12 Thrilling Books to Read this Summer

A Thriller Set in a Summer House
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Can you think of anything more refreshing than plunging into a riveting thriller that sends chills down your spine on a hot summer’s day? Neither can we! Having spent some time among the library stacks, we have compiled a list of twelve thrilling books, that will enhance your long summer days in the sun. Brimming with unexpected twists and turns, secret obsessions and shocking revelations, these little devils are guaranteed to keep you at the edge of your seat!

Lies that Bind Us by Andrew Hart

Image Credit: Lake Union Publishing

Plunge into the sea of deception with the most intriguing summer thriller that will make you question everything you know about your past life. 

When Jan jets off at the Greek island of Crete, little does she know that she is about to take a wrong turn down a memory lane. For a pathological lier, who sabotages every aspect of her life, a friends reunion might be her only chance for redemption. By a twist of fate, Jan finds herself in a small cell being chained to a wall with no recollection of how she got there. As her mind begins a frantic search for some missing links, Jan learns the shuttering truth about her past that has the power to alter her future. Gripping and fast-paced, this vortex of fear, contempt and anguish will pull you into the heart of darkness faster than you can say “riddle”.

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Pines by Blake Crouch

IMage Credit: Thomas & Mercer

Ethan Burke arrives in a small town of Wayward Pines on his mission to locate two missing agents. Having suffered a brain injury in a car accident, the secret agent starts fearing for his sanity. This deceptively idyllic town reveals its own secrets: mysterious disappearances, unexplainable maniacal behaviour of its citizens and murders follow Ethan on his hunt for the truth. Crouch combines the elements of sci-fi, horror, thriller and suspense in one story that will haunt you for days!

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Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

IMage Credit: Balantine Books

Jenna has not given up the hope to find her mother, who disappeared mysteriously in the middle of the night ten years ago. In her desperate attempt to uncover the truth, Jenna seeks help from a private investigator and a psychic for missing people. Intriguing and moving, this breathtaking read will keep you a prisoner until the last page.

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The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart

Image Credit: Found on Tumblr

The dreams of a quiet summer vacation in a remote New England home are short-lived for an old spinster Miss Iness, when her young and vivacious relatives pays her an unexpected visit. Soon after they move into the mansion, a series of unexplained nocturnal events takes place. The atmosphere of terror and potential danger reaches its climax when a body is found at the base of the Circular Staircase. Determined to solve the murder, Miss Iness takes matters into her own hands. The queen of thrillers, Rinehart mixes romance, suspense and humour, enriching the novel with gory details like the visions of a ghostly veiled lady, the big fire and a midnight grave exhumation.

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Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

A missing wife’s last diary entries offers a springboard into a subtle crime thriller that exposes the double life of her husband. Amy’s and Nick’s marriage is fading fast after five disharmonious years. Amy suddenly goes missing and an ever more twisted plot is revealed as husband and police unearth clues to her disappearance. The unconventional ending sneaks up on you, challenging conventional truths about love and marriage. 

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The House of Secrets by Brad Meltze

Image Credit: Grant Central Publishing

Anyone who has ever wondered what happens to fearless truth-searching conspiracy experts will enjoy this enthralling new novel immaculately researched by the New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer. Hazel’s childhood has been shaped by the tall tales of frozen corpses, priceless books and other far-fetched stories told by her father Jack Nash, the host of conspiracy show “The House of Secrets”. So when she wakes up in a hospital with no recollection of a tragic accident that claimed the life of her dad, Hazel is determined to go to any lengths to solve the mystery. During her investigation, the heroine uncovers some alternative agendas linked to the US government putting her life in jeopardy.

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

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A shocking discovery of the human remains at a former orphanage appears to be the first in the string of grisly murders taking place over the past decade. While chasing the elusive perpetrators, D.I. Kim Stone will have to come to terms with the demons from her own past. A brilliant debut novel from Angela Marsons is enhanced with disturbing killer confessions and will appeal to all fans of psychological thrillers.

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The Shining by Stephen King

Image Credit: Victorie Elliot

A new position at the Overlook Hotel spells a fresh start for a recovering alcoholic and a struggling writer Jack Torrance. Having an entire mansion at his disposal, an off-season caretaker is presented with a perfect opportunity to finish his novel and spend some time with his family. However, at the first sign of winter chill, a seemingly tranquil place turns into a frightening trap where malevolent spirits begin to unhinge Jack’s mind turning him into a murderous maniac.

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The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

IMage Credit: Andrew Lloyd Weber Production

Based on a real-life case of abduction, Collins’ story became sensational when it was first published. When Walter Hartright meets a mysterious woman dressed in white, little does he know that his life is about to take a turn for the worst. Narrated from multiple points of view, this classic story seamlessly blends scheming, obsession and trials into one eerie tale of damsel in distress. 

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Psycho by Robert Bloch

Image Credit: Harry N. Abrams

The story, which later became the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s thrilling movie of the same name, follows the life of maternally obsessed hotelier Norman Bates. Having lost a fare share of business due to road construction, Norman welcomes every client with open arms. So when a Phoenix secretary Mary Crane checks into The Bates Motel, Norman goes the extra mile to please his midnight guest. However, as Norman’s precarious mental state drives him down a violent path, Mary is being served something far more sinister than a hot dinner with a smile.

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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Warea

Image Credit: Gallery Scout Press

For Laura Blacklock, a journalist who has recently survived a home invasion, things are finally looking up again. Having received an assignment from a luxury travel magazine, she is hoping to spend a week aboard an exclusive yacht and let the sea breeze work its magic. A honeypot for rich and famous with just a handful of cabins, the cruise offers a sneak peak into the lives of the privileged, where neither champagne no conversation ever runs dry. But everything changes when one night Lo witnesses something that was not intended for her prying eyes. Being trapped on the boat with a killer on the loose soon triggers a monstrous panic that feeds on her fear of the unknown.

One of the most compelling psychological thrillers, this heart-pounding story will make you look over your shoulder every time you venture into the sea.

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

IMage Credit: Wandsworth Classics

Shrouded by mystery and superstition, the Indian diamond find its way to the English countryside. Soon after Rachel Verinder is presented with the ‘Moonstone’ on her 18th birthday, the gem goes missing. Investigation into the theft of the precious stone leads Sergeant Cuff, a prototype of Sherlock Holmes, to London. Cuff is followed by the faithful Indians trailing the diamond that disappeared from the forehead of the Hindu Idol in the 18th century. The plot thickens when a suicide and a murder are committed. One of the most influential works of fiction, this suspenseful tale combines all elements of a good thriller. You can fully expect romance, sinister secrets, colourful characters, opium addiction and even clairvoyance thrown in for good measure.

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Stella is a Marketing Consultant and has been writing content for Full Text Archive since 2015. When she is not writing, she is meticulously planning our social and e-mail campaigns. Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Russian Literature, which has provided a broad foundation from which she continues to explore the written world.

She spends her free time reading, visiting old castles and discovering new coffee shops. She can be reached at stella

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