Welcome to my top crime/thrillers of 2019 post. What a year 2019 has been for books across all genres! The thrillers have been consistently excellent every step of the way. I had to cut this list down and add books to other posts but I feel this is a great representation of how much I enjoyed the real ‘edge-of-your-seat’ novels that I read this year. Thank you to all the publishers and authors for sending me copies and interacting with me on social media. I am eternally grateful for everyone’s support. Thank you also for coming by to check out the post and please let me know if you have read any of these books and what you thought of them.
Top Crime/Thrillers Of 2019
Synopsis: Someone is about to make a killing
The most daring and devastating heist in literary history targets a high security vault located deep beneath Princeton University.
Valued at $25 million (though some would say priceless) the five manuscripts of F Scott Fitzgerald’s only novels are amongst the most valuable in the world. After an initial flurry of arrests, both they and the ruthless gang of thieves who took them have vanished without trace.
Now it falls to struggling writer Mercer Mann to crack a case that has thwarted the FBI’s finest minds.
My Thoughts: I don’t think I have ever read more of a bookish thriller than Camino Island. This book oozes bookish nerdiness in every way and I had an awesome time reading it. The story is based around a book store and its owner, a rare book collector, who may or may not be into some shady dealings. From the first page this is the very definition of a Literary Thriller. Highly recommended for all book lovers out there.
Synopsis: A man with dark thoughts on his mind is racing along the remote snowy roads of Hurmevaara in Finland, when there is flash in the sky and something crashes into the car.
That something turns about to be a highly valuable meteorite. With euro signs lighting up the eyes of the locals, the unexpected treasure is temporarily placed in a neighbourhood museum, under the watchful eye of a priest named Joel.
But Joel has a lot more on his mind than simply protecting the riches that have apparently rained down from heaven. His wife has just revealed that she is pregnant. Unfortunately Joel has strong reason to think the baby isn’t his.
As Joel tries to fend off repeated and bungled attempts to steal the meteorite, he must also come to terms with his own situation, and discover who the father of the baby really is.
Transporting the reader to the culture, landscape and mores of northern Finland Little Siberia is both a crime novel and a hilarious, blacker-than-black comedy about faith and disbelief, love and death, and what to do when bolts from the blue – both literal and figurative – turn your life upside down
My Thoughts: I had high expectations of Little Siberia based on The Man Who Died and Palm Beach, Finland (two excellent book recommendations btw). This novel beat my expectations by a mile and I was quickly sucked into this narrative where a priest who is swiftly abandoning all hope for his faith and marriage gets embroiled in a plot to steal a rare meteorite. Thrills, drama and black comedy all share the spotlight in this Scandinavian Noir/Thriller. Joel was an easy character to invest in and his path is Little Siberia is both literally and existentially chaotic.
Synopsis: John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again.
With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.
For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.
Shocking, chilling and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.
My Thoughts: Michael J Malone is an author I can always rely on to deliver vivid, tense and shocking psychological thrills. Each and every one of his novels have hit me hard in different ways. In The Absence Of Miracles acknowledges repression of painful memories and how pushing those feelings deep down is physically and emotionally unhealthy which can have a devastating effect on our lives. MJM hides nothing in his writing, it is all there on the page for the reader to digest, which can be tough but when you realise it is deeply relevant then it pulls the reader in more and more.
Synopsis: After a brutal break-in leaves her family traumatised, Trish Feenan jumps at the chance of a fresh start in a charming historic community. But in the back garden of her new cottage sits an unsettling reminder of past wrongs: a standing stone, once one of the markers that kept plague sufferers outside the village bounds, its ‘powers’ renewed every year in a ritual that seems to be more than just local oddity.
As the Feenans settle in, they experience unexplained accidents, accompanied by sightings of a girl who vanishes into thin air. Soon, it becomes obvious that there is a reason traditions must not slip, and that all acts of betrayal, even those committed centuries ago, have consequences…
My Thoughts: The Plague Stones was an unexpected rush of horrific thrills that drops a family in the crossfire between a historic town and an entity that has been punishing it for centuries. I believed that most of the interesting plague thrillers had been and gone but I was wrong and I had a brilliant time with this novel. James Brogden has crafted a story of pain, anger and suffering but mixed it with an almost charming family drama that detonates when both sides mix together. A great novel for horror and thriller lovers alike.
Synopsis: Katie Manning was a beloved child star until her mid-teens when her manager attacked and permanently scarred her face, effectively ending her career and sending her on a path of all-too-familiar post-Hollywood self-destruction.
Now twenty-seven, Katie wants a better answer to those clickbait “Where Are They Now?” articles that float around online. An answer she hopes to find when her brother’s too-good-to-be-true fiancée invites her to a wellness retreat upstate. Together with Katie’s two best friends—one struggling with crippling debt and family obligations, one running away from a failed job and relationship—Katie will try to find the inner peace promised at the tranquil retreat. But finding oneself just might drudge up more memories than Katie is prepared to deal with.
Each woman has come to the retreat for different reasons. Each has her secrets to hide. And at the end of this weekend, only one will be left standing.
My Thoughts: Sherri Smith had a solid debut in Follow Me Down so I was excited about The Retreat. This novel is extra strength intense with a story about an actor who fell from grace trying to redeem herself. Katie escapes to a radical retreat with her friends and her brother’s fiancée to find a new version of herself but the deeper they all venture into themselves the closer to their darkest truths they get. When tragedy strikes, Katie must face a traumatic past to gain control of herself again. Sherri Smith smashed it with The Retreat, turning one story into four distinctive and unforgettable plots, and it is easily one of the best thrillers that came out in the whole of 2019.
Synopsis: When the California drought escalates to catastrophic proportions, a group of teens is forced to make life and death decisions in this harrowing story of survival from New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman, and Jarrod Shusterman.
My Thoughts: My explanation of why I enjoyed this book so much would work better if you have already read Nod by Adrian Barnes, which is a phenomenal book in its own right, but I will do my best. Dry is a story of chaos, desperation and impulse which follows a group of young people trying to survive a complete shut off of the water supply to an already parched California. The characters and their families are interesting, there is drama, suspense and thrills. Multiple scenes from Dry still stick in my mind as it is a very real scenario which you can relate too and easily put yourself into people’s shoes. Dry is a solid thriller that will scare, entertain and make you think over and over, ‘what would I do in that situation?’.
Thank you for coming by to check out my top crime/thrillers for 2019. I hope you enjoyed this list and if you have read any of these books then let me know if you agree or disagree with my opinion on them. If you have read a crime/thriller novel that you like to recommend to me and other readers of this post then please do! Authors keep finding new and excellent ways to create true thrills in their novels and I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for the genres. Come back again for more top lists and other posts very soon.