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8 Thrillers You Need to Read This Spooky Season

This is my warning to you that you may want to read these in the daylight! As Autumn approaches, many readers are looking to fill their TBRs with plenty of spooky reads.

Let me help you with that list! Below are eight thriller recommendations guaranteed to send shivers down your spine!

A quick list of all of these titles can be found on my Amazon Storefront under Thriller Recommendations!

This article has affiliate links, which means I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you! If you find this list helpful, please purchase from these links!

The Last One by Will Dean

Synopsis: When Caz steps onboard the exclusive cruise liner RMS Atlantica, it’s the start of a vacation of a lifetime with her new love, Pete. On their first night they explore the ship, eat, dance, make friends, but when Caz wakes the next morning, Pete is missing.

And when she walks out into the corridor, all the cabin doors are open. To her horror, she soon realizes that the ship is completely empty. No passengers, no crew, nobody but her. The Atlantica is steaming into the mid-Atlantic and Caz is the only person on board. But that’s just the beginning of the terrifying journey she finds herself trapped on in this white-knuckled mystery.

Why I’m excited: I loved his last trapped thriller The Last Thing to Burn! Absolutely devoured it! He kept my heart pulsing! So, this one has been highly anticipated.

My Darling Girl by Jennifer McMahon

Synopsis: Alison has never been a fan of Christmas. But with it right around the corner and her husband busily decorating their cozy Vermont home, she has no choice but to face it. Then she gets the call.

Mavis, Alison’s estranged mother, has been diagnosed with cancer and has only weeks to live. She wants to spend her remaining days with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters. But Alison grew up with her mother’s alcoholism and violent abuse and is reluctant to unearth these traumatic memories. Still, she eventually agrees to take in Mavis, hoping that she and her mother could finally heal and have the relationship she’s always dreamed of.

But when mysterious and otherworldly things start happening upon Mavis’s arrival, Alison begins to suspect her mother is not quite who she seems. And as the holiday festivities turn into a nightmare, she must confront just how far she is willing to go to protect her family.

Why I’m excited: I fell HARD for McMahon’s writing after reading The Children on the Hill. She’s known for writing creepy kids and she does it well! I’ve been working my way through her backlist ever since. I know I’m going to rip through the story!

The Stranger Upstairs by Lisa M. Matlin

Synopsis: A therapist and self-help writer with all the answers, Sarah Slade has just bought a gorgeous Victorian in the community of her dreams. Turns out, you can get a killer deal on a house where someone was murdered. Plus, renovating Black Wood House makes for great blog content and a decent distraction from her failing marriage. Good thing nobody knows that her past is just as filthy as the bloodstain on her bedroom floor.

But the renovations are fast becoming a nightmare. Sarah imagined custom avocado wallpaper, massive profits, and an appreciative husband who wants to share her bed again. Instead, the neighbors hate her guts and her husband still sleeps on the couch. And though the builders attempt to cover up Black Wood’s horrifying past, a series of bizarre accidents, threatening notes, and unexplained footsteps in the attic only confirms for Sarah what the rest of the town already knew: Something is very wrong in that house.

With every passing moment, Sarah’s life spirals further out of control—and with it, her sense of reality. But as she peels back the curling wallpaper and discovers the house’s secrets, she realizes that the deadly legacy of Black Wood House has only just begun.

Why I’m excited: This is a debut, but I am a total sucker for haunted houses and psychological thrillers. The main character is a therapist? Bring it on!

The Reformatory by Tananarive Due


Gracetown, Florida

June 1950

Twelve-year-old Robbie Stephens, Jr., is sentenced to six months at the Gracetown School for Boys, a reformatory, for kicking the son of the largest landowner in town in defense of his older sister, Gloria. So begins Robbie’s journey further into the terrors of the Jim Crow South and the very real horror of the school they call The Reformatory.

Robbie has a talent for seeing ghosts, or haints. But what was once a comfort to him after the loss of his mother has become a window to the truth of what happens at the reformatory. Boys forced to work to remediate their so-called crimes have gone missing, but the haints Robbie sees hint at worse things. Through his friends Redbone and Blue, Robbie is learning not just the rules but how to survive. Meanwhile, Gloria is rallying every family member and connection in Florida to find a way to get Robbie out before it’s too late.

Why I’m excited: Two words: Historical. Horror. As seen above, you now know that I love a creepy kid story. Add in some type of reformatory or ward and I’m set. Definitely looking forward to this one!

None of This is True by Lisa Jewell

Synopsis: Celebrating her forty-fifth birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summer crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her forty-fifth birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.

A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix’s children’s school. Josie has been listening to Alix’s podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.

Josie’s life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can’t quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast. Slowly she starts to realize that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it, Josie has inveigled her way into Alix’s life—and into her home.

But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, with her life and her family’s lives under mortal threat.

Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?

Why I’m excited: I read an early copy of this book and LOVED LOVED LOVED it! The ending blew my mind, which is hard to come by after reading so many thrillers. You can check out my thoughts here.

Strange Sally Diamond by Liz Nugent

Synopsis: Reclusive Sally Diamond causes outrage by trying to incinerate her dead father. Now she’s the center of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives, but also a sinister voice from a past she does not remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her early childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends, big decisions, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say.

But who is the man observing Sally from the other side of the world, and why does he call her Mary? And why does her new neighbor seem to be obsessed with her? Sally’s trust issues are about to be severely challenged in this “inventive, addictive, and bold” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) thriller.

Why I’m excited: Another book I read an early copy of and loved! I found it so unique. It’s got a trapped element and very unique characters. Check out more of my thoughts here!

Gone Tonight by Sarah Pekkanen

Synopsis: Catherine Sterling thinks she knows her mother. Ruth Sterling is quiet, hardworking, and lives for her daughter. All her life, it’s been just the two of them against the world. But now, Catherine is ready to spread her wings, move from home, and begin a new career. And Ruth Sterling will do anything to prevent that from happening.

Ruth Sterling thinks she knows her daughter. Catherine would never rebel, would never question anything about her mother’s past or background. But when Ruth’s desperate quest to keep her daughter by her side begins to reveal cracks in Ruth’s carefully-constructed world, both mother and daughter begin a dance of deception.

Why I’m excited: This one is a case of FOMO! I’ve seen rave reviews of this one from other book reviewers who have me so excited to read!

Night Will Find You by Julia Heaberlin

Synopsis: Vivvy Bouchet was only ten when she saved a boy’s life by making an impossible prediction. She doesn’t want to explain it. A wunderkind scientist, she just wants to be left in peace to scan the desert Texas sky with her telescopes in one of the darkest places on earth. But when the boy she saved, now a Fort Worth cop, begs for her help on a cold case, she can’t turn him down.

In the past decade, Lizzie Solomon and the Victorian mansion where she disappeared have taken on almost mythic status. Conspiracy theorists feed the frenzy that Lizzie is still buried in the crumbling walls while her mother, who sits in prison convicted of killing her, loudly proclaims her innocence.

Paired with a skeptical detective, Vivvy falls deeper into the mystery of why Lizzie has never been found. When a vicious podcaster takes aim at Vivvy’s own secrets—and those of the vanished girl—Vivvy’s life unravels like the mysterious galaxies she chases.

Why I’m excited: I read Heaberlin’s last novel and was struck with it’s originality! She’s a Texas-based writer and sets her books in Texas as well. I read this book in August and loved the Fort Worth element! It’s creepy and mysterious and will keep you guessing!

Let me know if you found this article helpful! Leave me a comment or come find me on Instagram!

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