The Haunting of Hill House
Don’t be put off by a classic literary ghost story written in 1959. Things go bump when a shy, supernaturally gifted woman accepts an invitation to meet up with an occult scholar, his pretty, free-spirited assistant, and a family heir at a house that may or may not be haunted. Packed with subtext and psychological terror, it’s a classic that can’t be missed.
Sharp Objects (Movie Tie-In)
We all loved Gone Girl, but this is my favorite Flynn. A troubled journalist is sent to her hometown to write about the murders of two young girls when she gets dragged into her own dark family saga. Of course, it contains a brilliant, grisly twist. Would it be a Flynn novel otherwise?
This novel and the terrific Mission Flats preceded Landay’s breakout, Defending Jacob. Readers are thrown into the tangled lives of three Irish brothers in 1963 Boston while the Strangler is roving the dark. What is love? What is justice? What is great thriller writing? The answers are all right here.
“What was the worst thing you’ve ever done?” From the opening line, this book crawls under your skin. Another throwback, originally published in 1979, the story follows four men who think the big secret of their youth is dead and buried. Suffice it to say it’s the second scariest book I’ve ever read, behind The Silence of the Lambs.
I might be a tad biased, but in my mind, there’s just no other book that quite ensnares its readers like a good thriller. These six suspense novels—my personal favorites—will keep your eyes darting across the page, desperate to find out what comes next. A word of advice: don’t read these alone at night. Or do…if you dare.
Featured illustration: Eleanor Skrzat