The best psychological thrillers with toxic friendships

Who am I?

Before becoming a writer I was a divorce lawyer, so I have plenty of personal experience about the dark side of relationships and I admit to a slight obsession with the human psyche, what goes on behind closed doors and beneath people’s façades! Consequently I love to tell stories about relatable characters who get caught up in extraordinary situations, relationships, pressures, dilemmas or crime. I also enjoy performing a literary sleight of hand in my novels and hopefully surprising my readers!

I wrote...

Betray Her

By Caroline England,

Book cover of Betray Her

What is my book about?

Best friends . . . better liars. A dark and addictive psychological thriller about who you can trust, and the damage the past can do. A compelling tale of love, jealousy, betrayal - and a devastating secret at the dark heart of a lifelong friendship.

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The books I picked & why


By Amanda Robson,

Book cover of Obsession

Why did I love this book?

The book starts with a wife asking her husband who else he would sleep with, if he could. I loved this hook which any one of us might ask in a casual way, anticipating our partner to say ‘only you, darling!’ When the husband doesn’t give the expected reply, it unsurprisingly opens a can of worms which kept me turning the pages. This compulsive, sexy, roller coaster of a story didn’t disappoint me.

By Amanda Robson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 ebook bestseller

'Thrilling, unputdownable, a fabulous rollercoaster of a read - I was obsessed by this book' B A PARIS, bestselling author of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS

'Compulsive reading with characters you will love to hate and an ending that will make your jaw drop.' JENNY BLACKHURST

One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?
It is a simple question - a little game - that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a happy couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig…

Behind Her Eyes

By Sarah Pinborough,

Book cover of Behind Her Eyes

Why did I love this book?

Two women become unlikely friends. Who can the reader really trust? The betrayed wife or the woman who is falling in love with her husband? I really enjoyed this intriguing, addictive thriller because it was beautifully written but also the concepts were highly unusual and inventive. It left me thinking about what exactly had happened long after the story ended.

By Sarah Pinborough,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Behind Her Eyes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Don't Trust This Book Don't Trust These People Don't Trust Yourself And whatever you do, DON'T give away that ending...


Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets...


Young, successful and charming - Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife...


Beautiful, elegant and sweet - Louise's new friend seems perfect in every way. As she…

Force of Nature

By Jane Harper,

Book cover of Force of Nature

Why did I love this book?

Five women go away on a corporate retreat in remote bushland and one of them goes up missing. All of Jane Harper’s books are brilliantly written but in this one, I enjoyed the duplicities and simmering tensions between the characters as well as trying to work out who the real villain was in this slow-burn mystery.

By Jane Harper,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Force of Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The gripping new novel from the author of the Sunday Times top ten bestseller, Waterstones Thriller of the Month and Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year, The Dry.


Is Alice here? Did she make it? Is she safe? In the chaos, in the night, it was impossible to say which of the four had asked after Alice's welfare. Later, when everything got worse, each would insist it had been them.

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four…

The Family Upstairs

By Lisa Jewell,

Book cover of The Family Upstairs

Why did I love this book?

A young woman inherits a multi-million-pound house where three people were found dead and four children missing. This was a really easy, smooth read and I couldn’t wait to untangle the past, which includes a toxic friendship and unrequited love, and see if my guesses were correct.

By Lisa Jewell,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Family Upstairs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I swear I didn't breathe the whole time I was reading it. Gripping, pacy, brilliantly twisty.' CLARE MACKINTOSH

'Creepy, intricate and utterly immersive: an excellent holiday read.' GUARDIAN

'A twisty and engrossing story of betrayal and redemption.' IAN RANKIN


In a large house in London's fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They've been dead for several days.…

Notes on a Scandal

By Zoe Heller,

Book cover of Notes on a Scandal

Why did I love this book?

I first read this story of a friendship between an older and a younger woman years ago and it has stayed with me. The relationship appears to be supportive, but it is actually manipulative and dangerous. It’s a creepy and compelling tale of who not to trust, but it also gave me much food for thought in terms of morality. Who did I side with? The unstable older teacher or the one having an affair with an under-aged pupil?

By Zoe Heller,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Notes on a Scandal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Film tie-in edition of Zoe Heller's darkly compelling Booker shortlisted novel. The film of Notes on a Scandal received four Oscar nominations and stars Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench.

From the first day that the beguiling Sheba Hart joins the staff of St George's history teacher Barbara Covett is convinced she has found a kindred spirit. Barbara's loyalty to her new friend is passionate and unstinting and when Sheba is discovered having an illicit affair with one of her pupils, Barbara quickly elects herself as Sheba's chief defender. But all is not as it first seems in this dark story…

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