The 10 Best Psychological Thrillers About Twins

Who else is fascinated by “twin” stories? Some of my top favorite books are ones that revolve around twins, so I thought I’d share a list of “the best thrillers about twins” that I’ve had the chance to read. Some of these are out now, others are yet to be released, and I’ve made sure to include a couple of classic novels as well!

*Out Now

1. The Better Liar by Tanen Jones

“If I tell you how it happened, maybe you’ll remember me as well.”

The Better Liar is a quick, clever, mind-bending thriller about a young woman who must reunite with her twin sister and claim their joint inheritance, only when she arrives at her apartment, she finds her sister…dead.

The book starts off with this main perturbation, continues with slow-building suspense, leading all the way up to the cuckoo ending. That’s where the author ratchets up the suspense by using emotionally-charged aspects of the sisters’ fascinating backgrounds and then turns it into twisty bombshells when you least expect them..

The story ventures into a world that explores a complex side of twin sisterhood, and the meticulously explained topic of maternal drivehow is “maternal instinct” cultivated? All of this is narrated through the POV of the two sisters – two complex, fully-rounded characters, taking us to their awful, harrowing past. This was definitely a powerful debut thriller.

2. Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman

Oh, this one I’d definitely recommend. Beautiful Lies is the first, original book that introduced me to the mesmerizing world of identical twins: a very rare kind of identical twins, named “monochorionic monoamniotic twins”. I won’t spoil it for you, but let me tell you, the way these types of twins are connected, will freak you out! So when Rachel’s twin sister goes missing, she instantly knows something’s very wrong, and her sister is in serious danger.

There were some splendidly-described WTF creepy moments, and some gasp-worthy twists that shock you/leave you a bit confused – in a good way, if that makes sense. I loved the backstories of both twins when they were orphans, and the ending was suspenseful and gripping, with a final line that made me think, “wow, how is it possible that twins could be connected like THAT?”

3. The Babysitter by Nancy Bush

There are 7-year-old twins and a masked killer named “The Babysitter Stalkerstabbing babysitters in Nancy Bush’s The Babysitter. Eighteen years later, the killer strikes again.

Oh how how completely engrossed I was by the writing and addictive plotline of this book. The author leaves a few clues all throughout the book but you can never piece them together until the perfectly wicked reveal in the very last paragraph. The clues include occasional passages featuring the killer’s point of view, which are absolutely chilling.

There are three mysteries that are unraveled here:

Who attacked Emma 18 years ago while she babysat the Ryerson twins?

– How is this former attack connected to the current ones?

– Why was Jamie, the victim’s sister, summoned to her childhood home in the first place? (—> This one shocked me the most).

This book is so well-executed, it wows the reader constantly, doesn’t try to be something it’s not, reads like a movie, and oh, this would make one heck of a Halloween read!

4. Guilt by Amanda Robson

Robson writes words that pierce right through you in Guilt. Each one of her characters has such an interesting set of characteristics that wholly differentiate them from the other; we’re kept on edge as each of the twin sisters take turns to tell the story from their point of view. One sister is murdered. The other is awaiting trial.

One thing you should be sure you’ll be getting from this author’s books is extremely well-plotted suspense, which increase insanely during the courtroom scenes in the last chapters.

As evil as this story was -mostly due to a certain heavy subject matter, this book was really about the sinister impact that tragedy can have on people, in addition to the intricate bond of sisterhood. I’m definitely curious to see what this author writes next.

5. Identical by Ellen Hopkins

In Identical by Ellen Hopkins, Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical twins. Behind the facade, each sister has a 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!

*Coming Out This Summer/Fall:

6. The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne (Aug. 4th)

“…with a clarity that is almost frightening, suddenly, I remember everything.”

This is one of my top 10 favorite books this year so far, and boy was I mesmerized by this sinister, flawless and terrifying work of psychological suspense.

In The Wicked Sister, 26-year-old Rachel had spent fifteen years in a psychiatric ward for thinking she killed her mother with a rifle when she was 11 years old, 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?

Buckle up readers, and get ready to be transported into Rachel’s horrifying story, taking place in her late parents’ wilderness lodge (which I thought was the perfect setting for this crime thriller), filled with wicked memories as well as some mesmerizing aspects – including Rachel’s strange connection to the the wilderness. That’s where I applaud the author for using unusually beautiful elements that entirely bend the rules of an average psychological thriller.

This book 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-pounding question, “Will Rachel survive?” The writing is strong and modest and brims with the most engaging mysteries…

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

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

Rachel is not an easily-forgettable character and nor is her story. Mark your calendars fellow readers, August 4th!

7. The Girl In The Mirror by Rose Carlyle

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, while Something In The Water lies in the background; there’s indeed “something” lying at the bottom of the ocean that’s causing problems for our main protagonist.

Psychopathy, murder, identical twins with the “most extreme case of mirroring the doctors had ever seen”? That‘s certainly not an easy plot to concoct for a debut! Yes, you might not tell these twins apart but, there are some slight differences that might…creep you out!

Now, what to expect from this debut? “Money” is the main factor that drives this book: a particular inheritance, to be specific. The story, which takes place on a yacht in the first quarter, builds up slowly at first while featuring the twins’ backstories, moving towards a really great “twist”. Afterwards, we’re offered an ending where the tension and the suspense are ratcheted up: this was my favorite part.

Did this book provide entertainment? Did it provide insight? Was it a well-executed novel for a debut? The Girl In The Mirror checks all those boxes.

*Classics:

8. 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 so wicked! There are stunningly-executed paranormal scenes and a gorgeous setting – a house perched on a cliff.

Stranger With My Face is a suspense thriller that follows 17-year-old Laurie Stratton whose world is rocked by the arrival of this new mysterious stranger into her life…

Laurie was at home, but her boyfriend swears he saw her on the beach with another guy. Her family insists they see her coming and going when she’s been out of the house for hours. Who–or what–is taking over Laurie’s life?

9. Flowers In The Attic by V. C. Andrews

This is what survival looks like! I’m never going to get over the evil in this book. I mean…that final reveal? It was shocking. Heart-wrenching. BUT, I loved how, during the ending, the author still made sure to emphasize the uplifting side to this story, so then you kind of find yourself smiling once you reach the final line.

After their father’s death, four children (a brother and sister and two twins) are locked up in the attic of their evil grandmother’s house, and throughout the entire book, we get to see these kids grow, take care of one another, endeavor to understand their sexualities and desires, and endure the torment that is inflicted on them.

First of all, the writing is close to perfection. Heck, it is perfect! So perfect I didn’t want the book to end. The story and actions of our characters are portrayed so realistically that you feel like you’re reading a true story. The tight bond between the twins and their elder brother and sister, the way they stick for each other, the cleverness of the 12-year-old girl, the realistic and chilling behavior of the characters…it’s all so captivating. And boy am I excited to read the next book in the series (would you guys recommend continuing with the series?)

10. The Other by Thomas Tryon

“Twins? With different birthdays? How unusual.”

Well, wasn’t this a creepy gem! If someone asked me about the creepiest book I’ve ever read, The Other would be the answer. No hesitation. I mean, sure, the pacing wasn’t perfect but, this book definitely wins the best, most disturbing twists I’ve ever read, and more importantly, Thomas Tryon just knew how to create this unsettling sense of unease inside of me through his words.

Without spoiling anything away, if you’re looking for a classic, creepy (non-supernatural) horror novel about twins, The Other is for you. So many sections in this book could’ve been edited out but surprisingly, now that I know what’s been going on all along, I also feel like I need to re-read the book to pick up clues that I must’ve missed. Honestly, apart from the slightly-bizzare execution, this was absolutely genius.

What do you think of this list, folks? Any other “twin” books you’d like to recommend?

6 thoughts on “The 10 Best Psychological Thrillers About Twins

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