Summer thrillers: six book recommendations

I normally reach for thrillers in the winter, but I’ve had such a hankering for a fast-paced story these days.  Summer thrillers hit a little different!  Here are some summer thrillers that I read and loved, and some I’ve got my eye on:

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Hannah and her stepdaughter Bailey are thrown into turmoil when Owen, Hannah’s husband and Bailey’s dad, goes on the run.  As they piece together what happened, they discover shocking details about Owen and learn that he’s not the man they thought they knew.  I loved that this thriller was based in thought and logic rather than action scenes; it’s more of a whodunnit.  I’d call this a soft thriller and would recommend it to anyone who’s new to the genre!  And it was on Reese’s Book Club so of course I’m going to love it.

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Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Like I wrote in my review of Genuine Fraud, I was completely sucked into this story and its unique narrative style.  We start the book with a girl living in a Mexico resort who’s running from something or someone.  The book follows back through the timeline as we get closer and closer to the inciting incident.  Another interesting aspect of this book is that it takes place in so many different cities: Martha’s Vineyard, London, San Francisco, and more.  A good pick if you’re feeling some wanderlust right now.

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

This cerebral thriller follows a tech-dependent family of four as their Hamptons vacation takes an unexpected (and possibly lethal) turn.  I’ve never read a book that can divide a crowd like Leave the World Behind can!  It has such a strange, creeping pace that simulates the character’s experience.  Overall, it’s a haunting story about who we are when we’re disconnected.  I wrote in my original review that it makes you think, but is worth the read.

She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

This is the perfect book for readers who love a story about teenagers with too much time on their hands.  She’s Too Pretty to Burn is a modern retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray that takes into account social media, public art, and the pitfalls of social activism.  There’s a sweet romance mixed in as well that counteracts the bitterness of a thriller really well.  I shared in my honest ARC review that this book requires some suspension of disbelief, but once you buy into the story, it’s such a fun read.

The Hunting Wives by May Cobb

After settling down in a Texas suburb, wife and mother Sophie gets pulled into an elite ladies’ club called The Hunting Wives.  This group isn’t luncheons and benefits: there’s a dark underside that Sophie discovers, and an allure she can’t help but resist.  When the group gets tied to a potential murder investigation, Sophie has to determine just how entangled her life is with the group and its fate.

The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John

Don’t let the bright, summery cover fool you: this book has a dark side.  What starts as a relaxing holiday vacation on a beautiful yacht turns ugly when host Summer starts treating her guests less like, well, guests and more like prisoners.  Main character Belle has to figure out how to survive the vacation and keep her own ugly secrets close to her chest.

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