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12 Great Mysteries and Thrillers

Posted 4 months ago by Marcia K

Welcome to our appeal series.

We're highlighting a variety of books to help our readers find that next great read.

In each post you'll find books that share similar appeal (or story elements) like genre, pacing, tone, storyline, writing style and/or characters.

The novels in this blog post fall under similar genres like mysteries, suspense and thrillers. Many of the stories are compelling, gripping and suspenseful.

Enjoy!

Must Read Mysteries / Thrillers

A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo

1. A Gathering of Secrets by Linda Castillo

Series: Kate Burkholder thrillers, book 10

A deadly fire resulting in the death of an Amish teen exposes the dark side of the community to which Chief of Police Kate Burkholder once belonged.

Appeal
  • Genre: Amish Crime Thrillers and Suspense
  • Pace: Fast-Paced
  • Tone: Gruesome and Suspenseful
  • Writing Style: Gritty

Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr

2. Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr

Series: Bernhard Gunther mysteries

It is 1956 and Bernie Gunther has a new name (Christoph Ganz), a clean passport, a chip on his shoulder, and a menial low-paying job in Munich. And then an old friend arrives to repay a debt. He encourages Bernie to take a job as a claims adjuster in a major German insurance company. When Bernie tries to confront Siegfried Witzel, a brutish former Wehrmacht soldier who served in Greece during the war, he finds that somebody else has gotten to him first.

Appeal
  • Genre: Hardboiled Fiction and Historical Mysteries
  • Character: Snarky
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Atmospheric, Bleak and Suspenseful
  • Writing Style: Richly Detailed and Witty

If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin

3. If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin

Told from various viewpoints, a novel of family ties and dark secrets follows a former darling of the ‘80s pop music scene who claims a teenage boy stole her car and then ran over another young man who’d rushed to help, but the case is not as cut-and-dry as it seems.

Appeal
  • Genre: Thrillers and Suspense
  • Character: Well-Developed
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Suspenseful and Thought-Provoking
  • Writing Style: Compelling

I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen

4. I Know a Secret by Tess Gerritsen

Series: Rizzoli & Isles, book 12

Investigating the death of a horror film producer whose murder scene has been gruesomely staged, detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles are baffled by an apparent lack of a cause of death, a case that is further complicated by a second, equally bizarre murder.

Appeal
  • Genre: Medical Thrillers
  • Pace: Fast-Paced
  • Tone: Dramatic, Menacing and Suspenseful
  • Writing Style: Compelling, Gritty and Richly Detailed

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

5. Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Series: DS Manon, book 1

Assigned to the high-profile case of a missing graduate student, brilliant detective and lonely heart Manon Bradshaw uncovers the abductee's erratic behavior, a close friend's secrets, and the role of a sex offender, while struggling to maintain a professional distance.

Appeal
  • Genre: Mystery, Crime and Thriller
  • Character: Flawed and Well-Developed
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Moody
  • Theme: Small Town Police

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

6. My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

A seemingly typical suburban husband discloses the secret ways that he and his wife of fifteen years keep their marriage alive and chase away domestic boredom by orchestrating creative ways to get away with murder.

Appeal
  • Genre: Psychological Suspense
  • Character: Twisted
  • Pace: Intensifying
  • Tone: Disturbing and Suspenseful
  • Theme: Suburban malaise and Unreliable narrator

Paradise Valley by C.J. Box

7. Paradise Valley by C.J. Box

Series: Cassie Dewell novels, book 2

When her plan to capture the serial killer she has hunted for three years goes awry, Cassie Dewell loses her job and uses her free time to investigate the disappearance of three Grimstad residents before coming to realize the cases are linked.

Appeal
  • Genre: Thrillers | Suspense
  • Pace: Fast-Paced
  • Tone: Atmospheric, Bleak and Suspenseful
  • Writing Style: Compelling and Gritty

Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

8. Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter

The daughter of a woman who has wanted nothing more than a quiet life in her small beachside home embarks on a desperate search for answers when she discovers the explosive truth about her mother's true identity.

Appeal
  • Genre: Thrillers and Suspense
  • Character: Flawed, Strong Female and Sympathetic
  • Pace: Intensifying
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Suspenseful
  • Theme: On the Run

The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

9. The Body in the Casket by Katherine Hall Page

Series: Faith Fairchild mysteries, book 24

While catering a weekend house party for Broadway legend Max Dane, Faith Fairchild learns the real motive behind the job when the host reveals that one of the guests sent an anonymous gift--an empty casket.

Appeal
  • Genre: Cozy Mysteries, Gentle Reads and Culinary Mysteries
  • Pace: Leisurely Paced
  • Tone: Atmospheric

The Boy by Tami Hoag

10. The Boy by Tami Hoag

Series: Broussard and Fourcade novels, book 2

When a 7-year-old boy is brutally murdered at the same time his 13-year-old babysitter goes missing, detectives Nick and Annie sift through a grieving mother's troubled past to uncover the truth.

Appeal
  • Genre: Thrillers and Suspense
  • Pace: Fast-Paced
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted and Plot-Driven
  • Tone: Suspenseful
  • Writing Style: Compelling

The Stranger by Harlan Coben

11. The Stranger by Harlan Coben

Parents Adam and Hannah Price confront the shocking secret on which their marriage was built, leaving Adam to wonder whether he ever truly knew his wife at all, and soon he stumbles into a dark conspiracy that places lives at risk.

Appeal
  • Genre: Thrillers and Suspense
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted
  • Tone: Suspenseful

Willing to Die by Lisa Jackson

12. Willing to Die by Lisa Jackson

Series: Montana 'To Die' thrillers, book 8

The crime scene is as puzzling as it is brutal. Doctor Paul Latham and his wife, Brindel, are found dead in separate beds in their beautiful San Francisco home, each the victim of a gunshot wound to the head. There are no signs of forced entry, and despite the emptied safe it’s clear this murder isn’t random.

Appeal
  • Genre: Thrillers and Suspense
  • Storyline: Intricately Plotted and Plot-Driven
  • Tone: Suspenseful

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