The best books that keep you up past your bedtime

Who am I?

As a teenager, I loved reading past my bedtime, getting lost within a story, then having it fill my dreams and leaving me on the hunt for another book just as good. The best books to read are those that draw me in with their voice and storytelling and leave me needing to turn page after page. Getting in trouble as a kid for reading too late was the best type of trouble to get into and even now, when I need to make a second pot of coffee after a night of reading, I walk away with no regrets. 


I wrote...

The Patient

By Steena Holmes,

Book cover of The Patient

What is my book about?

No one is safe – not even the therapist of a serial killer. Danielle Rycroft suspects someone close to her has a dark secret and with a string of murders in town putting her on edge, Danielle’s own worries come close to eclipsing her patients’. In each case, the pattern is the same: parents killed while their children sleep blissfully unaware in their beds. 

Danielle believes that there’s still a secret one patient has yet to share. But which one? Behind a familiar face is a stranger who’ll do anything to hide their worst compulsions. The anxiety brings Danielle to her own therapist’s office, seeking counsel and comfort. But what is she willing to risk, and how much closer must she get to stop them?

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Good Me Bad Me

By Ali Land,

Book cover of Good Me Bad Me

Why this book?

I first listened to this book in audio and immediately bought the print copy. Good Me Bad Me has such a compelling voice that this is a book you will end up reading way past your bedtime. 

The story is told by a fifteen-year-old girl who has gone through so much trauma, your heart breaks…but then it twists, leaving you gasping for air because you can’t believe what just happened. I have read this story over and over again and it still haunts me to this day!


Sister Dear

By Hannah Mary McKinnon,

Book cover of Sister Dear

Why this book?

If you happen to like the type of books that end with a gut punch, then you are going to love Sister Dear. This had an ending that I didn’t see coming, which is probably why I love it so much. I have a few authors on my ‘must read’ list and this one holds the title for #1 because of her endings. Warning: you start reading the book thinking you know where it’s headed, but trust me when I say you don’t!


Creep

By Jennifer Hillier,

Book cover of Creep

Why this book?

I love a good story about a therapist having to not only battle her own demons but also her patients – and Creep has this covered. I went to bed thinking I’d start the book and read a few chapters – I ended up finishing it with only a few hours to spare before my alarm went off. 


Dear Wife

By Kimberly Belle,

Book cover of Dear Wife

Why this book?

There is something in the way this author writes that always hooks me. Every single time I read one of her novels, I’m left with a feeling of…nothing else will be as good. You know that feeling right? There are so many twists in this story, some I didn’t see coming, that not only had me reading way too late at night, but nothing else I picked up the next day grabbed my attention like this book did. To me, that’s the perfect book-hangover to have.


The Book of Hidden Wonders

By Polly Crosby,

Book cover of The Book of Hidden Wonders

Why this book?

This story mesmerized me. It’s deceptively deep with a hint of whimsical, and the story plays out in your mind like a movie. It’s so beautifully written that I felt myself pulled in so many emotional directions and needed to let the book sit with me after I finished the final page. 


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in family secrets, painting, and murders?

5,887 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about family secrets, painting, and murders.

Family Secrets Explore 83 books about family secrets
Painting Explore 37 books about painting
Murders Explore 334 books about murders

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The Fact of a Body, Home Before Dark, and The Return of Faraz Ali if you like this list.