16 New Mysteries and Thrillers We’re Reading This Summer

By Jessica Dukes and Taylor Wiggs
A collection of contemporary mystery and thriller novels spread out in an appealing arrangement.

The heat may be rising, but these suspenseful reads will make your blood run cold.

Is there anything better than hitting the beach and plunging into a thrilling new read? If there is, let us know, because otherwise here’s how we plan to spend the summer months ahead: sunglasses on, relaxing by the shore, with the latest and greatest page-turner in our hands. Care to join?

From a propulsive new thrill ride by Alex Michaelides (author of The Silent Patient) to Zakiya Dalila Harris’s eagerly anticipated debut, here are the best new mysteries and thrillers that belong in your beach bag this summer.

A gripping novel by alex michaelides, 'the maidens': a mix of classic art, mystery, and psychological intrigue, as signified by the fragmented statue and the hint of blood.

The Maidens

By Alex Michaelides

Mariana Andros is pulled into a mystery when her niece Zoe calls and says her friend was murdered. The girl was a student at Cambridge University with Zoe, and a member of The Maidens, an all-female secret society on campus. An alumna of Cambridge herself, Mariana immediately suspects Edward Fosca, the popular Greek tragedy professor who seems a bit too obsessed with the story of Persephone, a maiden who travels to the underworld. What starts as a hunch about Fosca turns into an obsession when Mariana learns of the death of a second Maiden. Now she’s about to risk everything to stop the killer from claiming another victim.

A hardcover book titled "the plot" by jean hanff korelitz stands against a pastel blue background. the cover features a nature-inspired design with elements of forest and sky visible through the cut-out letters of the title.

The Plot

By Jean Hanff Korelitz

Few experiences are more frustrating than having a brush with success and then not being able to keep it going. This is what’s torturing writing professor Jacob Bonner: Once a promising young author, Jacob now struggles to publish anything of merit. To make matters worse, one of his creative writing students, Evan Parker, is writing what’s sure to be a bestseller. But when Evan dies unexpectedly, Jacob makes the fateful decision to claim Evan’s unfinished novel as his own. Fame and fortune follow, but not for long: Someone knows Jacob’s secret and is threatening to expose his theft to the world.

A book cover for "the anatomy of desire" by l.r. dorn, featuring murky underwater tones with light rays piercing through the water, giving a hint of mystery and depth.

The Anatomy of Desire

By L. R. Dorn

Claire Griffith — aka the popular fitness coach and influencer Cleo Ray — worked hard to achieve the wealth and fame she now enjoys. But her carefully built life is upended when a canoe trip with a friend turns into a tragedy. Cleo is missing, while her friend Beck is found dead in the water. The investigation leads to more questions than answers as the world wonders about Beck’s identity, her relationship to Cleo, and the secrets between them. An updated take on Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy, this clever new mystery is a whodunit to savor this summer.

The Other Black Girl

The Other Black Girl

By Zakiya Dalila Harris

Nella Rogers is the only Black woman at Wagner Books, an established New York City publishing house. That is, until Hazel arrives. Nella and Hazel become fast work friends, but as Hazel’s star rises, Nella’s professional life crumbles. Soon mysterious notes land on Nella’s desk, bluntly telling her to quit her job. To find out who’s leaving the notes, Nella must tread lightly to save her career. But what if it’s her life that needs saving?

A book cover for the novel "the last thing he told me" by laura dave, featuring a waterfront scene with a house and boat docked by the shore, set against a backdrop of fading handwritten text in the sky.

The Last Thing He Told Me

By Laura Dave

When Owen Michaels vanishes, he leaves Hannah, his newlywed wife, one simple mission: to protect his teenage daughter, Bailey. As if the mysterious disappearance and haunting final wish weren’t enough, things become much more complicated for Hannah when Owen’s boss is arrested and charged with fraud. The ensuing questioning throws the vanished Owen’s true identity into question, and the mystery lurking just behind the absent father’s mask will only be solved if Hannah and Bailey work together. A final wish, a deeply buried secret — could Bailey hold the key to unlocking an embattled truth?

A foreboding novel cover for "a dark and secret place" by jen williams, featuring mysterious typography interwoven with leafy vines that subtly reveal a silhouette of a woman's profile amidst the shadows, hinting at a story entangled with mystery and intrigue.

A Dark and Secret Place

By Jen Williams

Imagine discovering that your late mother had a decades-long relationship with a convicted killer. When Heather Evans discovers her mom’s secret letters from Michael Reave, aka the Red Wolf serial killer, she’s shocked. But her shock gives way to something else entirely when she begins questioning Reave’s guilt. And she’s not the only one, now that another murder bearing the Red Wolf’s grisly signature has been reported. Reave has been in prison for years, all while claiming his innocence. Heather has a terrible feeling that her mother’s suicide is connected to this new rash of violence and the truth about Reave.

A vivid book cover featuring the title "we were never here" by andrea bartz in a colorful, distorted text that gives a sense of mystery or disorientation, suggesting a gripping psychological thriller.

We Were Never Here

By Andrea Bartz

Emily and Kristen’s annual reunion turns tragic when, on the final night, Kristen reports being attacked by a man she met on the trip. He’s dead, and Kristen claims self-defense — just like last year’s trip, when Kristen killed another guy in self-defense. Emily tries to get back to her normal life at home, but when Kristen shows up unannounced, Emily starts to think she’s being roped into a cover-up and that “friends for life” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

A bold red chair stands out against a dark background on the cover of grady hendrix's novel 'the final girl support group', promising a gripping tale from the author of 'the southern book club's guide to slaying vampires'.

The Final Girl Support Group

By Grady Hendrix

Lynnette Tarkington is a Final Girl — the sole survivor of a horrifying massacre, and the one who alone must bear the weight of the tragedy. She finds an unsteady peace with her support group of five other Final Girls. Together, they’re rebuilding their lives. But when one of the women goes missing, the group fears the worst. Perhaps they weren’t meant to survive the first time, because now someone is determined to finish the job. Then again, if a killer is out there, he messed with the wrong group: These women are survivors, and they’ll fight to the death for each other.

A visually dynamic book cover with swirling red, orange, and blue hues, featuring the title "a slow fire burning" by paula hawkins, prominently noted as a work from the #1 new york times bestselling author of "the girl on the train.

A Slow Fire Burning

By Paula Hawkins

From the mind of Paula Hawkins, the bestselling author of The Girl on the Train, comes a thrilling story of three women connected to one murdered man. There’s Carla, the aunt shattered by grief; Laura, the troubled woman last seen with the victim before he met his demise; and Miriam, the nosy neighbor who watched as Laura left the scene that fateful day. Each of these women has a complicated past, but could one of them be holding onto something that’s led to a gruesome slaying?

An image of a book cover titled "survive the night" by riley sager, showcasing a dark background with the title text illuminated as if by neon lights, suggesting a sense of urgency and suspense.

Survive the Night

By Riley Sager

It’s the fall of 1991, and the Campus Killer has just claimed his third victim. Charlie Jordan, the victim’s best friend, is homeward bound in a car with a stranger named Josh Baxter when a thought begins to creep into her head: Is the Campus Killer here, sitting right next to me? There’s no way for her to be sure; without concrete evidence, her suspicion is only that, a suspicion. But as they barrel down the highway, holes begin to appear in Josh’s stories, and Charlie’s suspicion turns into a conviction. It’s time to plan an escape.

The cover of a novel titled "not a happy family" by shari lapena, depicting a large house at dusk with lights on in the windows, suggesting a mysterious or suspenseful family drama.

Not a Happy Family

By Shari Lapena

Fred and Sheila Merton are filthy rich. Their home in Brecken Hill is impressive, the neighborhood is more than exclusive, and they’ve got everything they could ever want. But does that all make for a happy life? After the couple are murdered following a family Easter dinner, deep tensions simmering in their three adult children come to the fore, and it becomes clear that money can’t buy the perfect family.

A book cover with a suspenseful atmosphere featuring the title "the damage" in large white letters, by caitlin wahrer, with fallen red leaves scattered against a dark backdrop, suggesting a thrilling or dramatic tale.

The Damage

By Caitlin Wahrer

After Nick becomes the victim of a violent sex crime, his older brother Tony will stop at nothing to find justice for the sibling he’s always been able to protect. Tony enlists Julia, his wife and a fiery lawyer, to ensure that justice is served and Nick’s attacker gets what he deserves. But when the perpetrator’s bail is granted, Tony’s rage builds, as he feels that his family is slipping through the hands of the legal system. Despite all of their efforts, could justice fail to be served? Tony’s not willing to let that happen.

A dramatic book cover for "the turnout," a novel by megan abbott, featuring intertwined satin ribbon against a dark background, evoking a sense of mystery or tension associated with the narrative within.

The Turnout

By Megan Abbott

Ballet is the family business, and sisters Marie and Dara, along with Dara’s husband, Charlie, are at the top of their game. At the Durant School of Dance, Dara and Marie take awkward fledglings and craft them into masters of their bodies. But just as the school is getting ready for its production of The Nutcracker, a suspicious accident sets off a string of events that could threaten to bring it all tumbling down.

An image of the book cover for "such a quiet place: a novel" by megan miranda, featuring bold typography over an aerial view of a suburban neighborhood.

Such a Quiet Place

By Megan Miranda

Ruby Fletcher’s back in Hollow’s Edge. The small neighborhood, once so serene, was changed forever after the murders of Brandon and Fiona Truett just over a year ago. Ruby was charged with those murders, and now, with her conviction overturned, she’s come back to roost in the place so many believe she destroyed. But as suspicion spreads through the community and more facts about that terrible killing come to light, a new version of the truth may be more haunting than the one the community had previously known.

Silhouetted figure on a tense journey: cover of 'false witness' by karin slaughter.

False Witness

By Karin Slaughter

The normal life attorney Leigh Collier has worked so hard to create is cast into jeopardy when a new case comes across her desk. An extremely wealthy man faces multiple counts of rape, and he wants Leigh to defend him. When the two hold their first meeting, it becomes more than clear that the man has sought Leigh out for a reason: They know each other, and he knows a deep secret that Leigh has been working for years to hide. Now, Leigh will have to reconnect with her younger sister Callie, who just might hold the key to protecting a long-held truth.

Book cover of "the therapist" by b.a. paris, hinting at a suspenseful psychological novel.

The Therapist

By B.A. Paris

Alice and Leo’s new home in The Circle, a gated community in London, seems like everything they’ve been looking for. Soon after moving in, however, Alice learns that a murder–suicide took place in the home just before its swanky renovation — a fact that Leo neglected to tell her until the purchase had been finalized. As Alice’s curiosity grows, she finds that her neighbors just don’t want to talk about what happened to Nina, the therapist who met her fate there. Are they too traumatized to talk about it, or is something more sinister brewing just beneath the surface?

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