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7 Creepy Reads to Pair with Your Favorite Hitchcock Flick

by  | April 29
Reading a book in the forest

On April 29, it will be forty years since the great horror director passed on, but his films have remained Notorious. In his honor, we’re pairing a handful of his memorable (and some of his slightly under-the-radar) flicks with thrillers, mysteries, and suspense novels we’re totally not scared to read alone.

The Tenant

The Tenant

by Katrine Engberg

Movie: Rope

If you’re a fan of Hitchcock’s technical one-shot wonder masterpiece, Rope, then The Tenant is the novel you need to pick up. When a young woman is found mysteriously dead in her apartment, two detectives hone in on her landlady as the lead suspect after the tenant appears as a character in her newest novel. An eccentric aesthete, the landlady’s social personality is similar to that of the murderers in Rope, who kill their classmate as an experiment in social superiority. As suspicions continue to rise against the landlady, the detectives still struggle to find something to directly tie her to the murder. The Tenant, like Rope, will keep you pulling at threads the whole way through.

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Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told

by Kathleen Barber

Movie: Marnie

One of the classics of Hitchcock’s oeuvre, Marnie is about a woman who hides her identity from her employers in order to steal money from them, but when she’s found out, instead of being turned over to the cops, the man who revealed her secret ends up blackmailing her into marriage. The plot only gets scarier, and sexier, from there. Similarly, Truth Be Told is a thriller about a woman who is running from her traumatic past, by cutting it off at the root and reinventing herself as someone totally new. When the lies unravel and her trauma is exposed on a megahit podcast, her marriage, family, and safety are all threatened. If you like main characters who are willing to do what it takes to survive at any cost, this is the book for you.

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The Memory Police

The Memory Police

by Yoko Ogawa

Movie: Vertigo

Vertigo is the best suited Hitchcock film for comparison with The Memory Police, a mind-bending, anti-authoritarian discourse on the nature of memory, art, and the lengths that people will go to in order to survive. As two people struggle with what is—and isn’t—real, who is telling the truth becomes less and less important. The most important thing is each other, and whether or not you can trust the other person, even if they are lying.

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The Coldest Warrior

The Coldest Warrior

by Paul Vidich

Movie: The Man Who Knew Too Much; Topaz

The Man Who Knew Too Much is an infamous 1934 Hitchcock film—not least because the director remade it again in 1956—about a Switzerland vacation disrupted by a political assassination and a family in danger as a result; and Topaz is a spy thriller set in France involving NATO and the KGB during the Cold War. The masterful espionage novel The Coldest Warrior seems reminiscent of both films. Based on accounts from former spies, it retraces the steps of a real-life former CIA agent who either jumped or fell from a hotel room in New York City in 1953 during the Cold War, and the full scope of the political superpower machinations is incredible. Uncovering the bad agents, as well as the risks that still exist decades after the last spy came through the city, The Coldest Warrior is a non-stop novel that will make you thankful for the comfort of your own couch.

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The Strangers We Know

The Strangers We Know

by Pip Drysdale

Movie: Rear Window

Rear Window is all about spying on your neighbors and believing what you see, whether or not you know the truth behind the blinds. The Strangers We Know follows a similar theme, but with an updated twist: What people put on their dating profiles isn’t always what you get. Full of twists and thrills, the book is just as much about peeking into your neighbors’ lives as it is about trusting yourself. In a bizarre tale of catfishing, one-upmanship, and struggling to trust your partner, The Strangers We Know is a worthy pairing with Rear Window.

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The Woman in the Dark

The Woman in the Dark

by Vanessa Savage

Movie: Dial M for Murder

Another thriller full of mysterious characters, The Woman in the Dark centers around a mother fighting to protect her family after they all move to a seaside house with a gruesome history. While the supposedly haunted house is creepy enough, what the woman begins to realize is that maybe it’s her own husband she should be afraid of. As the lies and confusions pile up, the mysteries around Murder House do as well, giving us a terrifying unraveling of a dangerous, unstable man. Dial M for Murder is replete with intrigue, misdirection, sex, and unreliable perspectives, all of which you’ll find in the pages of this novel too.

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Please See Us

Please See Us

by Caitlin Mullen

Movie: Family Plot

The final movie that Hitchcock ever made, Family Plot, is also the final pairing on this list. If you are intrigued by the odd couples of Family Plot, the strange, twisting mysteries, and the kind of person who might fake being a psychic, check out Please See Us. A supernatural thriller about missing women near the Atlantic City boardwalk, Please See Us is dramatic and intense, drawing on dark humor and grim circumstances to keep every reader on their toes.

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