new thriller puts a vicious spin on this premise. In The Chain, parents answer the phone only to find out that their child has been abducted. The good news? The child will be returned if the parent kidnaps a replacement. The bad news? Failure to comply will result in the original kidnapped child’s murder. We bet this one will make you think twice before answering your phone.
On shelves: July 9
Travel to 1966 Baltimore in this new novel from bestselling author Laura Lippman. Maddie Schwartz is newly single after almost two decades with her ex-husband, and she’s looking for ways to spend her time and get involved in her community. When she pitches in on a local murder case, a Baltimore newspaper offers her a position on their staff. Then, a black woman is murdered and her body is found in a fountain. Maddie is alarmed at how little attention the case is getting, and becomes determined to break the story and find the culprit.
On shelves: July 23
When college student Victor Li’s father dies, his world is turned upside down. When Victor learns the details, he is taken aback: His father did not work in the restaurant industry as his son believed. Instead, he was part of a large crime syndicate based in Beijing, and was murdered when someone broke into his home. Victor travels to China to investigate, and gets far more than he bargained for. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly raved: “This impressive blend of crime and coming-of-age marks Nieh as a talent to watch.”
On shelves: July 23
Reader, have you ever visited an escape room where you and you friends had to solve puzzles to escape the creepy but ultimately harmless room you’re stuck in? Megan Goldin’s thriller is nothing like that: Four characters end up trapped in an elevator together, and the stakes are deadly. All four are coworkers at a big-deal Wall Street company where they work incredibly long hours and compete with each other for bonuses. When they find themselves suspended many floors up in a locked elevator together one weekend, things escalate quickly. This thriller will have you taking the stairs for the foreseeable future.
On shelves: July 30
Rowan Caine’s new job sounds pretty awesome at first. The pay is great for a nannying gig, the house she’ll be living in is absolutely gorgeous, and the family she’ll be working with seems nice. But as Rowan settles into her new home with her new charges, some things seem a little… off. The family’s behavior is strange, the home is frighteningly isolated, and the technologically advanced house is either malfunctioning or someone is trying to give her a bad scare. Readers, you’ll want to sleep with the lights on (and your Alexa off) after reading this spooky tale from Ruth Ware.
On shelves: August 6
Admit it: You’ve been dying to pick up the latest installment of Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series. Happily, The Last Widow arrives in August, and it promises to thrill readers every bit as much as the first eight books in the series did. Here, Sara Linton and Will Trent are investigating a large explosion in Atlanta and its possible connection to the kidnapping of a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control. The more they learn, the more connected the two crimes start to look… and the more dangerous. Readers, don’t miss this one!
On shelves: August 20