Thrills and Chills in 2018: 12 of the Best Suspense Books

It was another great year for readers of thrillers and suspense as new and favorite authors pushed the limits of the genre to bring us into chilling and original territory. From domestic suspense with a twist we’ve never seen before to a Hitchcockian nail-biter, these are the 2018 thrillers that kept us glued to the page—and guessing until the end.

 

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The year started out strong with this debut about a reclusive woman trapped in the memories of her own past who thinks she sees something sinister going on at the home of the perfect family across the street. Is what she has seen real? In a life more removed from the outside world with each passing day, truth and perception are not always the same thing.

 

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Determined to finally find out the truth about her sister’s murder, a woman poses as the daughter of the man acquitted of the crime—a man now suffering from dementia but once hailed as a brilliant photographer. Through clues locked in his shattered memory and tucked into the pages of a photo album, the facts of his past and the fate of his possible victims are coaxed out of the darkness, with a result that you won’t see coming.

 

Silent Screams (South Shores) by Karen Harper

Silent Scream by Karen Harper

An archaeological find in a Florida peat bog yields more questions than answers when forensic psychologist Claire Britten discovers that some of the corpses in the bog met a strange fate. What started as an exploration of the past soon escalates into an all-too-current danger. Someone is watching—someone who really doesn’t want Claire digging into the past or making connections to a current, violent murder case the police are investigating.

 

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

There’s nothing more picturesque and relaxing than a winter getaway in the Catskills, so when a blizzard cuts off the electricity and temporarily strands the guests of Mitchell’s Inn, the guests settle in and try to make the best of it—until one of them is found dead. The assumption that the death is an accident soon fades when a second guest ends up dead and the snowy mountain inn becomes a hunting ground for a killer that could be any one of them—and any one of them could be the next victim.

 

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard

Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard

When a young woman disappears, suspicion is immediately cast upon a man that had recently befriended her—a man that just spend three years in a psychiatric prison for a series of brutal crimes that he had committed. But he knows that he is not the person that took Annabelle and is determined to try to save her, even if it means tapping into the dark instincts he vowed never to enlist again.

 

Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison

Tear Me Apart by J.T. Ellison

Mindy Wright is a superstar skier in the making, taking the slopes by storm, until a crash sends her to the hospital with serious injuries and surgery determines that there is an even bigger threat to Mindy’s life. As she searches for a stem-cell donor, everything Mindy knows about her life and her family is suddenly called into question—and it seems like somebody will go to great lengths to ensure that she does not uncover the answers.

 

When the Lights Go by Mary Kubica

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

Jessie thinks she’s on the path to improving her life, until a case of identity theft turns her world upside down. Soon she finds herself in the center of a bizarre mystery that takes over her life. Combined with a terrible case of insomnia, Jessie had a hard time determining what’s real, and what isn’t.

 

Impostore’s Lure by Carla Neggers

Newlyweds Emma and Colin work on an elite team known as HIT, and are tasked to find missing prosecutor Tamara McDermott. Meanwhile, Emma’s art-dealing grandfather meets with a woman whose husband has also gone missing, adding another suspicious piece to the puzzle. Soon, a murder is added to the mix and the case only intensifies as Emma and Colin race to stop a lethal criminal.

 

Under My Skin by Lisa Unger

After the murder of her husband, Poppy has been losing time, blacking out and waking up in a red dress with no memory of where she’s been. Then the nightmares start…or are they memories? Poppy must solve not only her own mysterious blackouts, but how they are connected to her husband.

 

The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles

Nine year old Samuel lives with the family strict housekeeper Ruth as his mother travels abroad. Though he receives the occasional postcard, he begins to wonder if his mother really is traveling at all or whether something far more sinister has happened to her. Did Ruth really murder her?

 

Three Days Missing by Kimberly Belle

Kat’s son has been kidnapped while on an overnight class trip. Though the authorities have turned up nothing, there is one clue…Stef, another mother who is mysteriously connected to the disappearance. The two women must race against the clock to unravel the mystery and uncover the answers they both desperately need.

 

Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt

Kat and Alice have been friends for years, even though they are very different people. When Kat’s husband is killed after falling from a balcony, their friendship is suddenly called into question. The police suspect this was no accident, and Kat has stopped speaking to Alice. Someone is manipulating the situation…the question is, who?

 

Have you read any of these best-of thrillers for 2018? Let us know what’s on your list

 

    Karen Green

    Karen Green is a freelance writer and big city ex-pat now living in rural Ontario. She writes for numerous print and online publications, and considers her library card to be one of her most valuable possessions.

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