20 unputdownable mysteries and thrillers to keep you glued to the page

20 unputdownable mysteries and thrillers to keep you glued to the page

When I’m tempted to keep scrolling the news on my phone, I need a book that pulls me in and keeps me rapt for hours. There’s nothing like a well-plotted mystery novel to shake me out of a reading slump or to get the pages turning when it feels hard to focus.

I appreciate a variety of mysteries that hold my attention: a fast-paced thriller that keeps me on the edge of my armchair, a cozy literary mystery whose characters feel like friends, or a puzzle-like procedural that keeps me guessing all the way through.

Today I’m sharing 20 unputdownable mysteries and thrillers that grabbed my attention and didn’t let go till the last page. These books contain jaw-dropping plot twists, compelling investigators, and plenty of puzzles to solve. I enjoyed every one of the books on this list and couldn’t stop turning the pages, well past my usual bedtime.

I’ve included as much variety as possible on this list, in terms of tone and writing style, and I hope you’ll find a book that you just can’t stop reading. Tastes differ, of course, and I’d love to hear about your favorite page-turning mysteries in the comments section.

Please note: some of these books contain triggers for violence, abuse, and other heavy themes, as noted in the descriptions.

20 mysteries and thrillers I couldn’t put down

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Rebecca

Rebecca

This 1930s Gothic classic is an un-put-down-able, curl-up-by-the-fire mystery. Du Maurier's approach is unusual: the woman of the title is dead before the action begins; the young second wife, our narrator, is never given a name. Because she doesn't understand what's going on for a long time, neither does the reader. And by the time you find out what really happened, you may find yourself one of the many readers who feel almost complicit in the crime. Suspenseful, and it holds its tension on a re-reading: a sure sign of a well-crafted thriller. More info →
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Faithful Place

Faithful Place

Author:
This addictive mystery plays with the ideas of long-lost love and what might have been—and it's a good one. When he was 19, Frank Mackey planned to run off with his girlfriend Rosie Daly: they would cut ties to home, get married, and start a new life in England. When Rosie didn't show, Frank assumed she changed her mind and left without him. But 22 years later, Rosie's suitcase is found hidden in their planned meeting spot. Frank never got over her, and he'll do whatever it takes to uncover what happened. Please note that like many of French's novels, this one contains much profanity and violence. This is a sad, sad story, but it's such a good one. (Hot tip: the fabulous accents in the audio version bring it to life.) More info →
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What She Knew

What She Knew

Author:
In this contemporary psychological thriller, a British single mother gives her 8-year-old son permission to run ahead a little on their evening walk in the park ... and he disappears, without a trace. MacMillan invites the reader to come along on the hunt for the boy, alternately focusing on police procedure and family drama. The tight writing and sharp execution made this hard to put down. I'd recommend this to fans of Tana French or anyone who wants a page-turning domestic thriller without much gore and violence. More info →
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I Let You Go

I Let You Go

I recently recommended this to a What Should I Read Next guest who loves books with plenty of plot twists on Episode 252: Books that send you racing to Google. This tightly-crafted novel makes your jaw drop time and again, without feeling gimmicky or manipulative. I was stunned as I slowly came to see that the story wasn't about what I thought it was about at all, and THAT is what you'll be burning to talk about. On a dark, rainy night, a mother lets go of her son's hand for just an instant—and the devastating accident sets the plot in motion. Part police procedural, part domestic suspense. This is an emotional roller coaster of a book. More info →
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The Dry

The Dry

Author:
"You lied. Luke lied. Be at the funeral." Federal Agent Aaron Falk is summoned home with these words after his best friend Luke dies in a heartbreaking murder-suicide, turning the gun on himself after killing his wife and 6-year-old son. Falk obeys—but he can't believe his best friend could have done such a thing, and so he starts digging, dragging long-buried secrets back to the surface. The setting is the drought-ravaged Australian Outback, and the brittleness and heat are almost palpable. Of all Jane Harper's books, this debut continues to be my favorite. More info →
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The Lost Book of the Grail

The Lost Book of the Grail

Author:
A literary mystery, scavenger-hunt style, from one of my favorite authors. Arthur is a staid and steady—perhaps a trifle boring?—old-school Brit; Bethany is a techie American who's come to his English library to digitize his beloved ancient manuscripts. Arthur's smitten, yet quite concerned—will she interfere with his personal quest for the Grail? Books, romance, and literary high jinx—what's not to love? This book is perfect for readers who love a page-turning puzzle, minus the murder and violence of many crime-driven mysteries. I couldn't put it down because I was equally delighted with the literary references and wanting to know what would happen next. More info →
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Lie to Me

Lie to Me

Author:
Ellison sets the tone with her first line: "You aren't going to like me very much." But who is this narrator, and why does she say that? Sutton and Ethan Montclair seem to have the perfect marriage—two successful writers who not only love each other, but understand and support each other. Or that's what people think, until Sutton disappears, leaving a note telling Ethan not to look for her. As the hours tick by, Ethan begins to look more and more suspicious, and as a local investigator starts quizzing friends and family, it quickly becomes apparent that their perfect relationship was anything but. And THAT is when things get really creepy. More info →
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The Lola Quartet

The Lola Quartet

This is the kind of page-turner I love: a compulsively readable literary mystery, featuring stylish prose plus a plot that keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next, by Emily St. John Mandel, author of bestseller Station Eleven. I talked about it on an impromptu episode of What Should I Read Next that laid the foundation for One Great Book. I was so impressed by the way Mandel unfolded the story piece by piece, introducing us to a seventeen-year-old girl in hiding (with piles of cash duct-taped to the underside of her baby's stroller), and slowly revealing how she ended up there—and how the members of the old high school musical group the Lola Quartet are connected to her disappearance. Set in muggy South Florida, the story is dripping with atmosphere and has a noir feel. More info →
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The River

The River

Author:
I didn’t know a book could be both gorgeous and terrifying—but then I devoured this in a day. When two college friends plan a long canoeing trip in northern Canada, they anticipate a peaceful yet memorable summer escape filled with whitewater paddling, fly fishing, and campfire cooking. The first hint of danger is a whiff of smoke, from an encroaching forest fire. The next comes from a man, seemingly in shock, who reports his wife disappeared in the woods. If these boys didn't feel compelled to do the right thing and go look for her, they’d be fine, but instead they step in to help—and are soon running for their lives, from disasters both natural and man-made. A tightly-written wilderness adventure, a lyrical mystery, and a heartrending story of friendship, rolled into one. More info →
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The Mother-in-Law

The Mother-in-Law

Author:
In the ten years she's known her, Lucy has never felt her mother-in-law Diana approved of her—an especial disappointment because she'd hoped Diana would finally be the mother she'd never had. Yet she's distraught when the police show up to announce that Diana has died by apparent suicide—and even more so when they reveal that the evidence points to possible murder. As we get to know the family members, we discover each of them had a motive to harm Diana, and stood to benefit from her death. The story is told alternately from Lucy and Diana's points of view, so we get to understand what's going on in their minds, and how badly they misunderstand each other through the years. But is it badly enough to lead to murder? A wholly satisfying domestic mystery, perfect for Liane Moriarty fans, that kept me guessing till the end. I devoured this on audio. More info →
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Iron Lake (Cork O’Connor Mystery Series Book 1)

Iron Lake (Cork O’Connor Mystery Series Book 1)

My husband Will is hooked on this series. After losing his job and separating from his family in a marital dispute, Cork O’Connor can barely crawl out from under his guilt. Cork is eager to win back his family—winter in Minnesota lake country is hard enough without bitterness and loss. But when a local judge is murdered, and a friend asks Cork to find her missing son, he takes on the investigation. Town officials try to stop him at every turn, but Cork is determined to find the truth, even if that means exposing a dark secret. Part Irish, part Anishinaabe, Cork straddles two worlds and calls on friends who owe him favors in order to solve the case. More info →
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The Unquiet Dead

The Unquiet Dead

This is the first in a series that is now five books strong; I've read two so far and am looking forward to catching up. These Canadian procedurals center the investigative team of detective Esa Khattak and his assistant Rachel Getty, who are often called upon to investigate crimes in the Muslim community of Toronto, navigating cultural and political divides to do so. I beg you, do NOT read the spoiler-laden reviews of this book, or even the jacket copy! I'll just say that the pair is called in to investigate the seemingly accidental death of a wealthy local man, and it slowly becomes apparent that this crime's roots go deeper than the detectives could have dreamed. More info →
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The Janes: An Alice Vega Novel

The Janes: An Alice Vega Novel

Author:
I loved this book; I read it so fast and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. The writing style is compact and clever. I was hooked from the opening words, “meet our girl.” Our girl is watching TV, when she sees a news story with footage of a crying boy, speaking the name of detective Alice Vega. On page 4 we meet Alice, who takes on a new job and calls in her old friend Max Caplan to help her. The two make a great team —they have wonderful rapport, and their dialogue is so well-written. This is a tough book, because the subject matter is hard, but Luna handles her characters with sensitivity. I knew going in that it was the second book in a series, but I was assured that it could stand alone just fine on its own. More info →
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Bluebird, Bluebird

Bluebird, Bluebird

Author:
As a Black Texas Ranger, Darren Matthews has an intricate understanding of racial tensions in East Texas. He’s proud of his roots and his family, but when his loyalty lands him in trouble, he agrees to get out of town and investigate a crime for a friend. He drives up Highway 59 to the town of Lark, where a recent murder has stirred up hatred and history. Atmospheric and timely, and terrific on audio. It ends on a cliffhanger, so you might want to queue up the second book, Heaven, My Home, right away. (You might not be able to put that one down, either!). More info →
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Long Bright River: A Novel

Long Bright River: A Novel

Author:
For fans of Tana French's dark mysteries that focus on the lives of the detectives in equal measure to the mystery they're solving, this police procedural is about two sisters. Kacey lives on the streets of Philadelphia, an addict in and out of recovery. Mickey keeps an eye out for Kacey on her police beat, constantly worrying about her sister. When Kacey disappears at the same time as murders spike in the area, Mickey grows ever more obsessed with finding the murderer—and her sister—before it's too late. In this page-turning mystery, we get a picture of complicated sisterhood, of addiction and families, and of pressing social issues. Mind your triggers, as this book covers many (addiction and abuse to name a few). More info →
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Winter Counts

Winter Counts

Virgil Wounded Horse is a Native American vigilante for hire: when people can't get justice through the reservation's official channels they turn to him to enact their own. This happens with depressing regularity because of the 1885 Major Crimes Act: certain felonies can only be prosecuted by the federal government, but at their discretion—and they typically decline to prosecute any case that doesn't include murder. When Virgil's nephew gets entrapped in a fake drug bust, authorities more or less force the young teen to take a dangerous undercover assignment so they can nail the men who are trafficking heroin on the reservation. While the story is solid, this book shines for its setting, and its powerful exploration of identity. (Though the story is rarely graphic in portraying violence, the novel does begin with Virgil knocking out a child molester's teeth in a parking lot, please be mindful of the associated content.) More info →
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When No One is Watching

When No One is Watching

Author:
This new thriller, described as Rear Window meets Get Out starts with a bang and never lets up; her familiar voice is put to good use in this shocking tale of history, lies, and gentrification. Sydney’s Brooklyn neighborhood is turning over fast, with longtime older tenants moving out and upstart young couples moving in. But when she accidentally discovers a sinister connection, these moves suddenly begin to look threatening. Add in a tortured past, present family challenges, a budding romance with a hot new neighbor (and heads up, f-bombs galore), and you’ve got a thrilling read. More info →
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And Now She’s Gone

And Now She’s Gone

Alternating between past and present, this twisty mystery weaves two women's stories together. We follow private investigator Grayson Sykes as she searches for missing woman Isabel Lincoln. With every new clue Grayson picks up, she realizes that this isn't a simple missing persons case—and she and Isabel might have a lot in common. This thriller is full of jaw-dropping moments, and the format gripped me from the beginning. In addition to the page-turning investigation, this is a story of survival. Do be aware that this story involves domestic abuse and heavy themes. More info →
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The Mystery of Henri Pick

The Mystery of Henri Pick

Author:
Imagine a library filled with unpublished manuscripts, countless novels that never came to be. In the tiny village of Crozon, a small town librarian collects and cares for these unloved manuscripts. While on holiday, a renowned French editor visits the library and stumbles upon an undiscovered masterpiece, which she and her author boyfriend soon discover was written by a small-town French pizza chef. She champions its publication and turns it into an instant bestseller. Readers everywhere swoon for the book and the story behind its publication, but one snobby literary critic questions the book’s origins, and resolves to get the real story. Funny and endearing, a quirky mystery for book lovers, and a great read for anyone who fancies a peek into the publishing industry. A highly discussable novel for book clubs, especially because of the sure-to-be-controversial epilogue. More info →
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City of the Lost

City of the Lost

As a homicide detective, Casey Duncan knows her secret is going to catch up with her someday. Diana, her best friend, is also on the run from an abusive husband. When he catches up with Diana and Casey is attacked soon after, Casey knows it's time for both of them to leave again. There's a town in the Canadian wilderness called Rockton. Those who are on the run from their pasts can apply for solace and residency there. Rockton is picky about its residents, and with no phones, internet, or a way to get in or out without permission, it doesn't seem like a place that would accept Casey's past deeds. And yet, Rockton just had its first murder case. They need a detective to investigate, making Casey the perfect candidate. As she investigates, she starts to wonder if Rockton is the safest place for herself and Diana after all. More info →
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Have you read a twisty mystery lately? Which book kept you up all night turning the pages? We’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments.

P.S. If you’re looking for a not-too-dark mystery with a satisfying ending, try one of these 16 page-turning (but not too gloomy) mysteries. And if mystery doesn’t suit your reading mood, this list of books I read in 24 hours or less includes a variety of genres.

20 unputdownable mysteries and thrillers to keep you glued to the page

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  1. Katie says:

    I just read Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney and oh man. After the last page I wanted to go back and start over in order to put the pieces together. The next day I was on Goodreads digging through the “questions” section to see if I could have some of mine answered.

  2. Christine Martucci says:

    I am currently reading Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller, and, if you’re a fan of the dark and atmospheric English countryside, this book is for you. Part Agatha Christie, part Daphne Du Maurier, Fuller really gets the job done in this one. I am almost finished and this book has kept me awake and reading all night.

    • Katie Davidson says:

      I agree with you! And I just finished Mexican Gothic, which gave me VERY similar vibes as Bitter Orange. Both are so atmospheric in the same way.

  3. Nancy Lohr says:

    I recently read Still Life by Louise Penny and loved it. It falls somewhere between a cozy mystery and a literary mystery. I don’t know how the Inspector Gamache series progresses, but this was a solid opening.

    • Angela says:

      Ms Penny does an outstanding job of character development, in my opinion. I suggest you read the books in order as there are some significant situations on which the following books will build and refer back to. As I finish one, I am consistently looking forward to the next one! She might be my current favorite author.

    • Donna F says:

      I only discovered Louise Penny earlier this year and have been fascinated by the series. I’m rationing myself to one every month or so in order to draw out the series as much as possible. She is an amazing writer with characters who feel like family and that are as compelling (if not more so) than the mystery at the heart of each novel.

    • Susan says:

      My husband and I love this series on audio. You learn to love Inspector Gamache and we love the witty dialogue and his thoughts!

    • Devon says:

      The new book is so unbelievably good! I thought it might be a harder read because it is set in Paris instead of Three Pines, but it pulled me right in & I loved every moment of it!

      • Kay Lyn Beauchamp says:

        Penny’s latest was amazing! I, too, was worried at first that it wasn’t in Three Pines, but it didn’t matter at all! I have “read” most of the series by audio and they are fantastic! I love the audio better than reading because of the accents! Beautiful to listen to!

      • Kay says:

        I love this series and loved reading them all over a year when I discovered them. Now I have to wait for each new one to arrive – the be latest was one of the best yet!

    • Katie says:

      This is a highly recommended series by Anne! Definitely keep going and read them in order, the stories of the main characters and the characters in the village build from book to book. I rushed through all of the books after finally picking Still Life up a couple years ago. The 16th book just came out and it’s one of the best in the series I think. I hope you keep going and enjoy the series as much as myself and many others do! 🙂

    • Mary Hunt says:

      Try the Beekeepers Apprentice by Laurie King. It has been awhile since I read it, but I remember liking it. The main character becomes Sherlock’s apprentice and helps her solve the mystery. This one is on my to be reread list.

    • Teri says:

      I’d recommend The Word is Murder and The Sentence is Death by Anthony Horowitz. While both have the Sherlock and Watson vibe, the second book actually discusses Holmes. They are such fun books! In addition, Anthony Horowitz writes for the Sherlock Holmes estate. I haven’t read his Sherlock books, but I’ve heard great things.

    • Kristin Fields says:

      Mrs. Sherlock Holmes by Brad Rica
      The Lady Sherlock Series by Sherry Thomas
      Winter at Death’s Hotel by Kenneth M. Cameron
      The Patient’s Eyes by David Pirie
      Just a few to get you started!

    • Heather says:

      I recently read ABC Murders by Agatha Christie. It felt very Sherlock Holmes to me, it also was a good pick for audible.

  4. Sue says:

    Wow! I’ve read 5 of the first 5, and 9 overall! Rebecca is the best, but The Dry, The River and The Mother in Law were all awesome, too! Now I’m looking to read The Mystery of Henri Pick.

  5. Mary Hunt says:

    I read The Lost book of the Grail and loved it. After hearing Anne interview Charlie Lovett on the podcast, I picked up The Bookman’s Tale and really liked it. From there I read the Lost Grail and It is my favorite!

  6. Ellen Roberts Cole says:

    I’m also hooked on the Cork O’Connor series! I’d loved William Kent Krueger’s stand alone books Ordinary Grace & This Tender Land, so decided to give Iron Lake (Cork O’Connor Book #1) a try. This was in May…I’m now Northwest Angle (Book #11)!!! SOOO good!

    • Katie says:

      I read Iron Lake this year too and loved it. For some reason I haven’t read the second book yet, but I definitely plan to continue with this series!

  7. Renee Pope says:

    What a great list, Rebecca and Lie to Me are favourites of mine. My most recent unputdownable book was The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James’s, a must read.

    • Susan P says:

      Maybe Celine by Peter Heller? She’s a private eye, and Anne does love her (me, too! One of my best books of the year.)

    • Kathie Stevens says:

      Have you ever read Sara Paretsky’s books? Her detective is V.I. Warshawski. I love this series. It’s a female detective.

  8. Heather says:

    I loved The River by Peter Heller and fully recommend Celine by Heller as well. Another mystery but with a spunky not-quite-retired female private eye who gets hired to solve a decades old disappearance.

  9. Ann S. says:

    I have enjoyed several of these books, and will add some that I haven’t read to my list. I read The Chestnut Man last year – so good! It is dark and a little grisly. It held my attention for sure. The author was also involved in developing the series The Killing on Netflix, all in the same vein.

  10. Wendy Barker says:

    Great list and I’m glad to see the Ausma Zehanat Khan on the list. I picked up The Unquiet Dead from my library on a whim because it was a Canadian mystery I hadn’t heard of before and I loved it. I recently read Among the Ruins by her. It’s set mostly in Iran which is really interesting.

    I’ve just put library holds on 3 from the list even though my holds list is way too long already. Looks like I’ve got my reading for the next year lined up!

  11. Nancy Andrews says:

    Thanks for the list, Anne. I just finished All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny. I read it in one late night sitting. I couldn’t imagine going to bed without seeing the plot resolved. It’s brilliant, maybe her best yet. I was leery of the Paris setting instead of Three Pines. It didn’t matter and introduced me to Paris from the Gamaches’s eyes.

    • Katie says:

      This one is probably in the top 5 of the Gamache books for me! I loved it. Her last couple of books have been just ok, especially A Better Man. I was starting to wonder if maybe the series was coming to a close. But All the Devils are Here knocked it out of the park. I was sad that we wouldn’t be in Three Pines, but I loved her use of setting in this one, and I didn’t feel like this story was disjointed from all the others in any way.

  12. Lynne Alliett says:

    I read The River, basic story was compelling enough, but I sincerely wish I had been forewarned about the prolific uses of the F word. If that had not been a factor, the book would have been a decent read. It escalated well and “hooked me in” so I was compelled to see how it turned out. It would make a great action movie. The movie would have to be rated R unless someone went to the trouble to replace the overuse of the above mentioned expletive. It wouldn’t be hard. The English language is full of alternatives. The book gets 2 out of 5 stars for the offensive language.

    • Deborah says:

      Recently read novel by Newbery Award winner Lynne Rae Perkins, titled As Easy As Falling Off the Face of the Earth, which cleverly avoided including actual profanity(reader’s mind can fill in if they know) except for maybe one “milder” 4 letter word, that overuse of makes me want to retort: “You must be very fond of that–it’s always in your mouth). Book may be classed as YA, as main character is 15 year old boy, but I think adults can enjoy also, especially when mysterious man who becomes his rescuer & guide shows up. Wish there was option for e-books to substitute blanks or dashes (like in Victorian & older novels) for profanity. Neither I nor my parents ever used language that now seems “most people” use unthinkingly, but still feels like a slap in the face to me. One of the perks of quarantine is not being exposed to such casual offensiveness (I don’t watch TV). I used to want to tell people that if such words mean nothing to them–or at least, not what they mean to me–why not substitute one that can mean anything, such as SMURF? People complain loudly about offensive smells, but think nothing of horrible images that their limited vocabulary evoke. I also used to want to give dictionaries to those who’s conversation seems limited to handful of crudities, but they’d probably not get the point…major reason for concern about language laziness: limited words mean limited thought & intelligence. Okay, end of my rant on pet peeve! 😉

      • Deborah says:

        Left out word in my train of thought: Limited vocabulary leads to limited thoughts & intelligence, and therefore limiting ability to communicate. (Some books would be far shorter if expurgated editions– or as one of Edward Eager’s entertaining books puts in, “excavated”)

    • Susan P says:

      I TOTALLY AGREE! If I’d been forewarned about the F word in The River, I wouldn’t have read it, but I got hooked by the premise and the excitement. Honestly, those college boys couldn’t say one sentence without the F word! And I love your expression, Deborah, that it’s a “slap in the face”—Touche! It slaps me every time. I do not live among people who talk like that. Possibly it was realistic to have the boys talk that way, but so what. We readers don’t need to “enrich” our vocabulary with it. It’s trash and crude and obscene. And I’m getting alarmed at books that casually have their main characters, nice people, husband and wives, amorously proposing the F word instead “make love” or “go have sex”. Is this a trend??? It’s a downspiraling trend, if so. Please, authors! Leave it out!

    • Beth says:

      Yes! I think this is the first time I have seen anyone else recommend the Kate Shugak series. I was pleased to discover recently that there is a new one that I have not read.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I have the first book on my Kindle – from 2012 before I went to Alaska. Never read it, so now it is moving up the list. Thanks!

  13. Angela says:

    I read “I Let You Go”, and you’re right, I wanted so badly to talk to someone about it!! It is a perspective shifting book! Another good one in that vein is “The Disappearance of Emily Marrs” by Louise Candlish. It had me saying: “Wait..WHAT?!” when all began to be revealed.

  14. Pat says:

    I love all of Sue Grafton’s, Agatha Christie’s, and Jane Harper’s mysteries. This summer, the best page turners I read were An Unwanted Guest, Bluebird, Bluebird, and The Last Flight. Oh, and this is another “throwback”, but all Tony Hillerman’s mysteries are great and set in the Southwest.

  15. Jen Jones says:

    I couldn’t put down The Sun Down Motel. Loved the ghost element, even though it’s more murder mystery than ghost story.

  16. Beth says:

    I just finished Rebecca last night for the first time. I was amazed that a “classic” could be so gripping and unputdownable! I did not realize before I started the book to what extent it was a mystery/thriller so the plot was completely unexpected. Besides Rebecca, my most recent hard to put down mystery recommendation is Picnic at Hanging Rock.
    I appreciate the list! I am already a fan of Attica Locke, Tana French, Jane Harper and the Cork O’Connor series, but I am moving The Lola Quartet and Henri Pick to my TBR from my maybes.

  17. Jill says:

    I recommend The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjahlian
    Excellent modern day thriller – New York/Vietnam/rats/possible”plague”

  18. Susan says:

    Long Bright River was SUCH A GREAT BOOK! I tore through it and gave it to my husband to read. I’ll be so disappointed if he doesn’t like it.

  19. Sherry S says:

    I LOVED LOVED “The Lost Book of the Grail.” I was so surprised at how good it was, since most books I download onto my Kindle don’t turn out to be favorite books. It was a heart-pounding mystery for me.

  20. Betsy says:

    For a great contemporary thriller, The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjilian. A flight attendant wakes up in her hotel room, late to catch her flight, when she discovers the man in bed next to her is dead. Great premise with lots of twists and turns. It’s being made into a movie (Netflix, maybe?), so I’m interested to see how they adapt the story. Couldn’t put this one down!

    • Stephany says:

      Have you read The Guest List, also by Lucy Foley? The entire story takes place over two days, during a wedding on an isolated island off the coast of Ireland. I thought it was especially good as an audiobook; each character is narrated by a different actor. The story is propulsive, atmospheric and extremely satisfying. It’s not a classic locked room mystery but has a very claustrophobic feel similar to And Then There Were None. This is a great time of year to read it, too.

    • Kristen says:

      I a reading The Hunting Party right now! If you loved that one, I would suggest “The Guest List” by the same author.

  21. Susie says:

    It doesn’t have to be a thriller to be unputdownable! I read “The War that Saved My Life” all night recently because I couldn’t stop, as well as Life of Pi, Redhead by the Side of the Road, and What Alice Forgot! All page turners for me.

  22. T Estrada says:

    I’m reading my way through ( mother and son writing team) Charles Todd’s Ian Rutledge series, after having read all of their Bess Crawford series. These are WWI-era British mysteries and are fantastic!

  23. Elizabeth Woolsey says:

    I just finished The Silent Patient and the twist at the end really got me! Couldn’t out this one down, and thought I had it all figured out several times. I was shocked at the ending!

    • Katie Covey says:

      I agree with you. I just finished The Silent Patient last night. I really thought I had it all worked out. Didn’t see that coming. I love it when a book does that. 🙂

  24. Emma says:

    Love this list! I recently read ‘The Nowhere Child’ by Christian White and thought of you, Anne. It starts in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia, and then moves to Kentucky in a story involving a missing child, family secrets and a Pentecostal church. Gave me Jane Harper vibes too!

  25. Adrienne says:

    I’ve read and enjoyed many of the books on this list, and I’m excited to read the sequel to ‘Bluebird, Bluebird’. I also have ‘The Unquiet Dead’ and ‘The Lost Book of the Grail’ on my TBR.

  26. Ginger Golembiewski says:

    The Faithful Place sounds really good. Should I (or do I need to) read the Dublin mystery series in order? Or can I skip to this one first?

    • Stephanie says:

      I’ve read the whole Dublin murder squad series and I think you’d be fine starting with The Faithful Place. I think the first two books in the series are the weakest. I did read them in order and almost didn’t move to book 2 after the first one (wasn’t pleased with the ending of that one), but I pushed through because it was so well written. And I’m glad I did! Her books are a long slow burn and I relish them. I actually think it might be better to start with The Faithful Place and read the rest in order, then swing back and pick up the first two, assuming you get hooked. Books 3 and 4 (Broken Harbour and The Secret Place) were my favorites.

  27. Alicia says:

    On my last visit to the local used bookstore, the owner turned me onto local author (I so needed that) Darynda Jones. The first book in the series is The First Grave on the Right. Female PI who is also the grim reaper. The series takes place in Albuquerque so maybe that’s why I liked it. But it also has a supernatural theme to it, not just mystery. Lorelei King reads them and I find her rather good.

  28. Julie Blauwkamp says:

    Loved “The Dry” and “The Mother In Law”! When No One is Watching is on hold at the library. I’ve enjoyed all of Jane Harper’s books

  29. Sherry Pinnell says:

    I’m working my way through the Hamish Macbeth series by M. C. Beaton on audio. These mysteries are a bit lighter but are well written with colorful characters. So far the narrator Shaun Grindell has been fabulous with voices and accents. Highly recommend.

  30. Dee says:

    Great list! Several were on my list and I added more! You included my very favorite Tana French. Faithful Place gave me such a book hangover. The book reeled me in and I was right-there the whole time. I could see, smell, and taste that setting.

  31. Kelly says:

    This reveals my age, but I describe The River as a literary version of The River Wild, a fun Meryl Streep white water rafting thriller from the early 90’s. If you watched that on cable regularly like I did, you might be a fan.

  32. Carol says:

    Thanks so much for this list. I have several of these on my shelf. I definitely will go to Rebecca, Silent Patient or Still Life next. I have heard so many raves about Louise Penny that I ended up with one on my Kindle and a paperback too.😳

  33. Lacrmoma says:

    Is there a way to save this entire list in my Goodreads list? There are so many choices on here that I want to read!

  34. Deb says:

    Fantastic list! I just finished Faithful Place and loved it. The Unquiet Dead was also excellent, and I read another book by Attica Locke and want to read more. I really liked Harper’s The Dry but her Lost Man was even better (and a great audiobook). I’ll be adding a lot of these books to my list. I really like dark mysteries with great characters that explore difficult issues and are more than just a mystery.

  35. Deb says:

    I would add Belinda Bauer (Rubbernecker) and Ruth Ware (Death of Mrs. Westaway, Turn of the Key) to this list. Also Denise Mina (Conviction or The Long Drop).

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