90 books like The Killer Next Door

By Alex Marwood,

Here are 90 books that The Killer Next Door fans have personally recommended if you like The Killer Next Door. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Last House on Needless Street

Kelley Skovron Author Of No Filter

From my list on deliciously dark horror novels that are more sad than scary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm the author of over 15 novels written for kids, teens, and adults across several genres. The thing all my books have in common is that they are sad and they are dark. My most recent novel is my most distilled, compressed delivery of deliciously dark sadness yet! Oddly, I'm rarely sad in real life. My daughter suggested that I write books to get the darkness out of my head and onto the page, which I think is very insightful (she is my kid, after all). I enjoy the beauty in the breakdown, I savor the sublime catharsis of tragedy, and I want to share that perspective with everyone.

Kelley's book list on deliciously dark horror novels that are more sad than scary

Kelley Skovron Why did Kelley love this book?

I really don't know how Catriona Ward manages to balance the languid sadness and unrelenting tension so well.

Ward's profound empathy for every single character, no matter how flawed, is what twists your heart. At the same time, you feel as though you're on a roller coaster barreling at breakneck speed through pitch-black tunnels.

I wasn't always sure I understood what was going on from moment to moment, and that seems very much by design because, wow, what a twist! And the deeply felt depiction of the characters never made me feel like I was truly lost. I will indulge a great deal of mystery as long as it is presented by such a steady and skillful hand.

By Catriona Ward,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Last House on Needless Street as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The buzz...is real. I've read it and was blown away. It's a true nerve-shredder that keeps its mind-blowing secrets to the very end." ―Stephen King

Winner of the British Fantasy Award for Best Horror Novel!
A World Fantasy Award Finalist!
An Indie Next Pick! A LibraryReads Top 10 Pick!
A Library Journal Editors' Pick! STARRED reviews from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly!
Named one of the "50 Best Horror Books of All Time" by Esquire!

"Brilliant....[a] deeply frightening deconstruction of the illusion of the self." ―The New York Times

Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street is a shocking…


Book cover of The Family Upstairs

Diane M. Dickson Author Of Body in the Canal

From my list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk.

Why am I passionate about this?

My fascination with crime fiction has come from reading about it. I have no idea how many novels I have read focused on baddies and the catching of them, but it’s numbering now in the many hundreds. I think the fact that a crime novel can incorporate elements of all other genres – horror, history, romance, the supernatural, etc. are what make them so appealing and add to the joy of writing them. Untangling the threads that make up a crime novel is very satisfying. Maybe in another reality, I would be a detective – I love that idea, but for now, in this bit of the multiverse, I’ll just carry on making them up.  

Diane's book list on when you want to dabble in crime with no risk

Diane M. Dickson Why did Diane love this book?

Right from the very first page this book is enthralling. It was creepy and intriguing and enthralling – the characters are all fascinating and the plot is a stew of content from misplaced love, a bit of madness, actually quite a bit of madness, murder, redemption and hope, and a dog! There’s not much more you could want. I have read the sequel.

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
____________________________

FROM THE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THEN SHE WAS GONE

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.…


Book cover of The Broken Girls

S.W. Hubbard Author Of Another Man's Treasure

From my list on mysteries with creepy houses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring old homes. Whether I’m on a historic house tour, an estate sale, or a real estate open house, I love seeing the glimpses of the people who once occupied the home. When my mom passed away, I hired an estate sale organizer to help me clear out her house and became fascinated with the estate sale business. What a great way to peek into other people’s houses and lives and perhaps discover their darkest secrets! That’s how I started writing my Palmyrton Estate Sale Mystery Series. 

S.W.'s book list on mysteries with creepy houses

S.W. Hubbard Why did S.W. love this book?

In an old mansion that has become a school for wayward girls, a series of troublesome deaths occur. The school is reminiscent of the horrible Lowood School in Jane Eyre, one of my all-time favorite books. The story unfolds across multiple timelines—I enjoyed the 1950s story the most. The crimes are solved in the present day by a determined heroine, and the supernatural element is well integrated into the plot.  

By Simone St. James,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Broken Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THEY WON'T FORGIVE. THEY WON'T FORGET.

'Clever and wonderfully chilling. It held me hostage' - Fiona Barton, Sunday Times-bestselling author of The Widow and The Child

'A brilliant page-turner' Jenny Quintana, author of The Missing Girl

1950 - At the crumbling Idlewild Hall school for unwanted girls, four room-mates begin to bond over dark secrets and whispered fears - until one of them mysteriously disappears . . .

2014 - Journalist Fiona Sheridan can't get over the murder of her sister twenty years ago, near the ruins of Idlewild. And when another body is found during renovations of the school,…


Book cover of Hidden Pictures

S.W. Hubbard Author Of Another Man's Treasure

From my list on mysteries with creepy houses.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love exploring old homes. Whether I’m on a historic house tour, an estate sale, or a real estate open house, I love seeing the glimpses of the people who once occupied the home. When my mom passed away, I hired an estate sale organizer to help me clear out her house and became fascinated with the estate sale business. What a great way to peek into other people’s houses and lives and perhaps discover their darkest secrets! That’s how I started writing my Palmyrton Estate Sale Mystery Series. 

S.W.'s book list on mysteries with creepy houses

S.W. Hubbard Why did S.W. love this book?

A young woman desperate for a second chance accepts a position as a nanny which comes with lodging in the pool house behind the family’s main house. The pool house is nicer than any place she’s lived recently, but she soon starts hearing strange noises and the little boy she’s watching starts drawing pictures that become creepier and more detailed as time goes on. I loved the flawed but kind heroine and cheered for her to figure out what happened in that pool house and what’s going on with the seemingly normal family who hired her. A real page-turner!

By Jason Rekulak,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER · OPTIONED FOR NETFLIX BY A PRODUCER OF THE BATMAN

“I loved it." —Stephen King

From Edgar Award-finalist Jason Rekulak comes a wildly inventive spin on the supernatural thriller, for fans of Stranger Things and Riley Sager, about a woman working as a nanny for a young boy with strange and disturbing secrets.

Mallory Quinn is fresh out of rehab when she takes a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves it. She has her own living space, goes out for nightly runs, and…


Book cover of Hell Bay

Jane McParkes Author Of A Deadly Inheritance

From my list on UK mysteries that make you think outside the plot.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mystery novels that both entertain and inform the reader. These books usually conform to the expected tropes of the mystery genre, but have that extra something that makes the reader carry on thinking long after they have finished reading. In my own novels I enjoy including positive eco-friendly role-models, ideas, and solutions all embedded within a traditional mystery, that readers can think about, and then perhaps adopt, in their own lives. I am always delighted when readers tell me that my story has made them look at their own lives and businesses to see what they can do to make them more sustainable

Jane's book list on UK mysteries that make you think outside the plot

Jane McParkes Why did Jane love this book?

In this excellently researched DI Ben Kitto series the author does not shy away from the fact that bad things happen in beautiful places.

I particularly love this first book because it sympathetically captures the essence of living in a small, remote island community, where drugs, violence, and alcohol are not far beneath the surface and the economic hardships these places endure are a daily concern.

The islands in this book are a far cry from the summer Isles of Scilly that many of us know and love and it is a realistic reminder that life anywhere is not always as idyllic and simple as it appears from the outside.

By Kate Rhodes,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

THE ISLES OF SCILLY MYSTERIES # 1

'Gripping, clever and impossible to put down' ERIN KELLY

DI Ben Kitto needs a second chance. After ten years working for the murder squad in London, a traumatic event has left him grief-stricken. He's tried to resign from his job, but his boss has persuaded him to take three months to reconsider.

Ben plans to work in his uncle's boatyard on the tiny Scilly island of Bryher where he was born, hoping to mend his shattered nerves. His plans go awry when the body of a sixteen-year-old girl is found on the beach…


Book cover of Wahala

Lizzie Damilola Blackburn Author Of Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?

From my list on that pay homage to south London.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having grown up and gone to school in south London, it will always have a special place in my heart. Call me biased, but I think it’s the best place in the capital. Hands down. I love that it’s home to many Afro-Caribbean families and how its cultural presence can be felt by just walking down any street. From the bustling markets selling plantain, yams, and hard dough bread to the throng of aunties wearing brightly-coloured, patterned lace as they make their way to church. With south London being so atmospheric, I knew I had to include it as a setting in my novel. It will always be my first home.  

Lizzie's book list on that pay homage to south London

Lizzie Damilola Blackburn Why did Lizzie love this book?

I flew through Wahala. Pacy, suspenseful, and binge-able, this novel did not disappoint; it delivered in all areas. Zany, memorable characters – tick. Messy, complicated entanglements – tick. Tantalising, mouth-watering descriptions of Nigerian food served in south London restaurants – tick, tick. (The author kindly included a few recipes at the back of the book!) Wahala reminded me of how enjoyable reading can be when you find a widely-entertaining book that you can kick back and sink your teeth into. An engrossing, riveting read that explores the complexity of adult female friendships, I highly recommend it. 

By Nikki May,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Fabulous friendship novel with a killer edge for fans of BIG LITTLE LIES and EXPECTATION

SOON TO BE A MAJOR BBC TV SERIES

'A journey of friendship, revenge and finding your true self. Gripping' STYLIST MAGAZINE

'I would definitely recommend this book to friends. I already have!' BBC RADIO 2 BOOK CLUB

'What makes this slow-burn story of friendship and vengeance refreshing and original is the exhilarating ease with which it portrays a London steeped in the colours and sounds of Lagos' THE TIMES, Best Popular Fiction Books of 2022

------------

Ronke, Simi, Boo are three mixed-race friends living in…


Book cover of The Exhibition Catalogues of Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Author Of Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London's Lost Artist

From my list on Austin Osman Spare.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first encountered Spare in my early teens, when I was reading books about the occult, and then forgot about him for a few years. As time went by, I grew more interested in surrealism, psychoanalysis, and Buddhism, but I never quite abandoned magic, and I came to see it’s really the same area. I used to think it was funny that the Dewey library classification system puts Freud and the occult next to each other, but now I see it makes perfect sense. It’s all about exploring the mind and inner experience. And Austin Osman Spare, like Crowley and the surrealists, is among its most interesting figures.  

Phil's book list on Austin Osman Spare

Phil Baker Why did Phil love this book?

This complete compendium of Spare’s exhibition catalogues has been put together by the great Robert Ansell, a pioneering figure in Spare research. Running from 1907 to 1955, complete with their catalogue essays and some related bits of ephemera, the facsimile catalogues slowly change in their period feel and give the real trajectory of Spare’s career, all the way through to his late shows in pubs.

The book has a generous additional colour section of pictures, and it is all surprisingly readable and even vivid: “Not long now!” says the flyer for an upcoming exhibition in the Mansion House Tavern pub in south London: “The show you’ve been waiting for!” 

Book cover of Open Water

Lizzie Damilola Blackburn Author Of Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband?

From my list on that pay homage to south London.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having grown up and gone to school in south London, it will always have a special place in my heart. Call me biased, but I think it’s the best place in the capital. Hands down. I love that it’s home to many Afro-Caribbean families and how its cultural presence can be felt by just walking down any street. From the bustling markets selling plantain, yams, and hard dough bread to the throng of aunties wearing brightly-coloured, patterned lace as they make their way to church. With south London being so atmospheric, I knew I had to include it as a setting in my novel. It will always be my first home.  

Lizzie's book list on that pay homage to south London

Lizzie Damilola Blackburn Why did Lizzie love this book?

What I personally loved about Open Water was just how original it was. From the second-person narration to the poetic prose and the beautiful portrayal of a Black man, not only being on the receiving end of love but also, the giver – a depiction we don’t see enough in publishing. I also enjoyed following how two artists fell in love, organically. And yet, I didn’t feel like a fly on the wall. A key takeaway I got from the story was how freeing vulnerability can be, but also, how difficult it can be to express emotions in words. Although triggering in places, overall, I found Open Water a comforting read; there were lots of cultural references that made me smile and nod my head, such as Peckhamplex cinema and Morley’s chicken shop. 

By Caleb Azumah Nelson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD
A NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION 5 UNDER 35
WINNER OF THE BRITISH BOOK AWARD FOR DEBUT FICTION

“Open Water is tender poetry, a love song to Black art and thought, an exploration of intimacy and vulnerability between two young artists learning to be soft with each other in a world that hardens against Black people.”—Yaa Gyasi, author of Homegoing

In a crowded London pub, two young people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists—he a photographer, she a dancer—and both are…


Book cover of The Collector Collector

Marcus Milwright Author Of A Story of Islamic Art

From my list on fiction about art and artists.

Why am I passionate about this?

Visits to galleries, museums, and castles were an integral part of my childhood. These filled me with an enduring love for art, architecture, and archaeology. My initial studies covered all areas of art history, but I became drawn to the visual cultures of the Islamic world. I have been lucky enough to live and work in different parts of the Middle East. I am committed to sharing knowledge about the arts and archaeology of the Islamic world through books, exhibitions, and websites. I have always enjoyed fiction that involves art as part of a story, and the selections in this list are my current favorites. I hope you enjoy them!

Marcus' book list on fiction about art and artists

Marcus Milwright Why did Marcus love this book?

Packed with funny, unexpected, and disturbing imagery, I read this book in one sitting. Art historians have discussed the agency possessed by material things, arguing that art and other manufactured objects can shape the actions and attitudes of individuals and groups. This has led to the creation of biographies of ancient objects, tracking their movements and transformations over time.

Fischer takes this one step further in his picaresque novel, told from the perspective of an ancient Sumerian bowl. As the title suggests, the bowl surreptitiously observes and records the lives of the collectors who have owned it over the course of millennia. I haven’t looked at old pots in my house in the same way again! 

By Tibor Fischer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

To a small flat in South London comes a Sumerian bowl: but the bowl is the Collector Collector, clay with something to say, an object d'art who will offer Rosa, its owner, vast swathes of unrecorded history from the last 5, 000 years. Meanwhile, Rosa tries to centre her life and settle the disturbances caused by an uninvited guest, Nikki.

1001 Nights meets the inner city, The Collector Collector is a comic masterpiece and unquestionably the finest novel ever narrated by a bowl.


Book cover of Note to Boy

Steve Sheppard Author Of A Very Important Teapot

From my list on books to make you laugh by authors you’ve (probably) never heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Steve Sheppard and I’m arguably the best person in the UK to create this list as I am myself the archetypal funny author whom nobody has heard of, having written three comedy spy thrillers, two out (A Very Important Teapot and Bored to Death in the Baltics) and one on the way (Poor Table Manners), all published by a genuine indie publisher, Claret Press. I would have loved to include a funny thriller in my list, but sadly, they are not to be found–not without resorting to farce and slapstick anyway.

Steve's book list on books to make you laugh by authors you’ve (probably) never heard of

Steve Sheppard Why did Steve love this book?

A delightful book, a complete treat, certainly the funniest I’ve read in recent years as well as one of the most original. How it wasn’t picked up by a major publisher is beyond me, especially given Sue Clark’s background in television comedy scriptwriting.

The way Sue manages so realistically to get inside the head of both the aged and yet ageless ex-fashion icon, Eloise, and Bradley, a south London council estate lad with dreams above his station, is astonishing. Writing in the first person is hard enough, but to do it so successfully for two such disparate characters is extraordinarily clever. It is no easy thing to make the reader believe so thoroughly in their highly unlikely, blossoming (business) partnership.

Clever, imaginative, and life-affirming.

By Sue Clark,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Eloise is an erratic, faded fashionista. Bradley is a glum but wily teenager.

In need of help to write her racy 1960s memoirs, the former 'shock frock' fashion guru tolerates his common ways. Unable to remember his name, she calls him Boy. Desperate to escape a brutal home life, he puts up with her bossiness and confusing notes.

Both guard secrets. How did she lose her fame and fortune? What is he scheming - beyond getting his hands on her bank card? And just what's hidden in that mysterious locked room?


5 book lists we think you will like!

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