Books That Have Probably Been Called "The Next 'Gone Girl'" On Some Other List

Northeast LibraryStaff Picks

Books That Have Probably Been Called "The Next 'Gone Girl'" On Some Other List

Were you one of the many who devoured Gone Girl?  Rushed out and grabbed that next modern-mystery high with The Girl on the Train? If you’re looking for further psychological thrillers and suspense mysteries in the buildup to the feature film adaptation of "Girl on the Train" (wide release October 7), try some of these titles. Each one is sinister and spine-tingling in its own unique way - and none of them even have “girl” in the title!

All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
The main character’s alcoholic blackouts are a compelling plot device to keep readers turning pages in The Girl on the Train, wanting to see when and if her memories will return, and what they will be. That same device is used to excellent effect in All is Not Forgotten. In the small, idyllic town of Fairview, Connecticut, everything is Stepford-perfect. Until 15-year-old Jenny Kramer is attacked at a party. In the hours that immediately follow, she is given a controversial drug to erase her memories of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her struggle soon begins to consume her family and her town, revealing fault lines within their close-knit community that have been hidden for years. Jenny’s relentless quest to find the monster who invaded Fairview - or perhaps lives among them - drives this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Both Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train offer stark deconstructions of marriage, and Behind Closed Doors is worthy to sit on that same literary shelf. We all know a couple like Jack and Grace. He is handsome and wealthy, she is charming and elegant. But the trouble is, people can never seem to get too close to Grace. Jack is always around. Is it true love? Perhaps, but why does Grace never answer the phone? Why can she never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work? How is it that she can cook such elaborate meals but still maintain her model figure? And, perhaps most importantly, why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows? Fast-paced, pulpy and more about the complex relationships of the characters (they may not be the most nuanced, but they certainly produce visceral reactions) than about shadowy secrets, this is perfect for those readers entranced by the idea that the perfect marriage could also be the perfect lie. 

In the Woods by Tana French
First in the acclaimed Dublin Murder Squad series by bestselling author Tana French, In the Woods is a gripping thriller and complex murder mystery filled with convincing and honest characters. As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the high summer of 1984, three children do not return home from a day in the dark and silent woods. In the end, only one of the children is found, gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled shoes, and unable to recall a single detail of what transpired. Twenty years later, that boy, now Detective Rob Ryan, finds himself investigating the murder of a twelve-year-old girl in the same woods. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past. I cannot recommend this atmospheric, enthralling mystery enough.

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberley McCreight
A mother desperately attempts to piece together the last few weeks of her daughter’s life in the wake of her apparent suicide. While the surface level mystery here is usually the draw for most readers, there’s actually a lot of depth and insight in regards to themes like human nature, betrayal, friendship, and what it means to lie to those we care about. Told through traditional prose, but also emails, text messages, cell phone logs, and social media postings that Amelia’s mother Kate sifts through on her quest to understand someone she thought she knew so well, this makes for a novel that can be read with epic speed without missing any of the complexities of the characters and the literary bent to the story. The mystery of whether or not Amelia did kill herself pulls you through until the very end.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
Ruth Ware, author of the twisted mystery In a Dark, Dark Wood, takes the suspense to sea in this surprisingly and eerily beautiful novel. Travel writer Lo Blacklock is assigned a week on a luxury cruise ship with only a handful of cabins. At first, she is thrilled, and the voyage is nothing but pleasant. Plush cabins, sparkling dinner parties, elegant passengers. But then frigid winds descend on the ship and gray skies loom and Lo witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. And yet, all the passengers remain accounted for, leaving the ship to sail on as if nothing had happened. Unwilling to accept this, Lo embarks on a desperate mission to prove that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Surprising and claustrophobic, The Woman in Cabin 10 is an intense thrill ride.