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Ice Cold Reads for a Hot Summer Night

Ice Cold Reads for a Hot Summer Night

Summer isn’t my favorite season. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach, barbecues, and the warm sun, especially after a seemingly endless winter in the mountains where I live, but once the temperature barrels past eighty degrees I start yearning for turning leaves and chilly autumn winds.

When I’m baking in the heat, I want books that transport me somewhere more comfortable. For me, shadowy tales that are more than a bit sinister hit the spot, so I hope you’ll try my favorite new icy reads to bring a little relief to the hottest days of the season!

No Road Home by John Fram

John Fram’s sophomore book is a thrilling rollercoaster, a Texas gothic featuring a sprawling isolated estate, a rich televangelist and his sinister brood, an apocalyptic rainstorm, and serpentine hallways leading to strange rooms. Of course, there’s also a little murder. I never knew who to believe right up until the last pages, so my advice to you while reading this is don’t trust anyone.

The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean by Susan Casey

My nonfiction shelf is packed with Susan Casey books. She’s taught me everything I know about shark secrets and rogue waves, so I was thrilled to dive into the deepest fathoms of the abyss in her latest release. This is the perfect book to read as you lie on a warm beach with cool waves lapping at your feet… if you can handle knowing how deep and dark that water truly gets.

Becoming Marlowe Fin by Ellen Won Steil

Becoming Marlowe Fin is the perfect rainy, moody suspense to cool things down when it’s too dang hot outside. It’s tense, twisty, and layered with family secrets that center on an isolated lakeside cabin and the secrets buried there over the years. Marlowe is a beautiful model with a seemingly blessed childhood, but nothing is ever as pretty as it seems.

We Used to Live Here by Marcus Kliewer

The inescapable sense of foreboding steeped in these pages led me to tossing and turning all night after starting this book in bed at 11PM. A delightfully spooky mistake on my part. We Used to Live Here is an original and ghastly tale of an old house, its new owners, and a young father who stops by asking to take his family on a trip down memory lane. Mr. Kliewer perfectly tapped into my introvert anxiety about weird people in my house… or any people at all, really.

The Buried Hours by R. S. Grant

The Buried Hours takes place high in Yosemite, where the sun might be hot, but the nights are frigid. Ms. Grant is a master of outdoor thrills, and she puts the reader right on the trail in Yosemite with this dark thriller packed full of so many sharp turns I could barely hold on. I especially adored the protagonist, who aggressively protected her own life without apology.

White Out by Danielle Girard

Danielle Girard’s skill with description and setting always leave me in awe, and the writing in White Out was no exception. I felt like I was right there in the Badlands of South Dakota, a place I usually find more beautiful than foreboding… but in this book you’d better watch out for the drop-offs. Packed full of dangerous secrets and small-town police work, White Out is a fantastic introduction to this icy series of thrillers.

One of Us Knows by Alyssa Cole

Kenetria Nash, the protagonist of this gothic ghost story, might be the most unreliable narrator I’ve ever read, and I loved every minute with her. Or more correctly, with them. Ken lives with dissociative identity disorder, and part of the mystery of this tale is what the alters are hiding from each other as they investigate the eerily familiar castle where Ken has been hired as caretaker. A dark and thrilling ride.

Whalefall by Daniel Kraus

Whalefall is exploration and survival and horror all in one, but it’s even deeper than that, both in watery fathoms and in the tortured emotions of a young man wrestling with his memories of a damaged father. I loved every stinking, sinking minute plunged into cold water with a boy, a whale, and a ghost who loved the sea more than his own life.

A Game of Lies by Clare Mackintosh

A classic British procedural with a very prickly protagonist, A Game of Lies is set in the cool mountains of Wales on the set of a survival reality show. After the show’s creator drops a bomb on the contestants on the first day of filming, one player disappears while another seems to be plotting a deadly revenge. A quick-paced and blustery read.