You won’t be able to put them down until you find out what happens at the end.
Picking a thriller is hard.
Once you’ve read several books of the genre, you start anticipating twists, and new books fail to surprise.
I know because I’ve been in the same boat. In 2021, I read mostly thrillers. Now, I’m so tired of the same old plot points that some authors use as twists, that very few things in thrillers surprise me anymore.
If you can relate to this feeling (or if you’re looking for a good thriller), then this post is for you. In it, I’ve compiled three addictive and unique thrillers that will keep you turning the pages until the final reveal is in front of your eyes.
Read on. Who knows, you might find your next favorite book among the ones on this list.
(Note: The links mentioned in this article are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase these books through these links, it will help me earn a small amount of money — at no extra cost to you. Thanks!)
1. The Possession of Mr Cave by Matt Haig
Terence Cave lost his mother to suicide, his wife to murder, and his teenage son to accidental death. Crushed with the loss and pain, he turns all his attention towards taking care of his last remaining family member, his teenage daughter, Bryony.
But he is so obsessed with keeping her safe, that his love soon turns into an all-consuming possessiveness. From following her around in disguise to snooping in on her conversations, the extent to which Mr. Cave goes to protect his daughter turns into an unhealthy obsession, driving a deep wedge into their already conflicted relationship.
Why I loved the book
This is the story of a man’s slow descent into insanity, of how all-consuming love can be if we let it fester. It’s not easy reading from the point of view of a deranged protagonist, but Matt Haig’s magic with words helps, making this a page-turner.
Mr. Cave is a character you’ll end up hating, yet somehow still rooting for, especially towards the end. The book is a piece of brilliant writing. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone because of the triggers of suicide and obsession, but if you can brave through that, it makes for one hell of an addictive read.
2. The Woods by Harlan Coben
Twenty years ago, Paul Copeland was on guard duty at a summer camp, when his girlfriend, Lucy, enticed him away for a quick detour in the woods. Head full of teenage hormones, how could he choose duty over the possibility of spending some time with a girl alone?
He goes off-duty, and that same night, disaster strikes at the camp.
Four children are reported missing the next morning, and after a thorough search, two dead bodies are found, brutally stabbed to their deaths. The dead bodies of the other two children are never found, but are linked to the doings of a serial killer known as the “Summer Slasher.”
One of the two missing children was Paul’s younger sister. Living with the knowledge that his carelessness led to the death of his sister, Paul is burdened with guilt all his life. It has pervaded into his adulthood, seeping into and poisoning his personal and professional life.
Now, 20 years later, when clues start appearing out of nowhere suggesting that what happened in those woods all those years ago might not have been the work of a serial killer at all, Paul suspects something more sinister is at stake.
What happened to his sister, and why was her body never found? Why does the “Summer Slasher” claim innocence, even though he proudly proclaimed responsibility for all his other murders? What does Lucy, the girl he so dearly loved at sixteen, have to do with the night that tore his life apart?
This is the premise of “The Woods,” a murder mystery that moves ahead at breakneck speed.
Why I loved the book
Every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, and every character has something to hide. Harlan Coben does a brilliant job of putting together an eclectic cast that will keep you guessing until the end, making the final reveal worth all the time and guesswork you spent on reading this book. An absolute must-read for all thriller lovers.
3. The Murder of Sara Barton by Lance McMillian
When Sara Barton, wife of a well-known lawyer and sister to the country’s most popular movie star is found dead in her home, speculation abounds as to who the killer might be. Every person who came in contact with her over the months leading to her death seems to have a motive, and none of their alibis are air-tight.
Prosecutor Chance Meridian teams up with Detective Scott to solve the murder mystery that has become the talk of the town. The high-profile victim and suspects make sure the press covers every twist and turn of the case in this courtroom drama. But as more dead bodies turn up and Chance finds an unexpected personal connection to the dead woman, the case turns out to be the most difficult one he’s ever had in his long career.
Why I loved the book
The plot flows really well, and there was never a dull moment. The icing on the cake is the flawed characters, who make such terrible choices that make you want to yell at them but make them relatable as well. After all, haven’t we all been in situations where we knew what was right, and yet, ended up doing what our hearts wanted?
The start is a bit slow, but once the main story arc begins, the book is impossible to put down. The cliffhangers and sudden unexpected plot twists will make sure you keep reading until the end.
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