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Best Mystery and Thriller Books of 2022

By Brandon Miller

Get ready to update your TBR pile, detective.

 

When it comes to the best mysteries and thrillers, we could easily fill a case file with 50 killer reads. For this year, however, we broke out our magnifying glass to track down 11 thrilling narratives that no sleuth should miss. From acclaimed murder mysteries and gripping techno-thrillers to art-heist capers and haunting noirs, here are the best mystery and thriller books of 2022.

The Kingdoms of Savannah

By George Dawes Green

We love Southern Gothic mysteries, and The Kingdoms of Savannah by Edgar Award–winning author George Dawes Green is a must-read new novel that uses its evocative Southern setting to thrilling effect. The literary mystery introduces us to Morgana Musgrove, a high-handed Savannah socialite who sets out to solve the murder of one person and the disappearance of another. For assistance, she enlists the help of her four adult children, each of whom is wary of their mother and her domineering ways. Together, the Musgroves embark on a search for the truth that spans Savannah’s outskirts to its exclusive inner circles and threatens to shake the city to its core. American Gods author Neil Gaiman recommends Green’s haunting Southern mystery, hailing it as “the apotheosis of Southern Gothic Noir.”

Upgrade

By Blake Crouch

Blake Crouch’s Upgrade is a pulse-pounding narrative with a message that will have you rethinking your relationship with technology. The New York Times bestseller focuses on Logan Ramsay, a man whose genome has been hacked and upgraded, bestowing on him uncanny new talents. But as Logan uncovers the truth behind his upgrade, he also exposes a distressing new plan for all of humanity. With his superhuman abilities, Logan alone has the power to stop the plot — but is he ready for what will happen if he does?

The Paris Apartment

By Lucy Foley

In The Paris Apartment, Lucy Foley delivers a dazzling locked-room mystery set in a foreboding apartment building. The New York Times bestseller follows Jess, who decamps to Paris to bunk up with her half brother Ben. There’s just one problem: Ben is nowhere to be found at his swanky apartment. As Jess digs deeper into his disappearance, she finds that the apartment building is awash with secrets, and its residents have plenty to hide. With every neighbor now a suspect, Jess must race to find Ben before it’s too late. Foley excels at crafting swirling mysteries where no one and nothing is as they seem. Her latest is addictive, and the multiple points of view make for a fun and engaging read.

 

The Maid

By Nita Prose

Nita Prose’s The Maid is a wonderful whodunit that many have compared to the much-beloved Clue. The New York Times bestseller centers on a hotel maid named Molly Gray, who struggles with social skills and is somewhat of an oddball. When Molly finds a hotel guest — the wealthy and notorious Charles Black — dead in his bed, she becomes the prime suspect, which forces her to enlist others to help find the real killer.

Daisy Darker

By Alice Feeney

Alice Feeney serves up a darkly delicious twist on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None in Daisy Darker, which revolves around a dysfunctional family and the secrets they possess. The bestselling mystery follows the titular Daisy Darker, who arrives at her grandmother’s spooky estate on a tidal island to celebrate the matriarch’s 80th birthday. The entire Darker clan is there — and they’ll soon be cut off from the mainland once the tide rolls in. But when midnight strikes, Nana turns up dead, followed by another family member an hour later. Now the dwindling members of the Darker family must work together to figure out who has it in for them if they hope to make it off the island alive.

The Prisoner

By B.A. Paris

The Prisoner, an alluring new thriller by B.A. Paris, is one of the year’s most captivating narratives, an engaging psychological thriller studded with nuggets of domestic suspense. The narrative centers on Amelie, the wife of a billionaire, who awakens in a pitch-black room without any knowledge of where she is or how she got there. Amelie’s mind scrambles for answers about her imprisonment. Soon, however, her shock gives way to introspection, and she begins to question why this prison feels safer than her life at home with her husband.

Portrait of a Thief

By Grace D. Li

Grace D. Li’s Portrait of a Thief is a thrilling new mystery that interweaves international intrigue with themes of identity, culture, and colonization. A New York Times bestseller, the globe-trotting heist novel revolves around priceless Chinese works disappearing from Western museums. At the center of the narrative is Will Chen, a Harvard senior convinced by a secretive benefactor to lead a five-person heist squad. Their mission? Steal back Chinese art that was taken from Beijing centuries ago. Boasting lively characters, dazzling set pieces, and an unputdownable plot, Portrait of a Thief is an electrifying read.

The Book of Cold Cases

By Simone St. James

We love Simone St. James’s haunting supernatural mysteries, so it comes as no surprise that her latest bestselling chiller kept us reading long into the night. The Book of Cold Cases centers on a receptionist named Shea Collins, who escaped an attempted abduction as a child and has since become obsessed with true crime. Shea runs a true crime website and hits the jackpot when she secures an interview with Beth Greer, a woman acquitted of two murders four decades ago. But as she settles into the Greer house and grows closer to Beth throughout their interview sessions, Shea begins to suspect that something is terribly, dangerously wrong.

Girl, Forgotten

By Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is an internationally acclaimed thriller author who’s written 20-plus bestselling novels and sold more than 35 million copies around the globe. Slaughter’s latest release, the New York Times bestselling Girl, Forgotten, is a deeply engaging thriller and one of our favorite reads of 2022. At the heart of the novel is a 40-year-old cold case — the 1982 Longbill Beach murder of high school student Emily Vaughn. U.S. Marshal Andrea Oliver arrives in Longbill Beach on her first official assignment — to protect a judge who’s been receiving death threats — yet she cannot help but search for clues about Emily’s baffling demise. The deeper Vaughn digs, the more small-town secrets she unearths and the closer she gets to exposing the twisted truth about the slaying.

The House Across the Lake

By Riley Sager

Riley Sager is a master of the plot twist, and The House Across the Lake brims with the author’s signature shocks as well as sharply defined characters and finely calibrated suspense. The gripping narrative centers on Casey Fletcher, a widowed actress who withdraws to her family’s lake house in Vermont for rest and recuperation. She spends her days quietly, sipping bourbon and spying on the enviously attractive couple across the lake, Tom and Katherine Royce. Eventually Casey strikes up a friendship with Katherine. But darkness lurks beneath the surface of this seemingly perfect power couple — and when Katherine disappears, Casey is plunged into a frantic search for the truth.

The Devil Takes You Home

By Gabino Iglesias

The Devil Takes You Home is one of our favorite dark thrillers of 2022. Written by award-winning author Gabino Iglesias, the evocative tale centers on a man named Mario, who becomes a hitman-for-hire after the medical bills from his daughter’s treatment become too much to bear. When a high-stakes mission with a $200,000 payout materializes, Mario accepts the job. But can he come back from this descent into darkness? Set against a sun-choked Texas backdrop, this atmospheric crime narrative is as beautiful as it is starkly violent.

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