No spooky season is complete without a good read. Get those fall vibes going with some thrillers from epic female authors.

Karen M. McManus is, of course, famous for writing the One of Us Is Lying book series — which was turned into a short-lived Peacock series — and the third book, One of Us is Back, officially dropped in July 2023.

“The third time’s a charm,” the book’s official summary reads. “It’s been almost two years since Simon died in detention, and the aftermath has been hard to shake. First the Bayview Four had to prove they weren’t killers. Then a new generation outwitted a vengeful copycat. Now the entire Bayview Crew is back home for the summer, and everyone is trying to move on.”

With the return of fan-favorite characters, including Bronwyn, Cooper, Addy, Nate, Maeve, Phoebe, Knox, Luis and Kris, the teens have more secrets that get revealed.

Other than the One of Us Is Lying series, Karen has written tons of other thrillers that have kept readers on the edge of their seats. A fan-favorite is 2021’s You’ll be the Death of Me.

“I spend a lot of time thinking through the group dynamic and making sure the characters have points of view, connection, conflict and chemistry,” the author said of her books, while chatting with Entertainment Weekly in November 2021. She also got real about making those big reveals at the end of her book.

“I don’t think the success of a thriller should lay entirely on whether or not readers are able to get the ending, because someone’s always going to guess,” Karen told EW. “I never want my endings to feel as though they’re coming out of the blue, but I hope that you have a hand-to-the-forehead moment where you think, ‘How did I miss that?'”

While Karen has definitely made a name for herself in the YA thriller world, she’s hardly the only female writer that’s killing it — no pun intended — in this book genre. Scroll through our gallery to see which YA authors you should check out this fall — and all year long. 

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