The cooler months are the perfect time for crime stories. Atmospheric mystery thriller books that feature winter’s elements use blizzards and snow to ratchet up the tension. In each of these mysteries, it’s a race against time to melt the threat. Fortunately, the brazen detectives and unlikely heroes in these must-read thriller books do everything to thwart diabolical criminals.
When the bodies of two Indigenous women are found in the wilderness of northern California, it is only the latest horrific development in a string of similar crimes in the area. Despite all evidence to the contrary, officials rule the deaths isolated incidents, which soon join the ranks of countless other unsolved cases quickly dismissed by law enforcement.
In a town where too many injustices are tolerated or brushed under the rug, only a few people remain who refuse to let a killer walk free. But Private Investigator Sharon McCone is one of those few. She is hired by an organization called Crimes against Indigenous Sisters to go undercover in Meruk County—a community rife with secrets, lies, and corruption—to expose the truth.
In an isolated cabin in the freezing, treacherous woods, McCone must work quickly to unravel a mystery that is rooted in profound evil—before she becomes the killer’s next target.
Martin, who has always been drawn to the ocean, moves his wife Alexandra and their two young children move to his family’s idyllic summer cottage in the picturesque island village of Orust, on the west coast of Sweden. Martin begins to cultivate a mussel farm, where he soon runs into trouble with the locals.
From bestselling duo Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, White Fire is the thirteenth installment in the beloved thriller suspense Special Agent Pendergast series. White Fire sees Pendergast investigating a series of potentially related mysteries. Sent to examine the remains of the eight miners killed by a grizzly bear in 1876, Pendergast’s colleague Corrie Swanson experiences resistance from the town. When Pendergast arrives, he does so amidst the chaos of an arsonist targeting wealthy families. To solve the case in time, Pendergast and Swanson work together to connect the past to the present, with an assist from a rare, long-lost story featuring Sherlock Holmes.
This twisty thriller suspense book follows unlikely heroine college student Darby Thorne. Headed to Utah to visit her dying mother, Darby finds herself caught in a white-out blizzard coating the Colorado mountains. Darby pulls over to wait out the storm with four other people in a highway rest stop. Trying to find a signal to call and update her family, Darby heads back into the storm only to see a child locked in an animal crate in the van parked next to her. When Darby heads back inside the rest stop, she knows one among them is a kidnapper. Racing against time and the deadly conditions outside, Darby must calm the storm inside her mind to rescue the little girl and make it out alive.
The Girl in the Ice is a chillingly captivating thriller perfect for cooler months. This series starter introduces Detective Erika Foster as she launches an investigation into a string of murders rippling through London, the latest of which found a socialite with a seemingly perfect life frozen under a sheet of ice. Coming off a recent career low, Erika is eager for a chance to prove herself with the high-profile case. But in order to solve the serial murders, Erika will need to overcome her personal trauma to be fully present—especially as the serial killer with a personal vendetta against Erika closes in.
Jo Nesbo; Don Bartlett (Translator)
Of all Jo Nesbo’s best-selling Inspector Harry Hole novels, The Snowman is a great entryway into the series and a standalone mystery thriller in its own right. A gruesome murder strikes deep in the heart in frosty winter Oslo, Norway, and sets Harry on edge. The killer’s calling card? A snowman. Having received a strange letter that might be connected, Harry scrutinizes the evidence and finds a disturbing pattern: each year, on the first snowfall, a woman has disappeared. The case complicates when the killer breaks form and bodies fall as the criminal circles closer to Harry. Now more than ever, Harry needs to find the light in his personal darkness if he wants to stop the murders.
by Dan Simmons
The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in. When the expedition’s leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels an Inuit woman who cannot speak and who may be the key to survival, or the harbinger of their deaths. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear that there is no escape.
Don’t miss this pivotal entry in Louise Penny’s acclaimed Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. The ninth book to feature Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, How the Light Gets In is set at Christmas time when snow descends on Québec and the small town of Three Pines. When Three Pines resident Myrna reaches out to Gamache because her friend who was set to visit never arrived, Gamache welcomes a reason to get out of the city and leave behind the bureaucracy and simmering relationships with his colleagues. But unraveling the mystery of what happened to Myrna’s friend soon gets more complicated. Will Gamache’s efforts be enough to bring peace to the villagers of Three Pines?
by Maxine Paetro
In the 19th installment in James Patterson’s gripping San Francisco-set Women’s Murder Club books, the ladies celebrate a drop in crime, mercy from the courts, and a lull in news. But the calm doesn’t last long when a menacing, attention-hungry criminal known as “Loman” threatens a massive coordinated crime on Christmas morning with help from his cronies. With the impending disaster on the way, it will take the female friends and a Christmas miracle to stop Loman dead in his tracks.
In the second book of Will Dean’s Tuva Moodyson series, Red Snow, a blanket of snow covers Gavrik, a tiny Swedish town where not even inclement weather can dissuade a criminal from committing murder. In this addictive sequel to Dark Pines, a suicide and a murder spell foul play. Deaf reporter Tuva Moodyson only has a few weeks left before she starts a new job in southern Sweden, but the coincidences between the two deaths prove irresistible to ignore. And when a blizzard rolls in, it will be all the residents of Gavrik can do to stay safe.
Two years ago, FBI Agent Lucy Kincaid put psychopath Elise Hansen Hunt in juvenile detention for her role in an organized crime syndicate. Now eighteen, Elise has been released with a clean slate, and plans to take her revenge by making Lucy’s life hell. The plot begins with Lucy’s husband Sean Rogan, who has been arrested for a murder he most certainly did not commit.
Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.
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C. J. Box
It's an hour away from darkness, a bitter winter storm is raging, and Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett is deep in the forest edging Battle Mountain, shotgun in his left hand, his truck's detached steering wheel handcuffed to his right—and an arrow-riddled corpse splayed against the tree in front of him. The apparent murder victim and the sudden onslaught of the snowstorm warn: Get off the mountain. But Joe knows this episode is far from over. And when his own daughter gets caught up in his hunt for the killer, Joe will stop at nothing to get her back...
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