Three thriller novels you need to read

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Some of the quickest reads are thrillers because they are impossible to put down. They can be great for a summer holiday or even a quick weekend book binge.

I have compiled a list of five of the best thriller novels that everyone should read.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

I couldn’t write this post without including this masterpiece. The 600-odd word novel is a psychological thriller that draws the reader in from the very beginning when Richard Papen, the narrator, declares he has a secret to tell us and he is riddled with guilt as a result of his actions.

Richard starts off as quite the recluse, living through other people by watching and observing. But he soon finds himself friends with an odd, yet intriguing group of classics students at the private elite school he attends in Vermont.

There is a huge theme of wanting to belong in this novel and what one will do in order to make sure they are wanted and needed by other people. Some of the things Richard does are not rational but it is clear he just wants to make friends. This aspect was really intriguing and will stick with the reader because many may be able to relate to the concept of isolation.

The book is heavily centred around Greek and Latin languages, as well as mythology. The Dionysian rites are a big influence to the storyline, as it shows how someone can go from seemingly ordinary to committing the biggest crime.

One of the most interesting parts of the story is the fact that none of the main characters are particularly nice or likeable. Yet, they were very interesting to read about. The one who stood out the most is Bunny as he seemed so extravagant and there is an appearance of wealth about him that makes him all the more unattainable compared to the others who seem somewhat more fragile.

If you only pick up one book this year make it The Secret History by Donna Tartt. It will linger in your mind for a long time after you finish it. It is truly memorable and original.

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Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

I read this when it first came out because I loved Gone Girl by the same author. But this was so much better.  It follows journalist Camille who heads back to her hometown to report on the mysterious murders of two young girls.

This story will have you gripped from the start. At times it can be quite eerie, especially as the main character is dealing with some traumatic memories of her own which lead to self harm.

Nothing in the book seems right and none of the relationships between any of the characters seem healthy. At times, it was quite frightening, perhaps because the events that unfold could happen to anyone and seem very realistic. This shows Flynn has a  clever knack for intertwining plot points and creating obstacles for the reader who is searching for clues. She also manages, as she always does, with her writing style, to make the reader feel as uncomfortable as possible with every turn of the page.

One of the things I liked about this one was the impact it had on me after finding out who the killer was.  It is an engrossing read but also the most disturbing thing I have ever read – in the best way possible.

There is a TV show based on this book too, which is good, but I would definitely recommend reading the story first. I’m not joking when I say it’s amazing.

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Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson

This is the book I recommend to everyone and no words will ever do it justice. After a terrible accident two years before the story starts, Christine wakes up every morning not knowing anything about her life.

Each day is a fresh slate due to her amnesia but as readers we see her try to uncover the truth about herself and the accident by keeping a journal. It is intriguing to see who she can trust as everyone around her are very much strangers to her.

This fast-paced psychological thriller is very unique compared to others written in the same genre as the amnesia makes the narrator unreliable, which allows the reader to discover new twists and turns as the plot unfolds.

The snippets of her past she can remember, 20-odd years before the accident, were a nice addition to the plot too, as we see a rounded character, not just the middle-aged woman with amnesia.

One of the most memorable moments is the revelation Christine has near the end of the story. While her reality is frightening, the ending lives up to expectations. This is the perfect read for someone wanting to start reading thriller novels as it is extremely engrossing but also very easy to read.

What is your favourite thriller novel? Let us know by commenting below or Tweet @bookwormgirl_24

10 thoughts on “Three thriller novels you need to read

  1. Have not read The Secret History OR Sharp Objects… guess I need to get on it!! Sharp Objects I actually already own, so it’s just a matter of actually picking it up. But The Secret History being 600+ pages, that’s quite intimidating….

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