The 5 Best Thrillers of August 2020

As August nears to an end, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Thriller releases from this month. I love that there’s something for everyone within these picks; whether you like domestic thrillers, serial killer thrillers, horror thrillers, or thrillers about mysterious disappearances and creepy woods, you can find that here in this list! Without further ado, let’s browse through these titles…

The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard – 4.5⭐️

“Nothing Man Case Reopened In New Book.”

In The Nothing Man, we are sucked back into the early hours of January 14, 2000. A woman named Eve Black had survived her family’s massacre when she was 12. For some reason, the creepy, masked serial killer decided to single her out as the sole survivor of the Black family murder. Why? So now she has written a true-crime memoir about her family’s killer in hopes of leading the police to his identity. When the killer finds out about the book, he is enraged. He needs to read it in order to plot his next move, but Eve is already one step ahead of him. The question is, who will catch who first?

Let me begin by saying that Catherine Ryan Howard is tremendously skilled at telling a story. Every single chapter delivers. You’ll easily be able to connect with and root for the protagonist.

The book alternates between the killer’s POV and Eve’s true-crime memoir that he’s reading: The Nothing Man. So if you’re a fan of that book-within-book element, you’re in for a treat. And I appreciate that the author, instead of turning the book into a police procedural, focused primarily on the cat-and-mouse chase between these two characters and their sides of the story.

There’s a really good twist at the end, which leads to a solid, suspenseful conclusion!

When I Was You by Amber Garza – 4.5⭐️

”If you thought that was all it would take to break me, you thought wrong.”

If Liv Constantine and Caroline Kepnes wrote a book together, When I Was You by Amber Garza would be it.

Imagine meeting a woman who shares your first and last name, lives in the same town as you, and takes her kid to the same doctor. That’s what’s about to turn Kelly Medina’s life upside down. What really makes this book stand out is that it keeps surprising you at several turns, in addition to the excellent execution, the chilling atmosphere and especially the shocking way things unfold in the second half.

And heck yes to that ending! You’ll literally lean forward in your seat during some final scenes and go, “is this really happening?” I also enjoyed how the author navigated the mother-son relationship, I found myself thoroughly invested in that aspect. I definitely recommend checking out this dark and twisty domestic thriller!

The Woods by Vanessa Savage – 4.5⭐️

“Come on, she says, beckoning me into the trees. Come into the woods. Let’s finish the story. I shake my head and back away, turning and running back towards the house. No, I can’t do it. Not the woods, not the woods, never the woods.”

I don’t know about you but mysteries surrounding disappearances and murders in the woods tend to unsettle the heck out of me, and yet I still find myself gravitating to them. Vanessa Savage did a terrific job providing a spine-chilling description and an eerie feel to the woods where our protagonist’s sister Bella died 10 years ago in an “accident”. Except…Ella is now haunting her sister’s dreams, trying to convince her otherwise, willing her to “remember”…

Why do teenage girls keep getting murdered in the forest surrounding Dean House? What memory is our main character trying to expunge?

You don’t have to get to a certain page for things to get interesting; the author makes sure to entertain the reader every step of the way. And that final short chapter…it will send a chill through your spine.

I appreciated how the author flawlessly built up the sisters’ characteristics by meticulously exploring their pasts and giving them distinct voices that made them unforgettable. I absolutely loved Vanessa Savage’s vision in The Woods and I can’t wait to read more by her!

Clown In A Cornfield by Adam Cesare 5⭐️

“Quinn looked to the horizon as the cornstalks swayed with the breeze. The corn itself could have been waving hello, or it could have been breathing.”

Admirers of the Scream franchise (or the slasher-thriller sub-genre in general) will devour this terrifying “killer-clown” horror novel!

Quinn and her father move to small, sleepy town Kettle Springs for a fresh start. What Quinn is about to find out is that there’s a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat in this town, who – in order to “make Kettle Springs great again – goes homicidal and starts getting rid of the kids in this town, one by one.

I enjoyed how perfectly-paced, action-packed and filmic this book was. Secondly, I absolutely loved the main character Quinn Maybrook – she’s a strong heroine: a teenager who’s attempting to survive the clown/corn horrors of Kettle Springs, which was brilliant – and terrifying – to witness.

I love how everything wrapped up in the end; there was this small surprise that left me speechless, and then there’s the unsettling/unpredictable final chapter, which concluded the story perfectly! This would make a perfect Halloween read, and it’s awesome to see the tempting cover is as fantastic as the content of the book. Adam Cesare provides readers with a pacy, intelligent plot that will leave you breathless!

The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne – 4⭐️

“…with a clarity that is almost frightening, suddenly, I remember everything.”

This is one of my top 10 favorite books this year so far, and boy was I mesmerized by this sinister, flawless and terrifying work of psychological suspense.

In The Wicked Sister, 26-year-old Rachel had spent fifteen years in a psychiatric ward for thinking she killed her mother with a rifle when she was 11 years old, until…she stumbles upon new information that makes her question everything she thought she knew: had she really been living a lie for more than a decade?

Buckle up readers, and get ready to be transported into Rachel’s horrifying story, taking place in her late parents’ wilderness lodge (which I thought was the perfect setting for this crime thriller), filled with wicked memories as well as some mesmerizing aspects – including Rachel’s strange connection to the the wilderness. That’s where I applaud the author for including unusually-beautiful elements that entirely bend the rules of an average psychological thriller.

This book studies psychopathy and trauma in a very layered way, and you feel compelled to root for the protagonist and follow her journey with the heart-pounding question, “Will Rachel survive?” The writing is strong and modest and brims with the most engaging mysteries…

What’s the mystery behind Rachel’s strange two-week disappearance?

What secrets motivated her wildlife biologist parents’ strange decision to move far away from civilization?

Rachel is not an easily-forgettable character and nor is her story.

Which of these sound(s) appealing to you, folks? See any that are on your TBR? Let’s discuss!

8 thoughts on “The 5 Best Thrillers of August 2020

  1. All of them! Even though I never used to read horror novels, I’ve started to over the past few months (I wonder why?!) I’m definitely intrigued by the killer-clown one;) Strangely, there’s also been a “woods” trend over the past few months.


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