Books You Should Read Once In Your Life: Thriller/Suspense

I’ve recently come across the Ultimate List of Fiction Books You Should Read at Least Once in Your Life, since they contacted me suggesting a link exchange. I looked through the list and thought it would be fun to go through them with you, so that’s what we’ll be doing today. If you’re interested, I could do these posts from time to time, focused on a certain genre.

Today we’re starting with Thriller/Suspense recommendations, which is one of my favorite genres at the moment. If you’re interested, you can see all of my thriller reviews here. Let’s get right into the books…

1. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Sting Larsson

It’s about the disappearance forty years ago of Harriet Vanger, a young scion of one of the wealthiest families in Sweden . . . and about her octogenarian uncle, determined to know the truth about what he believes was her murder.

It’s about Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently at the wrong end of a libel case, hired to get to the bottom of Harriet’s disappearance . . . and about Lisbeth Salander, a twenty-four-year-old pierced and tattooed genius hacker possessed of the hard-earned wisdom of someone twice her age—and a terrifying capacity for ruthlessness to go with it—who assists Blomkvist with the investigation. This unlikely team discovers a vein of nearly unfathomable iniquity running through the Vanger family, astonishing corruption in the highest echelons of Swedish industrialism—and an unexpected connection between themselves.

It’s a contagiously exciting, stunningly intelligent novel about society at its most hidden, and about the intimate lives of a brilliantly realized cast of characters, all of them forced to face the darker aspects of their world and of their own lives.

This book is one of the top Nordic Noir books out there, and the one that started all the buzz around the genre. Super recommended by everyone, including my mom 😄 She owns this book (the Portuguese translation), so I’ll definitely get to it sometime. The thing is I’m pretty sure I will want to binge read the series once I start it, so I have to pick this up over the summer when I have all the time in the world to read!

2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

The Girl on the Train has been on my TBR for a long time, and I’ve yet to see the movie (which I own) because I want to read the book first – that’s the only correct way to do things 😋 I have read Hawkins’s most recent book, Into the Water, which I really enjoyed, so I’m certain that I will love this one… if I just freaking pick it up!!

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

I’ve seen the movie adaptation for this book – blasphemy!! – but to be completely honest I barely remember what happens 😅 All I remember is that Amy is a crazy-ass bitch but also genius, which I’m assuming will be even better in the book than it was in the movie.

I don’t own this book, so I’m sure it will be a while before I pick it up, as I’m on a book-buying ban (and being very good so far) 👍🏼 I will get to it eventually, though, I hear great things about Gillian Flynn!!

4. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with two new, unusual allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

This book has recently made into a TV series that I’ve heard great things about, so I want to read it so I can watch the series. We have a copy of Mr. Mercedes but it’s a French translation soooo it’ll be a while until I pick it up 😅😬

I will get to it eventually, though, because I plan on reading all of King’s books throughout my life. One of those life goals you randomly set for yourself 😄

5. Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man. She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.

Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems.

This one I had never heard about but boy, what a plot!! I might have to order this one someday – maybe when I’m not on a book buying ban 😅

Fun fact: I recognized the name of the author and I couldn’t remember what book he had written… well I remember his name because he wrote another mystery novel and one time I opened it at the bookstore and the first thing I saw was someone talking about grabbing a dick… it stuck with me ever since 😂


1. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?
The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

I bought this one in 2017 but unfortunately haven’t gotten to it. I hear everyone raving about it, and I do love me a domestic thriller, so I’m sure I’ll love this one. I’m hoping I can get to it this year 🤞🏼

2. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

This was one of the books I unboxed last year. Unfortunately, I still haven’t gotten to it, but I definitely will. Whenever school starts I always tend to read more standalones, since they don’t take as much commitment. And since the Spring semester starts next week, I’ll probably pick up my standalone thrillers! 😉

3. You by Caroline Kepnes

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

This one I’ve actually read and it’s one of my favorites. It’s all about this guy Joe who is stalking a girl he met at his work. It is told in 2nd person singular, as the title suggests, and it’s so fucked up. I’m slowly making my way through the sequel, Hidden Bodies, which is (unfortunately) not nearly as good as You.

You can read my spoiler-free review here.

4. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

A chilling psychological thriller about a marriage, a way of life, and how far one woman will go to keep what is rightfully hers:

Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices, The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept. Expertly plotted and reminiscent of Gone Girl and These Things Hidden, The Silent Wife ensnares the reader from page one and does not let go.

I had never heard of this one either, but from the synopsis, this does seem like a book I would enjoy. Again, I love me some domestic thrillers so I might give this one a try if I ever come across it ☺️

5. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

I’ve heard many people say this is Gillian Flynn’s best book in their opinion, which is saying a lot considering how much people loved Gone Girl. I don’t own this one, but I’ll probably end up buying it one day just to see if it’s THAT good 😋

Those are all the books I’ll be going through in this first post! Let me know if you’d like to see more of these posts and which genres you’d like to see next 😊 Click here to see all of the books on the Ultimate List of Fiction Books You Should Read at Least Once in Your Life

Have you read any of these? Do you recommend them? Let me know in the comments! ♡

Thank you for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡


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