Welcome to June, thriller fans!
As readers everywhere flock to beaches in need of some much-needed sun and relaxation, there’s no shortage of perfect thrillers to take with—including new titles from some of the biggest names in the genre.
As always, we’ve highlighted a few titles that we believe stand above the rest, and this month, those books are A Killer’s Game by Isabella Maldonado, All The Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby, and The Guardian by Joshua Hood. Read more about those picks, plus everything else hitting bookstores this month, below.
Tuesday, June 6th
A Killer’s Game by Isabella Maldonado (Featured Selection)
An FBI agent with a background in cryptography. A brilliant game maker bent on revenge. A deadly battle of wits and wills. An ingenious thriller from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Cipher.
FBI agent and former military codebreaker Daniela “Dani” Vega witnesses a murder on a Manhattan sidewalk. The victim is chief of staff for a powerful New York senator. The assassin turned informant is Gustavo Toro. His code: hit the target and don’t ask questions. When Dani suspects a complex conspiracy, the only way to take down the mastermind is from the inside, forcing her to partner with Toro. Together they must infiltrate the inner circle at a remote facility.
Except it’s a trap. For all of them.
Locked in a subterranean labyrinth and held captive by an unseen host, Dani, Toro, and others must fight for their lives. Now Dani must stay undercover, unravel a bizarre conspiracy, and survive lethal puzzles. But will Toro be friend or foe? Because in this killer’s game, everything is real: the paranoia, the desperation, and the body count. And only one person can make it out alive.
From TRBS: Maldonado is one of the most underrated writers on the scene today. Everything she writes is solid-gold. If you’re not already reading her work, don’t want any longer. This book is fantastic!
Cross Down by James Patterson & Brendon DuBois
Alex Cross is gravely injured. Only his partner and friend John Sampson can keep him safe . . . and get justice.
For the first time, John Sampson is on his own.
The brilliant crime-solving duo of Washington, DC’s, Metro PD and the FBI has a proven MO: Detective Alex Cross makes his own rules. Detective John Sampson enforces them.
When military-style attacks erupt, brutally sidelining Cross, Sampson is sent reeling. The patterns are too random—Sampson’s friend, his partner, his brother—have told him. Don’t trust anyone.
As a shadow force advances on the nation’s capital, Sampson alone must protect the Cross family, his own young daughter, and every American, including the president.
The Couple’s Trip by Ulf Kvensler
**Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award Best Debut of the Year**
**Shortlisted for the Crimetime Award 2022**
Two couples set out together on a hiking trip that goes terrifyingly wrong in this addictive psychological thriller for fans of Ruth Ware and Lucy Foley.
Anna, Henrik and Milena’s annual hiking trip is just around the corner. This year, however, Anna and Henrik have a hard time saying no when Milena asks if her boyfriend, Jacob, can tag along. The hike soon spirals into mayhem when the three friends come to realize that taking Jacob was a decision that could change their lives forever.
From the austere mountaintops of northern Sweden, this highly anticipated thriller traverses through the unexplored wilderness—here, there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
Clive Cussler’s Fire Strike by Mike Maden
Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon must battle an army of genetically engineered mercenaries to stop a hypersonic missile attack in this explosive new adventure in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
When Cabrillo is hired to extract an undercover operative in Kenya, he finds himself on the trail of a deadly international plot. A Saudi Prince seeks to unleash a deadly assault on U.S. forces, sparking a new war in the Middle East and ultimately destroying Israel.
Cabrillo’s crew have met their most fearsome adversaries yet: a force of bio-hacked soldiers endowed with extreme strength and stamina and an unquenchable appetite for violence. The Oregon team must journey from the Amazon rainforest to an abandoned monastery in Eritrea before a final showdown in the mountains of Yemen, using every shred of courage and cunning they can muster to disable the ship-killer missile before the Arabian Sea becomes a mass grave.
All the Sinners Bleed by S.A. Cosby (Featured Selection)
The new novel from New York Times bestselling and Los Angeles Times Book Prize-winning author S. A. Cosby, “one of the most muscular, distinctive, grab-you-by-both-ears voices in American crime fiction.” ―Washington Post.
After years of working as an FBI agent, Titus Crown returns home to Charon County, land of moonshine and cornbread, fist fights and honeysuckle. Seeing his hometown struggling with a bigoted police force inspires him to run for sheriff. He wins, and becomes the first Black sheriff in the history of the county.
Then a year to the day after his election, a young Black man is fatally shot by Titus’s deputies.
Titus pledges to follow the truth wherever it leads. But no one expected he would unearth a serial killer who has been hiding in plain sight, haunting the dirt lanes and woodland clearings of Charon.
Now, Titus must pull off the impossible: stay true to his instincts, prevent outright panic, and investigate a shocking crime in a small town where everyone knows everyone yet secrets flourish. All while also breaking up backroads bar fights and being forced to protect racist Confederate pride marchers.
For a Black man wearing a police uniform in the American South, that’s no easy feat. But Charon is Titus’s home and his heart, and he won’t let the darkness overtake it. Even as it threatens to consume him.
TRBS: A brilliant wordsmith, few writers can capture emotion like Cosby. His books are exceptionally well written, but what really makes him special is the conviction Cosby writes with when developing his fearless, unflinching plotlines. One of the true masters working today, everything he writes is must-read material . . . and All The Sinners Bleed might just be his best work to date.
Near Miss by Stuart Woods and Brett Battles
Stone Barrington must cut and run in the newest novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Stuart Woods.
Tuesday, June 13th
Boston PI Sunny Randall investigates the dark side of social media in this exciting new thriller in the bestselling series.
Sunny Randall’s newest client, Blake, seems to have it all: he is an Instagram influencer, with all the perks the lifestyle entails—a beautiful girlfriend, wealth, and adoring fans. But one of those fans has turned ugly, and Sunny is brought on board by Blake’s manager, Bethany, to protect him and to uncover who is out to kill him. In doing so, she investigates a glamorous world rife with lies and schemes…and ties to a dangerous criminal scene.
When Bethany goes missing and the threats against Blake escalate, Sunny realizes that in order to solve this case, she has to find out exactly who Blake and Bethany are, behind the Instagram filters. While digging into their pasts, she is also forced to confront her own, as old friends—and ex-husbands—reappear. With a combination of old-school crime-solving skills and modern internet savvy, Sunny will stop at nothing to catch a killer.
The Spectacular by Fiona Davis
New York Times bestselling author Fiona Davis transports us back to 1950s Manhattan and glamorous Radio City Music Hall in her thrilling new novel about a talented young Rockette and a mysterious bomber terrorizing New York City.
New York City, 1956: Nineteen-year-old Marion Brooks knows she should be happy. Her college sweetheart is about to propose and sweep her off to the life everyone has always expected they’d have together: a quiet house in the suburbs, Marion staying home to raise their future children. But instead, Marion finds herself feeling trapped. So when she comes across an opportunity to audition for the famous Radio City Rockettes—the glamorous precision-dancing troupe—she jumps at the chance to exchange her predictable future for the dazzling life of a performer.
Meanwhile, the city is reeling from a string of bombings orchestrated by a person the press has nicknamed the “Big Apple Bomber,” who has been terrorizing the citizens of New York for sixteen years by planting bombs in popular, crowded spaces. With the public in an uproar over the lack of any real leads after a yearslong manhunt, the police turn in desperation to Peter Griggs, a young doctor at a local mental hospital who espouses a radical new technique: psychological profiling.
As both Marion and Peter find themselves unexpectedly pulled in to the police search for the bomber, Marion realizes that as much as she’s been training herself to blend in—performing in perfect unison with all the other identical Rockettes—if she hopes to catch the bomber, she’ll need to stand out and take a terrifying risk. In doing so, she may be forced to sacrifice everything she’s worked for, as well as the people she loves the most.
Inside Threat by Matthew Quirk
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.
The First Death by Kendra Elliot
For a search and rescue expert, the buried remains of her past are a dangerous obsession in a twisting novel of suspense by a Wall Street Journal and Amazon Charts bestselling author.
Rowan Wolff was five years old when she, her brother, and their babysitter were kidnapped by a serial killer in the Pacific Northwest. The babysitter was murdered. Rowan was saved. Her brother was killed and buried in the forest, his remains never found. The convicted killer refuses to say where he buried the boy. Twenty-five years later, Rowan is committed to search and rescue with her faithful canine and is obsessed with finding her brother’s grave―and closure.
Detective Evan Bolton thrives on unraveling tough cases, but his latest is disturbing. There’s another serial killer hunting in Deschutes County, Oregon, and the crimes are identical to those committed by the sociopath languishing in prison. Each victim is linked to Rowan. When skeletal remains of several bodies are exhumed in the forest, Rowan’s connection becomes more entwined and impossible to ignore.
Rowan and Evan are determined to solve the case before someone else dies. And someone else will, as the truth about the past is unearthed.
Tuesday, June 20th
The Only One Left by Riley Sager
Bestselling author Riley Sager returns with a Gothic chiller about a young caregiver assigned to work for a woman accused of a Lizzie Borden-like massacre decades earlier.
At seventeen, Lenora Hope
Hung her sister with a rope
Now reduced to a schoolyard chant, the Hope family murders shocked the Maine coast one bloody night in 1929. While most people assume seventeen-year-old Lenora was responsible, the police were never able to prove it. Other than her denial after the killings, she has never spoken publicly about that night, nor has she set foot outside Hope’s End, the cliffside mansion where the massacre occurred.
Stabbed her father with a knife
Took her mother’s happy life
It’s now 1983, and home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives at a decaying Hope’s End to care for Lenora after her previous nurse fled in the middle of the night. In her seventies and confined to a wheelchair, Lenora was rendered mute by a series of strokes and can only communicate with Kit by tapping out sentences on an old typewriter. One night, Lenora uses it to make a tantalizing offer—I want to tell you everything.
“It wasn’t me,” Lenora said
But she’s the only one not dead
As Kit helps Lenora write about the events leading to the Hope family massacre, it becomes clear there’s more to the tale than people know. But when new details about her predecessor’s departure come to light, Kit starts to suspect Lenora might not be telling the complete truth—and that the seemingly harmless woman in her care could be far more dangerous than she first thought.
Zero Days by Ruth Ware
The New York Times bestselling “new Agatha Christie” (Air Mail) Ruth Ware returns with this adrenaline-fueled thriller that combines Mr. and Mrs. Smith with The Fugitive about a woman in a race against time to clear her name and find her husband’s murderer.
Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband, Gabe, are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their suspect—her.
Suddenly on the run and quickly running out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the real killer in this unputdownable and heart-pounding mystery from an author whose “propulsive prose keeps readers on the hook and refuses to let anyone off until all has been revealed” (Shelf Awareness).
The Spare Room by Andrea Bartz
Staying with a friend and her husband is more intimate—and dangerous—than anyone could imagine in this provocative new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of the Reese’s Book Club pick We Were Never Here.
Kelly Doyle’s new life in Philadelphia has turned into a nightmare: She’s friendless and jobless, and the lockdown has her trapped in a tiny apartment with the man she gave up everything for, who’s just called off their wedding. The only bright spot in her life is her newly rekindled friendship with her childhood friend, Sabrina—now a glamorous bestselling author with a handsome, high-powered husband.
When they offer Kelly an escape hatch, volunteering the spare room of their remote Virginia mansion, she jumps at the chance to run away from her old life. There, she finds she loves living with them . . . and, much to her surprise, that she’s falling for both her enchanting hosts. Even more shocking: They say they share Kelly’s feelings and want to open up their marriage for her.
At first, the arrangement is blissful. But as their relationship deepens, Kelly begins to notice the cracks. The stories about their romantic past keep changing, and the more details she uncovers, the more things don’t add up. It’s only a matter of time before Kelly discovers the terrifying truth: They’ve done all this before . . . and the last woman is missing.
Cut off from the world and in way over her head, Kelly must risk everything to uncover the couple’s secrets—before she becomes their next guest to disappear.
Rich Waters by Robert Bailey
From Wall Street Journal bestselling author Robert Bailey comes a haunting legal thriller about the price of redemption for a billboard lawyer who takes a case he can’t win in a town he can’t forget.
Now that attorney Jason Rich has returned home to Guntersville, Alabama, the “In an accident? Get rich!” lawyer is anxious to leave his checkered past behind. Jason hopes this next chapter in his life will be a chance to confront his personal troubles while making amends with his family.
But when a former high school football star stands accused of killing a police officer, Jason is unwillingly thrust into the chaos. The local meth king blackmails Jason into defending the alleged murderer, and Jason knows he can’t refuse. With the lives of his family and closest friends on the line, he takes the obviously unwinnable case.
As Jason dives into the investigation, he vows to dismantle the meth empire gripping his hometown. But as he confronts alternative suspects and follows new leads, Jason realizes that everyone has secrets to hide and interests to protect―at any cost.
The 9th Man by Steve Berry and Grand Blackwood
ONLY ONE AMERICAN PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINATION REMAINS UNSOLVED. UNTIL NOW.
Luke Daniels is in London, between assignments with the Magellan Billet, when he receives a frantic call from an old friend. Jillian Stein is in trouble. She made a mistake and now her life may be in danger. She needs Luke’s help. Immediately. Racing to Belgium Luke quickly finds that she was right. A shadow team of highly-trained operatives are there on the hunt. Intervening, he finds himself embroiled in a war between two determined sides — one seeking the truth, the other trying to escape the past — a war that has already claimed one life and is about to claim more.
Thomas Rowland is a Washington insider, a kingmaker, problem-solver, but also a man with a past. For him everything turns with what happened on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. What history has recorded is wrong. There is more to the story, much more, and Thomas Rowland is at the center of that terrible reality. But forces are working against him, and Rowland will do anything to keep the world from learning what actually happened on that fateful day, including killing Luke, Jillian and anyone else who might be a threat.
In a race from Belgium, to Luxembourg, to the bayous of Louisiana and the Wyoming wilderness, to a final confrontation in the Bahamas, Luke Daniels confronts a series of shocking truths which not only rewrite history but will forever change his own life — as he comes face to face with the ninth man.
Tuesday, June 27th
The Last Sinner by Lisa Jackson
Lisa Jackson’s New York Times bestselling series featuring New Orleans homicide detectives Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya began with a strangled prostitute in a seedy French Quarter hotel room and a demented killer disguised as a priest. Now evil comes full circle, as Father John returns to terrorize The Big Easy in this highly anticipated series finale!
There are killers so savage, so twisted, that they leave a mark not just on their victims, but on everyone who crosses their path. For Detectives Bentz and Montoya, Father John, a fake priest who used the sharpened beads of a rosary to strangle prostitutes, is one such monster.
Bentz thought he’d ended that horror years ago when he killed Father John deep in the swamp. But now there are chilling signs he may have been wrong. A new victim has surfaced, her ruined body staged in deliberate, unmistakable detail. Either it’s a terrifying copycat, or Father John, the detective’s own recurring nightmare, has come back to haunt New Orleans.
Another death, and another. Bentz is growing convinced that Father John isn’t just back. He’s circling closer, targeting those Bentz loves most.
And this time, he won’t be stopped until the last sinner has paid the ultimate price . . .
Before She Finds Me by Heather Chavez
In this shocking thriller that is “both timely and emotional” (Julie Clark, New York Times bestselling author), two unlikely mothers race to uncover the truth behind a horrific attack—even after it becomes clear that the truth will destroy one of their families.
Julia Bennett has worked hard to create a stable life for her daughter, Cora, in Southern California. So when Cora leaves for college, the worst thing Julia expects on move-in day is an argument with her ex-husband and his new wife. But a sudden attack leaves the campus stunned—and only Julia’s quick actions save Cora’s life. Shaken in the aftermath, and haunted by a dark secret, Julia starts to wonder: What if the attack wasn’t as random as everyone believes?
Newly pregnant Ren Petrovic has an unusual career—she’s a trained assassin, operating under a strict moral code. Ren wasn’t on campus that day, but she knows who was: her husband, Nolan. What she doesn’t know is why Nolan has broken their rules by not telling her about the job in advance. The more Ren looks into the attack, the more she begins to question: Who really hired Nolan? And why did one woman in the crowd respond so differently from all the rest?
Julia and Ren each want answers, but their searches quickly pit them against each other. One woman is a hired killer, but the other is a determined survivor. And both mothers will defend their families to the bitter end.
Lay Your Body Down by Amy Suiter Clarke
A young woman returns to her rural Minnesota hometown, where a radical evangelical pastor has poisoned everyone’s minds—and may be covering up a murder.
After Del Walker fled her small hometown and its cult-like church, she vowed to never return. The man she loved, Lars, left her to marry the local golden girl Eve, and their romance is now the focus of Eve’s viral blog espousing the pastor’s conservative philosophy about women and marriage. But six years later, Lars is suddenly killed, and she’s convinced it couldn’t have been an accident.
When Del returns to her hometown for the funeral, she discovers the now mega-church—and the insidious, patriarchal teachings of Pastor Rick Franklin—has grown not only in size but in influence. Eve was clearly discontent in her marriage, despite the carefully constructed “Noble Wife” positivity of her blog posts, and Del knows better than anyone just how far she will go to get what she wants. Del is determined to cut through the church’s lies and corruption to find out who killed Lars—even if it means confronting the religious trauma she’s spent years trying to bury.
In a Hard Wind by David Housewright
When asked to investigate a murder in a seemingly idyllic Minnesota town, Rushmore McKenzie finds that all the evidence points directly at his client, in the next installment in David Housewright’s McKenzie novels, In a Hard Wind . . .
DAVID HOUSEWRIGHT has won the Edgar Award and is the three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for his crime fiction. So, the guy can really, really write.
The Guardian by Joshua Hood (Featured Selection)
From the “master of action” (Publishers Weekly) and USA Today bestselling author of Robert Ludlum’s Treadstone series comes a new thriller as intense and fast-paced as The Bourne Identity
As a member of the Air Force’s Elite Pararescue, Travis Lane abides by the motto “These things we do, so that others may live.” With his papers already submitted for reenlistment, he is blindsided when his brother-in-law is killed in the line of duty, leaving Lane as the sole support for his sister and her young daughter who is fighting cancer.
Desperate for something to help pay for his niece’s continued care, Lane accepts an offer to join Broadside Solutions, a private company with specially trained military operatives who provide protection for clients all over the world. But it’s trial by fire when his first mission takes him to the Democratic Republic of Congo to find and retrieve a kidnapped American in the middle of a densely forested jungle.
Infused with the author’s own experience as a parachute infantryman, this high-octane thriller throws the reader deep into the African jungle on a rescue mission where nothing is as it seems.
From TRBS: Joshua Hood is back and better than ever with a new hero in Travis Lane, who lives by a selfless creed that’s tested in more ways than one. The same raw and honest intensity you saw in CLEAR BY FIRE mixes perfectly with the same hard-hitting action from Hood’s Treadstone series as he again fills the pages with one electrifying sequence after another. THE GUARDIAN sizzles and is a ton of fun to read!
Dead Man’s Wake by Paul Doiron
Game Warden Mike Bowditch’s engagement party is interrupted by the discovery of a gruesome double murder in this new thriller from Edgar Award-winning author Paul Doiron.
On the evening of their engagement party, Maine Game Warden Investigator Mike Bowditch and Stacey Stevens witness what seems to be a hit-and-run speedboat crash on a darkened lake. When they arrive at the scene, their spotlight reveals a gruesome sight: a severed arm floating just beneath the surface. As day breaks, the warden dive team recovers not one but two naked corpses: a dismembered man and the married woman with whom he was having an affair. Mike begins to suspect the swimmers’ deaths were not a senseless accident but a coldly calculated murder.
Meanwhile, the hunt is on for the mysterious boater. Suspects abound on the lake, nicknamed “Golden Pond,” including the violent biker husband of the murdered woman who may have taken vengeance on his wife and her paramour; a strange woman who claims to have witnessed the crash, but then changes her story; a very aggressive realtor and his wife who were determined to catch trespassers; and the lake’s earnest young constable whose eagerness to help may hide darker motives.
Alone among his fellow officers, Mike starts to sense the involvement of a trained marksman, smarter and more dangerous than any enemy he has ever faced before. As Mike and Stacey get closer to identifying the killer, their own lives are suddenly on the line as they confront a lethal killer who plans to silence them forever. The finale is a tour de force of drama and suspense.
Have You Seen Her by Catherine Steadman
A thrilling and timely novel about three women with dark secrets whose lives intersect in the picturesque and perilous Yosemite National Park from the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “propulsive” (Laura Dave, author of The Last Thing He Told Me) Please Join Us.
Equipped with a burner phone and a new job, Cassie Peters has left her hectic and secretive life in New York City for the refuge of her hometown of Mammoth Lakes, California. There, she begins working again with Yosemite Search and Rescue, where a case she worked a decade ago continues to haunt her.
She quickly falls into old patterns, joining a group of fellow seasonal workers and young adventurers who have made Yosemite their home during the summer. There, she meets Petal, a young woman living in a trailer with her much older wife, keeping a detailed diary of the goings on of the park, and Jada, a recent college graduate on a cross-country road trip with her boyfriend, documenting their journey on Instagram.
When these three women cross paths, Cassie’s past catches up with her, and the shocking consequences ripple out far beyond what any could have imagined in this unputdownable thriller from an author who “never fails to impress” (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author).
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by 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.