5 Thrillers Set in Exotic Locations


Dying to break out of your routine but hopping on the next jet to Greece not in the cards? These books will take you there!

I love to travel. Not just to vacation, but to adventure––to see new sights, hear new sounds, and taste new foods; to reboot my brain with a new way of looking at the world. I am at my happiest when I’m on foreign soil, tasting a local dish at a restaurant with an unfamiliar view, or finding my way to a neighborhood market through the winding narrow streets of an ancient city, and I’m antsy when I don’t have a trip planned, scanning the feed of my Instagram for inspiration for my next holiday. But sometimes, with work, and finances, and family obligations, it’s not possible (or responsible) to jet off every time a new location strikes my fancy. Sigh.

Fortunately, there’s a very inexpensive hack: travel reading. Yes, this can involve picking up a beautiful picture book titled something like “Where to go When” (which is actually a coffee table book in my library), but even better are novels set in foreign locales. Escapist books contain a vacation between the covers, in more ways than one.

Escape starts with a fabulous setting, of course. But it’s more than that. It’s taking a break from your own life to get invested in someone else’s story, think about someone else’s problems, fall in love with someone else’s mate, all without consequence. I’ll take it one step further to say that escapist books are books we enjoy reading, by the simplest definition of the word. They may leave us with a book hangover, but they won’t break our hearts. These are not books that are gut wrenching or violent, nor are they “necessary” books that deal with extremely heavy themes. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good tear-jerker just as much as the next reader, but I wouldn’t call those reads escapist. 

With this list alone, you can visit Greece, Nigeria, France, The British Virgin Islands, Italy, and France, all for the price of a craft cocktail (which perhaps you’d like to sip while you read), without leaving the comfort of your couch.

Discover the Author

Katherine Wood is a native of Mississippi and a graduate of the University of Southern California. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, two children, a naughty pug, and a ferocious kitty.