Share 7 Suspenseful Thrillers That Will Make You Want to Stay Out of the Water

7 Suspenseful Thrillers That Will Make You Want to Stay Out of the Water

Kerry Fiallo is a New York native and copywriter at Simon & Schuster. A lifelong voracious reader, she has a particular fondness for ghost stories, history, and anything to do with Mary Shelley, Ada Lovelace, and the Brontë sisters. The only thing she may love more than books is black tea, but they do often go well together. You can find her as she navigates through literature and history on Twitter @ReadingInNYC.

On these hot days of summer, you may think it’s safe to cool off in the water. But you may want to reconsider that swimming trip. From wild rivers to the terrors of the deep, these novels are some of the most spine-tingling stories and heart-pounding thrillers to take place on the water. So take the plunge and enjoy these reminders of why sometimes it’s better to stay on land.


The River at Night
by Erica Ferencik

This unputdownable thriller follows a group of women struggling to survive after a devastating white-water rafting accident. Isolated and forced to rely on each other and their own inner strength, they must decide whether or not to trust their apparent rescuers who are definitely not all that they seem in this breathless page-turner.

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The River at Night
Erica Ferencik

A “raw, relentless, and heart-poundingly real” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) thriller set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, The River at Night charts the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident.

Winifred Allen needs a vacation.

Stifled by a soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of a fifteen-year marriage, Wini is feeling vulnerable. So when her three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on, despite her misgivings.

What starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare; a freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from their raft and everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge and lifelong allegiances are put to the test. To survive, Wini must reach beyond the world she knows to harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.

With intimately observed characters and visceral prose, The River at Night “will leave you gasping, your heart racing, eyes peering over your shoulder to see what follows from behind” (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author). This is a dark exploration of creatures—both friend and foe—that you won’t soon forget.

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Sphere
by Michael Crichton

When the aliens come, will they descend from the sky or rise from the sea? In Michael Crichton’s riveting thriller, the ocean’s depths house a giant spacecraft and it’s up to several scientists to determine its origins and what it means for humanity. A claustrophobic tale of paranoia, SPHERE explores our greatest fears and the profound power of science.

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Sphere
Michael Crichton

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Suspenseful Thrillers That Will Make You Want to Stay Out of the Water

By Kerry Fiallo | July 19, 2018

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The Terror
by Dan Simmons

Now a series on AMC, THE TERROR is based on the harrowing true story of a doomed attempt to reach the Northwest Passage. Two ships—The HMS Terror and HMS Erebus—are trapped in the ice, and as supplies dwindle and morale disappears, the surviving men can’t help but suspect that there is something evil and terrible stalking them. THE TERROR is an atmospheric and suspenseful historical novel unlike any other.

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The Terror
Dan Simmons

A chilling and suspenseful thriller, THE TERROR follows a group of men on an expedition to find the Northwest Passage. But fear, desperation, and a growing dread that there is something dangerous stalking them in the snow haunts them throughout. . . . Page Count: 784

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Dangerous Crossing
by Rachel Rhys

Imagine going on a luxurious ocean liner voyage . . . only to discover when you disembark that war has been declared and the world has irrevocably changed. In A DANGEROUS CROSSING, a young woman has this experience when she leaves Britain in 1939 for Australia. As glamorous as the passage seems to be, there are sinister intrigues, deadly secrets, and danger lurking behind every glitzy passenger.

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Dangerous Crossing
Rachel Rhys

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The Shadow Over Innsmouth
by H.P. Lovecraft

Cthulhu may be the most famous of H. P. Lovecraft’s sea monsters but in this influential novella, you’ll discover just how terrifying the ocean can be. When a young man arrives in the strange town of Innsmouth, he stumbles upon disturbing legends of the Deep Ones and soon realizes that they might not only exist but also be after him.

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The Shadow Over Innsmouth
H.P. Lovecraft

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Suspenseful Thrillers That Will Make You Want to Stay Out of the Water

By Kerry Fiallo | July 19, 2018

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Black Water
by Joyce Carol Oates

With intense, powerful, and evocative prose, BLACK WATER follows the final moments of a young woman as she slowly drowns. Based on the infamous Chappaquiddick incident, the story lyrically moves from past to present and back again, crafting a tragic and haunting elegy of a woman at the mercy of the deadly decisions made by a powerful man.

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Black Water
Joyce Carol Oates

Based loosely on the Chappaquiddick incident that involved longtime U. S. Senator Ted Kennedy, this haunting, lyrical novella is told in flashbacks as a young woman slowly drowns after the car she is in—driven drunkenly by an unnamed senator—crashes into a deep marsh.

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7 Suspenseful Thrillers That Will Make You Want to Stay Out of the Water

By Kerry Fiallo | July 19, 2018

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Meg
by Steve Alten

JAWS made the great white the stuff of nightmares, but shark aficionados know that there’s one even more terrifying: the megalodon, a 50-foot-long shark that is now extinct—or is it? When a navy diver claims to have seen one in the Mariana Trench, he’s dismissed. But soon one makes it to the surface, unleashing a bloody chain of events in this thriller that will sink its teeth in you.

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Meg
Steve Alten

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Suspenseful Thrillers That Will Make You Want to Stay Out of the Water

By Kerry Fiallo | July 19, 2018

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