Why wait for cooler weather, falling leaves, carved pumpkins, and a crackling fire to scare yourself senseless? It’s hot out there! Give yourself goosebumps with these 10 thrillers that are sure to keep you awake and checking the locks!
The Turnout by Megan Abbott
With their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, Dara and Marie Durant have been dancers since they could remember. Growing up, they were homeschooled and trained by their glamorous mother, founder of the Durant School of Dance. After their parents’ death in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago, the sisters began running the school together, along with Charlie, Dara’s husband and once their mother’s prized student.
Marie, warm and soft, teaches the younger students; Dara, with her precision, trains the older ones; and Charlie, sidelined from dancing after years of injuries, rules over the back office. Circling around one another, the three have perfected a dance, six days a week, that keeps the studio thriving. But when a suspicious accident occurs, just at the onset of the school’s annual performance of The Nutcracker – a season of competition, anxiety, and exhilaration – an interloper arrives and threatens the sisters’ delicate balance.
Velvet was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
1970s, Mexico City. Maite is a secretary who lives for one thing: the latest issue of Secret Romance. While student protests and political unrest consume the city, Maite escapes into stories of passion and danger.
Her next-door neighbor, Leonora, a beautiful art student, seems to live a life of intrigue and romance that Maite envies. When Leonora disappears under suspicious circumstances, Maite finds herself searching for the missing woman – and journeying deeper into Leonora’s secret life of student radicals and dissidents.
Meanwhile, someone else is also looking for Leonora at the behest of his boss, a shadowy figure who commands goon squads dedicated to squashing political activists. Elvis is an eccentric criminal who longs to escape his own life. He loathes violence and loves old movies and rock ‘n’ roll. But as Elvis searches for the missing woman, he watches Maite from a distance – and comes to regard her as a kindred spirit who shares his love of music and the unspoken loneliness of his heart.
Now, as Maite and Elvis come closer to discovering the truth behind Leonora’s disappearance, they can no longer escape the danger that threatens to consume their lives, with hitmen, government agents, and Russian spies all aiming to protect Leonora’s secrets – at gunpoint.
Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas
On a summer night in 1994, sixteen-year-old Flora Powell vanished from her sleepy seaside town without a trace. Their hearts shattered, Flora’s mother, her sister Heather, and Heather’s best friend, Jess, had to carry on somehow, not knowing what happened.
Twenty-five years later, tragedy strikes again when Heather walks into a stranger’s house and allegedly kills two people in cold blood.
Why would this loving wife and doting new mother commit such a heinous crime? Jess, now a reporter, returns to the hometown she left behind to cover the case and dig for answers. But this isn’t like any other story. Jess was like a sister to the Powell girls until the summer that tore them all apart.
What happened to the girl she used to know?
The question haunts Jess and propels her to find the key to unlock the mysteries involving both sisters. But the search may reveal more…a darker side to this idyllic place she thought she knew.
The Guide by Peter Heller
Kingfisher Lodge, nestled in a canyon on a mile and a half of the most pristine river water on the planet, is known by locals as “Billionaire’s Mile” and is locked behind a heavy gate. Sandwiched between barbed wire and a meadow with a sign that reads “Don’t Get Shot!” the resort boasts boutique fishing at its finest. Safe from viruses that have plagued America for years, Kingfisher offers a respite for wealthy clients. Now it also promises a second chance for Jack, a return to normalcy after a young life filled with loss. When he is assigned to guide a well-known singer, his only job is to rig her line, carry her gear, and steer her to the best trout he can find.
But then a human scream pierces the night, and Jack soon realizes this idyllic fishing lodge may be merely a cover for a far more sinister operation.
The Night We Burned by S.F. Kosa
Dora is always aware of the line between fact and fiction. As a fact-checker at an online magazine, her job depends on it. And as a woman outrunning her secrets, so does her life. But when a colleague decides to pursue a story about a murder in her hometown, one linked to a deadly fire at a cult compound twenty years prior, suddenly all of Dora’s carefully spun deceptions are at risk.
And if she can’t stop the story, her entire life is on the line.
As Dora works with her colleague, altering facts to hide her past along the way, she’s thrown back into a world she tried desperately to leave behind. One of ritual and belonging, of danger and darkness. A world where two girls promised to help each other through…until it all went up in flames.
As her lies pile up, so do the murders. Until Dora realizes she won’t be lucky enough to escape twice.
Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost by Lindsay Marcott
Jane has lost everything: job, mother, relationship, even her home. A friend calls to offer an unusual deal – a cottage above the crashing surf of Big Sur on the estate of his employer, Evan Rochester. In return, Jane will tutor his teenage daughter. She accepts.
But nothing is quite as it seems at the Rochester estate. Though he’s been accused of murdering his glamorous and troubled wife, Evan Rochester insists she drowned herself. Jane is skeptical, but she still finds herself falling for the brilliant and secretive entrepreneur and growing closer to his daughter.
And yet, her deepening feelings for Evan can’t disguise dark suspicions aroused when a ghostly presence repeatedly appears in the night’s mist and fog. Jane embarks on an intense search for answers and uncovers evidence that soon puts Evan’s innocence into question. She’s determined to discover what really happened that fateful night, but what will the truth cost her?
The Family Plot by Megan Collins
At twenty-six, Dahlia Lighthouse is haunted by her upbringing. Raised in a secluded mansion deep in the woods and kept isolated by her true crime-obsessed parents, she is unable to move beyond the disappearance of her twin brother, Andy, when they were sixteen.
After several years away and following her father’s death, Dahlia returns to the house, where the family makes a gruesome discovery: buried in their father’s plot is another body – Andy’s, his skull split open with an ax.
Dahlia is quick to blame Andy’s murder o the serial killer who terrorized the island for decades, while the rest of her family reacts to the revelation in unsettling ways. Her brother, Charlie, pours his energy into creating a family memorial museum, highlighting their research into the lives of famous murder victims; her sister, Tate, forges ahead with her popular dioramas portraying crime scenes; and their mother affects a cheerfully domestic facade, becoming unrecognizable as the woman who performed murder reenactments for her children. As Dahlia grapples with her own grief and horror, she realizes that her eccentric family, and the mansion itself, may hold the answers to what happened to her twin.
Cul-de-sac by Joy Fielding
Someone on this quiet, unassuming cul-de-sac will be shot dead in the middle of a sultry July night.
Will it be Maggie, the perfectionist wife, or Craig, the husband who can’t quite live up to her expectations? They’ve packed up their two children and fled their life in California, hoping for a fresh start in Florida, only to find the demons of the past hovering on their doorstep.
Maybe it will be Nick, a highly respected oncologist, or his wife, Dani, a successful dentist, both with well-kept secrets of their own.
Or perhaps the victim will be Julia, an elderly widow whose troubled grandson has recently moved in with her, introducing unsavory habits and even more unsavory acquaintances into her formerly quiet existence.
Then there’s Olivia and her husband, Sean. Having lost his job at a prestigious advertising agency, Sean is depressed, resentful of his working wife, and drinking heavily. He is also prone to increasingly violent fantasies.
And what of the newlyweds, Aiden and Heidi, whose marriage is already on the rocks, due to Aiden’s reluctance to stand up to his intrusive mother? Matters aren’t helped when Hiedi befriends Julia’s grandson, setting the stage for a major blowup.
A diverse group of neighbors, to be sure. Yet all harbor secrets. All bear scars. And all have access to guns.
The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig
Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father – and has never told his family what happened there.
Long ago, Maggie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have – and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.
Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels, mountains, and coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.
Now, Nate and Maggie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.
And now what happened long ago is happening again…and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.
This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family – and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another.
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked-room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man’s race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem.