This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie, which surprisingly left me struggling to try to choose a topic. I decided to go with a prompt I last wrote about all the way back in June 2017, which was a list of thrillers I’d recently added to my list. Earlier this year as well, when I discussed my goals for the year, I included thrillers as a genre I wanted to try more often. I’m a coward when it comes to horror, but I love a good psychological thriller. It’s a genre that I often add to my TBR but don’t pick up too often because the books often start to feel too similar, and there are so many that seem very overrated. As I started looking at my TBR for an upcoming Stacking the Shelves post for this weekend, I realized I had quite a few thrillers that I’d recently added and I thought they deserved their own post.
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1) I’ve Got My Eyes on You by Mary Higgins Clark
I have to admit, I’m a little hesitant about this one. Mary Higgins Clark was one of my first introductions to “adult” level books. I’ve only read a few of her books, and although there were two that I really loved, the others have always been pretty hit-or-miss. The synopses of her books always sound so interesting, but I’m not always a fan of the execution. This book just came out earlier this month, and came up recently on a list of new thriller releases. It is about an 18-year-old girl named Kerry who is found fully-clothed at the bottom of her family’s pool, and her boyfriend is immediately suspected of the crime. Kerry’s older sister is a guidance counselor who wants to help with the investigation. It sounds like a fairly straightforward mystery-thriller, and although I haven’t always been a fan of the Mary Higgins Clark books I’ve read, I always hope to discover another one that has the same appeal as the first few that I read.
2) The Teacher by Katerina Diamond
I actually heard of this book when I asked my boyfriend for help with a challenge prompt requiring a book that a stranger was reading in public. I rarely (if ever) see people reading in public, but he commutes to work on public transit every day so I asked him to look out for a few titles. This was one of the books he saw someone reading, which is about a head teacher who was found dead at an exclusive school, a few hours after receiving a mysterious package. I thought the cover art alone was pretty intriguing because it seemed so dark and creepy. I’m also a tiny bit hesitant toward thrillers or mysteries that are marked as part of a series since they can kind of walk a fine line between series and standalone, but this one is the first in the Imogen Grey series, and the author’s first novel ever, so it seems like the perfect place to start.
3) Trespassing by Brandi Reeds
I discovered this book on a list of new and upcoming releases for this year. It is the author’s debut novel, which just came out on April 1. This book is about a woman named Veronica Cavanaugh whose recent failed fertility treatment seems to have left her mentally unstable. At the same time, her three-year-old daughter has a new and creepy imaginary friend, and her husband has failed to return home from a business trip. When her daughter starts insisting that her father is dead, Veronica’s paranoia takes over and she is led to a house in the Florida Keys to try to uncover what happened to her husband. Honestly, the words “creepy imaginary friend” were enough to convince me to add this to my TBR. I usually love thrillers where you can’t be sure what’s real and what’s not, and this one seemed very intriguing.
4) Best Friends Forever by Margot Hunt
This is another fairly recent release (January 23 of this year) that I only discovered recently, but it’s another that immediately caught my attention. It is about two women, Kat and Alice, who have been friends for a long time despite being very different. When Kat’s husband plunges to his death from their balcony, Kat stops responding to calls and texts and her family prevents Alice from seeing her. At the same time, investigators seem to be taking an interest in Alice as a potential suspect. This book has received some great reviews so far on Goodreads, with a 3.89 average after just under 4 months out. This is pretty impressive considering it is the author’s first ever psychological thriller, although she has written 12 other novels under another name. It definitely seems like an interesting concept, and I’m looking forward to eventually giving it a chance.
5) Social Creature by Tara Isaballa Burton
This is another book that I discovered through a list of upcoming releases, and the cover art caught my attention because it reminded me a bit of the movie poster for Black Swan. It is about two women, Louise and Lavinia, who meet through a chance encounter and develop an intense and toxic friendship. It was actually tricky to find any plot details about this one, but according to the synopsis of one edition on Goodreads, Louise is a poor struggling writer who meets the wealthy Lavinia, and is invited into her charmed life, but knows that it can’t last forever. It seems like the focus will be how far Louise will go to keep her new lifestyle, so maybe Black Swan wasn’t all that far off. This book won’t be out until early June of this year so it will be interesting to see the reviews as they come in.
6) The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon
I’ve found quite a few books lately that focus on creepy neighbours or conflicts between neighbours. It is about a woman named Abby who was responsible for a car crash that killed her brother many years ago. Abby ends up married to the man who was first on the scene and rescued her from the car, but who lives with the guilt of being unable to save her brother. Years later, Abby’s ex-boyfriend Liam moves into the house next door with his family, and the two pretend they have never met despite the shared secrets they have both been carrying. This is another case where I was first drawn to the book by the cover art because of the row of houses that all seemed to be perfect clones of each other. The plot itself also sounds pretty intriguing, and I’m curious to see how two people who have such a history together could possibly act like they don’t know each other. This book definitely seems less “thriller”-like than others on the list, so I’m curious to see how it works out.
7) The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd
This book has such an interesting concept! It is about a woman named Samantha who exchanges letters with a prisoner named Dennis, who was convicted of a brutal murder. Over time, she falls in love with him and decides to marry him and campaign for his release from prison, only to discover that she might not know him as well as she thought. I’ve always found it pretty interesting that there are people who strike up a friendship and even a relationship with individuals convicted of horrible crimes. It’s hard for me to imagine being able to trust someone who was accused of something like that enough to feel comfortable in a relationship, but I think it makes a great idea for a book. I’m very interested to see how the author builds the relationship between Samantha and Dennis, and especially what it takes for her to decide to marry him. It seems like such a unique premise for the story, and I’m really looking forward to this one.
8) The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet
I remember watching so many shows when I was younger about people who swapped homes and redecorated for each other. Honestly, I was never a huge fan but my parents watched them all the time, so when I saw this book, I thought it was a great concept for a thriller. In it, Caroline and Francis have the opportunity to swap homes with someone, giving them a chance to get away from the tensions at home. Meanwhile, their new neighbour seems to be showing a little too much interest in them, and Caroline starts to notice some very familiar signs of life in the house — signs of her own life, that only someone who knows her would be aware of. This book is not due out until late May, but it seems like a great one. There really seems to be a trend for creepy neighbour stories recently.
9) Little Secrets by Anna Snoekstra
This is another book that came up on a list I found recently of recent thrillers. This one came out last October, and focuses on a journalist named Rose who is looking for a big story. In her town of Colmstock, Australia, an arsonist is on the loose, and porcelain replicas of girls in town begin turning up on people’s doorsteps. Rose thinks she’s finally found her story, and the terrified town has begun to turn against each other as suspicions grow. Creepy dolls are one of those plot devices that tend to automatically freak me out. I have a cousin who collects dolls, and some of them are so incredibly realistic that it’s scary! This book hasn’t received the best reviews so far so I’m a little worried about how much I’ll actually like it, but it sounds like a great premise.
10) The Other Woman by Sandie Jones
This was one of the first books I added to my TBR this month, discovered on a list of upcoming releases for this year. It is about a woman named Emily who falls in love with Adam, a man who she thinks is perfect for her, until she realizes that his mother Pammie wants her out of the way, and will stop at nothing to make sure that happens. The premise reminds me a bit of a much darker version of the Jennifer Lopez movie Monster-in-Law. Although it is not due out until August, it has already received rave reviews on Goodreads from people who have read ARCs of it, and it sounds like such a great story. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the primary rival for someone’s affection is a parent rather than a partner, so this one definitely sounds pretty unique. I’m looking forward to this one!
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