Here’s the thing: the sun and I are not friends. I’m a very pale, SPF 100 kind of person, I regularly carry baseball caps around with me, and I am constantly looking for shade. So when summer rolls around and everyone packs up for the beach, baseball games in the park, and long outdoor strolls, I pop a vitamin D supplement and head undercover to enjoy the true perk of summer: time to read. And recently I’ve found the best kinds of distraction during the long summer months are suspense thrillers filled with intrigue, secrets, and puzzle-like plots, such as Megan Miranda’s brilliant mystery-told-in-reverse, ALL THE MISSING GIRLS. But if you’ve already read this page-turner, here are a few more suggestions to keep you out of the sun this summer.
Hours after discovering her husband’s dead body at the base of their stairs, a woman flees town, dyes her hair, and makes a phone call demanding a new identity. As she travels across the country searching for a new safe haven, her backstory and explanations for such drastic actions gradually come to light before she ultimately realizes the truth: no one can hide from themselves forever.
With its white-knuckled plot and unforeseeable twists, it’s no wonder Off the Shelf readers consider this Lisa Lutz thriller a must-read. After leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya flees town and meets an ally, Blue, along the way. From heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, readers are left to wonder: can she possibly outrun her past?
Quincy goes on a cabin vacation with five friends, but returns alone as the only survivor of a horror-movie-esque maniac’s murderous spree. She also returns an unwilling member of the “final girls” club, a media moniker for female survivors of serial killers. Ten years have gone by with the help of therapy, Xanax, and memory repression, but then a fellow “final girl” is discovered dead and another survivor turns up on Quincy’s doorstep with questions about what truly happened that deadly night at the cabin . . .
When a travel journalist receives the assignment of a lifetime, reviewing a luxury cruise journey into the North Sea, she expects plush cabins, gourmet dining, and mingling with elite guests. She doesn’t expect to witness what can only be understood as murder. In this meticulously plotted locked-room classic reminiscent of Agatha Christie, one woman fights paranoia and fear as she investigates the mysteries going on below deck.
The only thing worse than your husband going missing might be the authorities learning that the man you married has no official record of existence at all. Then a mysterious man is discovered miles away on a windswept beach with no memory of how he arrived. There’s something unexpected connecting these two strange incidents, a secret stemming from a seaside visit made to the same beach town over twenty years earlier—a secret that will change everyone’s lives forever.
In the charming vacation village of Littleport, Maine, everyone expects the wealthy visitors to enjoy lobster rolls, lavish parties, and seaside walks throughout summer. What they don’t expect is a lasting friendship between a seasonal resident and a local, but Sadie and Avery aren’t like most girls. Every year Avery waits for Sadie to arrive back in town in the company of her affluent parents and dangerously charming brother, welcoming small-town Avery into their well-heeled and glamorous lifestyle. But this summer is different, as everyone mourns Sadie’s mysterious death a year earlier and, even worse for Avery, begins to ask questions about the dead girl’s “best” friend . . .