The best thrillers to read this summer
Six page-turning mysteries you need to devour.
Impostor Syndrome by Kathy Wang
A famous Silicon Valley tech company, a female COO under extra scrutiny, a Russian spy ring threatening to close in on the U.S.—Kathy Wang’s sophomore novel has all the trappings of a book impossible to put down. It follows Julia, a plant sent over from Moscow who landed at Tangerine (a riff on Google), and Alice, a first-generation Chinese American who discovers a security blip that hints at Julia’s two-sided work. (May 25) —SR
The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman
The actress, best known for her role as Mabel Lane Fox on Downton Abbey, tackles the dark side of Hollywood in her third psychological thriller. This time she takes on pilot season in Los Angeles: A British actress lands in town to compete for a spot on the next season of TV shows when she finds herself as the only witness to the disappearance of one of the women she meets during the audition process. (June 8) —SR
Survive the Night by Riley Sager
Nineties-era nostalgia (Nirvana, pay phones, cassette tapes) paves the way for a truly haunting potential-kidnapping story. Charlie Jordan hitches a ride home from college with a stranger (thanks to a school ride board) in the midst of a slew of campus murders when she starts noticing increasingly unsettling signs of trouble inside the car. And since this is the time before cell phones, she has nowhere to turn for help. (June 29) —SR
Falling by T.J. Newman
A former flight attendant, Newman wrote this sky-high thriller while working cross-country red-eyes between New York and Los Angeles, scribbling notes on cocktail napkins. The plot revolves around a pilot whose family is taken hostage. The kidnappers’ demands: Fly the plane into a high-security target (and release poison gas into the cabin) or watch as they murder his loved ones. (July 13) —SR
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
This British-set murder mystery centers on a secret society at Cambridge University — but instead of writing from the perspective of one of its members, it follows Mariana Andros, a therapist whose niece brings her to campus for moral support after the murder of her best friend. Soon, Mariana discovers the victim’s connection to a nefarious group of Greek literature devotees who call themselves the Maidens. (June 15) —SR
Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Following up her 2020 smash-hit novel Mexican Gothic, Silvia Moreno-Garcia returns, this time with a noir thriller set amid the political unrest of 1971 Mexico City. It follows two narrators: Maite, a secretary with a seemingly simple life and a penchant for reading romance comic books; and Elvis, a member of the state-sponsored paramilitary gang known as the Hawks. At the center of the plot is El Halconazo (the Hawk Strike) or the Corpus Christi Massacre, in which an estimated 120 protesters were killed in a single evening. (August 17) —RC
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