Share 8 Nail-biting Vacation Mysteries That Will Keep You On The Edge of Your Beach Chair

8 Nail-biting Vacation Mysteries That Will Keep You On The Edge of Your Beach Chair

Zoey Cole works in publishing and bookselling in New York City.

Summertime is for vacationing, whether you’re going to the opulence of Versailles, the beaches of Miami, or finding a space to curl up away from work and read for a few days. We like to think that stories about other vacationers who find themselves in the middle of crimes, forest fires, deadly love triangles, and stolen jewelry, can spice up your vacation. Practice a little escapism in the upcoming months with these nine books. From a secret society in the wilderness, to the Rocky Mountains, to the beaches of Bora Bora, these books take you on vacation, all the thrills included.


The Woman in Cabin 10
by Ruth Ware

Like your luxury cruise with a hefty serving of eerie chills? IN THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10, Lo Blacklock, a journalist, sees a woman get thrown overboard. But when she investigates, everything points to the lack of the woman’s existence. What did Lo actually see? This classic claustrophobic thriller gives you all the chills, as you can feel the sides of the ship closing in on Lo and the mystery.

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The Ash Family
by Molly Dektar

Jump into young Berie’s mind as she leaves everything to join the Ash Family Farm. Intentional communal living set against the lush mountains of North Carolina casts a spell of harmony, and that’s the new name, Harmony, that Berie adopts as she joins the Ash Family. Suddenly, her new family beings to disappear, and Berie is left floundering in questions of power and the remnants of what she has left for happiness.

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The Ash Family
Molly Dektar

When a young woman leaves her family—and the civilized world—to join an off-the-grid community headed by an enigmatic leader, she discovers that belonging comes with a deadly cost, in this lush and searing debut novel.

At nineteen, Berie encounters a seductive and mysterious man at a bus station near her home in North Carolina. Shut off from the people around her, she finds herself compelled by his promise of a new life. He ferries her into a place of order and chaos: the Ash Family farm. There, she joins an intentional community living off the fertile land of the mountains, bound together by high ideals and through relationships she can’t untangle. Berie—now renamed Harmony—renounces her old life and settles into her new one on the farm. She begins to make friends. And then they start to disappear.

Thrilling and profound, The Ash Family explores what we will sacrifice in the search for happiness, and the beautiful and grotesque power of the human spirit as it seeks its ultimate place of belonging.

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Descent
by Tim Johnston

Family vacations are truly the most frightening summer experience, as Tim Johnston proves in this thriller set in the Rocky Mountains. When the Courtlands set out for the Rocky Mountains, they’re ready for the breathtaking views and long hikes, but when Caitlin and her younger brother Sean leave for an early morning run, and only Sean returns, the mountains turn on them. The Courtlands rush against time to find out what happened to Caitlin, before it’s too late.

Read the full review of DESCENT.

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Descent
Tim Johnston

The Courtland family is taking one last vacation in the Rocky Mountains before their daughter leaves for college. But when Caitlin and her younger brother, Sean, go out for an early morning run and only Sean returns, the mountains become as terrifying as they are majestic.

Read our review of DESCENT here.

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The River at Night
by Erica Ferencik

You know you all have that one best friend in the group who everyone is still trying to keep up with? That’s what happens in THE RIVER AT NIGHT, when Pia plans a white-water rafting trip with her reluctant friends who would much rather lounge on a beach. Told from the perspective of Wini, who is grieving her recent divorce, the women embark on a journey that leaves them stranded in the wilderness and hunted by a powerful force.

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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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Death on the Nile
by Agatha Christie

It’s 1937, and Detective Hercule Poirot has been set with a task of investigating the murder of a young heiress while aboard a Nile cruise en route to Cairo. There’s a shunned lover searching for revenge, money to be had, and layers of conflicting clues, all building up to a classic whodunit that will give you just the amount of escapism you need, whether you’re on a staycation, or exploring the streets of Paris.

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Death on the Nile
Agatha Christie

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Something in the Water
by Catherine Steadman

Erin and Mark have just about the perfect life planned out. They’re newly married and heading for a two-week honeymoon to Bora Bora. Well, it was supposed to be three weeks, but Mark recently lost his investment banking job, so they’re a bit short on cash. Determined to enjoy their honeymoon, they head out on a snorkeling excursion, only to discover something floating in the water that will forever change the course of their lives.

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Something in the Water
Catherine Steadman

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The River
by Peter Heller

This is a book for those of you who like back wood trails with unexpected turns. When best friends Wynn and Jack take off canoeing down the Maskwa River in northern Canada, they’re ready to kick back and stargaze. One night they hear a couple arguing, and the next day, they see the man, paddling down the river alone. Trying to discover what happened, Wynn and Jack are pitted against nature as a wildfire begins to consume the forest.

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The River
Peter Heller

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All By Myself, Alone
by Mary Higgins Clark

This book is for you if your favorite vacation pastime involves the game Clue. Escaping the shame of her fiancé’s arrest, Celia Kilbride hops on board the Queen Charlotte. While aboard, she meets the elderly Lady Emily Haywood who is the owner of a priceless emerald necklace. Soon, Lady Em turns up dead, and the necklace missing. It’s up to Celia to find the killer, all in a race to escape danger herself before they reach their destination.

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All By Myself, Alone
Mary Higgins Clark

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