Yes, it is a little early for a yearly round up and I do appreciate I may very well read more brilliant thrillers this year but I feel that thrillers have been such a strong genre in 2021 that I wanted to share my 5 favourites… so far.
They are all also excellent summer reads – perfect escapism if you’re on an August break.
5 amazing thrillers I’ve read in 2021
/ The Castaways by Lucy Clarke
The Castaways brilliantly taps into so many people’s fear of flying. Or even if you love a plane trip – a plane crash is a whole different matter. This is a very pacy thriller about what happens when a small plane crashes on a remote Fijian island.
Told from the point of view of sisters Lori and Erin, the latter doesn’t get on the doomed flight after the sisters have an argument. The story is then Erin trying to find out what happened and Lori revealing the truth. A unique story – loved it!
/ The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris
Very much in the psychological thriller territory – The Other Black Girl is a very suspenseful story, unlike any I’ve read before.
Nella Rogers is an editorial assistant at Wagner publishing house. For years she is the only Black girl in the office, then Hazel is hired. Nella assumes they will bond, swap stories and form an allegiance, being the only two Black girls at Wagner, but that’s not quite how things play out…
This book pulls you in instantly, takes you on twisty journey, gives you a knowing, satirical wink and totally smashes any preconceptions you had about what the story might be.
/ Fragile by Sarah Hilary
Now for a thriller on the more chilling side. Fragile is an excellently blends a cracking page-turning story with a delve into the depths of human nature and gets your mind whirring.
Nell grows up in a foster home in Wales, runs away at 18 to London and ends up as a housekeeper for Dr. Wilder. Their relationship blurs professional boundaries and her history soon catches up with her. A very clever psychological thriller with depth.
/ Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
This psychological thriller, Rock Paper Scissors falls into the domestic noir genre as it explores the secrets and lies of Adam and Amelia’s marriage. It also has a lot of Gothic conventions (which I love) – it’s set in the isolated wilds of an old, renovated Scottish church. Add to the mix the fact that Adam has a rare condition – prosopagnosia, which means he can’t recognise faces, even his wife’s and you have an enticing story.
Highly addictive and perfectly written, you’ll never second guess what’s going to happen.
/ Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone
Another thriller with a Gothic feel (what can I say, I have a type…) Mirrorland is about twin sisters who have a dark, damaged childhood, re-started their lives aged 12 and are in love with the same man. Also, they create a whole imaginary world – Mirrorland – to deal with their trauma. Layered on top of that is a fantastic, pacy story when one of the twins goes missing. All this threads expertly come together for a brilliant story.
So there are my favourite thrillers for 2021 (so far) – have you read any of them? Let me know your thriller recommendations below!