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  • Nichelle

My Favorite Thrillers & Horror Novels of 2020

Updated: Mar 10, 2022

I feel like I had a rather disappointing year in these genres this year. Part of that is just because I read less of it. I only read 19 books in the thriller and horror genres this year (compare that to 38 romances!), maybe because the world was horrific enough. I didn’t have any five-star scary books, which is truly a shame because I would consider it one of my favorite genres.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5


This was definitely my favorite horror book I read this year! The tone of this book is everything! I love dark humor and I think it's hard to do well and this book did it exceptionally well. I was scared and laughing, maybe the best combo. It starts with the forming of this book club, which essentially came about because they didn’t want to read the boring literature books the big book club was reading, so they decide to start their own book club where they read true crime and thrillers. Then a vampire moves in next door and things go downhill. There’s a particularly horrifying scene with rats and another with bugs that made my skin crawl.

No Exit by Taylor Adams ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨/5


This book was the definition of a page-turner. It’s pretty short, which is good because it’s hard to put down! Darby is driving home to say good-bye to her dying mother when she gets stuck in a blizzard in the Colorado mountains. While stuck at the rest stop with a few other travelers, Darby finds a kidnapped child in one of the other stranded cars and she decides she must rescue the little girl. There are so many twists and I love that it all takes place in one night.

Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


There’s a reason this is a classic! It’s a really compelling story. FBI agent in training Clarice tries to track down a serial killer with the help of an imprisoned serial killer and cannibal, Hannibal Lector. Despite the fact I already knew the basics of what was going to happen from the movie, I was still on the edge of my seat.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Essentially, during a wedding on a small island off the coast of Ireland, there's a murder, and everyone on the guestlist is a suspect. It’s structured pretty similarly to a lot of other popular thrillers, but what makes it a stand-out is the setting. The fact they are trapped on this island really ratches up the tension.

If you're interested in ALL the thrillers and horror novels (as well as other books I read this year), keep your eye on the blog. I'll be sharing my complete list of 2020 reads next week!

Emoji Key

💩 = Hot Garbage*

😢 = I shed a tear**

😭 = I ugly cried**

🍆 = Some steamy scenes (Rated R)

💎 = A gem

💘 = Warmed my heart

👻 = Scary!

*I loving refer to these books as hot garbage. I want to be clear that just because it’s hot garbage, doesn’t mean it wasn’t an enjoyable read. It just means it’s not particularly enriching or fine literature. Sometimes you want a hot garbage read and that’s okay.

** I’m a pretty easy crier, so take that with a grain of salt.


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