4 Books You Can't Put Down Once You Begin

Binge-worthy reads that will keep you hooked until the last page.

4 Books You Can't Put Down Once You Begin
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Binge-worthy reads that will keep you hooked until the last page.

There are some books you struggle to read.

And then, there are others that keep you turning the pages until you lose all sense of time. Suddenly, you look up at the clock and it’s 3 AM. Then, you look at your book and see only 100 pages are left. You’ve read so far and already sacrificed sleep, so why stop now?

I’ve read my fair share of books that are hard to put down. And in this post, I’m listing four such incredible books I recently discovered.

If you’re prepared to lose some sleep and want to read some truly incredible books, this post is for you. These recommendations also work amazingly well for someone who’s suffering from a reader’s block.

After the first few pages, the story flies so fast that you’d need no external motivation to keep going. The excellent plot and brilliant storytelling won’t let you stop reading until you’ve turned the final page.

(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. Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier

Genre: Psychological thriller.

Marin Machado has everything: a successful business, a handsome, loving, and rich husband, and a lovely son who thinks the world of her

Just a few days before Christmas, when she’s busy planning a big family dinner, her four-year-old son, Sebastian disappears.

The couple is in shock. The police and FBI try their best to find the missing child. But as the months pass by and no leads turn up, the case eventually grows cold.

15 months later, Marin is now a shell of her former self. Her marriage is almost dead. Her husband has emotionally disconnected from her and spends more nights away from home than he does sleeping beside her. How business is only going on because her employees have supported her.

Every morning, Marin wakes up and wonders if this is the day she would kill herself. One day, when she thinks nothing worse could happen anymore, she finds her husband is having an affair with a 24-year-old grad student. Marin is so shocked and angry, that she decides to take care of this problem permanently.

And thus begins this twisted, chilling ride of love, lust, greed, and betrayal.

Why I loved this book so much

The plot is excellent. The author’s attention to detail makes the book even more interesting.

I loved how realistic the emotions depicted here were. I did try to guess the twist, but at the end of chapter 27, I was so shocked at what happened, I had to turn back 10 chapters and confirm if there were hints or not.

The reveal was unexpected. And the buildup leading to the climax is very well done. Usually, in a book that begins with a missing child, you wouldn’t expect a happy ending. But this one is satisfying. There is closure and all the loose threads have been tied with precision.

Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier is an absolute page-turner. If you love relatable characters embroiled in a plot that moves ahead at breakneck speed, then this thriller is definitely for you.

Get this book here.

2. A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine

Genre: Psychological thriller.

Vera Hillyard was hanged for murder. And now, 15 years after her death, a journalist wants to uncover her full story.

The journalist is working on a book that follows Vera’s life, and not just the events that led to her death (because this has already been explored by the several newspaper reports that covered the news and the scandal it caused).

For the book, he starts interviewing Faith, Vera’s niece who was closely involved with Vera’s life and was an integral part of the events that led to the murder that was committed. The book is told through Faith’s recollections and a series of letters that Vera wrote during her life.

There are a lot of convoluted family dynamics and the author does an incredible job of exploring them. Even if there was no murder involved, I was super drawn into the Hillyard family and wanted to know what happened to them as the years passed.

A very unique aspect of this book is that we don’t know who Vera killed and why until the very end. Sure, through hints the author drops, it becomes clearer in the later chapters, but the final reveal is satisfying to read and uncover.

Why I loved this book so much

I picked this book because of the super interesting title. Barbara Vine has made a name for herself as the “Queen of Crime,” and this book is a testament to why this title justifies her talent. She has done a superb job of creating an atmosphere heavy with mystery, without resorting to using too much violence.

Every page is hooking, and I found myself lost in the story. The end came too soon and I wanted more. If you love thrillers, this is a great book to pick up. Highly recommend.

Get this book here.

3. Here To Stay by Mark Edwards

Genre: Psychological thriller.

38-year-old loner Elliot meets a beautiful stranger, Gemma, and instantly falls in love with her.

He has a near-death experience that leads him to decide that he will not live life carefully now and be reckless. On a whim, they decide to get married.

After they settle in, Gemma’s parents come to stay with the newlyweds for “ a couple of weeks”.

The trouble starts when the in-laws refuse to live, turning Elliot and Gemma’s life into a living hell. Things get even worse when a series of unsolved murders start happening all around Cuckoo lane, leading Elliot to raise some pertinent questions-

Why did Gemma’s niece say her grandparents were “evil”? Why did Gemma invite them over if she knew? Are the in-laws behind the murders?

In this domestic thriller of how a single wrong decision can ruin your entire life, Mark Edwards weaves a tale that appears so predictable at first, until the last chapter hits you like a punch in the gut.

Why I loved this book so much

The build-up happens at breakneck speed. And though the author doesn’t use too much blood and gore to share the depraved characters’ stories, a strong sense of unease tugs at you throughout the book.

The end reveal is so obvious, and yet so well-concealed. You’ll have all the hints, but the next page will keep you second-guessing yourself.

Mark Edwards is a master at writing cliffhangers, and this book is an excellent example of that. You just won’t be able to stop reading until you’ve figured out who the main culprit is. And even then, you’ll be facepalming at how you managed to miss all the hints right in front of your eyes.

Get this book here.

4. Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Genre: Psychological thriller.

18 years ago, teenager Angela Wong disappeared, never to return again. Now, the remains of her dismembered body are found — buried in several shallow graves in the woods right in the backyard of her best friend Georgina Shaw.

When the police investigation begins, some dark truths are revealed, tying Angela’s murder to another three dead women — all committed by the serial killer known as the “Sweet Bay Strangler”. Before he became known by this name, he had another — Calvin James — Georgina’s boyfriend when she was 16.

Georgina and Calvin are both sent to prison, but within a few weeks, Calvin escapes. Soon, another series of murders begin — this time, double murders of women and young children. The police are stumped, and the onus of the investigation falls upon Detective Kaiser Brody.

Aside from being the detective in charge of this series of murders, Kaiser is also connected to Georgina and Calvin in another way. Before Angela disappeared, she had another best friend — Kaiser, the thin, gangly boy who was hopelessly in love with Georgina Shaw.

Why I loved this book so much

This one was a nasty read! When the author’s bio says that she “imagines the worst about people and then writes about it,” you get something as dark as “Jar of Hearts.”

The book begins with a trial and ends with a funeral. It’s a book about a serial killer, so needless to say, there are a lot of dead bodies — dismembered and disfigured. But aside from the raw violence, there’s also a delicate portrayal of emotions and a detailed sketch of the characters involved. This book is definitely not for the faint-hearted.

After the final few chapters leading up to the grand finale, it wasn’t very hard for me to guess the ending. But even then, the journey leading up to it was satisfying. I’m a fan of serial killer books, and this one didn’t disappoint. Read it if you’re on the lookout for a page-turner. You absolutely won’t be able to put this one down.

Get this book here.

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