31. Rose Gold by Walter Mosley

Black Lizard
“Rosemary Goldsmith, the daughter of a weapons manufacturer, has been kidnapped by a black revolutionary cell called Scorched Earth. Their leader, Uhuru Nolicé, is holding her for ransom and if he doesn’t receive the money, weapons, and apology he demands, ‘Rose Gold’ will die — horribly and publicly. So the authorities turn to Easy Rawlins, the one man who can cross the necessary lines to resolve this dangerous standoff and find Rose Gold before it’s too late.” —from the publisher
Ahhh yes, the good ol’ days of seedy ’60s Los Angeles police corruption and calamity around every corner. Even if grit and noir aren’t your thing, Mosley writes with so much personality and punch that you’ll be hooked from the first page.

32. Armada by Ernest Cline

Penguin Random House
Dan Winters
Catastrophe turns teenage gamer Zack Lightman into the reluctant hero Earth doesn’t deserve but desperately needs. Flying saucers, sharp pop culture references, and all the twists and turns you could ask for make this a truly riveting science-fiction novel. Each chapter adds something new and interesting to the plot line and keeps you on the edge of your seat. And in true Ernest Cline fashion, the characters are as delightfully quirky as they are relatable.
—Alex Roush

33. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

After a terrible car accident dramatically scars her sister Dara’s face, Nick is left to cope with the aftermath and her own guilt. We learn about the events leading up to Dara’s birthday and the accident through Dara’s old diary pages, in a slow trickle of information that builds up to an explosive secret. I’ve read so many mysteries but was still gob-smacked by this twist. And the book as a whole is such a heartfelt examination of sisters, secrets, and guilt — when I finished, I just had to hug it.
—Cameron G. Rose

34. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Penguin Random House
Kevin Day Photography
Sixteen-year-old Lydia Lee is dead — but how, and why? Everything I Never Told Youdigs into the aftermath of tragedy unlike anything else I’ve ever encountered. It’s tense, tender, and terrifying all at once — and written so, so beautifully to boot! 
—Fatimah H.

35. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

William Morrow
Jim Ferguson
It all starts when two strangers who meet at an airport decide to play a game of truth. Ted is unhappy in his marriage and Lily… well, just imagine if Amy from Gone Girl had an older, more devious sister. Soon, they’re plotting the murder of a cheating spouse. But they quickly learn that murder is harder than it looks — and can go terribly awry if not done properly. A suspenseful, devious, psychological tale with countless curve balls and twists, The Kind Worth Killing keeps you at the edge of your seat throughout. 
—Cindy A.
This is one of the most well-written mysteries I’ve read in a long while. It features well-developed characters and a dark, twisted plot.
—Stephanie Hughes

36. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Riverhead Books
Charlie Hopkinson
This is a great love and crime story about an orphan-cum-con-artist growing up in Victorian England. It’s so exciting and well-told that it basically reads itself — and has an astonishing and intricate twist that blows your mind. Literally, it will give you one of those WTF moments when you want to throw the book out the window and keep reading at the same time. And it gets even better from that moment on! I’ve never seen anyone disappointed with this book after reading it — it’s a total package: suspense, a unique love story, dirty London depravity, a murder, and mystery aplenty — what more could you possibly need?
—Anna Lisowska

37. Killing Floor by Lee Child

“Ex-military policeman Jack Reacher is a drifter. He’s just passing through Margrave, Georgia, and in less than an hour, he’s arrested for murder. Not much of a welcome. All Reacher knows is that he didn’t kill anybody. At least not here. Not lately. But he doesn’t stand a chance of convincing anyone. Not in Margrave, Georgia. Not a chance in hell.” —from the publisher
Killing Floor will make you forget about the world around you (and the actor who played Jack Reacher in the movies!). It’s electrifyingly, addictively good — with all the over-the-top, unbelievable hijinks and ballsy bravado a good thriller should have.
—Han Jin

38. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Chuck Eaton Photography
Each day the Caliph of Khorasan marries a new bride, only to have her executed the next morning without reason. So it’s unthinkable that Shahrzad would volunteer to marry him — albeit to avenge the death of her friend. Then, just as everything is falling into place in Shahrzad’s plot to foil the king…she finds herself falling for him. The intertwining drama and deceit makes this book SO suspenseful: Will Shahrzad be saved by her father? And why were the brides actually murdered? Perhaps everything in Khorasan isn’t exactly as it seems.
—Michelle Sabado

39. 1st to Die by James Patterson

Four badass ladies come together to stop a psycho with a penchant for killing newlyweds, and the Women’s Murder Club is born. Combining the special skills of an assistant D.A., medical examiner, homicide inspector, and crime reporter, it seems like the the WMC has everything it needs — until everything goes terribly wrong. 1st to Die made me *literally* shriek and squirm so many times; I can’t recommend it highly enough.
—Teresa H.

40. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

Mulholland Books
“A brilliant mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide.” —from the publisher
The Cormoran Strike novels gave me such an adrenaline rush that they actually kept me awake overnight — I didn’t want to stop! The writing is so incredibly detailed, it really makes you think harder, and your heart beat faster. 

41. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

St. Martin’s Press
Ken Robbins
Yeah, yeah, yeah you’ve seen the movie and you know who Anthony Hopkins is, big whoop — the book is still better! Like, deliciously, deliriously, checking-under-your-bed-for-monsters-even-though-you’re-thirty-two-years-old good. Read it and (literally) weep.
—August J.

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