In the world of thriller books, “don’t go into the woods” is an adage as old as time. Whether you’re into mystery books that will terrify you or mystery books full of creepy magic, if you love the haunted, the eerie, and the scary, you’ll love these books about the dangers of the woods.
The Woods is a powerful mystery thriller about the complexities of memory. Tess remembers a lot of things from her childhood that she desperately wishes she could forget. But all those bad memories are nothing compared to the one thing she can't remember: the night her sister died in the woods near their childhood home. Tess was the only witness to what was eventually deemed an accident. Years later, having resolved to put the trauma behind her, Tess gets a sudden call from her father. She returns to the woods where her sister's body was found to confront the memories she thought she'd lost forever.
You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile—always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet—and inspired more than one copycat.
Going into the woods and coming out without any memories of what happened is also the theme of Imaginary Friend. Seven-year-old Christopher is settling into life in a new town with his single mother. Then one day he vanishes into the woods. Six days later, he returns, seemingly unharmed. But now he can hear a voice no one else can, and he's obsessed with completing a mission only he understands, convinced that if he doesn't succeed, everyone in town will be in grave danger. This is a literary page-turner that will keep you guessing till the very end.
Sometimes the woods hide dark and dangerous secrets. In The Children of Red Peak, three childhood friends confront the traumas of their past. As children, they witnessed the terrifying last days of a religious cult on the remote mountain of Red Peak. Years later, after a fellow survivor dies by suicide, the three friends finally reunite. As they share their stories and long-buried memories, they're forced to confront the truth, which takes them back to Red Peak, and the dangerous secrets the mountain still holds.
In The Boy From the Woods, a man with a mysterious past teams up with a TV criminal attorney to find a missing teenager. When Naomi, a girl who was constantly bullied at school, disappears, no one seems to care. Except for Wilde, who was found in the woods as a child with no memory of his past. Now, as an adult, he can't ignore a fellow outcast in need. But as he sets out in search of Naomi, he's forced to confront his own past, which contains secrets that could destroy both his life and Naomi's.
The truth is often as scary as fiction, as is the case in The Cold Vanish, an account of those who go missing in the wilderness without a trace. Journalist John Billman tells a compelling story about the surprising number of people who vanish while hiking in national parks, and the void their unexplained absences leave behind. The book revolves around the story of a man who disappeared in Olympic National Park, and his father's lifelong search to find him. But Billman weaves many other tales into the narrative, both of those who go missing, and those who search.
Once upon a time there was and there wasn’t a woman who went to the woods.” In this horror story set in colonial New England, a law-abiding Puritan woman goes missing. Or perhaps she has fled or abandoned her family. Or perhaps she’s been kidnapped, and set loose to wander in the dense woods of the north. Alone and possibly lost, she meets another woman in the forest. Then everything changes.
On a journey that will take her through dark woods full of almost-human wolves, through a deep well wet with the screams of men, and on a living ship made of human bones, our heroine may find that the evil she flees has been inside her all along.
Leonora, known to some as Lee and others as Nora, is a reclusive crime writer, unwilling to leave her “nest” of an apartment unless it is absolutely necessary. When a friend she hasn’t seen or spoken to in years unexpectedly invites Nora (Lee?) to a weekend away in an eerie glass house deep in the English countryside, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured but alive, with the knowledge that someone is dead. Wondering not “what happened?” but “what have I done?”, Nora (Lee?) tries to piece together the events of the past weekend. Working to uncover secrets, reveal motives, and find answers, Nora (Lee?) must revisit parts of herself that she would much rather leave buried where they belong: in the past.
The body of an unidentified woman has been discovered in a remote forest. A large, unique scar on one side of her face should make the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. Louise Rick, the new commander of the Missing Persons Department, waits four long days before pulling off a risky move: releasing a photo of the victim to the media, jeopardizing the integrity of the investigation in hopes of finding anyone who knew her.
The gamble pays off when a woman recognizes the victim as Lisemette, a child she cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette was a "forgotten girl", abandoned by her family and left behind in the institution. But Louise soon discovers something even more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates more than thirty years ago.
For eight years, Cooper and his young daughter, Finch, have lived in isolation in a remote cabin in the northern Appalachian woods. And that's exactly the way Cooper wants it, because he's got a lot to hide. Finch has been raised on the books filling the cabin’s shelves and the beautiful but brutal code of life in the wilderness. But she’s starting to push back against the sheltered life Cooper has created for her—and he’s still haunted by the painful truth of what it took to get them there.
The only people who know they exist are a mysterious local hermit named Scotland, and Cooper's old friend, Jake, who visits each winter to bring them food and supplies. But this year, Jake doesn't show up, setting off an irreversible chain of events that reveals just how precarious their situation really is. Suddenly, the boundaries of their safe haven have blurred—and when a stranger wanders into their woods, Finch’s growing obsession with her could put them all in danger. After a shocking disappearance threatens to upend the only life Finch has ever known, Cooper is forced to decide whether to keep hiding—or finally face the sins of his past.
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