Mystery Books You Can't Put Down

After reading Dark Places and Girl on the Train I decided to read more thrillers and suspense books. Here are some books I've recently read and recommend.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty, 396 pages, 2013

I listened to this book on my phone and loved hearing the Australian accent. This book is told through multiple narrators so I had to keep notes of who is who. Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive.

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Dear Daughter  by Elizabeth Little, 364 pages, 2014
Ignore the cheesy cover art, it was a really good mystery book! Jane Jenkins was convicted of murdering her mother but through a technicality, she was freed from prison after 10 years. Now she is on a mission to find her mothers' killer. She's determined to unravel the mystery of her mother's last words, words that send her to a tiny town while the media stays on her tail, convinced she's got away with murder so she has to do everything she can to throw her pursuers off the scent.

Jane is snarky yet funny on the sarcastic side. She’s clever, manipulative, blunt, and witty. That’s what makes the book so interesting, her personality! There were so many other characters you really need to write down a chart of who everyone is because their characters aren't developed so it's hard to keep track of who is who. You’ll also need to keep a dictionary handy while reading this book.  I didn't see the end coming.

                                                 The Whites by Harry Brandt (aka Richard Price)352 pages, 2015 

The electrifying tale of a New York City police detective under siege-by an unsolved murder, by his own dark past, and by a violent stalker seeking revenge. It's a well-written police procedural with compelling characters and a brilliant narrative. There’s  backstories for every character, subtle relationships of trust and connection. The plotting is so intense and detailed I needed a name map because there were so many characters. The Whites refers to the white whales, suspects who got away: “those who had committed criminal obscenities…and then walked away untouched by justice…” Every cop has his or her own personal “white.”  The book is a gritty, dark intense read  by one of the writers on the show The Wire.  

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, 352 pages, 2014 One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter. 

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems. I finished the book in less than a week because it was such a page turner! The story is told from 3 narrators jumping from the past and present. Each chapter is very short so the book moves along very fast 

Second Life by S.J. Watson, 402 pages, 2015
A psychological thriller from a bestselling author. When Julia hears of her sisters death in Paris, she feels a mixture of relief and loss. Julia had adopted Kates son when it became obvious her sister could not provide the stable environment he needed. But lately Kate had been demanding to return of her teenage son. The bittersweet relief of her sisters death is only momentary, and Julia begins to doubt that the death was an accident. Gaining access to Kates online activity, she stumbles across the world of online dating and the ability to lead a second life. Soon she is hooked. The excitement of secret online liaisons becomes addictive and common sense is thrown out the window. But how long can one maintain a double life before someone gets hurt?

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango, 241 pages, 2015
On the surface, Henry Hayden seems like someone you could like, or even admire. A famous bestselling author who appears a modest every man. A loving, devoted husband even though he could have any woman he desires. A generous friend and coworker. But Henry Hayden is a construction, a mask. His past is a secret, his methods more so. No one besides him and his wife know that she is the actual writer of the novels that made him famous.

For most of Henry’s life, it hasn’t been a problem. But when his hidden-in-plain-sight mistress becomes pregnant and his carefully constructed facade is about to crumble, he tries to find a permanent solution, only to make a terrible mistake.

Now not only are the police after Henry, but his past—which he has painstakingly kept hidden—threatens to catch up with him as well. Henry is an ingenious man and he works out an ingenious plan. He weaves lies, truths, and half-truths into a story that might help him survive. But bit by bit the noose still tightens.

The Secret in Their Eyes by Eduardo Sacheri 
This is coming out as a movie this fall starring Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman.

Benjamín Chaparro is a retired detective still obsessed by the brutal, decades-old rape and murder of a young married woman in her own bedroom. While attempting to write a book about the case, he revisits the details of the investigation. As he reaches into the past, Chaparro also recalls the beginning of his long, unrequited love for Irene Hornos, then just an intern, now a respected judge. Set in the Buenos Aires of the 1970s, Sacheri’s tale reveals the underpinnings of Argentina’s Dirty War and takes on the question of justice—what it really means and in whose hands it belongs.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, 352 pages, 2015
NY Times Best Seller. As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. But Ani has a secret. There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

Check out the books I was reading during the summer and last fall.

1 comment

  1. Yours is the 3rd of the blogs I'm catching up on tonight that's recommended Luckiest Girl Alive! It's on my list of "must reads" now! I may ck out a couple more of yours, too.