Ten Thrillers I Must Read in 2023

girl in ice and the retreat

 

Since I love thrillers so much, I set aside the following ten to read in 2023. These are among some of the ones that have been sitting on my shelves the longest. I have quite a few more, but with all the advanced readers’ copies, older books that I have to get to, as well as some new books that will come out in 2023, this list is relatively reasonable. At least, by my standards. 

Without further ado, let’s see which are the ten thrillers I want to read in 2023. 

 

The Retreat by Sarah Pearsethe retreat by sarah pearse

The Retreat

I read The Sanatorium by the same author earlier this year, and it was a very great closed-room mystery. Well executed, the author did a good job of keeping me entertained and guessing the whole time. Therefore, I’m hoping the second Detective Elin Warner novel will be just as good. 

Here’s a quick description from Goodreads:

 

“An eco-wellness retreat has opened on an island off the English coast, promising rest and relaxation—but the island itself, known locally as Reaper’s Rock, has a dark past. Once the playground of a serial killer, it’s rumored to be cursed.

 

Detective Elin Warner is called to the retreat when a young woman’s body is found on the rocks below the yoga pavilion in what seems to be a tragic fall. But the victim wasn’t a guest—she wasn’t meant to be on the island at all.

 

When a guest drowns in a diving incident the following day, Elin starts to suspect that there’s nothing accidental about these deaths. But why would someone target the guests, and who else is in danger?

 

Elin must find the killer—before the island’s history starts to repeat itself . . . “

 

Sounds pretty intriguing! Plus, I’ve had it on my tbr for a good part of the year. So I have no excuse but to read it in 2023. Thoughts to follow.

 

Girl in Ice by Erica Ferencik

Girl in Ice

Girl in Ice

I heard good things about this book, but the cover is the main reason this book intrigued me. I’m hoping I’ll enjoy the book as much as I do the cover.

 

Let’s see the brief description Goodreads gives:

 

From the author of The River at Night and Into the Jungle comes a harrowing new thriller set in the unforgiving landscape of the Arctic Circle, as a brilliant linguist struggling to understand the apparent suicide of her twin brother ventures hundreds of miles north to try to communicate with a young girl who has thawed from the ice alive.”

 

The premise of the book reminds me of “ The Dark” by Emma Hughes which I read about the same time last year. Stuck in the Arctic Circle,  Val suspects there’s been foul play involved in her brother’s suicide. How will this story unfold? I’m just as curious as you are, and I really need to return this book to the library as soon as possible, so more reason to hurry up and get to it. 

 

Lazarus by Lars Kepler

lazarus

Lazarus

The sixth book in the Joona Linna series has patiently awaited its turn on my shelves. I meant to read it this year for NOrdic Noir November, but I only managed to get to The Rabbit Hunter. Hopefully, I can read it this year, as well as The Mirror Man, before their ninth book in the series, The Spider, get translated into English. 

 

Here’s the Goodreads description:

Sometimes the past won’t stay buried.

 

All across Europe, the most ruthless criminals are suffering gruesome deaths. At first, it seems coincidental that their underworld affiliations are finally catching up to them. But when two of the victims are found to have disturbing connections to Detective Joona Linna, it becomes clear that there’s a single killer at work. Still, police are reluctant to launch an investigation. Why stand in his way if a mysterious vigilante is making their jobs easier? Joona, however, is convinced this is no

would-be hero. These deaths serve a much darker purpose.

 

Desperate for help, Joona turns to Saga Bauer. If his hunch is correct, she’s one of the few people who stands a chance at bringing this criminal mastermind down. But Saga is fighting her own demons–and the killer knows just how to use them to his advantage. He continues to strike with impunity, and no one, it seems, is safe. When the killer begins targeting those closest to Saga and Joona, it appears more and more likely that Joona has been right all along, and that tracking down the person responsible will force him to confront a ghost from his past . . . the most terrifying villain he’s ever had to face.”

 

If I go by what other reviewers are saying, this book is a lot better than The Rabbit Hunter, which I thought was pretty deceiving. 

 

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

two dot hutchison novels

the butterfly garden

Since this book came out it intrigued me. I finally won it in a giveaway earlier this year, but I didn’t get a chance to read it yet. Since now I own the first two books in the Collector series, I intend to read them in 2023. 

Let’s take a look at the Goodreads description:

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

 

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

 

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

 

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…”

 

Whoa, what a creepy description! And reading fellow reviewers’ notes, I better brace myself! It’s gory and hard to digest, but that’s how I generally like my crime fiction. If not, what is the point? Let’s see if I can still handle this type of dark subject matter as I get a little older! Will let you know my thoughts as soon as I finish the book. 

 

The Binding Room by Nadine Matheson

the binding room

the binding room

This is the second book by Nadine Matheson. The first one, The Jigsaw man was one of my favorite thrillers in 2021. Of course, as soon as I heard about it I placed a pre-order, but it’s still sitting on my shelves. I must read it in 2023 before the author comes out with a third Anjelica Henley book. 

Let’s take a look at the Goodreads description:

 

When Detective Anjelica Henley is called to investigate the murder of a popular preacher in his own church, she discovers a second victim, tortured and tied to a bed in an upstairs room. He is alive, but barely, and his body shows signs of a dark religious ritual.

 

With a revolving list of suspects and the media spotlight firmly on her, Henley is left with more questions than answers as she attempts to untangle both crimes. But when another body appears, the case takes on a new urgency. Unless she can apprehend the killer, the next victim may just be Henley herself.”

 

Sounds very intriguing, and I cannot believe I waited so long to dig into it. Thoughts to follow. 

 

Trapped by Camilla Lackberg

trapped against the tv

trapped

Camilla Lackberg is one of my favorite Scandinavian authors. I’ve read all of her books in the Fjallbacka series, as well as her two Faye’s Revenge books. I’m curious how she managed her latest work, which seems to be a first in a new series. 

The premise sounds very intriguing. This is the description on Goodreads:

 

“A shocking murder…

It’s a case unlike anything detective Mina Dabiri has seen before. A woman trapped inside a magician’s box, with swords pierced through. But this time, it’s not a magic trick. It’s murder.

 

A case which twists and turns…

Knowing she has a terrifying killer on her hands, Mina enlists the help of celebrity mentalist Vincent Walter. Only he can give her an insight into the secret world of magic and illusions.

 

A ticking clock to stop a serial killer…

Mina and Vincent soon discover that the murder victim has the roman numeral III engraved on her leg. The killer is counting down. There are going to be three more murders. And time is running out to stop them.”

 

I am looking forward to reading this book, even though it’s probably her largest book yet. 

 

Death in The Family by Tessa Wegert

death in the family

death in the family

I discovered Canadian writer Tessa Wegert thanks to Instagram. But I’ve yet to read any of her books, although I own the first three Shana Merchant novels. 

Let’s see what it’s all about, as quoted from Goodreads:

 

“A storm-struck island. A blood-soaked bed. A missing man. Senior Investigator Shana Merchant believes it all adds up to a killer in their midst—and that murder is a family affair.”

 

The description is a few paragraphs, but this gives us a good idea of what the book is about. I can’t wait to start this series!

 

Things We Do in the Dark by Jennifer Hillier

things we do in the dark in my hand

things we do in the dark

Another fellow Canadian, I’ve read a couple of books by Jennifer Hillier and loved them. Hopefully, this one won’t disappoint, as I read mixed reviews.

The Goodreads description is as follows:

 

“Things We Do in the Dark” is a brilliant new thriller from Jennifer Hillier, the award-winning author of the breakout novels Little Secrets and Jar of Hearts. Paris Peralta is suspected of killing her celebrity husband, and her long-hidden past now threatens to destroy her future.”

 

Sounds pretty good, I’ll see how I feel about the actual delivery of the story. 

 

The Witch Hunter by Max Seeck

the witch hunter

the witch hunter

I’m ashamed to say it, but although I’m a great Nordic Noir fan, I’ve never read any books by any Finnish authors. I have heard of Seeck’s books for a while, and I’ve acquired the first two in the Jessica Niemi series. Hopefully, this is the year when I’ll finally get acquainted with this Finnish author. 

Here’s the description of The Witch Hunter on Goodreads:

 

“A bestselling author’s wife has been found dead in a gorgeous black evening gown, sitting at the head of a formally set dinner table. Her most chilling feature—her face is frozen in a ghastly smile.

 

At first, it seems as though a deranged psychopath is reenacting the gruesome murders from The Witch Hunter, the bestseller written by the victim’s husband. But investigator Jessica Niemi soon realizes she’s not looking for a single killer but rather for dozens of believers in a sinister form of witchcraft.

 

They know her every move and are always one step ahead. As the bodies start piling up, Jessica knows they won’t stop until they get what they want. And when her dark past comes to light, Jessica finds herself battling her own demons while desperately trying to catch a coven of killers before they claim their next victim.”

 

I cannot wait to read this book, to be followed by The Ice Coven soon after. 

 

The Killing by David Hewson

the killing book cover

the killing

And last, but definitely not least, this is probably the most anticipated Nordic Noir thriller I want to read in 2023. It isn’t the newest book, but one that is based on one of my favorite ever TV series, The Killing. Both the American and the Danish series are well done, and I’m sure the book is even better. 

Here is how Goodreads describes it:

 

Sarah Lund is looking forward to her last day as a detective with the Copenhagen Police department before moving to Sweden. But everything changes when 19-year-old student Nanna Birk Larsen is found raped and brutally murdered in the woods outside the city. Lund’s plans to relocate are put on hold as she leads the investigation along with fellow detective Jan Meyer. While Nanna’s family struggles to cope with their loss, local politician Troels Hartmann is in the middle of an election campaign to become the new mayor of Copenhagen. When links between City Hall and the murder suddenly come to light, the case takes an entirely different turn. Over the course of 20 days, suspect upon suspect emerges as violence and political intrigue cast their shadows over the hunt for the killer. “

 

Just in case you missed it, I’ve mentioned several times on this blog, as well as on Instagram, just how much I love this series. I am convinced I will love this book as well, although it is another brick. Counting more than 700 words, it seems like the same type of style as the Millenium trilogy. And there are also three books in the series as well, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. 

 

Concluding Words

five thrillers beginning of 2023

These are just ten of the many more thrillers I have waiting patiently for me to get to them. Will I finally succeed in reading them all in 2023? I certainly hope so. Wish me luck!

Until next time, I wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year. May 2023 be your best year yet!

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