The Best of the Best Thrillers I Read in 2022

2022 was a slower reading year for me. I read 98 books which were relatively low compared to previous years. I followed my less is better rule regarding those ARC and read more books I chose for myself for my own reasons. I tried to gain some shelf control by reading a few titles I had no self-control over and downloaded from NG and EW and then didn’t read them. While most I was reading to get off my shelf, a couple surprised me.

It was a slow year for exciting thrillers that excited me enough to say Hot diggity dang! It’s getting harder to find stories that are different and not the same old stale bread in every book. While I enjoyed 36 of the 48 thrillers/suspense, I read 22 were memorable, and 10 where stand out.

All the Thrillers/Suspense that top my best of the best checked off all the things I love from a thriller. They were unique page-turners, had intriguing hooks, exciting settings, a compelling central conflict that drove the story forward with themes I love to delve into, memorable, well-developed characters, and rewarding twists and turns to the story.

The Trees by Percival Everett

The Trees was another thrilling surprise for me. I decided to try it after being shortlisted for the booker prize. I expected it to be one of those stories I would have to work at understanding the themes, but it was readable and thrilling.

The Trees is one unique read. It is a brilliantly written, captivating page-turner that delves into some challenging, heavy topics for social change and justice. Percival Everett blends history, and real-life events, with a thrilling, chilling, heart-pounding, never been used brutal crime that bleeds into horror. While using dark humor, satire, and stereotypes, the author turns those stereotypes into impressive laugh-out-loud moments that had me turn the pages to see what he comes up with next. The final twist, which I had to think about, was one of the most rewarding ones I have read.

“Everybody talks about genocides around the world, but when the killing is slow and spread over a hundred years, no one notices. Where there are no mass graves, no one notices. American outrage is always for show. It has a shelf life.”

The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon

Jennifer McMahon uses elements of a supernatural thriller and psychological suspense with rip-roaring pacing that had me awake reading past my usual bedtime!! The clues are layered, and twists and turns are clever and rewarding. The themes of monsters, human or not, sent chills down my spine.

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney

Alice Feeney takes a page out of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and gives it a thrilling modern spin with a rewarding killer twist I should have seen coming, but I didn’t.

The Ghost Woods by C.J. Cooke 

The Ghost Woods is a creepy, modern, gothic thriller with ghosts and witches blended with feminist elements that explore women’s roles, rights, fears, perceived hysteria, and sexuality.

Lichen Hall is filled with secrets and strange things going on. It is home to shamed pregnant young women with “no choice” but to give up their babies. Something is creepy around the women’s lives and is about to be released.

The story is unique and chilling, and the tension increases with each chapter right up to the satisfying reveal that gave me plenty to think about.

Next Of Kin by Kia Abdullah

After a tragedy that changes the lives of two sisters, a family and a court trial try to piece together what happened in this explosive, hard-hitting, emotional legal thriller. The tragedy is devastatingly brutal to understand how it could happen, and many questions are opened up I was turning the pages as fast as possible to find the answers. The answers are rewarding and gave me a few things to consider.

Truth Be Told by Kia Abdullah 

Assault counselor Zara Kaleel returns in this intense, compassionate, thought-provoking, emotionally intelligent legal thriller. The crime here is not widely used in thrillers; it defies those gender roles and stereotypes by giving a new take to those overused tropes. Kia Abdullah provides us with a lot to think about while she layers a compelling crime, creating edge-of-the-seat tension right up to that final rewarding reveal that I didn’t expect.

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware delivers us something a little different here in this academic thriller with themes inspired by “what if.” Here “what if I got it wrong and an innocent man went to jail.” Ruth Ware uses those It girl stereotypes to bring us something different here in the twists and turns of the story. Plenty of red herrings kept me on my toes, and I didn’t see that twist until our main character did, making a rewarding one for me!

7 thoughts on “The Best of the Best Thrillers I Read in 2022”

  1. Oooooh, these look great! I appreciate your thoughts on all of them!!! I’m especially intrigued by THE CHILDREN ON THE HILL, THE GHOST WOODS, and DAISY DARKER. Thank you, Brenda 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

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