Books·Holiday Gift Guide

13 books for the mystery & thriller fan on your holiday gift list

These crime novels, mysteries and thrillers would make great gifts this holiday season.   

These crime novels, mysteries and thrillers would make great gifts this holiday season.   

Bone Black by Carol Rose GoldenEagle

Bone Black is a novel by Carol Rose GoldenEagle. (Nightwood Editions)

Bone Black is about one woman's search for her missing sister, and her need to take the case into her own hands. When her twin sister goes missing, Wren StrongEagle immediately reports it to the local police. Feeling dismissed and worrying the case won't be investigated properly, Wren launches into action and decides to find justice on her own.

Carol Rose GoldenEagle is a Cree and Dene author whose books include the novel Bearskin Diary and the poetry collection Hiraeth.

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

Elevator Pitch is a thriller by Linwood Barclay. (Doubleday Canada, Bill Taylor)

Elevator Pitch, the latest thriller from Linwood Barclay, begins as four people plummet to their death in a free-falling elevator of a Manhattan office building. The tragedy appears to be a random accident until the same thing happens over and over again, sending shockwaves through America's cultural and economic capital.

Barclay is an internationally bestselling author of novels for adults and children. His most recent books include the adult thriller A Noise Downstairs and the award-winning middle-grade novels Escape and Chase.

A Better Man by Louise Penny

Louise Penny is the author of A Better Man. (Jean-François Bérubé, Raincoast Books)

In Louise Penny's Armand Gamache mystey novel, A Better Man, Gamache has been reinstated as head of the homicide department in Quebec. But when the province is hit with a flooding crisis, a father begs Gamache to help find his missing daughter, a case that draws intense public scrutiny. 

Penny is a former CBC broadcaster and journalist. Her other books include Still LifeBury Your DeadA Trick of the Light and Glass Houses. In 2013, she was named to the Order of Canada.

A Matter of Malice by Thomas King

A Matter of Malice is a mystery novel by Thomas King. (Trina Koster, HarperCollins Canada)

A Matter of Malice is the fourth book in Thomas King's popular DreadfulWater mystery series.  Trudy Samuels's death was ruled accidental, but Nina Maslow, the producer of a true-crime television show, is determined to prove otherwise. After ex-cop Thumps DreadfulWater declines her request for help, Maslow ends up dead in the exact same way as Samuels. The coincidence prompts Thumps to take on the case.

King is also the author of several other books, including Truth & Bright WaterThe Inconvenient Indian and The Back of the Turtle.

Blue Moon by Lee Child

Blue Moon is the latest Jack Reacher thriller by Lee Child. (Delacorte Press, Sigrid Estrada)

Blue Moon is the latest instalment in Lee Child's famed Jack Reacher series. Reacher steps off of a Greyhound bus to help an old man in need, but what he doesn't know is that his good deed will get him embroiled in the middle of a vicious turf war between Albanian and Ukranian gangs. With the help of a fed-up waitress who knows more than she's letting on, Reacher must stay one step ahead of the assassins, thugs and loan sharks that are after him.     

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

Someone We Know is a novel by Shari Lapena. (Doubleday Canada, Tristan Ostler)

In Someone We Know, a quiet well-to-do community in upstate New York is rocked by a series of break-ins. Somebody in their neighbourhood has not just been breaking into their homes, but their computers, and sharing the scandalous secrets they've uncovered. As tension mounts, a woman is found dead.

Shari Lapena has written several thrillers, including The Couple Next DoorA Stranger in the House and An Unwanted Guest.

Your Life Is Mine by Nathan Ripley

Your Life is Mine is a novel by Nathan Ripley. (Simon & Schuster)

Your Life Is Mine is a page-turning thriller about Blanche, the daughter of a notorious murderer and cult leader. Her father killed himself after a shooting spree more than 20 years ago, but when Blanche learns her mother was murdered, she must return home and learns there's more to her family's story than she could have ever imagined — and that the cult her father founded might be making a comeback.

Your Life Is Mine is the second thriller from Nathan Ripley, who is also the author of Find You in the Dark.

The Reckoning by John Grisham

John Grisham is an American novelist, attorney, politician, and activist known for his bestselling legal thrillers. (Doubleday, Charlotte Graham)

In his new novel, The Reckoning, famed legal thriller writer John Grisham re-imagines a story he encountered more than 30 years ago about a murder in small-town Mississippi. His fictionalized version centres on Pete, a cotton farmer returning from the Second World War, and the mystery surrounding his motive for the crime.   

Wherever She Goes by K.L. Armstrong

Wherever She Goes is a thriller by K.L. Armstrong. (Doubleday Canada, Kathryn Hollinrake)

Wherever She Goes is a thriller about a woman, Aubrey Finch, who sees a child being abducted. But when no one reports a kidnapping, no one believes Aubrey. The single mother, surrounded by whispers about her past and the state of her mental well-being, decides to take matters into her own hands and solve the crime herself.

K.L. Armstrong is a pseudonym for popular fantasy and thriller writer Kelley Armstrong.

The Kingfisher Secret by Anonymous

The Kingfisher Secret is a thriller by an anonymous author. (McClelland & Stewart, CBC)

The Kingfisher Secret revolves around a beautiful Czech expat who's a longtime Russian spy. Her mission is to seduce wealthy and powerful men and learn their secrets. Her next target is an egotistical man running for president of the United States. Many of the details of this fictional story parallel facts that are known about Donald Trump and his first wife, Ivana Trump, and the publisher of the book says that the author has chosen to remain anonymous to protect his sources.

The Institute by Stephen King

The Institute is a novel by Stephen King. (Simon & Schuster Canada)

The Institute is the latest from American horror master Stephen King. Over the span of two minutes, Luke Ellis's parents are murdered and he is taken to a place called The Institute. He wakes up in a room that looks exactly like his bedroom, except that it doesn't have a window. There are other kids at The Institute too, all of whom have shown supernatural abilities.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient is a thriller by Alex Michaelides. (Andrew Hayes-Watkins, Celadon Books)

In The Silent PatientAlicia Berenson lives a seemingly perfect life. She is a renowned painter married to a highly sought after fashion photographer and lives in a luxury home in one of London's most posh neighbourhoods. One day, after her husband Gabriel arrives late from a shoot, Alicia shoots him in the face and goes silent. When word gets out about her crime and her refusal to speak, she is cast into notoriety and the price of her art skyrockets. Criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber is tasked with getting Alicia to talk and begins to unravel the mystery behind her motivations.     

Alex Michaelides is a novelist and screenwriter. He wrote the film The Devil You KnowThe Silent Patient is his first book.

A Deadly Divide by Ausma Zehanat Khan

A Deadly Divide is a novel by Ausma Zehanat Khan. (Alan Klehr, Raincoast Books)

In A Deadly Divide, the fifth book in Ausma Zehanat Khan's Getty and Khattak mystery series, Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty are sent to Quebec, where a community is reeling in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a mosque. Fuelling tensions is the arrest of a young Muslim man who was reported to be assisting the wounded, while a priest found holding a weapon was let go. 

Khan is also the author of the fantasy series the Khorasan Archives, which includes the books The Bloodprint and The Black Khan.