The best books with a killer plot twist

Melyssa Williams Author Of Shadows Gray
By Melyssa Williams

The Books I Picked & Why

We Were Liars

By E. Lockhart

Book cover of We Were Liars

Why this book?

A middle-aged woman reading young adult fiction is a tricky tightrope walk. Too much romantic angst makes me cringe, selfish teenagers make me bananas, and they tend to be predictable. Not so with We Were Liars! I read this little book all in one sitting and while I may have guessed some of the ending, it was still so deliciously creepy and sad and unforgettable! The aunties were great characters and the writing is top-notch. I definitely recommend going into this one a bit blind: don’t read too many reviews or it may give away the stellar plot twist. A great book for a mom/daughter to read and discuss.

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Thirteenth Tale

By Diane Setterfield

Book cover of The Thirteenth Tale

Why this book?

I have read this book several times and it’s the kind that swallows you whole. You’ll find yourself consumed into the weird and almost gothic story of Vida Winters – the enigmatic and eccentric millionaire writer with a missing “tale” – and Margaret, the journalist who is hired to uncover all the secrets of her strange life. It’s creepy and shadowy and unique and totally compelling, and you’ll never figure out where it’s going until you’re there: wide-eyed and all-in.

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Night Sister

By Jennifer McMahon

Book cover of The Night Sister

Why this book?

I picked this up for a dollar at a thrift shop years ago. I took it to the bath with me, intending to just read the first chapter. I'd never heard of it, nor the author, and I don't typically buy books I haven't read. Before I knew it, I'd been in the tub for two hours and I was past the halfway mark of this novel. I got out, freezing cold, with pruney toes and blue lips, scared to stop reading and scared to keep reading. I kept thinking, "Ah-ha! I got it! I know where this is going!" And then. You don't know jack.

The premise of the run-down motel, the leaning tower, the knowledge that something bad happened in the past, the not-quite-right sisters, the gory modern-day murders, the letters to Hitchcock ... it all makes for a page-turning yarn that gave me delicious creeps. Memorable and unusual, with a nod to Grimm's fairy tales, Hitchcock, and classic murder mysteries like Shirley Jackson and Agatha Christie.

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

A Head Full of Ghosts

By Paul Tremblay

Book cover of A Head Full of Ghosts

Why this book?

A scary book that makes you flip pages very quickly. The protagonist is eight years old, which is a stroke of genius (it made everything less gimmicky and more real, and thus more terrifying because you're seeing it through the eyes of a child). It takes a bit to pull you in; probably due to the blog entries that at first, you don't know why you're reading. At the end, when you're nearly done, you might find yourself disappointed: I know I was, just for a split second, because it felt ... contrived, not genuine, and left me thinking, rats, I was hoping for a more satisfying conclusion ... but wait for it: you fell right into Tremblay’s trap. He may in fact be a genius.

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Odd Thomas

By Dean Koontz

Book cover of Odd Thomas

Why this book?

“The dead don’t talk … I don’t know why.” So begins the wonderful tale of a boy named Odd, who is a master fry cook, his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, dead Elvis, and a gathering, otherworldly evil that is about to invade California. I adore Koontz and I’ve read the first installment of the Odd series several times. Now that I know the crazy twist at the end, you’d think I would get bored or not cry … that is not the case.

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Distantly Related Book Lists