It’s time for another Book Unicorn category: sapphic thrillers!
A thriller is a suspenseful, fast-paced novel with high stakes—if the protagonist doesn’t stop the villain, her life or even the fate of the world might be in danger.
There are several subgenres such as action thriller, spy thriller, crime thriller, disaster thriller, legal thriller, medical thriller, supernatural thriller, and psychological thriller.
15 sapphic thrillers to keep you on the edge of your seat
I put together a list of 15 sapphic thrillers. I hope you find at least one you’ll enjoy.
Steel City Confidential (Steel City Series Book 1) by Anne Hagan
Pam’s been on the run from the law for years and she was getting away with it. The statute of limitations ran out on most of her crimes. For her spouse Charlotte? Not so much. Though they were aging, they looked forward to enjoying their golden years and, hopefully, forgetting about the past.
Life got complicated when Charlotte became gravely ill, their daughter got pregnant with the child of a married man…a married man someone took shots at from a rare motorcycle Pam happens to own. When the man was shot again and killed in his office at Pitt a couple of weeks later, the police found all signs pointing to Pam.
Rochelle ‘Ro’ Rabinowitz, a second-generation Pittsburgh lawyer, and her little firm take on Pam’s case pro-bono. Ro thinks it’s a slam dunk for the defense and hands the case off to her new associate and – she hopes – her future partner in the firm, Dominique, to get her feet wet in a courtroom. Clients are never completely honest with their lawyers and Ro and Dominque soon learn this one is no exception.
The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sarif
Jessie Archer is a member of the Athena Protocol, an elite organization of female spies who enact vigilante justice around the world.
Athena operatives are never supposed to shoot to kill—so when Jessie can’t stop herself from pulling the trigger, she gets kicked out of the organization, right before a huge mission to take down a human trafficker in Belgrade.
Jessie needs to right her wrong and prove herself, so she starts her own investigation into the trafficking. But going rogue means she has no one to watch her back as she delves into the horrors she uncovers. Meanwhile, her former teammates have been ordered to bring her down. Jessie must face danger from all sides if she’s to complete her mission—and survive.
Killer Instinct by Barbara Winkes
Joanna’s career ends after she kills a murderer and fails to cover her tracks. After serving a prison sentence, she struggles to pick up the pieces.
She keeps her distance from her former colleagues, save for Vanessa, the Internal Affairs inspector who was the lead investigator on Joanna’s case.
When a predator resurfaces, Joanna can’t stay away, even at the cost of losing everything…Including Rue, the woman she’s been falling for.
Requiem for Immortals by Lee Winter
What would make the most dangerous ice queen of them all, ruthless underworld assassin Requiem, hesitate?
Professional cellist Natalya Tsvetnenko moves seamlessly among the elite where she fills the souls of symphony patrons with beauty even as she takes the lives of the corrupt of Australia’s ruthless underworld. The cold, exacting assassin is hired to kill a woman who seems so innocent that Natalya can’t understand why anyone would want her dead.
As she gets to know her target, she can’t work out why she even cares.
Forsaken Trust (Luce Hansen Thrillers, book 2) by Meredith Doench
Wallace Lake, Ohio, takes care of their own. Unwelcoming of outsiders, the community closes ranks when four women are found murdered along the water’s edge. Agent Luce Hansen of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation must find a way in before another woman loses her life to the ruthless serial killer.
With the help of her new team—a hot rookie and a smart, beautiful medical examiner—Luce uncovers a ring of devotion surrounding the prime suspect. As Luce works to unearth the dark secrets of this close-knit town, she learns to what extraordinary lengths people will go to protect the ones they love. And when Luce feels forsaken, both professionally and personally, she must regain trust in her most valuable investigative tool: herself.
Operation Stop Hate by Jessie Chandler
Special Agent Cailin McKenna and her National Protection and Investigation Unit partners are drawn into a case that started with a pair of school shootings in Minneapolis. They soon learn that a hate group is recruiting teenagers on school grounds, handing out metal music rife with violent messages, and plotting a terrorist offensive on a major Twin Cities venue.
The case gets personal when the stabbing of Cailin’s brother is linked. To complicate matters, Cailin’s fiery new relationship is threatened by the return of a psycho stalker ex-girlfriend hell-bent on getting Cailin back.
Cailin soon finds herself in a fight for her life. And the clock is ticking–can she prevail in time to stop the worst terror attack that Minnesota has ever seen?
Dirt Nap by Carolyn Elizabeth
Though still suffering side effects from the injuries she sustained in a serious fall, Corey Curtis is off restricted duty and back at work in the morgue. Within hours of cutting the cast off her arm with a bone saw she’s asked by her former mentor to assist on a body recovery. Now she’s elbow deep in decomposing human remains and a suspicious death that hits far too close to home.
Just when her relationship with Dr. Thayer Reynolds has reached a new milestone, the new case tests Corey’s limits while Thayer struggles with a difficult situation at work. Corey’s impulsive nature has her hurtling down an all too familiar road with trouble around every corner.
The only thing keeping the wheels from totally coming off is Thayer’s unwavering love and support. But when the investigation comes full circle, everyone is caught off guard…threatening a most unhappy ending.
Little Lies by Lila Bruce
Getting shot was the last thing Lia Broderick expected to happen when she stopped by the bank on her way to work – that and having the gorgeous woman from the coffee shop down the street be the one to rescue her…
FBI Special Agent Dylan McKenzie is a woman with a mission – locate Steven Horton, the witness who could single-handedly bring down a notorious Crime Family. With Horton hiding from both the mob and the FBI, Dylan and her team are assigned the task of keeping tabs on Horton’s ex-wife after mounting evidence leads them to believe he will run to her. Keeping Lia Broderick under surveillance should have been just another day on the job for Dylan. But, when Lia becomes the victim in a bank robbery gone terribly wrong, Dylan has no choice but to break cover in order to step in and save her.
Despite her best efforts to maintain a professional distance from the attractive accountant, Dylan finds herself being reeled deeper and deeper into Lia’s life. As the investigation heats up—both under the covers and out—it becomes clear that Lia is the key to finding the evidence that the mob is willing to kill to get their hands on. When Dylan is betrayed by a rogue agent, she suddenly finds herself on the run with Lia, uncertain who she can trust. And as the mob closes in, Dylan realizes that the greatest risk is the one she’s taking with her heart.
Queen of Humboldt by Tagan Shepard
Marisol Soltero’s life is built on big scores and fast women. From her nightclub she rules over the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago with ruthless calculation. Though everyone knows her as the Queen of Humboldt, Marisol lives part of her life in the shadows. When she hears of an impending assassination attempt against the Governor of Illinois, those shadows threaten to ruin everything she’s built.
Governor Sabrina Sloane has spent her life cleaning up the streets, first as State’s Attorney in Chicago and then as Governor of Illinois. Every criminal to cross her path has ended up behind bars—except one. When that criminal saves her life, she’s forced to shine new light on everything she thought she knew.
As a mutual enemy forces them together, Marisol and Sloane must work as a team in a fight for their lives. Can they overcome their differences and their growing attraction to find their way to freedom? And can Governor Sloane ever bring herself to trust the Queen of Humboldt?
Out of the Flames (A Manhattan Sloane Thriller) by Stacy Lynn Miller
Newly minted San Francisco police detective Manhattan Sloane lets no one get close. Especially lovers.
Sloane has her reasons for keeping the world at arm’s length. But then her first childhood crush, DEA Agent Finn Harper, reappears and changes everything. Harper has arrived in San Francisco to investigate a new street drug weaving its way into the city—a drug that has personal ties for Sloane. The two find themselves thrown together as they team up to take down a ruthless cartel lord. Soon sparks fly as old feelings surface, forcing Sloane to face her past in order to build a new future.
Cause of Death by Sheri Lewis Wohl
All Vi Akiak wanted when she came to Spokane was to earn her medical degree, get a job in the medical examiner’s office, and keep her biggest secret safe. She didn’t plan her attraction to Kate Renard, the beautiful K9 search and rescue handler who lived next door, and she really didn’t plan on chasing a serial killer.
Kate is delighted when Vi moves in next door. She’s attractive, fascinating, and best of all, she likes dogs. When dead bodies start turning up in forested recreational areas around Spokane, Vi and Kate must work together to find the killer before they end up the next targets. In the race for survival, they discover that love may be the biggest risk of all.
The Target by Gerri Hill
Sara Michaels is the daughter of a prominent senator who has just announced his candidacy for President of the United States–the same senator who has been receiving death threats against his family.
Sara Michaels is also the owner of a self-help clinic and is hell-bent–despite the FBI’s warnings–on leading a group of ten women on a two-week sojourn through the Rocky Mountains.
In an effort to protect Sara, the FBI recruits homicide detective Jaime Hutchinson to infiltrate the group and secretly provide the protection they are so certain Sara will need. After some clever maneuvering, Jaime finds herself welcomed by the ten conservative women–who soon begin playing matchmaker with Sara and Jaime.
But then Jaime is reminded of the reason that she has joined this group of women when she’s forced to lead them out of the mountains and away from a sniper’s bullets.
Will Sara finally figure out who is behind the death threats? And will Jaime realize the truth–and be able to save Sara before it’s too late?
Heart Stopper by RJ Samuel
Dr. Priya Joseph is an Irish-Indian coder working at a new pacemaker clinic in Galway, a small city on the west coast of Ireland that is a research and manufacturing hub within the multi-billion-dollar medical devices industry. Priya’s life is already off the rails; in fact, the train has disappeared screaming into a ravine when, after a night out that she does not remember apart from a vague memory of being with a mysterious woman, she wakes up in an unfamiliar apartment and finds the dead body of her boss, American cardiologist and inventor, Dr Daniel Fairer III.
Priya is dragged by his family into an investigation of Daniel’s death. As they uncover secrets about the groundbreaking pacemaker technology that Daniel and his research partners developed and the wireless controllers that communicate with the implanted pacemakers, their investigation threatens a multi-million dollar enterprise. Priya learns that she has unwittingly been involved in research that could have consequences far beyond the small city where she has been trying to hide from her life. She discovers that her past is not what she thought it was and now that she actually wants a future, she may not survive long enough as she is being pursued her and her pursuers will do whatever it takes to complete their mission but time is running out. And they have a problem. Which they need Priya to solve.
Ace of Spades by Faridah Abike-Iyimide
Hello, Niveus High. It’s me. Who am I? That’s not important. All you need to know is…I’m here to divide and conquer. – Aces
Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light.
Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public.
Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power.
Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…
They Never Learn by Layne Fargo
Scarlett Clark is an exceptional English professor. But she’s even better at getting away with murder.
Every year, Dr. Clark searches for the worst man at Gorman University—professor, student, or otherwise—and plots his well-deserved demise. Thanks to her meticulous planning, she’s avoided drawing attention to herself…but as she’s preparing for her biggest kill yet, the school starts probing into the growing body count on campus. Determined to keep her enemies close, Dr. Clark insinuates herself into the investigation and charms the woman in charge. Everything’s going according to her master plan…until she loses control with her latest victim, putting her secret life at risk of exposure.
Meanwhile, Gorman student Carly Schiller is just trying to survive her freshman year. Finally free of her emotionally abusive father, all Carly wants is to focus on her studies and fade into the background. Her new roommate has other ideas. Allison Hadley is cool and confident—everything Carly wishes she could be—and the two girls quickly form an intense friendship. So when Allison is sexually assaulted at a party, Carly becomes obsessed with making the attacker pay…and turning her fantasies about revenge into a reality.
Leave a comment
Leave a comment and let us know which book you’ll be reading for the “sapphic thrillers” category!
Subscribe to this blog to get future Sapphic Reading Challenge posts
If you’d like to get all future Sapphic Reading Challenge posts sent to your in-box, subscribe to my blog.