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Recently Reviewed Top Thrillers

By: Hidden Gems on October 16, 2018

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on October 16, 2018


In the past few months, we’ve been lucky enough to share some fantastic thrillers with our subscribers. It’s always tough to narrow down a list to our favorites, which is why we make the list up from some of our reader favorites instead.  Here are some of the suspense books that really jump-scared us all. And, remember, if you like the look of any of these, you can sign up to our program and receive as many books as you can read for FREE, in the hopes that you’ll leave an honest review of them on Amazon when you’re done.

Crossing a Line by Mike Boshier Crossing a Line by Mike Boshier 

British author Mike Boshier manages to paint a vividly realistic portrait of modern America in this fast-paced thriller in the Jack Reacher mold. The tough-as-nails hero, John Deacon, has everybody guessing when he ‘goes rogue’ and joins a menacing religious cult – but what’s his real motivation?

Kim wrote a 5-star review and said: “The book starts off with a bang and then you get the back story. Don’t try to figure it out – Mike Boshier leads you around turns you don’t expect. The characters are believable and interesting – very multidimensional. I loved this book and couldn’t put it down. This author creates great pictures with words, and his ability to lead up to the climax of the story is great!”

Karl H praised how timely the book was: “The book has an all too believable plot, especially in today’s hyper partisan climate. I am an avid reader of this genre and I can’t wait for Mike’s next novel. The books are well researched, and the author is knowledgeable on the subject matter.”

Killing the Unicorn by Lizella PrescottKilling the Unicorn by Lizella Prescott

Another book that’s taut and modern, although with a completely different focus, is Killing the Unicorn. A ‘unicorn’ is slang for a single, bisexual woman interested in an open relationship with a married couple; and that’s exactly what struggling couple Helen and Mann think they’ve found in the sexy, vulnerable Julia. But this ‘unicorn’ has dark secrets of her own; and opening their marriage might have opened Helen and Mann up to a world of danger.

“It’s an interesting and unique take on a dark thriller, when three becomes a crowd,” writes reviewer Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews. “Prescott writes well, and creates depthful characters. The story makes the reader wonder why such a divide in this marriage. And then the story unravels at a pace perfect for building up the intrigue and intensity of the story. I enjoyed this story, and look forward to reading more from this author.”

“First, I have to pick my jaw up off the floor, Jenifer wrote in her review. “Now maybe I can process what I just read. I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down. It was so crazy. Each new chapter brought on a new layer of insane madness. I wasn’t sure how this was going to work itself out! Don’t even bother trying to figure it out because things twist and turn so fast. You think you know but you have no idea. New craziness unfolds and builds up faster and faster. Keep reading and enjoy the dark crazy ride! I couldn’t stop reading! I have bags under my eyes today because I stayed up too late finishing it.”

AntiAmerica by T.K. Falco AntiAmerica by T.K. Falco 

The world has changed massively in recent years, and in AntiAmerica the face of modern terrorism gets explored when an online ‘hacktivist’ group brings down the world’s banks; and there’s only one lead to track down the perpetrators. With shadows of the ‘Occupy’ movement and online activists Anonymous, this thriller is vividly realistic and will keep you guessing to the very end.

Mallory A. Haws from The Haunted Reading Room Reviews praised the book with a 5-star review, writing: “ANTIAMERICA is an engrossing gaze into contemporary culture and a number of important social and ethical issues. Its theme is also potentially predictive, and readers will be left pondering, ‘Is such an event possible? Could it happen in the U. S.? What if it DOES?’ The characters readily engaged my empathy, and this thriller of activism held my attention right from the start.”

Reviewer Maru wrote: “This book is very intense and the plot moves in a steady and rapid clip. The characters are well written, and they will make you either love or hate them. I did have to stop and love up some abbreviations and terms from the cyber world that I did not understand, but I thought that only made the book more thorough. I highly enjoyed reading AntiAmerica. I look forward to reading more from Mr. Falco.”

Seeing Evil by Jason ParentSeeing Evil by Jason Parent

A kind-hearted cop and a clairvoyant teenage orphan make an unlikely pair of detectives in this taut thriller by Jason Parent. It’s the tale of Michael, who has the reluctant power of seeing the future. His close friend, detective Sam Reilly, hopes to use Michael’s power to track down a ruthless killer – but the tables soon turn in a way even the clairvoyant Michael couldn’t have seen coming.

Seeing Evil is a perfectly-paced book, with intriguing characters and white-knuckle, edge of your seat tension,” writes reviewer El Guapo. “The villain is particularly haunting in an all-too-plausible way, and even a few days after having finished reading the events of the book are still vividly etched in my mind. Parent’s writing here is top notch – sleek, efficient and with surprising emotional depth.”

Kindle Customer writes: “This is one that grips you from page one. It’s well told and very believable. I was immediately drawn to the young teen trapped in a terrific abusive situation. Although there was gory violence the description was kept to a minimum. This also wasn’t a ‘happily ever after ending’ either, which makes it more believable. Even so, there’s a hint of hope as the story winds to a finish.”

Don't Trust Me by Jessica LynchDon’t Trust Me by Jessica Lynch

Sometimes the biggest thrills happen in the smallest towns, and that’s the case in Don’t Trust Me. Set in the tiny hamlet of Hamlet (I like that) it’s the tale of a husband and wife who come into this small, forgotten town – and face a murderer.

“The make-believe town of Hamlet has a dark and eerie character,” writes Elizabeth. “It kind of like reminds me of this theory that there’s still uncivilized locals inside the Amazon forest. It fascinates me when a book introduces a place or character that’s completely made up, because anything and everything can just happen. It forces me to think of what could’ve happened under normal circumstances. But even if Hamlet is a bit strange, the people are quite friendly and…uhm, normal. I mean, they are pretty much, or more or less the same people you’d encounter in a small town setup.”

She continues: “This story has a dark tone, from the first page up until the last. The author did a fine job to keep me breathless, and just when I thought I’ve already figured out who is who and what is what, boom! An unexpected plot twist slapped me through. Mystery and suspense fans out there, this book is highly recommended to be in your bookshelf. I wouldn’t suggest you read this as a bedtime read though, since you might not be able to sleep because you wouldn’t be able to put it down. Also, adrenaline rush!”

The Rusted Scalpel by Timothy BrowneThe Rusted Scalpel by Timothy Browne

Dr. Timothy Browne blends science and religion in this thrilling tale – which sees a broken and blinded doctor healed by faith, and then thrust onto the knife-edge of science when he’s hired by a pharmaceutical company that promises happiness in pill form. But what cost does this miracle come at?

“This taut, suspenseful medical thriller draws the reader in and takes him from Montana to exotic Singapore, to India, and to the remote areas of Borneo once known as the land of the headhunters,” writes reviewer Book Addict. “The memorable characters drive the story from one man’s struggle into the broader human battle between good and evil. Goodness and the seduction of evil reveal themselves slowly from the gray areas, one decision at a time, to the breath-taking conclusion.”

” I read the entire book in 24 hours as I couldn’t stop reading!” writers Glenn Price. “The Rusted Scalpel challenged me to grow intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Easily the best of Dr. Browne’s excellent medical thrillers, The Rusted Scalpel follows Dr. Nick Hart as he transitions from surgeon to pharmaceutical company pitchman for one of the richest men in the world and in the process learns about the wizard behind the curtain in the land of Oz. Packed with high stakes drama, adventure and set in remote and exotic international settings, The Rusted Scalpel made me question what is most important in my life and why.” 

EVOLVED by Jesse LawsonEVOLVED by Jesse Lawson

A former Marine, turned archaeologist, is invited to join an underwater expedition researching a self-repairing fossil; which offers unknown potential to science and medicine. But once beneath the waves, it seems like the origin of this fossil might not be quite as extinct as assumed; and our plucky protagonist might need her military skills more than her academic ones.

Mallory A. Haws from The Haunted Reading Room Reviews loved this book, writing: “I admire a good technothriller, and EVOLVED is beyond “good”: it is exceptional. I tend to be a fan of cephalopods as a Lovecraftian (though 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea certainly scared me as a child), and I got to learn a lot about the species while reading EVOLVED. From the terrifying reader’s hook right through, the novel rings a lot of my ‘must-have’ bells and gave me a lot of characters from whom to choose where to place my empathy. Plus, I loved the science. All win all the way–can’t wait for the next in series.”

Kim similarly praised the book, writing: “With a clever mix of science, horror, medical, geopolitical and science fiction themes, this book really draws the reader in. I couldn’t put it down. A fast read that, even with the twists and turns, gets you to the climax quickly.”

Beyond The Sea by Martin LaddBeyond The Sea by Martin Ladd

Three seemingly unconnected stories start off this taut thriller, but they soon converge into a single narrative with high stakes and everything to fight for.

“Plenty of intrigue, suspense and action fills this adventure; certainly not what anyone (the good guys, not the bad ones) expected in their wildest dreams. Mr. Lapp does a good job with his descriptions, nothing graphic, but clear and easy to visualize his subjects,” writes review Texas. “With the characters, there are some behaviors unique to this story. Certain stereotypes prevail (pirates are pirates), but many of the characters are interesting and varied in their behaviors and stories. This is my favorite genre and this book keeps your mind processing the storylines and thinking about what can happen next. So expect the emotions to run the gamut, which they do greatly.”

Reviewer Kristine gave the book 5-stars, proclaiming it to be “a fun adventure on the high seas. Pirates, corruption, tons of action and amazing characters. Once I started I couldn’t put it down!”

Looking for more great thriller and suspense novels? You’ll be offered as many as you can read as part of the Hidden Gems Books reader review program. Sign up now and get books just like these to read and review for free.

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