10 Thrillers That Will Keep You Guessing
When it comes to giving books recommendations, I’m asked about thrillers more than any other genre. It can be risky, taking a chance on a title with a lot of buzz, only to find out it’s a dud. Especially if you don’t get through many books in a year. That’s why I take my job so seriously, I want to help you weed out junk so each title you read is worth it!
One of my biggest bookish pet peeves is when a book is labeled as “The next Gone Girl.” It ruins any chances a book has to stand on its own. As much as possible, I try to avoid comparing books.
So much of the reading experience comes from where we’re at in our lives when we take in a story. Comparing one to another can taint a story that may otherwise have been more enjoyable.
I’ve recommended thrillers in the past, and gotten great feedback on those. Because I read so many books, particularly of this genre, the story has to be well done and the writing has to be top notch. Otherwise, I’m guessing the end at 25% in, then spending the rest of the time hate reading!
Here’s a list of the best thrillers I’ve encountered over the past year or so!
10 Thrillers That Will Keep You Guessing
1. The Trailing Spouse by Jo Furniss
I appreciate any story that still has me guessing at 90% in! While at the core this is a solid mystery/triller, it’s a beautiful novel with a lot going on. Amanda and Edward are expatriates living in Singapore. She gave up her life in England to be with him and live a life of luxury. Edward’s daughter from his first marriage is with them as well, harboring some complicated feelings about her mother’s death and father’s remarriage. When the family maid commits suicide, Amanda begins to scramble to put together pieces of a much larger puzzle.
2. The Girl Before by JP Delaney
You may have to work hard to suspend your disbelief for this one, but it’s worth it. To start, I was rolling my eyes, thinking why in the world would anyone agree to move into this house? Then I got sucked in and didn’t care about that anymore! Plus it all comes together later in a delicious way. One of the primary characters in this story is a house, which is weird and cool at the same time. One Folgate Place is a minimalist architect’s great accomplishment, and in exchange for a lower rent, residents must follow a list of bizarre rules.
3. You Were Made For This by Michelle Sacks
This story made my head spin the entire time, because I had no idea what was the truth! It makes for an incredibly compelling, un-put-downable reading experience. All of the characters are horrible people with secrets who are trying to manipulate each other. That makes for great reading, but I didn’t care about any of the characters. I kinda wanted someone to root for – no such luck.
4. The Wife by Alafair Burke
Wow, what a compulsively readable mystery. It’s a dark look into marriage, at the way spouses keep secrets – both from each other and for each other. The audio book gave our narrator extra grit, and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to root for her or not! It’s a timely book, exploring issues of sexual misconduct and the effects on everyone involved in such a scandal.
5. The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne
Every single page of this book is intense. I don’t think I’ve ever gasped out loud so much while reading a book! The premise is incredibly unique and wonderfully written. The story starts in present day and goes back and forth between Helena’s mission to track her father, and the story of their past together. It is all woven together smoothly, secrets and details released gradually as it all comes together in heart pounding scenes.
6. The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison
This one unravels gradually. The twists aren’t sharp but they are there. Every single character is unlikable, their behavior deplorable, yet I couldn’t help rooting for them at times. The alternating narrators tell the story from different angles which makes events even more fascinating. This is a great thriller, a fast easy read that made my head spin.
7. Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
This novel is a rare gem. The story is twisty and dark, and I wasn’t able to figure out what was going on. I highly recommend this for fans of the thriller genre or I’d even call it suspenseful literary fiction.
A newlywed couple goes on their honeymoon and make a bizarre discovery. They then make a series of choices that can alter the course of their lives dramatically. It made me consider what I would do in the same situation, and about human nature. It’s a fantastic glimpse into a new marriage, and mostly inside the mind of our narrator Erin, who wants to do what is best for her family, yet isn’t sure exactly what that would mean.
8. The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
Holy cow, this book is a wild ride! It’s deliciously suspenseful and addictive all the way through.
Emily finally finds the man of her dreams in Adam. While they begin to plan a future together, it becomes increasingly clear to Emily that his mother is not quite right. Seemingly sweet and helpful to everyone else, Pammie’s hidden maliciousness toward Emily is maddening. The writing is concise, and the characters are perfectly well rounded. The story is spectacular, and Jones does an amazing job weaving all the separate threads together.
9. The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
Definitely go with this one on audio book if you can The three female narrators do an excellent job of portraying the characters of Brett, Stephanie, and Kelly to give us a well rounded view of the women featured on the Gold Diggers reality show. I didn’t exactly love all the women on women cattiness, betrayed, and lies. However it made for a compelling story that’s wound tight with tons of tiny twists. It’s longer than it needs to be, but the story goes quickly and it’s worth it.
10. Bring Me Back by BA Paris
Rarely does a thriller leave me reeling the way this one did. We have a bit of an anti-hero in Finn, who is moving on with his life after his girlfriend, Layla, disappeared 12 years ago. He just so happens to be moving on with Layla’s sister. None of the characters are likable, everyone is lying and sneaking around. Generally I want at least one character to root for, yet not having that made it easier to get fully immersed in the flow of the story. I couldn’t put it down, desperately wanting to know what happened next.