Sometimes office politics feel like endless drama, and for some workplaces that drama becomes something else. Thrillers aren’t just for government conspiracies, haunted houses, or small-town mysteries. Just like everything else these days, they’ve gone corporate. So here are five workplace thrillers that will make you forget all about your own office drama.
An all-expenses-paid trip to the French Alps seems pretty awesome to me, even if it is for a company retreat. However, things quickly take a dark turn for the employees of Snoop, a trendy tech company, when they are suddenly trapped inside the chalet. There’s a storm brewing outside, and after one of the company’s shareholders begins pushing a lucrative buyout offer, a storm begins brewing inside, too. As tensions rise and lines are drawn a devastating avalanche cuts the company off from the rest of the world. And the worst part? One of the employees never made it back from the slopes. This work-related thriller is sure to keep you engrossed from start to finish. Ruth Ware is a master at building suspense and drawing out the tension in order to keep you hooked until the very end.
“The Agatha Christie of our generation.” —David Baldacci, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Diabolically clever.” —Riley Sager, author of Final Girls
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Turn of the Key and In a Dark Dark Wood returns with another suspenseful thriller set on a snow-covered mountain.
Getting snowed in at a luxurious, rustic ski chalet high in the French Alps doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world. Especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a full-service chef and housekeeper, a cozy fire to keep you warm, and others to keep you company. Unless that company happens to be eight coworkers…each with something to gain, something to lose, and something to hide.
When the cofounder of Snoop, a trendy London-based tech startup, organizes a weeklong trip for the team in the French Alps, it starts out as a corporate retreat like any other: PowerPoint presentations and strategy sessions broken up by mandatory bonding on the slopes. But as soon as one shareholder upends the agenda by pushing a lucrative but contentious buyout offer, tensions simmer and loyalties are tested. The storm brewing inside the chalet is no match for the one outside, however, and a devastating avalanche leaves the group cut off from all access to the outside world. Even worse, one Snooper hadn’t made it back from the slopes when the avalanche hit.
As each hour passes without any sign of rescue, panic mounts, the chalet grows colder, and the group dwindles further…one by one.
White Elephant is probably my favorite holiday office tradition. Of course, the gifts in question usually contain booze or coffee, and that one time there was a unicorn onesie up for grabs. Trish Harnetiaux’s WHITE ELEPHANT is nothing like that. For the employees of Henry and Claudine Calhoun’s real estate firm, the game is a little different, and the stakes a lot higher. For these competitive employees, this is a chance to win the most coveted gift—the gift, like designer sunglasses or front-row concert tickets, that gets stolen the most and bragged about for the rest of the year. So when an antique cowboy statue shows up in the mix, almost everyone is confused by the terrible present. The gift makes sense only to Henry and Claudine, because it’s the weapon Henry used to commit the murder that launched his career—a murder Claudine covered up and assured him that no one would find out about. As the night progresses, Henry and Claudine race to find out which of their employees brought the statue and determine their end game before the police arrive.
A crackling Christmas mystery that combines murder and blackmail at a holiday office party, in a mashup reminiscent of Big Little Lies and Clue.
There are only a few rules in a White Elephant gift exchange: 1) Everyone brings a wrapped, unmarked gift. 2) Numbers are drawn to decide who picks first. 3) Gifts don’t need to be pricey—and often they’re downright tacky.
But things are a little different in Aspen, Colorado, at the office holiday party for the real estate firm owned by Henry Calhoun and his wife Claudine. Each Christmas sparks a contest among the already competitive staff to see who can buy the most coveted gift: the one that will get stolen the most times, the one that will prove just how many more commissions they earned that year than their colleagues. Designer sunglasses, deluxe spa treatments, front row concert tickets—nothing is off the table. And the staff is even more competitive this year as Zara, the hottest young pop star out of Hollywood, is in town and Claudine is determined to sell her the getaway home of her dreams.
Everyone is puzzled when a strange gift shows up in the mix: an antique cowboy statue. At least the sales agents are guessing it’s an antique—otherwise it’d be a terrible present. It’s certainly not very pretty or expensive-looking. In fact, the gift makes sense only to Henry and Claudine. The statue is the weapon Henry used to commit a murder years ago, a murder that helped start his company and a murder that Claudine helped cover up. She swore that no one would ever be able to find the statue or trace it to their crime. So which of their employees did? And why did they place it in the White Elephant? What could possibly be their endgame?
Over the course of the evening, Henry and Claudine race to figure out who could have planted the weapon, and just what the night means for the secrets they’ve been harboring. Further adding to the drama is a snowstorm that closes nearby roads—preventing anyone from leaving, as well as keeping law enforcement from the scene. And by the end of this crazy night, the police will most definitely be required…
Everybody has secrets, right? Heidi Perks has weaved an incredible story of deception centered around three ambitious women at the Morris and Wood advertising agency. Laura, the recent mother, has just returned from maternity leave and finds herself on the sidelines. Mia, her replacement who was only supposed to be a temporary hire, has made herself indispensable to everyone and will do anything to keep her job, for the very reason that would get her fired if anyone found out. And then there’s Jamie, the perfect wife, who gave up everything to support her husband’s agency and who has her own secret she’s desperate to keep safe
From the author of Her One Mistake, hailed as “chilling, captivating” by New York Times bestselling author Megan Miranda, comes a riveting new suspense novel about three ambitious women whose lives are turned upside down in the aftermath of a horrifying fire, which destroys a successful advertising agency and threatens to expose a tangled web of lies.
Laura has returned to work at Morris and Wood after her maternity leave, only to discover that the woman she brought in to cover for her isn’t planning on going anywhere. Despite her close relationship with the agency’s powerful CEO, Harry Wood, she feels sidelined—and outmaneuvered—as she struggles to balance the twin demands of work and motherhood.
Mia was only supposed to be a temporary hire at Morris and Wood, but she’s managed to make herself indispensable to everyone. Everyone, that is, except Laura. If people only knew why she was so desperate to keep her job, they might not want her to stay.
Janie gave up everything to support her husband and the successful agency he runs. But she has her own dark secret to protect…and will go to any lengths to keep it safe.
With signature prose lauded as “breathtaking” and “bone-chilling” by USA TODAY bestselling author Cristina Alger and plenty of shocking twists and turns, Three Perfect Liars is an unputdownable thriller for fans of Watching You and The Couple Next Door.
The Circle is the most prestigious internet company out there, with tons of employee perks. So when Mae Holland is offered a position at this influential company, which links all of a user’s personal data from social media to emails to online banking, she can’t believe her luck. As Mae grows more accustomed to working at The Circle, everything else in her life begins to fade away. In order to gain the career she wants, Mae has to throw her own privacy out the window. What follows is a suspenseful look at the use of technology, data, privacy, and democracy. THE CIRCLE is definitely an interesting look at the way we use social media and what aspects of our lives we choose to make public.
Another creepy social-media workplace thriller, SOCIAL MISCONDUCT, for me, takes on a bit of a darker tone. When Candice lands a new job at a cool Manhattan tech company, they give her a brand new phone and an opportunity to write something more than weight-loss ads. Candice can’t wait to dazzle her new start-up team, but a week into her dream job, her worst nightmare comes true. When a stalker hacks her phone, she becomes the target of a massive online smear campaign that forces her to ditch her phone and hide out in a storage unit in New Jersey. Of course, Candice has not worked this hard to go down without a fight. SOCIAL MISCONDUCT is definitely a slow burn, but once I got into it I couldn’t put it down. Candice is an intelligent character, and Maher manages to create an extremely suspenseful warning about social media.
A timely and shocking thriller about a young woman who is the target of a social-media smear campaign.
“Smart, sardonic, sexy, suspenseful—and scary, because it’s probably true.” —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
Her perfect job becomes the perfect nightmare when a stalker hacks her phone.
Candace Walker is thrilled when she lands a new job at a hip Manhattan tech company and gets a brand-new iPhone. She’s more than ready to move on from creating clickbait ads for weight-loss pills and herbal erection boosters, and is determined to dazzle the startup team she joins.
A week later, though, everything is at risk: Candace is the target of a mysterious harasser and an online smear campaign. She tosses her new phone into the Hudson River, begins hiding out in her sister’s storage locker in New Jersey, and can’t think of a single person she can trust. But Candace hasn’t come this far—and gone to such lengths—to submit to what is happening without a fight.
Photo credit: Simon & Schuster