7 Thrilling Beach Reads

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Are you beach-book ready? From international espionage and a 16th century murder mystery to twisty psychological thrillers, here are seven books you’ll want to tuck into your beach bag.


THE BLACK WIDOW (Harper) by Daniel Silva

In the 16th novel of the popular series, Israeli art restorer and spy Gabriel Allon is back – and this time he’s on the trail of a secret ISIS terrorist known as Saladin who is the mastermind of a series of horrific attacks in Europe. The clock is ticking for his next target: Washington, D.C. To prevent the attack, Allon recruits Natalie Mizrahi, a Jewish doctor living in Jerusalem, to go undercover and infiltrate ISIS.


IN A DARK, DARK WOOD (Simon & Schuster) by Ruth Ware

A dark and twisty tale that has been compared to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the story centers on a weekend bachelorette party in the English countryside that takes a sinister turn when old friends reunite. A bestseller in both the US and the UK, the story is slated to come to the big screen soon.


MISSING, PRESUMED (Harper Collins) by Susie Steiner

In this literary thriller from former UK journalist Susie Steiner, Detective Manon Bradshaw, of the Cambridgeshire police force, must solve the suspicious disappearance of a beautiful graduate student, who also happens to be the daughter of the Royal Family’s surgeon.


THE CROW GIRL (Random House) by Erik Axl Sund

The latest Scandinavian crime sensation centers on the dark and horrific murders of children by a serial killer, taking place in a country grappling with tensions from non-European immigration and extreme-right-wing politics.


CONSPIRACY (Doubleday) by S.J. Parris

The fifth installment in the series, this murder mystery is set in 16th-century France where King Henri III has caused an uproar by appointing a Protestant as his successor, and in so doing, putting his own life in danger. Giordano Bruno, philosopher, ex-monk and spy, investigates a series of mysterious deaths linked to the royal succession, and in so doing, makes an alliance with Charles Paget, an English Catholic who tried to assassinate Queen Elizabeth.



THE CRIME WRITER (Sceptre) by Jill Dawson

This fictional tale of adultery and murder is based on the life of the eccentric American novelist Patricia Highsmith. It’s 1964, and Highsmith is holed up in a cottage in Suffolk, to escape her fans and focus on her writing. She has another motive too – a secret romance with a married lover based in London – and soon events at her idyllic retreat take a catastrophic turn.

LOVE YOU DEAD (Pan Macmillan) by Peter James

In the mind of Brighton’s Black Widow, you can make money or marry it, and she’s an expert at the latter – but in her case, this means targeting rich elderly men to marry, and soon after, murdering them. In the latest installment in the popular UK crime series, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, who is based on a real life former detective in the Sussex Police, faces off with a killer with a particularly venomous mind and poisonous skills.