Bestselling author Lisa Unger knows a thing or two when it comes to a good thriller. Her latest novel, CRAZY LOVE YOU, has already been hailed as “horrifying and wonderful” and after reading it we still can’t sleep without double locking our doors first. So we figured that when it comes to finding our next great read, Lisa would have some ~crazy~ good suggestions. Check out her round-up of favorite books below, and don’t forget to read CRAZY LOVE YOU out from Pocket Books now!
I’m into genre-bending books. And I especially love mysteries and thrillers that aren’t afraid to delve into the unexplained. After all, the universe is a mysterious place and there are more questions than there are answers. In a world where anything is possible, why not peer into the darkness and speculate about what might — or might not — be there? That’s what novelists are supposed to do. Here are some of the people who are doing it best.
EVERY DEAD THING by John Connolly
This it the first book in Connolly’s acclaimed and bestselling Charlie Parker series and it’s where I fell in love with John’s extraordinary writing, and his seamless blend of the real and the supernatural. Charlie Parker is a haunted by the murder of his wife and daughter, and his quest for revenge takes him to some very dark places.
THE NIGHT SISTER by Jennifer McMahon
Jennifer McMahon seamlessly blends a generations-old mystery, a story of friendship, and a totally terrifying haunting into one compelling and riveting read. A creepy hotel filled with secrets, a grisly murder, flickering lights and scary nursery rhymes — what’s not to love?
THE GUARDIANS by Andrew Pyper
I first discovered Andrew Pyper with his debut THE LOST GIRLS. I’ve since read everything he’s written and he never fails to exceed my expectations, always growing as a writer and pushing the envelope as a story teller. When Trevor returns to his hometown to pay his last respects to an old friend, he’s forced to confront dark memories of a crime that occurred in an abandoned house. Creepy and chilling in the extreme! (Pyper’s THE DEMONOLOGIST will also have you making sure there’s nothing under your bed before you turn the lights out.)
PLAYING WITH FIRE by Tess Gerritsen
In her other life, Tess Gerritsen was a physician. Now, she’s the mega-bestselling author of thrillers, many of which have a strong scientific, procedural, or medical backbone. Her latest, PLAYING WITH FIRE, is a bit of departure, delving deep into the history of a “haunted” piece of music. Tess always grabs her readers on the first page, this time leading us down some dark and twisty tunnels into the past.
THE RUINS by Scott Smith
I loved Scott Smith’s A SIMPLE PLAN. And I love that THE RUINS is totally different from that book in every way. Two couples are on a trip to Mexico. When a stranger entices them to join him to look for his missing brother, and also explore some old ruins, they decide to go along. In spite of some seriously creepy signs that they should immediately turn back, they don’t. Bad things happen. Very bad things.
LET ME DIE IN HIS FOOTSTEPS by Lori Roy
In rural Kentucky in 1952, Annie Holleran peers into a well to try to divine her future and finds a dead body nearby instead instead. Gorgeously wrought and dripping with atmosphere, this ambitious novel manages to be a coming of age tale, a dark family history, and a ghost story as well. Roy’s gift for suspense makes this a compelling mystery above all.
THE GOOD AND HAPPY CHILD by Justin Evans
Fatherhood doesn’t agree with George Davies. He can’t even hold his newborn son, and his wife isn’t buying his increasingly lame excuses. She demands that he seeks therapy, which causes him to delve into his childhood. Strange memories start to resurface — including dark visions, troubling behavior and a boy who appeared one night when George was lonely and grieving his father. This is a beautifully written and totally unsettling thriller, with more than a shade of the supernatural lurking in the corners. The ending on this one is a stunner.
HELP FOR THE HAUNTED by John Searles
Sylvie Mason’s parents are demonologists, helping haunted souls find peace. An unusual occupation to be sure, and one that leads them to leave the house after a mysterious phone call one winter night, and never return. They are brutally murdered in an old church, while Sylvie sleeps outside in the car. A year later, Sylvie is determined to find out what happened to them. It’s gothic and spooky, but it’s John’s gift for language and his beautiful portrayal of Sylvie that really make this book special.
Crazy Love YouLisa Unger
Priss has been Ian's best friend, from the time they were kids until they fled their small town full of secrets for the freedom and anonymity of New York. But darkness follows Priss like a spectre, and now that Ian's met sweet, beautiful Megan, whose love makes him want to change for the better. Too bad--Priss doesn't like change. Change makes her angry. And when Priss is angry, terrible things begin to happen...
Every Dead ThingJohn Connolly
Hailed internationally as a page-turner in a league with the fiction of Thomas Harris, this lyrical and terrifying bestseller is the stunning achievement of an "extravagantly gifted" (Kirkus Reviews) new novelist. John Connolly superbly taps into the tortured mind and gritty world of former NYPD detective Charlie "Bird" Parker, tormented by the brutal, unsolved murders of his wife and young daughter. Driven by visions of the dead, Parker tracks a serial killer from New York City to the American South, and finds his buried instincts -- for love, survival, and, ultimately, for killing -- awakening as he confronts a monster beyond imagining...
The Night SisterJennifer McMahon
The latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McMahon (The Winter People) is an atmospheric, gripping, and suspenseful tale that probes the bond between sisters and the peril of keeping secrets.
The GuardiansAndrew Pyper
From acclaimed author Andrew Pyper, a gripping novel of psychological suspense about four men haunted by a secret from childhood.
Play with FireTess Gerritsen
In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. Back home in Boston, from the moment Julia’s bow moves across the strings, the music has a terrifying and inexplicable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently transformed. Her quest beckons Julia to the ancient city of Venice, where she uncovers a dark, decades-old secret involving a dangerously powerful family that will stop at nothing to keep Julia from bringing the truth to light.
The RuinsScott Smith
Trapped in the Mexican jungle, a group of friends stumble upon a creeping horror unlike anything they could ever imagine.Two young couples are on a lazy Mexican vacation–sun-drenched days, drunken nights, making friends with fellow tourists. When the brother of one of those friends disappears, they decide to venture into the jungle to look for him. What started out as a fun day-trip slowly spirals into a nightmare when they find an ancient ruins site . . . and the terrifying presence that lurks there.
Let Me Die in His FootstepsLori Roy
n the spellbinding and suspenseful Let Me Die in His Footsteps, Edgar Award–winner Lori Roy wrests from a Southern town the secrets of two families touched by an evil that has passed between generations.
A Good and Happy ChildJustin Evans
In the smart and suspenseful A Good and Happy Child, a psychological thriller in the tradition of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History with shades of The Exorcist, a young man reexamines his childhood memories of strange visions and erratic behavior to answer disturbing questions that continue to haunt him and his new family.
Help for the HauntedJohn Searles
John Searles’s Help for the Haunted is an unforgettable story of a most unusual family, their deep secrets, their harrowing tragedy, and ultimately, a daughter’s discovery of a dark and unexpected mystery.