The Keystone’s Summer Reading: Thrillers

By Patrick Abdalla

July 30, 2021

Editor’s note: The end of a Dean Koontz novel can shock and thrill you. Laura Wiesberger’s stories can draw you in. The grand scope of a James Michener tome can leave you in awe.

Our state has a rich literary history, from Louisa May Alcott to August Wilson, and it has also produced some of the biggest best-selling authors of fiction and nonfiction works, from Mark Bowden to Jennifer Weiner.

With that in mind, The Keystone has come up with a Summer Reading List of books by Pennsylvania authors or set in the Keystone State. Until the end of August, we will bring a different genre of books to you.

It’s hard to imagine any state has produced as many great thriller writers as Pennsylvania has. Dean Koontz and Lisa Scottoline are thriller royalty. Take a look at some books that will keep you turning the page. And keeping the light on.


Philadelphia native Lisa Scottiline packs her legal dramas with chilling moments and thrilling discoveries.

Betrayed is part of her Rosato and Associates series. In this adventure, the main character questions what led to the death of her aunt’s best friend and housekeeper.


Chuck Wendig takes readers on a paranormal thriller with the first installment in his Miriam Black series. 

The Bucks County writer startles readers with a tale of a young woman who can see how people die, but is doomed to being unable to stop those deaths. This time, though, she sees a death that will put her in danger.

Blood Runs Coal

This is the true story written by Mark A. Bradley of the 1969 murder of a Pennsylvania family caught up in a union dispute. 

The father, mother, and daughter were killed because of the father’s efforts to reform his mining union. The horrific crime and resulting manhunt have captured the public’s imagination for decades, with the event being portrayed in an HBO movie, and several other TV shows. 

The Silent Corner

Dean Koontz, a native of Bedford County, has long been a master of suspense, writing novels since the late 1960s. 

“Silent Corner” is the first installment in his new Jane Hawk series. Jane searches for the truth after her husband takes his own life. What she finds is shocking and dangerous.


Kathleen George, of Pittsburgh, is another master of suspense. 

“Taken” is her 2001 novel about an infant stolen in broad daylight in downtown Pittsburgh. The baby is the child of a Pirates pitcher and pretty soon the whole city is trying to figure out what happened.  

Summer Reading: Light Reads

Summer Reading: Classics

Summer Reading: Biographies


CATEGORIES: Uncategorized


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