Is there anything scarier than domestic thrillers? They take the notion of family—the people you come home to after every stressful workday and who you are supposed to be able to depend on, no matter what—and turn it into a tangle of secrets and lies. Sure, all crime thrillers are filled with heart-pounding suspense. But how much more tense does the action become when the hero’s own home is under attack? Or when someone they thought they knew turns out to be harboring a dangerous and terrible secret?
The stakes are higher than ever in these five domestic thrillers. The protagonists are often ordinary people forced to confront extraordinary dangers to protect their loved ones. In other cases, the protagonist is not a relative, but the afflicted family’s troubles remind them of their own painful pasts, driving them to the limit as they fight to uncover deadly truths. Above all, these suspense novels prove that hearth and home is not always as safe as it should be. Perhaps you should lock your bedroom door tonight…
Simon's older daughter, Paige, ran away from home months ago. Despite all his searching, Simon finds her again where he least expects: in Central Park, busking for tips and obviously desperate. But when Simon tries to speak with her, Paige runs again, back into the arms of her much older boyfriend. Simon is heartbroken but not deterred. A father's job is to protect his children, no matter what. And he won't stop until he rescues Paige from whatever she has gotten herself into, whether that be an abusive boyfriend, drugs, or something even more sinister.
Marie and Geraldine Monroe could not be more different. Marie has spent her life being a dutiful daughter, even in the face of her father's unending abuse, and an affectionate mother. Geraldine ran off years ago after killing her mother and failing to kill herself. But now, a family event brings Geraldine back to her childhood home in Michigan. And this time, she decides to stay. Finally reunited, Geraldine and Marie put in motion a plan to exact the revenge they have both longed for. But can their bond survive when buried secrets and resentments are revealed? More importantly, can they survive?
When Naomi Page goes missing, no one cares. She has missed a lot of school, but her absences were excused. Her alcoholic father isn't concerned. Only her classmate, Matthew, who watched bullies target Naomi day in and day out, makes an effort to find her. He asks his grandmother, Hester, a celebrity attorney, to make sure Naomi is okay. Hester in turn calls on Wilde, a man who was found wandering the woods as a child and whose origins remain unknown. Together, Hester and Wilde, as unconventional as they are, may be Naomi's only hope of a safe return. Written by Harlan Coben, who also wrote Run Away, The Boy from the Woods delivers plenty of mystery and excitement.
Megan and Christie have found the perfect house. Unfortunately, it's a little out of their price range, so they advertise for a housemate to help with the rent. They end up with Sammi, a cheery freelance journalist. Chloe loves her immediately, and Sammi seems to like both the house and her new housemates. But Megan has some reservations. She can't put her finger on it, but there is something about Sammi that doesn't seem quite right. When strange things start to happen, Megan realizes she must unlock Sammi's secrets before it's too late. This thriller by C.L. Pattison will chill anyone who has ever had a roommate.
Jo and Kate have been best friends for years, ever since they met at boarding school. Back then, Jo was the awkward loner desperate for acceptance, and Kate was the pretty extrovert who liked Jo just the way she was. Decades later, their dynamic has changed little: Kate's life seems perfect, complete with a wonderful husband, while Jo's life is a shambles. But they are still the type of friends who share everything—everything, that is, except for one dark secret that may shatter their friendship forever. Author Caroline England weaves a frightening tale about how thin the line between love and hate can be.
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Eileen Gonzalez is a freelance writer from Connecticut. She has a Master’s degree in communications and years of experience writing about pop culture. She contributes to Book Riot and Foreword Reviews, and she occasionally tweets at @eileen2thestars.