I had a lot of fun curating the Best Thrillers of 2021 list.
The Best Thrillers of this year in the order of publication are:
The Good Neighbour by R.J. Parker
When Leah Talbot hits a deer on a deserted road near her village she spots a light on in a nearby house and approaches, hoping that someone is home.
Charming, handsome, Martin Tate answers the door to the bedraggled and traumatised Leah, inviting her in. Though she’s not there for long, Leah feels an indescribable pull to the man who has helped in her hour of need.
But when she returns the next morning to say thank you, it isn’t Martin who answers the door this time. It’s the police.
The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter
Four people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave.
Matthew: the perfect husband.
Titus: the perfect son.
Charlie: the perfect illusion.
Rachel: the perfect stranger.
Charlie didn’t want her at the book club. Matthew wouldn’t listen.
And that’s how Charlie finds himself slumped beside his husband’s body, their son sitting silently at the dinner table, while Rachel calls 999, the bloody knife still gripped in her hand.
The Other Woman by Jane Adams
Marcie’s grandfather Jack is dying. She’s had a tough childhood and Jack was the only one who loved her. After the death of her mother, Alec, Marcie’s father, moved to his parents’ house with little Marcie. Grandma Mary and Aunt Alice never liked Marcie. Growing up in a controlled and toxic environment had taken a toll on Marcie’s emotional needs. She moved out of the house at sixteen and years later, she’s back – only because Jack is on his death bed. Mary and Alice do not want her in the house again.
Jack speaks of Rebekkah. She’s not his wife. Nor is she his sister. What secrets are Marcie’s family hiding from her? Marcie vows to help Jack and find the truth behind the mystery woman, Rebekkah.
Tidal Rage by David Evans
On the cruise ship circuit, Sebastian McKenzie is a star. A brilliant pianist and singer, he entertains the wealthy guests every night in the piano bars and restaurants of the world’s leading cruise liners. But he never stays with the same ship for long. And some of the other entertainers have nicknamed him the Grim Reaper, because whenever Sebastian is on board, people go missing.
Max Cutler is an All-American boy: tall, blond and handsome, with a sharp wit and a keen eye for female company. A stand-out student at law school, he is immediately recruited into the Secret Service, to protect America’s interests overseas. Max is in Europe, breaking up a violent counterfeiting ring in Germany, when he hears that his baby sister Elisa has disappeared from a cruise ship in Alaska.
Blue Madagascar by Andrew Kaplan
A US Presidential candidate is ahead in the polls and about to win the election. His sudden death shocks the nation. One of the news reporters, the first to arrive on the scene, wonders (loudly) on national television as to why did the candidate commit suicide.
A botched up jewel heist on the French Riviera during which an innocent bystander – an American national – is killed triggers what is known as the chase for ‘Blue Madagascar.’
When US Homeland Security Special Agent Casey Ramirez uncovers a clue leading to the real identity of the dead American national (during the jewel heist), she realizes she’s opened a Pandora’s box. The bad guys are after her – and there are two gangs, not just one. Bodies drop like flies and Casey must end the chase before she becomes the next victim.
Kill a Spy by Samantha Lee Howe
The House of Killers always had one objective: to train a class of warriors that would elevate the Network from the national to the international – the amateur to the elite. They never expected one of their best to change. Michael Kensington was supposed to take over The Network after Mr. Beech. He was pushed in MI5 as a sleeper agent. But when Michael realized his true form, he decided to remain loyal to MI5. He was betrayed by a fellow Network agent. Neva, a notorious serial killer and seductress. Neva and Michael fell in love… or at least, that is what Michael thought until she betrayed him…
A serial killer is on prowl. They are killing women – young and old – but there seems to be a pattern. Michael has no clue what to do when he sees similarities amongst the victims. Everything is at stake… and it is Neva’s job to make Michael realize it is time to act… before it is too late.
Hard Road: Deadly Horizon by Bradley West
A fragile but committed patriarch leads twenty followers and their priceless vaccines out of plague-ravaged California ahead of mercenary-led bikers. Despite the group’s peaceful intentions, desperate Covid-20 survivors target them and trigger needless violence. New romances spark while longstanding relationships crumble in the pressure cooker environment. In theory, the family can save many lives, but not if they’re liable to be taken hostage. Delays incurred to share vaccine knowhow leave the convoy vulnerable. Tensions boil over as the pacifist and militant factions square off.
The marauders channel their maniacal fury into waging a war of annihilation even as the convoy lurches toward Canada and the hope of new lives. In Idaho’s panhandle, the mercenaries use kidnapped children to bait their trap.
The Perfect Neighbour by Susanna Beard
Beth has moved to a new neighbourhood along with her family and wishes to make friends. But looks like all her neighbours prefer a quiet life than socializing. Her next-door neighbours have a high-end security system – intercom, separate mail boxes and much more. What are they secretive about?
Meanwhile, Sofia hates her employers. She was kidnapped on the pretext of giving a good-paying job. Now, she works as a slave to Oksana and Keith. She was just sixteen when she started working here and she doesn’t see a chance of escaping. But, she still holds on to the hope that some day she will go back to Bulgaria and be with her parents.
The Weekend Escape by Rakie Bennett
It was meant to be a fun reunion, a chance for six friends to reconnect and relive the adventures that brought them together in the first place. A fun reunion on an island in the middle of a brewing storm, what can go wrong?
But the minute they reach the island, things start going sideways. One of them barely escapes a climbing accident – it is later found that the rope was cut and someone was meant to fall. But why? This is followed by another ‘accident.’ Soon, the six friends realize someone is out there to harm them, or worse, kill them. But is it a stranger or one of them?
She Never Left by C.M. Harris
Jane is a literary agent in Chicago and she’s currently representing her cousin TJ for a book. Jane has a stalker – Lincoln, her school classmate. In spite of blocking him multiple times, he still manages to find a way to send her emails and observe her every move.
Jane and TJ decide to go to their hometown for high-school reunion party. They knew they would come face-to-face with Lincoln but what they did not expect was to unearth a secret that’s guarding their hometown.
If you have missed the previous posts in this series, have a look at:
You might also want to checkout the Longlist: Best Books of 2021