On Saturday, July 14th, the International Thriller Writers announced the winners of the 2018 Thriller Awards at a New York City ceremony headlined by George R. R. Martin, renowned for his Games of Thrones books. James Rollins, author of the bestselling Sigma Force novels, received the Silver Bullet award from the International Thriller Writers for his work in founding Authors United for Veterans.
Best Hardcover Novel
Final Girls by Riley Sager
Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.
Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.
That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.
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Best First Novel
The Freedom Broker by K.J. Howe
Thea Paris, one of only twenty-five elite kidnap and ransom specialists in the world—and the only one who is a woman—is the best in the business. And she’s facing the most urgent and challenging rescue mission of her life: her own father’s.
As a child, Thea was forced to watch, paralyzed with fear, while her younger brother was abducted in the middle of the night by masked intruders. This life-changing experience drove her to become what she is today: a world-class freedom broker.
When Thea’s oil magnate father, Christos Paris, is snatched from his yacht off Santorini on his sixtieth birthday, days away from the biggest deal of his career, the brutal kidnappers leave the entire crew slaughtered in their wake. Can Thea rescue her father—and prevent this kidnapping from destroying her family for good?
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Best Paperback Original Novel
Grievance by Christine Bell
After weathering the first gut-wrenching year since her husband’s death, Lily Declan is trying to move past her grief and find a place of healing for herself and her two young sons.
But when a strange sympathy letter arrives, the quiet life Lily has rebuilt from her sorrow comes under stealthy, sinister attack. On her wedding anniversary, an intimate bridal gift is delivered to her door. Then, a bizarre home invasion shatters her sense of security, and a mysterious Facebook memorial appears. Like a hungry ghost, someone seeks to claim her love and loss as their own, to erase Lily from her own life and possess her beloved forever, in an embrace of macabre devotion.
As more threats follow, Lily’s home and family are no longer her safe haven, and it’s become difficult to tell friend from foe. But after everything she’s already lost, she won’t give up her memories–or her family–without a fight.
Best E-book Original Novel
Second Chance by Sean Black
Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson are back in the eighth book in this action-packed series.
A frantic gun battle in downtown Los Angeles. A young defense attorney violently abducted from her office. A brutal murder in California’s highest-security prison for women. Someone is out for revenge, and their target’s name is Ryan Lock.
Best Young Adult Novel
The Rains by Gregg Hurwitz
In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek’s Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding.
Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn eighteen—and Patrick’s birthday is only a few days away.
Determined to save Patrick’s life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites—and what they find is horrifying. Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.
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