Reading thriller books is a captivating experience. When you’re “down deep” into the book, coming out of it and back to reality is disconcerting at best, nearly paralyzing at worst. I’m excited to offer two new thriller book recommendations to you, along with a third “bonus” suspense recommendation…just for fun.
Friends Like These by Sara Alderson
Both of the books I’m recommending were really enjoyable. The first, called, Friends Like These, is by Sarah Alderson. Touted as a “gripping psychological suspense thriller” it didn’t disappoint. It’s been a while since I’ve read a psychological suspense and even longer since I’ve enjoyed one with an unreliable narrator.
Friends Like These tells the story of two women. First, there’s “perfect” Becca. Her life is littered with tags like, “#blessedlife,” and “#sograteful,” and “#bestboyfriendever”. But after suffering a tragic accident, Becca may be more interested on seeking revenge than on building a new life for herself.
The second woman, Lizzie, is dowdy and not at all confident. Raised by a verbally abusive mother, her life doesn’t resemble Becca’s at all…until she makes changes that put her in a whole new league. But will she hold on to her own new #perfectlife or does Becca’s reach and hostility reach further than Lizzie imagines?
Told in alternating perspectives, this hard-to-put-down book was a definite page-turner. I picked it up, determined to participate in my first online book club. I was happy to read a new-to-me author, and to try a book I otherwise may not have (or at least might have been so far down on my #TBR list that it got lost). I’d highly recommend Friends Like These if you’re a fan of books like The Woman in Cabin 10, Gone Girl or Girl on The Train.
Mary Rose by Geoffrey Girard
The second book was one I picked up on a whim. My family and I were browsing at Barnes & Noble and I came across Mary Rose while perusing the shelves. I wasn’t really in the mood to buy anything but I couldn’t put the book down.
Mary Rose is part Gothic suspense, part romance, part paranormal. It’s dark and twisty, can be vague at certain points, and reads like a literary novel. It tells the story of Mary Rose and Simon, in love and on vacation visiting her parents back in England. While there, Simon learns that his beautiful fiancee went missing as a little girl of six. She was gone for thirty-three days, and then returned in the exact place: a Scottish island where she’d disappeared.
What follows is the near obsession of Simon. He feverishly works to uncover the mystery of his wife’s disappearance as a girl. Mary Rose has no memory of the event but suffers from strange visions and “dark times,” where she checks out from reality. As these unnerving episodes become more frequent, Simon becomes more determined to help his wife.
I enjoyed Mary Rose. Yes, parts of it felt too slow/shallow to me, where I wanted to get in there and shake the characters and say, “Well? Aren’t you going to DO something with that information?!” but it was still a highly enjoyable read.
Bonus Thriller Book Recommendation: Dead Lake by Darcy Coates
Hunted, by Darcy Coates, was my first read by this talented Australian author and I couldn’t help myself, I had to read another.
So, I quickly found Dead Lake, which was so, so, good. I liked it as much or even a bit more than Hunted, which surprised me. This too, was a stand-alone suspense book, though she has several series out.
What I loved about Darcy Coates’ Dead Lake
Dead Lake is an atmospheric suspense novel that follows Samantha, “Sam,” who is thrilled to get to stay in her uncle’s extremely remote lake cabin for a week. This isn’t an ordinary pleasure trip though. Sam is an accomplished artist and has been given the opportunity for a solo show at a very posh gallery.
The problem? She has complete creative block. She flees to the cabin intent on re-finding her muse and creating beautiful canvases to bring home with her just in time for the show. But what she finds in the woods around the lake house is something far more sinister.
This was a great book and a very quick read. Highly recommend it if you like ghost stories, nature-themed suspense, and those books that make you just crave “one more chapter”.
My Daily Fiction Habit
I love delving into my current fiction read directly after lunch. I pour myself a mug of coffee and take a Werther’s Original from my secret stash. Then I enjoy 10–15 minutes of bliss. Ah, sacred bliss.
What is your daily fiction habit or reading ritual? I’d love to hear about it.
Enjoy supernatural suspense novels? Monsters in the Green Mountains is perfect for lovers of authors like Shirley Jackson, Frank Peretti, and John Saul. You’ll find a full listing of this series and my other thriller novels on my website.