New Psychological Thrillers Coming This Autumn

Who else is excited for Autumn’s releases? As we venture through the last days of summer, one of the things I look forward to, is a fresh, new TBR list filled with the most-awaited psychological thrillers; and I’ve always considered Fall as the perfect “thriller” reading season because, what better way to dive into a suspense novel while wrapped up in a warm blanket, with your favorite hot beverage in hand? Now readers, here are some exciting, upcoming psychological thrillers you must watch out for…

⁃ Confessions On The 7:45 by Lisa Unger (Oct. 6th)

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

⁃ Dear Child by Romy Hausmann (Oct 6th)

Filled with twists; from the utterly shocking prologue, to the action-packed chapters.

In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.

One day Lena manages to flee–but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called “Lena,” who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle that doesn’t quite seem to fit.

⁃ I Hope You’re Listening by Tom Ryan (Oct. 6th)

In her small town, 17-year-old Delia “Dee” Skinner is known as the girl who wasn’t taken. Ten years ago, she witnessed the abduction of her best friend, Sibby. And though she told the police everything she remembered, it wasn’t enough. Sibby was never seen again.At night, Dee deals with her guilt by becoming someone else: the Seeker, the voice behind the popular true crime podcast Radio Silent, which features missing persons cases and works with online sleuths to solve them.

Nobody knows Dee’s the Seeker, and she plans to keep it that way. When another girl goes missing, and the case is linked to Sibby’s disappearance, Dee has a chance to get answers, with the help of her virtual detectives and the intriguing new girl at school. But how much is she willing to reveal about herself in order to uncover the truth? Dee’s about to find out what’s really at stake in unraveling the mystery of the little girls who vanished.

⁃ Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell (Oct. 13th)

Owen’s life is falling apart.

In his 30s, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

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 Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

⁃ Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy (Oct. 13th)

Newlyweds Sam Statler and Annie Potter are head over heels, and excited to say good-bye to New York and start a life together 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 through a vent in his ceiling, she can hear every word of his sessions. 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 decides to go to work and not come home, throwing a wrench into Sam and Annie’s happily ever after…

⁃ Every Last Secret by A. R. Torre (Oct. 13th)

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor…

Cat Winthorpe has worked hard for her gorgeous mansion, elevated social standing, and handsome husband. When a new couple moves next door, into the abandoned estate, she greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.

But Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with a mountain of personal issues, Neena’s and Cat’s quick friendship slowly turns toxic. Behind their perfect smiles and cordial interactions, the two women wage an internal war of competition, one that soon takes a deadly turn.

⁃ The Girl In The Mirror by Rose Carlyle (Oct. 20th)

Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of her twin’s good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam.

Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer.

Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, with her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir.

Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream and paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth? And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht?

Only Iris knows . . .

After All I’ve Done by Mina Hardy (Nov. 10th)

With a disturbing twist you’ll never see coming, this book will make you question everything you think you know, especially the ones closest to you.

5 months ago, an accident left Diana Sparrow badly injured and missing months of her memory. As if that’s not enough, she’s started having recurring nightmares about the night of the accident. Dreams that feel so real, she’s left questioning: maybe she didn’t just slide off the road into a ditch. Maybe, just maybe, she hit something. Or someone.

She can’t turn to her former best friend Val, who’s been sleeping with Diana’s husband Jonathan for months, but she might find some comfort in newcomer Cole Pelham. Yet the closer they become, the more Diana begins to wonder what really happened that night–and how Cole might be connected.

Who was with her that night? What really happened? As her life unravels thread by thread and the dreams become too real to ignore, Diana will have to face the unthinkable–and do the unforgivable…

⁃ Little Cruelties by Liz Nugent (Nov. 10th)

This story begins with a funeral. One of three brothers is dead, mourned by his siblings. But which one? And how? And, most importantly: why?

William, Brian, and Luke are each born a year apart in a lower middle class Catholic family in 1960s Dublin. William, the eldest, becomes a successful movie producer. Luke surprises everyone by morphing into a worldwide pop star. Brian, the compliant middle son, is the eternal adult in the room: the helpful, steady one, the manager of finances and careers.

But none of them is actually quite what he seems. Wounded by childhood, they have betrayed one another in myriad ways, hiding behind little lies that have developed into full blown treachery. With an unnerving eye for the complexities of families, Nugent delves into the secret life of a deeply troubled household and provides stunning insights into the many forces that shape us from childhood.

⁃ The Woman Outside My Door by Rachel Ryan (Nov. 24th)

How far would you go to protect your family?

All children have imaginary friends, Georgina tells herself. It’s perfectly normal, and they all grow out of it in the end. But when 7-year-old Cody tells his mother about “New Granny,” the new friend he’s met in the park, Georgina is instantly suspicious. Something—call it maternal instinct—tells her he isn’t making it up.

But maybe Georgina is losing her mind. It wouldn’t be the first time, after all. And with her own mother’s recent death leaving her bereft and trying to cope with life as a busy working mom, it’s no wonder she’s feeling paranoid that her son has invented a “New Granny” to replace his real grandmother.

Her husband, Bren, becomes the voice of reason, assuring Georgina that it’s just a game, the product of their son’s overactive imagination. But what if Cody’s imaginary friend is not so imaginary after all?

And that’s it, friends! Which of Autumn’s upcoming releases sounds more appealing to you?

Kindle Deals: Thriller/Mystery (Sep. 4th)

Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

On the surface, Lydia has the perfect life: married to a respected judge, mother of a beloved son, living in the beautiful house where she was raised. However, that beautiful house holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son discovers it, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic, dark climax.

Girls in The Garden by Lisa Jewell

Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbors for years and you trust them. You think your children are safe, but are they really?

On a midsummer night, as a neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her thirteen-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible?

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

The girl who said no to death.

Bibi Blair is a fierce, dauntless young woman—whose doctor says she has one year to live.

She replies, “We’ll see.”

Her sudden recovery astonishes medical science.

An enigmatic woman convinces Bibi that she escaped death so that she can save someone else; someone named Ashley Bell.

But save her from what, from whom? And who is Ashley Bell? Where is she?

Bibi’s obsession with finding Ashley sends her on the run from threats, including a rich and charismatic cult leader with terrifying ambitions.

Obsession by Amanda Robson

One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?

It is a simple question, and a wicked game that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?

You Can’t Catch Me by Catherine McKenzie

Do you want to play a game?

12 years ago, Jessica Williams escaped a cult. Thanks to the private detective who rescued her, she reintegrated into society, endured an uncomfortable notoriety, and tried to put it all behind her. Then, at an airport bar, Jessica meets a woman with an identical name…and birth date. It appears to be just an odd coincidence—until a week later, when Jessica finds her bank account drained and her personal information stolen.

Following a trail of the grifter’s victims, each with the same name, Jessica gathers players—one by one—for her own game. According to her plan, they’ll set a trap and wait for the impostor to strike again. But plans can go awry, and trust can fray, and as Jessica tries to escape the shadows of her childhood, the risks are greater than she imagined. Now, confronting the casualties of her past, Jessica can’t help but wonder…

Who will pay the price?

The New Girlfriend by Sheryl Browne

I know what you did and I’m going to make you pay.

Somebody from Cassie’s past has found her and they want revenge for something Cassie did when Josh was just a baby. They want everyone to know just what kind of a woman Cassie really is. As Cassie tries to hide the message from her husband, there is a knock on the door of their perfect home. Her biggest secret is about to be revealed. And you won’t believe what she does next…

See any titles that you’ve read or that are on your TBR list? Let me know!

What To Read (or Skip) This Month

In case you missed my previous post, I’ve counted down some of the most anticipated thrillers of the month and gave a little rundown on what each book is about. Today, I’ll also be including some of my thoughts on them and sharing my favorite ones vs the ones that, to me, weren’t as appealing as I had hoped. But of course, these are only my personal opinions, so you might end up enjoying some of these more than I did!

⁃ One By One by Ruth Ware

SKIP “One By One”, especially if:

• You’re planning on reading it solely on the fact that it’s written by Ruth Ware. I loved everything I’ve read by this author in the past but, One By One, unfortunately, does not have her signature writing style and is definitely not as original or special as her previous novels.

• You’ve already read too many locked-room thrillers. If you’ve read Lucy Foley’s The Guest List; you won’t be missing out if you don’t read One By One, which is mostly characterized by a group of unlikable characters and a guessable culprit.

Don’t Look For Me by Wendy Walker

READ “Don’t Look For Me”, especially if you’re into:

• Abduction stories that are not extremely dark, but conclude with a solid, unpredictable ending. Here, we have a mother who goes missing one night, and – in an alternating POV – her 21-year-old daughter who embarks on a mission to find her.

When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole

SKIPWhen No One Is Watching” by Alyssa Cole, if you’re not a fan of:

Slow-burn novels that are more “contemporary” than “suspenseful”.

– The Survivors by Jane Harper

READ “The Survivors”, if you’re a fan of:

Well-plotted, moody mysteries revolving around family secrets, but don’t mind an abrupt ending.

One Step Behind by Lauren North

SKIPOne Step Behind”, if you’re looking for:

• A thriller with unpredictable twists and turns. I was personally letdown to find that this one was completely lacking in surprises and ended with a rushed, underwhelming conclusion. However, I do recommend the author’s debut, The Perfect Son, which was well-crafted and cleverly led towards to a gasp-worthy final reveal!

Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass

READSurrender Your Sons”, if you’re looking for:

• An action-packed suspense thriller about a group of teenagers who are abducted and sent to an abusive conversion therapy island, led by a compelling, well-crafted protagonist that you’ll find yourself rooting for until the very end. How will Connor Major survive on this island? Will his escape plan even work?

And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall

SKIPAnd Now She’s Gone”, if you:

• Predict twists and turns easily

• Are looking for a memorable thriller with more depth.

The Lakehouse by Joe Clifford

READThe Lakehouse”, if you’re a fan of:

• Small-town murder mysteries where almost every character has ugly secrets, and will accomplish the impossible to keep them hidden. This book wasn’t completely up my alley but I was surprised to find that I was enjoying it! The Lakehouse is entertaining, and a page-turner.

And that’s a wrap, fellow bookworms. Hope you guys enjoy this month’s releases, and if you have any of these on your TBR, let me know so we can discuss!!

9 Twisty Thrillers To Read In September 2020

September is finally here, so what better way to celebrate the start of the month than with a stack of the most long-awaited, highly-anticipated thrillers of the year? This list includes some of the most exciting titles from authors like Ruth Ware, Wendy Walker, Jane Harper and more! If that sounds good to you readers, then join me in exploring these picks…

⁃ One By One by Ruth Ware (Sep. 8th)

Getting snowed in at a beautiful mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

⁃ Don’t Look For Me by Wendy Walker (Sep. 15th)

One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life.

She doesn’t want to be found.

Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home.

The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”

It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

⁃ And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall (Sep. 22th)

Isabel is gone.

But is she missing?

It’s up to Grayson Sykes to find her. Although she is reluctant to track down a woman who may not want to be found, Gray’s search for Isabel Lincoln becomes more complicated and dangerous with every new revelation about the woman’s secrets and the truth she’s hidden from her friends and family.

Featuring two complicated women in a dangerous cat and mouse game, And Now She’s Gone explores the nature of secrets — and how violence and fear can lead you to abandon everything in order to survive.

– Surrender Your Sons by Adam Sass (Sep. 15th)

Connor Major’s summer break is turning into a nightmare.

His religious zealot mother had him kidnapped and shipped off to a secluded island. His final destination: Nightlight Ministries, a conversion therapy camp that will be his new home until he “changes.”

But Connor’s troubles are only beginning. At Nightlight, everyone has something to hide—from the campers to the “converted” staff and cagey camp director—and it quickly becomes clear that no one is safe. Connor plans to escape and bring the other kidnapped teens with him. But first, he’s exposing the camp’s horrible truths for what they are, and he’ll be taking this place down for good.

⁃ When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole (Sep. 1st)

Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and her neighbors are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.

But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.

When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?

⁃ Cabin On Souder Hill by Lonnie Busch (Sep. 29th)

Michelle and Cliff Stage bought their isolated vacation cabin in the mountains of North Carolina with hopes of repairing their eighteen-year marriage. But when he disappears one night searching for the source of a mysterious light in the woods, Michelle’s life will change in unimaginable ways. After the sheriff’s department fails to find him, Michelle scrambles down the same dark mountainside alone, the strange, beckoning light her only guide.

What she discovers is a cabin, identical to theirs, housing a life she barely recognizes–and a husband she hardly knows. Cliff is a changed man. Now caring and considerate, no longer a manipulative womanizer, he is also missing a finger. He claims that Cassie, their teenage daughter, is dead, killed in a car accident over a year ago. Michelle knows that’s not possible–Cassie had phoned her from Atlanta only hours before. Even when shown Cassie’s grave, Michelle refuses to accept she’s gone.

The only clue to what has happened is a man named Pink. A real estate agent and the man who years earlier built Michelle and Cliff’s cabin, Pink was rumored to have killed his wife and buried her on the property then vanished never to be seen again. But in Michelle’s new reality, Pink and his wife still reside in town and Pink’s smile-splashed billboards are everywhere. To get back to the world where her daughter exists, Michelle must unravel the mystery of Pink while questioning her own sanity.

⁃ One Step Behind by Lauren North (Sep. 3rd)

Jenna is a wife, a mother, a doctor. She’s also the victim of a stalker.

Every time she leaves her house, she sees him. Disturbing gifts are left at her door. Cruel emails are sent to her colleagues. She has no idea who this man is but she feels powerless against him.

Until the day he is brought into her hospital after a serious accident, and Jenna is given the chance to find out once and for all why this man is tormenting her. Now, the power is all hers.

⁃ The Survivors by Jane Harper (Sep. 22nd)

Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.

The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home.

Kieran’s parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea, that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…

⁃ The Lakehouse by Joe Clifford (Sep. 8th)

After being cleared of his wife’s murder, Todd Norman returns to her small Connecticut hometown in order to finish building their dream house by the lake. He is eager to restart his life and cast aside any remaining suspicious…but all of that is dashed when a young woman’s body washes up on the beach next door.

When Tracy Somerset, a divorced mother, meets a handsome stranger in a midnight Wal-Mart, she has no idea she is speaking with Todd Norman, the former Wall Street financier dubbed “The Banker Butcher” by the New York tabloids. The following morning, on the beach by Norman’s back-under-construction lakehouse, another young woman’s body is discovered. Sheriff Duane Sobczak’s investigation leads him to town psychiatrist Dr. Meshulum Bakshir, whose position at a troubled girls’ group home a decade ago yields disturbing ties to several local, prominent players, including Sobczak’s own daughter.

What September release(s) are you guys most excited for?

September’s “Amazon First Reads”: Thriller/Mystery

This month’s picks for Amazon First Reads are here! Amazon Prime members can choose one free Kindle book this month out of these Editor’s picks; and other customers can get it for only 1.99$!

This Secret Thing by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

A single mother’s arrest. A grandmother with secrets. A detective searching for his missing brother…how are these connected?

Everyone in Raleigh, North Carolina, is talking about Norah Ramsey, the single mother accused of being a suburban madam. But Norah’s not the only one keeping secrets.

After her mother’s arrest, Norah’s teenage daughter, Violet, is devastated and alone. She has no one to turn to until her grandmother Polly arrives. Polly, long estranged from Norah, is running from her own troubles. Down the street, Bess, once Norah’s best friend, desperately tries to hide secrets while Casey, Bess’s daughter, flees college after a traumatic event, only to find that home isn’t the safe haven she expected. And Nico, the detective who has doggedly pursued Norah Ramsey in hopes that she will lead him to his missing brother, is drawn further into these women’s lives while facing his own domestic disturbance.

Scandal has brought each of them to a crossroads. Now, as they delve into Norah’s secrets, they must come to terms with secrets of their own—ones that still have the power to hurt or to heal.

The Unspoken by Ian K. Smith

A former detective had been fired, and now is hired by the wealthy parents of a girl who went missing. And then her boyfriend is found dead…

Former Chicago detective Ashe Cayne is desperate for redemption. After refusing to participate in a police department cover-up involving the death of a young black man, Cayne is pushed out of the force. But he won’t sit quietly on the sidelines: he’s compelled to fight for justice as a private investigator…even if it means putting himself in jeopardy.

When a young woman, Tinsley Gerrigan, goes missing, her wealthy parents from the North Shore hire Cayne to find her. As Cayne looks into her life and past, he uncovers secrets Tinsley’s been hiding from her family. Cayne fears he may never find Tinsley alive.

His worries spike when Tinsley’s boyfriend is found dead—another black man murdered on the tough Chicago streets. Cayne must navigate his complicated relationships within the Chicago PD, leveraging his contacts and police skills to find the missing young woman, see justice done, and earn his redemption.

The Haunting of H. G. Wells by Robert Masello

A supernatural thriller about H. G. Wells, who finds an eerie wasteland inhabited by the living, the dead, and those stranded in between. He must battle with diabolical forces to save his sanity…

It’s 1914. The Great War grips the world—and from the Western Front a strange story emerges…a story of St. George and a brigade of angels descending from heaven to fight beside the beleaguered British troops. But can there be any truth to it?

H. G. Wells, the most celebrated writer of his day—author of The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man—is dispatched to find out. There, he finds an eerie wasteland inhabited by the living, the dead, and those forever stranded somewhere in between…a no-man’s-land whose unhappy souls trail him home to London, where a deadly plot, one that could turn the tide of war, is rapidly unfolding.

In league with his young love, the reporter and suffragette Rebecca West, Wells must do battle with diabolical forces—secret agents and depraved occultists—to save his sanity, his country, and ultimately the world.

Which of these picks sounds up your alley, thriller addicts? Let me know!

August Wrap-Up ( +Top Favorites)

Now that August is almost over, it is time to reflect on what we’ve had the opportunity to read this month. My August reads have mostly been good ones (pictured below), but there were two particular titles that absolutely blew me away.

⁃ In The Blood by Lisa Unger

“When we get to the end, I’ll tell you everything.”

In In The Blood, a young woman is hired as a babysitter to care for a disturbed 11-year-old boy, who loves to play a twisted game of clues that she feels compelled to follow and that would lead her to an unexpected discovery.

I loved this book! It’s original, dark, with a little bit of “gothic”, and almost every single character is messed up – just my kind of thriller. It makes perfect sense that this was nominated for Goodreads Choice Awards the year it was released.

It’s a bit prolonged in some parts and I found myself confused a few times when the story would alternate from present to “flashback” past in the same chapter, but mostly, the story was completely engrossing, deliciously-dark, and reads like a movie!

⁃ Believe Me by JP. Delaney

Believe Me is about a woman who’s hired to entrap men who cheat on their wives and get evidence by secretly filming their unfaithful endeavors.

I was not expecting this one to impress me the way that it did! Believe Me by JP Delaney is exactly what I’d call a “twisty” thriller. During the first few chapters, I was skeptical, but 70 pages in, it starts getting extremely twisty.

Suddenly I’m frantically turning the pages, like, “Stop messing with head, Delaney, what the heck is going on?!” There’s murder, untrustworthy characters, a blurred line between fact and fiction…and when you least expect, there’s a twist, and another twist after that.

And then the protagonist is suddenly trapped in a twisted circle of “Paranoia vs Reality”: Nothing is making sense; and that’s when the author incorporates authentic psychological suspense, and *believe me* (pardon the pun) when I tell you that you’re not going to want to put this book down at this point; you know you have no choice but to keep going…racing towards the end where Delaney catches us off guard with the most unexpected twist!

What were your favorite reads this month, fellow readers?

9 Thrillers To Read Based On Your Favorite Movies

Have you ever read a book that reminded you of a movie that you’ve watched and enjoyed? If you’re a fan thriller or horror movies, you might want to check out this list and hopefully, you’ll find a title that’s in the vein of of your favorite movie! Now, readers, let’s explore these picks…

⁃ Shutter Island —> The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

These two have the exact same feel and almost the same plot: While Leo DiCaprio is sent to an asylum to investigate a mysterious disappearance in Shutter Island, the male lead in The Silent Patient is sent to a psych ward to investigate a mysterious patient. And don’t worry, if you’ve yet to read the book (or watch the movie), this comparison doesn’t spoil either of them as each has an entirely different ending from the other!

⁃ The Turning —> The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware

Among many other remakes, both of these are inspired by the 1898 classic horror novel, The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James, which follows a woman who applies for a job to care for two oddly silent children at a haunted house, and realizes that these kids have no fear of the evil that lurks in this place. In The Turn Of The Key – while it doesn’t exactly involve a “haunted house” – our female protagonist applies for the same job mentioned above, but at a technology-advanced house, so – without spoiling too much away – you can imagine what “complications” could result within this house if, say, a systematic glitch were to happen…

Yes, this house will generate all kinds of horrors without being a 100% haunted house story, but enough to provide a realistically-terrifying and gothic psychological thriller.

⁃ The Talented Mr. Ripley —> You by Caroline Kepnes

You might already be familiar with the characters Tom Ripley and Joe Goldberg, as these are some of the most well-known psychopaths in thriller fiction. You can expect all aspects of psychopathy in the book (or TV Series), YOU: there’s stalking, obsessive love, and – obviously – murder! If you were a fan of The Talented Mr Ripley, you might want to embark on another terrifying journey with You’s Joe Goldberg.

The Haunting —> Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Remember the horror classic, The Haunting, from 1999? I’ve always considered this movie as the ultimate, most well-plotted haunted house story; and it starred Catherine Zera Jones, Liam Neeson and Lili Taylor, so you can always expect an exhilarating experience watching – or even re-watching – this horror gem. If you’re a fan of The Haunting, you’ll most definitely enjoy Home Before Dark as well, and since it’s written by the legendary Riley Sager, you know you won’t be disappointed!

⁃ Silence Of The Lambs —> The Only Child by Mi-Ae Seo

In The Only Child, we’re introduced to a serial killer who – now that he’s locked in prison – requests a meeting with one particular criminal psychologist; he will talk to no one else. The premise instantly reminded me of The Silence Of The Lambs and I couldn’t help but picture the female lead as Jodie Foster. There’s even a reference to this movie in the book, which chilled me to the bone. Expect extremely-unsettling childhood flashbacks and authentic suspense from start to finish with The Only Child by Mi-ae Seo.

⁃ Scream —> There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Just like with Scream’s infamous masked killerGhostface”, a killer named “The Osborne Slayer” is killing high school students, one by one, in There’s Someone Inside Your House. This will appeal to all admirers of slasher thrillers. Also, it would absolutely make a perfect Halloween read!

⁃ Basic Instinct —> Last One To Lie by J. M. Winchester

Honestly, is there a better classic thriller than Basic Instinct? If you were fascinated by the intriguing relationship between the detective and the intimating female suspect in this movie, I think you’ll love Last One To Lie. While this “romance” aspect exists in the book, it is definitely dark, and plays a major part within the suspense element. Now that we’ve put aside what this film and book have in common, bear in mind that Last One Last To Lie weaves an impossibly-twisted web of lies; there are crazy twists here that you won’t be able to guess and an ending that will give you major anxiety, and most importantly, stay with you long afterwards.

⁃ Case 39 —> In The Blood by Lisa Unger

Case 39 is a chilling horror movie about a social worker who gets caught up in the troubles of a seemingly abused 10-year-old girl who isn’t what she seems to be. If you‘re fascinated by stories about disturbed children, you must pick up In The Blood by Lisa Unger – it’s a deliciously-dark, original psychological thriller where a young woman is hired as a babysitter to care for a disturbed 11-year-old boy, who loves to play a twisted game of clues that she feels compelled to follow and that would lead her to an unexpected discovery. This is one of my top favorite Lisa Unger books and it’s just as gripping and suspenseful as Case 39!

⁃ Rear Window —> The Woman In The Window by A. J. Finn

You can definitely say that The Woman In The Window was inspired by Hitchcock’s celebrated film, Rear Window. In fact, there are many references in this book to this director’s classic movies. The book is led by an agoraphobic woman (to be played by Amy Adams in the adaptation) who witnesses a murder in the house across of hers. Was what she saw real? Or is it paranoia?

Any titles you’d like to add to this list? Was there a book that reminded you of a movie that you’ve watched?

The 5 Best Thrillers of August 2020

As August nears to an end, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Thriller releases from this month. I love that there’s something for everyone within these picks; whether you like domestic thrillers, serial killer thrillers, horror thrillers, or thrillers about mysterious disappearances and creepy woods, you can find that here in this list! Without further ado, let’s browse through these titles…

The Nothing Man by Catherine Ryan Howard – 4.5⭐️

“Nothing Man Case Reopened In New Book.”

In The Nothing Man, we are sucked back into the early hours of January 14, 2000. A woman named Eve Black had survived her family’s massacre when she was 12. For some reason, the creepy, masked serial killer decided to single her out as the sole survivor of the Black family murder. Why? So now she has written a true-crime memoir about her family’s killer in hopes of leading the police to his identity. When the killer finds out about the book, he is enraged. He needs to read it in order to plot his next move, but Eve is already one step ahead of him. The question is, who will catch who first?

Let me begin by saying that Catherine Ryan Howard is tremendously skilled at telling a story. Every single chapter delivers. You’ll easily be able to connect with and root for the protagonist.

The book alternates between the killer’s POV and Eve’s true-crime memoir that he’s reading: The Nothing Man. So if you’re a fan of that book-within-book element, you’re in for a treat. And I appreciate that the author, instead of turning the book into a police procedural, focused primarily on the cat-and-mouse chase between these two characters and their sides of the story.

There’s a really good twist at the end, which leads to a solid, suspenseful conclusion!

When I Was You by Amber Garza – 4.5⭐️

”If you thought that was all it would take to break me, you thought wrong.”

If Liv Constantine and Caroline Kepnes wrote a book together, When I Was You by Amber Garza would be it.

Imagine meeting a woman who shares your first and last name, lives in the same town as you, and takes her kid to the same doctor. That’s what’s about to turn Kelly Medina’s life upside down. What really makes this book stand out is that it keeps surprising you at several turns, in addition to the excellent execution, the chilling atmosphere and especially the shocking way things unfold in the second half.

And heck yes to that ending! You’ll literally lean forward in your seat during some final scenes and go, “is this really happening?” I also enjoyed how the author navigated the mother-son relationship, I found myself thoroughly invested in that aspect. I definitely recommend checking out this dark and twisty domestic thriller!

The Woods by Vanessa Savage – 4.5⭐️

“Come on, she says, beckoning me into the trees. Come into the woods. Let’s finish the story. I shake my head and back away, turning and running back towards the house. No, I can’t do it. Not the woods, not the woods, never the woods.”

I don’t know about you but mysteries surrounding disappearances and murders in the woods tend to unsettle the heck out of me, and yet I still find myself gravitating to them. Vanessa Savage did a terrific job providing a spine-chilling description and an eerie feel to the woods where our protagonist’s sister Bella died 10 years ago in an “accident”. Except…Ella is now haunting her sister’s dreams, trying to convince her otherwise, willing her to “remember”…

Why do teenage girls keep getting murdered in the forest surrounding Dean House? What memory is our main character trying to expunge?

You don’t have to get to a certain page for things to get interesting; the author makes sure to entertain the reader every step of the way. And that final short chapter…it will send a chill through your spine.

I appreciated how the author flawlessly built up the sisters’ characteristics by meticulously exploring their pasts and giving them distinct voices that made them unforgettable. I absolutely loved Vanessa Savage’s vision in The Woods and I can’t wait to read more by her!

Clown In A Cornfield by Adam Cesare 5⭐️

“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-thriller sub-genre in general) will devour this terrifying “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 in this town, one by one.

I enjoyed how perfectly-paced, action-packed and filmic this book was. Secondly, I absolutely loved the main character Quinn Maybrook – she’s a strong heroine: a teenager who’s attempting to survive the clown/corn horrors of Kettle Springs, which was brilliant – and terrifying – to witness.

I love how everything wrapped up in the end; there was this small surprise that left me speechless, and then there’s the unsettling/unpredictable final chapter, 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!

The Wicked Sister by Karen Dionne – 4⭐️

“…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 including 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.

Which of these sound(s) appealing to you, folks? See any that are on your TBR? Let’s discuss!

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?

Kindle Daily Deals: Thriller/Mystery (US)

Am I the only one who gets overwhelmed when new Kindle Deals are announced? I’ve trimmed down the list to a couple of titles I’ve had on my TBR for while; so under each title, I’d include a quick rundown on what the book is about. If you see any here that you’ve read and/or would recommend, let me know!

The Dead Girl In 2A by Carter Wilson

A woman meets a stranger on a plane, and tells him she’s going to kill herself in the Colorado mountains after she lands. And then she disappears.

The Perfect Couple by Lisa Hall

I loved the twist in Between And Me so I’m very curious about this one! The Perfect Couple follows a woman who applies for a job as a housekeeper for a widower. Everything goes smoothly at the house, until she learns about what happened to his first wife…

Nightingale House by Steve French

A girl and her father move into a house where they later find out something horrible happened to the family before them, and the house…whispers.

The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger

Two women investigate their husbands’ mysterious deaths…or murders?

One In Three by Tess Stimson

A woman starts stalking her ex-husband…until she and his new wife find themselves standing over his body.

Across The Water by Ingrid Alexandria

A young mom and her baby disappear. Her neighbor knows everything, she’s been watching them.

Which of these sound up your alley, fellow bookworms?