Beware: these best thriller books of 2022 will keep you up all night with edge-of-your-seat action and gripping mysteries. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It’s 1 am, and you know it’s way past your bedtime and you’ll pay for this tomorrow. But you cannot seem to put your book down. You have to know whodunit and if your favorite character will survive until the end of the book.
The best thriller books keep you glued to your seat. What a delicious feeling it is to be full of suspense at the turn of a page.
All year, I’ve been scouting out the best thriller books of 2022, hoping to find great domestic thrillers, gritty mystery books, and edge-of-your-seat thriller books that you’ll be dying to read.
Since you likely don’t have time to read a zillion books a year as I do, let me narrow it down for you. Here are my picks for the best thriller books of 2022.
Best Psychological Thriller Books of 2022
TOP PICK – When she was six years old, Margot’s next-door neighbor and best friend, January, was murdered in their small hometown. Now a big-city journalist, Margot returns home to help care for her uncle when another girl disappears. Determined to find the missing girl and solve January’s murder, Margot begins to wonder how well she knows her neighbors.
RUNNER UP – April was the first person Hannah met at Oxford, and they quickly became inseparable with their group of friends until April was killed. A decade after April’s murder, Hannah learns that the recently deceased convicted killer may have been innocent. With a journalist probing for details and the murderer likely still out there, Hannah reconnects with her old friend group to uncover their long-buried secrets.
HONORABLE MENTION – As a female politician, Emma knows it only takes one slip-up to ruin your reputation. Using her position as an MP, Emma is determined to fight for female victims and pass a law against revenge porn, even though it brings a slew of threats, both online and in person. When her teenage daughter lashes out at a high school bully, the consequences could be disastrous as Emma is put on trial for the death of a reporter who threatened to publish the story. Not only did Vaughan write a compelling narrative but also she managed to really hit home on her main themes, violence against women and how our reputation affects our actions. The combination of a killer narrative (pun intended) and deeper underlying themes makes this one of the best thriller books of 2022.
HONORABLE MENTION – Meg. Maggie. Melody. Whatever name she’s using at the moment, she’s a con artist who slides into your life and takes everything when she leaves. Kat Roberts has been waiting ten years to expose the con artist who upended her life. Yet, when Meg returns, Kat finds matters much more complicated than she realized. Julie Clark has penned a surprisingly good con artist book where you can easily sympathize with both Kat and Meg. With a quick pace and relatable characters, The Lies I Tell was a fun thriller that leaves you with a satisfying ending.
HONORABLE MENTION – When Chloe Davis was twelve, six teenage girls disappeared from her small Louisiana town and she was the crucial witness that convicted her father as a serial killer. As her wedding approaches, Chloe fears the past is repeating when teen girls start vanishing. Is she imagining the parallels to her past or is the past truly coming back to haunt her? Willingham times the revelations to heighten the tension, leaving you with plenty of twists and turns to give you a fast-paced read.
Best Mystery Thriller Books
TOP PICK – On one of her first assignments as a secret agent, Emma Makepeace has 12 hours to deliver the son of a Russian dissident into protective custody. When Russian assassins hack into the city’s widespread security camera network, Emma must use all her training and skill to deliver him across the most camera-ridden city in the world without being spotted.
RUNNER UP – It seems like a chance of a lifetime when Lux McCallister and her boyfriend Nico are hired to sail two women to a remote Pacific island. Yet, when they arrive, another boat is already anchored there, piloted by a golden couple. The party of six gets along great until another stranger arrives and the perfect vacation turns deadly. With an exotic setting, gorgeous people, complicated relationships, and over-the-top plot twists, Reckless Girls is escapist reading at its finest.
HONORABLE MENTION – On New Year’s Eve 1999, five teenagers working the night shift at a Blockbuster in New Jersey are attacked, with only one survivor. Police quickly identify a local teenage boy as a suspect, but he disappears before they can arrest him. Fifteen years later, it happens again at an ice cream store. Now FBI Agent Sarah Keller must investigate both incidents, looking for a connection, while stirring up memories for the first survivor and the brother of the accused, who has always proclaimed his brother’s innocence.
HONORABLE MENTION – Every day, Travis Devine takes the 6:20 commuter train to Manhattan, staring out at all the mansions of the uber-wealthy. When his coworker and former girlfriend is found dead in a storage room at their investment firm, Travis is forced to secretly investigate the firm, uncovering a high-stakes conspiracy that lands him directly in the crosshairs of a killer.
Best Domestic Thriller Books of 2022
TOP PICK – Alex’s unexpected rise as a social media influencer would never have been possible without the help of her personal assistant AC. Just as a controversial post she swears she didn’t write turns her audience against her, Alex’s assistant disappears. As things keep getting worse for Alex’s family, she digs into the identity of the woman who knew everything about her life. But when a woman is found murdered, Alex and her husband find themselves the prime suspects.
RUNNER UP – Tully and Rachel find themselves thrown for a loop when their father announces he is divorcing their mother with dementia and marrying a woman younger than both of them. As they dig deeper into Heather’s secrets and confront their own issues, comments from their mother make them suspect that their parents’ marriage may not have been as idyllic as they thought. Knowing the wedding will end in blood, The Younger Wife is an addictive domestic thriller that keeps you engaged as you play amateur detective, judging the reliability of the narrators and deciding who you think is guilty.
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
HONORABLE MENTION– Rogue therapist Avery Chambers promises that she can fix any problem in 10 sessions with her unconventional methods that have stripped her of her license. After cheating on her husband, Marissa Bishop is willing to do anything to save her marriage to Matthew. As Avery looks deeper into the seemingly perfect couple, she finds that there is much more going on than any of them suspect. With a compelling story and plenty of twists to keep you guessing, The Golden Couple is one of the best thriller books of 2022.
2022 Celebrity Book Club Picks
TOP PICK – Although she struggles to interact with people, her love of order and cleanliness makes Molly Gray an excellent maid at the Regency Grand Hotel. When Molly discovers a wealthy guest dead in his hotel bed, the police peg her as the prime suspect due to her unusual behaviors. With the help of her friends, Molly must investigate the murder to prove her innocence in this locked-room mystery. If you are looking for a cozy mystery, you’ll instantly fall in love with Molly as the neurodivergent protagonist, with her keen observations and lovable personality.
RUNNER UP – Growing up in rural North Carolina, Ray McMillian will not let his family’s doubts or inherent racism against Blacks stop him from becoming the world’s best classical musician. Which is why it’s a dream come true when he realizes his ancestor’s old fiddle is really a priceless Stradivarius. On the eve of the most prestigious music competition, his violin is stolen and replaced with a ransom note. Ray must do everything he can to get it back, all while the descendants of his ancestor’s former slave owner claim the violin is rightfully theirs.
HONORABLE MENTION – Just as strait-laced Ava Wong’s perfect life begins to crumble, her former roommate from mainland China appears with a scheme to make them both rich. Winnie has an audacious scheme to import near-replica fakes of expensive luxury goods from China, but she just needs someone with an American passport to pull it off. Yet when the scheme goes south, Winnie disappears, leaving Ava to face the consequences.
HONORABLE MENTION – Just after midnight, Jen is watching out the window for her teenage son Todd to come home when she sees him murder an older man right outside their house. With her son in custody, Jen goes to be in despair but wakes to find the day starting all over again. Caught in a time loop, Jen must find out the impetus for the murder and try anything she can to stop it.
What Would You Say Are The Best Thriller Books of 2022?
What thrillers did you enjoy most this year? Did I miss any of the Best Thriller Books of 2022 that you loved? As always, let me know in the comments!
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