I think out of all the social media websites out there, Goodreads is my favorite. There are free book reviews and recommendations from real people all over the world, you can see what your friends are reading and what they recommend, and you can keep track of all of your book lists and the progress you're making on your current book. And even though all of these things are incredibly rad, my favorite part of the website are the lists they create, and that includes the Goodreads Most Popular Thriller & Mystery Books Of 2019 So Far list. They have these lists for every genre, and I always peruse them for my next read, in addition to what my friends and other folks I follow on there are reading.
So how do they come up with these fantastic lists? The Goodreads website noted, "We've crunched our data to uncover the most popular books in the genre published in the U.S. from January through March, looking at readers' average ratings, number of ratings, and general buzz around a book (which we measure by looking at how many times a book has been added to readers' Want to Read shelves)."
So if 12 books just aren't enough books for you to devour (also, jealous of your reading time), there are a couple more thrown in this list of new voices in the thriller and mystery genre on Goodreads that seemed pretty interesting, including a story about someone's sister being a serial killer. Yikes. So whether they're beach reads, bedtime reads, or anytime reads, there's something for every mystery and thriller lover on this list. Enjoy, if you dare.
1. 'An Anonymous Girl' by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
In An Anonymous Girl, Jessica Farris is part of a psychological study about ethics and morality. But she definitely signed up for more than she bargained for when she attended the study "conducted by mysterious Dr. Shields." According to the description, the questions become "more and more intense and invasive" and the sessions turn into controlled outings where Dr. Shields tells Jess how to act and what to wear — leading her to believe he may know what she's hiding."
2. 'The Lost Man' by Jane Harper
Jane Harper, author of New York Times Best Seller The Dry, tells the story about the Bright family and presumably the loss of their middle brother Cameron in her latest novel The Lost Man. "Did he lose hope and walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects..." the description reads. If you're into "deeply atmospheric," "dark" and "suspenseful" novels, this book is for you.
3. 'No Exit' by Taylor Adams
According to the Goodreads book description, college student Darby Thorne is on her way to see her dying mother in Utah, but gets stuck in Colorado because of a blizzard (as one does) and she's alone in the mountains at a remote rest stop with four strangers. When she goes outside to get cell service she sees a little girl in a van next to her car — and she's in an animal crate.
No Exit tells the story of how Darby has to figure out how to save the child, and which person out of the four strangers is the kidnapper, all while being trapped at this rest stop with no way out and no telephone or cellphone service to call for help.
4. 'The Silent Patient' by Alex Michaelides
Y'all. Even the cover of this book is creepy AF, and the description is even creepier. The Silent Patient tells the story of a famous painter and an "in-demand fashion photographer" with the perfect married life...until the wife shoots him five times in the face. She never speaks a word again after the crime, capturing "the attention of a relentless criminal psychotherapist," according to the Goodreads description.
5. 'The Hunting Party' by Lucy Foley
This has an air of Agatha Christie to it. According to the Goodreads description, "A group of old college friends on Christmas break is snowed in at a Scottish Highlands hunting lodge when one of them is murdered." Perfection.
6. 'Run Away' by Harlan Coben
Run Away is the story about a seemingly perfect family whose daughter runs away because she's "addicted to drugs and her abusive boyfriend." When her parents find her in Central Park and beg her to come home, she runs away from them, so they follow her into her terrifying world of addiction and addicts.
The Goodreads description says in order for her family to protect her from the evils of that world, they must face them head on.
7. 'My Lovely Wife' by Samantha Downing
Need to bond again and create more fire in your marriage after moving to the suburbs and having kids? Obviously, you should commit murder. At least that's what this couple did in My Lovely Wife. Goodreads describes this novel as "Dexter meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith," and how this couple keeps their marriage alive by getting away with murder.
8. 'The Hiding Place' by CJ Tudor
In The Hiding Place, Joe's past is a bit troubled. According to the Goodreads description, he and his old gang were part of a murder, betrayal, and suicide — and on top of all of that, his sister went missing.
He never wanted to return to his hometown, but he has to go back and face his old gang, new enemies, and his past, because apparently what happened to his sister is happening to another kid. And if that isn't enough, there's a twist. "...for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn't the day his sister went missing. It was the day she came back."
9. 'The Killer Collective' (John Rain #10) by Barry Eisler
The Killer Collective is book 10 in the retired hit man John Rain series, and it involves the investigation of a child pornography ring, an FBI detective who becomes a target of a hit that "barely goes awry," and her suspicion that the FBI itself was behind the attack because the investigation got too close to "certain powerful people," according to the Goodreads description.
10. 'The Au Pair' by Emma Rous
In The Au Pair, twins Seraphine and Danny's mother threw herself from the cliffs on the Norfolk coast hours after they were born. "...the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle," says the Goodreads description.
Seraphine's father dies when she's an adult, and she finds a strange family photograph when going through her dad's belongings. The photograph shows a photo of her mother, father, and young son, and she's holding just one baby. What?
11. 'Before She Knew Him' by Peter Swanson
In Before She Knew Him, Henrietta suffers from bipolar disorder, and she lives with her husband Lloyd in a new house outside of Boston. Now that she has her meds and disorder under control, she feels settled and happy in her new quiet life. However, after she meets her new neighbor Matthew, things start to unravel once again for her.
After circumstances prove to Henrietta that there's something sinister going on with Matthew, she isn't sure if he's actually a murderer, or if she's having another psychotic episode like she had in college. The more she suspects, the less people believe her, and it turns out, her suspicions may be right.
12. 'The Night Olivia Fell' by Christina McDonald
According to Goodreads, The Night Olivia Fell is "an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead and pregnant." Olivia is kept on life support to keep her baby alive, and after the police rule Olivia's fall an accident, her mother finds more and more reasons to think that perhaps she didn't know her daughter as well as she thought she did, and that her daughter didn't know her very well either.
And now, for some extra recommendations based on Goodreads comments and my own mystery and thriller opinions:
13. 'The Terminal List' by Jack Carr
The author of The Terminal List is a retired Navy SEAL, and his debut novel's main protagonist is also a Navy SEAL. However, once Lieutenant Commander James Reece finds out the government was behind the deaths of his team in a "catastrophic ambush" as part of a conspiracy, "Reece applies the lessons that he's learned over a decade of constant warfare toward avenging the deaths of his family and teammates," the description reads.
14. 'American Spy' by Lauren Wilkinson
According to the Goodreads description, American Spy is an "espionage drama" set during the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell, an intelligence officer with the FBI is not only the only young black woman working in "an old boys' club," but will be forced to betray the man she loves while simultaneously grieving the mysterious death of her sister. Even cooler is this novel is inspired by true events.
15. 'My Sister the Serial Killer' by Oyinkan Braithwaite
My Sister, the Serial Killer is about two sisters: Korede and Ayoola. Ayoola has killed three boyfriends "in self-defense," and whenever she calls Korede, Korede knows to come to her sister with "bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach." Even though Korede knows "she should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria," she loves her sister and believes family comes first. Except when her sister starts dating her doctor crush whom she works with at the hospital.
16. 'The Good Son' by You-Jeong Jeong
According to Goodreads, The Good Son is The Talented Mr. Ripley meets The Bad Seed. It starts with 26-year-old Yu-Jin waking up to a "strange metallic smell," and his brother calling to ask "if everything's alright at home." After seeing that he missed a call from his mother in the middle of the night, he finds her murdered body at the bottom of the stairs in their duplex. "He can't remember much about the night before; having suffered from seizures for most of his life, Yu-Jin often has trouble with his memory. All he has is a faint impression of his mother calling his name. "But was she calling for help? Or begging for her life," the description reads. Yu-Jin finds out the truth about himself and his family in this psychological thriller.