Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m going to be posting my second contribution to my brand-new “An introduction to…” series. I’ll be focusing on a specific genre (or sub-genre) and giving you a few recommendations of books you can read in that genre – whether you’re completely new to the genre or wish to expand your horizons, hopefully these posts will help! In my first post, I focused on Psychological Thrillers, which you can find by clicking here. In this post I’ll be focusing on Domestic Thrillers – Thrillers that centre around the family, or the “domestic”. So, here goes…
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris.
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.
I read ‘Behind Closed Doors’ over a year ago now, just as I started getting into reading Thrillers – and it’s stuck with me ever since. This is a fantastic read, all about the nature of marriage and what can go wrong “behind closed doors”. If you haven’t read this yet, you need to!
Release Date: February 2016
Average Goodreads rating: 3.93
Critical quotes: “This outstanding novel will leave you breathless” (Bella), “If you like fast and frantic stories, you’ll love this” (The Sun).
My verdict: A must-read for Thriller lovers, with an emphasis on the marital relationship.
Author’s other works: ‘The Breakdown’ (February 2017).
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena.
You never know what’s happening on the other side of the wall.
Your neighbour told you that she didn’t want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn’t stand her crying.
Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You’ll have the baby monitor and you’ll take it in turns to go back every half hour.
Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She’s gone.
You’ve never had to call the police before. But now they’re in your home, and who knows what they’ll find there.
What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?
‘The Couple Next Door’ is a perfect read for those of you who enjoy reading domestic thrillers with a more complex plot. When Marco and Anne’s baby daughter Cora is kidnapped, they must work together as a family to work out who is responsible. But not everything goes to plan…
Release Date: April 2017
Average Goodreads rating: 3.74
Critical quotes: ““Lapena leads us on a cunningly plotted cat-and-mouse trail […] building a horribly queasy portrait of a marriage under terrific strain” (Metro), “Shari Lapena furnishes a clever array of motives and suspects” (The Times).
My verdict: “It has excellently-constructed characters, plenty of mystery and suspense, and killer twists.” (FULL REVIEW HERE).
Author’s other works: ‘A Stranger In The House’ (July 2017).
Obsession by Amanda Robson.
One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?
It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.
Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky.
But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?
Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?
‘Obsession’ is a complex, honest depiction of the aftermath of infidelity within marriage. Many issues threaten to tear apart the couples of Carly and Rob, and Craig and Jenny, as the characters’ jealousy/addictions/”obsessions” threaten to break apart everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Pages: 464 (a longer read)
Release Date: June 2017
Average Goodreads rating: 3.73
My rating: .5
Critical quotes: “One of the sexiest, most compelling debuts I’ve come across this year, it cries out to become a TV drama” (Daily Mail).
My verdict: “[Obsession] is full of suspense and twists, with expertly-constructed characters and a fantastic ending – what more could you want?! I can guarantee you’ll be obsessed with ‘Obsession’!” (FULL REVIEW HERE).
Author’s other works: None.
The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne.
A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcraft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.
But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity – that she, in fact, is Lydia – their world comes crashing down once again.
As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, Sarah finds herself tortured by the past – what really happened on that fateful day one of her daughters died?
I read ‘The Ice Twins’ a while ago now, and I remember really enjoying it. It essentially follows the Moorcraft family after the death of one of their twin daughters – but many more mysteries are thrown into the mix, and the novel takes an unexpected turn.
Release Date: September 2015
Average Goodreads rating: 3.68
My rating: .5
Critical quotes: “Gripping, sad, and desperately poignant, this is a debut to die for” (Daily Mail), “The Ice Twins has grip, pace and bags of atmosphere … It also has one of the cleverest endings of recent thrillers” (Sunday Times).
My verdict: ‘The Ice Twins’ is perfect for domestic thriller-lovers who particularly enjoy uncovering dark family secrets.
Author’s other works: ‘The Fire Child’ (June 2016).
Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon.
Robin and Sarah weren’t the closest of twins. They weren’t even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another.
Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches – watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn’t…
And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted – the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she’s just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can’t be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister.
But Sarah isn’t the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship…
‘Don’t Close Your Eyes’ is a brilliant blend of both the Thriller genre and a domestic drama. It contains an extremely complex family dynamic that spans over years and years, and twins Sarah and Robin must both confront their past in order to move forwards in the present.
Release Date: July 2017
Average Goodreads rating: 4.04
My rating: .5
Critical quotes: “[A] smartly plotted psychological thriller…plenty of last-minute bombshells await” (Publishers Weekly), “[A] fascinating thriller…too good to miss!” (Sun).
My verdict: “This is a novel about an extremely complex family dynamic, and I would personally describe it as more of a domestic drama than a psychological thriller, although the thriller elements are certainly there.” (FULL REVIEW HERE)
Author’s other works: ‘Try Not To Breathe’ (January 2016).
Happy reading 🙂