Tag Archives: suspense

Alex’s Picks – Psychological Thrillers

Web of AngelsIdenticalShutter IslandBefore I Go to SleepMisery

While I am all about the Chick Lit genre, every now and then I enjoy reading a book that makes my hair stand on end and keeps me at the edge of my seat. If you are one for Psychological Thrillers, here are my top picks:

Web of Angels by Lilian Nattel: A woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder looks for answers behind the suicide of a pregnant teenage girl, and what may be happening to her surviving younger sister.

Identical by Ellen Hopkins: An “All-American family” with a deep, dark secret.

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane: A U.S Marshall tasked with capturing an escaped convict ends up questioning his own sanity.

Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson: A woman with amnesia wakes up every morning unable to remember her past. Leaving herself clues, she slowly pieces together her life and starts to doubt the people closest to her.

Misery by Stephen King: A crazed fan saves the life of her favourite author, then holds him captive.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Everything I Never Told You Cover

It’s no spoiler to reveal that a major character in Everything I Never Told You is dead by the time the story begins. In fact, the novel opens with the line “Lydia is dead.” What follows is a beautifully written and heartbreaking novel that attempts to solve the mystery of “why”?

Marilyn Lee, Lydia’s mother, has always wanted to stand out. But her dream of becoming a doctor has been quashed by marriage, motherhood, and the societal expectations of women in the ‘60s and ‘70s. By contrast, Lydia’s father, James Lee, has wanted nothing more than to fit in. The son of Chinese immigrants, he has always felt like an outsider in his own country, and fears the same will happen to his mixed-race children. Both parents unwittingly try to live vicariously through their favourite daughter. Both think they know everything there is to know about Lydia: obedient daughter, star student, popular classmate. So when she disappears and is later discovered at the bottom of the nearby lake, they are devastated—and confused. Was it a tragic accident, was it murder—or could Lydia have done the unthinkable and taken her own life?

Set in small-town Ohio circa 1977, the story jumps back and forth through time, and is told through multiple perspectives. Marilyn, James, Lydia, and the couple’s other two children, Nathan and Hannah, all reveal bits and pieces of the secrets that may tear the Lee family apart forever. I highly recommend checking out Ng’s debut novel, which begs the question: how well do we really know our loved ones?