ThrillerFest announced the International Thriller Awards for 2020, and some excellent books were nominated for the best hardcover thrillers of 2020. From historical to contemporary to a little bit of speculative fiction, we have the details on the six nominees for best hardcover thriller novels of 2020. The winners will be announced on Saturday, July 11, during a virtual ThrillerFest.
In Denise Mina's Conviction, a normal housewife's life gets turned upside down and swirls around a true crime podcast. One morning while she listens to her favorite escape, her husband comes downstairs and announces he's leaving her. When she gets back to the podcast, she listens to an episode with a crime she knows on a personal level. She knew one of the victims in an earlier life, and is certain she knows what really happened. With her podcast at her side, she goes on a wild adventure through her secret past to solve the crime.
In David Baldacci's latest fast-paced historical thriller, One Good Deed, a World War II veteran is forced to investigate a small-town murder or risk going back to prison. Aloysius Archer is released from prison and sent to Poca City on parole with a few rules to keep him in line. He has to get a job, stay away from booze, and report regularly to his parole officer. But he doesn't stick to those rules. While on his job hunt, he finds himself at a local bar. And he gets a job: collect a debt owed to a powerful local businessman. But the indebted man holds a deep grudge, and the people he surrounds himself with make for a messy situation for Archer. He catches wind of a murder, Archer realizes that he'll be back in prison if he doesn't find the real killer.
In Rachel Howzell Hall's They All Fall Down, Miriam Macy is whisked away on a luxurious trip to a private island off the coast of Mexico. It's supposed to be a glorious trip of a lifetime. Six strangers join her—an ex-cop, a chef, a financial advisor, a nurse, a lawyer, and a young widow. But they soon realize they were brought to the island under false pretenses, and each person has their own dark secret. With miles of ocean surrounding them, they find themselves trapped in paradise, with strange accidents occurring one after the other and each stranger growing more and more suspicious of each other.
The Chain by Adriann McKinty is the epitome of thriller. One person gets a phone call from a stranger who says their child was kidnapped. The caller's child was also kidnapped. The only way for the receiver of the call to get their child back is to kidnap another child in the next 24 hours, and that child's parents kidnap another child. But if the receiver of the call doesn't kidnap a child, their child will be murdered. And on, and on, and on the chain goes.
Rag and Bone by Joe Clifford is the story of Jay Porter, a handyman who spent the last ten months on the run after he was framed for murder. While on the run, he was searching for a hard dive that would hold evidence that would for sure get his nemeses locked up. But he didn't find it, and now he's back home in New Hampshire. With no family, no money, and no jobs, he's lucky to get in touch with an old friend who lets him work for her. When she tells him of a fire at her farm, Jay is beyond convinced that it was at the hand of his nemeses. He digs into the case, but realizes that it's not so easy to spot evil in the world.
New York City cop Barry Sutton is investigating a bizarre phenomenon the media is calling "False Memory Syndrome." Victims are driven mad with memories of a life they never lived. Meanwhile, neuroscientist Helena Smith is working to create technology that will let humans preserve their most precious memories and be able to relive them. The two must work together to fight a force that can rip away all memory of human history in Blake Crouch's Recursion.
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Ashley Holstrom is a book person, designing them and writing about them for Book Riot. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color.