Third Thursday Staff Recommendations

Welcome again to Third Thursday Treasures! This is where we give OFPL staff members to write about some of their favorite books. This month, before she left to start her new job as full-time reporter for the O’Fallon Weekly, Circulation Assistant Angie S. shared some of her favorite thrillers. Thank you, Angie for spine-chilling titles as well as your service here at the library. We wish you all the best!

There are two types of books that I absolutely love- thrillers and cozy reads. Cozy mysteries are fun, but any book that makes my heart feel all warm and tingly, I call a “cozy” read. Some people may only read thrillers during the Halloween season, but I read them year round, and 2019 has been an amazing year for new thriller releases. I love being so wrapped up in the story, my heart thumping, and reading as fast as I can to find out what’s going to happen. In keeping with one of our display themes right now, I wanted to share some of my favorite new thrillers, in case you missed them.

Riley Sager released his third novel this summer, called Lock Every Door.  Jules Larsen accepts a job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, an exclusive, and mysterious, apartment building in Manhattan. There are some eccentric rules, like not being allowed to have visitors and not spending any nights away from the apartment, but some rules make a little bit of sense, like not pestering her rich and famous neighbors. For the amount of money she’ll be paid, Jules can’t turn the job down. The Bartholomew has a troubled past, and a fellow apartment sitter confirms some of the possible urban legends surrounding the building. The next day, she disappears, and Jules feels compelled to find her.

This book felt like reading a modern day Rosemary’s Baby, and I couldn’t put it down. Unlike Sager’s other books, Final Girls (a must if you’re a fan of horror movies) and The Last Time I Lied, I had part of Lock Every Door figured out before I got to the end. I didn’t figure out all of it, and I was shocked by Sager’s reveal. It’s something I could also kind of see happening in real life, but I’ll stop before I give away too many spoilers.

The next thriller that made me just absolutely full on anxious was No Exit by Taylor Adams. It’s a re-release of a 2017 novel, but I hadn’t heard of it. College student Darby is trying to drive through the mountains to get home in time to say goodbye to her dying mother. A crazy blizzard strands her at a rest stop with four strangers, and while wading through the snow to search for cell service, Darby discovers a young girl locked in an animal crate in the back of one of her fellow travelers’ vehicles. Maybe it’s because I have young girls, maybe it’s because I lost my own mother when I was in college, I don’t know, but I was so incredibly into this book. I read it just over 24 hours, and I found myself holding my breath and internally screaming during parts of it. It’s masterful.

The last thriller that totally blew my mind was Verity by Colleen Hoover. I did not sleep until I finished this book. Seriously. I hadn’t read any of Hoover’s other books, though I’d heard she was an excellent romance and women’s fiction author. I kept seeing Verity recommended in an online book club that I participate in, and when I saw that Hoover’s traditional publishers wouldn’t publish Verity, and that she persevered and published it on her own, my curiosity was piqued.

Writer Lowen Ashleigh is struggling and broke but is then offered the chance of a lifetime- finishing the series of best-selling author Verity Crawford, who has been debilitated by a serious accident. Verity’s husband, Jeremy, invites Lowen to their home to sort through his wife’s office to find any kind of clues she can about the possible direction for the series, but what Lowen finds instead is Verity’s autobiography. “Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.”

I swear, my eyes were bugging out of my head, I know I mumbled some explicit phrases, and I kept setting the book down to tell my husband what was happening, because it was too mind-blowing to not talk about. When I finally got to the end, I was exhausted, shocked and just in a total state of disbelief. I sat there, with the book clutched in my arms in the wee hours of the morning, going over everything that I had read, and instantly wanted to read it again. If you’re a thriller fan, Verity is a definite must read.

Honorable mentions include The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides and Two Can Keep a Secret (it’s not a sequel- important to note) by Karen McManus.

If you’re not a thriller fan, and you’re already thinking ahead to the holidays, come visit our café display where we have some of our holiday movies ready to delight and warm your spirit. Personally, I’m a fan of Let It Snow and A Christmas Detour, both starring Candace Cameron Bure. Watching Christmas movies under a cozy blanket, with a hot mug of cocoa or cider is amazing, and definitely the polar opposite of my thriller recommendations.

Although we will miss Angie at the Circulation Desk, we wish her a warm farewell and all of our best wishes.

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