Chilling Recs for Thriller Lovers

by Terri Parlato

Are you a thriller suspense fan? Or maybe you’re looking for some ideas this holiday season. Whether you’re treating yourself or a loved one to some books, What Waits in the Woods author Terri Parlato has some recs to check out!

In the Woods by Tana French

I am a huge French fan. This is her first novel, so if you haven’t read anything by her, this would be a good place to start.

Second Shot by Cindy Dees

If you are looking for a terrific spy novel with a bad-ass, middle-aged, FEMALE protagonist, this is the book for you.

Those Empty Eyes by Charlie Donlea

Donlea keeps the twists coming and the reader guessing, as usual!

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

This one’s been around for a while, but I’m a big fan of Lehane.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

This one’s been out a while as well, but the twist is so good, if you haven’t read it, it’s definitely worth picking up.

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

This is an oldie, but I feel like it’s almost required reading for thriller fans.

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

This has all the twists and heart-pounding anxiety a great thriller needs to keep you hooked.

Her ballet career derailed by injury, a once-promising young dancer returns to her hometown only to face a grisly discovery – and the increasingly alarming realization that nothing from her past is quite what she believed – in this electrifyingly twisty suburban thriller for fans of Stacy Willingham, Greer Hendricks, and Megan Miranda.

When Esmé Foster left the Boston suburbs to become a professional ballerina, the future shimmered with promise. Eleven years later, her career has been derailed by an injury, and Esme knows it’s time to come back to Graybridge to help her brother care for their ailing father. But her return coincides with an unthinkable crime. Kara Cunningham, one of Esme’s high school friends, is found dead in the woods behind the Fosters’ house.

Esmé is shocked and grieving, but also uneasy. In her dreams, she still sees the man who showed up at the scene of the car accident that killed her mother—and told Esmé he was going to kill her too. Family and friends insisted the figure was a product of Esmé’s imagination, that she was concussed after the crash. But she and Kara looked alike, sharing the same petite build, the same hair color. Could Kara’s murder have been a case of mistaken identity? 

Detective Rita Myers is familiar with close-knit communities like Graybridge, where, beneath the friendliness, there are whispers and secrets. The town has seen other tragedies too, including the long-ago drowning of a young girl in a pond, deep in the woods. Even within the once-close circle of friends that included Kara and Esmé, Rita discerns a ripple of mistrust.

Day by day, Esmé discovers more about the place she left behind—and the friends and family she thought she knew. Soon, shining a light into the darkness to learn what really happened the night Kara died is the only way she can bring the nightmare to an end . . .