Silence your iPhone, order takeout and dive into the most thrilling new books of the season

Here are the most thrilling new books to read right now.
Here are the most thrilling new books to read right now.

When it’s frigid outside, it’s the best time of year to plop down on the couch and pick up a book that will scare the bejesus out of you. (For reasons we’ve never been able to quite work out, winter is the time of year that many thrillers are published.)

Put your iPhone on Do Not Disturb, order takeout and get ready to shiver — with fright, that is.

The Resort

Sarah Ochs (Sourcebooks Landmark)

The party island of Koh Sang, Thailand is the perfect sunny setting for all sorts of shady business.

On the island, the foreigners are divided into two groups: the permanent expats, and the tourists who come and go.

Cass is one of the permanents, a dive instructor looking to leave her past behind.

But when a dive student is found dead, it dredges up other mysterious deaths on the island — and it starts to look as if her secrets won’t stay hidden for very long.

The Fury

Alex Michaelides (Celadon)

Lana Farrar is a reclusive movie star, her days in the spotlight now past.

When she invites a few close friends (or are they enemies?) to spend Easter at her private Greek island, long-simmering tension bubbles over into a night that ends in murder.

Come for the setting, stay for the violent hijinks and narrative twists.

The Hunter 

Tana French (Viking)

Everyone knows each other In the small village in the West of Ireland where retired Chicago cop Cal Hooper has come to live, and not that much happens.

Until one day, when the deadbeat dad of a local teen shows up with a stranger, both of them promising big bucks to the pub regulars with a Get Rich Quick scheme.

Soon enough, one of the men ends up dead.

Not a straight thriller per se; Tana French is a master of novels filled with creeping unease, slow-rolling tension and great atmosphere.

End of Story 

AJ Finn (William Morrow)

From the author of the runaway bestseller “The Woman in the Window” comes a real page turner.

“I’ll be dead in three months. Come tell my story,” is the invitation sent by veteran crime novelist Sebastian Trapp to detective fiction expert Nicky Hunter.

Nicky is invited to live in Trapp’s mansion alongside his 2nd wife, nephew and daughter.

He’s hoping she can solve an old mystery: That of the sudden disappearance 20 years prior of his first wife and son.


Amy McCulloch (Doubleday)

Olivia’s boyfriend is an art dealer who decides to host an over-the-top auction on a luxury liner headed to Antarctica.

On board, high net worth individuals mingle, while the beleaguered employees of Pioneer Adventures, the travel company responsible for the journey, serve their every whim.

Is it the trip of a lifetime — or the perfect setting for murder?

Radiant Heat

Sarah-Jane Collins (Berkley)

In the aftermath of a catastrophic wildfire that raged through Alison’s hometown, she feels lucky to even be alive.

But when she emerges from her house, there’s a car in her driveway with a dead woman inside. In her hand is a piece of paper with Sarah’s name on it.

Who is this woman — and what brought her to Sarah’s front door? Shades of “Mare of Easttown” from a debut Australian novelist.

First Lie Wins

Ashley Elston (Pamela Dorman) 

Evie Porter has the perfect life: A handsome boyfriend, a beautiful house, and a fancy group of friends. Only thing is, she doesn’t exist.

Her mysterious boss Mr. Smith gave her this new identity and a mark — Ryan Sumner — and told her to get to work.

Evie is good at not making any mistakes — to do so would risk her real identity coming to light. And that is not an option.

Leave No Trace 

AJ Landau (Minotaur)

The Statue of Liberty has been toppled in a terrorist attack that has shocked the nation.

Agent Michael Walker has been dispatched to New York as the agent-in-charge.

He quickly learns that threats of a second attack have already been called into the media — and he’s got little to go on other than a young boy among the survivors.

Time is of the essence, but the boy has a piece of information that just might lead him to the attackers.

Night Watching

Tracy Sierra (Pamela Dorman Books)

As a blizzard rages outside, a young mother is putting her children to bed one night when she hears a noise — and realizes an intruder has entered the house.

She wakes up her kids and quickly ushers them into a tiny secret room within the house.

And there they wait, in terror, as they listen to the man make his way through the house.

He’s looking for them — and it turns out his presence in the house is anything but random.

The Teacher

Freida McFadden (Poisoned Pen Press)

Eve is a math teacher at the local high school.

Last year, the school was rocked by allegations involving an inappropriate teacher-student relationship involving a student named Addie.

Addie can’t be trusted — that’s what everyone says.

But Eve knows it goes way beyond that. A new school year has begun, and now Addie is a student in Eve’s husband’s class. She doesn’t have anything to worry about — does she?

The New Couple in 5B

Lisa Unger (Park Row)

When Rosie and Chad Lowan inherit a luxury NYC apartment from Chad’s late uncle, it’s an absolute game changer.

The doorman building is elegant, and the tenants are welcoming; it’s a nice change from their railroad apartment in the East Village.

But as the couple settles in, Rosie starts to notice things. Why is the doorman always around?

Why are there cameras everywhere? And why does it seem like the building has seen more than its fair share of terrible “accidents”?

While We Were Burning 

Sarah Koffi (GP Putnam’s Sons)

Elizabeth Smith’s life has careened off track in the wake of her best friend’s mysterious death.

In the hopes of getting things under control, she hires a personal assistant named Brianna.

Brianna is just what Elizabeth needs — but she has questions of her own. Why did the Memphis police kill her young black son?

Why did someone in Elizabeth’s neighborhood make the fateful call that led to his death — and who was it? Brianna won’t rest until she gets answers to her questions.

Village in the Dark  

Iris Yamashita (Berkley)

A year ago, Detective Cara Kennedy lost her husband and son when they disappeared on a hike, their bones eventually found and buried.

Now, she’s having to exhume their bodies; new evidence has emerged that suggests foul play and possibly connects their deaths to other suspicious deaths and disappearances.

Keep Your Friends Close

Leah Konen (GP Putnam’s Sons)

Kiersten McCann, president of the West Hollywood Moms’ Club, has turned up dead in her own swimming pool, and all the party guests — members of this club — are now all suspects.

As accusations fly back and forth, three women emerge as the main people of interest.

All three have motives for killing their friend.

Missing White Woman

Kellye Garrett (Mulholland Books)

Breanna’s boyfriend Ty has planned a romantic getaway weekend to New York City, with dinner reservations and a luxury row house rented in Jersey City.

On the final morning of their stay, Breanna comes downstairs to find a stranger, lying dead in the entrance hall.

It soon becomes clear that the woman is Janelle Beckett, the missing woman known by everyone on the Internet. Breanna is out of her depth — and she needs to figure out what happened last night.

One Of Us Knows

Alyssa Cole (William Morrow)

Kenetria Nash has been given a position as the resident caretaker of a historic home on the Hudson RIver.

As a Nor’easter rages, a surprise visit from the conservation trust leaves Ken with strangers — and a man who caused her downfall years ago.

One of the Good Guys 

Araminta Hall (Gillian Flynn Books)

In the aftermath of a failed marriage, Cole has made big changes, leaving London behind for a rural seaside cottage.

Down the road a short way, Leonora has done the same thing.

The two become friends. When two young female activists passing through town suddenly disappear, Cole and Leonora find themselves at the center of the investigation.


Amy Pease (Atria Books)

Something strange is going on in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, with an opioid epidemic and the body of a teenage boy having been found in the lake.

Eli North is working in the local sheriff’s department — his mother is the sheriff.

Soon, he and his mom are on the hunt for a killer — and a missing teenage girl.