Having bid farewell to the enigmatic world of literature in May 2023, we look back at a captivating array of mystery novels that transported readers into realms of suspense, intrigue, and puzzling plots. With each turn of the page, these masterfully crafted tales enthralled, challenged, and kept readers on the edge of their seats until the very last word. From renowned authors to emerging talents, our curated list presented the 10 best mystery novels of May 2023, delivering a literary experience filled with unputdownable reads.
10 Best Mystery Novels of May 2023
- The Senator’s Wife by Liv Constantine
- The Ferryman by Justin Cronin
- Drowning by T.J. Newman
- Ward D by Freida McFadden
- The Guest by Emma Cline
- Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum
- Magpie by Elizabeth Day
- Lying in the Deep by Diana Urban
- Between Two Strangers by Kate White
- No One Needs to Know by Lindsay Cameron
The Senator’s Wife by Liv Constantine
Under the pen name Liv Constantine, sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine have established themselves as national and international bestselling authors, captivating readers worldwide with their gripping storytelling. With over one million copies sold globally, their books have been translated into 28 languages and are available in 33 countries.
Their latest offering is a slow-burn, chilling, and intelligent political/domestic thriller that evokes the intrigue of hit shows like Scandal and the suspense of classics like Rebecca. Within its pages, readers will experience the mounting pressure, intricate mind games, and unexpected twists that keep them engaged and constantly on edge.
In this seductive novel of psychological suspense, a D.C. philanthropist finds herself suspicious of her seemingly flawless employee, suspecting a plot to steal not only her husband but also her reputation and even her life. From the internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish comes a tale that will enthrall and keep readers guessing until the final page.
The Ferryman by Justin Cronin
In Justin Cronin’s enthralling novel, “The Ferryman,” a mesmerizing blend of fantasy, science fiction, and dystopian drama unfolds, weaving a gripping narrative that delves into a multitude of thought-provoking themes. From societal divisions and power struggles to the pressing climate crisis, from the complexities of family and loyalty to the depths of grief, this story traverses a wide spectrum of human experiences. At its core, a recurring motif revolves around the perception of life and happiness.
Justin Cronin made a significant impact with his 2010 novel, “The Passage,” which took the literary world by storm. Garnering comparisons to the works of esteemed authors such as Cormac McCarthy, Michael Crichton, Stephen King, and Margaret Atwood, the unforgettable tale swiftly climbed the ranks, becoming a global sensation and spending an impressive three months on The New York Times bestseller list.
Drowning by T.J. Newman
With “Drowning,” T.J. Newman proves once again her expertise in the airline industry and the intricacies of commercial flight, as showcased in her debut novel. However, this time, she delves into the heart-stopping realm of disaster, vividly illustrating the catastrophic outcomes that can unfold. Prepare for a gripping narrative that immerses readers in high-stakes drama and evokes intense emotions.
T.J. Newman, a former flight attendant, experienced remarkable success with her first novel, “Falling,” which quickly became a publishing sensation. Garnering accolades such as being named a best book of the year by USA Today, Esquire, and Amazon, among others, it comes as no surprise that the book has been published in over thirty countries.
Ward D by Freida McFadden
In “Ward D,” medical student Amy Brenner is assigned an overnight shift on a locked psychiatric unit. As the night progresses, Amy becomes convinced of a sinister presence within the ward, and the sudden disappearance of patients and staff confirms the danger they all face. Trapped and uncertain if she will ever escape, Amy’s worst fears are realized.
The gripping thriller “Ward D” employs a dual timeline, spanning 8 years, to provide readers with crucial context and character backgrounds. Through carefully woven flashbacks, the narrative unveils the past, enhancing our understanding of the unfolding events and adding depth to the story.
The Guest by Emma Cline
This novel is a delightful choice for an afternoon of immersive reading. The character of Alex truly captivates the reader’s attention. Her impulsive decisions, made without considering the repercussions for herself or others, continually push the boundaries of those around her, sometimes even crossing the line. However, it is important to note that her actions lack malicious intent. Ultimately, she is merely attempting to navigate her way through life, leveraging her physical appearance to her advantage.
Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum
Bad Summer People unfolds on the vibrant Fire Island, where a lively mix of individuals indulges in reckless behavior against a backdrop of intrigue and an unsettling discovery—a lifeless body. Taking charge of the island year after year, Jen and Lauren excel at manipulating others to fulfill their desires.
Meanwhile, Sam and Jason, longtime childhood friends and husbands to Jen and Lauren, respectively, harbor their own hidden truths and simmering animosities. Initially following the familiar pattern of summers past, everything takes a dramatic turn when the body is unearthed, unraveling the carefully constructed façade and setting the stage for a gripping tale of unraveling secrets.
Magpie by Elizabeth Day
In the gripping novel “Magpie,” Marisa and Jake embark on a new chapter of their lives together. Despite their relatively short time together, they have moved in and are actively trying to conceive a child. Marisa, haunted by her childhood abandonment, finds solace in Jake’s stability and reliability. However, financial strains lead them to take in a lodger named Kate.
As the story unfolds, Marisa’s discomfort with Kate intensifies. Kate’s overly familiar behavior, keen interest in Marisa’s potential pregnancy, and disregard for boundaries within their shared home raise red flags. Determined to uncover Kate’s true identity, Marisa risks dismantling everything she has worked tirelessly to build: her idyllic romance, her envisioned family, and her carefully crafted self-image. Unbeknownst to Jake, Marisa’s pursuit of the truth puts everything she holds dear in jeopardy.
Lying in the Deep by Diana Urban
In this gripping tale, “Lying in the Deep,” the story commences with a chilling murder scene unfolding within the confines of a ship’s cabin. However, as the narrative unfolds, we are transported backward in time, gradually introduced to a cast of intriguing characters.
Meet Jade, the novel’s main protagonist—a brilliant scholarship student who excels in her double majors. Behind her intellect lies a deep-seated insecurity, still nursing the wounds of heartbreak and betrayal inflicted by her ex-boyfriend Silas. Silas callously ended their relationship via text, promptly blocking Jade as he pursued a romance with her best friend Lainey, whose father happens to be a pharmaceutical tycoon.
When Jade makes the startling discovery that the treacherous couple will also be aboard the ship, her obsession with their deceit intensifies and festers. Soon, a shocking murder rocks the vessel, triggering a chain of events where Jade becomes a prime suspect. With the help of her newfound love interest, Jade must race against time to clear her name and expose the killer lurking amidst their trapped, seafaring companions. Failure could mean more lives lost to a sea of secrets and a trail of body bags.
Between Two Strangers by Kate White
In a startling turn of events, Skyler receives a life-altering call from an estate attorney, informing her of an unexpected and substantial inheritance. Intriguingly, she initially remains clueless about the mysterious benefactor’s identity or the reasons behind such a vast sum of money being bestowed upon her. However, a moment of realization strikes when she connects the dots, recognizing the man as a fleeting one-night stand from over a decade ago.
As Skyler delves deeper into this perplexing situation, she encounters suspicion and confusion from Chris’s family, the man who has passed away. Adding fuel to the fire, Chris’s widow accuses Skyler of engaging in an affair with her late husband, menacing her with threats of vengeance. To safeguard herself, Skyler embarks on a quest to unravel the truth behind the unexpected inheritance.
Yet, the more she unravels the tangled web, the clearer it becomes that Chris Whaley, her past encounter, might have carried additional secrets to his grave—secrets that could unleash terrifying consequences upon Skyler’s life.
No One Needs to Know by Lindsay Cameron
In the cutthroat world of prestigious boarding schools and universities, three women named Poppy, Heather, and Nora are determined to secure the best opportunities for their children. Their obsession with status and success knows no bounds, and they are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their goals.
“No One Needs To Know” is a captivating domestic drama brimming with juicy gossip and scandalous revelations. Throughout the story, tantalizing tidbits of information are revealed, but the most significant secrets are cunningly saved until the very end.
Amidst this backdrop, a website called UrbanMyth becomes the hub for anonymous confessions and queries. People pour out their hidden truths and seek answers they dare not ask in real life. However, chaos ensues when the website falls victim to a malicious hack, exposing the true identities of those behind each question and comment.
As the hacking incident unfolds, it becomes evident that Poppy, Heather, and Nora each harbor dark secrets they are desperate to keep concealed. Willing to go to extreme lengths, these women find themselves entangled in a web of deceit, where the line between right and wrong blurs. In their ruthless pursuit of self-preservation, it becomes clear that any of them might resort to murder to safeguard their own hidden truths.
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