Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Read-alike Guides - Gone Girl

If you liked Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, you might enjoy one of these books:

Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton
The school was on fire, and Grace's last memory is of trying to reach her daughter, Jenny, trapped inside. Afterwards, they learn that someone purposefully set the fire, and Jenny may still be in danger from someone who wants her dead. Grace may be the only one who can discover who might be responsible, and the police are looking at Adam, Jenny's younger brother, who is struck mute by the horror he witnessed and can't defend himself when he is accused of the arson.

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
This relentlessly suspenseful novel features a fractured narrative, complicated plot, and uneasy discrepancies between what appears to be happening and what is really going on. Without her husband's knowledge, Christine, whose memory is damaged by a long-ago accident, is treated by a neurologist who helps her to remember her former self through journal entries until inconsistencies begin to emerge, raising disturbing questions.

Beneath the Shadows by Sara Foster
When Grace’s husband inherits an isolated North Yorkshire cottage, they leave London behind to try a new life. A week later, he vanishes without a trace, leaving their baby daughter in her stroller on the doorstep. Returning to the tiny hamlet a year later, Grace searches for the truth as dreams begin to warn her of danger. Are the villagers hiding something, or is she becoming increasingly paranoid? This is a vividly written, emotionally complex tale.

The Breaker by Minette Walters
In another character-driven and intricately plotted psychological suspense story, a seemingly devoted husband becomes the prime suspect in his wife's disappearance and investigation reveals disturbing secrets. Here, a three-year-old girl is found wandering the streets and hours later, her mother's body is washed up on the beach.

The Burning Air by Erin Kelly
In her novels, Kelly provides keen insight into troubled characters with plots that reveal layers of deceit. Leading a cozy life of upper-class privilege, altruistic private school headmaster Rowan and his three grown children gather for the first time since the family matriarch Lydia's passing and are torn by years of secrets when a vengeful stranger arrives, claiming that Lydia was a murderer.

Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman
In this compelling, intricately plotted debut novel, a woman uncovers her dead husband's secrets. In the wake of her stalwart police officer husband's shattering suicide in their otherwise peaceful Adirondack village, house restorer Nora Hamilton notices strange inconsistencies in her husband's past and in the behaviors of his police force co-workers before stumbling on deadly local secrets.

Defending Jacob by William Landay
Looking for family secrets? Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next. His 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

The Dinner by Herman Koch
Like Gone Girl, The Dinner mixes literary prose with taut suspense and dark humor. It also features an unlikeable, unreliable narrator. Meeting at an Amsterdam restaurant for dinner, two couples move from small talk to the wrenching shared challenge of their teenage sons' act of violence that has triggered a police investigation and revealed the extent to which each family will go to protect those they love.

Drowned by Therese Bohman
This is a novel of subtle psychological suspense by Swedish author Bohman, in which betrayal and the relationship between sisters play a key role. Marina travels from Stockholm to rural SkĂȘane for a summer visit to her sister Stella, she feels an uncanny combination of fascination and unease toward Stella's partner, the enigmatic, charismatic, violent, and unpredictable Gabriel. The reader will anticipate the worst but will still hope that disaster will be averted.

The Drowning House by Elizabeth Black
Two families are inextricably linked by tragedy and time in this lyrical novel of psychological suspense. Returning to the insular Galveston home town of her youth in the wake of a family tragedy, photographer Clare Porterfield is drawn into a century-old mystery involving a woman who drowned during the Hurricane of 1900.

Heartbroken by Lisa Unger
Dysfunctional families and their twisted relationship dynamics are at the heart of this novel, in which a woman returns home after a long absence, exposing buried secrets and long-hidden lies. While Kate pens an evocative historical novel based on family journals, her neighbor, Emily, flees a volatile relationship to an island in the Adirondacks where she, Kate, and Kate's mother, Birdie, face the consequences of their pasts.

In the Woods by Tana French
French also writes dark, literary suspense stories in which extremely flawed narrators draw the reader into an emotionally charged story. Their protagonists also tend to be intimately involved with the crimes they are investigating. Here, 20 years after witnessing the violent disappearances of two friends from their small Dublin suburb, detective Rob Ryan investigates a chillingly similar murder that takes place in the same wooded area.

Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
For thrillers with well-voiced characters and tautly suspenseful plots, look no further. Lee's flattering attentiveness to Catherine turns to jealousy as his controlling behaviour becomes frightening and he reveals his darker side; four years later, Catherine has escaped the relationship when she receives a phone call saying that Lee will soon be released from prison, prompting her to fear that he will come after her again.

The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman
Lippman's character-driven, disturbing novels (which mostly take place in Baltimore) are a good choice for Flynn's readers. Once the best of friends until a terrible secret tore them apart, a group of friends are suddenly brought back together under tragic circumstances and wonder if their long-ago lie is the reason for their troubles today and if someone is out to destroy them.

Never Look Away by Linwood Barclay
For another suspenseful missing person tale, try this novel by popular Canadian author Linwood Barclay. Small-town reporter David Harwood takes his wife and young son to an amusement park for a much-needed break. A sudden disappearance has David frantically trying to restore his family, and his investigation into the disappearance leads to a web of lies and deceit.

A Perfect Crime by Peter Abrahams
Abrahams excels at placing flawed protagonists into what the reader knows is a bad situation. Readers are held in uneasy suspense for the duration as they watch things go from bad to worse. In A Perfect Crime, a cuckolded husband conceives a brilliant, deadly plan to exact revenge and simultaneously restore his flagging career.

Places in the Dark by Thomas H. Cook
Cal Chase watches his younger brother William follow his wandering soul, never expecting him to find true love, but when a stunning woman walks into William's life, Cal begins to worry about his safety as well as his heart. This disturbing, character-driven novel of suspense should be a good choice for Flynn fans.

What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
Lippman's intricately plotted, compelling suspense should appeal to Gone Girl fans. Interviewing a distressed and disoriented woman who has fled the scene of an accident, Baltimore County police department detective Kevin Infante is amazed when she claims to be the younger of a pair of sisters who were abducted thirty years earlier.

Also by Gillian Flynn:

Dark Places
For a price Libby Day will reconnect with the players that murdered her mother and two sisters in "The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas." Having testified that her brother Ben was the murderer on that fateful night twenty-five years ago, now she is not so sure as, piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started--on the run from a killer.

Sharp Objects
This is Flynn's 2006 debut novel. Returning to her hometown after an eight-year absence to investigate the murders of two girls, reporter Camille Preaker is reunited with her neurotic mother and enigmatic, thirteen-year-old half-sister as she works to uncover the truth about the killings.

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