How do you choose a thriller to read, especially if you aren’t familiar with the author already? Well, the easiest way is to check out the hook. If the premise is something new and original, there’s a good chance that’s the book you’re going to want to read first. Here are some new thrillers with (in my opinion) really intriguing premises, to spark your interest and send you to our shelves.
Amnesia is always fun, even though it’s almost a cliche by this point. How’s this for a premise: woman wakes up in a hospital after having been struck by lightning (!!). Her mother is dead. She was found down the street, unconscious. She can’t remember anything about her mother’s death. The police see her as a potential suspect. How can she clear her name if she genuinely can’t remember, and someone else seems determined to keep her from remembering? That’s the premise of Behind Every Lie, by Christina McDonald.
Perfect Little Children, by Sophie Hannah, has a premise that’s practically guaranteed to make readers want to pick it up. Our protagonist has been estranged from her former best friend for 12 years. Last time she saw her friend, the friend’s two kids were three and five years old. When she sees her friend and her friend’s two children now, the friend has aged. The children haven’t. How is that possible?
And while we’re on the subject of children, there’s The Only Child, by Mi-Ae Seo, in which a psychologist gets a chance to talk to a particularly horrible serial killer about his life, and at the same time her stepdaughter from her husband’s previous marriage appears in her life, showing some of the same behaviors and creepy approaches as the serial killer. What actually happened to the child’s mother and grandparents? Why is the serial killer giving the psychologist advice about how to take care of this child?
Then there’s the question of what happens to someone who was kidnapped and rescued immediately, but still suffers the aftereffects of her abduction. In the case of the protagonist of The Lucky One, by Lori Rader-Day, she spends her time trying to find clues to help families of other missing people find their loved ones. Then one day she sees the face of her kidnapper on the website, and even though the picture is immediately removed, she’s on a mission to find him before he can get someone else.
Consider the case of a murder trial, which the prosecution considers an open and shut case, in which the defendant is acquitted because one juror believed in his innocence. Then, ten years later, a documentary starts investigating that particular trial, with a focus on the one holdout juror who persuaded all the others not to convict. One of the jurors is found dead in suspicious circumstances, and the evidence seems to point to the holdout as the culprit. Did she do it? Why would she? What really happened in that jury room a decade before? The Holdout, by Graham Moore, builds its suspense on that situation and those questions.
If any or all of these sound like a fun read, head down to The Field Library and check out our new thrillers. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a new author to follow as well.