It’s starting to get dark at 8 o’clock now, instead of 9. Any outdoor activities after 5 p.m. are going to require a jacket. Oh, and pumpkin everything is officially back on the market. You know what this means: fall is approaching. With the end of summer quickly approaching, here are my top ten end-of-summer thrillers to devour before the sweaters and jeans start to circulate your wardrobe.
Gretchen by Shannon Kirk
Shannon Kirk is the female Stephen King that you didn’t know you needed to discover. If you read In the Vines, you know what I’m talking about. If you didn’t, I guess there are 11 books for you to read on this list now. Gretchen by Shannon Kirk is a remarkable psychological thriller with horror and cult aspects… oh, and a creepy little girl obsessed with puzzles. Lucy and her mother are on the run and have been for as long as Lucy can remember. At their latest “home” they befriend a doctor and his daughter Gretchen who have a creepy past you won’t see coming. This is definitely one that will terrify you and keep you up all night.
Pretty Revenge by Emily Liebert
Pretty Revenge is like the ultimate badass read for me – it has dual perspectives, lavish lifestyles and good old-fashioned revenge! It’s got a dangerously sharp plot, sensational characters and an ending that blew me away! Kerrie is kind of jobless and completely unfulfilled by her life, blaming it on someone who did something horrible to her almost 20 years ago. When Kerrie sees this woman on television, she crafts up a plan to take the woman down. What I loved about this was that we didn’t know what the other woman (Jordana) did to Kerrie and there were no clues on how this one could end. It was so entertaining and had some dark comedy sprinkled throughout. If you loved Single White Female and The Wife Between Us, Pretty Revenge will be your next addiction!
The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl
Alex Dahl has this way of writing about issues that I never thought I’d find in a thriller. In combination with this, she writes unlikeable characters that I just can’t get enough of. In her newest psychological thriller, we get a sinister tale that is so tightly wound, the tension rises off the first chapter like a thick fog. Alison’s daughter drowned and she is obviously devastated. Months later, she’s at her all-time low when she comes across a woman and her daughter. Iselin almost lost her daughter, but she received a heart transplant the day after Alison’s daughter drowned. When Alison befriends Iselin and her daughter, the contrast between loss and obsession becomes dangerous and there’s no telling what can happen next. This one was thrilling, emotionally charged and beautifully written. For fans of Jodi Picoult and Nordic Noir, Alex Dahl will be your new obsession.
Whisper Network by Chandler Baker
“If you had listened to us none of this would have happened” is the first line in Whisper Network by Chandler Baker. If that doesn’t draw you in, then think of it this way – this is a story reminiscent of Big Little Lies, combined with the #MeToo movement. I haven’t felt this way about a book in a long time and it was phenomenal. When three female colleagues notice their male superior being inappropriate with a new woman in the office, they take a stand to finally bring him down. Sound good? Oh, yeah and this man is someone who could possibly become the head of their company if they don’t do something to stop him. With pacing that is dazzling and effective, characters that stay with you long after putting it down and an ending that made me gasp, Whisper Network will leave you screaming.
Knife by Jo Nesbo
One of the best books I’ve read since I started my blog was The Snowman by Jo Nesbo. It’s a book in a series that you can read as a standalone and yet, it makes you want to immediately buy the entire series. Knife is my second read in the series and I literally screamed when my advanced reader copy came in the mail. This one is really dark and harrowing and I loved it! Harry is having a rough time. The only woman he’s ever loved has broken up with him and the serial rapist and murderer he put behind bars has been released from prison. Take that and add in the fact that Harry wakes up from a blackout with his hands covered in blood, and you have one brilliantly written suspense novel. This one definitely has some very dark moments and creepy scenes throughout, but I read it in one day and it was phenomenal.
Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea
I have this weird obsession with cold cases that take place in the ’70s and ’80s. Some Choose Darkness is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read. I have gushed over how perfect this book is – serial killer books are my cozy reads. Rory is a forensic deconstructionist who works with the police on cold cases when she gets a call that a serial killer from the ’70s in Chicago is going to be released. In the summer of 1979 in Chicago, five women disappeared and one woman named Angela helped the police put him away, but she disappeared. Donlea then weaves together two storylines that are equally terrifying and beautifully written to tell one hell of a story that spans over 40 years. You. Need. This. Book.
The Arrangement by Robyn Harding
Y’all know I stan Robyn Harding. I have loved everything I’ve read by her. Her Pretty Face is easily one of my top five books of all time. When I first read the synopsis to The Arrangement, I was instantly intrigued. Natalie is a young student who is struggling financially in New York City. A friend tells her how to get a sugar daddy, leading her to meet Gabe. Then, Gabe dumps Natalie because he could lose a lot by being with her. Natalie becomes unhinged and obsessive. On top of all this, there’s a dead body. This is one of my favorites of the summer. I read it in one day. Harding is terrifyingly talented and I would read anything she writes. If you loved Pretty Woman and Fatal Attraction, you should scoop up this read!
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager
I love Riley Sager. I met him once – he’s incredibly cool, ridiculously smart and his imagination knows no bounds. He’s also one of the nicest people on the planet. I’ve read Final Girls about three times since I started my blog and I was equally obsessed with The Last Time I Lied. Sager’s books combine thriller and suspense with some of the slasher horror films I love and turn them into modern tales of suspense. Bartholomew is one of Manhattan’s most prestigious and mysterious buildings. When Jules Larsen gets a job as an apartment sitter, it’s like a fairytale. But the rules are you can’t have visitors, you can’t stay a night away from the apartment and you can’t disturb the residents. When Jules befriends another apartment sitter and learns about the history surrounding this building, she laughs it off as an urban legend. That is, until Ingrid, the other apartment sitter, goes missing. Jules then starts to not only search for what happened to Ingrid but also researches the history of Bartholomew. Riley Sager is doing for thrillers what John Carpenter did for horror movies – reinventing a whole new genre and bending the rules at the same time.
The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist
There was no holding back when it came to the writing power in this novel. It’s psychologically brilliant, cinematically stunning and features a powerful heroine and pacing that will make your heart race. Sarah Rock has it rough. Her therapist is clinical and emotionless, her husband and his mistress are the worst and her kids show her no respect. This could be a love story when she meets a really handsome man in the park and she is immediately crushing on him… but this is no love story. When a woman goes missing in the same park, Sarah is the prime suspect. Her mystery man is nowhere to be found, her husband doesn’t have her back and her therapist is working with the police. This one is relatively short at under 250 pages but jam-packed with suspense, surprises and an ending that will blow your mind.
Tell Me Everything by Cambria Brockman
If there’s one novel this summer that unexpectedly blew me away, it’s Tell Me Everything. This one wasn’t on my radar until other bloggers started posting about it, and after reading page one, I was at the point of no return. A collegiate setting, dual timelines and a stunning protagonist. There are three timelines and I was so wrapped up in this read. Malin meets some fantastic people in her first month at Hawthorne College and they become her posse for the next four years. But Malin is hiding a pretty dark past and in four years, her secrets and those around her will be out in the open, later resulting in murder. Told in three parts, each representing almost a different genre, Tell Me Everything is a psychologically sensational read with a complex story, fantastic pacing and probably the best last page of any book I have ever read. Everyone needs this book. I don’t care what genre you like, this is a book everyone should be talking about.
*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.