I did not know that thrillers would be one of my preferred genres until I started reading A LOT in 2023. I was normally a historical fiction or even a nonfiction reader, but I soon found myself choosing thrillers between my heavier reads. I blame true crime podcasts. And all the Netflix true crime documentaries of late. I guess after the pandemic, we all needed to read or watch something worse than we had just endured. Sad but true?
Let's dive in with these BEST and WORST thrillers from my past year of reading.
5⭐️! This was SUCH a good thriller! Fantastic writing and great characters. The setting of the Pacific Northwest was perfect for this cozy mystery. Phil is my fave! This is book 1 in a series by J.C. Fuller and I have since read book 2 (The Push) which was also 5⭐️! I cannot wait to read the rest of her Rockfish Island Mystery series! Imagine finding a dead body in the woods that appears to be a bear-attack victim but soon realizing there must be a murderer on the loose in this quaint, sleepy island town. Who can you trust? And how will the eager new sheriff in town find the killer?
4.5⭐️ page-turner (rounded up). This was my first Julie Clark novel but will not be my last. As soon as I started it,
I immediately thought of the Netflix show Imposters. The dual POV of the con artist and the female journalist
tracking her cons kept me constantly guessing and engaged. The LA setting makes it a fun summer read.
I loved the ending- it did not feel forced or expected.
4.25 ⭐️. This was a fantastic thriller with a medium pace and plenty of action. I loved the academic setting and the brilliant, powerful women Fargo depicts. Serial killer documentary fans will love this book. I can't say much without giving spoilers, but this book had HANDS DOWN the best first chapter in any thriller I've ever read. Sample that and you'll know if this is your cup of tea. If you loved the show Dexter, you'll love this book.
5 ⭐️! This book was so good! 4 new moms meet at a mother’s group and are somewhat forced into a
friendship with women they otherwise would have never met. Each has a varied past and present,
but they come together over the everyday struggles of motherhood. No spoilers, but it gets so good!
Look forward to reading the sequel by this author next month! Great writing! Quick read.
4 ⭐️! This was my introduction to Freida McFadden and I am now a true fan! The fact that the author is a practicing physician in real life just deepens my love for her work. This thriller kept me on the edge of my seat and looking forward to diving back in each night. I loved the sequel, The Housemaid's Secret, even more because I had already bonded with the characters. If you like psychological thrillers that might actually happen in real life,
you will love this book along with all of McFadden's work.
4.5⭐️. Set in a mental institution, this thriller was a great audiobook listen. I did not predict most of the twists and the pacing kept me engaged. Imagine a patient who has been mute after being charged with murdering her husband and the eager psychiatrist determined to break her silence. If that piques your interest, you will not be disappointed!
5 ⭐️! This was everything I want in a thriller and more! It was NOT predictable. It was fast-paced, thought-provoking, and intense! I am definitely a John Marrs fan now after devouring The One and now The Passengers. Imagine getting into your self-driven car for your normal daily routine and being told almost immediately that your car has been hijacked and will collide with 7 other passengers in the same situation within the next few hours. Now imagine
that all of this is being broadcast across social media and TV by the same hijackers and that there may be a vote on who might get saved by the viewers. But don't worry, the viewers will have full access to all your dirty secrets. This one was a whammy, ya'll! Had to pop the popcorn for the ensuing drama!
These are the thrillers I think you could skip or maybe just borrow (and many readers may disagree, but these are my opinions):
Have you read any of these thrillers? Please comment below. I also have full reviews on these books on my TikTok account. I would love to connect with you there!
I love interacting with my readers.
For more of an inside look into my days, you can follow me on TikTok, Instagram, or Facebook.