6 Books Of Suspense To Read On Friday The 13th

It is globally known that Friday the 13th is one of the scariest and most haunting days of the year – so many superstitions, curses and omens of bad luck.

But, instead of dwelling on such daunting things, let’s celebrate the spookiness with some of the most chilling books you can read. I invite you to cuddle up in your favorite reading spot and be prepared to stay up all night – and then possibly sleep with the lights on – with these incredibly suspenseful reads!
1. There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

How exciting is it that this novel is being turned into a TV series!

This book is a YA slasher revolving around a serial killer – The Osborne Killer, as dubbed by the media- who goes around brutally murdering college kids as he/she follows a certain pattern.
I’ve been searching for a halloween read, and this had been quite a promising one.
The beginning vividly reminded me of Scream, so if you’re a fan of the Scream franchise, you’ll enjoy reading this. It’s almost the same thing, except it’s THE OSBORNE SLAYER instead of GHOSTFACE.
Also, when a certain murder occurs, it is presented in almost the same way it does in The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. And the dialogue is just so smart it should turn into a script and then a movie ASAP.
Without giving too much away, I recommend you start reading this book. Incredibly satisfying.
2. Final Girls by Riley Sager

Quincy is a Final Girl who, years ago, survived a massacre that occured in a Cabin where she went to vacation with some of her friends. Now, when another Final Girl who survived the same tragedy is found dead, Quincy receives an unexpected visit and suddenly her world turns upside down.
The killer might just be around the corner.

It is not just the smart writing and the perfect creation of the story’s characters that drew me in, but it’s also the way the author drops bombshells when you least expect them throughout the book, and also the ending that was completely satisfying. I find myself spending my non-reading time suspecting a couple of characters based on some deeply suspicious traits they were given by the writer, but the ending was something else and it turned out to be shockingly explosive.

3. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Have you seen the first episode of the TV adaptation?

Reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims. Haunted by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.
4. Jar Of Hearts By Jennifer Hillier

This might be one of the best thrillers of 2018…

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace.
But fourteen years later, Angela’s remains are discovered in the woods near her best friend Geo’s childhood home. And Detective Kaiser finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women. And Geo, who knew all about it, hid this secret for all these years.
5. Murder House by James Patterson

What at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself, as Detective Jenna Murphy quickly realizes that the mansion’s history is much darker thaneven the town’s most salacious gossips could have imagined. As more bodies surface, and the secret that Jenna has tried desperately to escape closes in on her, she must risk her own life to expose the truth–before the Murder House claims another victim.
6. Murder On The Orient Express by Agatha Christie

This book is about a luxurious trip that brutally turns into a murder investigation. One night, Mr Rachett had been stabbed twelve times in the chest. Famous Detective Hercule Poirot embarks on a journey of investigating the crime in question, by questionning every passenger on the train before the murderer strikes again!
What will you be reading tonight, fellow readers?
Do you have any thrilling additions to this list?
Tell me in the comments below!
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THE LAST TIME I LIED – Riley Sager

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When I first read Sager’s debut FINAL GIRLS, I LOVED it! Luckily, THE LAST TIME I LIED has an even more delicious premise…
This book introduces us to Emma Davis, who was once a first-time camper at Nightingale Camp where she shared a cabin with three other teenage girls: Vivian, Allison and Natalie. They used to play a game called TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE. But the games stopped when all three girls disappear without a trace.
Fifteen years later, Nightingale Camp reopens and Emma considers it as an opportunity to go back as a counselor and find out what really happened to those girls…

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I have to say, this book was incredibly engrossing, truly unputdownable and also filled with chilling unexpected twists all throughout!
Even as I tend to compare THE LAST TIME I LIED to the author’s debut, I find that both of Riley Sager’s books are as mind-blowing as you could imagine, each one with a unique atmosphere that delivers the right amount of suspense.

When I got to the third part of the book, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It was filled with a non-stop claustrophobic feel, aiming towards shocking explosive twists – the very last one being the most shocking of them all.

 

***Thank you to Riley Sager, Dutton and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of THE LAST TIME I LIED in exchange for an honest review***

THE FIFTH TO DIE – J. D. Barker

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If you’re a crime fiction reader who loves a twisty serial killer novel, look no further. The Fifth To Die needs to go at the top of your reading list.

***

A bleeding snowman.
A girl’s body under the frozen waters of a lagoon.
Horrifying words painted on a woman’s dead body…

Who is behind all this?

Is it The Fourth Monkey Killer, with evolved killing techniques?

Or is it a brand new killer toying with Detective Porter and his team?

***

THE FIFTH TO DIE by J. D. Barker is the sequel to THE FOURTH MONKEY, which completely made me fall in love with the author’s writing. It can perfectly be read as a standalone, but you’ll be very happy if you ever get the chance to read the first book before diving into this one.

J. D. Barker’s new novel got me completely riveted!
The killer from the first book is on the loose, and he’s playing a deliciously engaging game of hide and seek.
The book occasionally features our current unidentified killer’s terrifying scenes with his victims and you can’t help but wonder, “what is this guy’s deal? What is his background? What exactly is his goal?’ But here in this book, there is an another tremendously important character within our riveting pages, one that intelligently steals the spotlight: THE KILLER’S MOTHER.

J. D. Barker truly knows how to capture the element of true suspense. I very much enjoyed the tension throughout the book as Detective Porter continues his secret pursuit of our killer, who is honestly one of the most fascinating sociopaths I have ever read – the way his mind works will honestly make you shiver!

And more importantly, brace yourselves for a jaw-dropping cliffhanger that will leave you hungry for more pages! I personally am perfectly ready for book N°3!

***Thank you so much to J. D. Barker and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with a copy of THE FIFTH TO DIE in exchange for an honest review***

CROSS HER HEART – Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is simply becoming one of my main obsessions this year.
As I leafed through the pages of CROSS HER HEART, I couldn’t help but compare this read to the author’s outstanding work on BEHIND HER EYES. They’re similar in both representing a premise featuring interpersonal relationships, and in others aspects I’d like to share with you in a moment.

*****

Synopsis

Promises only last if you trust each other, but what if one of you is hiding something?

A secret no one could ever guess.

Someone is living a lie.

Is it Lisa?

Maybe it’s her daughter, Ava.

Or could it be her best friend, Marilyn?

*****

I love how the author’s writing doesn’t alter very much from her brilliant debut. Sarah Pinborough’s books so far tackle concepts like the surplus of devotion in a friendship, she creates deeply strong characters -ones with the most manipulative minds– and a past that is so dark and meaningful that it catches up with some of them in the most intense way, resulting in quite an action-packed ending.

The characters in our current book have entirely different characteristics from the author’s debut. CROSS HER HEART, during the build up, we come to terms with the fact that everyone – and I mean EVERYONE – has a secret. Either a secret or a personality aspect that makes them dauntingly suspicious. It’s amazing you can’t stop wanting to know more and more about these people’s inner lives, which in a matter of time threaten to come to light in the shape of big bombshells throughout the book.

CROSS HER HEART is divided into three perspectives:

LISA: A mother who is haunted by a horrible past, which can’t help but heighten her anxiety and fear over the simplest things. Gets overprotective of her daughter…

AVA: a sixteen-year-old, with her own set of secrets.

MARILYN: LISA’s devoted best friend and colleague. Her marriage isn’t really what it seems. What happens behind closed doors is truly heart-thudding.

Once I got through the build-up, I could not put this book down. There were so many clever plot twists that will shock suspense readers to the core.

Such an brilliantly written novel. And oh what a perfect ending.

***A big thank you to Harper Collins and Sarah Pinborough for providing me with a copy of Cross Her Heart in exchange for an honest review***

CAN YOU HEAR ME? – Elena Varvello

Can You Hear Me? is that kind of light read you’d enjoy reading through by the beach. It’s not an action-packed thriller. But even though it focuses less on the thriller element, this book really did it for me because it tackles important matters such as mental health.

The book has got that moody atmosphere (think THE ROANOKE GIRLS by Amy Engel), except here we’re taken into the mind of a sixteen year-old as he describes the unfortunate atmosphere around him – his father’s mental illness, to be exact – and the aftermath his family has to live through.

The story unfolds at a slow pace, and when it does, I found that the turn of events in the second half of the book really just depends on the reader himself/herself. For instance, at some point, the author focuses on the boy’s infatuation with one of the characters – which might just be an aspect of how a parent’s mental health can affect a child, but as I said, some aspects of the book do depend on the reader’s personal opinion.

The ending was a satisfying one. It was less about unraveling a mystery and more about a coming-together of all the pieces of the story into a conclusion of the aftermath of the main character’s father’s emotional state.

All in all, this book still remains a fun read to dive into if you’re looking for something light and that’s not very heavy, dark or intense.

***Thank you to Quercus and Elena Varvello for providing me with a ARC of CAN YOU HEAR ME? in exchange for an honest review***

So what do you guys think about this book? Do you feel like it’s up your alley?

Let’s discuss in the comments!

YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS – Michelle Sacks

What’s more thrilling than reading about a couple moving all the way towards a Scandinavian country to settle in a new beautiful house on a captivating nature reserve in Sweden, only to find out a nightmarish future is in store for them?

You Were Made for This starts with a beautiful scenery that is a little red wooden house on a nature reserve bordering Sweden’s oldest town, Sigtuna, where a perfect family of three is living the perfect life.
And yet since the start, in the midst of all the perfection, you can’t help but feel like something’s not right within this family.

As you get to know this couple, you can’t help but ask, ‘what is the matter with these people?’ Their behaviors often are inexplicable and odd. That leads to the conclusion:
You will have a hard time liking the characters in this book – especially this couple. But that doesn’t omit the fact that their personalities remain addictive and fun to read about.

This family’s secret, however, will soon threaten to come to light after the visit of a close friend, who will eventually overstay her welcome in a way that will trigger the family’s lifestyle in the most heart-thudding way.

Michelle Sacks takes domestic thrillers to a deeper level. She doesn’t waste any of the reader’s time for we found ourselves already starting to plunge into the characters’ backstories early on in the book, along with the complex psychology that shapes each one of them.

In this debut novel, our couple seems to have it all, but things are more than what they seem…
Merry has a hard time having a normal relationship with her baby son; there’s something inside her that keeps her from giving him motherly love.
In terms of her life as a wife, she can’t help but sense as if she’s being imprisoned in this house where she feels tortured and pressured to keep up the act of being the perfect doting wife.

When it comes to Sam, the man has a history of secrets and indiscretions.

Readers stumble upon deeply unsettling scenes as Merry searches for ways to hurt her baby, towards whom she feels no empathy or emotional connection.

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The readers will find themselves inside a series of events that revolve around affairs and toxic friendships.
If you cannot stand unlikeable fictitious characters, this isn’t the book for you. On the other hand, if you feel otherwise, you will find this read engrossing and compelling.

This book will work perfectly for fans of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, and also for readers who enjoy unlikeable characters and families with dark secrets.

Readers should proceed with caution if they are sensitive to certain subjects (child abuse, explicit scenes, etc).

***Thank you to Little Brown and Company and Michelle Sacks for providing me with a copy of YOU WERE MADE FOR THIS in exchange for an honest and unbiased review***

BLACKOUT – Ragnar Jonasson

Fellow crime readers, brace yourselves for one of the most brilliantly written crime novels of all time.

I’ve been meaning to read Nordic Noir for quite a while and I think Ragnar had made a fantastic job with this read.

It’s universally known that Iceland is one of the safest places on earth, so how shocking would it be to have a work of crime fiction where the most unspeakable things occured in its whereabouts?

Synopsis:

BLACKOUT stars with an atmospheric scene featuring an American tourist driving around the roads in the Northern Iceland area. The passing scenery with the captivating fjords and dark green hills was anything but not enjoyable, when he pulled at the side of one street to witness a brutally murdered man lying next to a building site, on the safe grounds of Skagafjordur.

This is an Ari Thor thriller, but from an entirely different angle, an intriguingly fascinating character of a woman named Isrun investigates the same crime, independently.

The cast of BLACKOUT is an easily relatable one – most of it at least. The reason behind this is that the author divulges to the reader the background of each character – one that is anything but perfect.

Despite the somewhat brutality and violence of the crime in question, the book does have a kind of soft edge to it; a moody and comforting side that describes the Nordic Noir genre perfectly.

What also drew me to this book was that the reader might experience a sudden shift of emotion towards our characters and mostly the victim of the crime at hand, the moment we become aware of where they come from.

It was fascinating to see how all these people seem to be intimately connected to the story’s main perturbational element.
It’s important to note that the discoveries throughout and mostly at the end of the book, spark something inside the reader that leaves with a feeling of a book hangover, with a highly sought after element, especially in the crime genre.

What are your thoughts about this book? Do you feel like it’s the kind of read you’d want to dive into?
Let’s discuss!