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!

5 thoughts on “Wintry Thrillers to Read When It’s Snowing Outside

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