Venture Outdoors With These Thrillers & Mysteries
It’s getting colder, and we’re still social distancing, so let’s do some armchair sleuthing that takes us outside, while we remain in the comfort of our homes. There are true crime, thriller books, and mysteries here for all the crime moods—including a couple for the Agatha Christie lovers.
James A. McLaughlin
If you want to travel outside to the forest and love atmospheric books, Bearskin is for you. Set in the Appalachian forest of Virginia, Rice Moore is hiding out from past trouble by protecting a remote forest preserve. Until he decides to find out who is poaching bears, putting himself at risk of being found…
You'll Thank Me for This
A pulse-pounding psychological thriller based on the popular Dutch tradition of blindfolding and dropping teens and pre-teens in the middle of a forest—and what happens when it goes horribly wrong.
A veteran Marine and an ex-convict find themselves on opposite sides of the law in this propulsive new thriller from award-nominated suspense master and "damn fine storyteller" Owen Laukkanen (Kirkus Reviews).
Related: The Pets of Crime Fiction
The Cutting Season
All of Attica Locke’s crime books are excellent and will put you outside, usually in the heat, but The Cutting Season is her standalone, so I’ll start you there. It’s set on a plantation, opening with a hell of an outside wedding ceremony with, let’s say, an uninvited guest. You get an atmospheric past-and-present mystery on a historic plantation in Louisiana, and the mystery part of the story kicks off with a body being found...
This one is for fans of hiking who enjoy reading about fictional serial killers, although you may not ever hike without looking over your shoulder again… The Trail follows serial killer Paul Leroux, who flees North Carolina as a wanted man and finds himself on the Canadian Appalachian Trail. His urge to kill has not stopped, however, and it isn’t long before a war veteran decides to keep an eye on him, turning this into a cat-and-mouse thriller.
The Black Jersey
Jorge Zepeda Patterson; Achy Obejas (Translator)
Think And Then There Were None but on the Tour de France. I know! Fun for readers, not so much fun for the main character, who just wants to compete in what he’s been training so long for and instead must also assist the police when “accidents” start happening during the competition.
Edgar award-winning author Joe Lansdale returns with a standalone novel following the gripping and unexpected tale of the lost town and dark secret that lie beneath the glittering waters of an East Texas lake.
Related: Small Towns and Their Dark Secrets
One by One
I promised you two books for Agatha Christie fans, and here’s the second one. Once again, like And Then There Were None, this story finds characters in a remote location being picked off one by one—you see what Ruth Ware did with the title there? In this case, the creators of a new app are in a ski trip chalet arguing over the company's future direction when they're not hitting the slopes. Until, of course, someone dies, someone goes missing, and there’s an avalanche trapping them all with the killer… Fun!
In a Dark, Dark Wood
Or maybe you’d like to start with the first book Ruth Ware wrote, in which we swap a chalet for an English countryside house in the woods, and instead of creators of an app, we have friends coming together for a weekend hen party. But something went horribly wrong, as we discover along with the one party member who is in the hospital trying to remember what happened. And then we are treated to past-and-present chapters as we race to find out the truth.
Fans of Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie series waited almost a decade before getting this most recent installment, which finds our P.I. Brodie living in a quiet seaside village. Ah, but this is a mystery novel, and quiet won’t last. Plus, Brodie has a teenage son to deal with, and now he accidentally finds himself falling into a world of human trafficking. Peaceful seaside living will have to wait.
Off the coast of Maine on Maquoit Island, a woman has been killed accidentally by a deer hunter. But Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch finds himself with a mystery instead when it turns out the hunter is telling the truth when he proclaims it wasn’t his shot that killed her. Let the small community's secrets begin to rise…
Four days to go
Amy has only ever known life in the Clearing, amidst her brothers and sisters–until a newcomer, a younger girl, joins the "family" and offers a glimpse of the outside world.
Three days to go
Freya is going to great lengths to seem like an "everyday mum," even as she maintains her isolated lifestyle, hoping to protect her young son and her dog.
Two days to go
When news breaks of a missing girl–a child the same age as Freya's son, Billy–Amy and Freya find themselves headed for a shocking collision.
One day to go
What to Read Next