There’s nothing worse than a bland, not-so-twisty plot twist. You’re nearing the finale of your latest thriller read, you’ve got road maps to at least five possible outcomes…and the most predictable, dissatisfying one? Turns out to be the actual end of the story. Talk about a bummer. Worry not. This list will help get a book worthy of audible gasping into your hands.
You can’t go wrong with a small-town mystery. This story takes place in a small part of Louisiana where several teenage girls go missing and the confessed criminal turns out to be a town resident. From the perspective of the criminal’s daughter, the story progresses into her adulthood and out of a town that impacted her and her family’s lives forever. But is getting out of town enough to keep the darkness away? After a new string of teenage disappearances occurs, our main character Chloe is forced to revisit her past in ways certainly unpredictable.
Taking a slight shift, this haunting thriller takes on a mystery that feels quite eerie. Joe O'Loughlin finds himself in a situation where he’s trying to convince a woman not to kill herself. Unfortunately, the woman jumps to her death, leaving O’Loughlin traumatized and possessed by the idea that he failed at saving her. That is, until years later when the deceased woman’s daughter shows up to reveal that there must be another force at work.
Nothing says plot twist more than a young police officer plunged right into a crime that's littered with corrupt officials, mobsters, murder, and secrets! This book has it all. Not to mention that said police officer has a few traumas of her own getting in the way. If you’re a fan of intricate webs of lies and puzzle pieces, you will find this page-turner to be right up your alley.
by Noah Hawley
This thrilling adventure adds a political layer to a teen gone missing. That teen happens to be the daughter of Judge Margot Burr-Nadir and she goes missing right as Margot is about to take on a role in the Supreme Court. To make matters more intense, Margot’s search for her daughter starts to expose an entirely different reality for a group of teenagers, including one who goes by Prophet, who have escaped an Abatement Center and are on the run from a corrupt man who goes by title The Wizard. Yeah, a lot to unpack there. This read will truly feel like a race to the end.
You had to know this one made the list. Verity is one of the buzziest thrillers out right now, and with good reason. New York Times Bestseller Author Colleen Hoover brings us along Lowen Ashleigh’s journey as a ghostwriter for injured bestselling author Verity Crawford. As Lowen prepares for the gig, she comes across an autobiographical manuscript by Verity, and let’s just say… It's disturbing. With the newfound information and Lowen’s increasing fondness of Verity’s husband Jeremy, Lowen finds herself going down a dangerous path of choices to make.
We may all know Gillian Flynn from Gone Girl, but there’s another darkly twisty tale in Sharp Objects. Set in another small town, this story is told from the perspective of Camille Preaker, a town resident who moved to a big city in hopes to forget her dark upbringing and past. She is sent back home to report on a string of child murders, and the moment she arrives, it’s pure chaos. This murder mystery is sharp, disturbing, and filled with sketchy characters that make the ending exhilarating.
If you’re looking for a witty modern take on some classic thriller tropes, look no further: this one has you covered. The story begins with Rowan Caine being hired as a live-in nanny…at one of the most modern smart homes you could think of. Not only is the house perfect but the children she’s taking care of seeming incredible, too. All seems well at first, but nothing is ever so perfect. This twisty thriller intertwines the main character with a sketchy past to some sinister acts running askew in the Heatherbrae House for a finale that is absolutely appalling.
B. A. Paris
There’s something about a perfect marriage, a perfect house, and a perfect life that seems suspicious. Especially when friends and family pick up on the fact that Grace, Jack’s wife, is never available to chat, hang out, or socialize without her spouse around. What might seem like a dark, heartbreaking story for Grace is actually a lot worse. This story takes a massive turn to the unexpected in a heart-racing chase to the end.
This small-town mystery doesn’t include a string of disappearances but instead the tragic murder of an extremely popular and well-loved teen Hattie Hoffman. The search to find the killer ignites right from the start, resulting in a story packed with twists and turns from the get-go. To make things more interesting are the huge cast of sketchy and seemingly too-innocent characters all tied to Hattie in some form, which makes the book as a whole super entertaining.
by Josh Weiss
LAPD detective Morris Baker—a Holocaust survivor who drowns his fractured memories of the unspeakable in schnapps and work—is called to the scene of a horrific double-homicide. The victims are John Huston, a once-promising but now forgotten film director, and an up and coming young journalist named Walter Cronkite. Clutched in the hand of one of the dead men is a cryptic note containing the phrase “beat the devils” followed by a single name: Baker. Did the two men die in an attack fueled by better-dead-than-red sentiment, as the Hueys are quick to conclude, or were they murdered in a cover-up designed to protect—or even set in motion—a secret plot connected to Baker's past?
In a country where terror grows stronger by the day, and paranoia rises unchecked, Baker is determined to find justice for two men who raised their voices in a time when free speech comes at the ultimate cost. In the course of his investigation, Baker stumbles into a conspiracy that reaches deep into the halls of power and uncovers a secret that could destroy the City of Angels—and the American ideal itself.
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Sarah Alli is a publishing professional by day and digital content creator by night, the human behind Pies n’ Prose. She loves good food, scary movies, and romanticizing bits of her slow-living lifestyle on her blog, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.