5 Books Like “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt

5 Books Like “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt

Fan of psychological thrillers? This list has got you covered.

Do you like getting cozy in bed with a cup of hot chocolate and a Dark Academia novel?

Then you would have encountered ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt.

The Secret History is an enthralling mystery in reverse that starts with the climax and then builds up over time. The unique structure is a testament to Donna Tartt’s skill of engulfing her audience to craft a compelling and intricately plotted tale.

Let’s look at the five books you’d love to read if you enjoyed The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

If We Were Villains- M.L Rio

Image: Goodreads

The story follows a group of Shakespearean theatre students at an elite arts college who get entangled in a web of betrayal, secrets, and tragedy.

This book seamlessly blends Shakespearean themes and language with modern suspense drama. Rio’s writing is beautiful and lyrical as she immerses you in the vivid imagination of her world that transports you to the halls of Dellecher Classical Conservatory.

The book’s USP

The characters in this book are well-drawn and complex, and I became deeply invested in their fates. The book’s exploration of friendship, loyalty, and love in the face of betrayal and tragedy is poignant and thought-provoking.

This is a must-read for fans of the Shakespearean era and suspense thrillers. The book’s engaging pace will leave you hooked until the end.

The Unheard by Nicci French

Image: Goodreads

The quest for truth is a common theme in literature, explored in various ways in various works. Nicci French’s “The Unheard” poses a similar question: is it better to remain ignorant or confront the truth, no matter how painful it might be?

The protagonist, Tess, faces a disturbing picture drawn by her daughter Poppy. This leads her to suspect Poppy witnessed a crime while staying with her father.

Convinced she’s losing her grip on reality, Tess is determined to uncover the truth and protect her daughter. As she delves deeper into the mystery, she realizes her quest for the truth may put herself and Poppy in danger.

The book’s USP

French expertly weaves suspense, psychological complexity, and family drama in “The Unheard,” making it a compelling read. The book raises important questions about the cost of seeking the truth and the lengths we’ll go to to protect those we love. If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers that keep you on the edge of your seat, “The Unheard” is worth a read.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Image: Goodreads

The story follows the life of a young boy named Theo Decker, who survives a terrorist attack at an art museum that kills his mother. In the chaos of the aftermath, Theo takes a priceless painting called “The Goldfinch” with him, setting off a chain of events that will shape the rest of his life.

This book is a given if you like ‘The Secret History’ as it’s the third in line in 20 years since Tartt started as an author.

The book’s USP

I loved how Tartt crafts her characters. The prose paints a vivid and immersive picture of Theo’s world. The art world's descriptions and the black market's intricacies in stolen paintings are fascinating.

“The Goldfinch” is a masterpiece of storytelling. It’s a coming-of-age story, a mystery, a love story, and a meditation on the nature of art and beauty.

The book is long, but every page is worth it.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a deeply satisfying read.

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Image: Goodreads

Plot: This novel follows the story of a group therapist named Mariana Andros. She visits her niece, Zoe, at Cambridge University only to find herself caught up in a murder investigation.

Mariana finds herself drawn into an elite group's twisted world, navigating the labyrinthine halls of dark academia as she attempts to solve the mystery.

The book’s USP

There’s something undeniably alluring about a murder mystery set on a university campus, and “The Maidens” by Alex Michaelides doesn’t disappoint.

The short chapters and cliffhanger endings make it hard to put down. The dark academia setting adds an extra layer of intrigue and complexity.

Fans of Donna Tartt will find a lot to love here, as will anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery with plenty of twists and turns.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Image: Goodreads

We follow the story of a young man named Dorian Gray, who becomes obsessed with his beauty and youth. He will do whatever it takes to preserve his youth, even sacrificing his soul.

I read this book post reading The Secret History, and I couldn’t help but draw parallels as both explore the theme of corruption and the dangers of delving too deeply into one’s desires.

The book’s USP

Wilde masterfully explores the theme of vanity and circumventing the consequences of one’s actions. Dorian’s descent into madness and depravity is a cautionary tale about the dangers of narcissism and the temptation of excess.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a classic novel that has stood the test of time. It is a must-read for anyone who enjoys Gothic literature or is interested in exploring the darker aspects of human psychology.

I hope you enjoy the curated list of books you can follow up with if you adore The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

I’d love to hear from you if there’s a deserving mention I might have overlooked. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

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