As we prepare to say goodbye to 2022, don’t worry, there’s still a lot of coverage left for this year’s books—but we also can’t help looking ahead at 2023, which is shaping up to be another huge year of can’t-miss thrillers.
Part 3 will drop in a couple of weeks, before the full 2023 Reading Guide comes outs in January.
In the meantime, check out this second batch of titles, and let us know which ones you’re most excited to get your hands on!
All Hallows by Christopher Golden
Release Date: January 24, 2023
With the 80’s nostalgia of Stranger Things, this horror drama from NYT bestselling author Christopher Golden follows neighborhood families and a mysterious, lurking evil on one Halloween day.
It’s Halloween night, 1984, in Coventry, Massachusetts, and two families are unraveling. Up and down the street, horrifying secrets are being revealed, and all the while, mixed in with the trick-or-treaters of all ages, four children who do not belong are walking door to door, merging with the kids of Parmenter Road. Children in vintage costumes with faded, eerie makeup. They seem terrified, and beg the neighborhood kids to hide them away, to keep them safe from The Cunning Man. There’s a small clearing in the woods now that was never there before, and a blackthorn tree that doesn’t belong at all. These odd children claim that The Cunning Man is coming for them…and they want the local kids to protect them. But with families falling apart and the neighborhood splintered by bitterness, who will save the children of Parmenter Road?
New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author Christopher Golden is best known for his supernatural thrillers set in deadly, distant locales…but in this suburban Halloween drama, Golden brings the horror home.
All Hallows. The one night when everything is a mask . . .
Exiles by Jane Harper
Release Date: January 31st
After nearly one million books sold in the US, New York Times bestselling author Jane Harper is back with a new mystery featuring Aaron Falk, the detective from our bestselling novel and major motion picture The Dry
At a busy festival site on a warm spring night, a baby lies alone in her pram, her mother vanishing into the crowds.
A year on, Kim Gillespie’s absence casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather deep in the heart of South Australian wine country to welcome a new addition to the family.
Joining the celebrations is federal investigator Aaron Falk. But as he soaks up life in the lush valley, he begins to suspect this tight-knit group may be more fractured than it seems. Between Falk’s closest friend, a missing mother, and a woman he’s drawn to, dark questions linger as long-ago truths begin to emerge.
The Drift by C.J. Tudor
Release Date: January 31st
Three ordinary people risk everything for a chance at redemption in this audacious, utterly gripping novel of catastrophe and survival at the end of the world, from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man.
Hannah awakens to carnage, all mangled metal and shattered glass. Evacuated from a secluded boarding school during a snowstorm, her coach careered off the road, trapping her with a handful of survivors. They’ll need to work together to escape – with their sanity and secrets intact.
Meg awakens to a gentle rocking. She’s in a cable car stranded high above snowy mountains, with five strangers and no memory of how they got on board. They are heading to a place known only as “The Retreat,” but as the temperature drops and tensions mount, Meg realizes they may not all make it there alive.
Carter is gazing out of the window of an isolated ski chalet that he and his companions call home. As their generator begins to waver in the storm, the threat of something lurking in the chalet’s depths looms larger, and their fragile bonds will be tested when the power finally fails—for good.
The imminent dangers faced by Hannah, Meg, and Carter are each one part of the puzzle. Lurking in their shadows is an even greater threat—one that threatens to consume all of humanity.
Encore in Death by J.D. Robb
Release Date: February 7, 2023
The homicide cop with a passion for justice returns in the captivating crime thriller series by the #1 New York Times bestselling author.
It was a glittering event full of A-listers, hosted by Eliza Lane and Brant Fitzhugh, a celebrity couple who’d conquered both Hollywood and Broadway. And now Eve Dallas has made her entrance—but not as a guest. After raising a toast, Fitzhugh fell to the floor and died, with physical symptoms pointing to cyanide, and the police have crashed the party.
From all accounts, he wasn’t the kind of star who made enemies. Everyone loved him—even his ex-wife. And since the champagne cocktail that killed him was originally intended for Eliza, it’s possible she was the real target, with a recently fired assistant, a bitter rival, and an obsessed fan in the picture. With so many attendees, staff, and servers, Eve has her work cut out determining who committed murder in the middle of the crowd—and what was their motivation. As one who’s not fond of the spotlight herself, she dreads the media circus surrounding a case like this. All she wants is to figure out who’s truly innocent, and who’s only acting that way . . .
The Cradle of Ice by James Rollins
Release Date: February 7th
The second book in the New York Times bestselling Moonfall series from thriller master James Rollins, The Cradle of Ice is a page-turning tale of action, adventure, betrayal, ambition, and the struggle for survival in a harsh world that hangs by a thread.
To stop the coming apocalypse, a fellowship was formed.
A soldier, a thief, a lost prince, and a young girl bonded by fate and looming disaster.
Each step along this path has changed the party, forging deep alliances and greater
enmities. All the while, hostile forces have hunted them, fearing what they might
unleash. Armies wage war around them.
For each step has come with a cost—in blood, in loss, in heartbreak.
Now, they must split, traveling into a vast region of ice and to a sprawling capital of the world they’ve only known in stories. Time is running out and only the truth will save us all.
Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth
Release Date: February 21st
In this gripping and atmospheric reimagining of Antigone, #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth reaches back to the root of legend and delivers a world of tomorrow both timeless and unexpected.
“I’m cursed, haven’t you heard?”
Outside the last city on Earth, the planet is a wasteland. Without the Archive, where the genes of the dead are stored, humanity will end.
Antigone’s parents – Oedipus and Jocasta – are dead. Passing into the Archive should be cause for celebration, but with her militant uncle Kreon rising to claim her father’s vacant throne, all Antigone feels is rage.
When he welcomes her and her siblings into his mansion, Antigone sees it for what it really is: a gilded cage, where she is a captive as well as a guest.
But her uncle will soon learn that no cage is unbreakable. And neither is he.
White Smoke by John Gilstrap
Release Date: February 21st
THE STAND meets William R. Forstchen’s ONE SECOND AFTER in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author John Gilstrap’s third pulse-pounding thriller set in an America ravaged by global conflict. As a community of survivors strives to rebuild all they have lost, they look to one woman – single mother and former West Virginia congressional representative Victoria Emerson—to balance survival with justice…
“One of the most compelling heroines to come along in years.”
One-time congressional representative Victoria Emerson has received a request from the deposed president of the United States—come to the bunker at Hilltop Manor, where the remnants of the U.S. government have been imprisoned. A ruthless band has seized power, leaving civilians to die of starvation and untreated injuries. The self-appointed leader, Roger Parsons, plans to punish the former rulers for thrusting the country into Hell Day, the devastating war that changed the world in just a few hours.
Victoria is reluctant to leave Ortho, the West Virginia town she has developed and defended. But as a born leader, she feels the call of duty. Forging her way through a landscape terrorized by local warlords and desperate scavengers, she arrives at Hilltop Manor to find a powder keg of battling factions.
The lofty ideals on which the Republic was founded and the values that once held society together have devolved into anarchy. Calling on her deepest personal resources and her unwavering convictions, Victoria must somehow return the rule of law to a society where many of the old rules and laws don’t matter anymore.
What Have We Done by Alex Finlay
Release Date: March 7, 2023
From Alex Finlay, the author of Every Last Fear and The Night Shift, comes an action-packed new thriller about the lives we leave behind and the secrets we carry with us forever.
A stay-at-home yoga mom with a past.
A has-been rock star with a habit.
A reality TV showrunner with a crushing gambling debt.
Three disparate lives.
One big secret.
Twenty-five years ago, Jenna, Donnie, Nico, Arty, and Ben were the best of friends, a bond forged as residents of Savior House, an abusive group home for wayward teens. When the home was shut down—after the disappearance of several residents—the group was disbanded.
Though the trauma from Savior House has never left them, each went on to successful, if troubled, lives. They haven’t seen each other since they were teens, but now are reunited for a single haunting reason: someone is killing them one by one.
It’s a reunion none of them asked for or wanted. But one that may be the only way to save all their lives.
Total Empire by A.J. Tata
Release Date: March 21, 2023
General Garrett Sinclair undertakes a rogue mission in the Sahara Desert to thwart an international nuclear threat in this explosive thriller.
When Sergeant Major Sylvester “Sly” Morgan is killed while on a mission, his daughter Zoey tells General Garrett Sinclair that her father’s death wasn’t random. Her father had recorded a high-level meeting between Chinese, American, and French diplomats as they spoke about a plan for a new global government.
The “Chinese-U.S. Partnership”, or CUSP, intends to combine the world’s two largest economies and militaries to usher in a new era of partnership and leadership. But China’s offer has a deadline and penalties for noncompliance. As a safeguard, China has five high-tech
hypersonic glide vehicles armed with nuclear weapons orbiting the Earth ready to strike. When Zoey disappears in the Eye of Africa, seemingly in pursuit of her father’s killer, Sinclair and Dagger Team are caught off-guard as they scramble to catch up.
Without authorization, Sinclair takes Dagger Team into Dakhla, Morocco as he attempts to save his goddaughter’s life. With too many missions to complete and not enough information, Sinclair and team discover that the Chinese plan is nearly complete. As one nuclear glide vehicle misses Washington, DC but hits Loudoun County, Virginia, Sinclair’s mission in the Sahara is to stop the Chinese from using its ground-based laser targeting system before they can more accurately launch the remaining four. Facing insurmountable odds and without support from his government, Sinclair takes his team into the maw of the Saharan death pit, the Eye of Africa . . .
Loyalty by Lisa Scottoline
Release Date: March 28th
#1 bestselling author Lisa Scottoline presents Loyalty, an emotional, action-packed epic of love and justice, set during the rise of the Mafia in Sicily.
Loyalty can save a soul—or destroy one.
Franco Fiorvanti is a handsome lemon grower toiling on the estate of a baron. He dreams of owning his own grove, but the rigid class system of Sicily thwarts his ambition. Determined to secure a better future, Franco will do anything to prove his loyalty to the baron. But when the baron asks him to kidnap a little boy named Dante, Franco makes a decision that will change his life—and even the history of Sicily—forever.
Gaetano Catalano is an idealistic young lawyer whose devotion to justice is tantamount to a calling. He’s a member of the Beati Paoli, a real-life secret society of aristocrats who investigate crime in Palermo, a city riddled with graft. Gaetano sets out to find the boy and punish the kidnapper, but his mission leads him to a darker place than he had ever imagined.
Meanwhile, Mafalda Pancari is a new mother rejoicing at the birth of her daughter, Lucia, when disaster strikes. And Alfredo D’Antonio is a reclusive goatherd under constant threat of being discovered as a Jew. How the lives of these unforgettable characters collide makes Loyalty an epic tale of good versus evil, as the story twists and turns to its monumental showdown.
Readers will be transported to the dramatic and ruggedly beautiful island of Sicily, the jewel of the Mediterranean, where lush lemon groves and mouth-watering cuisine contrast with a turbulent history of colonization and corruption. Scottoline brings her decades of thriller writing to historical fiction, creating in Loyalty a singular novel that no reader will be able to put down.
Blind Spots by Thomas Mullen
Release Date: April 4th
A riveting crime novel with a speculative edge about the ways our perceptions of reality can be manipulated.
Seven years ago, everyone in the world went blind in a matter of months. Technology helped people adjust to the new normal, creating a device that approximates vision, downloading visual data directly to people’s brains. But what happens when someone finds a way to hack it and change what people see?
Homicide detective Mark Owens has been on the force since before The Blinding. When a scientist is murdered, and the only witness insists the killer was blacked out of her vision, Owens doesn’t believe her—until a similar murder happens in front of him. With suspects ranging from tech billionaires to anti-modernity cultists—and with the bodies piling up—Owens must conduct an investigation in which he can’t even trust his own eyes.
Thomas Mullen, the acclaimed author of Darktown and The Last Town on Earth, delivers an unputdownable crime novel about one man’s search for truth in a world of surveillance and disinformation that’s all too recognizable.
Simply Lies by David Baldacci
Release Date: April 18th
Simply Lies is an intense thriller featuring Mickey Gibson, a former New Jersey detective, from the number one bestselling author David Baldacci.
Former Jersey City detective and single mother of two, Mickey Gibson, now works for global investigation company, ProEye, to track down assets of the wealthy who have tried to avoid their creditors. One day she gets a call from a colleague, Arlene Robinson, asking her to visit the home of a notorious arms dealer who has cheated some of ProEye’s clients in the past. Mickey arrives at the mansion to discover the body of a man hidden in a secret room.
It turns out that nothing is at it seems. The arms dealer did not exist, and nobody at ProEye knew of Arlene Robinson. Mickey had been tricked and now the cops were involved. The body was that of Thomas Lancaster who’d been in Witness Protection having had links with the mob.
Now begins a cat-and-mouse showdown between hardened ex-cop, Mickey, and a woman with sociopathic tendencies who has no name and a mysterious past. She intends to get what she wants and people who get in her way will die. For Mickey to stop her, she must first discover her true identity and what damaged her all those years ago. And the truth behind why she selected Micky to become her nemesis.
The Rescue by T. Jefferson Parker
Release Date: April 25th
A new and beguiling thriller from three-time Edgar Award-winner and New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker.
While reporting on a Tijuana animal shelter, journalist Bettina Blazak falls in love with one of her story’s subjects—an adorable Mexican street dog who is being treated for a mysterious gunshot wound. Bettina impulsively adopts the dog, who she names Felix after the veterinarian who saved him.
In investigating Felix’s past, Bettina discovers that his life is nothing like what she assumed. For one thing, he’s not a Mexican street dog at all. A former DEA drug-sniffing dog, Felix has led a very colorful, dangerous, and profitable life. With Bettina’s story going viral, some interesting people are looking for Felix, making him a target—again.
Bettina soon finds herself drawn into a deadly criminal underworld from which she and her beloved dog may not return.
The Rescue is a gripping thriller that explores the strength of the human-animal bond and how far we will go to protect what we love by three-time Edgar Award winner and New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker.
The Ferryman by Justin Cronin
Release Date: May 2
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Passage comes a riveting standalone novel about a group of survivors on a hidden island utopia—where the truth isn’t what it seems.
Founded by the mysterious genius known as the Designer, the archipelago of Prospera lies hidden from the horrors of a deteriorating outside world. In this island paradise, Prospera’s lucky citizens enjoy long, fulfilling lives until the monitors embedded in their forearms, meant to measure their physical health and psychological well-being, fall below 10 percent. Then they retire themselves, embarking on a ferry ride to the island known as the Nursery, where their failing bodies are renewed, their memories are wiped clean, and they are readied to restart life afresh.
Proctor Bennett, of the Department of Social Contracts, has a satisfying career as a ferryman, gently shepherding people through the retirement process—and, when necessary, enforcing it. But all is not well with Proctor. For one thing, he’s been dreaming—which is supposed to be impossible in Prospera. For another, his monitor percentage has begun to drop alarmingly fast. And then comes the day he is summoned to retire his own father, who gives him a disturbing and cryptic message before being wrestled onto the ferry.
Meanwhile, something is stirring. The Support Staff, ordinary men and women who provide the labor to keep Prospera running, have begun to question their place in the social order. Unrest is building, and there are rumors spreading of a resistance group—known as “Arrivalists”—who may be fomenting revolution.
Soon Proctor finds himself questioning everything he once believed, entangled with a much bigger cause than he realized—and on a desperate mission to uncover the truth.
The Overnights by Ian K. Smith
Release Date: May 30th
#1 New York Times bestselling author Ian K. Smith brings back former Chicago detective turned private eye Ashe Cayne in this eagerly anticipated mystery in which the investigator finds himself in a race against the clock to protect a high-profile Chicago news anchor and solve the racially charged murder of a Black teen by a white police officer.
“Chicago PI Ashe Cayne is the perfect hero for our times.”—Harlan Coben
Someone wants Morgan Shaw dead—or so the beautiful, brilliant, and hugely popular evening news anchor of top-rated Chicago TV station WLTV believes. Fearing for her safety, she turns to P. I. Ashe Cayne for protection. Though he sympathizes, Ashe turns her down—he’s not a bodyguard. But when Morgan’s car tires are slashed and she’s threatened again, Ashe agrees to help her.
Her mysterious assailant isn’t the only threat worrying Morgan. She’s nervous about the upcoming “sweeps”—the all-important overnight ratings period—which will determine Chicago’s highest-rated television newscast and the city’s number-one anchor. Morgan has long been Chicago’s news queen. Now, though her crown is in jeopardy. She refuses to lose to her crosstown rival, and will risk everything to stay on top—including an audacious investigation into the suspicious shooting of an unarmed African American man by a white cop. The explosive case and her discoveries boost her ratings—and create powerful enemies eager to protect their secrets.
To save his client and find the truth, Ashe must wade through the tangled layers of competitive local news and the deceptive schemes of its power players, and uncover the identities of those behind the murder of a seemingly innocent man.
Inside Threat by Matthew Quirk
Release Date: June 13th
In this electrifying thriller from the author of Red Warning and The Night Agent, an attack on the White House sends the President and his top aides to take shelter in a top-secret government facility buried deep underground—but they soon discover the threat is locked inside with them.
Assume the worst. Code Black.
The day that every secret service agent trains for has arrived. The White House has been breached; the President forced to flee to a massive doomsday bunker outside DC to defend against whatever comes next. Only the most trusted agents and officials are allowed in with him—those dedicated to keeping the government intact at all costs.
Among these is Erik Hill, who has given his life to the Secret Service. They are his purpose and his family, and his impressive record has made him a hero among them. Despite his growing disillusionment from seeing Washington corruption up close, Erik can’t ignore years of instincts honed on the job. The government is under attack, and no one is better equipped to face down the threat than he is.
The evidence leads him to a conspiracy at the highest levels of power, with the attack orchestrated by some of the very individuals now locked in with him. As the killers strike inside the bunker, it will take everything Erik Hill has to save his people, himself, and his country.
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and is building a growing community on Twitch. His debut thriller, FIELDS OF FIRE, which #1 New York Times bestselling author Jack Carr says “will leave you speechless and begging for more,” is now available. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And to take part in free, exclusive BOOK CLUBS each month, join The Real Book Spy on Discord.