Beach Books to get your heart pumping and mind racing

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No need to wait until Halloween for a thrilling experience. If you want an entertaining, edge-of-your-seat fiction read, this is the list for you.

While I lay lazily on the beach, I need a heart-pounding plot to keep me from taking a nap in the sand. Grab any of these page-turners if you want a thriller that is sure to make you a tad uneasy. And if you're thinking this popular genre was spoiled after being flooded with "Gone Girl" wannabes, I hope these recommendations change your mind.

"Sweet (Bitten Series)," Uzuri Wilkerson

What It’s About: Celia is a vampire living among humans in the Greater Boston area. Though she and the rest of the vampire community have been undetected amidst the humans, a recent attack on one of their own has shaken Celia to her core. Things only get more complicated when a hot vampire hunter from out of town arrives to rid the area of the bloodsuckers. Why are they being targeted and who’s outing them?

Why You Should Read It: This is one of the more Boston-themed books I’ve come across. Not only does this combine humor, thrills, mystery and romance, but there are also enough Dorchester references to last you a lifetime. The best part? Wilkerson made this a series and the two books that follow are just as fun.

"The Other Black Girl," Zakiya Dalila Harris

What It’s About: Nella Rogers, the lone Black assistant at a book publishing company, finds herself ecstatic when new employee Hazel starts on the team. But before she knows it, Nella starts receiving weird messages telling her to leave the company. In a quest to find out why she is being targeted, she realizes there’s a lot more at stake than her career — something more sinister and dangerous.

Why You Should Read It: Connecticut native Harris has written what may be the perfect mix of "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Get Out." Creepy events and cringey microaggressions set up the story so that the readers are left guessing who the culprit really is.

"Manhunt," Gretchen Felker-Martin

What It’s About: Friends Beth and Fran hunt feral men down the New England coast. Robbie is a one-man roadie who doesn’t trust anyone. The three of them cross paths after they survive an accident and they must stick together to defeat TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists), fight off feral men with flaky skin who consume flesh, and figure out their own demons.

Why You Should Read It: It’s about time we get a rebellious post-apocalyptic tale about trans men and women fighting off TERFs. Felker-Martin ultimately wrote a fun survival story with enough humor to keep readers engaged for the whole ride.


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Christian Burno Contributor
Christian Burno is a former arts reporting fellow for WBUR’s arts and culture team.



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