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Must-Have Thrillers for Your Summer Reading List

Carole Barrowman Counts Down Her Favorites
Posted at 10:31 AM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-31 11:31:17-04

In the summer, you usually find yourself with a little more downtime. Whether you're spending time on beach or traveling via car or plane, it's the perfect time to read some good books! Our book reviewer Carole Barrowman is back to share her top picks for the best new summer thrillers to but in your beach bag or suitcase.

Carole's full summer list will be in the Journal Sentinel on June 9. For more information on Carole, visit And see below for her reviews:

5. "Conviction" by Denise Mina - Scottish writer (so roll your ‘Rs’ when reading this one) is another clever thriller that’ll grip you from the opening pages when a housewife, Anna McLean, who is obsessed with sensational true crime podcasts realizes that a past life she hoped she’d escaped was part of the podcast she was listening to.

4. "The Black Jersey" by Jorge Zepeda Patterson - Put on your bike helmet while reading this one. This exciting thriller gets my vote for the most original setting in a thriller. Set over the course of the Tour De France (so 23 days and 2,000 miles) with the domestique of the lead team as an amateur detective. This is a great behind the scenes thriller and it’s release is timed to this year’s actual Tour.

3. "Those People" by Louise Candlish - Almost every neighborhood has one. The family with the car parts rusting on the lawn, the loud music at all hours of night and day. In the neighborhood Candlish has imagined in this entertaining thriller those people on the corner of Lowland Way may have driven their neighbors to murder.

2. "The Better Sister" by Alafair Burke - Two estranged sisters, Chloe, a driven successful businesswoman, and Nicky, a more troubled woman, have to confront their relationship and their pasts when Adam, Nicky’s ex-husband and Chloe’s spouse, is murdered. Burke is a lawyer and she weaves her talents in that area into this entertaining domestic thriller about sibling rivalry of the deadliest kind.

1. "Recursion" by Blake Crouch - This is my book for the summer! Blake Crouch’s fantastic, mind-blowing philosophical thriller takes on the premise that our memories are the main things that shape who we are and are the touchstones of our pasts. But what if someone alters our memories and actually changes the past you think you’ve lived? This is an ingenious thriller that’s sure to be a movie soon. Read the book first!