Looking for a way to escape the current state of the world? How about jumping into someone else’s terrifying world? Here are our top picks for psychological thrillers that will have fans of suspense and fictional crime novels turning the pages and begging for more.
by Jill Childs
This one is for mystery and thriller fans who also want some family drama! Jen isn’t a fan of Ella, her ex-husband's new girlfriend. And the strain is made even worse when Ella gets into a car accident with Jen’s daughter, Gracie, who dies and is then resuscitated by paramedics. But what happens to this already-torn family when Gracie starts remembering things she heard in the car from the car accident…
Marin is successful and happily married when her entire life changes in a split second: her son is taken from her on a routine trip to the mall. A year later, there has been zero break in the case and Marin thinks of nothing but her son, so she hires a private investigator. What the PI unearths is not what Marin hired her for: Marin’s husband is having an affair. Looks like Marin now has a new thing to obsess over.
A windowless shack in the woods. A dash to safety. But when a woman finally escapes her captor, the end of the story is only the beginning of her nightmare. She says her name is Lena. Lena, who disappeared without a trace 14 years prior. She fits the profile. She has the distinctive scar. But her family swears that she isn’t their Lena.
The little girl who escaped the woods with her knows things she isn’t sharing, and Lena’s devastated father is trying to piece together details that don’t quite fit. Lena is desperate to begin again, but something tells her that her tormentor still wants to get back what belongs to him…and that she may not be able to truly escape until the whole truth about what happened in the woods finally emerges.
Sydney Green is dealing with a lot, including her mom being sick, trying to pay for her care, and her Brooklyn neighborhood changing. And is there something going on with her neighbors suddenly moving, or is she overthinking things? Is she in danger, or is she paranoid? Is her new neighbor, who is helping her research the history of Brooklyn, really a new friend, or should her alarm bells be ringing louder? Have fun trying to make out what, if anything, is happening.
For fans of White Oleander, did you read the author’s next adult novel? Imagine thinking you’ve found the love of your life only to get a call to come identify his body. And it gets worse: you ends up in a warring relationship with his mother as you each blame the other for his suicide. If, like White Oleander, you’re looking for another adaptation after your read, Amber Tamblyn directed the film.
Rachel is living a quiet life with her family when her world is shaken for the second time: the daughter who was kidnapped nine years ago is suddenly now in front of her again, but as someone else’s daughter. She’s certain of it, and you better believe this mother will do anything to get her child back…
by Jeff Abbott
Mariah Dunning's mom vanished two years ago and is presumed dead. So when Mariah thinks she spots her mom in food court, she has to be wrong, right? Mariah thinks she imagined it because she misses her mom so much, or maybe someone just looks like her mom. But that doesn’t explain Mariah uncovering that there are also now 2 more missing women with the same first name as her mom.
Imagine signing on to Facebook and it’s showing you a timeline skipped ahead in the future, and everyone is memorializing you because you are dead. You’re also married and have a kid. Either Jess is misreading or there is a glitch on Facebook, but when she tries to show someone, it disappears. Except for the Facebook posts that sporadically keep materializing, warning her of a future accident she will have so maybe she should listen and hopefully save herself.
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Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor and Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.