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if you liked “gone girl …”

Books like Gone Girl

It seems like every thriller that comes out now is compared to Gone Girl.

In fact, I’ve actually read a number of books simply because they were billed as “the next Gone Girl” or “the new Gone Girl.” And you know what? They weren’t.

I had such high hopes for The Girl on the Train but, sorry, I didn’t love it. I loved the idea of it and I love that Emily Blunt will be starring in the movie but the story just didn’t have that OMG moment that made me sit upright in bed when I had the flu and was reading Gone Girl. You know exactly which moment I mean.

The only book that actually did make me gasp like that was The Good Girl by Mary Kubica, which you have to read. I can see my mom and daughter nodding in agreement.

What publishers need to know is that we can still like thrillers that have nothing to do with Gone Girl. And we may even like them better because we’re not going into them with this new gold standard of expectations.

So, for your reading pleasure, here are six new thrillers that will keep you reading late into the night.

And, just to be clear, they probably won’t remind you of Gone Girl.

The Widow by Fiona BartonThe Widow by Fiona Barton

This is a really juicy read and a great book club choice because it will inspire fascinating discussions about topics like whether you really know the man you married and what you would do if you found out he had a secret obsession with child pornography. In this debut novel, Jean Taylor may or may not be a reliable narrator as she tells the story of her late husband who was once the prime suspect of a case that rocked England. After he’s killed by a bus (hello, Downton Abbey!), she decides it may be time to tell her story. And that story is one that will keep you turning pages and ignoring everything else you have to do.

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica KnollLuckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Ani FaNelli seems to have it all: a glamorous job, a dreamy fiance, clothes to die for. But she also has a secret. Something happened when she was a teenager at a prestigious private school that changed her life and still haunts her all these years later. With the truth threatening to be revealed, it’s up to Ani to choose how this will affect her. Ani is a deeply-layered character and her story is intense. I found it so compelling — and upsetting — and think it should be read and talked about by all mothers and daughters.

The Ex by Alafair BurkeThe Ex by Alafair Burke

I’m a big fan of Alafair Burke and am so thankful she’s as prolific as she is because I seem to go through her books in a single sitting. I love her female characters — who are strong but vulnerable, and so easy to relate to and root for. In this fast-paced crime novel, author Jack Harris has just been arrested for a triple homicide. Convinced that there’s no way he could have done something like this, criminal defense attorney Olivia Randall — who just happens to be Jack’s former fiance — takes his case. As evidence starts to build, she worries that she really never knew him at all. Did he do it? Was he framed? The twists and turns will keep you guessing all the way to the satisfying ending.

Eeny MeenyEeny Meeny and Pop Goes the Weasel by M.J. Arlidge

I’m grouping these together because they’re the first two books in the Detective Helen Grace series, and they’re both excellent. Grace herself is full of surprises and secrets so she’s a totally original heroine. The plots are dark, and Eeny Meeny is especially chilling. Just listen to the premise of the story: people are kidnapped in pairs and held hostage in an empty room with a gun. The only one who will get out alive is the one who shoots the other. It’s so creepy and twisted and impossible to put down. In Pop Goes the Weasel, a serial killer is going after family men who are partaking in activities unbeknownst to their wives. Both of these books creeped me out but I couldn’t stop reading. Bring on the next one!

The Silent Sister by Diane ChamberlainThe Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Riley returns to her father’s home to finalize his affairs after his sudden death, only to learn family secrets that will turn her life inside out. The sister who supposedly committed suicide when Riley was just a little girl? Well, she may be alive and hiding somewhere. Why? Has Riley’s whole life been based on lies? More than a mystery, this is an intriguing story about family, betrayal and the secrets we keep.

Remember MiaRemember Mia by Alexandra Burt

As a mother, stories about children make me extremely tense. The idea of this one is terrifying: After being left for dead, Estelle Paradise wakes up in a hospital, only to realize that her baby is missing. Days have gone by and no one even realized she had a seven-month-old daughter. Unable to explain Mia’s disappearance, Estelle becomes the prime suspect. This psychological thriller is riveting and the incomparable bond between a mother and child makes it even more emotional.


  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    I have never read Gone Girl, but I know a lot of people loved it, so this is awesome for those folks 🙂

  2. I am a huge Diane Chamberlain fan and have read all her books. This is a great one. I’ll have to check out all the others.

  3. My daughter read Gone Girl and really liked it. I will have to share these recommendations with her.

  4. Thank you for this list my friend Tina and I were chatting about books to read 2016 and I told her I have to find a good book that really picks up my interest. Now I have a list of books I might be interested in I’m glad I found your blog today thank you.

  5. I really loved Gone Girl too. And, you’re right, there’s no room for comparison so we can enjoy so many other Thriller genre reads…which is one of my favorite kinds!

  6. Pinned this one before I even read the post, because I love your assessments of books! I’m not a big thriller fan, but you make some of these sound so good I may have to capitulate and get a few.

  7. Carolyn Byrom says:

    Yes that Gone Girl moment…. you are so right! My husband had already read the book and was listening out for my gasp!! And he was not diappointed…
    I don’t think I have ever had that in a book before or since and I read a real lot. Thank you for your interesting article and recommendations. The only one I read already is Diane Chamberlains Silent Sister. I read everything that Diane writes, she is one of my most favourite authors.

    • Lois Alter Mark says:

      I definitely want to read her other books now. And be sure to read The Good Girl. You will gasp again 🙂

  8. This is probably my favorite genre. I need to look into these. It would be nice to see more writers being creative and not comparing their stories to “Gone Girl” even thought it was really good.

  9. Thank you for these!!! I’m adding to my 2016 reading/Audible list now 🙂

  10. You reviewed six books yesterday and another six today – when did you have time to read them all? They all sound so interesting, I don’t know which to read first.. I love these posts (and everything you write)

  11. Thanks for sharing these! “Gone Girl” is one of my favorite books of all time. If these are at all like that, I’ll love them.

  12. Looks like Gone Girl seems to be a big hit with your readers. I will have to check it out!

  13. Oh, The Good Girl was one of my favorite books this past year. Looking forward to checking out the ones you’ve recommended that are new to me!

  14. I didn’t read Gone girl but I did see the movie and I really liked it.

  15. I inhaled “Gone Girl” during a plane flight and loved the book so much. These recommendations sound fantastic and I will be looking into them.

  16. I never get a moment to read. I havent even seen Gone Girl or read the book. I wish I had more time because these look like good options to start with

  17. I have read Gone Girl and I liked it. These books sound interesting. I will add them on my list.

  18. The books you can go through in one sitting, because you don’t want to put them down, are definitely gems. Happy to come across this list. Noting your selections. 🙂

  19. I hated Gone Girl! But I think that means it was a good book, because I couldn’t put it down and had such strong reactions to the characters and events. Out of this list I really want to check out The Ex. I don’t think I could read Remember Mia while my kids are so young.

  20. This just really made me miss reading. I love to read. And since having the kids I haven’t really had much time to read anymore.

  21. Honestly, I have not read Gone Girl before, but these are some good list of books to read which sounds pretty much interesting which my husband would love so much. Remember Mia sounds would be my choice among all of them.

  22. I was looking forward to reading “The Girl on the Train”. Looks like I will have to skip and watch the movie. However, I am going to check out your other recommendations.

  23. I liked girl on the train. I did not like Luckiest girl alive. I didn’t like the characters very much so I didn’t have a lot of empathy for them. Not saying the characters in Girl on the train were very likable but they didn’t bother me. I did read in a Dark Dark wood and I really liked that. It is more in the genre of Gone girl and Girl on the train. I thought it was one of your recommendations?

  24. I really enjoyed Gone Girl. I’ve not read any of these and will add them to my TBR. I’ve heard to Luckiest Girl Alive and think I need to give that one a shot first!

  25. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    These all sound intriguing and is am adding them to m list. Also adding Th Good Girl.

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