We’ve all felt it—the burning desire to enjoy that stuffed paperback best-selling thriller novel that’s been collecting dust on out nightstand for over a year. As badly as you want to pick it up and immerse yourself in it -the danger, the unlikely escapes, the cunning plans, and the unseemly plot twists- you’re reminded you have to prepare for that presentation, or you’re bogged down by endless calls, or you find yourself so battered after the day’s work that the only cover you want to open is the one on your bed.
As unlikely as it sounds, there is a way to satisfy your reading craving without breaking the clock. Below are 9 thrillers that you can read in the time it takes to commute to work or less! These titles were handpicked to accommodate your busy lifestyle and to satisfy the inner book worm that the 9-5 has, for years, buried. So, enjoy!
The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter: By Arthur Conan Doyle – 39 pages
Starting with a classic, this short by Arthur Conan Doyle hails from The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. What sets this story apart is its focalization around Sherlock’s brother Mycroft as he is dragged into a kidnapping situation. At only 39 pages long, you could read this before your coffee pot is full.
The Grownup: By Gillian Flynn – 61 pages
That’s right! The author who wrote Gone Girl has written a bite-sized literary treat for you to enjoy; 63 pages to be exact. Don’t be fooled by its length, as the story deals with some heavy elements, such as psychic palm readings, down-on-their-luck characters, and ghosts. A blend of paranormal, thriller, and mystery, this work is best read during the day and will double the effect of your morning caffeine.
In the Tall Grass: By Stephen King and Joe Hill – 64 pages
Have you ever been lost in a corn maze? Did it scare you then? Were you overcome by the feral determination to find a way out at all costs? In the Tall Grass, the short story by Stephen King and his son Joe Hill, takes that scenario and raises it up a notch, as the two main characters are called to aid a child lost in the grass off the side of the road. And they get lost, too. And the grass…is everywhere.
A Secondhand Lie: By Pamela Crane – 97 pages
A murder mystery seasoned by family ties and wrapped in a thick layer of uncertainty. It all starts with the murder of Landon Worthington’s sister and the resulting imprisonment of his father for the crime. But now, with years between the incident and the present day, Landon decides to reevaluate what happened, seeking the perspective of the man who is supposed to have done the foul deed.
Fetching Raymond: A Story from the Ford County Collection: By John Grisham – 71 pages
If you’re a fan of John Grisham, this pick is for you. A spinoff of sorts from his first novel, A Time to Kill, Fetching Raymond centers around a family visit to a prison to see their relative on death row. What was formally part of a collection, can now be purchased as an independent eBook.
Switchblade: By Michael Connelly – 41 pages
It seems that some murder mysteries are perfectly set up—a conundrum of evidence strewn about for the detective to construct their formulations with. In line with that trend, this story begins with a discovery of evidence that ends a decades-old case’s stalemate. But, for Harry Bosch, things will have to get more difficult before they get better. Leaning more toward the classic murder mystery, this short story will surely keep you entertained on the commute.
By the Silver Water of the Lake: by Joe Hill – 30 pages
If you like a good monster discovery story, this one is sure to do the trick. Taking place along the waters of Lake Champlain, a creature—one believed to be extinct—is found by two beachgoers, who take it upon themselves to ensure the fate of the carcass.
Island Nation: by Peter Heller – 1 hour and 23 minutes
This Audible Original presents a secluded island off the Maine coast, protecting a family from the turbulent uprising and militant purging of non-native state residents. But their only means of surviving is to venture back to the mainland. If you’re interested in a cinematic blend of the thriller and dystopian genres, this listen is just for you. Best part? This listen is free on Audible.
Zenith Man: by Jennifer Haigh – 21 Pages
We’ve all heard it before; the lives people show, whether on social media or television, are not representative of what’s really going on. Jennifer Haigh takes that concept and turns it upside down. Due to a lack of public knowledge regarding a TV repairman’s wife, a string of wild theories about her death starts emerging from the public. The story explores what it would be like to have the world and all the snoopers turned against you—a truly terrifying ordeal. And you can experience that thrill in just 21 pages.
Considering that so many of us lead hectic lives, it is a great relief that some writers have invested their talent to produce compelling and wholesome stories that can be consumed on budgeted time. With this list of 9 thrillers in your hands, you’ll be able to enjoy the best the thriller genre has to offer while staying on top of your work and family life. The world may need your time, but you need your books, too!