Now that I am back on the reading train, I am well and truly immersed back into the world of books…
…and what a wonderful world it is.
From Goodreads to booklr to making my way through book recommendations lists that seem never-ending, I am loving every moment of getting excited about reading again.
With that — naturally — comes my ability to actually recommend books that I have read and loved. The A Girl & Grey Book Club was popular for that very reason, and now that it’s back in it’s newest form, I thought I should kick off the book content with a little list of the creepiest books I have ever read.
IN A DARK, DARK WOOD
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since the day Nora walked out of her old life and never looked back. Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen party arrives. A weekend in a remote cottage – the perfect opportunity for Nora to reconnect with her best friend, to put the past behind her.
But something goes wrong. Very wrong. And as secrets and lies unravel, out in the dark, dark wood the past will finally catch up with Nora.
Reese Witherspoon was not wrong when she said “Prepare to be scared… really scared”. This book is CREEPY.
I mean, you’ve got a remote cottage, an entourage of almost-strangers and a helluva lotta past tension that is bubbling just below the surface. Add in some high school secrets and alcohol, and you’ve got a hens party from hell.
Seriously, though — the creepy vibes from this book have a lot to do with the setting: a secluded mansion in the darkest forest imaginable. No phone reception, no way to contact anyone if something goes wrong…
LOCK EVERY DOOR
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents. These are the only rules for Jules Larson’s new job as apartment sitter for an elusive resident of the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile private buildings and home to the super rich and famous.
Recently heartbroken and practically homeless, Jules accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind. Out of place among the extremely wealthy, Jules finds herself pulled toward other apartment sitter Ingrid. But 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 – but the next day, her new friend has vanished. And then Jules discovers that Ingrid is not the first temporary resident to go missing…
I tore through this book in under 24 hours, so you just know it’s gonna be good.
I loved the main character, Jules, and found her incredibly relatable as a fellow twenty-something. I also loved the setting — a Gothic-style apartment building in the middle of New York City, with gargoyles atop and secrets hidden beneath… You’ll read this in one sitting, I promise you. It’s that good.
DON’T WAKE UP
Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table. The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.
The choice he forces her to make is utterly unspeakable.
But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.
And then she meets the next victim.
I originally had this book sent to me by the publisher, and I started and finished it within the day I received it.
I’m not sure what it was — the title, the cover, or the blurb on the back cover — but something drew me to the story. Maybe it’s got something to do with my fear of doctors? Of feeling out of control? After all, it is kind of strange that we trust these people to put us under anaesthetic, with no real idea if or when we’ll wake up again…
I loved this book. It’s terrifying, it’s shocking, and it’s a total page-turner. What more could you want?
A young boy wakes to find his mother missing. Outside, he sees her favourite scarf – wrapped around the neck of a snowman.
Detective Harry Hole soon discovers that an alarming number of wives and mothers have gone missing over the years.
When a second woman disappears, Harry’s worst suspicion is confirmed: a serial killer is operating on his home turf.
Okay, so I realise that the description sounds a little… blasé, but trust me when I say that this story is goooood. It’s not the kind of book that slowly brings you into the story until you are comfortable enough to make sense of it — you are thrown into the deep end with this one, and you’ll spend the rest of the time trying to avoid drowning in terror.
It’s so creepy, and it’s thrilling — truly — probably the most thrilling book on this list. It’s dark, too, and really scary. Read the book before you watch the film, because there are some important bits missed in the visual adaptation, but this is definitely a story you’re going to love. It’s one that stays with you forever.
IN THE WOODS
When he was twelve years old, Adam Ryan went playing in the woods with his two best friends. He never saw them again. Their bodies were never found, and Adam himself was discovered with his back pressed against an oak tree and his shoes filled with blood. He had no memory of what had happened.
Twenty years on, Rob Ryan – the child who came back – is a detective in the Dublin police force. He’s changed his name. No one knows about his past. Then a little girl’s body is found at the site of the old tragedy and Rob is drawn back into the mystery. Knowing that he would be thrown off the case if his past were revealed, Rob takes a fateful decision to keep quiet but hope that he might also solve the twenty-year-old mystery of the woods.
This was the first mystery thriller I ever read, so I definitely have a fondness for this story and this author.
Aside from that initial bias, I do have to say that this book is one of the best thrillers I have ever read.
It’s gripping, it’s gritty, and it’s oh-so-good. You’ll want to read it in one sitting — which is an almost impossible feat considering it’s 600+ pages long — but it is truly that good.
The mystery, the suspense, the forever-wanting-to-know-what-happened… this book has it all.
Stay up to date with what I’m reading right now over on the book club page. You can also follow me on Goodreads, too, if you’d like! I’d love to know if you’ve read any, or all, of the above books. Do you have any other creepy thrillers to recommend?