10 Best Books About Infidelity Update 05/2022

Books About Infidelity

In the past, I’ve been told by a friend that all of my books are full of cheating spouses. As you can see, this isn’t new information, but it did make me wonder why this was the case. Was it a weird thing I was obsessed with, or did it have to do with the fact that cheating spouses are great fuel for thriller books? I think it’s a little of both. All of my books have a lot of unfaithful lovers, but my new book, Every Vow You Break, is about a bride-to-be having a drunken one-night fling on her bachelorette weekend. The whole story is based on this one moment of weakness.

In suspense stories, adultery is a good thing because it can quickly turn into crimes. It opens the door to lies, blackmail, and murder, of course; but it also makes the adulterer vulnerable, desperate to cover up their crimes, because they don’t want to be caught. Here are seven of my favorite thrillers in which the cheating spouse is used in interesting ways.

Death on the Nile, by Agatha Christie (1937)

Death on the Nile, by Agatha Christie (1937)

First, I fell in love with this book by Agatha Christie. It’s still one of my favorite books to this day. Using the love triangle as a theme, it is very clever. A young married couple and a spurned woman are the main characters in the story. It’s also like the best of Christie’s novels, where the story is based on the difference between what people think they see and what is really going on.

The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene (1951)

This isn’t a typical thriller, but there is a big mystery at the heart of this story about a writer who is obsessed with a married woman and wants to know more about her. Maurice Bendrix is still hurting from his relationship with Sarah, the wife of a friend and neighbor. When the novel starts, he is still thinking about it. Maurice finds out from the husband that Sarah has a new boyfriend. They hire a private investigator to find out the truth.

Soft Touch, by John D. MacDonald (1959)

John D. MacDonald actually wrote at least two books that I’d call “adultery thrillers,” which are books about marriages that are broken by lies. But Soft Touch, one of MacDonald’s best noirs, is a fast-paced crime thriller in which two old friends try to pull off a heist while they’re in a love triangle, which makes it even better. You can see how quickly a marriage (and many lives) can be ruined by greed and lust.

Rosemary’s Baby, by Ira Levin (1967)

I’m a little over the top with this one, but I think it’s one of the best infidelity thrillers. Rosemary is the woman who was turned down by her husband of many years. She has a husband named Guy who is cheating on her all the time. The twist, of course, is that he’s not having an affair with another woman, but with a group of witches who live in their new apartment. Oh, and there’s a baby in there, too.

Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett (1978)

Eye of the Needle, by Ken Follett (1978)

During the Second World War, a German spy who was stationed in England before D-Day is trying to get back home so he can pass on important information that could change history. They are on an island off the coast of Scotland when a storm takes them away from their home. He ends up there with an unhappy husband and wife, and the book turns into an adultery thriller that has big consequences.

Notes on a Scandal, by Zoe Heller (2003)

It’s not a typical thriller, but it has a great unreliable character that tells a twisting story, dark undertones, and a lot of twists and turns. An older teacher at a primary school finds out that a younger teacher is having an extramarital affair with a student. The older teacher uses this information to do all kinds of bad things.

“Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy’s tragic story was based on a real set of events. During the year of 1872, a piece of news in a Russian newspaper caught the author’s eye. Outside Moscow, a well-dressed 35-year-old woman jumped in front of a train to get away from the police. She was found out to be Anna Pirogova, the mistress of Tolstoy’s next-door neighbor, and she was named after her.

Pirogova wrote the neighbor a note before she left for the train station: “You are my killer; be happy, if an assassin can be happy.” It was after the accident that Tolstoy himself went to see Pirogova’s body, and he did so himself When he heard the story, it didn’t go away. Instead, he turned it into “Anna Karenina.”

“Madame Bovary” by Gustave Flaubert

One infidelity after another is in “Madame Bovary,” which is what Flaubert does. Emma Bovary wants to be rich and have sex, but she has to give up her quiet life with her husband and daughter to do it.

People were shocked when the book came out. Flaubert was charged with obscenity. Instead of tainting the book, his court case made “Madame Bovary” more popular. In 1857, he was found not guilty, and the book became a best-seller.

“On Beauty” by Zadie Smith

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

A white Englishman, Howard, is a professor at a prestigious East Coast college. His African-American wife, Kiki, is from Florida and works at a hospital. Smith’s novel is about the Belsey family: Howard, Kiki, and their nearly grown children.

The family has to deal with the politics of academia, how people think about race, and the weight of infidelity that hangs over their home.

“Among the Ten Thousand Things” by Julia Pierpont

Pierpont’s first book was on a lot of reading lists this summer. When Jack Shanley’s mistress prints out their lurid emails, she mails them to his house. It’s a scene that will stay with you for years. That’s not true. His kids, 11 and 15, open the box for him.

That’s the first hit. Pierpont lets the readers see how the cracks start to spread from there.

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