Mystery, suspense, and thriller readers: what are you going to be reading this July when you’re out by the pool, sitting at the beach, or (if this is more your vibe) chilling somewhere with the air conditioning blasting? Well, we have quite a few suggestions that are going to be absolute must-reads this month. Your summer TBR is about to be iconic with these exciting new mysteries and thrillers coming out this July.
When Sarah Taylor arrives at the exclusive St. Ambrose School, she’s carrying more baggage than just what fits in her suitcase. She knows she’s not like the other girls—if the shabby, all-black, non-designer clothes don’t give that away, the bottle of lithium hidden in her desk drawer sure does.
St. Ambrose’s queen bee, Greta Stanhope, picks Sarah as a target from day one and the most popular, powerful, horrible girl at school is relentless in making sure Sarah knows what the pecking order is. Thankfully, Sarah makes an ally out of her roommate Ellen “Strots” Strotsberry, a cigarette-huffing, devil-may-care athlete who takes no bullshit. Also down the hall is Nick Hollis, the devastatingly handsome RA, and the object of more than one St. Ambrose student’s fantasies. Between Strots and Nick, Sarah hopes she can make it through the semester, dealing with not only her schoolwork and a recent bipolar diagnosis, but Greta’s increasingly malicious pranks.
Sarah is determined not to give Greta the satisfaction of breaking her. But when scandal unfolds, and someone ends up dead, her world threatens to unravel in ways she could never have imagined.
Ten years ago, Israel Pike became infamous after he killed his own father. So when he is the one who discovers seven men murdered on their own yacht, Israel is immediately regarded as a prime suspect. Meanwhile, elsewhere on the island, twelve-year-old Lyman Rankin enters what he thinks is an abandoned house only to be confronted by a mysterious woman. With a hatchet in her hand, she tells Lyman, “Make a sound and I’ll kill you.” As Michael Kortya’s An Honest Man propels towards its thrilling conclusion, Lyman and Israel’s stories will collide.
From bestselling author Jake Tapper comes All the Demons Are Here, a brand-new pulse-racing thriller for your summer reading list. In this latest installment of the Charlie and Margaret Marder series, Charlie and Margaret’s kids Ike and Lucy are all grown up. Ike is a US Marine who goes AWOL and is now living off the grid working as part of the pit crew for stunt master Evil Knievel. Lucy is now the star reporter of a tabloid magazine breaking the story of a new serial killer. As Lucy and Ike’s risky life decisions come back to haunt them, they discover that their lives—and the lives of their parents—are in danger.
May Cobb’s summer thriller A Likeable Woman is just begging to be read by the pool this July. Years ago, Kira left behind her wealthy Texas town after the mysterious death of her mother. Now, decades have passed, and Kira returns home to attend her former friend/frenemy’s vow renewal party. Yes, there are things Kira misses about her hometown: lazy days by the pool, chilled wine, and her childhood crush Jack, for instance. But what’s really calling her home is something her grandmother has for her. Something that might be the key to what happened to her mother: a memoir Kira’s mother was writing before her death.
Burn the Negative by Josh Winning is a thrilling genre mash-up of horror and suspense all about the remake of a classic slasher film called The Guesthouse. Laura Warren is a journalist reporting on the remaking of the film, even though she’s been trying to run away from the original for her entire life. In the original version of The Guesthouse released back in the 90s, Laura played a little girl who had the unsettling gift of being able to tell when and how the Needle Man would kill people. Then eight people on the set of the film died in ways that mirrored the movie’s murders. The movie became a cult classic and subsequently ruined Laura’s life. Now as deaths begin to happen again around the cursed movie set, Laura goes on the run. But can she ever outrun the Needle Man?
The Ray Carney Harlem saga continues with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead’s Crook Manifesto. Set in the 70s in New York, this book follows an interconnected series of crime stories. The story, told in three parts, takes readers through three capers that are both darkly funny and exhilarating while also painting a thought-provoking portrait of family and community during a pivotal moment in Harlem history.
Here’s another film-related thriller set in the 1990s! Set in Mexico City, Silver Nitrate is the story of Montserrat, a talented sound editor who nevertheless can’t seem to get into the inner circle of the film industry. The only one who takes notice of Montserrat at all is her best friend, a soap opera star named Tristán. When Tristán discovers that his new neighbor is cult horror director Abel Urueta, Tristán sees an opportunity for both himself and Montserrat to jumpstart their careers. After Urueta failed to finish his last film, the director swears he’s been cursed for life. Now he wants Tristán and Montserrat to help him film the final scenes to lift the curse forever. But lifting a curse is never easy, and everyone involved in the film begins to feel a darkness surrounding them and the project.
Shari Lapena, the queen of domestic thrillers, is back with another must-read suspense thriller this July! In Everyone Here is Lying, William Wooler seems like the ideal family man. But William has been secretly having an affair. When the affair ends unexpectedly, William returns home in a rage, only to then have a confrontation with his difficult nine-year-old daughter Avery. Hours later, Avery is reported missing. As neighbors come forward to share what they know about the missing girl, who is telling the truth? And where is Avery?
Obsessed is a stunning new psychological thriller from James Patterson and James O. Born. In the 15th book in the Michael Bennett series, a serial killer is targeting young women in New York City. Nobody is safe, but the killer is particularly obsessed with Michael Bennett’s daughter.
Colette “Coco” Weber has relocated to her Catalina Island home, where, twenty years before, she was the sole survivor of a deadly home invasion. All Coco wants is to see her aunt Gwen, get as far away from her ex as possible, and get back to her craft—writing obituaries. Thankfully, her college best friend, Maddy, owns the local paper and has a job sure to keep Coco busy, considering the number of elderly folks who are dying on the island.
But as Coco learns more about these deaths, she quickly realizes that the circumstances surrounding them are remarkably similar…and not natural. Then Coco receives a sinister threat in the mail: her own obituary.
As Coco begins to draw connections between a serial killer’s crimes and her own family tragedy, she fears that the secrets on Catalina Island might be too deep to survive. Because whoever is watching her is hell-bent on finally putting her past to rest.
Chuck Gross would like nothing more than to prune himself from his family tree. He’s already clipped his name, turning Charles Grossheart, Jr.—son of a billionaire labor exploiter, weapons manufacturer, and climate change denier—into ordinary good-guy Chuck, the “self-made” proprietor of an up-and-coming punk label. But when Daddy threatens to cut him off, Chuck is forced to get a “real job”—and conveniently, an old college friend has just swept back into his life with the perfect opportunity.
Famed Harvard dropout and biotech darling Olivia Watts says she is on the verge of totally reinventing the field of medicine, but when Chuck signs on, he soon discovers that things at the vast Kenosis campus are not quite how they appear. Secret labs, vanished employees, and mutated test subjects seem to be as impossible as they are sinister. Is Olivia simply a scammer, or does her technology threaten to usher humanity toward a far bloodier fate? Moreover, does Chuck—who has never accomplished anything without the aid of Daddy’s money—stand a chance of stopping her? Daniel Hornsby hilariously skewers the insatiable hungers of the ultrarich in a novel that no one will be able to resist sinking their teeth into.
Petal Woznewski is content with her quiet, introverted life in New York City: she has her junk food, her movies, and her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Gus. That peace is shattered when her name appears on the dedication page of an anonymously written thriller with a cryptic note: “I know what you did, Petal Woznewski. And now everyone else will, too.”
As she reads, Petal realizes the story is rooted in a secret she buried thirty years earlier, when she was fourteen. A secret involving the tragic death of her friend, Megan. A secret that only one other person knows—their old friend, Jenny. Armed with a copy of the book and her own suspicions, Petal returns to her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin. There, she discovers more questions than answers. Jenny has disappeared, and Petal’s old high school crush, Ben, doesn’t know anything about the book—at least not anything he’s telling.
As sinister clues pile up, and the thriller’s plot detours dangerously from the facts, Petal has no choice but to confront her past and solve the mystery of who wrote it—before her very real life ends as tragically as the novel.
When Christa joins a tour group heading deep into the snowy expanse of the Rocky Mountains, she's hopeful this will be her chance to put the ghosts of her past to rest. But when a bitterly cold snowstorm sweeps the region, the small group is forced to take shelter in an abandoned hunting cabin. Despite the uncomfortably claustrophobic quarters and rapidly dropping temperature, Christa believes they'll be safe as they wait out the storm.
She couldn't be more wrong.
Deep in the night, their tour guide goes missing...only to be discovered the following morning, his severed head impaled on a tree outside the cabin. Terrified, and completely isolated by the storm, Christa finds herself trapped with eight total strangers. One of them kills for sport...and they're far from finished. As the storm grows more dangerous and the number of survivors dwindles one by one, Christa must decide who she can trust before this frozen mountain becomes her tomb.
Darby, Mary Beth, and Rhea are on personal quests to reclaim aspects of their identities subsumed by motherhood—their careers, their sex lives, their bodies. But their children disrupt their plans when an unsettling medical condition begins to go around the Little Academy preschool: the kids are craving blood.
Then a young teacher is found dead, and the only potential witnesses are ten adorable four-year-olds.
Soon it becomes clear that the children are not just witnesses, but also suspects . . . and so are their mothers.
As the police begin to look more closely, the children’s ability to bleed their parents dry becomes deadly serious. Part murder mystery, part motherhood manifesto, Cutting Teeth explores the standards society holds mothers to—along with the ones to which we hold ourselves—and the things no one tells you about becoming a parent.
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Emily Martin has a PhD in English from the University of Southern Mississippi. She’s a contributing editor at Book Riot and blogs/podcasts at Book Squad Goals.