Gilliam Flynn is renowned for penning suspense novels that are both dark and bizarre. This author’s narratives are shaky, her plots are riddles, and her characters are complex—all in the best possible ways! To keep you reading late into the night, here are nine authors who excel at creating fast-paced stories.
The Girl on the Train
By Paula Hawkins
Rachel imagines a perfect life with a perfect couple in a perfect house as her commuter train passes by every day following a divorce she didn’t want. Jessica and Jason, as she refers to them, are living the life she’s always wished for. Rachel, on the other hand, is convinced she saw something when Jess vanishes while riding the train. And she’s determined to get involved. An obsessive mystery is presented through the eyes of an extremely unreliable narrator in The Girl on the Train.
Luckiest Girl Alive
By Jessica Knoll
Ani’s life could not be more ideal. And it’s all a hoax, too. It was a humiliating and traumatic experience in high school that forced her to completely rethink her identity. Everything could fall apart if the truth about what happened can be unearthed. Luckiest Girl Alive combines Nick Dunne’s unlikable traits with Amy Dunne’s methodical and unapologetic demeanor. Having it all and the lengths people will go to keep it are explored in this shocking and bizarre documentary.
Black Water Rising
By Attica Locke
Jay Porter is a man of mystery. And he’s perfectly content to keep them closed even if it means he can’t pursue the legal profession of his dreams. In the process of saving her life, he becomes embroiled in a murder investigation and risks losing everything. Locke’s vivid, atmospheric depiction of Houston in 1981 shines through in every page of this gripping novel. When it comes to race and politics, Black Water Rising is full of intrigue and suspense that keeps you guessing until the very end.
The Silence of the Lambs
By Thomas Harris
She is a talented but inexperienced FBI trainee, Clarice Starling. She’s been assigned to interview Hannibal Lecter, a dangerously intelligent psychopath who’s been imprisoned in a mental institution. Dr. Lecter may be able to assist in the capture of a serial killer with his knowledge. Dr. Lecter’s secrets can only be learned by revealing her own. As Clarice and Dr. Lecter play cat and mouse, the stakes get higher and higher as the game’s shocking psychological consequences play out. As a character, Hannibal Lecter is one of literature’s most intriguing villains. But Clarice’s willingness to be vulnerable is what makes The Silence of the Lambs truly terrifying.
By Caroline Kepnes
As soon as Guinevere Beck enters Joe Goldberg’s bookshop, it’s as if it’s meant to be. The name on her credit card is why he does a Google search. When he learns that she is the sole surviving member of the Guinevere Beck family in the city, he immediately takes to social media to spread the word. While he remains a stalker, Joe transforms into a boyfriend and does everything in his power to keep them together. Even the most heinous crimes are prohibited. In most thrillers, the villain is not the protagonist. We are exposed and vulnerable to exploitation in our modern lives, YOU shows us through a harrowingly accurate narrative.
The Silent Patient
By Alex Michaelides
Alicia Berenson is a powerhouse of a woman. Until she kills her husband by shooting him in the face. Trained criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber wants to talk with her and find out what drove her to shoot her husband. To complicate things further, Theo’s search for the truth becomes increasingly complicated as he works with her. A psychological journey of love and vengeance, The Silent Patient alternates between Theo and Alicia. It’s impossible to know who to trust, what drives each person, and whether or not anyone is being truthful.
Local Woman Missing
By Mary Kubica
A few blocks away, a mother and her six-year-old daughter have also vanished. The investigation stalls due to a dearth of leads. Until eleven years later, when the daughter returns. Her brother, Leo, was raised without her. However, he is wary of this young lady who may or may not be his sister. Local Woman Missing weaves a tense narrative that culminates in a climactic confrontation between four characters.
The Wife Between Us
By Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
There are a lot of assumptions in The Wife Between Us. In addition to the ominous “Assume nothing” on the cover, this is a straightforward read. It’s about two women who are linked by a common thread: a man. One of them is a vengeful ex-wife, while the other is a fresh new face. Not necessarily. The truth is tucked away among the lies, and the twists and turns are simply mind-blowing. Hanging on for dear life is half the fun, not trying to figure out what’s happening.
Before I Go To Sleep
By S. J. Watson
He doesn’t recognize her and she’s aged twenty years in the span of a few hours. In the morning, Ben, her husband, tells her that she was involved in an accident that permanently wiped out her ability to remember anything new. Christine is forced to reconstruct her life on a daily basis in order to gain some insight into the events of the past. Can she, on the other hand, believe what she’s hearing? A mind-bending thriller that keeps the reader guessing until the very end. It’s not Christine’s intention to be an untrustworthy narrator, but with no memories to work with, anything could be the case. Because of this shaky uncertainty, Watson is able to produce some stunning results.
Without bringing up Scottoline, no discussion of Gillian Flynn’s work would be complete. Realistic characters and promises of good intentions that turn into disaster are the hallmarks of her thrillers. This is a good place to start because it follows a group of old friends who reminisce about a chilling mystery that occurred decades ago. Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl’s sour marriage is a good comparison for After Anna’s family drama.