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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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!!

***

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…

***

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!!

***

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.

***

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!!

***

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.

***

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!

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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!

***

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!!

***

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.

***

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.

***

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.

***

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?

***

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.

***

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!”?

12 thoughts on “13 Thrillers With WTF Endings…Explained

  1. I have not read any of these, but have the last two on my bookshelf to read, so I did not read your spoiler for them. The others all sound exactly like a WTF did I just read. I hope you are staying safe and healthy Ludwig.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your well wishes Carla, hope you’re keeping well and safe too! I highly recommend the last two if you’re looking for something unique and dark. Sharp Objects is a VERY dark mystery with an unsettling final revelation, and Verity is a psychological thriller with SO MUCH evil 🙈 which sparked so many different reactions from readers back when it was released. Hope you enjoy both of these!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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