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6 Dark and Twisty Reads for Your Mystery-Loving Friends

by | November 23

It’s the holidays and, of course, you’re looking for book recommendations to give your friends and family. You may be thinking, should I give people thrillers? Isn’t that too dark for the holidays? Shouldn’t I give books about peace, joy, and love?? And that’s when I step in and say No. Reading about murder, missing people, obsessions, and liars are always in season.

Here are the #BooksILikeToGive!
Then She Was Gone

Then She Was Gone

by Lisa Jewell

This is for the thriller lover who is looking for a character-driven page-turner. You always feel like you know the people when you read a Lisa Jewell novel. Then She Was Gone tells the story of a woman, Laurel, whose life stops when her daughter goes missing. Her marriage breaks up. She becomes distant from her other children. But when she meets a new love interest whose daughter eerily reminds her of her own missing child, Laurel’s life takes an unexpected turn.

Lie With Me

Lie With Me

by Sabine Durrant

Lie With Me is for your friend who loves an unreliable narrator, an exotic location, and unexpected twists. When Lisa Jewell hosted a Facebook Live at our office, she gave a list of some amazing book recommendations, and Lie With Me was one of her favorites. It tells the story of Paul, a struggling writer in his 40s who is running out of money, being kicked out of his apartment, and has to move back home with his mother. He bumps into an old friend, Andrew, from university and, embarrassed about how his life has turned out, tells a series of lies that come back to haunt him. Paul slowly ingratiates himself into Andrew’s life and meets a woman named Alice, who he thinks may be the answer to his rootless life, and invites himself on a holiday to Greece that includes Andrew’s and Alice’s families. As Paul’s lies start to unravel, you begin to question what is really the truth after all. This book is a page-turner and the ending is totally unexpected!

Different Seasons

Different Seasons

by Stephen King

This is for the person who loves to watch movies, but might not realize that some of their favorites were inspired by Stephen King novellas. Different Seasons features four novellas: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, which was made into The Shawshank Redemption (1994); Apt Pupil, also a film called Apt Pupil (1998); The Body, which was the inspiration for Stand by Me (1986), and The Breathing Method, the only one of the four that hasn’t been made into a film.

Unraveling Oliver

Unraveling Oliver

by Liz Nugent

This is for the person who likes to read a book from the perspective of multiple characters. From the very beginning, you know that Oliver, an author, has killed his wife in cold blood, but most are perplexed by why he did it. The novel is told from the POV of Oliver, as well as the people in his past and present who peel back the complex layers of who Oliver really is. I loved this book so much, I have already given it to FIVE people.

You (Media Tie-In Edition)

You (Media Tie-In Edition)

by Caroline Kepnes

This is for your friend who loves the Lifetime series based on the novel, or that one friend who maybe has a love interest that they seem a little too obsessive about, and you want to provide them with a cautionary tale. When a beautiful woman comes into the bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he Googles the name on her credit card. Her social accounts are public, which gives Joe access to Beck’s world. Joe uses the information he has learned to orchestrate a “chance” encounter. He transforms himself into Beck’s ideal man based on all the information he has learned about her. Joe refuses to let anyone get in the way of his obsession with Beck, even if he has to kill to do it.

The Truth and Other Lies

The Truth and Other Lies

by Sascha Arango

For the person in your life who likes reading thrillers, but they want something a little more literary. The protagonist, Henry, seems a bit like the Most Interesting Man in the world—he’s a famous author, happily married to his wife, and a pillar of the community. But it’s all a façade: his image is carefully constructed to hide his past. When Henry’s mistress reveals she is pregnant, he knows that his world as he knows it will come crashing down around him. Henry decides to take matters into his own hands, which leads to his making a horrific mistake, which results in even more lies to keep the secrets from his past from catching up with him.

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