The best books to send shivers down your spine

Why am I passionate about this?

I love psychological thrillers because I have firsthand dealt with OCD and gaslighting. Therefore, I find the human mind fascinating, and how the line between sanity and insanity is changeable. I think as humans we want to feel safe and hence, we box things into categories but all these thrillers I have recommended force you to look outside of the boxes and they can be chillingly thought-provoking. I am obsessed with writing that gives the reader such graphic insight into a character’s thoughts and actions. If you want unputdownable books, these are the ones for you!


I wrote...

S is for Stranger

By Louise Stone,

Book cover of S is for Stranger

What is my book about?

A gripping psychological thriller compared to The Girl on the Train.

"Louise Stone is an exciting new talent to watch. S is for Stranger is full of tension and atmosphere. A hugely compelling read." - Amanda Jennings, author of In Her Wake

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Girl on the Train

Louise Stone Why did I love this book?

This book is addictive!

We are introduced to an unreliable narrator who has you mesmerized from the moment you first meet her. It taught me how fragile we all are as human beings and that the line between stable and unstable is a questionable one. I love the voyeuristic nature of the narrative; we are literally looking through someone else’s window.

By Paula Hawkins,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Girl on the Train as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The #1 New York Times bestseller, USA Today Book of the Year and now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt.
 
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple having breakfast on their deck. She's even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It's…


Book cover of In Her Wake

Louise Stone Why did I love this book?

This book reads like poetry. The description of the Cornish coastline is as hauntingly beautiful as the journey the main character, Bella, goes on.
It is a heart-wrenching read that skillfully plays with timeline and characters’ points of view. I’ve holidayed in Cornwall countless times but, after reading this book, I had a new love of the landscape and when I visit, I remember this glorious book.

By Amanda Jennings,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked In Her Wake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A perfect life ... until she discovered it wasn't her own.

A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella's comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life.

Chilling, complex and profoundly moving, In Her Wake is a gripping psychological thriller that questions the nature of family - and reminds us that sometimes the most shocking crimes are committed closest to…


Book cover of Into the Darkest Corner

Louise Stone Why did I love this book?

This book personally resonates with me as I suffer with OCD.

The character must overcome countless mental challenges now that she thinks she has met the man of her dreams. It is a brilliant portrayal of gaslighting, so accurate and chillingly on point. If you like books that are emotionally immersive and you can almost touch and breathe the characters, this is superb.

By Elizabeth Haynes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Into the Darkest Corner as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Catherine Bailey has been enjoying the single life long enough to know a catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic and spontaneous, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But what begins as flattering attentiveness and passionate sex turns into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon learns there is a darker side to Lee. His increasingly erratic, controlling behaviour becomes frightening, but no one believes her when she shares her fears. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a…


Book cover of Cuckoo

Louise Stone Why did I love this book?

This book really influenced the direction I took with my own thriller writing. I remember not being able to put it down.

Julia Crouch is supremely talented at setting the happy family scene whilst bringing in an underlying threat that may bring the ‘perfect family’ to its knees. The joy of psychological thrillers like this one is the feeling of being a voyeur. You are invited into this deliciously idyllic life which slowly disintegrates in front of you. A must read!

By Julia Crouch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A dark, juicy, deliciously unsettling, read-it-in-one-sitting psychological drama. Rose has it all - the gorgeous children, the husband, the beautiful home. But then her best friend Polly comes to stay. Very soon, Rose's cosy world starts to fall apart at the seams - her baby falls dangerously ill, her husband is distracted - is Polly behind it all? It appears that once you invite Polly into your home, it's very difficult to get her out again...


Book cover of Sister

Louise Stone Why did I love this book?

A beautiful story of sisterhood and the drive for one sister to find out the truth about her murdered sibling.

The writing is pacy, tense, and is a read-in-one-sitting book. I remember not being able to breathe for the entirety of the novel! It is, honestly, one of the finest thrillers of all time.

By Rosamund Lupton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Tear-jerking and spine-tingling' New York Times

* THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER *
* THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTLLER *
* A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME PICK *
* WINNER OF THE RICHARD AND JUDY DEBUT NOVEL AWARD *

You're missing. I'm coming to find you . . .

When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding Tess's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of…


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A Sparrow Falls

By Vicki Olsen,

Book cover of A Sparrow Falls

Vicki Olsen Author Of A Sparrow Falls

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Air Force brat World War 2 junkie Gallivanter Beret-wearing Francophile Book hoarder

Vicki's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

In this book set against the backdrop of a changing America, Sarah must find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and come to terms with her future. Sarah, a young woman from the rural town of Tolerance, Arkansas, has endured an impoverished and painful childhood.

But now, as the innocence of the 1950s transforms into the turbulent 1960s, Sarah must find the strength to overcome her traumas, forgive those who have wronged her, and discover her true self. With its moving and often disturbing narrative, A Sparrow Falls is an evocative account of a young woman's journey…

A Sparrow Falls

By Vicki Olsen,

What is this book about?

A moving, sometimes disturbing, beautifully written book...Amazon Customer Review
Set in Arkansas as the innocence of the 1950s morphs into the turbulent ‘60s, A Sparrow Falls is an evocative account of a young woman emerging from an impoverished and traumatic childhood as she finds the inner strength to overcome her past. Te ghosts of the past and come to terms with her future is in the strength to forgive those who have wronged her?
Content Advisory: This book is intended for mature audiences and contains child sexual abuse and disturbing imagery.


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