Summer 2023 Thriller Novels
While most of the world is glued to their screens, summers often do call for a good time to read by the beach. A little downtime with an engaging and suspenseful mystery novel sounds like a really great idea but with the plethora of books releasing this summer, one might have a hard time picking a good read.
We have you covered with our brief list of 12 of the best-rated thriller fiction novels that will be released in the Summer of 2023 for you to read.
The Nigerwife by Vanessa Walters
Release Date – May 2nd
Genre – Suspense, Mystery
Plot – This suspense thriller is Vanessa Walters’ debut novel. This one follows the story of Nicole Oruwari, a young woman who goes missing in Lagos, Nigeria. After leaving her troubled family in London, Nicole moves to Nigeria and starts living a dreamy life with her handsome husband.
She lives in a palatial house with her partner and becomes a part of the Nigerwives – a community of foreign women married to Nigerian men. But when Nicole disappears without a trace after a boat trip, the cracks in her so-called ‘perfect life’ start to show.
As the investigation turns up nothing but dead ends, her auntie Claudine decides to take matters into her own hands. Armed with only a cell phone and a plane ticket to Nigeria, she digs into her niece’s life and uncovers a hidden side filled with dark secrets, isolation, and even violence. But the more she discovers about Nicole, the more Claudine’s buried history threatens to come to light.
The Revenge List by Hannah Mary McKinnon
Release Date – May 23rd
Genre – Mystery, Thriller
Plot – This novel has a jaw-dropping plot that every fan of suspense novels can ask for, with plenty of mounting tension. The novel follows the story of Frankie, a young woman who has what one can call – “anger issues.”
After being forced to attend an anger-management focus group, she ends up being asked to write down the names of those who have wronged her in the past which she could turn into a forgiveness list. However, Frankie’s notebook, with these names, goes missing and this list is misconstrued from being a forgiveness list to a revenge list.
Now that the people on Frankie’s list are ending up in random accidents, she is adamant to track down the person who took her notebook and planned these bizarre attacks on the people that wronged her.
Beware the Woman by Megan Abbott
Release Date – May 30th
Genre – Horror, Mystery
Plot – This feminist horror novel follows the lives of Jed and Jacy, a couple that sets off on their first road trip to visit Jed’s dad in the woods of Iron Mountain, a remote area of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There’s no cell reception or internet access at Jed’s dad’s remote house but Jacy thinks it’ll be nice to unplug and focus on getting to know her father-in-law, who seems quite charming initially.
However, when a pregnant Jacy experiences a health scare, suddenly everyone in her orbit wants to act like they’re her keeper, leading to frustration and anxiety. The people around her want what’s best for her and the baby, or that’s something that Jacy is led to believe.
The Whispers by Ashley Audrain
Release Date – June 6th
Genre – Thriller, Mystery
Plot – Driven by desire, jealousy and revenge, everyone is under suspicion and guilty of something in this powerful, edgy and addictive novel by the queen of psychological drama, Ashley Audrain. This novel follows the story of a family that lives on Harlow Street, a well-to-do neighbourhood where families often gather for barbecues during summer.
During one such barbecue night, the hostess’ son disobeys her and shockingly falls out of his bedside window. His mother now sits by his hospital bed, refusing to talk to anyone as his life hangs in the balance. What happens next, over the course of a tense three days, as each of these women from Harlow Street grapples with what led to that terrible night?
The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding
Release Date – June 13th
Genre – Suspense, Mystery
Plot – This hard-to-put-down novel by Robyn Harding is a deliciously twisted story of friendship, retribution, and betrayal about a homeless woman fleeing a dangerous past—and the wealthy society wife she saves from drowning, who pulls her into a dark web of secrets and lies. The novel follows the life of Lee Gulliver, a woman who ends up living on the streets after her restaurant fails.
She parts her Toyota Corolla, her new home, near a beach for her first night as a homeless person. At the beach, Lee meets Hazel, a woman trapped in a toxic, abusive marriage, where she’s a prisoner in her own home. Lee saves Hazel from drowning but after getting to know Hazel, she learns that everything is not as it seems. She met with a shocking request where Hazel who wants to disappear forever asks for Lee’s help with it.
The Only One Left by Riley Sager
Release Date – June 20th
Genre – Gothic Fiction, Mystery
Plot – The novel revolves around the life of Lenora Hope who was accused of killing her family at the age of 17. The bloody night of the Hope family murders from the 1920s has turned into lore on the Maine coast. Lenora was thought of as the prime assailant but the police were never able to prove her as the murderer.
Lenora was accused of killing her father, mother and sister but other than denying the accusations once, she has never defended herself, much less spoken to anyone. Lenora decides to keep herself inside the Hope family home, Hope’s End, for the rest of her life. However, in 1983, as she is ageing, Lenora needs a home-health aide and Kit McDeere finds himself at a decaying Hope’s End to care for Lenora.
Now that Lenora is in her seventies and confined to a wheelchair, she is rendered mute by a series of strokes and can only communicate with Kit by tapping out sentences on an old typewriter. One night, Lenora uses it to make a tantalizing offer as she types, “I want to tell you everything.”
Thicker Than Water by Megan Collins
Release Date – July 11th
Genre – Mystery, Thriller
Plot – The novel follows the story of Julia and Sienna Larkin. The two women are sisters-in-law, connected by Julia’s husband and Sienna’s brother, Jason. The two women are devoted best friends and business partners, sharing a unique bond. Jason has been working hard for a promotion but his world is sent into chaos when his boss is found murdered with his lips sewn shut.
A few days later, Jason suffers injuries in a violent car accident and is placed in a medically induced coma. Still reeling from this news, the lives of both women closest to Jason are shattered when detectives show up at the hospital with an arrest warrant. Sure that Jason is innocent, the women embark on a quest to clear his name. But soon, Julia begins to let go of her unbreakable faith and begins questioning Jason’s actions in the days before the murder.
Everyone Here is Lying by Shari Lapena
Release Date – July 20th
Genre – Mystery, Suspense
Plot – The neighbourhood of Stanhope is lacking hope in honest relationships. The Wooler family is no exception when Dr William Wooler caps off his day at a hotel with a hospital volunteer, Nora. After months of their rendezvous the two have called it off after guilt overtakes one of them. They both have a spouse and children at home. When Dr William gets home, he finds his 9-year-old daughter, Avery there alone.
Normally, she waits for her brother, but today she was kicked out of music because of her erratic behaviour. With her uncontrollable temper and attitude, she smarts off to her dad and he backhands her in the face. He left the house to cool off leaving her alone and his wife calls him later to report her missing. He doesn’t tell the police or his wife that he has seen her that night but soon Dr William becomes a suspect in his daughter’s disappearance.
I Did It For You by Amy Engel
Release Date – July 25th
Genre – Psychological, Thriller
Plot – This one is a psychological thriller about murders in the small town of Kansas. Eliza Dunning and her boyfriend were shot and killed while making out in a car 14 years pass without a crime until another couple meets the same fate. This incident brings Eliza’s sister, Greer, back to Kansas to look into why her sister was killed.
Greer is desperate to find answers to the questions that have haunted her for years which drives her to uncover the truth that pushes her to form a bond with the unlikeliest of allies. At once a riveting mystery and a deep exploration of guilt, loss, and the ways in which a violent murder transforms both the family of the victim and the family of the killer.
Dark Corners by Megan Goldin
Release Date – August 8th
Genre – Thriller, Crime
Plot – This novel is a sequel to the popular Rachel Krall series following the prequel, The Night Swim. The upcoming novel, Dark Corners follows a similar plot to the first part where Rachel Krall, the true crime podcaster now sets out to search for a popular influencer who disappears after visiting a suspected serial killer. Terence Bailey is about to be released from prison for breaking and entering, though investigators have long suspected him in the murders of six women.
As his freedom approaches, Bailey gets a surprise visit from Maddison Logan, a hot, young influencer with a huge social media following. Hours later, Maddison disappears, and police suspect she’s been kidnapped—or worse. Is Maddison’s disappearance connected to her visit to Bailey? Why was she visiting him in the first place? The FBI asks Rachel Krall for help after she is linked to the serial killer which puts her in danger.
Where the Dead Sleep by Joshua Moehling
Release Date – August 15th
Genre – Crime, Suspense
Plot – A small town’s dark secrets turn deadly when an early morning call brings Deputy Ben Packard to the scene of a home invasion, he finds Bill Sandersen shot in his bed. Bill was a well-liked local who chased easy money his whole life, leaving bad debts and broken hearts in his wake. Everyone Packard talks to has a story about Bill, but no one has a clear motive for wanting him dead.
With a long long list of many suspects, an investigation begins and tragedy strikes the Sheriff’s department, forcing Packard to make a difficult choice about his future: step down as acting Sheriff and pursue the quiet life he came to Sandy Lake in search of, or subject himself to the scrutiny of an election for the full-time role of Sheriff, a job he’s not sure he wants.
After That Night by Karin Slaughter
Release Date – August 20th
Genre – Mystery, Crime
Plot – Karin Slaughter’s popular crime series – Will Trent sees its 11th novel in After That Night that follows the story of Sara Linton whose life changed forever when a celebratory night out ended in a violent attack that tore her world apart. Since then, Sara has remade her life and turned into a successful doctor engaged to a man she loves.
Sara has finally managed to leave the past behind her, until one evening, on call in the ER, everything changes. Sara battles to save a broken young woman who’s been brutally attacked. But as the investigation progresses, led by GBI Special Agent Will Trent, it becomes clear that Dani Cooper’s assault is uncannily linked to Sara’s past.
So there we have it, our list of the 12 Best Thriller novels that will be released in the Summer of 2023!
What do you think of our picks? Do you agree? Are there any notable omissions? Let us know in the comments below!