When you think of planes, trains and automobiles, you may think of all the ways these modes of transportation have made it easier for us to get from one place to another. Maybe it makes you think of escapism, or the the beginning of a vacation. That is not the case with some of these stories. From vacations gone wrong to road trips from hell, check out these books that prove these ways of traveling can go from functional to frightening in the blink of an eye.

Like unique thriller settings? Check out our must-read fiction set in Purgatory and Hell>>

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

Adam Dunne is shocked when his girlfriend, Sarah, doesn’t return from a business trip. Days after her disappearance, he receives her passport and a note that simply says I’m sorry – S that makes no sense to him. Adam is determined to find Sarah, and uncovers a connection to a cruise ship and ties to another woman who had disappeared from the same ship a year before. 

The Stowaway by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth

It’s been two years since Maria Fontana, the head of the Psychology Department at Columbia University, was part of the jury in the case of serial killer Wyatt Butler. Maria couldn’t convict Wyatt due to lack of circumstantial evidence, and her vote is what set him free, resulting in the media outing her as the juror. Now, Maria is looking to try and put all of that behind her on a two-week cruise with her family. When a passenger disappears and another is murdered on the cruise ship with the same MO as Wyatt’s victims, Maria begins to fear that Wyatt could be on the ship. 

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

On the train during her commute home, Selena Murphy strikes up a conversation with a stranger named Martha. Martha ends up confessing to Selena that she is having an affair with her boss. Selena confides in Martha that she thinks her husband is sleeping with her nanny. Soon, the train arrives at Selena’s stop and the two women part, thinking they will never see one another again. When Selena’s nanny disappears, Selena begins to question if her confession to Martha may have something to do with it. 

Don’t miss these books for fans of Lisa Unger>>

Falling by T.J. Newman 

In this terrifying tale, Newman’s story is about a plane with a narrator and one hundred and forty-three other passengers in which the pilot’s family has been kidnapped. In order to save his family, the pilot is instructed that the only way they can survive is if he crashes the plane. 

The Last Flight by Julie Clark

From the outside looking in, you’d think Claire had the perfect life. But her husband has a bad temper and is controlling, and Claire has been planning for months to escape from his clutches and start a new life. When Claire meets another woman in an airport who is also looking to start fresh, the two women switch tickets to start their separate lives. When the flight Claire was supposed to be on crashes, Claire takes on the other woman’s identify to ensure she’s never found—but what Claire doesn’t realize is she also is taking on what the woman was desperate to leave behind.

The Passengers by John Marrs

In another time, self-driving cars are the new normal. Then eight people all find themselves in a similar situation: A once-famous TV star, a pregnant woman, an abused wife on the run, an undocumented immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man. Their self-driving cars have locked the doors, they have no control, and a voice is telling them they are going to die. Cameras that have been put in the cars are now broadcasting these people to millions around the world, giving them the choice as to who survives. 

Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry 

Two women who are complete strangers are in a car on the run, driving through the New Mexican desert. While both are harboring their own secrets, the one thing they have in common is the danger they are in. A truck seemingly appears to be stalking them with a dangerous mission and the two women find themselves being hunted. Now, the two women must trust one another to ensure their survival as they both question who is this person trying to hunt them down—and which woman are they after?

Here’s our favorite missing persons thrillers>

He Started It by Samantha Downing 

Siblings Beth, Portia and Eddie Morgan have been estranged for years until now, after the death of their wealthy grandfather. In his wake, he has left a final message that forces the siblings and their significant others to come together for a road trip to their inheritance. With each person keeping their own secrets, a person missing, and a man in a black truck hunting them down, the scariest part of this ride is the body hidden in the trunk of the car that one of them is trying to keep hidden.

Love dystopian thrillers? You definitely don’t want to miss these:>>