Favorite Reads 2021- Part 2: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Day Two of my favorite reads this year brings us to a category I only started reading in the past few years. I was never a fan of suspense because I used to hate the not knowing, but now, it’s my most favorite part. Let’s get right into it.


The Hiding Girl, Dorian Box
Psychological Thriller
Amazon, Bookshop
My Review

About the Book:
Twelve-year-old Emily Calby was a good girl from a religious family in rural Georgia. She loved softball, her little sister and looking up words to get her allowance. Then two men came and murdered her family. Only the killers know she survived.

On the run, surviving by wits and animal instinct, she makes an unlikely ally in an ex-gang member who lost his own family to violence. He takes her in and trains her in “self-defense” before more tragedy launches her on a terrifying journey for justice. Nothing will stop her—not cops or creeps, not even her own splintering mind. Through it all, Emily fights to hold onto the girl she once knew, kept buried deep inside.

Dark and gritty, but filled with heart and hope, The Hiding Girl is a twisty, fast-paced coming-of-age story and a testament to the boundless limits of human love, sacrifice and the will to survive.

Gathering Dark, Candice Fox
Thriller
Amazon, Bookshop, B&N
My Review

About the Book:
A convicted killer. A gifted thief. A vicious ganglord. A disillusioned cop. Together they’re a missing girl’s only hope.

Dr. Blair Harbour, once a wealthy, respected pediatric surgeon, is now an ex-con down on her luck. She’s determined to keep her nose clean and win back custody of her son. But when her former cellmate begs for help to find her missing daughter, Blair is compelled to put her new-found freedom on the line.

Detective Jessica Sanchez has always had a difficult relationship with the LAPD. And her inheritance of a multi-million dollar mansion as a reward for catching a killer has just made her police enemy number one.

It’s been ten years since Jessica arrested Blair for cold-blooded murder. So when Jessica opens the door to the disgraced doctor late one night she expects abuse, maybe even violence. What comes next is a plea for help…

Every Last Year, Alex Finlay
Fast-Paced Thriller
Amazon, Bookshop, B&N
My review

About the Book:
“They found the bodies on a Tuesday.” So begins this twisty and breathtaking novel that traces the fate of the Pine family, a thriller that will both leave you on the edge of your seat and move you to tears.

After a late night of partying, NYU student Matt Pine returns to his dorm room to devastating news: nearly his entire family—his mom, his dad, his little brother and sister—have been found dead from an apparent gas leak while vacationing in Mexico. The local police claim it was an accident, but the FBI and State Department seem far less certain—and they won’t tell Matt why.

The tragedy makes headlines everywhere because this isn’t the first time the Pine family has been thrust into the media spotlight. Matt’s older brother, Danny—currently serving a life sentence for the murder of his teenage girlfriend Charlotte—was the subject of a viral true crime documentary suggesting that Danny was wrongfully convicted. Though the country has rallied behind Danny, Matt holds a secret about his brother that he’s never told anyone: the night Charlotte was killed Matt saw something that makes him believe his brother is guilty of the crime.

When Matt returns to his small hometown to bury his parents and siblings, he’s faced with a hostile community that was villainized by the documentary, a frenzied media, and memories he’d hoped to leave behind forever. Now, as the deaths in Mexico appear increasingly suspicious and connected to Danny’s case, Matt must unearth the truth behind the crime that sent his brother to prison—putting his own life in peril—and forcing him to confront his every last fear.

Told through multiple points-of-view and alternating between past and present, Alex Finlay’s Every Last Fear is not only a page-turning thriller, it’s also a poignant story about a family managing heartbreak and tragedy, and living through a fame they never wanted.

Falling, TJ Newman
Thriller/Suspense
Amazon, Bookshop, B&N
My Review

About the Book:
You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

Mirrorland, Carole Johnstone
Psychological Mystery
Amazon, Bookshop, B&N
My Review

About the Book:
Cat lives in Los Angeles, far from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs, full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days, Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband, Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to 36 Westeryk Road, which hasn’t changed in twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues: a treasure hunt that leads back to Mirrorland, where the truth lies waiting…

A brilliantly crafted story of love and betrayal, redemption and revenge, Mirrorland is a propulsive, page-turning debut about the power of imagination and the price of freedom.

Where the Truth Lies, Anna Bailey
Mystery/Thriller
Amazon, Bookshop, B&N
My Review

About the Book:
The town of Whistling Ridge guards its secrets.

When seventeen-year-old Abigail goes missing, her best friend Emma, compelled by the guilt of leaving her alone at a party in the woods, sets out to discover the truth about what happened. The police initially believe Abi ran away, but Emma doesn’t believe that her friend would leave without her, and when officers find disturbing evidence in the nearby woods, the festering secrets and longstanding resentment of both Abigail’s family and the people of Whistling Ridge, Colorado begin to surface with devastating consequences.

Among those secrets: Abi’​s older brother Noah’s passionate, dangerous love for the handsome Rat, a recently arrived Romanian immigrant who has recently made his home in the trailer park in town; her younger brother Jude’s feeling that he knows information he should tell the police, if only he could put it into words; Abi’​s father’s mercurial, unpredictable rages and her mother’s silence. Then there is the rest of Whistling Ridge, where a charismatic preacher advocates for God’s love in language that mirrors violence, under the sway of the powerful businessman who rules the town, insular and wary of outsiders.

But Abi had secrets, too, and the closer Emma grows to unraveling the past, the farther she feels from her friend. And in a tinder box of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark—the truth of what really happened that night—to change their community forever.

The Night She Disappeared, Lisa Jewell
Mystery/Thriller
Amazon, Bookshop, B&N
My Review

About the Book:
On a beautiful summer night in a charming English suburb, a young woman and her boyfriend disappear after partying at the massive country estate of a new college friend.

One year later, a writer moves into a cottage on the edge of the woods that border the same estate. Known locally as the Dark Place, the dense forest is the writer’s favorite area for long walks and it’s on one such walk that she stumbles upon a mysterious note that simply reads, “DIG HERE.”

Could this be a clue towards what has happened to the missing young couple? And what exactly is buried in this haunted ground?

With her signature “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) prose, Lisa Jewell has crafted a dazzling work of suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page.

Synchronicity, Michaelbrent Collings
Sci-Fi Thriller
Amazon
My Review

About the Book:
Some call it the Machine.
Some call it the SINC.
It’s the most dangerous thing ever created.
And it’s fallen into the wrong hands.

Tyler “Book” Malcolm has lived a life on the run. Off the grid, out of sight of the authorities. Hoping to escape a terrifying secret; to outrun what he has seen and what he has done.

Kane is an assassin who, with the help of the Machine, possesses the ability to assume the identity of anyone he wishes. He can strike without warning, and kill without mercy. Stronger than a dozen men, faster than sight itself, he can be anywhere, anytime.

When Book catches Kane’s eye, he discovers the world is even more dangerous than he knew. Book must ally himself with people who, like him, know that Kane is on the verge of remaking the world in his image.

But how do you know who to trust, when the man who wants you dead can be anyone he pleases?

How can you fight for the ones you love…

…when you can’t even believe who you see?

Twenty Years Later, Charlie Donlea
Mystery/Thriller
Amazon, Bookshop, B&N
My Review

About the Book:
Avery Mason, host of American Events, knows how to grab a TV audience’s attention. Her latest story—a murder mystery laced with kinky sex, tragedy, and betrayal—is guaranteed ratings gold. New DNA technology has allowed the New York medical examiner’s office to make its first successful identification of a 9/11 victim in years. And there’s a twist . . .

The victim, Victoria Ford, had been accused of the gruesome murder of her married lover. In a chilling last phone call to her sister Emma, Victoria begged her to prove her innocence. By now, Emma has waited twenty years to clear Victoria’s name. Alone she’s had no luck, but she’s convinced that Avery’s connections and fame will help . . .

Avery, aiming for a more lucrative network contract, goes into investigative overdrive. Victoria had been having an affair with a successful novelist, found hanging from the balcony of his Catskills mansion. The entire crime scene was covered in Victoria’s DNA. But Victoria’s private life belies a much darker mystery. And Avery doesn’t realize there are other players in the game who are interested in Avery’s own secret past—a secret she thought was dead and buried . . .



So many good books, right? We’re halfway through now. Tomorrow I’ll be posting my favorite YA reads and then Thursday we’ll be looking at my favorite fantasy reads.

One thought on “Favorite Reads 2021- Part 2: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

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