The Ultimate List of Books for the Mystery & Thriller Fan’s Christmas Gift

Looking for a book to gift for the thriller reader in your life? Or, maybe you're looking to treat yourself with a brand new read this holiday season (because why not?).


From high adrenaline action thrillers, to the most twisted psychological mysteries that will keep you guessing to the last page, we've got you covered.


For Fans of Kendra Elliot and Melinda Leigh, you'll want to check out...

Lisa ReganCold Heart Creek

In the stark light of dawn, the young couple are laid out on their backs by the dying campfire, their hands clasped between them. Their eyes are open, but their hearts are cold…


When a park ranger stumbles across the bodies of Valerie and Tyler Yates by a creek in the small town of Denton, Detective Josie Quinn is first on the scene. Still reeling from the news that her abusive mother is dying, Josie suspects this is more than just accidental poisoning, and she’s right: someone jammed a crudely carved pendant necklace down Valerie’s throat before she died.


Combing the area, Josie’s team discover a third sleeping bag indicating there could have been an extra guest around the fire that night. A lucky escape? A missing victim? Or a suspect on the run? Finding this person is the key to the entire investigation…


Trawling the couple’s photo albums for clues, Josie can’t imagine why anyone might want to harm these smiling, carefree young lovers. Until a face in one of the pictures stops her in her tracks and leads her to a farmhouse hidden deep within the forest – a special place where people go to escape, and to hide. There they meet a young girl with frightened eyes and bandaged wrists who knows more than she is saying. But the next day she’s found dead, choked with a matching necklace…


With her mother’s life hanging by a thread, Josie has an impossible decision to make. But first she must find the meaning of the pendant and catch this twisted killer before another innocent life is taken. Is she already too late?




Kendra ElliotA Merciful Promise

The Wall Street Journal bestselling series continues as Mercy Kilpatrick becomes embedded in the nightmare of a terrorist conspiracy. 


The job: infiltrate a militia amassing illegal firearms in an isolated forest community. FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick is the ideal candidate. She knows Oregon. She’s near the compound. And having been raised among survivalists, Mercy understands the mind-set of fanatics. Lay low, follow rules, do nothing to sound an alarm, and relinquish all contact with the outside world. She’s ready to blend in.


As Mercy disappears into the winter hills, something just as foreboding emerges. Mercy’s fiancé, Eagle’s Nest police chief Truman Daly, is faced with a puzzling series of murders—three men dumped in random locations after execution-style shootings.


Now, for Mercy, trapped in a culture where suspicion is second nature, and betrayal is punishable to the extreme, there is no way out. No way to call for help. And as plans for a catastrophic terrorist event escalate, there may be no way to stop them. Even if Mercy dies trying.

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LynDee WalkerLeave No Stone

A missing woman. A sadistic serial killer. And a texas ranger running out of time... 


Shortly after a young mother mysteriously disappears, a serial killer begins leaving corpses and clues across the Texas Hill Country. Texas Ranger Faith McClellan and her mentor, veteran Ranger Archie Baxter, are assigned to the case.


This killer is more clever—and sadistic—than any they’ve ever encountered, and the list of seemingly unrelated female victims is growing by the day—an attorney, a pastor, a stay-at-home mom. The murders feature similar injuries, with a cryptic message carved into each corpse. But these gruesome calling cards provide more questions than answers, and with the best coroner in the state unable to identify the murder weapon, investigators are flying blind.


With the young mother still missing and a mounting body count, it’s up to Faith and Archie to solve the mystery. Before the killer strikes again…




Melinda Leigh: Save Your Breath

In the sixth thriller in the multimillion-copy bestselling series, Morgan Dane and PI Lance Kruger investigate the mysterious disappearance of a true-crime writer. 


When true-crime writer Olivia Cruz disappears with no signs of foul play, her new boyfriend, Lincoln Sharp, suspects the worst. He knows she didn’t leave willingly and turns to attorney Morgan Dane and PI Lance Kruger to find her before it’s too late.


As they dig through Olivia’s life, they are shocked to discover a connection between her current book research on two cold murder cases and the suicide of one of Morgan’s prospective clients.


As Morgan and Lance investigate, the number of suspects grows, but time is running out to find Olivia alive. When danger comes knocking at their door, Morgan and Lance realize that they may be the killer’s next targets.



For Fans of James Patterson and David Baldacci, you'll want to check out...

David BaldacciA Minute to Midnight

FBI Agent Atlee Pine returns to her Georgia hometown to investigate her twin sister's abduction, only to encounter a serial killer in this page-turning thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author. 


FBI Agent Atlee Pine's life was never the same after her twin sister Mercy was kidnapped--and likely killed--thirty years ago. After a lifetime of torturous uncertainty, Atlee's unresolved anger finally gets the better of her on the job, and she finds she has to deal with the demons of her past if she wants to remain with the FBI.


Atlee and her assistant Carol Blum head back to Atlee's rural hometown in Georgia to see what they can uncover about the traumatic night Mercy was taken and Pine was almost killed. But soon after Atlee begins her investigation, a local woman is found ritualistically murdered, her face covered with a wedding veil--and the first killing is quickly followed by a second bizarre murder.


Atlee is determined to continue her search for answers, but now she must also set her sights on finding a potential serial killer before another victim is claimed. But in a small town full of secrets--some of which could answer the questions that have plagued Atlee her entire life-- digging deeper into the past could be more dangerous than she realizes . . .




L.T. Vargus, Tim McBain, and E.M. SmithWhat Lies Beneath

Some secrets don’t stay buried. 


Three elaborately staged victims. No clues. A public verging on panic.


FBI profiler Victor Loshak heads to Kansas City to hunt another serial killer. But something about this case is all wrong.


The three corpses lie posed. Face up. A glove laid to cover each right eye.


The victims seem to be selected at random. Suburban. Upper middle class. Squeaky clean. It doesn’t make sense.


A piece is missing from this puzzle.


If Loshak can find the missing link that connects the victims, he believes he can solve the case. The obstacles are many, however.


And the cryptic note someone left under his windshield wiper? It warns him that danger lurks all around.


They bury it, and they bury it, but it won't stay dead.


As Loshak digs deeper, uneasiness seems to creep over everything in the city. Paranoia. A sense of dread.


Everyone he encounters seems to be keeping things from him. Concealing something.


He gets a visceral sense of the lengths people will go to hide their sins. Bury them.


When the suburban veneer finally strips away, all the dark secrets come clear one by one.


But nothing can prepare Loshak for the shocking revelation this case unearths. 


Because what lies beneath the surface? It changes everything.




Patrick Logan: Painted Ladies


FBI Agent Chase Adams can forgive many things, but kidnapping her friends and family isn't one of them. 


But what if her family members aren't just the victims, but also the perpetrators?


Torn between loyalty and the law, things become even more complicated when the body of a brutally murdered man shows up, a bloody butterfly scrawled on his bare chest.


Chase may have lost her 'touch', but her determination to seek out evil in this world has grown even stronger.


The real question is, how far is she willing to go to bring her own blood to justice? And just how much is she willing to sacrifice along the way?


One thing is for certain, however: this time, she can't do it alone. This time, Chase is going to have to bring back an old friend, someone with deep-rooted problems of his own, in order to finally snuff out her perpetual demons.


If she lives long enough, that is.




James Patterson and Maxine Paetro- The 19th Christmas

#1 New York Times bestseller --If the Women's Murder Club can't be together this Christmas, a killer is to blame. 


As the holidays approach, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends in the Women's Murder Club have much to celebrate. Crime is down. The medical examiner's office is quiet. Even the courts are showing some Christmas spirit. And the news cycle is so slow that journalist Cindy Thomas is on assignment to tell a story about the true meaning of the season for San Francisco.


Then a fearsome criminal known only as "Loman" seizes control of the headlines. Solving crimes never happens on schedule, but as this criminal mastermind unleashes credible threats by the hour, the month of December is upended for the Women's Murder Club. Avoiding tragedy is the only holiday miracle they seek.




Rob SinclairThe Essence of Evil

He’s your attacker. He’s a murderer. He’s your twin.  


When DI Dani Stephens returns to work after an attack that almost ended her life, she’s quickly plunged into a horrific new case, as dead bodies are discovered on the streets of Birmingham. But with no link between the victims, Dani has to get inside the killer’s mind - so turns to the murderer she knows best. Her own twin brother…


But what makes a psychopath? Can understanding her twin help her find a murderer who leaves no trace? As the circle closes on Dani, the clock is ticking and she needs a breakthrough – before she becomes the latest victim.




Matthew Mather: The Dreaming Tree

A new breed of predator hunts on the streets of New York. Chased by a detective whose gift and curse are eyes that see things only she can. 


After a near-fatal car crash, Royce Vandeweghe wakes up to find he's one of the first patients to undergo a radical new medical procedure: a full-body transplant. Convalescing and suffering from waking nightmares, he answers the door at his Long Island home and meets Delta Devlin, a New York detective. She sees things nobody else can, visions created by a rare mutation in her eyes.


Roy becomes Devlin's prime suspect in a string of grisly murders. The mysterious Dr. Danesti, who performed the surgery, together with Roy's estranged wife Penny, do their best to shield him--but it becomes obvious it's not for his sake. Desperate for answers, Roy tracks down the grieving widow of the man whose body he now inhabits.


Out of time, and perhaps his mind, Roy leads Devlin on a spiraling chase through a global underworld of black-market body parts and billionaires where nothing can stand in the way of living forever--not even death itself.


For Fans of Michael Connelly and John Grisham, you'll want to check out...

Michael ConnellyThe Night Fire

Harry Bosch and LAPD Detective Renée Ballard come together again on the murder case that obsessed Bosch's mentor, the man who trained him---new from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly. 


Back when Harry Bosch was just a rookie homicide detective, he had an inspiring mentor who taught him to take the work personally and light the fire of relentlessness for every case. Now that mentor, John Jack Thompson, is dead, and his widow gives Bosch a murder book, one that Thompson took with him when he left the LAPD twenty years before -- the unsolved killing of a troubled young man.


Bosch takes the murder book to Detective Renée Ballard and asks her to help him discover what about this crime lit Thompson's fire all those years ago. As she begins her inqueries -while still working her own cases on the midnight shift -- Ballad finds aspects of the initial investigation that just don't add up.


The bond between Bosch and Ballard tightens as they become a formidable investigation team. And they soon arrive at a disturbing question: Did Thompson steal the murder book to work the case in retirement, or to make sure it never got solved? Written with the intense pacing and masterful suspense that have made Michael Connelly "the hard-boiled fiction master of our time" (NPR), The Night Fire continues the unofficial partnership of two fierce detectives determined not to let the fire with burn out.


John Grisham: The Guardians

In this instant #1 New York Times bestseller, John Grisham delivers a classic legal thriller—with a twist.


In the small Florida town of Seabrook, a young lawyer named Keith Russo was shot dead at his desk as he worked late one night. The killer left no clues. There were no witnesses, no one with a motive. But the police soon came to suspect Quincy Miller, a young black man who was once a client of Russo’s.


Quincy was tried, convicted, and sent to prison for life. For twenty-two years he languished in prison, maintaining his innocence. But no one was listening.  He had no lawyer, no advocate on the outside. In desperation, he writes a letter to Guardian Ministries, a small nonprofit run by Cullen Post, a lawyer who is also an Episcopal minister.


Guardian accepts only a few innocence cases at a time. Cullen Post travels the country fighting wrongful convictions and taking on clients forgotten by the system. With Quincy Miller, though, he gets far more than he bargained for. Powerful, ruthless people murdered Keith Russo, and they do not want Quincy Miller exonerated.


They killed one lawyer twenty-two years ago, and they will kill another without a second thought.


Jason Kasper: The Spider Heist

As an FBI agent, she specialized in hunting America’s most elite thieves. Now, she’s become one of them.


After being used as a scapegoat by a corrupt former boss, she is unceremoniously fired from the FBI. Now, with her reputation, pride, and years of service stripped away, Blair just wants to start over.


But when a chance date turns into a mysterious job offer, her past comes crashing back to haunt her.


In a flash, Blair becomes entangled in a high stakes bank heist. Her status as a former FBI-agent- turned-hostage transforms her into an instant media sensation. And the unwanted attention makes her a target for ruthless killers that will stop at nothing to silence her.


Caught in the crosshairs, Blair must confront her past before she loses her freedom—or her life.


But there is something strange about this team of bank robbers. They aren’t who they seem. And as a deadly SWAT raid closes in, Blair discovers that she may not be either...


L.T Ryan and Brian Shea: Drift

USA TODAY & Amazon 2-million copy bestselling author L.T. RYAN has teamed up with police detective Brian Shea for this debut novel in the gripping Rachel Hatch mystery thriller series.

Ex-Army criminal investigator Rachel Hatch is a drifter. No home. No commitments. Until her sister's drowning drags her back to the town she left fifteen years ago.

Convinced her sister's death was no accident, Hatch partners with the local sheriff, Dalton Savage to uncover the truth. Every answer unlocks another question, and as the investigation begins to unravel, Hatch and Savage find their lives on the line.

Hatch is forced to use her special set of skills - forged on the field of combat - to learn the truth about her sister and bring those responsible to justice.

The first novel in one of the most highly-anticipated collaborative series this decade, DRIFT is a tightly woven story, with deeply-developed and endearing characters that will have you rooting for them at every turn, set at an exhilarating pace that will keep you turning pages late into the night.


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For Fans of Brad Thor and Vince Flynn, you'll want to check out...

Steven KonkoyThe Raid

A Border Patrol murder exposes a high-level conspiracy in USA Today bestselling author Steven Konkoly’s explosive thriller. 


After exposing and dismantling a deep-state conspiracy that nearly destroyed his life, Ryan Decker finds his covert skills have put him on the radar of influential Senator Steele. Now Steele needs his help. Two patrol agents were killed in a bizarre explosion near the US-Mexico border—and the evidence doesn’t line up with the official story.


Enlisted by Steele to run an undercover, off-the-books investigation, Decker and his partner, Harlow, head to the border town of Tecate. But when they’re caught in an ambush, Decker realizes they’ve stumbled onto something far more dangerous than any of them understood.


The cover-up is rooted deep in the Department of Defense itself. Fearful for their own lives and unable to trust anyone outside their small circle of skilled associates, Decker and Harlow set in motion a risky plan to stop a criminal conspiracy.


overwhelming force

Andrew Watts: Overwhelming Force

When the Chinese military launches a surprise attack on the United States, the world is thrown into chaos.


The Manning family is spread out over the globe, each doing their part to defend America.


With the Chinese fleet advancing, Admiral Manning commands the USS FORD carrier strike group near Midway. CIA operative Chase Manning is sent home to the US to fight a lethal unit of Chinese special forces. LCDR Victoria Manning hunts submarines off the coast of Guam. And intelligence analyst David Manning tries to decipher Chinese plans.


But President Cheng Jinshan and his deadly operative Lena Chou have set their plans in motion.A gargantuan Chinese fleet, with new cutting-edge technology, is making its way towards the American forces. And as the two superpowers collide, it will take skill, courage, and cunning to win the day.


Backlash

Brad Thor: Backlash

In ancient texts, there are stories about men who struck from the shadows, seemingly beyond the reach of death itself. These men were considered part angel, part demon. Their loyalty was to their families, their friends, and their kings. You crossed these men at your peril. And once crossed, there was no crossing back.


They were fearless; men of honor who have been known throughout history by different names: Spartan, Viking, Samurai.


Today, men like these still strike from the shadows. They are highly prized intelligence agents, military operatives, and assassins.


One man is all three.


Two days ago, that man was crossed—badly. 


Now, far from home and surrounded by his enemy, Scot Harvath must battle his way out.


With no support, no cavalry coming, and no one even aware of where he is, it will take everything he has ever learned to survive.


But survival isn’t enough. Harvath wants revenge


In the most explosive novel Brad Thor has ever written, page after captivating page of action, intrigue, loyalty, and betrayal will keep you hooked until the very last sentence.