I have to start by admitting two things. The first is that I love the Halloween season. My favorite things are costumes, scares, candy, and all things spooky. The second thing is that I’m terrified of horror, gore, or even thrillers. Absolutely. Terrified. The two books I’m recommending this month fall into those categories. They are good any time of year, but there is no better time to read these two books than when the nights have gotten longer and the temperatures cooler. So curl up with a blanket because you’re definitely going to need something to make you feel safe.
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
How do you find a kidnapper when everyone around you is guilty of something? In this mystery novel the only person who is not guilty of something is 6 month old Cora who was taken from her bed one night. But who is responsible for this? Cora’s mother, the last person to see her that night? Or maybe Cora’s father, the person who found her empty crib?
I read The Couple Next Door in a day. I was unable to put it down, and I could not read each sentence fast enough. This book is packed with twists but, unlike so many mysteries, they were not put in just to keep you on your toes. Lapena created a story that feels organic, but still shocks right to the last page. It is definitely a must read.
Final Girls by Riley Sager
In this novel, our protagonist Quincy lives a fairly normal life. She has a boyfriend, lives in a great apartment, and she publishes a successful baking blog. Quincy does struggle with one thing however, coping with the fact that ten years ago she went camping with her friends, and she was the only one to survive the night. She has faint memories of the night, blacking out entirely between the time she found out about the carnage that was happening around her, and the moment she was rescued by Coop, a police officer who saved her that night.
There are two other girls who survived situations like this, Sam and Lisa. They have not met each other, as Sam fell of the grid and Lisa’s determined ambition to get Quincy to accept her status as a Final Girl kept them away from each other. Until Lisa is found dead in her bathtub, with her wrists slit. This brings Sam and Quincy together to cope with the loss of the only other person who understood what they had been through.
On the surface this novel doesn’t sound particularly thrilling, but there has never been a book that has filled me with anxiety like this one has. I was dying to know what happened next, but terrified to turn the page. I felt a constant battle between wanting Quincy to be safe and happy, and dying to know what was so terrible that her brain shut it out of her memory. Like The Couple Next Door, the finally revelation had me astonished. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Book of the Month
Both of these novels were my past Book of the Month picks. If you’re interested in having amazing books delivered to your doorstep each month, check out BOTM here.
Note: if you’re purchasing one of these books, I’d appreciate it if you were to use the links I provided. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.