The best books with whiplash inducing twists

Who am I?

As a reader and a writer, I am drawn to the darker side of human nature. Dysfunctional families, toxic relationships, liars, murderers, bring on the bad. An avid reader of horror and thrillers, I love a jaw-dropping twist. I aim for that feeling in my own novels, opening up reader questions and slowly delivering satisfying answers until the final big reveal. While inside my head is very dark and murdery, outside I live a very normal, law-abiding life, in Tampa with my husband, our four kids, and two dogs.  

I wrote...

We're All Lying

By Marie Still,

Book cover of We're All Lying

What is my book about?

Cass lives an enviable life: a successful career, two great kids, and a handsome husband. Then an email from her husband’s mistress, Emma, brings the façade of perfection crumbling around her, setting off a chain of events where buried secrets come back to haunt her. A taunting email turns into stalking and escalates into much worse. Ethan and Cass try to move on, then Emma disappears. No longer considered a victim, Cass finds herself the prime suspect and center of the investigation. Her dark secrets—including ones she didn’t know existed—threaten to destroy everything they’ve worked for.

A fast-paced psychological thriller with jaw-dropping twists, the novel examines buried family secrets and how desperation can lead to fatal mistakes when We’re All Lying.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Did I Say You Could Go

Marie Still Why did I love this book?

Ruth and Gemma are two moms with opposing lifestyles. Ruth is affluent, while Gemma is struggling to make ends meet. Shunned by the other moms, Ruth clings to Gemma, showering her with gifts and trips and the two become best frienemies. Their toxic relationship is a fun ride, and two separate incidents years apart leave both moms finding themselves on the wrong side of scandal. This book got messier and messier with each page, and I was there for it. Every time I thought I had figured out what was going on, I’d read a sentence and question everything.

By Melanie Gideon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Did I Say You Could Go as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A suspenseful, gripping novel about families and friendships torn apart at the seams by obsession, secrets, and betrayal with relentless twists and turns that hurtle forward to a shocking confrontation.

When Ruth, a wealthy divorce e, offers to host the Hillside Academy kindergarten meet-and-greet, she hopes this will be a fresh start for her and her introverted daughter, Marley. Finally, they'll be accepted into a tribe. Marley will make friends and Ruth will be welcomed by the mothers. Instead, the parents are turned off by Ruth's ostentatious wealth and before kindergarten even begins, Ruth and Marley are outcasts.

The last…

Book cover of What Lies Between Us

Marie Still Why did I love this book?

John Marrs is one of my favorite authors, and this book is what got me hooked on his work. This is not your typical thriller, or your typical plot. So buckle up because you are in for a ride. You think you’ve read about dysfunctional families? Wait until you meet Maggie and Nina. Just your run-of-the-mill mom and daughter, hanging out, eating dinner, until mom gets sent back to the attic where she’s chained and being held captive—um what?! Dark, disturbing, with unreliable narrators, it’s everything I love in a domestic thriller and more. 

By John Marrs,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Lies Between Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can't ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.


Book cover of Daisy Darker

Marie Still Why did I love this book?

Sticking with the ‘could this family be any more toxic’ theme, Daisy Darker is another WTF did I just read thriller. A h/t to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, the setting sets the mood right from the start. Nana’s house Seaglass is on an atmospheric island and includes quirky features like eighty clocks on one wall. The family’s bad behavior is called out when Nana reads her will, which is timely since the next morning she’s found dead. Alice Feeney has a brilliant way with words, she says the creepiest things in the most beautiful way.   

By Alice Feeney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Alice Feeney is great with TWISTS and TURNS." —Harlan Coben

The NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR of Rock Paper Scissors returns with a locked-room mystery when a family reunion leads to murder in a delightfully twisty and atmospheric thriller, as seen on the TODAY show.

“A dysfunctional family meets Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None with a truly gasp-inducing twist. This is the book you've been looking for.” —Catherine Ryan Howard, bestselling author of 56 Days

Daisy Darker was born with a broken heart. Now after years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire…

Book cover of Diary

Marie Still Why did I love this book?

I love a good bizarre read, and Palahniuk is the master of the strange. I always feel like I’m recovering from a fever dream after peeling myself from one of his worlds. Told in diary format writing to her husband, Peter (hence the name), Diary centers around Misty, an aspiring artist. Her husband has attempted suicide and is now in a coma, leaving her with a mess. A contractor, Peter had been doing odd things to his customers’ homes. Misty and her daughter are living with her mother-in-law on a strange island with strange people, the book twists and turns until the shocking end.  

By Chuck Palahniuk,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Misty Wilmot has had it. Once a promising young artist, she’s now stuck on an island ruined by tourism, drinking too much and working as a waitress in a hotel. Her husband, a contractor, is in a coma after a suicide attempt, but that doesn’t stop his clients from threatening Misty with lawsuits over a series of vile messages they’ve found on the walls of houses he remodeled.

Suddenly, though, Misty finds her artistic talent returning as she begins a period of compulsive painting. Inspired but confused by this burst of creativity, she soon finds herself a pawn in a…

Book cover of The Housekeeper

Marie Still Why did I love this book?

Revenge is sweet, or is it? Claire has a bone to pick with Hannah, who she blames for ruining her life. She infiltrates Hannah’s picture-perfect life by posing as a housekeeper. All that glitters isn’t gold, and when Claire moves in with Hannah, her husband, and their newborn, she discovers she’s not the only one with secrets. I can blame a few sleepless nights on this book, as I furiously flipped pages to get to the end.   

By Natalie Barelli,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"...Dark and bitingly funny!"

She's a liar. She's a stalker. She's in your house.

When Claire sees Hannah Wilson at an exclusive Manhattan hair salon, it's like a knife slicing through barely healed scars. It may have been ten years since Claire last saw Hannah, but she has thought of her every day, and not in a good way. So Claire does what anyone would do in her position—she stalks her.

Hannah is now Mrs. Carter, living the charmed life that should have been Claire's. It's the life Claire used to have, before Hannah came along and took it all…

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Hayley and the Hot Flashes

By Jayne Jaudon Ferrer,

Book cover of Hayley and the Hot Flashes

Jayne Jaudon Ferrer Author Of Hayley and the Hot Flashes

New book alert!

Who am I?

I grew up in a small town, with wonderful librarians who introduced me to books I remember fondly to this day. The Flicka, Ricka, Dicka series, the Bobbsey Twins, Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, and, of course, Little Women shaped my love for stories about relationships and the simple pleasures of daily life. Whether it’s a mystery or a memoir, I want interesting interactions between the main characters, meaty descriptions of daily activities and affairs, and, of course, a happy ending. As I’ve gotten older, I like books with older protagonists; those are hard to come by—one reason I wrote a novel about the adventures of five middle-aged girlfriends!

Jayne's book list on entertaining stories about relationships

What is my book about?

Country music diva Hayley Swift has fallen off the charts and into a funk. Desperate to regain her place in the limelight, she agrees to a low-budget tour of Southern venues, starting with her 35th high school reunion.

There, in an unexpected but fortuitous reconnection, The Girls Next Door —who sang together in their teens--become Hayley and the Hot Flashes as they embark on a road trip that will forever change their lives. You'll laugh out loud as the ladies deal with stage fright, stalkers, attitudes, egos, harmonies, hormones, and more. Middle age has never been moodier—or more melodic!

Hayley and the Hot Flashes

By Jayne Jaudon Ferrer,

What is this book about?

When five middle-aged girlfriends trade in carpools and casseroles for microphones and music halls, look out!

Hayley Swift, a country music diva who has slipped out of the limelight, gets more attention when she's mistaken for Taylor Swift's mom than for her former glory days. When she's invited to perform at her 35th high school reunion, a bus accident puts her back-up singers in a hospital, Hayley begs her long-gone-domestic quartet from high school to join her onstage for the gig. They're such a hit that she invites the women to fill in on a low-budget tour for a couple…

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