As Agatha Christie said, “Very few of us are what we seem.” Perhaps this is at the core of our lust for page-turner crime
novels we can’t put down. Our lives as nurturing, life-giving mothers are in stark contrast to the dark crimes we can’t stop reading about. Well, great news! If you’re a crime thriller junkie, this year will not disappoint. Get ready for genre-bending Indigenous horror, Argentinian occult thrillers, and plenty of returning-to-the-small-town-you-tried-to-escape crime.
Fair warning: You might have trouble putting these page-turners down long enough to fall asleep at night — not that you’d be able to get much shut-eye after reading anyway. Keep scrolling for some of the hottest new releases (and to-be-released) crime thrillers of the year.
Age of Vice by Deepti Kapoor
Five dead bodies, a car whose driver has fled — so begins this lavish novel that is a pulse-quickening hybrid between literary fiction and crime thriller, with a big helping of family saga. Set in contemporary India,
Age of Vice centers around the Wadia family, about whom the author skillfully paints an intriguing world full of strained family dynamics, corruption, and glittering wealth.
Blaze Me a Sun: A Novel About a Crime by Christoffer Carlsson
This book won the Crime Novel of the Year Award in Sweden, and since Sweden has also produced hit crime authors like Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, the award alone might be reason enough to read it. With an intriguing plot set in 1980s Sweden and an obsessive detective looking for connections, it’s sure to keep you guessing to the end.
The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes
If you haven’t already spotted someone else on the train or in the library reading this novel, you soon will. But be warned: Once you pick this one up, you will move heaven and earth to keep reading it. You will
become Maya, a woman who returns to her hometown to puzzle out the past mysterious death of a friend, discovering previously unnoticed messages in her late Guatemalan father’s book and uncovering memories she may have forgotten for a reason.
Bad Cree : A Novel by Jessica Johns
Take a cathartic but difficult journey through a dreamy horrorscape with a young Cree woman named Mackenzie, who grapples with a legacy of violence both in her family and her community, including the death of her younger sister. Full of twists and turns, this debut novel from Nehiyaw (Cree) author Jessica Johns is a must-read.
City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita
Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Iris Yamashita makes her novel debut with this story about murder in a tiny Alaskan town. A teenager finds severed body parts, and a detective — who just happens to be stranded — tries to solve the mysterious killing.
Don’t Fear the Reaper by Stephen Graham Jones
In the second book in the Indian Lake Trilogy, Native writer and horror aficionado Stephen Graham Jones is back with an edge-of-your-seat novel that weaves Indigenous history and slasher-film aesthetic. This time, the killer returns seeking vengeance for the 38 Dakota men hanged in 1862 outside of Proofrock, Idaho. If you haven’t yet read book one,
, be sure to read it first. My Heart Is a Chainsaw
Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez
Latin American women horror writers have been woefully underrepresented in publishing, but the tides are changing. In this exquisitely terrifying novel from Argentinian author Marian Enriquez, a father and son in mourning for the loss of their wife and mother embark on a trip to her homeland. It is here they discover the secret society of evil that is her legacy and that wants her son.
I Will Find You by Harlan Coben
“I am serving the fifth year of a life sentence for murdering my own child. Spoiler alert: I didn’t do it.” In this latest novel from crime novel mastermind Harlan Coben, an innocent man is sent to prison for the murder of his son, only to discover five years later his son is still alive. (
Release date: March 14)
Murder Under a Red Moon: A 1920s Bangalore Mystery by Harini Nagendra
In book two of the series, amateur sleuth Kaveri Murthy is back, having been persuaded by her despotic mother-in-law to investigate a relatively minor crime. Instead, she uncovers a murder. Set in Bangalore under the rule of the British raj, go back and read the first book,
to be introduced to the key players. ( The Bangalore Detective’s Club, Publish date: March 28)
The Only Survivors by Megan Miranda
New York Times bestselling author Megan Miranda is back, this time with a heart-pumping thriller about a group of high school classmates who survived a tragic crash while on a field trip. When one of the survivors commits suicide, the rest make a pact to get together each year to commemorate the anniversary of the crash. Set in the Outer Banks and full of Miranda’s signature “it could happen to you so easily” tone, this one promises to have you sleeping with the lights on. ( Release date: April 11)
Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb
Not all crime thrillers involve murder, and this one, from the author of
, takes on an entirely different crime. A professor, Ben Hendricks, uncovers the truth that America’s most famous composer’s music was actually stolen from a young Black composer named Josephine Reed. Professor Ben Hendricks is determined to expose the truth and celebrate Josephine’s legacy. ( The Violin Conspiracy Release date: April 18)
Zero Days by Ruth Ware
Though frequently called the modern Agatha Christie, Ruth Ware is a literary author as much as she is a thriller writer. Her signature style of combining rich details, pleasant settings, and horrific crimes is truly one-of-a-kind. This one finds home-security system installer Jack a suspect in the murder of her own husband. Pre-order this one for your summer reading list. (
Publish date: June 20)