Winter Reading: Chilling Books on my Unread Shelf

The snow is falling here again in my neck of the woods, and when it snows, I am not going anywhere. So again, I am reaching for those chilling books that offer more chills than the weather outside.

The Kind Worth Killing (Henry Kimball / Lily Kintner #1) by Peter Swanson

With the pub date coming up for the second book, I am rereading TKWK, mostly listening to it. I love cat and mouse games, and I can break a sweat just by reading a thrilling one. Lily is one chilling character; getting into her head feels as cold as it does outside.

A devious tale of psychological suspense involving sex, deception, and an accidental encounter that leads to murder.

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda’s demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

Published February 2015

The Kind Worth Saving (Henry Kimball / Lily Kintner #2) by Peter Swanson

There was always something slightly dangerous about Joan. So, when she turns up at private investigator Henry Kimball’s office asking him to investigate her husband, he can’t help feeling ill at ease. Just the sight of her stirs up a chilling memory: he knew Joan in his previous life as a high school English teacher, when he was at the center of a tragedy.

Now Joan needs his help in proving that her husband is cheating. But what should be a simple case of infidelity becomes much more complicated when Kimball finds two bodies in an uninhabited suburban home with a “for sale” sign out front. Suddenly it feels like the past is repeating itself, and Henry must go back to one of the worst days of his life to uncover the truth.

Is it possible Joan knows something about that day, something she’s hidden all these years? Could there still be a killer out there, someone who believes they have gotten away with murder? Henry is determined to find out, but as he steps closer to the truth, a murderer is getting closer to him, and in this hair-raising game of cat and mouse only one of them will survive.

Expected publication March 7, 2023

Dead of Winter by Darcy Coates

This will be my first book by Darcy Coates, and it will fit the bill for a thrilling, chilling read set in a remote cabin in the snowy wilderness. It will be published on July 11, 2023, by Poisoned Pen Press, and then it might be a good one to add to your summer reading list when you need some chills to cool down in the summer heat.

From bestselling author Darcy Coates comes Dead of Winter, a remote cabin in the snowy wilderness thriller that will teach you to trust no one. There are eight strangers. One killer. Nowhere left to run.

When Christa joins a tour group heading deep into the snowy expanse of the Rocky Mountains, she’s hopeful this will be her chance to put the ghosts of her past to rest. But when a bitterly cold snowstorm sweeps the region, the small group is forced to take shelter in an abandoned hunting cabin. Despite the uncomfortably claustrophobic quarters and rapidly dropping temperature, Christa believes they’ll be safe as they wait out the storm.

She couldn’t be more wrong.

Deep in the night, their tour guide goes missing…only to be discovered the following morning, his severed head impaled on a tree outside the cabin. Terrified, and completely isolated by the storm, Christa finds herself trapped with eight total strangers. One of them kills for sport…and they’re far from finished. As the storm grows more dangerous and the number of survivors dwindles one by one, Christa must decide who she can trust before this frozen mountain becomes her tomb.

Expected publication July 11, 2023

I am looking for more chilling thrilling reads especially ones set in Cabins in the Woods. I have a few on my list but I would love to see any recommendations.

4 thoughts on “Winter Reading: Chilling Books on my Unread Shelf”

  1. I don’t read a lot of thrillers, but I read a super intense “cabin in the woods” book last year, Near the Bone by Christina Henry. It has a supernatural element, which maybe doesn’t fit your theme, but the people aspects were the truly chilling parts.

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