Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is awesome. It has mystery, suspense, huge twists, crazy characters and everything I love in a good thriller! But once you’ve finished it (if you’re anything like me), you might be left a little lost and wondering what to read next. That’s where this list comes in; here are 6 books to read once you’ve finished Gone Girl!
1. Dark Places – Gillian Flynn
Once I’d finished Gone Girl I scrambled to find everything written by this author. I was hoping I’d stumble across tens of her books which had, somehow, gone unnoticed by me for years… sadly I found just two – Sharp Objects and Dark Places. I immediately bought and read both and loved them, however, for the purposes of this list I’m going to have to admit I think Dark Places was my favourite of the two.
Flynn’s unconventional and flawed characters, which were so prominent in Gone Girl, make another appearance here, this time in the form of Libby Day who survived the ritualistic murder of her family when she was a child for which her brother was blamed. Years later, Libby’s all grown-up when The Kill Club get in touch with her – they’re a group of crime fanatics who are convinced her brother is innocent and want Libby’s help to prove it.
The book’s full of dark, creepy flashbacks, tonnes of suspense, you begin to suspect everyone as some pretty horrific secrets are uncovered and of course, there’s a wonderful twist in the end!
2. Before I Go To Sleep – S.J. Watson
This is one book that has stuck with me every since I read it. As soon as I finished it I knew I wanted to lend it to my sister so she could read it too and I’d have someone to talk about how awesome it was! When she eventually got round to reading it (because her to-read list is as long as, if not longer than mine) she finished it ridiculously quickly and in her words it was ‘proper freaky!’
Before I Go To Sleep is told from the perspective of Christine Lucas a woman who wakes up every morning with no memory of the last 20 years and no ability to retain new memories. She doesn’t know her husband, she can’t remember her life, doesn’t recognise her home and barely knows her own face.
Thanks to her doctor she begins to keep a journal of her life in an attempt to recover some of her memories. Slowly she begins to uncover her past and some of it’s hidden secrets, however her life isn’t as straight forward as it seems and Christine might be in danger.
Seriously, this is the sort of book that messes with your head – it takes the idea of an unreliable narrator to a whole new level! That said, it’s wonderfully written, you really feel for Christine and as she starts to piece together her life and what happened to her you care for her more and more, which is what makes the twists in this book all the more shocking!
3. Trust Your Eyes – Linwood Barclay
This is a lot more of a straight forwards crime novel than the others, it’s not so big on the flashbacks as such, but it’s another that’s filled with secrets and mysteries.
When Ray’s father dies he moves back home for the funeral and to look after his brother Thomas who spends all his days on Whirl360 (think Google Street View but fictional…) memorising streets and all their details from all over the world. Ray doesn’t really understand why but after talking to Thomas’ psychologist he learns that his brother thinks he’s working with the CIA and is going to save the world one day.
However, one day when ‘walking’ through New York, Thomas sees a face in a window. But not just any face, it’s the face of a woman being murdered. Somehow the two brothers manage to get mixed up in political dramas and a series of murders, all while struggling with their own relationship and unearthing family secrets.
I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to think about this book at first, but I was soon dragged into the plot and didn’t want to put it down and by the end, I was just left saying ‘wow’.
4. The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty
Again, in a slightly different vein to the others, this is less about a crime and more about how secrets can affect a family. It’s another book full of twists and turns and so many questions!
When Cecilia finds an envelope from her husband in her attic which reads ‘For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick. To be opened only in the event of my death.’ she has to decide whether she wants to know her husband’s secret. And if she does, how will it affect her life?
Running parallel to this are the stories of two other women; Tess who’s husband has just left her and Rachel who’s still struggling to get over the murder of her daughter. As secrets are uncovered, the three stories begin to weave together and the revelations will leave you speechless.
5. Sacrifice – SJ Bolton
I’m a huge fan of SJ Bolton anyway, so maybe I’m a little biased, but this is definitely my favourite book on the list! Despite being her debut novel, it’s fantastically written to keep you hooked throughout and is easily one of the twistiest (that’s a word, right?!) books I’ve ever read.
It all starts with Tora Hamilton, an obstetrician, attempting to bury her beloved but now dead horse, on her new home in the Shetland Islands. However, in doing so she accidentally uncovers the body of a woman who looks like she died shortly after giving birth and to make matters worse, the woman has had her heart removed!
While she reports it to the police, Tora also decides to do a little investigating of her own to find out what happened to the poor woman, despite the fact her co-workers, the police and even her own husband urge her to leave things alone.
Along the way Tora discovers her new home is hiding some dark secrets and even her family may not be who she thought… there are so many surprising twists in here you’re literally going to be gripped until the last pages and then be craving even more of Bolton’s work!
6. The Wicked Girls – Alex Marwood
This is another book with some pretty twisted main characters, big shocks and family dramas as well as horrific crimes!
The book follows two women, Amber and Kirsty, who seemingly lead pretty ordinary lives – they have families, jobs and friends. However, they share the secret that when they were 11, they were convicted for the murder of an even younger girl. The book switches between present day when the two women meet again, by accident, for the first time since then, and the past where we begin to discover what really happened on that day.
What brings the two together in the first place is when Amber finds the body of a murdered woman in the theme park Funland where she works. As more body’s start to appear, the woman have to deal with not only the horrific murders which are happening around them, but their past resurfacing and the risk of their families finding out who they were.
This book definitely has one of the darker subject matters on the list but this just adds to what a fantastic book it is. Again, it’s full of surprises and not everything is as it seems.