Beachy reads, women’s fiction, romance….these tend to be the types of books most readers reach for while soaking up the sun on the beach or by the pool in the summer. I have nothing against the books in these categories; but this collection of titles is for readers who are looking for a little more edge to go with their pool-side margarita.
In these next few weeks leading up to the start of summer in June, I am releasing a different installment of one huge “Summer is for Thrillers” reading list. Paired with each category is a fun summer snack recipe, matching that particular brand of thriller. The categories are:
Week 1: Edge of Your Seat, Truffled Popcorn
Week 3: Downright Scary, Blood Orange Sherbet
Week 5: Tried and True Classic
We have reached the final installment in my “Summer is for Thrillers” series, and I am headed into backlist territory. The books populating all the other categories are relatively new releases, but here you can find a few older selections that have true staying power and are proven to entertain readers year after year.
These meaty classic thriller books call for something a little more substantial and traditional. Nibble on these Appetizer Cheeseburger Bites while you enjoy one of these thriller selections that truly stand the test of time.
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Dark Matter has been on my TBR for years. Pretty much every book person I know has this one on their favorites list. Blake Crouch has a new book, Recursion, coming out soon and early reports are that it is just as fantastic. Update: I read this in a matter of days which is difficult to do when you have small children. It was a literal wild ride that I could not put down.
Murder on the Orient Express I had to include one from the master of mystery, Agatha Christie. This one gets bonus points from me because there is an audio version narrated by Dan Stevens.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books 1-3 are on my all-time favorites list. Not that I don’t like the later ones, but the first three just stand out. They are dark with just a little bit of goodness and light with a strong and complicated female protagonist. This combination of elements gets me every time!
Final Girls is another on my radar as a thriller must-read based on recommendations from many trusted reader friends. A story about the only survivors of a horror-movie style massacre years earlier, this is one best read with the lights on!
Bird Box I never saw the movie because I was unsure it would translate well to the screen, but I did read this one about a mother traveling across country with her young children while they also are trying to avoid an unknown threat. All they know is if they don’t look at it, they will be safe. Add a little dystopian into the thriller and horror genre, and you get a book like this one that is right up my alley.
For Helter Skelter, I reached way into into my backlist of favorite scary novels but given my taste, I needed to include a true crime book here. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, about the Golden State Killer, is another one in this category that could have been listed here that I absolutely loved and devoured in a matter of hours.
I read The Silence of the Lambs after seeing the famous award-winning movie and immediately read Red Dragon as well. Both are incredibly well-written and creepy serial killer novels that will have you checking your window and door locks at night. (Plus, Thomas Harris has a new one that recently came out – Cari Mora.)
The Good Girl is more of a slow burn thriller that I read and loved. I normally need my books to be more fast-paced and grab me right out of the gate but there are a few authors that have such a knack for this slower build kind of thriller, that it doesn’t matter (see also Jane Harper). Told from different perspectives, this one includes a kidnapping and has a twist at the end that is truly crazy town.
I probably could have added more classics to this list but these are just the ones that stand out for me – either from reading them myself or hearing about them from reader friends.
What tried and true classic thrillers are on your TBR list? Which ones are your favorites? Do we have any in common?