Another holiday season is upon us. And you know what that means: time to give the gift of books!
To make your gift giving a little easier, we've rounded up a selection of some of the top new thriller releases out this season, alongside a selection of fantastic box sets and not-to-be-missed classics. There's something for everyone waiting to be discovered.
Breathe Your Last
by Lisa Regan
Josie presses her hands into the center of the drowned girl’s chest and pumps, counting off compressions. She takes in the girl’s beautiful face, her brown eyes glassy. The memory of a champion swimmer on the podium with her teammates—a red swim cap on, her head thrown back in laughter—a stark contrast to the cold, still body before her. Breathe. Just breathe…
The body of a young girl lying face down in a swimming pool—white tennis shoes still on her feet, chestnut hair fanned out like a halo—is the last thing Detective Josie Quinn expects to find on an early morning visit to see her brother before class at Denton University. But when she recognizes the girl’s face as she drags her limp body from the water, there’s only one question racing through Josie’s mind: how does a champion swimmer accidentally drown?
Nysa Somers’ family are distraught. She was a model student, beloved daughter and everybody’s friend. There’s no way she would do anything reckless enough to put her scholarship at risk, let alone her life. It’s up to Josie and her team to piece together what happened in the hours leading up to Nysa’s death, and that begins with finding her missing backpack.
But the bag, discarded in the woods on the nearby campus, contains nothing more than empty food wrappers, Nysa’s phone and a cryptic calendar entry telling her to be a mermaid.
The next day, a terrible housefire envelops the nearby home of a retired fireman, nearly killing his two granddaughters. The last words the little girls heard him mutter before he set the blaze were, be a match.
As the body count rises, it’s only Josie who can see the deadly pattern forming. Can she convince her team that the wrapper found in Nysa’s bag is the crucial link they’re missing? Josie knows she must go it alone if she’s going to stop this silent and calculated serial killer before any more precious lives are taken.
But with the killer finally in her sights, Josie takes a deadly risk and finds herself hanging onto life by her fingernails. Can she trust her team to save her, and before it’s too late?
The Last Resort
by Susi Holliday
Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One perfect crime.
When Amelia is invited to an all-expenses-paid retreat on a private island, the mysterious offer is too good to refuse. Along with six other strangers, she’s told they’re here to test a brand-new product for Timeo Technologies. But the guests’ excitement soon turns to terror when the real reason for their summons becomes clear.
Each guest has a guilty secret. And when they’re all forced to wear a memory-tracking device that reveals their dark and shameful deeds to their fellow guests, there’s no hiding from the past. This is no luxury retreat—it’s a trap they can’t get out of.
As the clock counts down to the lavish end-of-day party they’ve been promised, injuries and in-fighting split the group. But with no escape from the island—or the other guests’ most shocking secrets—Amelia begins to suspect that her only hope for survival is to be the last one standing. Can she confront her own dark past to uncover the truth—before it’s too late to get out?
by Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo’s classic saga of an American crime family that became a global phenomenon—nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.
With its brilliant and brutal portrayal of the Corleone family, The Godfather burned its way into our national consciousness. This unforgettable saga of crime and corruption, passion and loyalty continues to stand the test of time, as the definitive novel of the Mafia underworld.
A #1 New York Times bestseller in 1969, Mario Puzo’s epic was turned into the incomparable film of the same name, directed by Francis Ford Coppola, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It is the original classic that has been often imitated, but never matched. A tale of family and society, law and order, obedience and rebellion, it reveals the dark passions of human nature played out against a backdrop of the American dream.
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by Isabella Maldonado
To a cunning serial killer, she was the one that got away. Until now…
FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera escaped a serial killer’s trap at sixteen. Years later, when she’s jumped in a Virginia park, a video of the attack goes viral. Legions of new fans are not the only ones impressed with her fighting skills.
The man who abducted her eleven years ago is watching. Determined to reclaim his lost prize, he commits a grisly murder designed to pull her into the investigation…but his games are just beginning. And he’s using the internet to invite the public to play along.
His coded riddles may have made him a depraved social media superstar—an enigmatic cyber-ghost dubbed “the Cipher”—but to Nina he’s a monster who preys on the vulnerable. Partnered with the FBI’s preeminent mind hunter, Dr. Jeffrey Wade, who is haunted by his own past, Nina tracks the predator across the country. Clue by clue, victim by victim, Nina races to stop a deadly killer while the world watches.
Tom Clancy Shadow of the Dragon
by Marc Cameron
A missing Chinese scientist, unexplained noises emanating from under the Arctic ice, and a possible mole in American intelligence are just some of the problems that plague President Jack Ryan in the latest entry in Tom Clancy's #1 New York Times bestselling series.
Aboard an icebreaker in the Arctic Ocean a sonar operator hears an unusual noise coming from the ocean floor. She can't isolate it and chalks the event up to an anomaly in a newly installed system.
Meanwhile, operatives with the Chinese Ministry of State Security are dealing with their own mystery--the disappearance of brilliant but eccentric scientist, Liu Wangshu. They're desperate to keep his crucial knowledge of aerospace and naval technology out of their rivals' hands.
Finding Liu is too great an opportunity for any intelligence service to pass up, but there's one more problem. A high-level Chinese mole, codenamed Surveyor, has managed to infiltrate American Intelligence. President Jack Ryan has only one choice: send John Clark and his Campus team deep into China to find an old graduate student of the professor's who may hold the key to his whereabouts. It's a dangerous gamble, but with John Clark holding the cards, Jack Ryan is all in.
The War Planners Series: Books 1-3
by Andrew Watts
From a secretive jungle-covered island in the Pacific, to the sands of the Middle East. From the smog-filled alleyways of China, to the passageways of a US Navy destroyer. The War Planners series follows an elite group of the military and intelligence personnel as they uncover a Chinese plot to begin the next world war, and attack America.
Book 1: The War Planners
A CIA agent leads a secretive group of American military and intelligence experts tasked with stopping a Chinese invasion. But technologist David Manning soon discovers that not every one of them intend for America to win...
Book 2: The War Stage
A US Navy destroyer sinks an Iranian patrol craft during a controversial exchange in the Persian Gulf. With tensions soaring between the two nations, an Iranian politician secretly contacts the CIA with a chilling revelation involving the Chinese.
Book 3: Pawns of the Pacific
A CIA operative joins a Marine special operations team to infiltrate a secret Chinese base in the jungles of South America. A female navy helicopter pilot is thrown in charge of her destroyer when an unthinkable catastrophe strikes. And the Admiral of America's newest aircraft carrier strike group must save his daughter from a Chinese naval attack.
Stars of Mithra Complete Collection
by Nora Roberts
Three best friends, three priceless gems…one ruthless killer. Don’t miss the complete Stars of Mithra trilogy from #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts!
When Bailey James wakes up, disoriented and unable to recall why she has a bag filled with cash, a gun and a large diamond, she heads straight to the detective office of PI Cade Parris. Cade is sure the woman of his dreams just walked through the door when Bailey shuffles in, but the two must solve Bailey’s mystery before considering their love for each other…no matter how passionate their affair may be.
M.J. O’Leary is used to punching first and asking questions later. So when bounty hunter Jack Dakota tries to arrest her for bail jumping, she doesn’t go down easily. Little does Jack know, getting involved with M.J. will land him in a world of trouble. On the run from hired killers, M.J. refuses to talk about who’s after her…or why she has a massive blue diamond hidden in her purse. M.J. and Jack are drawn to each other, despite their better judgment, but can Jack learn to trust M.J. when she has so many secrets?
Lieutenant Seth Buchanan is astonished when the beautiful victim of his homicide investigation turns up—very much alive—at the murder scene. The cool, controlled cop never lets his feelings get in the way of his job, and with a killer at large, Seth can’t afford any distractions. But there’s something irresistible about Grace Fontaine…and eventually Seth finds it hard to remember there’s any mystery more important to solve than that of Grace herself.
Nichelle Clarke Crime Thrillers, Books 1-3
by LynDee Walker
Book 1: Front Page Fatality
When two rookie cops are killed in a fiery crash near Richmond, Virginia, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke is sent in to investigate. She assumes it will be routine, a scene like many other accidents she's covered. She's wrong.
The accident gives Nichelle a chance glimpse of an ongoing conspiracy. But proveable facts are fleeting. And as Nichelle digs deeper into the case, people and evidence begin to disappear. Someone is one step ahead of her, desperate to cover their tracks. A master criminal with a deadly secret, who will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden...
But as she draws closer to unraveling the mystery of two dead cops, Nichelle realizes she's become the next target. Can she survive this murderous game of cat and mouse long enough to solve the mystery? Or will Nichelle fall prey to a killer?
Book 2: Buried Leads
When an Armani-clad body turns up in a shallow forest grave, Nichelle Clarke is the first reporter on the scene. She soon discovers the victim is a tobacco lobbyist with powerful connections.
Local politicians are pushing for a quick arrest. Nichelle thinks they seem nervous. Even more so after a second victim is found dead. Nichelle's search for the killer soon uncovers a jaw-dropping trail of malfeasance and debauchery that stretches all the way to Washington, D.C. It's the kind of story that can make a crime reporter's career.
But the power players at the center of this conspiracy have everything to lose, and as Nichelle's quest for the truth nears its end, she lands squarely in the crosshairs of the killer. Can her wits alone can get her out alive, or will these secrets stay buried for good?
Book 3: Small Town Spin
T.J. had the world in the palm of his hand. He was handsome. Popular in school. Smart. A stellar athlete. The son of superstar pro quarterback Tony Okerson, he seemed destined to follow in his father's footsteps to a career of gridiron glory.
That bright, shining dream ends when T.J.'s lifeless body is found on a rocky shoreline near his family's Chesapeake Bay home. But as Nichelle begins to explore the facts surrounding the death, she discovers some shocking details. Something doesn't fit. And while the local sheriff wants to stamp the case a drug overdose and move on, Nichelle becomes convinced that foul play may have been involved.
To the townsfolk, Nichelle is an outsider, putting her nose where it doesn't belong. But in her experience, that's exactly where the most damning secrets are kept. And the further she follows the evidence trail, the more Nichelle realizes that this sleepy coastal village is anything but innocent...
The Haunting of Brynn Wilder
by Wendy Webb
From the #1 Amazon Charts bestselling author of Daughters of the Lake comes an enthralling spellbinder of love, death, and a woman on the edge.
After a devastating loss, Brynn Wilder escapes to Wharton, a tourist town on Lake Superior, to reset. Checking into a quaint boardinghouse for the summer, she hopes to put her life into perspective. In her fellow lodgers, she finds a friendly company of strangers: the frail Alice, cared for by a married couple with a heartbreaking story of their own; LuAnn, the eccentric and lovable owner of the inn; and Dominic, an unsettlingly handsome man inked from head to toe in mesmerizing tattoos.
But in this inviting refuge, where a century of souls has passed, a mystery begins to swirl. Alice knows things about Brynn, about all of them, that she shouldn’t. Bad dreams and night whispers lure Brynn to a shuttered room at the end of the hall, a room still heavy with a recent death. And now she’s become irresistibly drawn to Dominic—even in the shadow of rumors that wherever he goes, suspicious death follows.
In this chilling season of love, transformation, and fear, something is calling for Brynn. To settle her past, she may have no choice but to answer.
by Patrick Logan
La Nuit des Femmes was supposed to be a high-end fashion show that celebrated the female form by displaying clothing on a wide array of mannequins: short, tall, thin, thick, dark, and light.
But what the media and guests didn't expect is that one of these mannequins wasn't made of plastic or resin.
It was real.
Out of their depths, the NYPD recruits Private Investigator Damien Drake to hunt a serial killer the media dubs 'The Straw Man'. But unlike many of the sadistic murderers Drake has pursued during his time first in the NYPD and now as a PI, The Straw Man doesn't bother hiding the bodies of his many victims.
On the contrary, The Straw Man likes to show them off like morbid pieces of art.
The Mysterious Affair at Styles
by Agatha Christie
The famous English writer Agatha Christie introduces the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot to the reader in The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1920.
The mystery begins with the death of Emily Inglethorp at Styles. Poirot, a Belgian refugee of the Great War, is settling in England near the home of Emily Inglethorp, who helped him to his new life. His friend Hastings arrives as a guest at her home when the woman is killed.
Suspects are plentiful, including the victim’s husband, her stepsons, her companion, a nurse and a specialist on poisons. All of them have secrets they are desperate to keep, but none can outwit Poirot as he navigates the ingenious red herrings and plot twists that earned Agatha Christie her well-deserved reputation as the queen of mystery.
Girl Under Water
by L.T. Vargus and Tim McBain
Her numb fingers scrabble over upholstery, over metal, over glass, searching for a way out. Water stings her eyes as she’s dragged downward, clinging to her last breath as she’s absorbed into the cold dark below…
When Gloria Carmichael’s body is found broken and bleeding on the sidewalk just days after knocking on Detective Charlie Winters’ door begging for help to locate her father’s will, Charlie’s instinct is confirmed: her latest case is about more than just a simple family feud.
The Carmichaels are famous in Salem Island for their large family and charitable work, but, moments before she died, beautiful, trustworthy eldest daughter Gloria called Charlie to say she had uncovered a terrible secret that would break the mystery of her father’s death wide open.
With the voice of her murdered sister ringing in her ears—pushing her to risk everything to bring justice to the innocent—Charlie takes matters into her own hands. She won’t let another family break apart like her own, and she knows the answers she needs are hidden somewhere inside the Carmichael home.
But as Charlie races to confront her main suspect—a file containing evidence that will devastate the Carmichael family on the car seat beside her—she’s rammed off the road and over the edge of a nearby cliff. Fighting for breath in a sinking car, Charlie has to survive or other innocent lives will be taken. Everyone involved is keeping secrets, but only one twisted soul is prepared to kill to keep theirs…
An addictive crime thriller with twists at every turn, you won’t know what hit you after you’ve finished Girl Under Water. A perfect read-in-one-sitting rollercoaster ride for anyone who adores Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Mary Burton.
Which thriller was your favorite from the list above? Be sure to join in on the discussion happening now in the Thrillerfix Reader Group on Facebook.