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5 Thrillers with Obsessive Characters Who Will Shake You to Your Core

by  | February 11

Psychos, sociopaths, and murderers are all the rage in pop culture right now. From twisted yet lovable protagonists in shows like The End of the F***ing World to that walking red flag known as Joe (or “Will”) in the novel (and TV adaptation) You, there’s just something about these untrustworthy characters that we can’t quit. Perhaps we’re simply drawn to the different perspective we get by glimpsing these dark minds, which are so unlike our own. Or maybe our fascination with murder, even the fictional kind, speaks to something a little too real inside of us…? Kidding. We all know we’re just in it for the thrill!

So if you’re ready to take the plunge, meet 5 obsessive characters sure to send you deeper into a thriller-fueled reading spiral.

Unraveling Oliver

Unraveling Oliver

by Liz Nugent

Oliver Ryan

There’s much more to people than what you see on the surface, and this is especially true of Oliver Ryan in Unraveling Oliver. Oliver seemingly had a perfect life, topped with an abundance of wealth and a loving wife, Alice. His near-perfect facade made it impossible for his friends and family to imagine that he could ever brutally assault and leave his wife for dead, but that’s exactly what he does. The only question lingering is: Why? As those who know the couple best—or thought they did—begin to unravel the dark secrets of Oliver’s past, they slowly begin to truly understand the twisted formative layers of his sociopathic personality. For an enthralling read that dives deep into the inner workings of an intensely disturbed mind, Unraveling Oliver is a must.

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Gone Girl

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Amy Dunne

Speaking of picture-perfect disguises, Amy Dunne in Gone Girl epitomizes the quintessential phrase “never judge a book by its cover.” After Amy disappears on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary, the police treat her missing-person case as a possible murder and her husband, Nick, becomes a prime suspect. An exorbitant amount of evidence is found against him, but could Nick really be a killer? Glimpses into Amy’s diary reveal that she is not as stable and perfect as the public had once believed. Who is the real victim in this story? Even if you’ve already seen the movie, the novel that inspired it will suck you in and refuse to let you go.

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The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10

by Ruth Ware

Lo Blacklock

When a book’s protagonist is an unreliable narrator, it’s hard to discern what is real and what is not. In Ruth Ware’s Woman in Cabin 10, travel journalist Lo Blacklock is battling an inner conflict: While she thinks she saw and met a young woman in the cabin next door on her luxury cruise, everyone around her says that neighboring space was unoccupied from the start. Even after things begin to go awry, still no one believes her. Could the crimes that Lo witnesses really have gone unnoticed by the rest of the crew? Or is there another underlying reason that Lo is the only one who sees what’s happening? This novel’s twists and turns are sure to leave you uneasy up until the last page.

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In Her Bones

In Her Bones

by Kate Moretti

Edie Beckett

As the daughter of a convicted serial murderer, Edie Beckett is just trying to live normally and as far removed from her infamous mother as possible. Despite her attempts to move on, Edie can’t curb her need to check in on the families of her mother’s victims to see how they’re coping. The problem is that the more she learns about them, the more she wants to know. She’s sure she has her curiosity under control—until a man whose wife was killed by Edie’s mother is found murdered himself and she becomes the prime suspect. Edie’s memory of the night of the murder is cloudy, making it difficult to defend herself from suspicion. Going into hiding seems to be her only logical option. Could the real murderer still be out there waiting for her? Or is she more like her mother than she wants to believe?

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American Psycho

American Psycho

by Bret Easton Ellis

Patrick Bateman

American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman is handsome, charming, intelligent—and a classic sociopath. He knows it, too! As a psychopathic killer, Patrick has confessed to his crimes, repeatedly. Yet no one wants to believe that the suave, lovable boy next door would commit such horrific acts, so they dismiss his confessions as a joke. This dark and disturbing story shines an important light on the appearances-are-everything world we live in, and the consequences of not confronting the psychosis that may be unfolding right before our eyes.

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Photo Credit // MilanMarkovic/iStock

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