And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
No one does the locked-room mystery like Christie and this one is clever, chilling, and a true whodunit. I’ve read this novel multiple times and it still feels fresh. It’s a classic for a reason.
The Shining by Stephen King
I was 10 years old when I first read this book and, unsurprisingly, it made an impression. Like Agatha Christie before him, King has a gift for bringing remote, claustrophobic settings to life and there isn’t a place much more isolating than a huge, empty hotel in the middle of a blizzard. King is the master of scaring you to death while at the same time making you care deeply about his characters.
A dead teenager. A creepy family. Missing children. A detective tortured by his past. Stunning writing with a strong sense of place. This book has all the elements of a great thriller and it delivers. If you’re looking for a neat and tidy ending, this probably isn’t the story for you. But if you want characters who leap off the page and set up camp inside your head, look no further.
In The Cut by Susanna Moore
That ending. I remember finishing this book for the first time and thinking: did she really do that? This is another book with a divisive final act, but I think it’s brilliant and brave and shows that a short book can really pack a punch.
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
I’ve been reading mysteries and thrillers my entire life, so it’s rare when one truly surprises me. This book did. I never saw the ending coming and was so impressed that I had to immediately start over at the beginning to find all the subtle clues I’d missed. Lehane is a fantastic writer and with this book he’s at the top of his game.
Amy Engel’s latest gripping and dark thriller, The Familiar Dark is available to order now.