Top 6 Summer Thriller & Suspense Reads

I love light rom-com beach reads with happy endings — especially contemporary romances with top tier banter — but, I also love binging fast-paced, easily digestible suspenses and thrillers during the summer! If you can’t resist a summer camp setting, spooky lakes, girls trips, neighborhood cookouts and all other sorts of potentially dramatic summertime themes, today, I’m sharing a list of six of my top summer thriller and suspense books. All have been read within the past few months, all have been rated by me at 4+ stars, and most are new (while some have been around for a while but were new to me). Let’s get into it!

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*If you missed my first summer beach read post (Top 12 Summery Beach Reads), you can find that HERE.

Top 6 Suspense & Thriller Books for Summer 2024

Books that have been included that are not yet released have been noted with an expected release date. I was able to read advanced copies of these books, thanks to NetGalley and book publishers, in exchange for my honest feedback.

For all the books I’m reading and loving, and giving 4+ stars, check out my list here…

For all the books I’m reading in real time, along with ratings and reviews, check out my GoodReads account here…

Top 2024 Summer & Suspense Reads

6 Summer Suspenses & Thrillers to Pack for Vacation

NO. 1
Gray After Dark by Noelle W. Ihli

Ask for Andrea was the first book I read (and totally devoured) by Noelle W. Ihli so I was excited to try a second thriller by her. Think missing girls, summer job at remote summer camp, and terrifying back-woods captors.

And good news for KU subscribers! It’s currently available on Kindle Unlimited.

6 Summer Suspenses & Thrillers to Pack for Vacation

NO. 2
The Next Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

*Read an advanced copy (now available) — I loved The Last Mrs. Parrish and was absolutely beside myself when I learned that there would be a second installment! If you were addicted to the mind games, wealth, and deception in the first book, you’ll be a fan of the second. The two main ladies return, with an additional storyline and new characters, but this quick read both frustrated and satisfied me.

6 Summer Suspense & Thriller Books to Pack for Vacation

NO. 3
The Missing by Kiersten Modglin

I’ve become such a fan of Kiersten Modglin suspenses for fun, dependable reads and I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of The Missing before! This is great for a beach vacation, but I enjoyed this one in audio format — so if you are looking for a book for the car/can’t find the time to sent down to read with your eyes, this is a good one. Think kidnapped strangers on a deserted island with nods to Lost and The Hunger Games, with secrets, new relationships, and survival of the fittest.

6 Summer Suspenses & Thrillers to Pack for Vacation (Fave New Books for 2024)

NO. 4
The Lake of Lost Girls by Katherine Greene
*Coming November 5, 2024

*Read an advanced copy (available 11/5/24) — This was actually the book that inspired this entire post and was the first book I included on this list, and then I realized it actually doesn’t release until the fall. So sorry, but also, I loved it and refuse to take it off the list, so for now, you may just have to bookmark it/pre-purchase.

Split between multiple timelines, this thriller follows a twenty-something young woman whose older sister disappeared while in college. Her sister wasn’t the only coed to go missing, though. And the twists, turns, and connections from then to present day are addictive to follow! I was glued to this one and couldn’t wait to see which theories panned out.

6 Summer Suspenses & Thrillers to Pack for Vacation & to Read Poolside

NO. 5
The Perfect Escape by Leah Konen

All the suspense and thrills you hope for in a roadtrip-gone-wrong, cabin-in-the-woods whodunnit. It felt like one of my favorite type of movies ripped from the early aughts and I couldn’t decor it quick enough! Satisfying all around and so easy to devour in just a few sittings.

6 Summer Suspenses & Thrillers to Pack for Vacation

NO. 6
Wonderland by Jennifer Hillier

The oldest book on this list, Wonderland was the only book I had yet to read by Jennifer Hillier and just as I had loved the others, I loved this one. Creepy summertime theme park and its connection to a town where teenaged boys disappear.

A note for new JH readers — her books typically graphic with some disturbing descriptions, so check your triggers if you’re sensitive to violent content.

**This book is being re-released in paperback in 2025 but it is still (and currently available) via Kindle. You can also check your library for the previously published paperback. I can’t vouch for the audio version, but it’s also available for audio download.

Downloaded On My Kindle & Still On My Summer TBR

Below are a couple suspense/thrillers I already have downloaded and ready to go!

6 Summer Suspenses & Thrillers to Pack for Vacation

The Block Party by Jamie Day

An elite cul de sac of neighbors and someone is murdered during the summer block party. Available on Kindle Unlimited.

6 Summer Suspenses & Thrillers to Pack for Vacation

The Vacation Rental by Katie Sise

A fast paced thriller about what happens when a family rents out their home for the summer while they head out of town on a beach vacation. Available on KU (with accompanying audio option).

Have a new favorite summer suspense/beach read? Or maybe a long-time favorite? Share it with us in the comment section!

Favorite Book Accessories & Reading Essentials

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