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12 / 30 books. 40% done!

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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday: Vacation Thrillers On My TBR List


I just got back from a fabulous 2-week vacation to the U.K. in which everything went pretty much as smoothly as it could. Even the few things that didn't go quite as planned turned into happy accidents and funny memories. This hasn't been the case with every holiday I've gone on, naturally. I've been on trips marred by nasty weather, illness, car trouble, family drama, forgotten medication, kids having meltdowns, and one memorable (but very minor, thank goodness) trip to a Canadian emergency room. Although I pray for uneventful vacations in real life, I want the opposite in my fiction. Bring on all the holiday murder and mayhem! I mean, c'mon, who wants to read about a smooth-as-silk holiday? Not I! Today's TTT prompt is actually Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Go On Vacation With, but I'm going to put my own spin on it and list some vacation thrillers on my TBR list. I actually did this same topic back in 2020 with ten different books, so take a look at that if you're into this genre as well.

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl. Pop on over there and give her some love, won't you?

Top Ten Vacation Thrillers On My TBR List


1. The River Wild by Denis O'Neill—I loved the film version of this survival story starring Kevin Bacon and Meryl Streep, but I've never read the book. The story is about a couple whose marriage struggles lead them to go on a white water rafting trip with their young son, hoping they can heal what's broken with some concentrated bonding time. When they rescue two stranded rafters, they unknowingly pick up a pair of criminals on the run. The family's peaceful outing soon turns into a desperate run against two armed killers and a powerful river, both of which seem to be conspiring to kill them.


2. One Perfect Couple by Ruth Ware (available May 21, 2024)—In spite of relationship issues with her wannabe actor boyfriend, Lyla auditions with him for a new reality show that pits couples against each other for a large cash prize. Along with their fellow competitors, Lyla and Nico are left on the shores of a beautiful, exotic, and very remote island. After the game's first challenge leaves the contestants boiling with anger, a violent storm sweeps in, cutting the players off from all communication with the outside world. With no way to call for help and supplies running low, the couples must band together to survive. Or not.


3. Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam—I'm probably the last person on earth to read this buzzy thriller. It's about a family from New York City who rent a luxurious Long Island home for a much-needed rest from their busy lives. Everything is going swimmingly until a knock on the door in the middle of the night changes everything. An older couple has arrived, claiming to be the owners of the home. They bring terrible news—a mysterious power outage has shut down the city, causing widespread chaos and panic. Something about the situation doesn't seem right to the vacationers, but with phone and Internet service down, there's no way for them to know what's really happening. Can they trust these newcomers? Or is something way more sinister than a power outage going on?


4. Never Coming Home by Kate Williams—In this YA thriller, ten of the world's most famous teen influencers are invited to Unknown Island. This paradise of the privileged has just opened and the whole world is talking about its beauty, luxury, and exclusivity. When the "First Ten" receive their coveted invites, they think they're being rewarded because of their massive followings. Wrong. They're being trapped because of the secrets each one of them is hiding. Someone wants those bombshells released. Someone wants to punish their keepers. Someone doesn't want the powerful influencers to leave the island. Ever. 


5. The Chateau by Jaclyn Goldis—Twenty years ago, four teenagers embarked on a study abroad adventure in Provence, France, and became the best of friends. The girls spent their weekends visiting elegant Séraphine Demargelasse, one of the students' grandmother, at her fancy chateau. Two decades later, Séraphine invites them back. None of the women understand the sudden invitation, but each has their own secret reason for accepting. When their host is found murdered after a night of celebration, those secrets begin to emerge as everyone scrambles to figure out what is happening and why. 


6. Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok—When the titular character disappears while on vacation in the Netherlands, the Lee family is devastated and confused. What happened to their smart, successful oldest daughter? Amy, the youngest of the Lee siblings, has always been shy and easily intimidated. She idolizes her sister, her polar opposite. Determined to find answers for her distraught parents, Amy calls on every ounce of courage she possesses and embarks on a journey to figure out what happened to Sylvie. Along the way, she'll expose shocking secrets and discover deep truths about her sister, their parents, and herself. 


7. The Last Guest House by Caroline Mitchell (available April 16, 2024—today!)In need of some R&R after working a taxing case, Detective Constable Nicola McKenna agrees to go on a relaxing vacation to Scotland's remote Isle of Skye. When they discover that their hotel has been overbooked, they scramble to find alternate accommodations. The Loch House has some odd rules, which Nicola finds more than a little unsettling. An incoming snow storm unnerves her even more and shows her just how very wrong things are at the sketchy guest house...


8. The Search Party by Hannah Richell—Max and Annie Kingsley have left their stressful life in London behind to run a glamping site. To ensure everything goes well for its grand opening, they decide to give their new venture a test run. They invite a group of family friends to join them for a fun, relaxing weekend. It doesn't take long for things to go sideways. With tension already on the rise, a sudden storm crashes in and one of the group disappears. As they try to find their missing member, secrets will come to light, families will be pitted against each other, and friendships will crumble. Will any of them ever recover from their dream weekend turned hellish nightmare?


9. Descent by Tim Johnston—The Courtlands are hanging out in the Rocky Mountains enjoying one last family vacation before their 18-year-old daughter, Caitlin, heads off to college. When she and her brother go for a run one morning and only Sean comes back, the family is thrown into a wild panic. What happened to Caitlin? Have they lost her forever? 


10. The River At Night by Erica Ferencik—If there's one thing everyone can agree on it's that Winifred Allen needs a vacation. Even still, she's a tad reluctant to join her best friends on a rafting and hiking adventure in the Maine wilderness. Her misgivings come to fruition when a freak accident turns their harmless excursion into a desperate struggle for survival against nature, each other, and the most dangerous type of wildlife: other humans.

There you go, ten novels about vacations going terribly wrong that I want to read. Have you read any of these? What did you think? Are there any other books you've loved about holidays gone awry? I'd love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!

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Reading

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Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

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The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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