13 Thrillers With WTF Endings…Explained

Hello there, fellow bookworms. Today’s post will be dedicated to psychological thrillers or mysteries that have completely blew us away with some of the craziest endings! Isn’t that such an ideal way to make a book have a lasting impression on us? I will also be including a small explanatory paragraph on the ending under each summary/review, so if you’ve yet to read the book, just steer clear from the “Spoiler Alert” section. Alright readers, if this sounds appealing to you, then stick with me and let’s dive right in…

1. Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David, the very married man she met and kissed at a bar the night before. And then Louise bumps into Adele, David’s wife. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong.

*sigh* Where do I start with this one? Behind Her Eyes will take you on – as one of the book’s characters said – a “mindf*** crazy” ride. You think you know what the plot is about, but you don’t.

The concept behind the ending of Behind Her Eyes is just so bizarre and mind-blowing. It tackles a very rare condition in which people suffering from night terrors and lucid dreaming have a kind of, um, “otherworldly” superpower (but not the kind that you think). It’s evil, believable and so darn insane. The gigantic WTF ending is one you won’t be able to forget.

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SPOILER ALERT

The big twist is that before Rob (Adele’s childhood friend) mysteriously died, he had actually switched bodies with Adele! He had met Adele’s husband David, killed himself (as Adele) then – in the final pages – killed David’s mistress Louise and switched bodies with her. By the end, David still thinks he got his happy ending with Louise, when it’s actually Rob who’s inhabiting her body, AND of course, who’s been narrating this entire book.

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2. I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

Actress Aimee Sinclair comes home one day to discover that her husband is…gone. Leaving his wallet, keys and phone behind. Aimee, as you might’ve suspected, is the prime suspect. She claims she has nothing to do with it, and while trying to figure it all out, there’s a mysterious stranger that’s stalking her

This book has the creepiest, most unsettling, WTF twist ending you’ll ever read. Almost as similarly twisted as Behind Her Eyes. This is a book that you’ll race through. I still have goosebumps and feel dizzy from the entire experience!

Aimee takes us back to when she was five, and my oh my, the things she has gone through. The things she has seen!! Those terrifying flashbacks make the plotline even more absorbing. The entire time, I felt both afraid of and in love with this woman. Excellent writing quality, and the character development is on point. You guys need to read this one. Now let’s talk about that ending…

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SPOILER ALERT

This one’s a bit unsettling. Okay, here goes…

Aimee’s stalker turns out to be her husband, but wait for it – her husband is actually her own brother. When he was a child, he wasn’t happy with the fact that his sister abandoned him and went on to have a successful career. The creepier fact is that after marrying him, without her ever suspecting a thing, she got pregnant with – yep, you guessed it – her brother’s baby. After finding out about all this during the shocking ending, she seduces him for fear that he’s going to kill her, then soon cuts her psychopathic brother’s head and kills him for good. Yes. This book is DARK.

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3. Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf

For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover–movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But then they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard…Later that night, Cora is found on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora–and why?

The final pages of Before She Was Found were pretty traumatizing as we’re given a full account of what really happened on the night in question. I had to re-read the ending over and over again to believe it. The author uses the characters’ texts, diary entries and therapy sessions to tell the story. Those different formats made the experience much more addictive. Highly encouraging you to pick this one up, fellow readers. The reveal will blow you away.

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SPOILER ALERT

Well, who exactly attacked Cora, you ask? It was Cora herself! She’s a mentally ill teenage girl, and in the rail yard that night, she had experienced a mental condition called “depersonalization/derealization” – a psychological experience that makes you detach from your own body. That’s what Cora did that night, she depersonalized and began to see herself from the outside, stabbing herself with a knife and hitting her head repeatedly on the train tracks.

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4. Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton

In Daisy In Chains, a handsome surgeon is facing four counts of abduction and murder, and he will only talk to one particular lawyer: Maggie Rose. Except, Maggie will only take cases she will win. Will she take his?

This fascinating book is told through letters, psychiatric reports, in addition to draft snippets of the lawyer’s true-crime novel based on the surgeon’s case and three main POVs (the lawyer, the detective, the convicted surgeon); all of these elements made the story much more addicting and special. And that explosive ending, phew!! It was pure insanity. Just when you think the author is done providing you with the craziest twists, she adds another…and another!

(PS: If you’re looking for another Bolton novel to read, I can’t recommend Blood Harvest enough, it is so different from Daisy In Chains yet just as mind-blowing (creepy, gothic and disturbing too!) Also, if you’re in the UK, you can get Daisy In Chains for only 1.99£!!)

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Spoiler Alert

Maggie Rose does end up taking Wolfe’s case and for the entire book, we’re left guessing: did he indeed kill those three women? Well, as it turns out…he is innocent! So that’s all, you may ask? Well, he is not *entirely* innocent, because during college he belonged to a club called “The Fat Club” where he and his friends dated women who are overweight and made sex tapes with them without their knowledge, and “Daisy” – Wolfe’s girlfriend at the time – was one of them. She vanished after this discovery. Oh, and Daisy *is* Maggie Rose. She’s now slim, unrecognizable, and back for revenge. She killed all those women, framed her ex for their murder and now has him where she wants him. Towards the end, Wolfe escapes from prison! Through secretsYes letters that he and Rose have been exchanging while he’s been imprisoned, they’d agreed to meet inside a cave they’re both familiar with, and they do. Happy ending, right? Well, not so fast…it actually turns out that Wolfe, his mother, and the detective working the case have known about Rose’s crimes all along and have been gathering evidence while conspiring with Wolfe in order to turn her in. Suddenly, she’s trapped, surrounded by officers who are ready to take her in. Except, Rose is all too familiar with this cave…in one day swift motion, she turns, plunges into the river and escapes. She’s never caught!!

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5. The Memory Watcher by Minka Kent

Minka Kent has officially restored my faith in domestic thrillers. I was absolutely not expecting this author to concoct an ending like *that*, the final chapters is where it gets so dark so quick!!

The Memory Watcher revolves around Autumn, a mother, who secretly moves next door to the “perfect” couple who adopted her baby years ago. This books reads like any other domestic thriller, featuring two intriguing women with big secrets, and a disturbed child in the midst. The pace is steady and holds your interest while making you feel that something is…not quite right, and then BAM! Out of the blue, the story twists into a direction you were never expecting. And guys, the author is currently writing a follow-up to this book and it’s called: The Watcher Girl, and she’s resurrecting a really important character!

(PS: The Memory Watcher is only 4.99$ on Kindle right now!)

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Spoiler Alert

The woman who moved next door to the couple is NOT the baby’s biological mother! Autumn is not even her name. Our protagonist turns out to have a been a patient at a psychiatric hospital where she’s been admitted 10 years ago. She had a roommate called Autumn. After they were both released, she had killed her roommate and assumed her identity because, twist: she’s been suffering from a mental condition called “Dissociative Identity Disorder”, which was due to the trauma of her brother’s brutal, merciless abuse.

It also turns out that…this woman is actually a missing person! Her parents have been looking for her all along, and she vanished because she cannot go back and face her brother’s abuse all over again. In the end, she’s re-admitted to the psych ward and soon makes a new roommate and, well, history might be repeating itself all over again…

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6. Between You And Me by Lisa Hall

One of the cleverest “domestic thriller” twists I’ve ever read! This is the kind of book where the less you know about it going in, the better. Basically, Between You And Me follows a married couple who are in an abusive relationship. Throughout the entire book, Sal stays at home, looks after their daughter Maggie and is constantly enduring Charlie’s frightening, physical and verbal abuse. Nothing is as it seems. The final twist really shows how we as readers are quick to assume!

It’s not until you get to the “reveal”, that you realize, “ohhh, so *that’s* what’s been happening all along!” I was so quick to assume and my expectations were completely wrong. But bear in mind, this book does contain scenes of physical, emotional and verbal abuse. If you’re triggered by that, then maybe it’s best if you steer clear. But I personally think that this is a must-read because it discusses an important subject matter in a *very* interesting way.

(PS: This one is also a Kindle deal this month!! Only for 1.99£ for UK readers. )

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Spoiler Alert

Sal, who stays at home, looks after the child, and is abused over and over again…is a man! Charlie is the abusive wife!!

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7. After All I’ve Done by Mina Hardy

After All I’ve Done revolves around a badly injured woman, Diana, who knows two things for certain:

1. She’s missing five months of her memory.

2. Her husband is cheating on her…with her best friend.

This book doesn’t come out until November this year but I had to include it because…what a unique, disturbing twist! At first, during the first 90%, you’d get the impression that this is just another one of those predictable thrillers where the amnesic protagonist’s husband is the obvious perpetrator, but the ending of this one will prove you wrong completely. Not only does the author make sure to keep us engaged from start to finish, but she also surprises us with a completely unsettling final revelation.

We have the POVs of the “Wife” and the “Other Woman”. The main mystery is…what exactly happened on the night of the accident? Did her car hit something or…someONE? She’s having a hard time remembering until… elusive newcomer Cole Pelham arrives, and Diana…well, she’s not exactly ready for what she’s about to remember.

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Spoiler Alert

There are so many twists here but the most shocking one is the fact that…Are you ready to be unsettled? Alright here we go: the married couple are siblings! Yes, the husband and wife are brother and sister, and it was all their mother’s plan. After all, she only wanted her family to be “close” again. The ending was total insanity where you realize your jaw is on the floor the entire time. Like I said, disturbing!!

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8. The Wife Stalker by Liv Constantine

Another Liv Constantine thriller, another character with psychopathic tendencies. Well Liv, you absolutely got me with that twist.

As an endeavor to start a new life, Piper Reynard moves to Westport and opens a Recovery Center. She soon meets the man of her dreams: Leo, who’s charming, charismatic and…well, married. To Joanna.

This book starts off at a slow pace and eventually picks up with aFatal Attraction” vibe, featuring the POVs of the wife and the “other woman”. And just when you think you’ve got everything figured out, the authors drop two big bombshells toward the end that will leave you completely speechless.

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Spoiler Alert

All throughout the book, we notice how Leo is basically acting like the worst husband towards his wife Joanna, who takes care of the kids and is nothing but loyal to him. Well, it turns out…Leo’s wife is actually dead! Joanna is not his wife, she’s his crazy assistant!

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9. The Starter Wife by Nina Laurin

Claire can’t help but feel like she’s living under the shadow of her husband’s first wife, Colleen, who died under very strange circumstances. This woman was reported to have jumped into the water one night, presumably as a suicide attempt. However, her body just vanished.

The Starter Wife is not your typical domestic thriller, it sure starts out as one and then BAM!completely catches you off guard with that horrifying twist at the end.

The first half gives us major “The Wife Between Us/The Breakdown” vibes, and the second half -where it seems like the protagonist’s attempt to learn the truth might bring her to a sinister end – is just a pack of explosive revelations, one after the other. The book suddenly veers off into a direction you were never expecting.

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Spoiler Alert

The wife we’ve been rooting for – lo and behold – IS the psychopathic killer; her victims are all buried underneath the lawn of the house. The strange things that have been happening to her (objects being moved around in her house, falling asleep at unusual hours of the day, her “accidental” drowning…) were all her husband’s and sister-in-law’s wicked mind games to drive her into a state of insanity, so she’d be forced to confess to killing her husband’s first wife! Speaking of; the dead ex-wife, well…she isn’t really dead after all. She’s alive, and well and ends up killing the new wife in the final chapter.

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10. Because You’re Mine by Rea Frey

I’ve no idea how to articulate into words the way I feel about this book. At first, this feels like a heartrending story that delves deep into the complexities of family relationships, tragedy, sexual abuse – which it does! – with a touch of mystery, so I was given the impression I should be continuing on without focusing on the “thriller” aspect of the book; so I went, “that’s fine, we love a thought-provoking domestic drama” but then…that twist. That twist!

The author throws a few revelations here and there and you go, “I knew it!” You think you know where the story is going…I’m telling you guys, you don’t! Lee and Grace are such fierce protagonists, they both join a few other friends for a weekend trip to unwind, then one of them ends up dead.

Because You’re Mine is thought-provoking, filled with tragedy, twisted and untrustworthy characters, and a twist you won’t forget. Pick this one up, guys. You’re definitely in for a bumpy, twisty ride.

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Spoiler Alert

As you can see in the synopsis, one of the women on the trip ends up dead: that would be Lee. Each and every one of her friends is shocked by the news, especially her best friend Grace, once the police show up the next morning, asking questions about Lee’s death. Who would want to kill her? That would be her “best friend” Grace. We find out that Grace has planned this entire trip. She kills Lee by pushing her off the cliff as a way to avenge her sister – whom Lee has tremendously wronged in the past – and in the end gets custody of Lee’s son. Except he’s not Lee’s son – he’s actually Grace’s sister’s son!

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11. Identical by Ellen Hopkins

In Identical by Ellen Hopkins, Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical twins. Behind the facade, each sister has her own dark secret that’s not meant to be kept, and that’s where their differences begin. Kaeleigh is adored by her father and neglected by her absent mother. Raeanne, however, thinks their father is playing a game of favorites – and she is losing.

It soon becomes clear that neither sister can handle the kept secret alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is—who?

This book is…different. It reads in verse, and alternates between the POV of each twin. Through the entire book, we’re aware of the fact that both sisters are harboring an ugly secret that they can’t bring themselves to divulge, all while describing the disturbed dynamics of their unsettled family state. The ending gains momentum and increases suspense while building up towards the “secret”, which turns out to be quite shocking!!

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Spoiler Alert

There is no twin sister; Ashleigh had been dead for years!! Raeanne assumed her sister’s identity, which is the consequence of her suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder ever since she was child, which had served as a defense mechanism for being sexually abused by her father.

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12. I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

In Iain’s I’m Thinking Of Ending Things, a girl and her boyfriend are on their way to a secluded farm to meet his parents. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

If you’re looking for a book that’s different from anything you’ve ever read, I’m Thinking Of Ending Things by Iain Reid might be the one for you. At first, I wasn’t sure where the story was going; there are entire chapters filled with incredibly deep conversations between a girl and her boyfriend about life, relationships…but the moody atmosphere of the book was so engrossing and the writing was compelling enough for me to keep cruising through, and then all of a sudden, a twist happened…and I freaked out! But that wasn’t all: all it took was ONE WORD in the final paragraph for me to question EVERYTHING I thought was true…it felt like a virtual slap across my face.

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SPOILER ALERT

So I’m Thinking Of Ending Things, in fact, deals with a mental condition called “Dissociative Identity Disorder” (the first clue was when the girl said, “this is a no-mirrors day for me”: it’s very well-known that people with this condition can easily dissociate or switch alters when they look in the mirror, and that was confirmed when she kept getting phone calls from herself). Afterwards, we’re led to believe that she’s trying to end things with Jake, her boyfriend. BUT, in the end we realize that this young woman wasn’t actually the narrator of the story at all. It was her boyfriend Jake all along. He has a split personality and he’s actually created an alter of the girl he never got to ask on a date (the “girlfriend”), and the road trip he was on was really just symbolic of his journey/quest to answer the question that keeps nagging at him: whether he should “end things”, meaning “end his own life”. In the end, we find that out that Jake is a suicidal school janitor who finally reunites with all of his alters, all of them agreeing that yes, he should take his own life.

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13. Verity by Colleen Hoover

“Somewhere up there is the house, and somewhere inside of that house lies Verity Crawford.”

My first thought the moment I finished this book was: “What the heck did I just read?!!

This one starts off with a bang: our protagonist Lowen Ashleigh witnesses something terrible happen right in front of her. Later on, we see that a man named Jeremy offers her the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to continue a book series written by his wife/successful author Verity Crawford, whose injuries have left her unable to move or speak. But, is pursuing this job offer a good idea, considering the mysterious history of tragedies that Verity’s family has known, the elusiveness of why Lowen was really picked for the job, and the coincidental, horrifying occurrence that she had to witness at the beginning of the book?

Lowen moves into Verity’s home, and it’s not until she stumbles upon one of the author’s manuscripts that strange things start to happen around the house. Lowen is soon torn between her attempt to leave this house where she feels she’s going completely crazy, and her determination to unveil its secrets. Verity is going to disturb you, challenge your sanity and provide you with the most overwhelming experience.

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SPOILER ALERT

Miss Verity has actually been faking her injuries all this time. As as result, her husband kills her in a fit of rage after her found out. We later discover that Verity’s manuscript (which just shows what a horrible woman she is) was just a writing practice! The incredibly controversial ending left us with two questions: is Verity the psychopathic liar we think she is, like the manuscript claims? Or is she innocent after all?

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14. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

In Sharp Objects, Reporter Camille Preaker is facing a troubling assignment: she must return to her childhood home to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged 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.

Sharp Objects is probably the creepiest thing I’ve ever read, and it was surprising to see that the TV adaptation starring Amy Adams captured the core of the novel so well. Gillian Flynn accumulates all these dark, real-life aspects that other authors usually shy away from and tackles them in a chillingly brilliant way. The story’s very well-executed and there’s always a bit of unease that pulls you in deeper and deeper the more you turn the pages. And brace yourself for the most sinister, unexpected ending you’ve ever read, and the scariest part is, the evil and psychopathy that leads to the shocking aftermath is in fact completely realistic.

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SPOLER ALERT

It turns out that the actual twisted people in this story are Camille’s own mother and sister: while the mother was the one who poisoned Camille and her sister, almost killing them both, it was the sister who did all the killing, which we discover when we find out that the floor of her creepy dollhouse is in fact layered with actual human teeth.

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What do you think of these picks, fellow readers? Which book completely blew YOU away that you thought, “what the heck did I just read!”?

Today’s Kindle Deals: Bestsellers from Harlan Coben, Sarah Pekkanen, and more!!

Happy Sunday, friends! In this post, I’m sharing with you a couple of exciting e-book deals that just dropped today!! Titles such as Harlan Coben’s “The Boy From the Woods”, and “You Are Not Alone” by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen, among many others from various genres (click here or on the image below to see the full list), are all discounted for 1.99-3.99$ right now!

I just grabbed a few that have been high on my list (The Year of the Witching and Leave The World Behind; really looking forward to getting started on these). Let me know if you guys see any titles here that you’ve been meaning to read!! 📚☺️

Top 10 STEPHEN KING Recommendations

Confession: I’m not an avid reader of Stephen King’s books (will definitely be changing that soon!), BUT I’ve always found his recommendations stellar and on point. Almost every book that he’d recommended has been an instant 5-star read for me; so I thought I’d share these titles with you, fellow bookworms! See any titles here (click on the image below to see the full list) that you’ve read? Any that you’ve enjoyed? 📚😍

Here’s what Stephen King has to say about these books:

Behind Her Eyes: “You should read Behind Her Eyes…It’s bloody brilliant.” ―Stephen King

Sharp Objects: “An admirably nasty piece of work, elevated by sharp writing and sharper insights.”

The Shining Girls: “No, not the twins from the Kubrick movie, but the targets of a serial killer who finds a time portal in Chicago during the Depression and jackrabbits his way through recent American history, killing women and taking trophies. Until, that is, he encounters a tuff girl who’s not so easy to do away with. It’s the black-hole version of The Time Traveler’s Wife.”

Final Girls: “The first great thriller of 2017 is here: Final Girls, by Riley Sager. If you liked Gone Girl, you’ll like this”

By Reason of Insanity: “One of the finest novels ever written about perfect evil . . . I recommend it unreservedly.”

You: “Hypnotic and scary.”

Defending Jacob: “DEFENDING JACOB, the novel, is great. So are William Landay’s other two books, MISSION FLATS and THE STRANGLER. Does anyone know if he’s still writing?I’d love another one.”

And Then There Were None: “AND THEN THERE WERE NONE, byAgatha Christie. Lots of murders, but relatively bloodless. And a great mystery.”

Elevator Pitch: “Read Elevator Pitch as soon as possible. It’s one hell of a suspense novel.”

The Haunting of Hill House: “it seems to me that [The Haunting of Hill House] and James’s The Turn of the Screw are the only two great novels of the supernatural in the last hundred years.”

2021 Thrillers To Add To Your Reading List

Hey friends, who else is excited for this year’s upcoming releases?! I put together a couple of the most highly anticipated thrillers (click on the image/e-store below to check out the titles!!) coming out this year and thought I’d share! Which releases are you guys most excited about? 📚😍

Titles included:

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Survive The Night by Riley Sager

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson

The Stranger In The Mirror by Liv Constantine

The Therapist by B A Paris

Finding Tessa by Jaime Lynn Hendricks

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer Macmahon

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes

The Other Emily by Dean Koontz

Dark Roads by Chevy Stevens

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Wintry Thrillers to Read When It’s Snowing Outside

The days are getting colder and snow is starting to fall, which means it’s the perfect time to stay indoors and curl up with a good mystery or thriller! If you’re looking for a winter-themed thriller to cozy up with this upcoming season, then grab a hot cup of tea (or your favorite beverage 😉) and let’s browse through these chilling reads…☕️📚

⁃ Alone by Cya Balog

I don’t know about you, but a murder mystery taking place inside a creepy, isolated mansion (that’s pretty reminiscent of The Shining’s The Overlook Hotel, may I add) – to me – sounds like the perfect wintry book to curl up with!

When a single mother, her five children and a group of teenagers are snowed in at a mansion that used to be a hotel with a history of mysterious deaths, they decide to play a game – kind of a “murder mystery” game – that soon turns into a suspenseful-as-heck, deadly slasher where our teenage heroine (one of the siblings) must investigate the clues that point to the killer roaming inside this snowbound house, with the help of the new visitors, in order to get out alive.

I immensely enjoyed this gem by Cyn Balog and it creeped out me several times – which, of course, is a definite plus! The conclusion was an unexpected surprise that will undoubtedly leave you stunned, confused and will even make you re-read a couple of (earlier) pages in order to make sense of what had just happened. What was real? What’s the sinister truth to this chilling mystery?

⁃ I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

A man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

I’m not kidding you guys when I say that the atmosphere in this book is downright creepy; it’s nighttime, snowy and stormy all throughout, accompanied with a sense of dread and unease that keeps you engrossed.

This weird, unique and completely unsettling book follows the story of a girl and her boyfriend who are on a road trip to see his parents, and at one point, when they reach their destination, we realize that the parents live in a farm. Yes, fellow readers, remember those bizarre “farm” scenes in Dark Places and Sharp Objects? Well, something extremely similar happens here in I’m Thinking Of Ending Things. Expect to get chills!

⁃ An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

A weekend retreat at a cozy mountain lodge is supposed to be the perfect getaway, but when a blizzard hits, no one is getting away. Within the snowed-in paradise, someone is killing the guests one by one. The remaining guests must figure out whoever’s behind these killings. All the way through, this one reads like any other whodunnit…until the final unexpected reveal.

⁃ No Exit by Taylor Adams

Four strangers are trapped in a rest stop during a snow blizzard, and one of them is a psychopath. It’s up to Darby to uncover which one has a kidnapped child inside their vehicle.

Where did the kidnapped child come from? What is the perpetrator planning to do with her? What I love about No Exit is that it picks up from the get-go: it’s action-packed, suspenseful and twisty as heck; which makes it the ultimate psychological thriller. I fell in love with the main character Darby from Page One and I didn’t realize I’d been holding my breath until I turned the last page, because I simply needed to know what was going on! This book was such a wild ride.

⁃ It Will Be Just Us by Jo Kaplan

There’s a scene here featuring our protagonist running – attempting to escape – on snowy ground; it was a chilling couple of heart-thudding chapters!

“Once this house has you, it doesn’t let go.”

This one reads like The Haunting Of Hill House, with Netflix’s style of production. The book is slow-moving while maintaining its literary-horror atmosphere after the first pages, but holds your interest with some intriguing mysteries…

What secrets lie in the room at the end of the dim hallway of the third floor in Wakefield Manor?

What’s the identity of the faceless boy only she keeps seeing commit disturbing acts?

This one is unraveled early on and made one heck of a twist.

Creepy occurrences start to happen in this house, and soon the house begins to have this elusive hold on our protagonist; it’s her ancestral home after all, and there’s evil lurking somewhere within her family that she must unravel.

I enjoyed one of the ending scenes where the protagonist is attempting to escape from great danger, I loved how the history of the spooky swamp played a role in her and the faceless boy’s fate. Definitely worth the read for Gothic haunted house horror fans.

⁃ The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel

”You had fair warning.”

The Familiar Dark is one of the sharpest depictions of how a small town murder mystery should be written. Amy Engel’s flair to create a realistically-dark environment and tie it to a world of infinitely flawed interpersonal relationships is evident as she maintains the same somber tone used in The Roanoke Girls, her previous standalone.

In this upcoming novel, a mother’s worst nightmare has come true, and Eve – the victim’s mother – won’t rest until her daughter’s killer is brought to justice. And she’ll be setting her own rules.

While The Roanoke Girls remains the book that left me emotionally scarred, this one stands out most through its rather startlingly rattling conclusion, bringing an unforgettable end to Eve’s challenging journey of hunting down the killer in Missouri’s cold and snowy “Barren Springs”.

Amy Engel is a special author, her atmospherically-moody stories seem to continuously contain a protagonist with a distinct voice that makes the reader want to get sucked into their world and become drawn to them and their journeys. The Familiar Dark is a perfect example.

⁃ The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne

“Watch the flowers bloom and the leaves turn and the snow fall, and through it all, always, always in the front of my mind and deep in my heart burns this terrible truth: I am the reason my parents will never see, smell, taste, laugh, or love again. My parents are dead because of me.”

26-year-old Rachel had spent fifteen years in a psychiatric ward for thinking she killed her mother with a rifle when she was eleven, until…she stumbles upon new information that makes her question everything she thought she knew: had she really been living a lie for more than a decade?

This captivating thriller takes place inside a wilderness lodge in the middle of the woods. This place is filled with *dark* memories, as well as some mesmerizing aspects, like Rachel’s strange/unpredictable connection to the the wilderness.

The Wicked Sister studies psychopathy and trauma in a very layered way, and you feel compelled to root for the protagonist and follow her journey with the heart-thudding question, “Will Rachel survive?” The writing is strong and modest and brims with the most engaging mysteries…

What’s the mystery behind Rachel’s two-week disappearance?

What secrets motivated her wildlife biologist parents’ strange decision to move far away from civilization?

⁃ The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni

“We never found the bones of our children though. The children just disappeared.”

This thriller/monster horror book takes place in December, a few days before Christmas, which makes it the perfect holiday read!

Imagine receiving a letter saying that you’re the last descendant of your family line; that you’re the heir to an ancestral castle in the mountains of Northern Italy. 28-year-old Bert had two choices once she got the news, either to ignore it, or take action and go visit her ancestral home. Bert makes the decision of choosing the latter.

This is a story where you find yourself instantly connecting with the protagonist. The Ancestor tackles the “monster horror” category and blends in the right creepy undertones. I also felt like the concept of motherhood is the heart of this story, and it is explored in such a compelling way. The plot moves smoothly with great pacing, it is a bit of a a slow-burn: the engaging kind, and it continues to surprise the reader at the end of every chapter.

I enjoyed the remoteness of the village where the events take place. It really highlighted what it is like to live far away from civilization – to live in the mountains instead.

There are memoirs of one of our protagonist’s ancestors included in the story, which gave it a really entertaining “book-within-a-book” vibe. Excellent writing and execution. I’m definitely looking forward to what Trussoni writes next!

And that’s a wrap, friends! See any titles here you think would make the perfect wintry read? Let me know!

New Kindle Deals: Thriller/Mystery (US)

His & Hers by Alice Feeney

When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation.

Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a charismatic and mysterious figure.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

The Mother-in-law by Sally Hepworth

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.

But the autopsy finds no cancer.

It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation.

Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her children, and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

How far will you go to protect your family? Will you keep their secrets? Ignore their lies?

In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because they’re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and it’s clear the explosion wasn’t an accident.

A powerful showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. Was it the careless mother of a patient? Was it the owners, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? Could it have been a protester, trying to prove the treatment isn’t safe?

See any titles here that you’ve meaning to read? Let me know!

Review: “The Girl In The Mirror” by Rose Carlyle (out now!!)

This spectacular thriller debut comes out today!! Think of The Girl In The Mirror as a twisted version of The Last Mrs Parrish if the two female leads in it were twins, with a dash of Something In The Water; there’s indeed “something” lying at the bottom of the ocean that’s causing problems for our main protagonist…

So what is The Girl In The Mirror about? We have two identical twin sisters with the “most extreme case of mirroring the doctors had ever seen”. One of them (Iris) is insecure and envious of what her sister has: mainly, her husband Adam. So the main event is: Iris is helping her sister sail the family yacht and suddenly…she finds herself all alone: her twin just vanished in the middle of the Ocean! Where could she have gone? When Iris makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is his wife.

Somewhere along this insane journey, there’s a hundred-million-dollar inheritance to be competed for. Also, just what exactly happened to her twin sister on the yacht?

This is certainly not an easy plot to concoct for a debut! I was fascinated by so many of this book’s aspects, especially these twins whom you can’t tell apart, yet their slight differences might *seriously* creep you out.

Now, what to expect from this debut? The story takes place (mostly) on a yacht. The plot builds up slowly at first while featuring the twins’ backstories. Afterwards, the action picks up, and you find yourself frantically flipping through the page because you just *have* to know what’s going to happen next. And then during the ending, where the tension and the suspense are ratcheted up: this was my favorite part.

In a nutshell, this book provides so much entertainment, and it adds the right amount of originality that just makes this a spectacular debut. I’d highly recommend this to fans of Liv Constantine and Nina Laurin.

Is The Girl In The Mirror on your TBR? Does it sound your alley?

7 Books Guaranteed To Scare The Crap Out Of You

“They always come back for one last scare.”

Who doesn’t love to curl up with a good thriller/horror book on a chilly Halloween night? Here are some *spooky* suggestions on what to read!

⁃ Twisted by Andrew E. Kaufman

Okay, it is very rare when a thriller genuinely messes with my head, but Twisted by Andrew Kaufman? Well, this book really knocked that out of the park.

In Twisted, a psychologist starts experiencing strange things once a patient who’s killed ten children (whose bodies have never been found) arrives to the psychiatric ward where he works.

I have three things to say this book:

– “Creepy”: I’m talking scenes that bring you actual psychological terror.

– “Mental!”: I never thought spending time in a (fictional) psych ward would make me go out of my mind!

Keeps you guessing: No, really. You’ll find yourselves coming up with multiple guesses but no theory to support them, well…until the finale, which never crossed my mind.

If you’re looking for a crazy psychological thriller set inside a psychiatric hospital, this is the one!!

⁃ Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon

Dismantled has a really complex plot with a series of weird, creepy occurrences.

The story alternates between the “summer of the dismantlers” – The dismantlers being a group of close friends who used to hike the woods, and…basically do some crazy, bizarre stuff there; they believe in creating chaos as a way of “creating a balance” – and the present, where we get to explore the POVs of two of these friends who are now married, and haunted by a dangerous stalker.

This book is descriptive and slow-paced, but the fact that it’s slow is perfectly worth it as every chapter ends with a chilling revelation that makes you shudder; naturally, this was my favorite part, and it kept me completely invested all throughout.

⁃ The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware

If you love horror-inspired, creepy-home-based thrillers, or just someone who’s enjoyed Ruth Ware’s books in the past, you’re in for a treat in The Turn Of The Key.

This book is in the form of a letter where a nanny is writing to an attorney, pleading with him to see that she’s innocent – she certainly did not kill that little girl. Or did she?

The “Heatherbrae” house is the weirdest you’ve ever seen, and I love how the author put it – a house with a “luxurious split personality.” Have you ever felt like shaking a protagonist and getting her to “get the heck out of that house!!“? This is that kind of book!

Suspense builds progressively while providing chilling moments as Rowan settles in at this new house for her nannying job – the spookiness is real: there are creaking sounds above her room, her belongings are going missing, and the house itself has a spooky history – one that will keep you up at night, turning the pages until you’ve reached the last. So. Dang. Good…and scary.

⁃ It Will Just Be Us by Jo Kaplan

“Once this house has you, it doesn’t let go.”

It Will Just Be Us reads almost like The Haunting Of Hill House, with Netflix’s style of production. It‘s slow-moving, while maintaining its unsettling atmosphere, and holds your interest with some intriguing mysteries…

What secrets lie in the room at the end of the dim hallway of the third floor in Wakefield Manor?

What’s the identity of the faceless boy only she keeps seeing commit disturbing acts?

This one is unraveled early on and made one heck of a twist.

When creepy things starts to happen in this house, it becomes quite clear that the main character literally has nowhere else to go, and getting out will soon not be an option. As she she deals with her pregnant sister who’ll soon be giving birth, she starts noticing that the house has this elusive, mysterious hold on her; it’s her ancestral home after all, and there’s evil lurking somewhere within her family that she feels compelled to unravel.

This is a definite must read for Gothic haunted house horror fans!

⁃ Stranger With My Face by Lois Duncan

”Are you the one with my face?” I whispered.

“I came first.” She answered with a little laugh. “It’s you who has my face.”

I can see why this book was such a big hit back in the early 90’s. It’s original, scary and just…incredibly wicked. This is a suspense thriller that follows 17-year-old Laurie Stratton whose world is rocked by the arrival of a mysterious stranger in her life.

There are stunningly-executed spooky paranormal (and non-paranormal) scenes with a chillingly gorgeous setting – a house perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. I enjoyed every second of this brilliant classic.

⁃ Clown In A Cornfield by Adam Cesare

“Quinn looked to the horizon as the cornstalks swayed with the breeze. The corn itself could have been waving hello, or it could have been breathing.”

Admirers of the Scream franchise (or the slasher sub-genre in general) will devour this terrifying YA, “killer-clown” horror novel.

Quinn and her father move to small, sleepy town Kettle Springs for a fresh start. What Quinn is about to find out is that there’s a creepy clown in a pork-pie hat in this town, who – in order to “make Kettle Springs great again – goes homicidal and starts getting rid of the kids who live there.

Clown In A Cornfield is perfectly-paced, action-packed and filmic. I absolutely loved the main character Quinn Maybrook; Quinn is a strong heroine – she’s a teenager attempting to survive the corn horrors of Kettle Springs, which was brilliant (and terrifying!!) to witness.

I love how everything wrapped up in the end; there was a wonderful surprise in the final chapter that left me speechless, and then there was an other shocking discovery which concluded the story perfectly! This would make a perfect Halloween read, and it’s awesome to see the tempting cover is as fantastic as the content of the book. Adam Cesare provides readers with a pacy, intelligent plot that will leave you breathless.

⁃ Theme Music by Marie Vandelly

“I like this one,” I said. “It feels like home already.”

Theme Music is obscure, unapologetic and knife-wielding. The author’s writing is extremely sharp it terrified me.

Welcome to the Wheeler House…

The layout of this spooky place is so wonderfully detailed throughout the story; sometimes it would feel like this house has a life of its own.

From Dixie’s recollection, this is the house where her father brutally murdered her family with a axe at the breakfast table as Badfinger’s Baby Blue played in the background. Little does she know that coming back to her childhood home, twenty five years later, will dredge up sinister memories and, most importantly, the awful truth of what really happened on the day of her family’s massacre.

This book is truly boundary-breaking. It just knew how to be a thriller and a horror novel. In her debut, Vandelly proves herself as a master of both. The horror element explains the aftermath of our heroine’s past trauma and how it psychologically affects her in the present.

What was also interesting was the horror of the ways Dixie’s guilt -as to her father singling her out as the sole survivor of her family’s murder – manifested itself in the present. What is more terrifying than our worst nightmares infiltrating themselves into our real lives?

See any titles that sound appealing to you? Let me know, fellow bookworms!

Review: Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

It’s another exciting day for thriller releases!! If you’re a fan of Lisa Jewell, or have been looking forward to the highly anticipated (and twisty!) Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy, then stick with me and let’s dive into these following titles…

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy

Synopsis: Newlyweds Sam Statler and Annie Potter excited to move into a new home in Sam’s sleepy hometown in upstate New York. Or, it turns out, a life where Annie spends most of her time alone while Sam, her therapist husband, works long hours in his downstairs office, tending to the egos of his (mostly female) clientele. Little does Sam know that all his sessions can be heard through a vent in his ceiling, from the room upstairs…

The pharmacist’s wife, contemplating a divorce. The well-known painter whose boyfriend doesn’t satisfy her in bed… Who could resist listening? Everything is fine until the French girl in the green mini Cooper shows up, and Sam, the therapist, goes missing; throwing a wrench into Sam and Annie’s happily ever after.

Review:

The first third of this book was the twistiest part: clever, unexpected and endless surprises. The rest was a retelling of an old classic psychological thriller (which has been turned into a movie more than two decades ago); and therefore it relied more on suspense than on twists and turns.

One essential you should know before going in: Don’t expect a twist ending here; the story ends rather too neatly. The one thing I’ve been noticing while reading this book was how, “the good guys” aren’t exactly characters you’ll find yourself rooting for, whereas you might sympathize the “antagonist” (if you can call them that) instead; their POV and background will honestly grip you and even make you root for them at some point.

This is what I liked about this book: how good and evil aren’t necessarily as black and white as we might imagine, which makes for an interesting read. And even though the concept of this story wasn’t completely original, Goodnight Beautiful still kept me engaged, anticipating what would happen next!

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a mysterious figure.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their creepy neighbor Owen. Their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

Which of these releases sounds most appealing to you, fellow readers?

October Kindle Deals: Thriller/Mystery (UK)

⁃ The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware

When Rowan comes across the advert, it seems too good to be true: a live-in nanny position, with an extremely generous salary.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare that will end with her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes.

But she’s not guilty – at least not of murder.

Which means someone else is…

⁃ Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.

In the lucrative world of Wall Street finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie and Sam are the ultimate high-flyers. Ruthlessly ambitious, they’ll do anything to get ahead.

When the four of them become trapped in an elevator escape room, things start to go horribly wrong. They have to put aside their fierce office rivalries and work together to solve the clues that will release them. But in the confines of the elevator the dark secrets of their team are laid bare.

Tempers fray and the escape room’s clues turn more and more ominous, leaving the four of them dangling on the precipice of disaster. If they want to survive, they’ll have to solve one more final puzzle: which one of them is a killer?

⁃ The Other People by C. J. Tudor

Driving home one night, Gabe sees the face of a little girl he knows in the rear window of the car in front.

She mouths one word – ‘Daddy‘. It’s his five-year old daughter, Izzy.

He never sees her again.

The police believe she’s dead. But three years later, Gabe still drives the roads, searching for the car that took Izzy, never giving up hope . . .

Meanwhile Fran and her daughter, Alice, aren’t searching – but running.

Always one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them.

Because Fran knows the truth about Gabe’s daughter.

And she knows what the people chasing her will do if they ever catch them . . .

⁃ The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup

Last autumn, Kristine Hartung vanished…

They never found her, but a killer confessed. The case was closed.

But as the leaves fall again, Detectives Naia Thulin and Mark Hess are not so sure they’ve solved the mystery.

Because someone else is dead.

And Kristine’s fingerprint is at the crime scene.

And suddenly, nothing seems certain at all . . .

⁃ In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

An invitation to die for…

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since the day Nora walked out of her old life and never looked back.

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen party arrives. A weekend in a remote cottage – the perfect opportunity for Nora to reconnect with her best friend, to put the past behind her.

But something goes wrong.

Very wrong.

And as secrets and lies unravel, out in the dark, dark wood the past will finally catch up with Nora.

⁃ The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare…

Abi Knight is startled awake in the middle of the night to a ringing phone and devastating news – Olivia, her teenage daughter, has been in a terrible accident.

Abi is told that Olivia slipped and fell from a bridge into the icy water below, and now she lies silent, dependent on life support.

But then Abi sees the angry bruises around Olivia’s wrists and learns that her daughter is in pregnant . . .

Would you believe it if they told you it was accident?

⁃ The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

When Hal receives an unexpected letter telling her she’s inherited a substantial bequest from her grandmother, it seems like the answer to her prayers.

There’s just one problem – Hal’s real grandparents died more than twenty years ago.

Hal desperately needs the cash and makes a choice that will change her life for ever. She knows that her skills as a seaside fortune teller could help her con her way to getting the money.

But once Hal embarks on her deception, there is no going back. She must keep going or risk losing everything, even her life…

⁃ The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

This is what the police know: English teacher Clare Cassidy’s friend Ella has just been murdered. Clare and Ella had recently fallen out. Found beside the body was a line from The Stranger, a story by the Gothic writer Clare teaches, and the murder scene is identical to one of the deaths in the story.

This is what Clare knows: No one else was aware of her fight with Ella. Someone has wormed their way into her life and her work. They know her darkest secrets. And they don’t mean well.

This is what the killer knows: Who will be next to die.

And that’s it, friends!! See any titles here that you’ve looking forward to reading? Let me know!