Culture Critic Melissa Snow recommends five must-read psychological thrillers for those looking for a page-turner

Final year English and Creative Writing student. Reader, writer, blogger.
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Psychological Thrillers, as made popular by Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train, are all the rage at the moment. But there are so many to choose from, and it’s difficult to know what to read next when you’re so spoilt for choice. Here are five Psychological Thrillers that are ideal for winding down after a long day at uni. While this is by no means an exhaustive list, these books will provide the perfect entry-point into the world of Psychological Thrillers.

The Swimming Pool by Louise Candlish

The Swimming Pool is a truly addictive read. The book is set in a newly-opened community swimming pool, and the Channing family have just moved to town. Wife and mother Natalie Steele quickly befriends the charismatic Lara Channing, but it soon becomes clear that there’s much more to the Channing family than first meets the eye. Candlish’s writing is hypnotic, dark, clever and cunning, and you’ll truly be absorbed in the world of The Swimming Pool.

The Escape by C.L. Taylor

C.L. Taylor’s novels are all excellent, and if you haven’t read any of her books yet, you definitely should. This novel in particular deserves a special mention. Jo Blackmore is approached one day on the school-run by a stranger who hands her a glove belonging to her daughter and seems to know everything about Jo’s life. This sparks the beginning of a downward spiral for Jo, and she must flee with her daughter in order to keep her safe. Taylor has a clear skill in creating mystery and suspense, forcing the reader to the edge of their seat. Totally gripping and exceptionally well-written, this novel will not disappoint.

'Totally gripping and exceptionally well-written, this novel will not disappoint...'

Girl Unknown by Karen Perry

Girl Unknown contains all the ingredients for the perfect Psychological Thriller – tension, excellently-executed characters, mystery, and incredible plot twists. When student Zoe tells her professor David Connolly that she believes he is her father, his life is turned upside-down. Zoe is mysterious and secretive, and when she moves into David’s house, she begins to threaten his existing tight-knit family unit. This novel is highly underrated and deserves much more attention.

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

The Bones of You is jam-packed full of suspense and tension. When eighteen-year-old Rosie Anderson disappears, the whole village is deeply shocked. Local gardener Kate feels responsible for Rosie’s death, and decides to take matters into her own hands and investigate her disappearance. Kate becomes obsessed with finding out the truth about Rosie – but this comes at a cost. This book will keep you reading for hours.

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

With a truly epic narrative following a deeply-troubled woman, In Her Wake is certainly not a read for the faint-hearted. A tragic family event rips apart Bella’s life and everything that she had worked so hard for. She embarks on a personal journey to uncover the truth about her family and her very existence, and makes some truly traumatic discoveries along the way. This is a novel full of suspense and mystery, secrets and lies, love and hate, trust and betrayal, and so much more. In Her Wake has a very important message at its core: secrets will always reveal themselves eventually.

Header image and included book covers have been collated from various sources. All copyright remains with the publishers and artists.