After being holed up in our homes for the couple years, turning to the fictional world of wonderfully written literature has been the perfect escape. There are so many great books out there, but a personal favorite genre of mine has always been thriller/mystery. There’s nothing more satisfying than finishing a good book, especially one filled with twists and turns and perfectly crafted characters. Many of the books that have stood out to me in the past year have all been written by women about very strong female leads. So, since it is now officially Spooky Season, I figured now was as good a time as ever to give everyone else who also loves this genre a comprehensive list of the best of the best – without giving any major spoilers away, of course.
Here are my top five chill-inducing reads written by women, for women!
1. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen
This book could be described in so many words – diabolical, haunting, thrilling – but the word I always come back to when describing The Wife Between Us is “clever”. There are so many parts to this story — Webs of lies, love triangles, and the taunting feeling that someone is always watching you. It’s a story of what should have been the perfect marriage… emphasis on “should have been”. This book will have your jaw on the floor from start to finish.
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2. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Then She Was Gone is a read-in-one-sitting type of book. Centered around the disappearance of picture-perfect daughter Ellie Mack, this novel mixes family drama and bone-chilling mystery in the best way. I could not put this book down without figuring out what was going on. We follow Ellie’s mother Laurel as she tries to piece her life back together after everything, but she slowly starts to uncover some earth-shattering secrets.
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3. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Another family drama/thriller, We Were Liars is filled with suspense. We follow the Liars (a close-knit group of cousins) as they navigate summers on the family island. This book is creepy through and through. E. Lockhart wrote the book with the intent to have the reader questioning every single move, and trust me, you will do just that. There were so many times throughout reading this where I thought I had it figured out, and then Lockhart would surprise me yet again.
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4. The Secrets You Keep by Kate White
If you are a fan of the domestic thriller genre, this one’s for you. Kate White is known for her amazing standalone thrillers, and The Secrets You Keep is no different. This book is dripping with mystery and danger. What do you do if, all of a sudden, you don’t know if you can trust the man you’re living with? This is the question Bryn must figure out as her suspicions and weariness grow deeper and deeper.
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5. The Visitors by Catherine Burns
Twists, mind games, revelations of the lonely human mind… this one has it all and much more. The Visitors is just downright creepy. But in the best way. We follow Marion as she unravels the truth of her brother and also herself along the way. I would say, of all the books on this list, this one is most definitely not for the weak-stomached readers. It can get graphic, but it all adds to the build of the thrilling story.
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