10 Psychological Thrillers To Get You Out Of A Reading Slump

I think we can all agree that one of the worst things to experience, as readers, is a reading slump. So I thought I’d share list of thrillers that have easily helped me get out of a slump, and hopefully they’ll be just as helpful for you too. These thrillers vary from a psychological and action-packed, to gothic, creepy and disturbing. Let me know which book got YOU out of a reading slump…

1. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient is an entertaining, stay-up-all-night mystery debut. The plot and the setting and the main characters’ backstories all played a part in keeping me engrossed in this tangled mystery where a psychotherapist feels compelled to treat and investigate a woman who shot her husband and refuses to speak again.

The twist towards the end is surprising and might even make you gasp because a) there are no clues throughout the book and b) there’s *full* omission of truth; meaning one of the characters is straight-up lying to the reader, so if you re-read the book you won’t find a clue that makes you go, “oh that makes perfect sense!

All in all, this was an enjoyable debut and I applaud the author for writing a tremendously compelling and gripping novel! A solid 4-star read.

2. Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

What the—?! This was absolutely genius!! You can always count on Alice Feeney to provide you with the best of twists; I’d recommend any of her books – I Know Who You Are might be my favorite of hers because of how boundary-breaking and crazy it is, but His & Hers and Sometimes I Lie I find to be equally-special 5-star thrillers.

Let’s start with that ending: It’s been two days since I’ve finished reading this one and I’m still trying to come up with theories about who’s behind that little wicked shock in the last chapter. I love that the ending leaves room for discussion and keeps you thinking about it long after reaching the final phrase.

Will this book keep you hooked with every chapter? Absolutely, and that’s not something I encounter very often (there are no slow parts or nonsense dialogue here); the girl’s dark backstory is what captured me the most. The author nailed that! I instantly felt connected to the protagonist as a result.

Also, did anyone get vertigo from that massive twist about 3/4 in? Four words that threw everything I thought I knew out the window!

3. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Riley Sager just out here sending girls to creepy camps, spooky cabins, mysterious buildings and slaying us with yet another chilling thriller in Lock Every Door. I love that sense of adventure in this author’s books. Riley’s girls are not to be messed with. And Jules is no exception, she knows the truth might cost her her life and she still walked through fire. Literally.

What would you do if you were offered twelve thousand dollars to stay at a luxurious apartment for three months? There’s no such thing as leaving an apartment unoccupied in the Bartholomew building. From the start, we feel the danger that lurks in the rooms and hallways of this mysterious Manhattan building where Jules accepts her new job as an apartment sitter. Little does she know that this place has the most horrifying past, and escaping might not be an option.

In Lock Every Door, I couldn’t stop turning the pages fast enough. There are so many shocking twists and turns here. And I applaud the author for adding in the creep factor, with a dash of gothic suspense. I felt fully addicted to and invested in Jules’ journey as she endeavored to unravel the Bartholomew’s dark past, and the suspense does not let up when we’re given occasional snippets from the present day – where the protagonist is in the hospital, in the process of recovering from a mysterious accident…

4. The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware

No one writes a twist like 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. In a nutshell, the 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 strangest place 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 in the first half of the book, providing us with many chilling moments once Rowan settles in at the Heatherbrae house for her job as a nanny – 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!

5. No Exit by Taylor Adams

“But she’d seen it. There was no unseeing it. She stepped away, leaving a handprint on the door…There’s . . .There’s a child locked inside this van.”

Four strangers are trapped inside 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’ve been holding my breath until I turned the last page because I needed to know what’s going on. This was a wild ride!

6. The Sun Down Motel by Simone St James

35 years ago, Viv Delaney used to work as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something was never right at the Sun Down – a rundown roadside motel – and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden. In the present time, Carly – Viv’s niece – takes a job at the same creepy motel and starts an investigation into her aunt’s disappearance. She uncover the Sundown’s secrets before it’s too late.

This was a unique “haunted motel” story. A young woman, Viv, went missing while working a night shift in 1982 and it seems that no one put that much effort into looking for her. 35 years later, nearly everyone is afraid to speak about the woman’s disappearance. Viv’s niece feels that something doesn’t sit right with all of this, so she starts an investigation of her own.

The writing is clear and descriptive, and I thought the author really perfected the dialogue style, and the final chapters had a clever conclusion to the mystery behind the disappearance, which made for a brilliant, perfect ending.

7. The Girl Before by JP Delaney

The Girl Before is soon to be a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard!

”Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.”

Emma: Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece, but there are rules made by the enigmatic architect who designed it: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The house is intended to transform its occupant – and it does.

Jane: After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street, she is instantly drawn to the space – and to its seductive creator. Moving in, she soon learns about the mysterious death of the girl before her – the previous tenant who bears a striking resemblance to her. Jane tries to follow the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror as the girl before.

This book was fantastic. It will especially appeal to you if you love slow-paced psychological thrillers that keep you guessing. This one is entertaining, provocative and so well-executed!

8. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson

The Kind Worth Killing is sort of a modern retelling of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers On A Train. It has the same “folie à deux” premise as it tells the story of a man who, on a night flight, meets a woman who helps him plot the murder of his wife, who’s having an affair with her contractor.

There’s psychopathy, people getting away with murder, a daring plot with a big twist halfway through and a very clever conclusion! I particularly enjoyed the character “Lily”; she has the most fascinating backstory, which gave the plot more depth and originality. I thoroughly enjoyed this and hope to read more of Swanson’s books in the future!

9. Verity by Colleen Hoover

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.

10. Still Missing by Chevy Stevens

On the day she was abducted, Annie – a 32-year-old realtor – had three goals – sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she’s about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all. She was wrong.

Still Missing interweaves the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfold through sessions with her psychiatrist, with a second narrative following the events after her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

I’ve always been fascinated by abduction stories – how the victim would escape their captor and survive the torment and the emotional and physical trauma. And even though I’ve come across a number of books revolving around this subject, I still find them hard to read. Still Missing was no exception. The main character is so compelling that you can’t help but care deeply for her, and the author did such a terrific job portraying the psychopathic traits of her abductor.

The first half, which was dedicated to the time of the protagonist’s abduction, was so well-plotted and so suspenseful it will make you gasp at the most unexpected moments. The second half is about the solving of the mystery, and let me tell you, the identity of the perpetrator was so clever – evil and twisted, but clever!

Which of these sound up your alley, fellow readers? See any that you’ve read and enjoyed?

13 thoughts on “10 Psychological Thrillers To Get You Out Of A Reading Slump

  1. Great list! Verity was the book that got me out of my worst reading slump to date. It was so gripping and immediately had me hooked with its ominous atmosphere and crazy twists. I just picked up Sometimes I Lie today and reading what you wrote about it has me very keen to keep going. I love that it has short chapters too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree on VERITY – that book was insane!! It makes me super happy to hear you’re reading Sometimes I Lie 😍👏🏻 You can never go wrong with a Feeney thriller; I Know Who You Are is her darkest (and most controversial) yet, and His & Hers is just…twisty and perfect – hope you enjoy both when you get a chance to read them. ☺️

      Like

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