This is where we give OFPL staff members an opportunity to write about some of their favorite books. This month, Angie in Circulation shares some thrilling suggestions. Next time you’re in the library, be sure to ask Angie for more pulse-quickening titles.
One of my favorite parts about pandemic reading has definitely been the thrillers that I’ve been making my way through. I’ve always enjoyed a good puzzle and a heart-pounding pace, so these are my recommendations from books that I’ve recently read.
Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – This is hands down one of my favorite books of the year. Sager has quickly become one of my must read authors, and this novel, which is reminiscent of The Amityville Horror, did not disappoint.
In Sager’s fourth novel, Maggie Holt, a restorer of old homes, inherits Baneberry Hall after her father’s death. Her family fled Baneberry in the middle of the night after living there for only three weeks when she was a child, which her father wrote about and turned into a best-selling nonfiction novel, The House of Horrors. While Maggie doesn’t fully remember the events of her childhood, she begins to experience them first hand after her return.
This book is deliciously creepy. I stayed up all night to finish reading it, and as a funny note, when the novel reached a fever pitch, my youngest daughter ran down the hall and threw my bedroom door open. I screamed, she screamed, and then we all calmed down once I realized I wasn’t going to be killed by Mr. Shadow. And if you want to know who Mr. Shadow is, check out Home Before Dark. Bonus? The cover glows in the dark.
The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – This book was a slow burn that turned into a blaze by the end, and made me seek out Goldin’s other works.
Rachel Krall is a popular podcast host, and she’s in Neapolis, North Carolina to cover a rape trial. The accused is a wealthy college student destined for Olympic swimming greatness, and the defendant is the 16 year old granddaughter of the former police chief.
Rachel begins receiving letters on her car, at her hotel, and more that urge her to look into the case of Jenny Stills. Jenny was a poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks that accidentally drowned, at least that’s the official version.
The novel bounces between the present and the past, and the pace speeds up the closer Rachel gets to the truth. The past and present converge in a series of gut-wrenching twists. This book is amazing, but can be hard to read because of the nature of the sexual assaults.
The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter: The latest in Slaughter’s Will Trent series also bounces between the present and the past. I just finished this book, and it’s brutal and brilliant.
While investigating the death of a prisoner after a riot, an inmate tells Trent he’s innocent of a series of sexual assaults and killings. Trent investigates and thrills ensue.
One upcoming novel that’s highly anticipated by mystery fans is Ruth Ware’s One by One. I read this book in the middle of a heat wave, but I was wrapped in piles of blankets with chills both from the setting and the tale.
In this locked room mystery, a team of employees from a hot social media app visit a French chalet for a weekend of skiing, team building, and shocking announcements. An avalanche hits, and the team members begin disappearing one by one.
While I feel like the killer is easily picked out, Ware brings the reader to the reveal with masterful skill.
This book will be available on September 8, but in the meantime, I’d suggest checking out Ware’s other novels, as well as Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
An upcoming thriller that I haven’t read but am looking forward to is When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole. Described by the publisher as Get Out meets Rear Window, this novel features Brooklyn resident Sydney Green, who notices more and more For Sale signs in her neighborhood. While you’re waiting for this thriller about gentrification to be released on September 1, pop in and grab the newest copy of “BookPage,” a free recommendation magazine, that has a Q&A with Cole.
I have Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Wonderland by Zoje Stage up next in my TBR pile, and I can’t wait for the next page-turner. If you’ve read them, or any of these books, stop by and let me know what you thought.
More about Angie’s Recommendations:
Lock Every Door by Riley Sager – No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind. As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – Ten people, each with something to hide and something to fear, are invited to a isolated mansion on Indian Island by a host who, surprisingly, fails to appear. On the island they are cut off from everything but each other and the inescapable shadows of their own past lives. One by one, the guests share the darkest secrets of their wicked pasts. And one by one, they die…Which among them is the killer and will any of them survive?
One by One by Ruth Ware (On Order) – Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?
When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong and an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?