|SUSPENSE (1946). Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. |
quest.eb.com/search/144_1533468/1/144_1533468/cite. Accessed 4 Aug 2017.
~Jordan Foster, "Top Ten Writers of Psychological Suspense"
Why do we love to read genres like psychological suspense? The intricacy of the plot? The complex, often wounded characters? The moral ambiguity that often ends up being punished? The fact that these tales have a domestic aspect, often set in familiar places and locales, while amping up the tension? Psychology Today suggests it's because of their "power to stir up intense emotion. Our brains release neurotransmitters like dopamine, and oxytocin when we are intensely emotional (intensely happy as well as scared, or horrified) and these can serve to consolidate memories, and even strengthen bonds between us and others sharing the same experience." Maybe it's just the fascination with other people's psyches - Jessica Ferri asserts on the Early Bird Books site, "There's no escaping your own mind," but maybe you can, a little, by digging deep into the minds of others.
Fans of mysteries and thrillers will have likely heard of Daphne du Maurier, Gillian Flynn, Tana French, Sophie Hannah, Patricia Highsmith, and Ruth Rendell. But how about some of these less well known twisty tales?
Dare Me by Megan Abbott
The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel
A Place of Execution by Val McDermid
Now You See Me by S. J. Bolton
The Clairvoyants by Karen Brown
The Visitors by Catherine Burns
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
Little Deaths by Emma Flint
The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe
Long Man by Amy Greene
Her by Harriet Lane
The Fall Guy by James Lasdun
I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
Alex by Pierre Lemaître
The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan
House. Tree. Person. by Catriona McPherson
The Iron Gates by Margaret Millar
Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent
The Walls by Hollie Overton
Drowned by Therese Bohman
The Perfect Neighbors by Sarah Pekkanen
Let Me Die In His Footsteps by Lori Roy
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Heartsick by Chelsea Cain
Watching Edie by Camilla Way
The Black Angel by Cornell Woolrich [eBook]
Refinery29 says "Once you've reached the end and all the secrets have spilled out, it's not always fun to go back and read them again. You need new mysteries to unravel — new plotlines and characters to make the hair on your neck stand on end." Have you ever re-read a suspense thriller, or do you agree with their assessment? Regardless, you can find many more twisty titles in the library catalog - for more books, try a subject search in the catalog using the terms "Psychological fiction" or "Suspense fiction." But be prepared - there are thousands of titles to sort through!