Fall is one of the best times to be a thriller junkie – you’ve got a chill in the air, cozy sweatshirts, and the official start to Spooky Season. Luckily, Fall 2021 is going to be the hottest one yet book-wise, so make room on your shelves for these thrilling and chilling tales. From dating apps gone wrong to collegiate psychopaths all the way to ’80s-inspired crime, this list has something on it for everyone!
56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard (Aug 17)
Ciara and Oliver meet in a supermarket queue in Dublin and start dating the same week COVID-19 reaches Irish shores. When lockdown threatens to keep them apart, Oliver suggests they move in together. Ciara sees a unique opportunity for a relationship without the scrutiny of family and friends. Oliver sees a chance to hide who — and what — he really is. Now, detectives arrive at Oliver’s apartment to discover a decomposing body inside. Can they determine what really happened, or has lockdown created an opportunity for someone to commit the perfect crime?
A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins (Aug 31)
Four years after her last novel, Paula Hawkins is back with a riveting new mystery, set on a London houseboat. After a young man is found murdered, police investigate three women with separate connections to the victim and equal motives for revenge. Filled with unpredictable twists and turns, this compulsively readable thriller will keep you guessing until the final page.
These Toxic Things by Rachel Howzell Hall (Sept 1)
When her latest client dies from an apparent suicide, Mickie honors Nadia’s dying wish by working on a digital scrapbook of her most prized possessions she has collected in her travels across the country. As Mickie beings Nadia’s project, she starts receiving threatening messages from a serial killer urging her to leave the dead woman’s past alone. Between the peculiar choice of souvenirs and the mystery behind who the killer is, Mickie soon begins to investigate Nadia’s past and quickly realizes she may be in way over her head.
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell (Sept 7)
One evening, a young college couple goes missing after a party hosted by a new friend. A year later, a writer moves into a cottage in the same area. One evening, when she is walking in the forest, she finds a note that says “Dig here” and questions if this is a clue about the missing couple or something deadlier.
Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian (Sept 7)
Chloe Serve is just starting her freshman year of college and harboring a huge secret – she’s a psychopath and part of a clinical study group involving other student psychopaths. While creating a facade of your average college student, Chloe is hell-bent on killing Will Bachman – a man from her past who she is determined to exact revenge on. When one of the other students in the clinical study is murdered, Chloe is desperate to find the killer as she walks a fine line between being a hunter and a target.
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney (Sept 7)
Married couple Adam and Amelia Wright win a weekend getaway at the perfect time – their marriage is in shambles. Adam has dealt with face blindness all his life; he has never recognized anyone, including his wife. For every anniversary for the past ten years, Amelia has written Adam a letter that she never lets him read, until now. After ten years of marriage and secrets, this weekend could end up costing them more than their marriage.
Nice Girls by Catherine Dang (Sept 7)
Mary went from the chubby brainiac with a scholarship to an Ivy League School to a thinner, angrier version of herself when she is kicked out of college at the beginning of her senior year, leaving everyone shrouded in mystery as to why. When Mary’s ex-BFF Olivia, a social media influencer, goes missing the town erupts in a frenzy. But, not everyone considers it a loss. Not only does Mary know the real Olivia behind the Instagram filter, but she also wonders if Olivia’s disappearance is linked to another missing girl who was considered a runaway.
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (Sept 14)
If your mother was missing, would you tell the police? Even if the most obvious suspect was your father? This is the dilemma facing the four grown Delaney siblings. #1 New York Times bestselling author Liane Moriarty is back with a novel that looks at marriage, sibling rivalry, and the lies we tell others and ourselves. It ombines domestic realism and noirish mystery, following the pattern of Big Little Lies by setting up a mystery and then jumping months into the past to unravel it. Funny, sad, astute, occasionally creepy, and slyly irresistible.
Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger (Oct 5)
When a woman meets a man on a dating app, she thinks she might have finally found “the one.” After falling hard, the man disappears — physically and digitally. His phone no longer works, is profiles have been deleted; the man has completely vanished. But, she’s not alone. Other women have experienced the same thing and went missing. Soon enough, the woman goes from soothing a broken heart to a cat-and-mouse game.
Litani by Jess Lourey (Oct 19)
Fourteen-year-old Frankie is sent to live with her estranged mother in Litani, Minnesota in the summer of 1984. Between the warnings from her mother about avoiding the woods and rumors swirling the town, Frankie’s curiosity gets the best of her when a group of girls invite her to participate in The Game. Shortly after, the community ends up erupting in panic as secrets rise to the surface and Frankie realizes that this town could be full of evil.
All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris (Nov 2)
Ellice is the only Black attorney at the law firm that she works and having an affair with her white boss, Michael. After Ellice finds Michael dead of a gunshot wound and doesn’t tell anyone, she is soon promoted as his replacement. As rumors start to circulate, Ellice fights hard to avoid the spotlight as she’s already worked too hard to hide her past and all of her dark secrets, including her brother who is no stranger to run-ins with the law.
The History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw (Dec 7)
Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James he’s led to Pastoral, a reclusive community was founded in the 1970s. Soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James. Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed. A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.