20 Best Mystery Novels & Thrillers of 2020

2020 best mystery and thriller books novels

The 2020 new releases have included so many fantastically twisty and suspenseful mystery and thriller books. I’m having a lot of fun (and a lot of late nights spent reading instead of sleeping!) going through these titles.

Here’s my list of the best bets for 2020. This list is based on my personal preferences, early reviews for soon to be released books, and others’ reviews that I’ve read. I’ll be updating it as more books get released through the year, so stay tuned!

The Guest List
Lucy Foley

What It's About: An alternative cover edition for this ISBN can be found here.

It's the wedding of the year. But someone won't survive it.

On a remote island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate the wedding of Jules Keegan and Will Slater. Will is a rising television star, handsome and charming...

See the Full Summary and Review of The Guest List

Publication Date: February 20, 2020
mystery thriller mystery thriller

Home Before Dark
Riley Sager

What It's About: What was it like? Living in that house.

Maggie Holt is used to such questions. Twenty-five years ago, she and her parents, Ewan and Jess, moved into Baneberry Hall, a rambling Victorian estate in the Vermont woods. They spent three weeks there before fleeing in the dead of night, an ordeal Ewan later recounted in a nonfiction book called House of Horrors...

See the Full Summary and Review of Home Before Dark

Publication Date: June 30, 2020
horror thriller mystery

A Good Marriage
Kimberly McCreight

What It's About: Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted...

See the Full Summary and Review of A Good Marriage

Publication Date: May 5, 2020
thriller mystery botm

Invisible Girl
Lisa Jewell

What It's About: Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn...

Publication Date: October 13, 2020
thriller mystery mystery thriller

Little Secrets
Jennifer Hillier

What It's About: Marin had the perfect life. Married to her college sweetheart, she owns a chain of upscale hair salons, and Derek runs his own company. They're admired in their community and are a loving family—until their world falls apart the day their son Sebastian is taken.

A year later, Marin is a shadow of herself...

Publication Date: April 21, 2020
thriller mystery mystery thriller

The Sun Down Motel
Simone St. James

What It's About: The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel...

Publication Date: February 18, 2020
mystery horror thriller

Moonflower Murders (Susan Ryeland #2)
Anthony Horowitz

What It's About: Featuring his famous literary detective Atticus Pund and Susan Ryeland, hero of the worldwide bestseller Magpie Murders, a brilliantly complex literary thriller with echoes of Agatha Christie from New York Times bestselling author Anthony Horowitz.

Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is living the good life...

Publication Date: August 20, 2020
mystery audiobook crime

The Red Lotus
Chris Bohjalian

What It's About: From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Flight Attendant comes a twisting story of love and deceit: an American man vanishes on a rural road in Vietnam, and his girlfriend, an emergency room doctor trained to ask questions, follows a path that leads her home to the very hospital where they met...

Publication Date: March 17, 2020
mystery thriller audio

Big Lies in a Small Town
Diane Chamberlain

What It's About: North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher's life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women's Correctional Center. Her dream of a career in art is put on hold—until a mysterious visitor makes her an offer that will see her released immediately...

Publication Date: January 14, 2020
historical fiction mystery audiobook

Mexican Gothic
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

What It's About: He is trying to poison me.
You must come for me, Noemí.
You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newlywed cousin, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside, unsure what she will find.

Noemí is an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, more suited to cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing...

See the Full Summary and Review of Mexican Gothic

Publication Date: June 30, 2020
horror historical fiction gothic

The Boy from the Woods
Harlan Coben

What It's About: Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn't know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pine's disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school...

Publication Date: March 17, 2020
mystery thriller harlan coben

The Night Swim
Megan Goldin

What It's About: Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help...

Publication Date: August 4, 2020
thriller mystery mystery thriller

The Shadows
Alex North

What It's About: You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile--always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet--and inspired more than one copycat...

Publication Date: July 7, 2020
horror thriller mystery

One by One
Ruth Ware

What It's About: Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness...

Publication Date: September 8, 2020
mystery thriller mystery thriller

When You See Me (Detective D.D. Warren #11)
Lisa Gardner

What It's About: Bestselling author Lisa Gardner unites three of her most loved characters -Detective D.D. Warren, Flora Dane, and Kimberly Quincy - in a twisty new thriller, as they investigate a mysterious murder from the past that points to a dangerous and chilling present-day crime.

FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective DD Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness...

Publication Date: January 28, 2020
thriller books i own mystery thriller

One of Us Is Next
Karen M. McManus

What It's About: Come on, Bayview, you know you've missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one's been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now...

See the Full Summary and Review of One of Us Is Next

Publication Date: January 7, 2020
mystery young adult physical tbr

The Last Flight
Julie Clark

What It's About: Two women. Two Flights. One last chance to disappear.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems...

Publication Date: June 2, 2020
thriller mystery mystery thriller

The Wife and the Widow
Christian White

What It's About: The second standalone thriller from the award-winning author of THE NOWHERE CHILD

Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and The Widow is an unsettling thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside when she’s forced to confront the evidence of her husband’s guilt...

Publication Date: September 24, 2019
thriller mystery crime

The Other Mrs.
Mary Kubica

What It's About: Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor Morgan Baines is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge...

Publication Date: February 18, 2020
thriller mystery audiobooks

Eight Perfect Murders (Malcolm Kershaw #1)
Peter Swanson

What It's About: A chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A...

Publication Date: March 3, 2020
mystery thriller mystery thriller

His & Hers
Alice Feeney

What It's About: There are two sides to every story: yours and mine, ours and theirs, His & Hers. Which means someone is always lying.

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation...

Publication Date: July 28, 2020
thriller mystery mystery thriller

2020 best mystery and thriller books novels

2020 best mystery and thriller books novels

2020 best mystery and thriller books novels

2020 best mystery and thriller books novels

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