I’m not a HUGE fan of mystery novels, but I do pick them up from time to time and am almost always pleasantly surprised. It appears my self-imposed aversion is misguided and yet I still shy away from them. The following five books are mysteries that I adored and that do justice to the genre (and will certainly make me pick up more).
The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
Okay, technically this one is a novella and I’m cheating but it’s relatively new and by Gillian Flynn, so I’m including it, anyway. I had no idea what to expect when I picked up The Grownup, so I was a little disoriented when I realized that this is both exactly what I have come to expect from her and also completely different. It has a dash of horror but is, ultimately, a psychological thriller. To quickly summarize, The Grownup is about a woman who tries to help a mother figure out why her son is acting out. Is he evil? Possessed? Your run-of-the-mill sociopath? A normal teenager? All is revealed, of course, and the sinisterness of the truth is classic Flynn, even if it did wrap itself up in the supernatural this time around.
Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
Missing Pieces (by #30Authors contributor Heather Gudenkauf) is the story of Sarah and Jack Quinlan who return to Jack’s hometown after his aunt suffers a serious fall. This is no small feat, for Jack hadn’t been home in decades due to the trauma of losing his mother as a teenager. But, his aunt raised him, so he found it within himself to face his past and readjust to life with his family. Unfortunately, the details of his aunt’s accident are murky and become more ominous as time goes on. To make matters worse, Sarah’s interactions with the Quinlans and the townspeople leave her questioning everything she thought she knew about her life and her husband, setting her on a dangerous path to find the truth. What I loved about this novel is that it’s character driven, kept me up until the wee hours of the morning, and was the perfect balance of shocking and realistic. Read the full review.Check out these 5 great #mystery novels that even non-readers of the genre will enjoy. Click To Tweet
The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh
When Lucy Dane was an infant, her mother disappeared. An oddity who was already an outsider, there was speculation about whether she took off of her own accord or befell a tragic fate. At 17, Lucy suffers the loss of a schoolmate, whose body was displayed for all the town to see. It’s these two converging events that set Lucy off on a mission to find out what happened to her friend, leading her to stumble upon some shocking secrets about her mother that were long buried by her family and the town she called home. The Weight of Blood is a quick read that plunks the reader right in the middle of the action and knowing more than Lucy does, which makes for an interesting dynamic. Read the full review.
The Winter People by Jennifer MacMahon
The Winter People starts out telling two sides of the same story, one about a missing mother in present day and the other a missing daughter a century earlier, as told by the mother in her diary. As the book progresses, McMahon weaves a tale that reminds me of an accordion, bringing the two stories closer together and adding intrigue by pulling them apart over and over. The result is astory that will both shock you and make complete sense. This is one of those books that had me sleeping with the lights on because while it’s not a horror in the traditional sense, it’s fantastically creepy. Read the full review.
As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman
In As Night Falls(by #30Authors contributor Jenny Milchman), a regular family meets an unfortunate situation involving two escapees and bad things happen. There’s Sandy, therapist and mom to your run-of-the-mill surly teenage daughter, Ivy, and Ben, husband extraordinaire. What makes it interesting is that Ivy knows that her mom is hiding something even if she doesn’t know what it is and Ben is so in love with his wife that he never questioned her refusal to discuss her past, which is exactly what comes back to haunt them. Why? Because the two men who show up on her doorstep do know, and it’s this knowledge that puts the Tremont family in danger, forcing Sandy to face her demons and fight for her future. As Night Falls is about this struggle, both physical and emotional, and chronicles one horrific night with devastating and permanent consequences. What I love about all of Jenny’s books is that she doesn’t waste any time and gets straight to the action. Plus, Jenny wrote this book before those two convicts escaped in New York, so while they were different situations, the parallels were fun to see. Read the full review.