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For Readers

Best Thriller Novels to Read Late into the Summer Nights

By: Hidden Gems on July 9, 2024

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on July 9, 2024


Summer is in full swing, and if you’re looking for exciting books to read while on your summer vacation, we have some of the best thriller novels to take you for a ride. Hidden Gems ARC readers were able to fully immerse themselves into a variety of highly rated thrillers over the past few months, and this is a round-up of some of the most popular and well-reviewed page-turners.

The Mazatlan Showdown

The Mazatlan Showdown by Patrick Weill

Champion surfer Jeff Walker, born into tragedy with his father’s untimely death and his mother’s passing abroad, moves to San Diego determined to uncover his father’s killer. Working as a beach lifeguard, a daring sea rescue entangles him in an international smuggling ring. As Walker aids the police investigation, tensions rise when he discovers the smuggling mastermind is the very man he’s sought for years. In this gripping tale of revenge and survival, only one will prevail in the showdown to come.

“Patrick Weill’s first novel, The Mazatlan Showdown, offers nonstop action and great characters,” writes Michael B. in their 5-star review. “The action and battles are fast and furious, and Weill’s writing has a cinematic flair to it. I’m looking forward to the next installment of this series.”

“This is one of those fun, easy reads that you’ll settle into and probably finish in a single sitting, leaving you wanting more,” writes Jethro W. in their 5-star review. “Thankfully, Weill already has two more books out! Go get ’em, as I hear they only get better.”


Ballyhoo by Caroline Clemens

Ballyhoo serves as the bait in deep-sea fishing. Set against the backdrop of Sarasota and the Gulf of Mexico, this romantic coastal crime thriller blends the flair of Miami Vice with the intrigue of a Miss 007 adventure during a Mexican Siesta in Paradise. The story hooks drug cartels in a high-stakes battle against fentanyl, involving American businessmen in the fray.

“Get ready for the ride of your life in this thrilling mystery. She needs to bait the cartel to stop them from dealing drugs that kill innocent people,” writes Anonymous in their 5-star review. “How will she get on? Will she be found out? What will they do?”

Infliction Point

Infliction Point by Mark Hacker

Zach Axton, a haunted FBI agent reeling from the murder of his beloved, is reluctantly pulled back into action when a prisoner escapes from an experimental government program designed to enhance brain function. Teaming up with his former partner and an assistant district attorney, Axton uses his expertise in hunting serial killers to track down the brilliant psychopath. However, his deep understanding of criminal minds may lead him into deadly danger.

Infliction Point by Mark Hacker is an absolute masterpiece. From start to finish, the book is an adrenaline-fueled rollercoaster of action and suspense that will leave you breathless,” writes Emmanuel D. in their 5-star review. “It’s a gripping tour de force that demands to be devoured in one sitting.”

Infliction Point is a complex narrative, keeping readers engaged with each twist and turn,” writes Dennis R. in their 5-star review. “The story skillfully balances suspense, action, and romance, providing depth to its characters…I eagerly anticipate future works from Hacker and the promised sequel.”

Fear City

Fear City by Bill Runner

A troubling call reveals that the cult leader and his crew in Wyoming were just pawns in a larger game. Behind them, a secret network of Boston investors funnels Russian dirty money into America. Determined, Blaze heads to Boston to end the game, only to find himself caught in a dangerous struggle with ruthless Russian mercenaries who bury the truth rather than face it.

“What’s to dislike? Well, I’ll tell you, nothing. I need more,” writes Anonymous in their 5-star review. “If you love action, suspense, and ever-ending ass-kicking, with truth and real justice, you will thoroughly enjoy this series from the first book through to the next installment. Can hardly wait for the next installment of Axel Blaze.”

“Russian mercs, mobsters, money, and murder! Mix in a mole in the FBI team designated to take them down and season with a liberal shake of Axel Blaze…” writes Maggie D. in their 5-star review. “You have a recipe for a rip-roaring action tale and this one does not disappoint! Enjoy!”

The Aztec Secret

The Aztec Secret by Joe Topliffe

A trip to Mexico turns disastrous for aspiring journalist Ted when he becomes an unwilling accomplice in the theft of an ancient artifact. Held hostage and coerced into aiding a desperate professor in deciphering a 500-year-old manuscript by Hernán Cortés, Ted soon embarks on a quest following the footsteps of the conquistador to locate a legendary Aztec jewel.

Joined by a determined young archaeology student, a corrupt government official, three ruthless mercenaries, and a policewoman seeking redemption, Ted’s journey unfolds deep into the jungles of Mexico and Guatemala. There, he confronts his deepest fears in a bid to escape an impossible predicament.

“This was an interesting read with an unusual historical perspective. The story is fast-paced and very enjoyable. Great book and good characters,” writes Sharry F. in their 5-star review. “I highly recommend it to you.”

“Couldn’t put it down!” writes Peter G. in their 5-star review. “This book exceeded my expectations, well researched and written with characters that you can relate to. I’ll definitely be checking out other books from this author.”

Hidden Gems readers got to read these thriller novels first, so if you want more stories that will have you turning pages, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. Authors send these out in the hopes that the readers will write an honest review once they’re done.

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    • For those in our ARC program, yes, they got free copies to review. It’s free to join our ARC program, there are never any fees for our readers. Just click the link found at the end of the article above to get started.