Watching from the Dark
After logging on to video chat with his girlfriend, Zoe, Aidan Poole is horrified to hear the sounds of her being murdered. But why does he wait to call the police? The more Detective Jonah Sheens learns about Zoe, the more confused he is as to who would want to murder her—a talented young artist with a close circle of friends. A blend of psychological thriller and police procedural, Lodge has concocted a well-written and twisted story that will keep you guessing until the very end.
The Familiar Dark
A small, neglected, drug-ridden town in the Missouri Ozarks is rocked by the death of two 12-year-old girls on the playground. Devastated by the death of her daughter, Eve turns to her estranged mother for help in finding out what happened. Engel has created an atmospheric mystery that is disturbing yet compulsively readable, keeping readers glued to the page as Eve seeks justice for Janie.
Long Bright River
A gritty and gripping story of two sisters in Philadelphia living very different lives. One, Mickey, is a cop who happens to patrol the same streets where her sister, Kacey, lives while battling an opioid addiction. As young women begin to disappear and then show up dead, Mickey becomes concerned her sister will soon be one of them. Alternating timelines, from present day to the sisters’ childhood, this book will keep you turning the pages. It’s a harrowing story of addiction, motherhood, privilege, abuse, and family that will stick with you long after to finish.
Manon Bradshaw, newly married, is happy to finally have some work-life balance working on cold cases at the Cambridgeshire police department. The slow pace gives her time to sip her coffee and peruse the internet. With things not as blissful at home as she had hoped, having a place to escape brings some welcome relief, that is, until she discovers a body hanging from a tree while on a walk with her son. This disruption of her otherwise peaceful suburban neighborhood has her back at work full time as she tries to discover if it was a suicide or murder.
The Wolf Wants In
The recent discovery of a child’s bones has the local police department in a small Kansas town consumed, unable to help Sadie Keller figure out how her brother died. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Henley Pettit is eager to escape her family and the cloud of sadness looming over Blackwater. As the two storylines become more entwined, both women find themselves increasingly desperate for answers. A literary mystery that’s also a study of poverty, McHugh has written an immersive and emotional story.
The Golden Cage
In this translated work by a famed Swedish crime writer, a once strong marriage meets its demise. Years after leaving college to help her husband launch a business, Faye and Jack are now billionaires and raising a young daughter. But when secrets are revealed, what looks like a perfect life on to those on the outside quickly comes crashing down. This story of revenge and betrayal is a fast-paced, wild ride that’s impossible to put down.
How Quickly She Disappears
The Alaskan setting in Fleischmann’s debut novel sets quite a scene for this literary thriller. Ever since her twin sister disappeared 20 years ago, Elisabeth has never been the same. Stuck at home with her husband frequently away while she raises their daughter, she often feels alone. But when a cold-blooded killer comes to town, claiming he knows what happened to her sister, Elisabeth’s life is upended. Desperate for answers, Elisabeth slowly slips into a dangerous game that she might not survive.
The Killer in Me
Still claiming innocence, Sean Hennessey is released from prison after being convicted of murder as a teenager. And it just so happens that his release coincides with two bodies showing up. Female detective Frankie Sheehan struggles to solve the murder from years ago while tracking down the killer currently on the loose, and it doesn’t help that a documentary revisiting Sean’s sentence is being filmed, putting pressure on the police. As bodies continue to appear, more and more questions arise, placing the tight-knit community on high alert and desperate to solve the case.
A Double Life
In award-winning author Flynn Berry’s second novel, Claire, the daughter of a notorious murder, is a doctor living a quiet life in London, trying to escape the aftermath of her traumatic childhood. Almost 30 years ago her father disappeared after allegedly attacking her mother and committing a heinous crime, all while she and her brother were asleep upstairs. But her normal life comes to a halt when the police notify her that her father has been found. Through alternating perspectives, the reader follows along as Claire tries to find out the truth of what really happened that night.
The Second Life of Ava Rivers
Twelve years ago, in Northern California, Ava Rivers disappeared and her family fell apart. Vera, Ava’s twin sister, took it the hardest, spending her time scouring for clues and tips as to what happened. Now 18 years old, Vera can’t wait to leave for college and escape the sadness that’s consumed her. But when a girl with the same name as her missing twin shows up at a local hospital, her world is flipped upside down for the second time. Where has Ava been all these years? And can Ava’s reappearance bring the Rivers family back together?
All the Bad Apples
If the cover doesn’t catch your eye the synopsis certainly will. Deena’s rebellious sister, Mandy, has disappeared, and while the rest of the family is quick to believe it’s true, Deena doesn’t. When letters start to arrive—letters from Mandy herself—the entire family is forced to confront their history and some unnerving possibilities about why Mandy disappeared. Witches, magical realism, and mysterious curses make this a unique story of what it means to be family.
Deep in debt, most people assume Gerald Cartwright’s disappearance was his way of avoiding creditors. But six years later, his mansion goes up in flames and a body is found in the basement, making it clear that Cartwright is no longer alive. The only suspect is his son, who also happens to be in a relationship with Adam Tyler, the detective on the case. As a serious of arsons crop up around Sheffield, the town becomes more on edge and a seedy history is slowly revealed.
Fans of Tana French love her books for many reasons—they are absorbing mysteries with interconnecting storylines and diligent detectives and they have a strong sense of place and incredibly atmospheric settings. Her psychological mysteries have won a plethora of awards, including the famed Edgar. Whether you’ve already devoured her backlist or are looking for books with a similar feel, look no further. This list of books ranges from literary mysteries to domestic thrillers and takes place in captivating locales like Alaska and London. Every single one of them will have you squirming in your seat as the stories unfold.
Featured image by Nyesha Viechweg