A Writer Reads: Top 8 Thriller Novels From My Summer Reading List

by | A Writer Reads, Behind the Scenes, Book Hauls, Book Reviews, Thriller Novel Nerd

Hello, Book Lovers!


So, You’re ready for your summer vacation. And like me, you can’t wait to soak up some rays far away from the busy streets of cities like London. You just want to relax on a beach or by a pool with a great read, a thriller novel. Like you, I love the sun, even though it doesn’t like me, I love the beach and a great thriller novel. In this blog post, I will share with you a curated list of cross-genre thriller novels that I have purchased on one my many books hauls from my local bookshop. I plan to read these top 8 thriller novels over the summer season, that is already upon us.


About this List

Just so you are aware, I have carefully curated the blurbs from the marketing copy on the backs of the books and online bookstores. I’ve also included the Goodreads average star rating at the time I curated the list, just to give you an idea of what other readers have thought of the book. I tend to choose books that have been sitting on the shelves for a while, instead of the sometimes over-hyped best sellers list. I’ll include a link to these books to Amazon to make it easier for you to find them online. So, let’s get into the books.

#1 – Imperium by Robert Harris

Technically this book is Historical Fiction, but it does have strong elements of a thriller. I’m also really fascinated by the Roman Era, so I’m excited to read this book. I found Imperium while wondering around the massive Foyles in London, and I purchased Pompeii as well. I have to admit that I’m slightly devastated that someone else had a similar idea to me. As a writer, I have a tonne of ideas sitting in an Evernote notebook waiting to be turned into a novel.


The Book Blurb

Imperium is sent in the ancient republic of Rome and follows Tiro, who is the confidential secretary of a Roman senator. I’m assuming this central character is a slave in the Roman empire. Tiro opens the door to a terrified stranger on a cold November morning, and as a result sets in motion a chain of events which will eventually propel his master into one of the most famous courtroom dramas in history.


The Rating

This book has a 4.04 star average on Goodreads.


#2 – Conclave by Robert Harris

I purchased a stunning hardback edition with black edging on the pages, which is the main reason for the purchase. To be honest, the title said it all, and it’s my favourite style of book, a hardback. I love this coloured edges trend. It makes a book feel like a work of art. But, I do find the whole notion of Catholicism and conclave quite intriguing, mainly because we don’t know what goes on behind the scene and how they choose the next pope.


The Book Blurb

The story starts off with the death of the Pope. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.


There’s something about this book that makes me think it might be similar to the young pope. I’m also wondering if there a possible body count because the blurb does drop some major hints about corruption. And, maybe there might be a character who is prepared to go to extreme lengths to secure the position of Pope. Just from reading the blurb, I do get a sense that this book might be more of a political thriller unlike the previous book, I mentioned.


The Rating

Conclave has a 3.96 star average of Goodreads. I have found that Goodreads tends to have lower star ratings than Amazon. The reason for the lower ratings could be because the site is used by people who read books regularly.


#3 – Persuader by Lee Child

No list of thriller novels is complete without a Jack Reacher Thriller on it, and this list is no exception. This is the 7th book in the Jack Reacher thriller novels. And, I feel the need to admit that I don’t like Jack Reacher, but, I’ve only read Killing Floor. I found him a bit of a cliche but, I do want to give the series another chance. What I will say, is Lee Child is a good storyteller and, I’m interested to see what goes on in this story. I purchased this book while on a recent trip to Australia. The cover and the blurb on the back of the book is what drove me to make this purchase.


The Book Blurb

In this seventh instalment, some unfinished business has now found Jack Reacher. Ten years ago, a key investigation went sour, and someone got away with murder. Now a chance encounter brings it all back. Now Reacher sees his one last shot to bring the victims of this ten year some justice.


Just from reading the blurb, I’m wondering if Jack is going to do the obvious and take the law into his own hands. Or, is this blurb worded this way to encourage a reader to take it home as I did.


The Rating

Persuader has a 4.09 star average on Goodreads.


#4 -The Cleaner by Mark Dawson

I signed up to Mark Dawson’s email list a while ago after listening to the Self Publishing Formula podcast, and I got a free copy of this ebook. Then, last week I got an email from Mark Dawson letting me and his list know that the audiobook was free on Audible, so I’ve got an ebook and audiobook. Yay for free books! This is how I love to read. I often buy the audiobook and either a physical book or the ebook and read along as I listen. What can I say? My inner child loves to be read too.


The Book Blurb

John Milton is the man the government sends after you when everything else has failed. He goes on the run, seeking atonement for his sins by helping the people he meets along the way. But his past cannot be easily forgotten, and before long it is Milton who is hunted and not the hunter.


The Rating

The cleaner has a 3.71 star average on Goodreads. A lot of these books do have a tonne of reviews on Goodreads which explains these decimal point ratings.


#5 – Killing Eva by Alex Blackmore

I purchased this book purely because of the title. It was simply intriguing. Killing Eva is the second book in the Eva Scott Thriller series, so eventually, if I love this book, I’ll go back and read the first. Hopefully, I wouldn’t have to read the first one to understand this book. So, fingers crossed. A good series should explain things when needed and encourage the reader to binge read the authors backlist. When I started curating this list, I had a chance to read the book’s blurb and now, I can’t wait to read it.


The Book Blurb

Eva Scott witnesses a dramatic death at London’s Waterloo Station. This incident triggers a series of events that shatter Eva world. The dying words awaken a history she had thought long buried, and soon, Eva’s life is out of her hands. I found this blurb quite fascinating. It sounds very cross-genre like it could be a Sci-Fi Thriller.


The Rating

Killing Eva has a 3.42 star average on Goodreads. Based on this rating, I’m wondering whether it lives up to expectations or not. But, I’ll soon find out.


#6 – Well of the Winds by Denzil Meyrick

I have a few other copies of Denzil’s books on my Kindle, and for some reason, I thought he was an indie author. When I saw this book in my local Waterstones, I had to buy it. There’s nothing wrong with being traditional or indie published; both are very valid forms of publication. It was nice to recognise another thriller novel by an Author I’ve seen before.


The Book Blurb

The story opens with the murder of a man along the shore of Kinloch as WWII comes to an end. Fast forward to the present day, where a postman delivers a parcel and discovers that the Brenner family are missing off their farm. Essential DCI Daley needs to solve the wartime murder to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of the Brenner Family. I’m truly intrigued to see how the crime and the disappearance relate to each other.


The Rating

This book has a 4.39 star average on Goodreads.


#7 – Echoes in Death by J D Robb

I purchased this as a hardback edition. I’ve meant to read a book by J. D. Robb for quite some time because she is considered one of the biggest thriller writers. This book is a crime thriller; I found the plot as described in the blurb on the inside cover fascinating.


The Book Blurb

Eve Dallas and Roarke are on their way home from a fancy gala when they almost run into a young woman wandering dazed, naked and bloodied in the street. As Eve begins her investigation, she uncovers a series of like assaults that are vicious and cruel, especially this last one that continues to remind her of what was done to her before liberation.


The Rating

Echoes in Death has a 4.43 star average on Goodreads. There does seem to be a bit of chatter on Goodreads about people leaving star ratings before the release. So, maybe this is just fans excited about a book release or readers with advanced reader copies. But, I’m still excited to read this book.


#8 – Destroyer of Worlds by J. F. Penn

This is a book I’ve previously read. I originally read this book in a few short days. J. F. Penn is an Indie Author who has recently been nominated as a finalist for the International Thriller Writers Awards for 2017. I want to re-read this book to understand how J. F. Penn wrote the novel.


The Book Blurb

A bomb explodes in the centre of London, and a fragment of an ancient Hindu sculpture is stolen from the ARKANE Headquarters by a secret organisation bent on mass murder. Just a side note, ARKANE is an acronym for the Arcane Religious Knowledge And Numinous Experience Institute. If the sculpture is put together again, it will reveal the key to the Brahmastra, a weapon with the power of a nuclear explosion.


The Rating

Destroyer of Worlds has a 4.47 star average on Goodreads.


Concluding Thoughts

So, those are the eight books that I aim to read over the summer season. I may add others to the list as I go along, especially if I end up reading these books much quicker than expected, but, I’ll keep you posted on more lists like this on the blog. I will also be posting individual book reviews of the books from this list that I loved. I’ll leave off the books that didn’t meet expectations, or I simply did not enjoy, unless you want to read those thoughts too. Now, I have a very important question to ask you. What are you planning to read this summer? Let me know by sharing your current read or a short to read list, in the comments section below.


Happy reading, book lovers!


Amelia xx

* DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. The commission helps support the blog and allows us to continue to make content like this. Thank you for the support. 🙂

Amelia D. Hay

Amelia D. Hay

I’m Amelia. I write amateur sleuth mystery novels under the pen name A. D. Hay and I’m the author of The Candidate, The Locked Room, The Lawn, Suspicion and Duplicity. I’m also the host of the Mystery Novel Nerd Podcast and The Authorpreneur Podcast™️. Right now, I’m writing the first novella in a cozy mystery series, and writing the third book in the James Lalonde Mystery Series. When I’m not writing, hosting my podcasts or coaching aspiring authors, I love to travel around Europe with my Husband, drink tea, and eat pizza.

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