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All the New Mysteries & Thrillers You Need to Know About

The pumpkins are carved, the ghosts are hanging, and the new books giving us chills are all right here.




8 Books for Fans of Stephen King’s Christine


When you mention thrillers in which a car plays a major role, everyone thinks of Christine by Stephen King. But with so many cars out there in the world, you’d think there would be a lot more books written about them! Here are eight fantastic books to get your motor running.



Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot contributor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Steinbeck and Millay. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.

Discover a Bestselling Thriller Series

Start the first book in a bestselling thriller series today.


Love mysteries, too? Don’t miss our favorite mystery and suspense series.



The Best New Mystery & Thriller Beach Reads


The smell of sunscreen automatically puts me in a great mood. Add a good mystery or thriller beach read, and I am in summer heaven—this must be what “summer lovin” was referring to.

While I’m a fan of my ereader, I am not a fan of getting it greasy, sandy, or wet (it is also not a fan of any of those things), so paperback is always my choice for beach reads. If you’re excited about summer and reading great mystery and thriller paperbacks while listening to the ocean waves, leave some space in your beach bag for these great new paperback releases.


For the psychological thriller fan…

For fans of BIG endings…

For historical mystery fans…

For a delightful beach read…

For your late summer vacation…

For your new series binge at the beach…

For fans of Harry Bosch at the beach…

For fans of suspenseful family dramas…



Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor who always has a book in one hand. She writes the Unusual Suspectsmystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and spends way too much time asking her goat-dog “What’s in your mouth?!” Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.


The Best Thrillers to Give Dad on Father’s Day


You can run, but you can’t hide: Father’s Day is just around the corner and you still need to get dad the perfect gift. There’s no need to panic—especially if you’re shopping for a dad who loves reading thrillers. There’s still time to get dad the perfect gift—one that’s sure to give him a thrill.




The Most Badass Women in Mystery & Thriller

Ever since The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo became a worldwide phenomenon and Lisbeth Salander a household name, there has been a lot of talk about badass female characters in mystery novels and thrillers.

I was always struck that people found Lisbeth to be a new archetype in crime novels. She definitely stretched the boundaries for a lot of readers, but so did V.I. Warshawski in Sarah Paretsky’s masterful series, James Patterson’s The Women’s Murder Club, Amelia Sachs in Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme novels (and for me, Amelia has always been more interesting than Lincoln), Tess Gerritsen’s Rizzoli and Isles, Kay Scarpetta from Patricia Cornwell, and I could go on… and that’s just recent history!

For me, though, there is no one in the cannon who is more incredibly badass than FBI agent Clarice Starling in Thomas Harris’s seminal novel The Silence of the Lambs.

Those cell block meetings between Clarice and Lecter struck me then—and now—not for Lecter’s viciousness, but rather for Clarice’s ability to get what she needs. She keeps her focus on saving the Senator’s daughter who has been kidnapped by one of Lecter’s former patients. No matter how much Lecter tries to toy with her, Clarice gives as good as she gets and has the chops to decipher the cryptic clues Lecter gives her as rewards for allowing him to delve into her childhood. As Lecter said, “Quid pro quo.”

And while the FBI men race across the country, Clarice figures out where the killer actually is by putting together the clues that every cop and investigator had missed.

That’s what I call badass.

Bonus: The film version of The Silence of the Lambs is one of only three films to ever win all big five categories at the Academy Awards—Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. The other two films to do so were It Happened One Night and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Looking for more books with badass female leads?

Brian McLendon is the Vice President, Associate Publisher/Marketing Director of Grand Central Publishing and Twelve. When in high school, he discovered the works of Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Scott Turow, who remain three of his favorite authors to this day. Brian says that he has one of the best jobs in the world because he gets to work with some of the best mystery and thriller authors writing today.

Not Your Grandmother’s Detectives


As a lifetime fan of mysteries and thrillers, I sometimes find myself getting a bit burned out with the traditional detectives—whether it’s the morally upstanding detective who is beloved by their community and has a knack for solving crimes, or the divorced, prickly detective who drinks too much but always gets the bad guy. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy those detectives, but just like I would get bored with every book having the same setting, I need to read about different types of characters—from personality to ethnicity—solving crimes.

It’s why I seek out mystery novels with detectives who are, let’s say… probably not your grandmother’s detectives. Unless, of course, your Nana is here for edgy, interesting, and/or non-traditional gumshoes. In that case, she’ll love these mysteries—and you should buy her a few because your Nana deserves nice things.



Isaiah Quintabe (AKA IQ) in:

Juniper Song in:

Detective Mark Hutton (although Cat and Bess may steal the show) in:

Renée Ballard in:

Betty Rhyzyk in:

Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor who always has a book in one hand. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and spends way too much time asking her goat-dog “What’s in your mouth?!” Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.

Summer Reading

Sunny readingI seem to be on a cycle in which I finish books in early summer for a late fall release. It happened again this year – much, I’m sure, to my editor’s frustration. I’ve just finished up my next novel The Black Box, blowing all kinds of deadlines in the process. The frustrating part for my editor and copyeditor is that the longer I take, the less time they have to work their magic and make the book better.

But I have no worry this year or any year. The team that works on these books is the best and the book is in very good hands.

What’s been nice for me is that it turns summer into a real vacation for me. I don’t want to start my next book, even though I am thinking about it all the time, until all the editing and polishing of The Black Box is finished. That gives me time to catch up on books and movies and other projects. So then, here is an update on how I spent my summer vacation.

First, reading list. Most people think that because I write books that I must be reading books all the time. Not true. On one hand, you have to always be reading. It refills the tank, stimulates ideas and inspires. It’s important. The only problem is it can be intrusive to your own work. So when I am writing I am usually reading sparingly. I am lucky in that I get sent a lot of books to read. I look them over and put the one I want to read to the side for later. That is, if I can wait. Sometimes I can’t wait to jump on a book as soon as I pick it up at the store or it comes in the mail.

This has been a good summer for me. Reading both old and new books and even new old books (I’ll explain later), I have not been disappointed. Continue reading “Summer Reading”

Don Winslow, Interviewed by Shane Salerno

Today, the film Savages, based on the Don Winslow novel of the same name, opens in theaters. Check out the trailer, if you haven’t already. Directed by Oscar winner Oliver Stone, the film’s screenplay is the product of a collaboration between novelist Don Winslow and screenwriter Shane Salerno. Winslow and Salerno have known each other for a long time – thirteen years to be exact. They have worked together, including creating the NBC TV series UC: Undercover, trust each other implicitly and often exchange early drafts of their work and talk on the phone every day, usually about film adaptations of Winslow’s work which Salerno produces. At our request, Salerno rang up his buddy Winslow who was in the middle of a cross-country book tour and interviewed the acclaimed crime writer about his life and work.

Salerno: What does it mean for you to be a writer?

Winslow: It means everything to me to be a writer. You know I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid. I grew up with great story tellers. My old man was a sailor, and I used to sit under the dining room table when he had his old Navy buddies over, and he’d pretend to think that I’d gone to bed and he’d let me sit there and listen to some of the best story tellers in the world so I always worshiped those guys. And we always had books around the house. My old man came out of World War II, you know 17 years old on Guadalcanal and what he wanted to do was ride around on boats, go to every zoo in the world and sit around and read books. So there were always books around our house and we were allowed to read anything we wanted at any age. There was no censorship, no nothing and so I imagined from when I was 5 or 6 years or so that if I could be a writer that would be the best thing in the world to be.

Salerno: Tell me 5 books that knocked you out?

Winslow: Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, George Eliot’s Middlemarch, James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential–where am I? that’s three?–a book called A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, it’ll come to me, a really beautiful Indian novel about Mumbai, and, without question, All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy.

Salerno: Name some authors’ you consistently admire in the genre?

Winslow: Well, James Ellroy, T. Jefferson Parker, Michael Connelly, Ken Bruen and John Harvey, Dennis Lehane and Lee Child.

Salerno: You’ve been married for twenty-five years, and yet all of your characters are a mess. How do you access that?

Winslow: [laughs] All of my characters are a mess?

Salerno: They’re a mess!–Every single one of them.–A beautiful mess in some cases but…

Winslow: Y’know, I think methods are interesting. You know what I mean? Vulnerability’s interesting. I don’t think like ‘steady’ is real interesting in fiction, you know? I think that a character’s flaws are what give a character depth and interest. So, I’ve been married for 25 years but I had a life before I was married. It’s a little hard to remember sometimes but I did and I think I was the same kind of flawed, kind of vulnerable kind of character so it is pretty easy for me to access that .

At the same time, I think, you know any writer looks around him. You know, you look at people you look at relationships, you look at other people you know, you look at people in restaurants and cafés, you sit there and you make up stories about them you hear snatches of conversation you see little bits of behavior and that finds its way into your work. But if I was to just sit and write about myself I think we’d have some damn dull books. It would be about some guy sitting alone in a room typing. Not very interesting

Salerno: Give us a short history of your childhood, your parents and growing up.

Winslow: Oh, man. There’s no short history. My dad was a Navy man, Marine in World War II, and then into the Navy, Childhood was spent on most of the destroyer ports on the East Coast. My mom was from New Orleans, my dad met her while he was on leave during World War II. They got married six weeks later, and she came from a family of gamblers. My grandmother was a ward healer for Huey Long after the depression, and then she worked for Carlos Marcello the Mafia chief who probably had Kennedy killed — who by the way I met as a child we used to go to parties at his house in Algiers.

Continue reading “Don Winslow, Interviewed by Shane Salerno”

Start Reading Triple Crossing by Sebastian Rotella

On August 10th, we’ll be publishing TRIPLE CROSSING by celebrated journalist and investigative reporter Sebastian Rotella. Start reading the novel Michael Connelly calls “one of the most accomplished first novels I have ever read,” and which Booklist called “a strongly choreographed, authentically detailed, and sharply funny tale of cultural complexity and raging global criminality.”

Fog at the border.

Border Patrol Agent Valentine Pescatore urged the green Jeep Wrangler through the shroud of mist on the southbound road. Hungover and sleepy, he slurped on a mug of convenience-store Coke. Carbonation burned behind his eyes. He braked into a curve, trailing a comet of dust.  Jackrabbits scattered in his headlights.

Braking sent a twinge of pain through his ankle. He had blown up the ankle months earlier while chasing a hightop-wearing Tijuana speedster through a canyon. He had intended to snare the hood of the punk’s sweatshirt and jerk him to a neck-wrenching stop, confirming his status as the fastest trainee in his unit.

But instead Pescatore went down, sprawling pathetically, clutching the ankle with both hands.

Border Patrol agents gathered around him in the darkness. Tejano accents twanged. Cigarettes flared. A cowboy-hatted silhouette squatted as if contemplating a prisoner or a corpse.

Hell, muchacho, time to nominate you for a Einstein award.

Was that a female tonk you were chasing, Valentine? Playing hard to get, eh?

Hey, you’re not gonna catch them all. Slow down. Foot speed don’t impress us


The voices in his memory gave way to the dispatcher’s voice on the radio, asking his position. Pescatore increased speed, rolling through the blackness of a field toward the foothills of the Tijuana River Valley. With a guilty grimace, he pushed a CD into the dashboard player. Bass and cymbals blared: the song was a rap version of “Low Rider.”

Another night on the boulevard

Cruisin’ hard

And everybody’s low-ridin’

Continue reading “Start Reading Triple Crossing by Sebastian Rotella”

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