Most thrillers have some sort of villain, and while some of the stories below feature a human villain, a survival thriller puts an average person in a position where they are fighting for their lives against something much less predictable than any person: nature. Whether it’s a mountainous terrain or a snowstorm forcing them to be in close proximity of a killer, here are some of the best survival thrillers that will have you holding your breath.
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The River at Night by Erika Ferencik
Lately it seems Winifred Allen’s personal life has taken hit after hit. Her job is unsatisfying, her fifteen-year marriage just ended, and her brother recently passed away. When her three best friends mention a hiking and rafting getaway for their annual girls trip, Winifred agrees to go. After an accident on the trip leaves the women stranded from their raft and all the tools required to survive, the bonds of their friendships are tested as they fight for survival.
The Overnight Guest by Heather Gudenkauf
Wylie Lark is a true crime writer who is preparing for a snowstorm in an isolated farmhouse and planning on using her time snowed in to work on her new book. While it’s a relaxing and comfortable place to ride out a storm, the house has a dark history as twenty years ago, two people were murdered in this home and a girl vanished into thin air. As the storm worsens, Wylie brings in a child from outside in the storm and discovers that something dangerous still lurks outside.
Force of Nature by Jane Harper
Five female colleagues go into the woods for a corporate retreat in the wilderness and only one comes out. Out of the four women who have returned, each one has a different story about what really happened. Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a special interest in this case and in order to get to the bottom of the truth, he must go into the forest to investigate all aspects of the relationships between these women.
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Ski Weekend by Rektok Ross
Sam is not looking forward to her senior ski weekend. In fact, she feels like she is going to be babysitting her brother and his best friend, Gavin. Once the SUV is loaded up, the three are joined by other classmates and Gavin’s dog to embark on the road trip to their ski weekend. When the SUV crashes into a snowbank in an area with no cell phone reception and the temperatures dangerously dropping, the group is stranded. As the group tries to face the wilderness, an accident leaves Sam’s brother in bad shape as the winter elements begin to cause the group to dwindle by the hour.
Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens
The Cold Creek Highway is five hundred miles of highway that travels through British Columbia where women have gone missing for decades in unsolved crimes. Hailey McBride is a teenage orphan living with her aunt and her aunt’s controlling police officer husband. When Hailey disappears, she hopes people will believe she’s just another victim of the highway. A year later, Beth arrives in Cold Creek looking for answer’s regarding her sister’s murder. The more Beth looks for answers in Amber’s murder, the closer she gets to the truth about Hailey’s disappearance.
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
Adam and Amelia Wright have just won a trip for a weekend getaway in Scotland at the perfect time; the couple could use some time alone to reconnect. Adam works constantly and has lived with face blindness his entire life. As they arrive in Scotland for their tenth anniversary, the traditions of their anniversary may be different this year. While the couple usually exchange gifts, Amelia also writes Adam a letter each year that she never lets him read, but this year it’s going to be different. Although this is the weekend that could make or break their marriage, this wasn’t a random win, and someone does not want to see the couple survive the weekend.
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One by One by Ruth Ware
Eight coworkers for a tech-startup company are snowed in at a luxurious ski chalet in the French Alps on their corporate retreat. When the trip goes from work related team building on the slopes to a shocking reveal about a buyout, tension begins to shroud the trip. When an intense snowstorm begins to hit the French Alps, an avalanche cuts the group off from the rest of the world, leaving one person out in the wilderness who hasn’t returned. But the danger inside may be just as bad on the outside, as the group begins to drop one by one.
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