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Best Mystery and Thriller Books of the Year

This year's best Mystery & Thrillers span the genre, from psychological or technological thrillers to murder-mysteries. But they all have one thing in common: they kept us reading late into the night, desperate to find out what happens next.

S. J. Watson's debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, BeforeIGotoSleepgripped our imaginations back in June and has haunted us ever since. Christine forgets everything while she sleeps at night. When she wakes up, she depends on her husband, Ben, to fill in her memory for her. She keeps a daily journal in an attempt to jog her memory, and one morning she opens it to read: "Don't trust Ben." Equal parts fascinating and terrifying, Before I Go to Sleep is impossible to put down. The questions it raises (how can our past define us if we can't remember it? What happens if you can't trust anyone--not even yourself?) will linger long after the last page is turned.

TrickofLightIf you prefer tracking down a murderer to psychological suspense, look no further than Louise Penny's A Trick of the Light, the newest entry in Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series. Gamache is called to a tiny village in Quebec to investigate the murder of a childhood friend of artist Clara Morrow. He finds more than he bargained for in this gathering of artists, where, even armed with facts, it's nearly impossible to discern the different shades and layers of truth.


Check out the full list of our Top 10 Mysteries & Thrillers of 2011, including books by Stephen King, Lee Child, Neal Stephenson, and more. Or browse all of our 100 Best Books of the Year.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

I see two of my favorite authors on your top-ten list: James Lee Burke and Laura Lippman. I also see some who are new to me.

Off to do some holiday shopping...

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