Psychological Thrillers or Are They!

Recently I have read quite a few novels which have been termed as psychological thrillers and I wondered which is your favourite and which have fallen a bit flat.  I am also getting a bit fed up with every new novel being phrased as “the new Gone Girl”.

So here goes with  three I have read recently.


Mother Mother by Koren Zailckas

ImageThis novel is about a dysfunctional family.  There is Violet a 16 year old girl who is being accused of being a danger to her family and her brother William who is an intelligent 12 year old with epilepsy and autism.  Then there is the elder sister Rose who has escaped or has she!  Meet the parents especially the mother, Josephine.  Is she the woman who wants what is best for her family or is there something more sinister than that!

I did enjoy Mother Mother, thanks to Love Reading, who asked me to review it but I did not find it particularly suspenseful and I guessed what was happening when more than half way through.  The author also didn´t seem to know when to press the end button.  After a particularly good scene towards the end it then waffled on for several more pages.  But saying that I would still recommend it.

The Book of You by Claire Kendal


Clarissa is being stalked by a colleague, Rafe, who is always there and when “presents” start to arrive she becomes more and more frightened.  She is then chosen for jury service and feels that the court room is a safe haven for six weeks where Rafe cannot get to her. However, she then starts to find parallels with the young woman who is the defendant in the case being heard.

This was written in the third and first person going back and forth to entries written in her diary.  I found it quite disconcerting and started to speed read.  I also found Clarissa to be a very irritating person and kept saying to myself for goodness sake go to the Police.  I also didn´t like the stereo typing of one of the jury members, Robert, who guess what, is a fireman.  All in all I found this as thrilling as being slapped about the face with a wet fish.

However, thank you Love Reading for giving me a chance to review this novel.

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

ImageNow this is what I call a psychological thriller.  Within a few minutes I could not put it down and was drawn in to the world of OCD and domestic violence.  I won´t put too much of the plot on here because if you haven´t read it, I just want to say to you drop everything you are doing and go out and buy it now.  It´s only 2.99 on Amazon and it is the best three quid that you will spend.

So what are you favourite psychological thrillers?  And what did they call them before Gone Girl!








  1. I loved Into The Darkest Corner as well. It’s one of my top reads of last year! I also enjoyed Gone Girl, but didn’t think it was quite as wonderful as everyone else seemed to. I think the fact neither of the characters were in any way likeable didn’t help. Thanks for the other book recommendations!

  2. As you know, I read Into The Darkest Corner on your recommendation and loved it. Also loved Gone Girl and thought Mother, Mother was pretty good. Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson is another one that I thought was well written. Always enjoy a Linwood Barclay, though they’re not strictly psychological. Thought that the recent and much-hyped The Silent Wife was just awful. Cuckoo by Julia Crouch was one I read last year and enjoyed.

  3. I agree about Linwood Barclay and in fact have a paperback No Time for Goodbye which I picked up recently. The awful thing is I cannot remember Gone Girl although I am sure I have read it.

  4. I have just got ‘Mother Mother’ from the Library… I also read the Elizabeth Haynes on Caroline’s recommendation…. and ‘Gone Girl’ was good but I agree – over hyped (although I will go and see the film when it is out). I really enjoyed ‘Apple Tree Yard’ by Louise Doughty and have you read Erin Kelly’s books? Also very good….

    1. I do hope you enjoy Mother Mother and will be interested in what you think of it. I had very much mixed feelings of Apple Tree Yard and felt it meandered too much for me, okay but not my favourite read. Not sure about Erin Kelly…..I read so much and forget so much of what I have read! But will check her out.

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