There are mystery suspense books out there about everything under the sun. But there’s something especially compelling about mystery books that explore mother-child, and particularly mother-daughter, relationships. There’s so much rich material to explore in family dynamics. The range of emotions, tensions, and challenges inherent in motherhood heightens the stakes in suspense books about mothers. Whether you’re looking for a suspense novel about the tension between a mother and her daughter, a dark mysteries about the loss of a child, or a thriller about a mother attempting to reconcile with her estranged children, these six books will scratch that itch for creepy, suspenseful, and surprising books about motherhood.
by Maxine Paetro
In 21st Birthday, a new thriller from crime master James Patterson, Tara Burke, a young wife and mother, disappears with her baby daughter. Detective Lindsay Boxer is determined to protect Tara at all costs, but the case soon turns into a convoluted web of lies and conspiracies. Law enforcement believes Tara's husband Lucas is guilty, but Lucas offers them his own unexpected suspect. With reporters following the case and Tara still missing, Boxer has to act quickly to untangle the mystery. Because it's starting to look like it's not just Tara, but all women in California, are in mortal danger.
by Nina Siegal
Twelve-year old Karin is blindfolded and dropped into the Hoge Veluwe National Forest with three other children. With nothing but a few basic supplies and emergency food, the children are tasked with working together to navigate one of the Netherlands' most beautiful and wild locations and return to where their families are anxiously waiting.
Karin quickly finds herself at odds with two of the older teens, and suddenly looks up to see that the other children have vanished. As Karin struggles against the elements to find her way back, she soon realizes that something far more sinister lurks in the woods.
Grace, Karin’s mother and an American married to a Dutch husband, has been nervous about this practice from the start. At first she tells herself the space is good for her daughter, but as the hours begin to tick by and the children fail to arrive at their designated campsite, she becomes certain something has gone horribly wrong.
As Karin fights for survival, and Grace hastens to find her daughter, the night culminates in the reveal of a deadly secret—and a shocking confrontation—that will push each of them to her edge.
Never Far Away is the story of a family trying to find their way back to each other amidst betrays, secrets, and untold dangers. In another life, Leah Trenton was a wife and mother. But witnessing a gruesome crime changed all that; she gave up her Midwestern life for one backwoods Maine as part of the state's witness protection program. Determined to focus on the present, and not what she's lost, Leah is trying desperately to build a future for herself. But when the father of her children dies suddenly, her kids set out on a cross-country trip to stay with her. They meet unexpected danger on the way, and it's up to Leah to leave her safe haven and find her children before it's too late.
by Harriet Tyce
Newly divorced single mother Sadie Roper moves back to London with her teenage daughter and a sure-fire plan: get her daughter into the best school, and reestablish her successful career as a criminal barrister. But things begin to go wrong immediately. Her daughter isn't making friends, and Sadie finds herself shunned and ignored by the other school moms. When she finally lands a high-profile case, and Julia, the leader of the school moms, befriends her, Sadie's convinced things are looking up. That is until she finds herself caught up in the dark, murky politics of Julia's world, and realizes that she's not sure who her friends are, after all. Dark and absorbing, The Lies You Told is a novel about the dangers that lie just beneath the surface.
The Family is a powerful and chilling suspense novel about grief, family, and the lure of safety and stability in the face of devastation. After her husband dies, Laura and her seventeen-year-old daughter Tilly are emotionally wrecked and struggling to make ends meet. So Laura is received when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offers her and Tilly a temporary home. But as Laura and Tilly settle into life at Oak Leaf, strange things begin to happen, culminating in the death of a community member. Laura wants to leave, but Tilly has fallen under the spell of the community's charming leader. As Laura becomes increasingly afraid and desperate to save her daughter, she uncovers a horrifying secret about Oak Leaf that puts her life, and Tilly's, at risk. Full of twists, this psychological thriller bout mothers and daughters is a dark, compelling, and creepy read.
M. M. Chouinard
The Other Mothers is a thriller about mothers, daughters, best friends, and the secrets between them. Gia's world is shattered when her five-year-old daughter Nicole vanishes from recess one day at her small-town elementary school. When Nicole's body is discovered, Gia's grief is compounded by the fact that her best friend Karen was watching the kids when Nicole was taken. Detective Jo Fournier wades into this upsetting mystery determined to uncover the truth. It's clear to her that Karen is lying about something, and that Gia has been keeping a part of her life hidden for years. But who's keeping what secrets? And how did those secrets lead to the death of a little girl, and, days later, a teacher at the same school?