Awards: Best Thrillers of 2020

If a global pandemic and presidential election did not make 2020 thrilling enough, then these 10 novels will do the trick. Here are the best thriller books of 2020, as voted on by our readers in our annual She Reads Awards.


The finalists for Best Thriller Book of the Year are:

And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall

In a dangerous thriller about secret-keeping, Grayson Sykes goes on the search for the newly disappeared Isabel Lincoln. But Isabel may not be truly missing, and she may not want to be found. Grayson’s adventure becomes more and more dangerous as the novel progresses and as she learns more about Isabel’s deeply hidden secrets.


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

In 2017, Carly Kirk decides to visit the eerie Sun Down Motel that claimed her aunt Viv in 1982. Desperate to solve the mystery behind her aunt’s disappearance, Carly realizes that the motel hasn’t changed since 1982 and she soon becomes trapped behind the same circumstances that haunted Viv.


Long Bright River by Liz Moore

Mickey and Kacey are sisters who have grown apart, living their separate lives in their Philadelphia neighborhood hit by the opioid crisis. Still, Mickey never stops worrying about Kacey. Her worrying only intensifies when Kacey disappears at the same time as a string of murders and Mickey sets out to solve both mysteries before it’s too late.



One by One by Ruth Ware 

In a modern take of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, eight coworkers of a London tech startup become trapped inside a French ski chalet when an avalanche hits. Their loyalty is tested and tensions mount as they try to rescue their one co-worker who never made it inside to safety. 


Don’t Look for Me by Wendy Walker

On the surface, Molly Clarke’s disappearance seems like any other mother wanting a fresh start away from home. But when her daughter Nicole begins searching for Molly in the small town she was last seen in, the ugly truths behind her disappearance rear their heads, and Nicole becomes aware of the danger surrounding her. 


The Guest List by Lucy Foley

At a wedding for a magazine publisher and rising star off the coast of Ireland, everything seems to be perfect. But when petty jealousy, intoxication, and uncomfortably caring toasts mix, the facade crumbles. When someone turns up dead, it all takes a turn for the worst as the wedding attendees rush to solve the mystery. 


When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Sydney Green believes the tale of the sudden changes to her Brooklyn neighborhood is simply gentrification. But when she begins giving walking tours with the new arrival and unwanted assistant Theo, they realize the changes are more dangerous than they first appeared. 


Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

Marin had the perfect life with her college sweetheart Derek until their son Sebastian goes missing and the FBI search goes cold after a year. After hiring a PI to pick up the search, instead of finding Sebastian Marin finds that Derek is having an affair with a younger woman named Kenzie. Desperate to not lose her husband in addition to her son, Marin sets out to fix the problem of Kenzie, permanently. 


Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Once a prim debutante, Noemí Taboada soon finds herself playing the role of a sleuth as she heads to the enigmatic house High Place in the Mexican countryside to save her cousin from a doomed marriage. Noemí makes an ally of her cousin’s husband’s brother, but he’s hiding secrets of his family’s dangerous and evil past. Will Noemí be able to save her cousin before the charms of the house take her in for good?


The winner of the 2020 She Reads Award for Best Thriller is:

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

Claire Cook’s perfect life is a disaster on the inside, and she’s desperate for a chance to escape. The opportunity comes when she meets Eva at an airport bar, and the two switch plane tickets to gain a head start on newfound freedom. But when Eva’s flight goes down, Claire must take on her new identity as Eva with confidence as news of her death spreads. 


Click here to see the rest of the She Reads Best Books of 2020 Winners

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She Reads Editors

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