What’s our favorite thing about the weather getting colder? Grabbing a blanket, a hot beverage, and a page-turning mystery or thriller book. Thankfully, there are always great suspense thrillers coming out in the winter months. Here are some books we’re putting on our TBR list this winter, and we think you’ll love them too.
Jake Hayes is missing. This much is certain. At first, his wife, Nina, thinks he is blowing off steam at a friend’s house after their heated fight the night before. But then a day goes by. Two days. Five. And Jake is still nowhere to be found.
Lily Scott, Nina’s friend and coworker, thinks she may have been the last to see Jake before he went missing. After Lily confesses everything to her husband, Christian, the two decide that nobody can find out what happened leading up to Jake’s disappearance, especially not Nina. But Nina is out there looking for her husband, and she won’t stop until the truth is discovered.
MIT grad student Hailey Gordon is just looking to make some quick money, which is how she gets into counting cards. But when she gets caught card counting at the Encore casino in Boston, she makes a run for it… and runs into a dead body. Unknowingly, Hailey has uncovered a web of shocking secrets, including the hidden connection between the Gardner Museum heist and the most fascinating secret in American history. The Midnight Ride moves at a heart-pulsing pace, and you won’t want to put it down.
The Wolfs, the most powerful family in California, have a new head–thirty-six-year-old former high school teacher Jenny Wolf.
That means Jenny now runs the prestigious San Francisco Tribune.
She also controls the legendary pro football team, the Wolves.
And she has a murdered father to avenge—if she can survive the killers all around her.
An unforgettable family drama by two writers at the top of their craft.
Four years after her tumultuous senior year, Jade Daniels is released from prison right before Christmas when her conviction is overturned. But life beyond bars takes a dangerous turn as soon as she returns to Proofrock. Convicted Serial Killer, Dark Mill South, seeking revenge for thirty-eight Dakota men hanged in 1862, escapes from his prison transfer due to a blizzard, just outside of Proofrock, Idaho.
Dark Mill South’s Reunion Tour began on December 12th, 2019, a Thursday.
Thirty-six hours and twenty bodies later, on Friday the 13th, it would be over.
Jordan Harper’s Everybody Knows is a propulsive neo-noir crime thriller set in Los Angeles. Mae Pruitt is the kind of publicist that makes sure all the bad news stays hidden. She works for a collection of lawyers, publicists, and security firms she calls “The Beast.” These are the people who protect the reputations of the wealthiest and most depraved in the city. When Mae’s boss is gunned down in front of a Beverly Hills hotel, she’s determined to figure out the mystery of his death and the secrets he took with him to his grave.
The Cabinet of Dr. Leng is the highly-anticipated new installment in the Aolysius Pendergast series. In this book, Constance Greene has found her way back to the place of her origins, New York City in the 1800s. Now she’s determined to undo the events that lead to the death of her sister and brother and stop the infamous serial killer, Dr. Enoch Lang. In present day New York, Pendergast is searching for a way to reunite with Constance before it’s too late.
Seventeen-year-old Bret is a senior at the exclusive Buckley prep school when a new student arrives with a mysterious past. Robert Mallory is bright, handsome, charismatic, and shielding a secret from Bret and his friends even as he becomes a part of their tightly knit circle. Bret’s obsession with Mallory is equaled only by his increasingly unsettling preoccupation with the Trawler, a serial killer on the loose who seems to be drawing ever closer to Bret and his friends, taunting them—and Bret in particular—with grotesque threats and horrific, sharply local acts of violence. The coincidences are uncanny, but they are also filtered through the imagination of a teenager whose gifts for constructing narrative from the filaments of his own life are about to make him one of the most explosive literary sensations of his generation. Can he trust his friends—or his own mind—to make sense of the danger they appear to be in? Thwarted by the world and by his own innate desires, buffeted by unhealthy fixations, he spirals into paranoia and isolation as the relationship between the Trawler and Robert Mallory hurtles inexorably toward a collision.
Looking for a suspense thriller with surprising twists and turns? You’ll want to pick up Karen McQuestion’s 214 Palmer Street, the story of a house with a secret. When Maggie sees an unfamiliar face at 214 Palmer Street, the woman introduces herself as Sarah, the house-sitter. Maggie thinks Sarah seems nice, but she can’t help but wonder why her neighbors never told her they were going to have a housesitter while they were out of town. Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, Sarah is panicking. No one was meant to see her inside the house.
Death of a Traitor sees the return of Scotland’s most quick-witted but unambitious policeman, Sergeant Hamish Macbeth. In the 35th installment in this series, Hamish Macbeth investigates the disappearance of Kate Hibbert. Kate has only been a resident in the village of Lochdubh for a year, but already she’s alienated many of the villagers with her meddling ways. So when Kate is seen heading to the bus stop with a suitcase, people hope that she’s leaving town for good. But this would not be the last they heard of Kate. Two weeks after her departure, Kate’s sister comes to town claiming she’s gone missing.
Kathleen Kent’s Black Wolf is a page-turning spy thriller starring CIA agent Melvina Donleavy, who is sent into the dangerous heart of the Soviet Union in 1990 on a mission to stop the flow of nuclear weapons from the Soviet Union into the Middle East. Why was Melvina chosen for this job? She has a special gift. She’s a “super recognizer,” a person who never forgets a face. But nothing in her training prepared her for life in Minsk, where women have mysteriously started disappearing.
Every Man A King is the highly-anticipated follow-up to Walter Mosley’s Edgar Award-winning novel Down the River Unto the Sea. Private detective Joe King Oliver is being tasked with investigating a case that’s a tough one for him to stomach. White nationalist Alfred Xavier Quiller has been accused of murder, but multi-billionaire Roger Ferris has reason to believe Quiller has been set up. Nothing about Quill’s story is easy or straightforward for the PI. And as King gets closer to the truth behind Quiller and the charges, the closer he and everyone he cares about barrel toward danger.
It all starts with an all-expenses paid reunion on a private island. The catch? You guessed it. No phones, tablets, or laptops allowed. When Ryan Cloverhill, the founder and CEO of the world’s most popular social media platform, invites his six best friends from college to reunite on his private island near Puget Sound, he promises fun, good food, and a fabulous sunset cruise. But on the second day of the trip, Ryan disappeared. In his place is a tablet with the words “Unlock Me!” written across the screen. The secret to the tablet’s passcode is hidden in the group’s shared history. But will unlocking the tablet set them free, or will it unleash Pandora’s Box?
The detonation is only the beginning of a shocking case for FBI consultant Kendra Michaels—a string of heinous murders in the style of the very-dead Barrett mysteriously continue, and it becomes clear that he may not have been working alone. As the crimes accelerate, Kendra reluctantly accepts help from college student Tricia Walton, the only survivor of Barrett’s attacks. But the killer has a terrifying plan that Kendra and her team are only beginning to understand.
David Burroughs was once a devoted father to his three-year-old son Matthew, living a dream life just a short drive away from the working-class suburb where he and his wife, Cheryl, first fell in love—until one fateful night when David woke suddenly to discover Matthew had been murdered while David was asleep just down the hall.
Half a decade later, David’s been wrongly accused and convicted of the murder, left to serve out his time in a maximum-security prison—a fate which, grieving and wracked with guilt, David didn’t have the will to fight. The world has moved on without him. Then Cheryl’s younger sister, Rachel, makes a surprise appearance during visiting hours bearing a strange photograph. It’s a vacation shot of a bustling amusement park a friend shared with her, and in the background, just barely in frame, is a boy bearing an eerie resemblance to David’s son. Even though it can’t be, David just knows: Matthew is still alive.
David plans a harrowing escape, determined to achieve the impossible – save his son, clear his own name, and discover the real story of what happened. But with his life on the line and the FBI following his every move, can David evade capture long enough to reveal the shocking truth?
King Ludwig II of Bavaria was an enigmatic figure who was deposed in 1886, mysteriously drowning three days later. Eccentric to the point of madness, history tells us that in the years before he died Ludwig engaged in a worldwide search for a new kingdom, one separate, apart, and in lieu of Bavaria. A place he could retreat into and rule as he wished. But a question remains: did he succeed?
Enter Cotton Malone. After many months, Malone’s protégé, Luke Daniels, has managed to infiltrate a renegade group intent on winning Bavarian independence from Germany. Daniels has also managed to gain the trust of the prince of Bavaria, a frustrated second son intent on eliminating his brother, the duke, and restoring the Wittelsbach monarchy, only now with him as king. Everything hinges on a 19th century deed which proves that Ludwig’s long-rumored search bore fruit—legal title to lands that Germany, China, and the United States all now want, only for vastly different reasons.
Forty years ago, Steven “Smithy” Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. When he showed it to his remedial English teacher Miss Iles, she believed that it was part of a secret code that ran through all of Twyford’s novels. And when she disappeared on a class field trip, Smithy became convinced that she had been right.
Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Smithy decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. In a series of voice recordings on an old iPhone from his estranged son, Smithy alternates between visiting the people of his childhood and looking back on the events that later landed him in prison.
But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. The Twyford Code holds a great secret, and Smithy may just have the key.
What to Read Next
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.