The best thrillers you won't want to put down...forget the chores and read these...

Who am I?

I devour dark, gripping, thrillers which take readers on a journey alongside the characters. People who battle their own demons on whatever road they travel. It’s with this passion that I write stories which do the same. I bring readers into the story to the point where they are cheering for both the hero and the villain. Throw in a few twists and cliffhangers and voila – readers don’t sleep, or do their chores ;) The books on this list fuel my need to be thrilled. I hope you grip the pages like I did…and forget those chores!

I wrote...

The Perilous Road To Her

By N.L. Blandford,

Book cover of The Perilous Road To Her

What is my book about?

A gripping tale of fear, longing, and determination as one woman tries to survive the world of those who also kidnapped her sister.

In The Perilous Road to Her, N.L Blandford takes us on a woman’s harrowing journey to find her missing sister. Olivia Beaumont, a Detective in the Toronto Police Service, finds herself dreading calls from her older sister Claire. Olivia’s attempts to help Claire fight her drug addiction have only been met with refusals. Ready to walk away, and let Claire hit ‘rock bottom’, Olivia is drawn back when she learns Claire is missing.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission

The books I picked & why

Bath Haus: A Thriller

By P. J. Vernon,

Book cover of Bath Haus: A Thriller

Why did I love this book?

Page turning suspense and P.J. Vernon’s beautiful prose had me gripped to this book until my eyelids refused to stay open. I finished the book in 2 days and felt the twist at the end came out of nowhere!  

I had harsh words for Nathan, the protagonist & Oliver’s partner, throughout the book. My desire for Oliver to get out of the mess he was in had me longing to know what happened next, and how big the hole he dug would get.

I have not been able to stop talking about this book since I picked it up.

Forget grabbing the groceries. Devour the intriguing tale of Bath Haus instead!

By P. J. Vernon,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Bath Haus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nominated for a 34th annual Lambda Literary Award • A scintillating thriller with an emotional punch: “The tension builds to unbearably claustrophobic levels. To say more would rob readers of the 'no, he didn’t' suspense that makes Bath Haus an unexpectedly twisted, heart-pounding cat-versus-mouse thriller" (Los Angeles Times).

Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they've made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn't be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse.…

Sometimes I Lie

By Alice Feeney,

Book cover of Sometimes I Lie

Why did I love this book?

This was my first foray in Alice Feeney’s writing and it will not be my last. 

The many twists and turns make this a well-crafted whodunit. I’ll admit, I still don’t think I get the ending - but that did not detract from my love for this book. I was left questioning everything that happened…in a good way.

The movement between past and present worked well and gave me an insight into the characters that I thought meant I had it all figured out…oh but I didn’t!

Forget switching the laundering over. Switch to this book immediately to try and figure out what is the truth and what is a lie.

By Alice Feeney,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Sometimes I Lie as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


“Boldly plotted, tightly knotted—a provocative true-or-false thriller that deepens and darkens to its ink-black finale. Marvelous.” —AJ Finn, author of The Woman in the Window

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a…

A Great Reckoning

By Louise Penny,

Book cover of A Great Reckoning

Why did I love this book?

Another author first for me…I know what is wrong with me! I wish Three Pines was real and I could meet all of the residents.

Each character is endearing, even the foul-mouthed Ruth, and reaches into the heart of the reader. I look forward to getting to know them over the numerous books in the series.

This book isn’t as dark as I typically read; however, the mystery of who the caped person on the golf course was, why they were there, and the side mystery of the history of the town had me losing track of time. 

Forget walking the dog. Take a walk through Three Pines and just try to leave town before you’ve finished the book!

By Louise Penny,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Great Reckoning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Former Chief Inspector Gamache has been hunting killers his entire career and as the new commander of the Surete Academy, he is given the chance to combat the corruption and brutality that has been rife throughout the force. But when a former colleague and professor of the Surete Academy is found murdered, with a mysterious map of Three Pines in his possession, Gamache has an even tougher task ahead of him.

When suspicion turns to Gamache himself, and his possible involvement in the crime, the frantic search for answers takes the investigation to the village of Three Pines, where a…

Book cover of Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel

Why did I love this book?

Without giving too much away, I enjoyed the multi-points of view and multiple personalities.

A reader needs to be paying attention in order to pick up the red herrings along the way. Otherwise, like me you’ll be asking yourself what the heck just happened. Which makes a great thriller!

Although attention to the characters is needed at the start, it is a quick read that left me guessing until the last page. 

Forget tackling the mountain of dishes. Tackle this gripping thriller instead!

By Lisa Unger,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Confessions on the 7 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'WHAT A READ!... Completely engrossing, undeniably enthralling... The biggest five stars.' NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars

'A masterclass in storytelling... Unforgettable.' Samantha Downing, author of My Lovely Wife

Everyone has a secret. Who would you trust with yours?

On Selena Murphy's train home from work, a mysterious woman named Martha strikes up a conversation and shares a confession: she's having an affair with her boss. In turn, Selena shares her own secret: she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny.

At Selena's station the two women part, and Selena never expects to see her again. Until she receives a message.…

When the Stars Go Dark

By Paula McLain,

Book cover of When the Stars Go Dark

Why did I love this book?

An intriguing, layered, story that kept me wanting to know what happened to the missing girls.

A little slow to start, but it didn’t take me long to become gripped to the page. Paula digs deep into the social issue of missing girls and women through fiction, which intrigued me as I try to do the same with my writing. 

Compelling characters and lyrically beautiful scenes made me feel the heartbreak and frantic desire to solve the case. What I found so intriguing about this novel was all the psychological elements of the characters and how a person’s past invariably affects the present. 

Forget mowing the lawn. Turn the blades of suspense in your mind with this thriller!

By Paula McLain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When the Stars Go Dark as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK • “A total departure for the author of The Paris Wife, McLain’s emotionally intense and exceptionally well-written thriller entwines its fictional crime with real cases.”—People (Book of the Week)

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MARIE CLAIRE • “The kind of heart-pounding conclusion that thriller fans crave . . . In the end, a book full of darkness lands with a message of hope.”—The New York Times Book Review

“This mystery will keep you guessing, and stay with you long after you finish. Dive in.”—Daily Skimm…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in gay men, Northern California, and murder?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about gay men, Northern California, and murder.

Gay Men Explore 79 books about gay men
Northern California Explore 17 books about Northern California
Murder Explore 731 books about murder

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Younger Wife, Verity, and The Family Upstairs if you like this list.