Journalist Fiona Barton has quickly made a name for herself as a go-to author for richly woven, twist-laden psychological suspense. Her latest centers around the search for two eighteen-year-old girls gone missing in Thailand and a journalist with her own missing son to think of.
The Au Pair
Within hours of the birth of Seraphine and her twin brother, Seraphine Mayes’ mother threw herself from the cliffs of the family estate. The family au pair fled and left the nearby village buzzing with scandal. Seraphine, now an adult, has returned to her family to grieve for her recently deceased father. While there, she discovers an old family photograph taken on the day of her birth that shows her mother smiling and holding only one baby, leading to questions Seraphine will soon wish she never asked. This is gothic-tinged suspense at its page-turning best.
Jayne Ann Krentz
Jack Lancaster is a consultant for the FBI with a particular skill for getting inside the minds of killers—a valuable talent in his line of work, but one that has left his personal life in shambles. Each case brings Jack a little closer to the darkness lurking within him, but also to Winter Meadows, the meditation therapist who gives him solace. When Jack find himself in the crosshairs of a powerful hedge-fund manager, what little peace he’s made for himself is quickly shattered.
Call Me Evie
This labyrinthine piece of psychological suspense centers around the abduction of a seventeen-year-old named Kate Bennett. For two weeks, Kate has been holed up against her will in an isolated cabin with a man named Bill who calls her Evie. He claims he is keeping here there for her own protection and that one night, she did something unspeakable that required he spirit her away for her own safety. The problem? Kate can’t remember the night in question. Call Me Evie is a riveting thriller and a deep dive into fragility of memory and the lies we tell ourselves to cope.
There’s no question Tami Hoag knows her way around a good thriller and her latest, The Boy is certainly a page-turner. A seven-year-old boy is murdered in brutal fashion. His mother, battered and bloody, is inexplicably left alive. The grisly nature of the crime and its bizarre circumstances force two detectives to delve into the mother’s tangled and sordid background to face the dark possibility of a mother murdering her own child.
The Woman Inside
E. G. Scott
This twisting domestic thriller flows the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife, each with damaging secrets and simmering grievances threatening to tear their marriage, and their lives, apart. After twenty years of marriage, Paul and Rebecca are drowning. Paul is in a dangerous affair with an obsessed woman and plotting a life without Rebecca. Rebecca is spiraling deeper into opiate addiction, but when she discovers Paul’s plan to build a life without her, she hatches her devious—and potentially deadly—scheme.
Fan favorites D.D. Warren and Flora Dane return for what may be their most intricate and dangerous case yet. A man is dead and his when police arrive, the man’s pregnant wife Evie is holding the gun. This is not Evie’s first scrape with the law—her father was shot years before under similar circumstances. To further complicate the case, the dead man was tied to Flora Dane’s abduction. As D.D. and Flora delve deeper into the case, they discover an increasingly complex web of lies with no apparent end.
This gripping to thriller centers around two friends, Wynn and Jack, who set out for what they expect to be a leisurely canoe trip. However, as a wildfire spreads and they run for safety, they stumble across a possible murder and a possibly dangerous stranger. Suddenly, their once leisurely trip becomes an increasingly desperate bid for survival.
The Devil Aspect
Set in Czechoslavakia in 1935, this historical thriller weaves two narrators together: a young psychiatrist named Viktor who is studying six infamous serial killers held in an asylum and Lukas, a detective in Prague on the hunt for a brutal Jack the Ripper copycat. When Lukas turns to Viktor for assistance, they come to realize the killers may share a dark truth that is perhaps best left uncovered.
All the Wrong Places
Online dating certainly comes with its own set of perils, whether it’s inaccurate profile photos or entirely too accurate unsolicited photos. Unfortunately, the four women in Joy Fielding’s latest find themselves dealing with entirely unexpected peril—the crosshairs of a tech-savvy and disarmingly charming serial killer posing as the perfect “Mr. Right Now.”
Set against the backdrop of an alternate Seoul, this thriller centers around mysterious assassins guilds vying for dominance in the city and the anonymous masterminds—known as Plotters—who pull their strings. Reseng was born as an assassin, raised to follow orders with unquestioning obedience. Unfortunately, when he steps out of an important assignment, he unwittingly discovers a dangerous plan that will forever change the way he views the world around him.
The Liar's Room
Two liars. One room. No way out. That gamely sums up Simon Lilec’s latest novel. The Liar’s Room centers around two characters playing an increasingly tense game of cat and mouse during a therapy session. Susanna left her old life behind in order to protect her daughter. Now working as a therapist, a man named Adam enters her office for a therapy session. Does Adam know her secret? Who is he and what does he intend to do to Susanna?
Say You're Sorry
The first book in Karen Rose’s new Sacramento series is this tale of a serial killer targeting vulnerable women. The killer carves letters into his victim’s torsos, letters that spell the word, “Sydney.” When his latest victim—a woman named Daisy—escapes, she grabs a crucial piece of evidence, one that ties the killer to a seventeen-year-old cold case. It’s a case that Agent Gideon Reynolds has long been tracking and Daisy has brought him one step closer… but also closer into the crosshairs of a deadly killer.
The Last Woman in the Forest
Diane Les Becquets
This riveting tale of survival centers on Marian Engstrom. Marian trains rescue dogs to protect endangered wildlife. When her mentor and husband tragically dies, Marian begins to uncover unnerving inconsistencies in his life—inconsistencies that link her husband to the unsolved murders of four women. Hoping to clear her husband’s name, she turns to a retired profiler, but as Marian delves further into her husband’s apparent secret life, something, or someone, dangerous stalks her every step.
The Good Detective
John McMahon’s debut novel introduces Detective P.T. Marsh, a former rising star detective who lost his wife and son in a car accident. An increasingly reckless Marsh soon finds himself caught up in racially tinged murder mystery—and he may have inadvertently killed the prime suspect. As the pieces begin to fall into place, Marsh discovers a deep rooted conspiracy that reaches back to the Civil War, one that threatens to unravel what’s left of his life.
She Lies in Wait
This sharp, twisting thriller follows a group of six friends who are all tied to the disappearance of a teenage girl thirty years earlier. Aurora Jackson, the youngest of a group of friends, went missing on July night in 1983. Thirty years later her body is found is a hiding spot that only the friends knew about. The officer originally involved in the search, now Detective Chief Inspector Jonas Sheens, brings the group back together to finally confront the past and find out what actually happened to Aurora that night.
The Wedding Guest
Jonathan Kellerman’s latest Alex Delaware novel sees the consulting psychologist working with longtime partner LAPD Lieutenant Milo Sturgis to solve a grisly murder when the body of an unidentified young woman is found at an Saints and Sinners-themed wedding reception. There’s no identification on the body and none of the partygoers recognize the woman. Detective Sturgis calls in Alex Delaware to sort through the revelers and get to bottom of this edge-of-your-seat mystery.
In the latest thriller from bestselling author Joseph Finder, a seemingly inconsequential one-night-stand throws Juliana Brody’s life and career into a tailspin. Brody, a judge on the Massachusetts Superior Court, is under consideration for the federal circuit. She quickly realizes the man she had a one-night stand with is part of a high profile sex discrimination case she’s presiding over, and with a video of their encounter, the judge neatly entrapped. A single night of infidelity plunges Juliana into a far reaching conspiracy threatening not only her career, but her life as well.
The Lost Night
In 2009, Edie was the darling of New York’s social world—that is until her body was found near a suicide note after a night of drunken partying. A decade later, Edie’s friend Lindsay has recovered from her years of drugs-and-booze fueled partying as part of Edie’s inner circle. However, the discovery of a video of that terrible night leaves Lindsay wondering if Edie was actually murdered and if she herself was involved.
The Smiling Man
Detective Aidan Waits returns in this new thriller from Joseph Knox. When Waits and his partner are called to the cavernous Palace Hotel, they discover a body with teeth filed down and fingerprints replaced. The most disturbing part? He’s smiling. Unraveling the mystery of the Smiling Man will push Waits deep into a world of organized crime and dangerous people in high places. It will also force him to confront his own twisted past.
The Hiding Place
C. J. Tudor
C.J. Tudor is following the success of her breakout debut novel, The Chalk Man (one of my personal favorites from 2018), with another mind-bending thriller. The Hiding Place centers around Joe, whose life was turned upside in high school after the tragic disintegration of his old gang and the disappearance of his sister. Years later, Joe is coming home to settle old scores and get to the bottom of what really happened all those years ago. What he finds is a secret much darker than he could have imagined—after all, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing, but the day she came back.
This gripping legal thriller begins with the fight to stop the demolition of a former military academy and spirals into a decades old conspiracy with dangerous implications. When Beth Swahn agreed to represent a military academy facing demolition—one that happened to be her father’s alma mater—she had no idea the danger would be facing. There’s a long hidden network of tunnels beneath the school that house more than a few of the school’s darkest secrets and some very powerful people will stop at nothing to keep them buried.
It’s that time of year. Winter is in full swing, the temperatures are plummeting, and those sure-to-come snow storms are just around the corner. These wintry travails aren’t all bad, however. There’s no better time to curl up with your preferred hot beverage (spiked or otherwise), a comfy blanket, and great book. As a matter of fact, there’s just something about the winter months that feels like the perfect time to dig into a good page-turning thriller. Perhaps it’s the dreary weather or the cabin fever that comes with a long snow day. Regardless, we just happen to have some recommendations to make your winter days a little more thrilling.
Featured image: @Gouldjosh via Twenty20