Read These Seven Thrillers if You Love a Twist Ending

Norrie Beach
5 min readJan 13, 2022
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

During quarantine, We’ve relied on the magical world of books for comfort, entertainment, and stress relief. Some of us favored the light-hearted escape of a romance novel or a beach read, but others (raises hand) got lost in the twisty plots of horror and suspense. While not the best if you’re hoping for a good night’s sleep (some of these books had me checking for monsters under my bed at 3 am), thrillers are an effective way to get your mind off of the horrors of the real world. But I think all of my fellow suspense lovers can agree that there’s nothing worse than reaching the end of a great book and having that “I totally saw this coming” moment. When I read a suspense novel, I want to be so sucked in and so shocked that I audibly gasp in front of 20 strangers in the local coffee shop and close that book with my jaw on the floor.

I’ve read a lot of suspense novels, and only a handful have really successfully surprised me, but I’ve loved a few of them so much that I immediately shipped them off to my book bestie and told her to drop everything and start reading. Of all the mystery and thriller novels I’ve read, these seven had the best, most jaw-dropping, have-to-talk-about-it-now twists:

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Emma Davis returns to her childhood summer camp, hoping to find closure. Instead, she finds herself reliving the horrors of her past. Unsure of who or what she can trust, she becomes determined to unravel the twisty and thrilling mystery of her bunkmate’s disappearance.

The Last Time I Lied is by far my favorite of all of Riley Sager’s books (although I love them all — you might notice a few more on this list). This story kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, and just when I thought I had everything figured out, it served up one last twist.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Alicia Barenson is an artist who was arrested for murdering her husband. Five years later, she still hasn’t said a single word. Theo Faber is a criminal psychologist with one goal: convince Alicia to talk.

This book was a masterpiece. The two different points of view were wonderfully tied together, and the ending was both wildly unexpected and exactly what I hoped it would be.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Jules Larson has lost her job, her boyfriend, and her apartment, and she’s looking for a new beginning. So when she’s asked to be an “apartment sitter” at the Bartholemew, she jumps at the opportunity, even if it means she has to follow some bizarre rules. But as the story unfolds, it’s clear that life at the Bartholemew is not what it seems.

Riley Sager had me glued to my seat with this book, and the ending was so unbelievably strange, I don’t think anyone could have predicted it.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

A remote island wedding is a dream come true for this seemingly perfect couple and their magazine-ready wedding party. But when someone turns up dead, it becomes clear: there’s a murderer on the island. The questions remain: Who did it? And why?

Although this book had mixed reviews, I absolutely loved it. The multiple points of view kept me on my toes; I didn’t know who to trust, and I was talking about the twist ending for weeks after I finished.

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Maggie Holt has spent the last 25 years trying to escape the “haunted house” that made her famous. But when her father dies and leaves her everything, including the mysterious mansion, she moves in, hoping to discover what really caused her parents to flee the house in the dead of night and never return.

Yes, half of the books on this list are by Riley Sager. I won’t apologize! He is the master of the twist, and Home Before Dark is no exception.

They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman

Senior Jill Newman is determined to enjoy her final year at her exclusive Long Island prep school. But a mysterious text leads her to start investigating what really happened on the fatal night three years ago when her best friend died.

If you loved Gossip Girl, you will love this book. It’s in the process of being adapted into a new show, coming to HBO this fall, but everyone knows the book is always better.

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Jane is a new resident of Birmingham, Alabama, who’s just doing her best to get by. But everything changes when she meets Eddie Rochester, the neighborhood’s most eligible, and most mysterious, bachelor.

I think we can all agree that Charlotte Bronte gave us an iconic twist ending when she wrote Jane Eyre. The Wife Upstairs is a thrilling modern-day retelling of the classic tale, offering all of the head-spinning drama with none of the flashbacks to eighth-grade English that you might get from the original.

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Norrie Beach

Freelance writer. Blogger. Lover of true crime podcasts, appetizers, and going to the beach.