The best books about betrayal

5 authors have picked their favorite books about betrayal and why they recommend each book.

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The Wife Between Us

By Greer Hendricks,

Book cover of The Wife Between Us

There are many psychological thrillers out there about husbands and wives. If you search for the word ‘wife’ on Goodreads there must be hundreds of titles. But The Wife Between Us is one of my favourites. It’s clever, twisted, and plays on your expectations. From the first page, you’ll believe the book to be going one way, but then it twists in another direction altogether.

The Wife Between Us

By Greer Hendricks,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A fiendishly clever thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. This one will keep you guessing.' - Anita Shreve, author of The Stars are Fire

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekannen is the shocking Richard and Judy Bookclub bestseller with twists you won't see coming.

Marrying a man with a past was always going to come with problems, but you never expect to become the focus of another woman's obsession.

Nellie just wanted to live the life she'd always dreamed about with Richard. But who is his ex-wife, Vanessa? Wasn't…


Who am I?

I’ve enjoyed dark fiction ever since I picked up Dracula for school. But I mostly avoided crime and thriller fiction. I couldn’t relate to a rogue detective with an alcohol problem or an FBI agent on the heels of the next Hannibal Lector. Police procedural books just aren’t my thing. But then Gone Girl came out and changed the genre. The domestic suspense subgenre has exploded over the last decade, and now there’s an abundance of books centered around the dangers within our family and friendship circle. And isn’t that the scariest part of life? Serial killers are rare, but domestic violence is, unfortunately, not rare. Where is more dangerous than in our own homes?


I wrote...

The Housemaid

By Sarah A. Denzil,

Book cover of The Housemaid

What is my book about?

It seems like the perfect job. Great wages, accommodation provided, and all located within the walls of Highwood Hall, a stunning stately home owned by the Howard family. Not many little girls dream of becoming a maid, but this is an opportunity for me to get back on my feet. And for me to revisit my past...But I soon realise I’ve made a mistake. On my first day, I receive a mysterious package. I open up the pretty gift box to find a miniature doll version of me trapped inside a dollhouse. In this scene I’m dead, lying in a pool of red paint at the bottom of the perfectly recreated staircase. Someone sent this threatening diorama to me, but who even knows I work at the hall? And what do they want?

I know only one truth: my perfect job is turning into my perfect nightmare.

Swan Song

By Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott,

Book cover of Swan Song

If you enjoy a long novel, gossip, and the dark side of life, then look no further. 

Based on the true story of the women whom Truman Capote called ‘his swans,’ and who deserted him after he had published an indiscreet short story about their lives in Esquire, Swan Song is filled with socialite glitters and cocktails. From meals eaten on planes to the high-end restaurants of New York City, food and drinks are key to the novel’s development. 

My personal highlight is the account of Babe Paley’s last meal, which was served after her funeral and which she had organised herself while being ill with lung cancer. ‘The luncheon to end all luncheons,’ as writes Greenberg-Jephcott, is a wonderful example of how the description of a meal can portray a character brilliantly.

Swan Song

By Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE McKITTERICK PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE GOLDSBORO BOOKS GLASS BELL AWARD

'Sparkling' GUARDIAN
'Fascinating' RED
'Remarkable' WOMAN AND HOME
'Astounding' EMERALD STREET
'Glamorous' IRISH TIMES
'Scandalous' DAILY MAIL
'Spellbinding' SUNDAY EXPRESS
___________________________

To the outside world, they were the icons of high society - the most glamorous and influential women of their age. To Truman Capote they were his Swans: the ideal heroines, as vulnerable as they were powerful. They trusted him with their most guarded, martini-soaked secrets, each believing she was more special and loved than the next...

Until…


Who am I?

I’m a French-born, London-based novelist and food writer. As an author, I have nurtured my voice at the kitchen counter, where I find language loosens up and as a reader, cookbooks, food memoirs, and novels sit in one pile on my bedside table. Food is never not political and I find that its depiction is a wonderful narrative tool, for plot development with the setting of a meal or to portray a character through ingredients for examples. The relationship between food, culture, and writing is something I also explore with my podcast, book club, and culinary community The Salmon Pink Kitchen. Happy reading, and bon appétit! 


I wrote...

The Yellow Kitchen

By Margaux Vialleron,

Book cover of The Yellow Kitchen

What is my book about?

London, 2019. A yellow kitchen stands as a metaphor for the lifelong friendship between three women: Claude, the baker, goal-orientated Sophie, and political Giulia. They are chasing life and careers; dating, dreaming, and consuming but always returning to be reunited in the yellow kitchen. That is, until a trip to Lisbon unravels unexplored desires between Claude and Sophie. 

A novel of belonging and friendship, The Yellow Kitchen is a hymn to the last year of London as we knew it and a celebration of the culture, the food, and the rhythms we live by.

The Hit

By David Baldacci,

Book cover of The Hit

The Hit is my favorite of David Baldacci's many novels. It's a page-turning, pulse-racing action thriller with one of the best plots I've ever read. I found Will Robie, the main character in the book, a riveting personality. He's a U.S. government agent and the man the government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst. No one can match Robie's talents as a hitman. No one, except Jessica Reel. A fellow assassin, Reel is every bit as lethal as Robie. And now she's gone rogue, turning her gun sights on other members of their agency. I found the captivating characters, the plot line, and the relentless pace of this novel a great read. It kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the last.

The Hit

By David Baldacci,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Hit is David Baldacci's blockbuster follow up to The Innocent, the smash-hit bestseller featuring U.S. government assassin, Will Robie.

YOU SEND A KILLER TO CATCH A KILLER.

Government hitman Will Robie is an elite killer. Called on by the US authorities to assassinate enemies of the state, his formidable skill set makes him an irreplaceable asset to his employers. But when he's given his next target, he knows he's about to embark on his toughest mission yet.

Reports indicate fellow assassin Jessica Reel has gone rogue, leaving a trail of deaths in her wake including her handler. To stop…


Who am I?

I’m a mystery writer and I’ve had 16 award-winning novels published. I also love to read mystery and thriller novels, and I read them voraciously. I’m best known for my highly-acclaimed J.T. Ryan mysteries and I was a Finalist for the Author Academy Award. Also, many of my books were Featured Novels of the International Thriller Writers Association. I’m also a multi-year nominee for the Georgia Author of the Year Award. 


I wrote...

The Media Murders

By Lee Gimenez,

Book cover of The Media Murders

What is my book about?

Before breaking an explosive story, a famous New York Times reporter dies under suspicious circumstances. Then a well-known TV reporter commits suicide. Suspecting foul play, the FBI’s John Ryan and Erin Welch investigate. As they probe the mysterious deaths, they uncover a shocking truth: Reporters are being murdered to suppress the news. More shocking is who they suspect is responsible for the killings. Can John Ryan and Erin Welch survive as they try to expose the conspiracy? Or will they be murdered by the assassins sent to keep them from revealing the truth?

A Ragged Magic

By Lindsey S. Johnson,

Book cover of A Ragged Magic

A Ragged Magic hooked me from the opening when Rhiannon watches while her family is falsely accused and then publicly executed.  Rhiannon herself is captured and undergoes a torturous ritual against her will – one which infuses and amplifies her burgeoning magical aptitude. The magic in The Runebound series is unique and fascinating. This book and its vulnerable main character drew me into her world.

A Ragged Magic

By Lindsey S. Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

I've been a book doctor and acquiring editor for almost twenty years. I've read hundreds of debut novels, both published and not. I've always been amazed and impressed when an author is able to create a unique and internally consistent universe for their story. I also know—as a writer of ten fantasy and science fiction novels—that building a vivid, alternate world is a very difficult thing to do well. In the best stories the fictional world defines the characters in it, shapes them, and gives their struggle meaning. It's why we relate to their journey and make their success our own. 


I wrote...

Liferock

By Jak Koke,

Book cover of Liferock

What is my book about?

In Jak Koke's debut novel, you get to dive into the mysterious world of Obsidimen. Born fully formed from their Liferock, they live for a thousand years before they are reabsorbed to share their souls with their brotherhood.

Young Pabl Evr returns home for his Naming, only to find his liferock threatened by a mining crew and in peril from an apocalyptic remnant of the Scourge that threatens to destroy the Liferock, kill the whole community, and erase the entirety of their ancestral memories.

The Target

By David Baldacci,

Book cover of The Target

Jessica Reel and Will Robie are CIA assassins who have found themselves as The Target after a mission has been botched and one of their own was killed. Now, being watched under the microscope they are assigned to an almost impossible mission where their only option is kill or be killed. The partners know that they have marks on their backs but have no choice but to obey the orders that have been dealt to them. Will they be able to stave off the unknown mercenary from murdering the first family, as Reel and Robie find themselves once again in the throes of the spy wars.  

The Target

By David Baldacci,

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

I’ve always enjoyed the intrigue of the mystery and the constant back and forth of the twists and turns offer in a well-written novel. The tremor of my nerves at the base of my neck as I try to figure out the culprit and their intentions, has always enticed my imagination. To, me, those sensations are mind stimulating, and are only born through reading.


I wrote...

Burtrum Lee

By Mary Maurice,

Book cover of Burtrum Lee

What is my book about?

Burtrum Lee takes us into the mysterious world of science and murder and keeps us wondering what is really happening when it comes to manipulating nature. The characters revolve around each other bringing intrigue and fascination with every word that they live by. The reader will be sitting on the edge of their seat by the time they reach the final two words. The End. 

Book cover of When We Believed in Mermaids

I liked the premise of this one: Kit’s sister Josie was supposedly killed in a terrorist attack, but one night she sees her on a TV news report in faraway New Zealand.

We might all wonder what we would do if the chance to find and reunite with a lost loved one arose. Questions must be asked and answered: Why did she leave? How could she let us grieve all this time? What happens if I find her?

When We Believed in Mermaids

By Barbara O'Neal,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked When We Believed in Mermaids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I’m a writer with two sisters very different from me in lifestyle. For example, one went into nursing (I hate blood!), and one was a bookkeeper (I also hate numbers!) I first wrote about loving but dissimilar sisters in a cozy series called The Sleuth Sisters Mysteries, under the pen name Maggie Pill. The books are fun, and readers often tell me which of the sisters they most identify with. “I’m Barb,” or “I’m the nice one.” Seven books later, I found I wanted to examine the darker side of sisterhood. What if things your sister does (or sisters do) make you uncomfortable? What wins: family loyalty or personal integrity?


I wrote...

Sister Saint, Sister Sinner

By Peg Herring,

Book cover of Sister Saint, Sister Sinner

What is my book about?

Same home, same parents. How do sisters become such different adults?

Nettie is a mess who commits a murder she refuses to explain. Ruth is a success at everything she does, which might include becoming the First Lady of the United States. Kim is "Baby Sister," unsure of what she wants from life. Separated by their lifestyles, the sisters are caring but not close until events push them back toward each other. Their collision leads to a stunning escape, a crushing decision, and societal questions that concern not only the Kovalesky girls, but all of us.

The Kite Runner

By Khaled Hosseini,

Book cover of The Kite Runner

I could relate to the character who witnessed something wrong and did nothing about it. Most of us encounter that kind of situation and we fail to act for a variety of reasons. Usually we find justifications for our failure to act, which are really excuses. The underlying reason for our failure is usually fear, which is hard for us to acknowledge. So we find ways of deflecting our guilt or covering it up, usually with lies that sooner or later will come back to haunt us. When we seek redemption, it’s always a challenge.

The Kite Runner

By Khaled Hosseini,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Afghanistan, 1975: Twelve-year-old Amir is desperate to win the local kite-fighting tournament and his loyal friend Hassan promises to help him. But neither of the boys can foresee what will happen to Hassan that afternoon, an event that is to shatter their lives. After the Russians invade and the family is forced to flee to America, Amir realises that one day he must return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule to find the one thing that his new world cannot grant him: redemption.

Who am I?

I have a passion for this theme because I have spent my whole adult life trying to redeem myself from things I did or failed to do in the past. I have learned that for me the only path to redemption is forgiveness, and the only path to forgiving oneself is forgiving others. I try to act on this passion in my professional life as a college professor and published novelist. My novels reflect my experiences with other people, especially young people trying to do the right thing under difficult if not impossible circumstances.


I wrote...

A Contrite Heart

By Tom Milton,

Book cover of A Contrite Heart

What is my book about?

The story of a woman who committed a major crime against the military government in Argentina during the Dirty War in the 1970s. After twenty-five years she still feels guilty for what she did, and since it led to the deaths of other people, including the father of her child, she's unable to forgive herself. She's living in New York City now, and as she's leaving for work one morning she confronts a young man who addresses her with the alias she used in her crime.

So what does this guy want from her? Does he want to arrest her? Does he want revenge? Although it was dormant, her feeling of guilt was always alive in the bottom of her heart, and now it has been aroused.

The Host

By Stephenie Meyer,

Book cover of The Host

I love The Host because it has two female heroes, but one is a parasite inside the other. When a parasitic alien race, the Souls, invades earth, Wanderer is placed in the body of Melanie Stryder. When implanted, Souls are supposed to completely subsume the host, but Melanie Stryder won’t give up her mind or her body that easily. Melanie is a hero because of her strength and willingness to sacrifice anything to maintain her autonomy. Wanderer is a hero because of her empathy and willingness to defy the construct of her society and forge a new path. The book is the most interesting portrayal of the capacity for sentient beings to develop empathy against all odds that I’ve ever read. It’s also a remarkable portrayal of a most imaginative female bond.

The Host

By Stephenie Meyer,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Host as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in the trade paperback edition: New Bonus Chapter and Reading Group Guide, including Stephenie Meyer's Annotated Playlist for the book.Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, didn't expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.As Melanie fills Wanderer's thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she's never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and…

Who am I?

I've always loved science fiction, but first developed my love for storytelling as a prosecutor in the Bronx where I would weave the tale of a crime into a coherent story for a jury’s consideration. After several years of prosecuting sex crimes and crimes against children, and publishing a book about that experience, I had enough of the real world and returned to my first love for novel writing. Science fiction is a male-dominated field and most sci-fi heroes are male. My greatest influences are male characters and authors, but I always wished for more diversity in the genre. I’m excited to share this passion and hope it will inspire authors and readers!  


I wrote...

ReInception

By Sarena Straus,

Book cover of ReInception

What is my book about?

In 2126, society finally has its quick fix. ReInception is used for modifying human behaviors, everything from taming unruly children to reprogramming terrorists. Leandrea Justus is passively anti-ReInception. But when she and her boyfriend are separated during a bombing at an anti-ReInception rally, Ward — not just his name, but also his status in society — helps her. In return, he wants her to help the terrorist group blamed for the bombing, but whom Ward claims are being framed to justify a campaign of forced ReInception. Leandrea knows Ward is keeping dangerous secrets, but with her boyfriend forcibly reprogrammed after the rally, and rumors circulating that the process can cause permanent damage, what choice does she have? Only Ward can give her what she wants most — the truth.

Kushiel's Dart

By Jacqueline Carey,

Book cover of Kushiel's Dart

I couldn’t possibly write a list of fantasy with polyamorous relationships and not include all-time classic Kushiel’s Dart, the beginning of Carey’s first trilogy set in a fantasy version of Europe where the dominant religion lives by the dictate “Love as thou wilt.” Phèdre, an elite courtesan and spy, gets caught up in a plot to conquer her homeland while she’s caught between her love for cunning Melisande and loyal Joscelin. She does ultimately choose between them, but her happy ending involves other partners as well. These books are all lush, sexy intrigue, and epic adventure, and they changed my young life by showing me so many bisexual characters and inspiring me to write books of my own.

Kushiel's Dart

By Jacqueline Carey,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Kushiel's Dart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Who am I?

I write fantasy romance, or romantic fantasy, and one of my favorite things this little genre niche can do is use its otherworldly setting to re-examine our preconceived notions of romantic relationships. Polyamory exists in the real world, of course, so surely it should also exist in worlds with hauntings, spells, magic-powered giant mecha, and gods who intervene in mortal fates. Here are some books I have loved that make polyamory a fundamental part of their fantasy worldbuilding.


I wrote...

Thornfruit

By Felicia Davin,

Book cover of Thornfruit

What is my book about?

Gifted with the ability to read minds, Alizhan operates as a thief of secrets. When she becomes the target of a deadly plot, she escapes the city, aided by quiet farm girl Ev—and the two draw closer as they uncover a sweeping conspiracy.

The First Girl Child

By Amy Harmon,

Book cover of The First Girl Child

This was my first adult historical fantasy (not Young Adult) and I loved it. It’s epic in all ways that matter, with amazing world building, endearing and complex characters, sweeping landscapes and battles, love stories, and it’s beautifully written. This is one of those novels you would binge if it was a show, episode by episode, and wish that you could.   

The First Girl Child

By Amy Harmon,

Why should I read it?

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


Who am I?

I write historical fiction and survival adventures, but I’m a historian at heart. The past fascinates me and provides the best fodder to explore age-old questions about life, love, and the hero and heroine’s journey to greatness. History has sparked inspiration for some of the most beautiful fictional and reimagined stories I’ve ever read, and transports readers to places long forgotten and unknown—and all without cell phones and internet at the core. Perhaps that’s what I love—a crueler but more hard-earned, simpler life. I hope you enjoy these epic tales of love and adventure as much as I did, and lose yourself in the magic of story. 


I wrote...

Book cover of Tide and Tempest: A Forgotten Lands Novel

What is my book about?

Forged by fire. Bound by blood. Tortured by fate. Venture into the lightning-decimated lands of Ebonpeak, where tempests and firestorms are the least of Samara’s concerns. Raiders pillage the coastline, destroying everything and leaving no one unscathed. But when the enemy washes ashore with the rising tides, Samara must shed the scars of her past and fight for her people, or die trying.

Prepare to feel the sand against your skin and the wind in your hair in this action-pack dystopian adventure full of twists and turns that will leave you white-knuckling through the pages. Perfect for Black Sails and Vikings fans.

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