I don’t know about you, but I think guessing and speculating are the best things about thrillers and mysteries. If I haven’t annoyed my boyfriend with at least 3 guesses and theories about who the murderer is, I’m not happy. Here’s a list of 5 crime thrillers guaranteed to have you sketching out one wild theory after another.
In The Woods* by Tana French
One afternoon three children go into the woods to play, and only one comes out, with blood-soaked shoes. 20 years later, Detective Rob Ryan is investigating the murder of a young girl at the same site where his two best friends disappeared forever. Tana French does wonderfully at presenting a narrator who reliable in experience, but unreliable given the circumstances. You can’t tell if Ryan’s hunches are based on evidence or on his deteriorating state.Throw in a partner with a mysterious past and the odd family of the victim, and you have a fantastic recipe for success. You might catch yourself thinking, Gillian who? Because Tana French will become your new go-to for dark thrillers.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Libby Day is not having an easy time. After the massacre of her mother and two sisters, the fame and sympathy money has run dry. When approached by The Kill Club to relive her experiences she agrees, hoping to squeeze some more profits out of her past. This novel lives up to its name, taking you on the dark road of Libby’s childhood memories. Her father is a loser, the family is broke, her brother is getting involved in satanic rituals, and their farm is in jeopardy. When you put all of that into a small rural town, you’re bound to get something good. Flynn does a great job of giving you one small detail after the next. You’ll be pointing fingers each and every way without quite landing on the right one.
The Secret Place* by Tana French
A private all girls school sounds creepy enough even without a murder involved. The most recent book in the Dublin Murder Squad series follows Detective Stephen Moran. He revives a cold case to boost his career and lands at St. Kilda’s School for girls. Unlike French’s previous books, The Secret Places gives you an inside look at the group of girls suspected in the murder. What’s most amazing about it, is that she does it without giving the game away. You’ll swap from girl to girl, trying to figure out which one could murder in cold blood.
The Last Girl* by Jane Casey
If you haven’t read a Maeve Kerrigan book then you are missing out on all sorts of Irish lady bad-assery. Kerrigan investigates the murder of a prominent criminal lawyer Phillip Kennford’s wife and daughter. His favourite twin daughter, specifically. The number of suspects seems endless: an ex wife, a model daughter from his first marriage, his less favoured twin daughter, a scorned lover, and a plethora of angry clients and enemies. And on top of it all Kerrigan must deal with a shifty boss and a persistent stalker. You’ll feel just as frustrated as Kerrigan trying to work out who did the deed.
Syndrome E* by Frank Thilliez
This novel introduces several strange occurrences and murders, and bit by bit, connects them all together. Detectives Lucie Henebelle and Frank Sharko team up to investigate a series of unique and disturbing events. They seem to link to a video which rendered Henebelle’s ex blind when he watched it. A seemingly innocuous film with violent subliminal messages and an even darker history scattered across the world. Syndrome E reads like an action-adventure, except with ritualistic-type murders instead of bad-guy punch outs. This novel takes you from place to place, leaving you wondering how all the pieces fit together each time.
*these novels are parts of a series, but you don’t need to have read the other books. All of them can stand-alone. In fact, the authors will often summarize events that happened in the other books to keep you up to date. I read Syndrome E without having read any of the other books, and didn’t realize it was part of a series until the end. That being said, I would highly recommend reading the Dublin Murder Squad books if you only feel up to tackling a single series.
Which ones will you read?
Do you have a recommendation? Let us know!
Let’s do lunch again next week!
** please note, if you purchase any of these books through the link provided I will receive a commission. However, this is not a sponsored post. I was not paid to write it, and all my opinions are my own