25 Thrillers By Black Authors That You Need To Read Right Now

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I’ve been working on this post for way too long and it’s one I’ve been excited about all summer because I’ve been in such a thriller mood!

I’ve read a couple of these thrillers by Black authors already and liked them quite a bit (the first two) but realized I have a few of the others already that I got on Kindle deals and can’t wait to read.

I’m even more excited to read them now after writing this post and have added even more to my TBR that I don’t have yet.

I’ve been trying to diversify my reading but at the same time, I don’t pay all that much attention to who authors are when I’m choosing books.

Like, I didn’t realize Riley Sager was a man for probably a year. I also saw someone say recently that they don’t want people to read their book just because they’re Black, they want people to read the book because they want to, because it sounds good.

So I hope if you’re looking to read some of these, it’s because they sound good not just because the author is Black. But I guess if that’s why you want to read it then who am I to stop you?

But, if you’re just looking for some thrillers by Black authors to throw into your reading mix at some point in time, this is a great list (well, at least I think so.)

  • If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
  • Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
  • Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
  • Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
  • Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.

Not So Perfect Strangers

Tasha finally found the courage to take her son and leave her abusive husband, Kordell. But things don’t always go to plan and she finds herself driving back home. As she’s leaving, Madison pounds on her car window with an angry man in pursuit. They may lead very different lives but they both have marriages they need out of and very different ideas of how to achieve that.

When No One is Watching

Sydney is Brooklyn born and bred but it seems her neighborhood is changing every time she blinks. Condos appear, old friends disappear so to hold onto her community’s past, she channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unwanted assistant in a new arrival to the block, her neighbor Theo.

Their deep dive into the history quickly turns to paranoia and fear as they discover their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all and that the push for revitalizing the community may have been more deadly than advertised.

I read this one in June and really liked it!

My Sister the Serial Killer

When Korede gets a distressed call from her sister during dinner, she knows she has to go over with her bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel, and strong stomach. It is Ayoola’s third boyfriend she has dispatched in “self defense” that Korede is left to clean up. She knows she should go to the police, but she loves her sister. Until she starts dating a doctor Korede works with that she has long been in love with, but saving one would mean sacrificing the other.

They All Fall Down

If you’re a fan of And Then There Were None, this may be perfect for you. Miriam is surprised with an invitation to a luxurious private island off the coast of Mexico with six strangers.

In the middle of paradise, they soon realize they were all brought there for a reason – they all have a secret. Danger is lurking in the lush forest and the lonely mansion while the group is trapped in paradise as they all fall down, one by one.

Blacktop Wasteland

Beauregard “Bug” Montage takes after his father as the best getaway driver on the east coast. Or he was. Now he is a husband, father, and honest car mechanic.

After some financial problems, made worse by racial prejudices in his small town, he reluctantly joins a diamond heist to solve his money problems before going straight once and for all. But that all goes wrong and he’s sucked into a dark underworld threatening everything he loves most.

A Deadly Inside Scoop

If you’re a fan of cozy mysteries, this one’s for you! Bronwyn Crewse just finished her MBA and is taking over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Win is renovating the shop to its former glory and filling the menu with delicious flavors, many her grandmother’s recipes.

Unexpected construction delays the opening and she misses the summer season, getting a literal cold opening: snow on the first day. To make things worse, she finds a body in the snow and it turns out to be a grifter that had a feud with her family.

Her father is implicated in his death and she’s determined to juggle the new shop with solving the murder.


Allegedly, Mary B. Addison killed a baby. She stayed pretty quiet in the first interviews with detectives and the media filled in the blanks themselves. All that mattered was a white baby died while with a Black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public and jury convicted her but did she really do it?

Ace of Spades

When Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo are selected to be part of the school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to a great start at Niveus Private Academy.

Not long after the announcement is made, someone who goes by Aces begins sending texts to reveal their secrets, turning their lives upside down.

This sounds a lot like Pretty Little Liars and a lot like I would enjoy it.

My Mother’s House

Lucien and his wife Marie-Ange flee Haiti for New York City hoping for wealth, reinvention, and comfort. They start their new life by buying a house in a quickly changing community where fellow immigrants can find peace, food, and legal help.

Lucien soon finds his worst habits in the new city and the house, La Kay, is the main backdrop. He doesn’t realize that the house is watching and has decided to put an end to all the sins it was made to hold.

This one sounds so interesting! It’s definitely on my TBR now.

Catherine House

I got this on a Kindle deal last year and I’m so excited to read it!

Only the best are accepted into Catherine House in rural Pennsylvania and it’s all free if you’re lucky enough to be accepted. But if you are, you must commit three full years to the school with no contact to the outside world.

Ines Murillo expects it to be a subdued experience but finds a school director that encourages students to find themselves within the gates of Catherine. It’s the closest to home she’s ever had but it also feels like a gilded prison. When tragedy strikes, she thinks the school may be hiding a dangerous secretive agenda.

And Now She’s Gone

This is another one I got on a Kindle deal last year and can’t wait to read!

Grayson Sykes knows Isabel Lincoln is gone but it’s up to her to find out if she’s missing. Every revelation in the search makes it more dangerous and complicated as she uncovers the truth hidden from family and friends.

The Legacy

Raevyn has never led a fancy life but when she is unwillingly dropped into Black Ivy League, she has to pretend everything is normal. When her new friends start to question her sketchy past, she realizes she has to rely on her street smarts more than ever before. Then she starts to receive cryptic texts and emails from someone wanting her to leave the university. And to end her life.

Spare Room

Lisa can’t believe how lucky she is to find a room to rent in a large house with welcoming live-in owners. Everything is fine until she finds a suicide note in her room from a man the owners insist doesn’t exist.

She’s determined to uncover the secrets of the man who apparently lived in the room before her. Increasingly disturbing things start to happen to try and stop Lisa from finding the truth.

This is another one that sounds really good and just got added to my TBR!

The Other Black Girl

Not only does this have a beautiful cover, but it also has a spot on my TBR. I think this is one I want a physical copy of because I love the cover so much.

Nella is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books so she’s thrilled when Harlem-born Hazel starts working with her. All too soon, a string of uncomfortable events leaves Nella in the dust and Hazel as office sweetheart.

Then the notes start showing up on Nella’s desk: LEAVE. WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe it could be Hazel but she soon realizes a lot more is at stake than just her job.

Tell Me Your Secret

Pieta survived a weekend with a serial killer ten years ago and never told anyone what happened but now, the man who kidnapped her is hunting his victims down and she may need to tell her secret to stay alive.

Fifteen years ago Jody made an awful mistake that resulted in a serial killer being set free. She finds out Pieta is one of his living victims and may have a way to catch him even if it means endangering Pietas life.

Cherish Farrah

Farrah is one of two Black girls in her country club community and the only one with two Black parents. Cherish, her best friend, was adopted by wealthy white parents which helped create a dissonance that Farrah can exploit.

When Farrah’s family is suddenly facing foreclosure, she goes to stay with the Whitman’s, manipulating her way further into the family the longer she stays. But at the same time her own parents are suggesting something is wrong in the Whitman household. Strange things start happening at the house but it isn’t anything she can’t handle. Or so she thinks.

This is another one that sounds really interesting!

White Smoke

Marigold is running from the ghosts of her past life and a move from California to a midwestern city may be just the solution. Her mom accepted a job at the Sterling Foundation that came with a free house.

The picture perfect home between dilapidated houses has it’s secrets. Things disappear, open and close, and turn on and off on their own. And Mari’s sister Piper keeps talking about a friend who wants Mari gone.

This one sounds so good too!

The Jigsaw Man

Anjelica is called to a crime scene of dismembered body parts by the river on her first day back of active duty. It starts to resemble the notorious Jigsaw Killer, Peter Oliver, who has spent the last two years behind bars. When he hears someone is imitating his method, he decides to take things into his own hands.

Anjelica is facing a major threat as the body count rises. Will she catch him before Oliver does or will she be the next victim?

Don’t mind me, just adding all of these to my 10-mile-long TBR.

A Spy in the Struggle

Yolanda Vance has wanted to escape poverty since childhood. And she did just that into Harvard Law then a prestigious New York Law Firm. But when the law firm is raided by the FBI, she turns on her bosses to save her career then joins the bureau.

Soon she’s sent undercover to her college town in California to join an African American extremist group claiming a biotech corporation funded by the Pentagon is exploiting the neighborhood. She’s determined to close the case, return to corporate law, and reclaim her life, but romance and a suspicious death open her eyes. Menacing forces just want to bury Yolanda and the movement.

Speaking of Summer

Autumn Spencer’s twin, Summer, walked to the roof of their Harlem brownstone and was never seen again. There is only one set of footprints in the snow and door to the roof is locked. The authorities are indifferent to another missing Black woman so it’s up to Autumn to find her sister.

She pretends to hold up through the crisis but it all becomes too overwhelming and she starts to unravel all while becoming obsessed with the murders of various local women and the men who killed them.

Saving Ruby King

Ruby King’s mother’s murder is just dismissed as more violence in a Black neighborhood but it’s left Ruby devastated and alone with her violent father. Her best friend Layla is the only one who understands the jeopardy Ruby is in now.

Layla’s father demands she stay away from Ruby but she’s determined to help her best friend. In doing so, she uncovers murky loyalties and dangerous secrets that have bound their families together for generations.

Dead Dead Girls

It’s Harlem in 1926 and Black women like Louise are being found dead. She was kidnapped in her teens and is doing everything she can to live a normal life but when a girl ends up dead in front of the cafe she works at, she has to face something she’s been trying to ignore.

Two other Black women have been found dead and after Louise is arrested because of an altercation with a police officer, she either has to help solve the case or go to jail. She has no choice but to help investigate and finds herself facing a murderous mastermind.


Enchanted Jones dreams of being a famous singer take flight when Korey Fields, a legendary R&B singer, sees her at an audition. But then she wakes up with blood on her hands, no memory of the night before, and a dead Korey Fields.

Before there was a dead body, her dreams became a nightmare because behind Korey’s power and charm was a dark, controlling side. Now he’s dead and all signs point to Enchanted.

I got this one on a Kindle deal too and can’t wait to read it!

The Taking of Jake Livingston

Jake Livingstone sees dead people everywhere. He can’t decide of that’s worse of being at the mercy of racist teachers as one of the only Black student at St. Clair Prep. Things start looking up with the arrival of Allister, another handsome Black student and romance is on the horizon.

Life as a medium is getting worse though because Sawyer Doon wants a lot more from Jake than usual. Sawyer shot and killed six kids at his high school, then shot himself and is now a powerful, vengeful ghost with plans for Jake. Now high school is a different kind of survival game.

Within the Shadows

Andrew Wilson has it all. Well, almost all. When he meets Mika Woods one day, it almost seems too good to be true. She’s everything he’s ever wanted. After one night of passion she isn’t quite who or what she appears to be.

But it’s too late now. What she wants, she gets, no matter who has to die.

The Marvelous

Everyone thinks they know Jewel Van Hanen, the heiress turned social media darling who created the massive video sharing app, Golden Rule.

After a mysterious year away, she returns with news that a few lucky Golden Rule users have been chosen for a lavish weekend at her private estate. Once they arrive, they unknowingly became players in a massive estate-wide game of survival.

Have you read any of these? Which ones? Any other thrillers by Black authors I should check out?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

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