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Must-Read Thrillers From Asian American and Pacific Islander Authors

For AAPI Heritage Month—and beyond.


May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, so in celebration of this, we wanted to highlight some of our very favorite thrillers written by authors across the Asian American and Pacific Islander diaspora.

And remember, while AAIP Heritage Month is a perfect time to try out some new-to-you authors and expand your horizon, don't limit yourself just to May! It is fantastic and enriching to read and celebrate diverse authors all year long.

2020 edgar award winners

Miracle Creek

By Angie Kim

Miracle Creek is one of those books that touches on so many different issues that are all important. It is a compelling story from the first page and it is easy to be drawn to the characters and what they were going through. It is a fascinating topic that made a great courtroom procedural mixed with family drama.  The story is about a hyperbolic chamber said to heal a multitude of medical problems. When there is a terrible accident, there is a struggle to determine if it was an accident or not. 

This novel explores the struggles of parenthood, as well as the nuances of being the parent of a child with a medical condition. Kim also reflects on the challenges often faced by immigrants and what it's like to move somewhere completely unfamiliar with deep hopes to change your life. 


Little Secrets

By Jennifer Hiller

Little Secrets explores the grief and pain of a mother losing her child. The characters are dynamic and interesting, and the shift in perspectives captures the feeling and emotion of the story. Multiple plot points weave together to make a dark and twisted psychological thriller.

The story is about a woman whose child is taken and the impact it has on her family and her life. When the search goes cold, she hires a Private Investigator to help her find her son but instead, discovers her husband is having an affair. It's an interesting and addictive story with a surprising ending. 

new mysteries fall 2020

Leave the World Behind

By Rumaan Alam

Leave the World Behind looks at how people respond to a crisis. The narrative slowly reveals details to the reader, and while it's tempting to trust everyone, it's never quite clear who is actually trustworthy. The story is about the human spirit, our connections with each other, and what to do when the world is ending around us. 

Amanda and Clay go on a vacation to Long Island to get away from New York City. Soon after they arrive, a couple appears at their door claiming they’re the owners of the vacation house and asking to come in. They tell Amanda and Clay that there is a massive blackout in the city, but there isn't any internet or phone access to verify the story. They are not sure if they should trust the strangers, but let the couple into the home anyway...


Quiet in Her Bones

By Nalini Singh

In Quite in Her Bones, a woman vanishes with a ton of money and is believed to have skipped town. When her bones appear buried in the forest, her son Aarav sets out to discover what really happened—he wants to find out if anyone knows what happened that night. The characters are dynamic and interesting and completely captivating. 

The story has the perfect combination of an unreliable narrator and a wonderful main character; it is full of drama, suspense, and an atmospheric journey through time and the characters' history. 

chinese books these violent delights

These Violent Delights

By Chloe Gong

These Violent Delights is a wonderful retelling of Romeo and Juliet but set in 1926 Shanghai. There are two gangs: The Scarlet Gang and The White Flowers, and the novel details their ongoing rivalry. While it is influenced by Romeo and Juliet, it is not a direct imitation and is a completely unique and wonderful story on its own. Juliette is a strong and powerful main character, and her relationship with Roma is full of passion and longing.

It's both a slow burn and chaotic, and you don’t have to know the classic Romeo and Juliet story to enjoy this book. There is wonderful representation in this book and the rich history that makes it both compelling and engaging.