Sometimes you want to escape into a romantic novel and at others, you want to lose yourself in an edge-of-the-seat thriller or whodunit. I love reading psychological thrillers, where complicated characters, altering perspectives and high drama plots keep you riveted until the end.
Fortunately, there are so many thriller books making their way onto the bestseller list, right from classic deception stories to family drama and supernatural twists, that we’re now spoiled for choice. So, if you’re looking for a dark tale to possess your imagination, you may want to check out three of my favorites this year.
#1. Girl in the Rearview Mirror
With twists and turns all through, Kelsey Rae Dimberg’s debut novel is a mix of power, politics and privilege. Philip and Marina Martin are a well-respected couple with a four year old daughter Amabel. Finn is recruited as a nanny to care for Amabel and is quite taken with the family and the wealthy house. She dotes on little Amabel. Philip is the son of a Senator and is viewed as the next candidate for a Senate seat. However, behind the respectable family public image, lurk dark secrets. Philip and Marina have them. And Finn has some of her own. But secrets don’t stay concealed for long. When a strange woman approaches Finn claiming she needs to talk to Philip, it takes Finn down a rabbit-hole of tragedy, a death and long buried secrets. She begins to investigate, pokes at doors that are best left shut, and puts her life in danger.
The author resorts to bread-crumbing to keep the reader engrossed until the last page. And it works pretty well. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. The book is a fast-paced read and everything comes together in the last few pages. The ending comes as a surprise but all-in-all a great book for psychological thriller junkies like me.
#2 The Curator
The Curator is the third book in the amazing Washington Poe series from M. W. Craven. It’s Christmas and when a woman opens a Secret Santa gift in her office, the last thing she’s expecting is severed fingers to fall out. Meanwhile, severed fingers turn up elsewhere: in front of a Cumbrian church and on a meat counter in a food hall. A division of the National Crime Agency is asked to investigate and they dispatch a team comprising DI Stephanie Flynn, DS Washington Poe and civilian analyst Tilly Bradshaw. It appears to be a serial killer at play and he leaves a cryptic message at each crime scene, which baffles the investigators. They attempt to find a connection between the three crimes, but all they find are differences. Another twist comes through an FBI agent who is obsessed with a killer called the Curator.
I loved the book for many reasons. One of them being the dynamic between the three investigators, Flynn, Poe and Bradshaw. It’s respectful and supportive, and was refreshing in that it didn’t use the internal conflict angle to push the plot forward. As the investigation picks up pace, the twists and turns come in quick with an online dare slant. The author also utilizes the beauty of the Lake and Sharps area to draw in readers. The finale was definitely nail-biting and there is also a fair dose of action on the sands of Morecombe Bay and its islands. If crime thrillers are your thing, then The Curator is the one for you.
#3 Three Perfect Liars
Laura returns to work at Morris and Wood after her maternity leave, but the woman, Mia, who was hired as her substitute isn’t planning on going anywhere. On the contrary, she endeavors to make herself indispensable to all at work, except Laura. Laura feels blindsided as she attempts to balance work and life with a newborn. Mia has her secrets and if people knew why she was so keen to hold on to the job, they wouldn’t want her to stay. On the other hand, there’s Janie, who gave up everything to support her husband and his agency. She has her own secret to protect and will do just about anything to keep it concealed. Then, someone sets fire to the Morris and Wood building. But Who?
The story is unique, had a flow to it and hooked me from the start. With excellent writing and relatable characters, the format of the story draws you in competently. In the weeks leading up to the fire, there are chapters that present the three women’s viewpoints, helping you identify with their characters and emotions. The present day detective interviews are interspersed with these chapters making for a more intriguing read. Three Perfect Liars was downright engrossing, a slow-burn story and quite stimulating. While the ending may not be everybody’s cup of tea, the prose and the plot itself is immersing enough to keep you going till the end.