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My Top 10 (Recent) Mystery/Thriller Books or Series

Updated: Nov 1, 2021

Those who know me know that I read a lot. Pre-COVID I averaged 4-5 books a week, so I know a good book or book series when I see one.


So in that spirit, I wanted to share 10 of my recent favorite mystery/thriller books.


Kindle Unlimited Series/Books- You can read all these books for free with a Kindle Unlimited membership (perfect for big readers!) which you can sign up for here.



The Naturalist Series by Andrew Mayne


This is an incredible 4-book series starring quirky computational biologist professor Theo Cray who uses his scientific acumen and some cool digital tools to help solve some crazy murders and hunt down killers. These books fly by and will keep you on the edge of your seat!




The Collector Series By Dot Hutchinson


This is a thrilling police procedural that begins as two FBI agents are called to the scene of a garden filled with preserved corpse statues of kidnapped women covered in butterfly tattoos. Their only link to solving the mystery is an almost victim, Maya. But wait, that's only the first book. The others follow similarly gruesome cases each with its own murderer calling card. Highly recommend.




The John Milton Series by Mark Dawson


Do you know how they have closers in baseball? Well, John Milton is like that except think instead of baseballs he has bullets and a license to kill a la James Bond. This 21 book series opens with Milton discovering he has a conscience...and a drinking problem as he walks away from the only life he's ever really known, killing clandestine foes for crown and country. These books are action-packed, easy reads. If you loved Jason Bourne or Jack Ryan these books are for you.




The Joe Dillard Series by Scott Pratt


Do you love Law and Order, NCIS, or other legal thrillers? Then these books are for you. Scott Pratt's Joe Dillard series is 9 books of twisting and turning legal drama straight out of the headlines. Joe is a relatable and charismatic protagonist that you'll be rooting for in no time. The series also is one of Amazon's best self-publishing success stories, which I didn't know until writing this post!



Forgotten Bones By Vivian Barz


This book and subsequent series involve the unlikeliest of crime-solving duos: a police officer and a mildly schizophrenic professor who hallucinates that he can talk to dead people. Think Rain Man meets the Sixth Sense.



Gilchrist By Christian Galacar


Gilchrist has all the hallmarks of a Stephen King novel, a writer protagonist struggling with some life event, a mysterious and small New England town, and a strange paranormal force that may or may not be driving every character insane. Yet despite all that, this is one of the books that stick with you months after reading it, tormenting you just before you turn off the lights. Fans of Horror mysteries should pick this one up!




The Fourth Monkey By J.D. Barker


If you love deep dives into the mind of a killer then this dark thriller is for you. Think Hannibal Lector but with a diary. Wonderfully twisty and part of a series. This novel will not disappoint.



A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White


A Dark Lure is a fantastic mystery thriller that bops and weaves and incorporates its rustic setting and its characters perfectly. The plot while familiar brings enough surprises to remain fresh.


Non-Kindle Unlimited Picks



Glass Houses by Louise Penny


One of Lousie Penny's Grand Inspector Gamache novel's Glass Houses begins with strangers entering the small and sleepy fictional Quebec town of Three Pines and goes from there. Gamache is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. To date, Penny has written 13 Gamache novels, and another fun fact: these books can be read out of order as I did and managed just fine.



Saints at the River by Ron Rash


I couldn't get away with not putting a Ron Rash book on this list. For those who don't know Ron Rash is an incredible poet and writer who crafts beautiful tales of the South. His prose is something that I aspire to be able to do one day. Saints At the River begins with the discovery of a 12-year old girl's body in a river take threatens to tear a small South Carolina town apart. This book is pretty short, perfect for curling up next to a fire on a rainy autumn day.


Other honorable mentions include The Killer Collective by Barry Eisler and Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner.



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