My favorite books with gaslighting and manipulation

Why am I passionate about this?

Growing up in the South as the daughter of a single mother, I’ve always appreciated strong women, in reality and in fiction. Before I could read, I made up stories featuring me as the super heroine. Later, I devoured all the Nancy Drews I could get my hands on. I credit Ms. Drew for nurturing my fascination with mystery. I especially enjoy suspense with a psychological turn that frequently takes the form of gaslighting or manipulating someone into doubting their perception of reality. As an author of Southern suspense with heart and humor, my female characters fall victim to this device but are strong enough to persevere.  


I wrote...

The Unreliables: When The Only One You Can Trust Doesn't Exist

By Katherine Nichols,

Book cover of The Unreliables: When The Only One You Can Trust Doesn't Exist

What is my book about?

Successful author of risqué women’s adventures, Kara Dolan’s world is shattered by the murder of her husband. When she hears her own ruthless heroine whisper advice, Kara realizes she might be losing her mind. Her stepmother coerces her into seeing a psychiatrist, and an investigative reporter appears with a theory about Michael’s death. If he’s right, the people who killed her husband may be coming for Kara.

Overwhelmed with guilt and grief, she doesn’t know who or what to believe. But her irreverent heroine does. All she has to do is let Garnet take the wheel. But she’s afraid once her heroine steps in, Kara might not be able to get her to step out. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Rebecca

Katherine Nichols Why did I love this book?

You can’t have a discussion about gaslighting without including this book. 

From the first time the unnamed protagonist speaks, I felt a sense of dread as if I were trapped in Manderley with Rebecca. I suspected all wasn’t what it seemed to be, but the author made it difficult for me to recognize the truth behind the haunting fiction.

I was captivated from the beginning to the shocking but satisfying ending.

By Daphne du Maurier,

Why should I read it?

39 authors picked Rebecca as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* 'The greatest psychological thriller of all time' ERIN KELLY
* 'One of the most influential novels of the twentieth century' SARAH WATERS
* 'It's the book every writer wishes they'd written' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .'

Working as a lady's companion, our heroine's outlook is bleak until, on a trip to the south of France, she meets a handsome widower whose proposal takes her by surprise. She accepts but, whisked from glamorous Monte Carlo to brooding Manderley, the new Mrs de Winter finds Max a changed man. And the memory…


Book cover of The Pocket Wife

Katherine Nichols Why did I love this book?

I love the way the author sheds light on bi-polar disorder that affects approximately 2.6 percent of the American population. Her depiction of the intensity of the illness helps readers understand why many people suffering from the disorder die from suicide.

Despite her unreliability, I was drawn to the main character as she struggled to prove her innocence to herself and the reader. I love a book that teaches me something new while drawing me into its spell.

By Susan Crawford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pocket Wife as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Dana Catrell wakes from a drunken stupor in time to see an ambulance pull into her neighbour's house a few doors down. Celia Steinhauser has been murdered. But Dana was at her house only a few hours ago. Celia wanted to show her a photo - a photo of Dana's husband with another woman....

Dana has blank spots about what happened to the rest of the afternoon: especially the difference between what actually happened and what she imagines has happened, with dream and reality becoming blurred....


Book cover of The Woman in Cabin 10

Katherine Nichols Why did I love this book?

I was immediately pulled into a world of deception, greed, and murder.

Despite being traumatized, the main character stays strong. Her description of the luxury cruise ship made me feel as if I were onboard, too. The dark twists and turns throughout this novel, along with the gaslighting of the protagonist, were intense enough that I couldn’t stop reading.

Like the heroine in the story, I was determined to unravel the truth and decide who could be trusted and who might be a cold-blooded killer. For me, this wild ride was exhilarating. But it could be a few years before I consider booking my own cruise.

By Ruth Ware,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Woman in Cabin 10 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Reads like Agatha Christie got together with Paula Hawkins to crowdsource a really fun thriller' Stylist

A PASSENGER IS MISSING...BUT WAS SHE EVER ON BOARD AT ALL?

This was meant to be the perfect trip. The Northern Lights. A luxury press launch on a boutique cruise ship.

A chance for travel journalist Lo Blacklock to recover from a traumatic break-in that has left her on the verge of collapse.

Except things don't go as planned.

Woken in the night by screams, Lo rushes to her window to see a body thrown overboard from the next door cabin. But the records…


Book cover of The Woman in the Window

Katherine Nichols Why did I love this book?

I was fascinated by the way the tragic protagonist uses “self-gaslighting” as a means of survival.

Anna Fox has suffered unimaginable tragedy, so she imagines it away. I felt her pain and isolation as well as her terror at discovering her neighbors have a horrifying secret.

I especially enjoy a suspense novel that moves at a pace between breathtaking and reflective.

By A. J. Finn,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Woman in the Window as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER

OVER 2 MILLION COPIES SOLD!

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by 20th Century Fox, starring Amy Adams, Gary Oldman and Julianne Moore

'Astounding. Thrilling. Amazing' Gillian Flynn

'One of those rare books that really is unputdownable' Stephen King

'Twisted to the power of max' Val McDermid

'A dark, twisty confection' Ruth Ware

What did she see?

It's been ten long months since Anna Fox last left her home. Ten months during which she has haunted the rooms of her old New York house like a ghost, lost in her memories, too…


Book cover of The Last Thing He Told Me

Katherine Nichols Why did I love this book?

I related to the protagonist Hannah Hill, a woman whose life is upended by the disappearance of the man she loves.

Before his loss, she’s a talented but fairly ordinary wife and stepmother, trying to develop a relationship with her husband’s troubled daughter. When she turns into a heat-seeking missile, determined to make sense of the devastating changes in her life, I felt a sense of empowerment.

What makes this domestic thriller memorable to me is the way the author explores the mother-daughter relationship while creating a thrilling mystery with a haunting ending.

By Laura Dave,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Last Thing He Told Me as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

* SOON TO BE A MAJOR TV SERIES STARRING JULIA ROBERTS *

'Brilliant. Pacy tense and twisty' - LISA HALL

'I adored this beautifully written thriller' - JO SPAIN

IT WAS THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME: PROTECT HER

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his new wife, Hannah: protect her. Hannah knows exactly who Owen needs her to protect - his sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. And who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As her increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, his boss…


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Trusted for more than three decades by family caregivers and professionals alike, this comprehensive and reassuring caregiving guide offers the crucial information you need to look after your elders and plan for the future.

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Being a caregiver for aging parents, close friends and family, and other elders in your life is an overwhelming experience, whether you are one who has stepped into this role without warning or one who is also contemplating their own care plan. Now in its fourth edition, The Complete Eldercare Planner will help you navigate today’s complex caregiving…


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