School’s Out Forever: Six Killer Campus Thriller Novels

Six Killer Campus Thriller Novels_NovelSuspectsOne of the most popular sub-genres of mystery and suspense books over the last several years is dark academia. In dark academia novels, mysteries and crimes take place on campus, usually either a high school or a college. They often involve faculty and students who are wealthy or elitist in some way, and many have a revenge plot. While there has been a recent surge in popularity, dark academia books have been around for many years. For example, there was Cat Among the Pigeons by Agatha Christie in 1959, Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan in 1978, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt, the legendary 1992 novel by which all other campus novels are measured.

Why are dark academia books so popular? Is it the idea that a supposedly safe place, such as a school campus, is dangerous? Is it the allure of the wealthy and revered behaving badly? Is it the thrill of young characters away from home for the first time getting into so much trouble? Whatever the reason, the sub-genre continues to grow, with more incredible suspense novels set at schools being added each month. So put down your pencils and silence your cellphones, because here are six great campus thrillers to add to your TBR.