The Five Best Crime Thriller Books of 2020 via the Readers Choice Awards on Goodreads

By David M. Olsen


It is often a refreshing change of pace to let the readers pick the best books of the year, rather than the critics. Critics do a great job, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you want to see and hear about the books people love straight from the readers themselves. In other words, I am glad for this opportunity provided by the folks at Goodreads. I have been a loyal member of the Goodreads community for years, and plan to continue. Below are the top five crime and thriller books, including the number one for that category, The Guest List by Lucy Foley. I can say without absolute certainty that every one of these books deserves a spot on your shelf. In fact, Kelp Books is doing a giveaway of all five of these books, plus a free Kindle. If that interests you, click the link here, or on the image below and you can enter for yourself.



The Guest List by Lucy Foley


This book is set on an island off the coast of Ireland, where a wedding is to take place. That is if you made the list. The catch, a massacre once occurred at this very venue. Chances are, this Irish wedding may have a repeat of that fateful event. Or at the very least, one body that falls when the lights suddenly go out in this thrilling and suspenseful whodunit.



Home Before Dark by Riley Sager


If a haunted house slash supernatural thriller is your cup of tea, look no further. Maggie Holt, the protagonist in this wonderful book, is shocked when she finds out that her late father left her a house, Baneberry Hall, to be exact. It had been a cheap purchase due to a tragedy there years before. Of course, more spookiness and tragedy is sure to bloom in this book that will leave haunted house fans in, Heaven?


The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James


Another thoroughly satisfying supernatural thriller that takes place not in a house, but a hotel. The protagonist, twenty-year-old Carly Kirk is determined to find information on her aunt who went missing thirty-five years ago in a shady upstate motel in New York. She begins to uncover a lot more than she bargained for, including a string of murdered young women proceeding her aunt. This may be a good pick for horror fans as well.



When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole


Billed as a thriller with a hard look at racism and greed, this book follows Sydney Green as she sees her largely black neighborhood, Gifford Place in Brooklyn, slowly gentrified and eyed as a location for a corporate headquarters. The book’s thrills, however, stem from the character's research into the neighborhood's black history, as she begins to notice that many of her neighbors have quietly gone missing. This is a thriller not to miss.


The Wives by Tarryn Fisher


This impeccably written and thoroughly enjoyable psychological thriller is set in the Pacific Northwest. It follows Thursday an unreliable narrator who wants to be the perfect with for her perfect husband, Seth. Even so far as sharing Seth with two other wives living in other cities. When Thursday finds out another wife, Hannah is pregnant, she begins doing some research. What she begins to unravel is more than she bargained for. And her husband, the child, and the other women’s lives may be in danger.






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