Into the Black Nowhere
Inspired by notorious real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, Into the Black Nowhere centers around FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix and the cat-and-mouse hunt for deadly murderer stalking the backroads of Texas. When Caitlin’s unit begins discovering bodies posed like dolls in the woods outside Austin, Texas they know they have a dangerous killer on their hands. What they couldn’t anticipate is the cunning, charismatic and merciless predator they have stumbled upon.
The Perfect Nanny
Named one of the New York Times ten best books of 2018, The Perfect Nanny is a twist-laden, propulsive thriller. Louise seems like the perfect nanny—quiet, good with the children, polite. In short, she’s a godsend for Myriam who is just returning to work as a lawyer. However, as Myriam and her husband become more dependent on Louise—and vice versa—a dangerous cocktail of jealousy, resentment, and mounting suspicions threaten to destroy their seemingly idyllic life.
A Double Life
It has been nearly thirty years since Claire’s father, a member of the British aristocracy, disappeared after being accused of a brutal crime in the family’s London mansion. Now Claire has learned that her long-missing father may have been living as a doctor under an assumed name the entire time. With her carefully cultivated existence slowly beginning to fracture around her, Claire attempts to uncover what actually happened that terrible night. But, just how far will she actually go to learn the truth?
A Time to Kill
A Time to Kill was my introduction to John Grisham and it remains a personal favorite. Set in Grisham’s fictional Clanton, Mississippi, the novel traces the brutal and racially tinged fallout after a black father guns down the two white men who brutally raped his ten-year-old daughter. It’s a taut courtroom thriller partly inspired by the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim witnessed by Grisham in 1984.
Joyce Carol Oates
Inspired by the infamous Chappaquiddick Incident, Black Water is a surreal and haunting tale of a young idealistic woman named Kelly Kelleher who falls for a charming and charismatic older man, a U.S. Senator. Oates brilliantly blends fact and fiction as Kelly moves, inexorably under the spell of a powerful man, toward a fateful and fatal accident.
Alias Grace (Movie Tie-In Edition)
Based on the real-life murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Canada in 1843, Alias Grace is the fictional account of the efforts to have the woman convicted of the murders, Grace Marks, pardoned. It centers around Dr. Simon Jordan, a psychiatrist hired to help in the efforts to free Grace, as he interviews Grace in an attempt to help her recall what actually occurred on that terrible day.
A Brief History of Seven Killings
Marlon James’s Man Booker Prize-winning tour-de-force explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the 1970s. It’s a sweeping epic spanning decades and crossing continents as James creates fictitious and often surreal account what happened to the seven gunmen who attempted to murder Bob Marley in his home in 1976.
Taking inspiration from the Manson Family and the grisly Tate Murders, The Girls is a haunting coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of Northern California in the 1960’s. The novel centers around Evie Boyd, a lonely teenager drawn to a group of girls she meets in a park. Soon, Evie finds herself under the thrall of the group’s charismatic male leader and caught up in a chain of events beyond anything she could have imagined.
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of thrillers here at Read It Forward. There’s nothing quite like a good page-turning, edge-of-your-seat tale of suspense. From twist-laden psychological novels, to unnerving whodunits, to stories of domestic bliss gone fatally wrong—we’re here for all of it. When a great thriller draws inspiration from real-life events, it creates an air of authenticity and plausibility that make those chills and nerve-jangling stories even better. Here are a few of our favorite thrillers based on actual crimes.
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